The price of bravery . . .
Memorial Day 2020 was a relatively low-key event this year with many area Memorial Day ceremonies canceled due to the pandemic. So much has been cancelled due to the virus this spring that 2121 will be a total reset of events and holidays should the virus be out of our lives by then. That shouldn’t diminish the fact that we owe our veterans who gave up their lives for our country more than a little respect. Some people may not know of their ancestors who may have given their lives or perhaps they don’t have relatives who lost their lives during a war. To these folks I suppose the holiday is nothing more than a chance to grill, swim, and relax during a three-day weekend. But the holiday should mean something to all of us because of the sacrifice made by these brave soldiers. There are local families who have holes in their hearts over the loss and sacrifice of a loved one. People like Carolyn Miller, who lost her young husband, Edwin Cleo Harmon in the Vietnam War. Carolyn saw the Army car coming up her driveway and knew what it meant. She ran into the house to get her Daddy. They were told that Cleo was gone. After his death, she received a tape from Cleo in the mail and a fistful of letters in the days that followed. Carolyn shared that receiving the posthumous tape of Cleo was a blessing at the time.
Then there’s Tammy Carr and her brothers, Bobby and Denny Cates. Tammy was almost five years old when her hero, her dad, Private First Class Norman G. Cates of Success was killed in the vicinity of Thu Bon on Go Noi Island near Liberty Bridge. Norman was in the 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, H Company. He was an Antitank Assaultman. He will always be daddy to Tammy and her brothers.
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