On this Memorial Day, we take a brief pause. Rather than sharing a legal article, we choose, instead, to share something meaningful in honor of an important holiday. We each find ourselves elated at the thought of having an extra day to spend with family and friends. Many of us will attend cookouts or back yard barbeques; partake in outdoor activities in the sunshine; or immerse ourselves into our own special traditions. But for this moment, let the true meaning of this day not evade us.
Today, I’m sharing an e-mail my dad originally shared with me in August of last year, following an air event dedicated to all veterans, those present, missing, killed in action, prisoners of war, and those who are gone, but never forgotten. Upon reading it, I was deeply touched. May it help us each to pause and remember.
Here is the e-mail:
I have attached a photo and thank you note we received for the event this past weekend. The young man in the photo had not been to his dad’s grave yet. His dad was a Vietnam vet who passed away two months ago. On his flight Saturday [a flight offered at a local air show by the veteran’s organization, American Huey 369, which offer rides aboard Huey helicopters to veterans, their family members, and other patriots], he saw his dad’s grave from the air for the first time. I told him to come back on Sunday and if he would go by his dad’s grave, we would do a flyover on our last flight.
It was one of our best events yet.
Imagine what it felt like to be this man kneeling beside his father’s grave on that day. How special a moment it was to hear and feel the forceful air coming off the whirling blades of that Huey helicopter as it hovered above, with every man aboard her offering a proper salute to his father – their military “brother.” There he sat next to his father. It’s beyond words.
An e-mail the organization received after the flyover:
Dear Crew of American Huey 369,
Thank you! The attached photo says it all.
Thank you so much and God Bless!
Karen & Jim
Another message forwarded to those involved in the American Huey 369 organization following the flyover:
Not sure if you heard this yet or not, but Lisa posted this on Facebook…
So you know how many times the Huey flew over and circled around before they left town? That was for Uncle Spike. They told Matt to go stand by his dad and they’d fly over and salute him from the sky. This made me tear up when I saw it. Still does hours later. Great job on putting this all together. I overheard a lot of people talking about the Huey all weekend long. It was a major highlight of the celebration, but more importantly it did some people a lot of good.
American Huey 369 does this type of thing every time the opportunity presents itself, and it never gets any less touching with each aerial salute — a display of pride, respect, and honor paid in tribute to one of their fallen “brothers.” I’m sure there wasn’t a dry eye on that helicopter.
So for today, take just a moment to pause, and more importantly, to remember what gives you this wonderful day to spend as you wish. To all veterans, active duty soldiers, and their families who sacrifice so much, we salute you.