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Memorial Day 2006
Here are two
pictures that were awarded first and second place at the picture of the
year international this year. Very very touching
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines
climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his
casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac. During the
arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International
Airport, Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most
powerful in the process: "See the people in the windows? They'll
sit right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder
what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that
brought him home," he said. "They're going to remember being
on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember
bringing that Marine home. And they should."
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News
The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey
refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last
time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag
Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs
that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted
them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be
kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's
what he would have wanted."
"There are no great
There are only great challenges
that ordinary men are forced by
circumstances to meet."
William "Bull" Halsey
The elderly parking lot
attendant wasn't in a good mood!
Neither was Sam Bierstock. It was around 1 a.m., and Bierstock, a Delray
Beach, Fla. , eye doctor, business consultant, corporate speaker and
musician, was bone tired after appearing at an event.
He pulled up in his car, and the parking attendant began to speak. "I
took two bullets for this country and look what I'm doing," he said
At first, Bierstock didn't know what to say to the World War II veteran.
But he rolled down his window and told the man, "Really, from the
bottom of my heart, I want to thank you."
Then the old soldier began to cry.
"That really got to me," Bierstock says.
Cut to today.
Bierstock, 58, and John Melnick, 54, of Pompano Beach - a member of
Bierstock's band, Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Band - have written a song
inspired by that old soldier in the airport parking lot. The mournful
"Before You Go" does more than salute those who fought in WWII.
It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors
before they die.
"If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have
been shot," says Bierstock, who plays harmonica. "The WW II
soldiers are now dying at the rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we
needed to thank them."
The song is striking a chord. Within four days of Bierstock placing it on
the Web , the song and accompanying photo essay have bounced around nine
countries, producing tears and heartfelt thanks from veterans, their sons
and daughters and grandchildren.
"It made me cry," wrote one veteran's son. Another sent an
e-mail saying that only after his father consumed several glasses of wine
would he discuss "the unspeakable horrors" he and other soldiers
had witnessed in places such as Anzio, Iwo Jima, Bataan and Omaha Beach.
"I can never thank them enough," the son wrote. "Thank you
for thinking about them."
Bierstock and Melnick thought about shipping it off to a professional
singer, maybe a Lee Greenwood type, but because time was running out for
so many veterans, they decided it was best to release it quickly, for
free, on the Web. They've sent the song to Sen. John McCain and others in
Washington. Already they have been invited to perform it in Houston for a
Veterans Day tribute - this after just a few days on the Web. They hope
every veteran in America gets a chance to hear it.
GOD BLESS EVERY veteran...
and THANK you to those veterans who may receive this !
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO HEAR THE SONG AND SEE THE PICTURES: