A Few Belated Words For Veterans Day

Yesterday, at church, they really made a special effort to show their appreciation for our veterans.

They had three veterans stand up, one from World War 2 and two from Korea. They talked at length about their experiences fighting overseas, three members of the local ROTC walked the church and presented the flag, we said the Pledge of Allegiance, and over the course of an hour, the music included My Country, Tis of Thee, God Bless the USA, America the Beautiful, and The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

It’s fantastic to go to a church where they recognize that we only have the freedom to worship because men have fought, bled, died for it, oftentimes far from home.

Along similar lines, in recognition of our vets who’ve served and who are still serving their country overseas, I’d like to post a story about our troops that has always stuck with me.

It from Robert Leckie’s superb book, Conflict: The History of the Korean War.

“The situation is critical and Miryang may be lost. The enemy have driven a division-sized salient across the Naktong. More will cross the river tonight. If Miryang is lost Taegu becomes untenable and we will be faced with a withdrawl from Korea. I am heartened that the Marine brigade will move against the Naktong salient tomorrow. They are faced with impossible odds and I have no valid reason to substantiate it, but I have a feeling they will halt the enemy.

I realize my expression of hope is unsound, but these Marines have the swagger, confidence and hardness that must have been in Stonewall Jackson’s Army of the Shenandoah. They remind me of the Coldstreams at Dunkerque. Upon this thin line of reasoning, I cling to the hope of victory.”

Here’s Leckie’s description of the first day of fighting:

“The marines struck in Obong-ni, or No-Name Ridge as they called it, the morning of August 7. Twice they attacked, and twice they were hurled back, but by nightfall they had clawed their way to the summit of two of the ridge’s hills.”

The next day, immediately following an airstike that took out a machine gun nest, the Marines did what they do best: obliterate the enemy:

But then, the blast still echoing in the surrounding hills, they rose and swept through the destroyed position, their rush gaining momentum until they had taken No-Name Ridge and had put the broken enemy to flight.

“From that moment,” General Craig reported, “the issue west of Yongsan was no longer in doubt. A routed enemy fled westward, racing desperately from the continued ground and air assault of the Marines, who, before the day was over, accounted for the destruction of 4,000 enemy troops.”

The pursuit carried as far as the river, and there, said the log of the carrier Sicily, “the enemy was killed in such numbers that river was definitely discolored with blood.”

Last but not least, if you say thanks to our troops — well, nothing says “thank you” quite like kicking in a few bucks to a soldiers charity.

This is the last day of the Soldiers Angels fund raiser. Soldiers Angels provides “laptops for severely wounded service members.” It’s a worthy charity and one that I hope you’ll support.

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