I wasn’t going to do a special blog for Memorial Day; it seems too predictable. And what can I say that hasn’t already been said. Yet here I am.
This weekend in church, in the Pastor’s sermon, he revealed that he doesn’t personally know anyone who died in combat. I immediately thought of my cousin Ben, which naturally made me start crying, so I thought I should pay tribute to him.
Honestly, I don’t remember ever meeting my cousin Benny. I’m sure I had, but I was little when he went off to Vietnam, and he hadn’t been living around here at the time. Somehow a couple years ago, one of Ben’s nephews was able to find an eye witness account of the day Ben was killed in May 1968. Click here to read it in its entirety.
The account is tough to read for someone like myself with no military background, the descriptions of the weapons and the abbreviations. But when I read the details of the moment Ben was shot, chills run down my spine.
“I saw him struck right in the head from a small arms round from the front and all the poor soul did was raise both hands and put them up to his ears as if to cover them and he fell back into the turret. I was so shocked by that indelibly etched snap shot of death, as I have called it ever since.” P.J. Ronzo
I was too young to remember Benny, but I remember crystal-clear the day I heard that Ryan Adams had died. The son of a co-worker of mine, he died in combat in Afghanistan in October 2009. I can still see the anguish on his mother’s face, his father fighting to stay strong. I can hear taps playing. . .