|William E. Brower II|
| The True Defenition Of Barbeque Day AKA Memorial Day
On June 6, 1944 Tank Commander John L. Dudley III took part in the invasion of Normandy. As he directed his men over the shores further inland, they approached a bridge. On their attempt at crossing the vehicle was hit by a barrage of artillery. Dudley was thrown from his position by the shockwave which also cost him his hearing and the lives of his men.
Half a world away, Jerome Kaczorowski with his buddies Flip and Tom were busy in the Merchant Marines bouncing around places in the Pacific with exotic names like Guadalcanal. Before the end of the war, Tom would be listed KIA. Before returning home, “Triggerhappy Harry” Kaczorowski as he was known by Flip and other friends would take a photo showing a group of people in cloth masks standing behind partially erected buildings the village was called Nagasaki.
Growing up hearing these stories from both my Great Uncle and Grandfather always were interesting to me. Uncle Johnny as I used to call him would let me use his field glasses that he was holding when the tank exploded. I used to gaze out his balcony at Pompano beach listening to him talk about another beach. Grandad would always be watching “Victory at Sea” waiting for the grandkids to sit for a front row back story about all the great battleships that served in the Allied Fleets. Each Memorial Day, both of them would give a toast to their fallen commrades and continue with telling their tales and adventures during the second world war.
Today it’s a different story though, I inherited Uncle Johnny’s glasses and medals that were awarded. My grandmother gave me the box set of “Victory at Sea” which was heavily used after Grandad passed away six years ago.
For some people, Memorial Day means barbeques, paid holiday, last minute “one day only!” sale for furniture and new cars. The origins of this day are starting to fade into obscurity. With the conflicts still ongoing in the Middle East, among other places I challenge you the reader to do something quite simple this year. We have a large number of service men and women “active” and “retired” residing around us. Should you see one during the course of your day, I suggest you stop and say two words that are barely used these days....THANK YOU.