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MEMORIAL DAY. ITS NOT JUST A LONG WEEKEND!

Posted on: May 30th, 2016 by Publisher 2 Comments

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Today is Memorial Day, and already the nearby  beaches are jammed with brightly colored umbrellas and throngs of people joyously frolicking in the surf.  And why shouldn’t they? It’s a three day weekend after all—a chance for  hard working people and their families to escape the daily grind of earning a living.

But Memorial Day is not just an excuse for a three day weekend.  That  only happened sometime after 1972, when several holidays were moved to Tuesdays to increase the number of three day weekends available. In particular, it  is not to be confused with Veterans Day. These days Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

As one who flew fighter aircraft (not the safest profession in the world, I admit) during the Cold War years from 1954 to 1981, I am grateful that those who died while on active duty are included in the list of those to be remembered on Memorial Day. That’s because I carry in my mind a floating, ever-changing, ever-fading list of names and faces to be honored every year. For example, I remember clearly a gloomy  year at Misawa Air Base, Japan  when two F-100 Super Sabre Squadrons, the 416th and 531st Tac Fighter Squadrons, lost 12 aircraft and  10 pilots. I was one of the two pilots that survived those accidents by the way.

I believe all veterans need to remember and be remembered. That’s why today I will be visiting one or more veterans cemeteries to pray for the souls of those who reside there   and make sure they are remembered.

Respectfully,

Ron Standerfer

USAF Retired/Disabled Vietnam Veteran




2 Responses

  1. Sam Clarke says:

    Good on ya, Ron. I remember those names and faces as well. The 4th FIS lost 2 airplanes (but no pilots) and the 45th TRS lost an airplane (broke in two just behind the cockpit – but John Hoek jumped out) during approx the same period. Gnarly!

    Stay well,
    Sam

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