When I first visited Hawaii years ago, I had to go to Pearl Harbor. There was something special about coming from Massachusetts and just being on the island. But out of respect for my father, a veteran of both WWII and Korea, I was drawn to the military historical site. This was where the sneak attack launched the 'great war'. There was something special about the camaraderie and bonds that WWII forged. I can remember as a kid how my father got together every other week with his Army buddies. It was informal at best, but it was a must. Nothing but Christmas or Easter could change this friendly rendezvous. They talked about their escapades and their exploits. Never the death. Never the destruction. Never with regrets. They were proud veterans.
As I have become older and more understanding of strong bonds and friendships, I can fully appreciate a military service that was unknown to me until recently. It's a private interment service available to those who survived the sinking of the Arizona. Survivors of that attack went on, though many of their brothers in arms never basked again in the sun. But their absence was never a full void. They were remembered long after they were gone.
With a h/t to Andrew Meyers, I became aware of a rather under-the-radar memorial commemoration that takes place above and in the submerged carcass of the Arizona. Here's a private look into a rarely spoken of privilege for those who survived the Pearl Harbor attack, but like all of us will, ultimately succumb to time. How considerate and thoughtful of the armed forces-- not generally known for it's sensitivity -- to provide a touching and fitting farewell to the more recently passed. Those who wish to be reunited with their buddies who didn't make it out.
I'm really proud of our military for their warm and generous option they've provided our brave heroes. Bravo.
First lady Michelle Obama was among the mourners at the funeral of a 15-year-old girl who was shot to death eight days after performing with her high school band at President Barack Obama's inauguration.
As you know, a funeral was held for Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old victim of gun violence who was killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She was a high school honor student and a member of the majorette squad that performed at President Obama's inauguration. She was fatally shot about a mile from the president's home.
Police are still searching for the suspected gang member who gunned her down.
The L.A. Times published an article about Hadiya's funeral that brought me to tears, but it was something at the very end of the piece that caught my eye, something I hope a lot of people will now share widely:
[Damon] Stewart, Hadiya's godfather, talked about how the teen had become an important symbol for people. He said he had read a Facebook post that said, "I'm not going to buy into the hype. What makes this girl so much better than the others?"
He had an answer: "She is important because all those other people who died are important. She is important because all of the families who were silent, she speaks for them. She is a representative of the people across the nation who have lost their lives."
"I'm not going to buy into the hype." Hype? Really? The story of yet another child with a promising future and an infectious smile who had her life cut short by a murderer's bullet is "hype"?
What Hadiya's godfather said was spot on: She speaks for others who died the same way. She was, and still is, important. And that's no hype.
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We’re both struggling right now with more crap than ya’ll care about, but the reason we get up every morning is to get the news for you. And it’s only going to get crazier here in the next few months. We thank you.
R.I.P. Whitney Houston.
The gentle sweetness of today's remembrance was so touching, as were the songs and spoken words. Here are some of those moments:
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Lt. Col Barry Wingard is the lawyer for Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. For their ongoing story + related topics, please click on the link below:
Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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