Plain Text Message - Example 2
~ Welcome to Heartwarmers ~
The best thing to happen to mornings since the Sun!
Your morning thought for the day:
And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
-- Lee Greenwood
Gail shares a touching Memorial Day tribute.
Have a safe holiday weekend and let's "never forget".
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LEST WE FORGET
by Gail Bracy
We all wore them in the 70s -- those stainless steel POW-MIA bracelets.
The best-dressed high school students had AT LEAST one each, and
we all wore them proudly. After all, war was dirty business, and we
were doing our part.......by remembering.
We were wearing bracelets that had the name and rank of a
soldier Missing In Action or who was captured and kept as a Prisoner
of War. Our bracelets told which country the soldier represented, as
well. They listed where the soldier was stationed when he
disappeared and his home state. There was information concerning his
last-known address, so if you wanted to, you could send a note to the
family, telling them that you had their son's name on your bracelet,
and that you'd never forget him.
That was the idea, after all -- to wear the bracelet until he
came home, or simply to always remember him.
I had every intention of writing to the parents of "my guy," but
every effort was interrupted by important things thinks like pajama
parties, dances, pep rallies, bicycle trips and county fairs. Things
like summer camp, tree climbing, book reading and birthday parties.
I would remember to write later.
I promised myself at least weekly for a number of months that
I'd write to his parents, yet never seemed to have the time or the
postage stamp. There were no home computers or email messages back
then. I would remember next week after final exams. Yes, I'd
remember next week. This was important stuff, and I'd remember.
We started choosing colleges. I wanted to find a husband and
start a family. Sue was going to be a chemist. Cliff was going to
be a missionary on some island in the Pacific, and Wanda was going to
be a dental assistant. Joe was going to open a car repair shop and
Millie was going to marry Fred and start having children.
Everyone was heading out into the big world to make his/her mark.
I'd occasionally run across my bracelet as I emptied drawers or
filled boxes to go to college, my first apartment, another college,
our first house. I'd remember to write after I unpacked and before
classes started, babies came, jobs, changed, I was sure. This was
important, and I'd remember. Part of the hesitancy was a result of
not knowing what to say.
It was fifteen years after high school graduation that I met John.
John sported one of those stainless steel bracelets. No one
wore them anymore. Memories of the Vietnam War and life in the 70s
rushed through my mind in an embarrassing memory of unmailed letters
and unkept promises.
I remembered! I remembered the sit-ins, the protest marches,
peace signs, "War is not Healthy" posters and black lights. I
remembered the perfumes that were named after nature -- Wild Grasses,
Ocean Mist, Warm Earth. I remembered John Denver and Annie's Song
and bell-bottom pants, chokers and fringed everything. I remembered
Richard Nixon's 'ending that war' for us, and how proud I was. I
remembered his trip to China. I remembered it all.
But the warmth of the memories was soon replaced by the
ice-water jolt of the realization that I had unfinished and important
business. YOU know the kind -- the complete shock, embarrassment and
urgency that makes your heart race and your skin crawl. The kind
that makes you hear rushing wind when everything's still, the feeling
that you've committed an unforgivable offense. I had forgotten to
write The Letter.
I had forgotten to wear the bracelet. I had forgotten my
commitment to those who were missing or dead. I forgot that these
people were somebody's children. I had forgotten to remember.
As John fingered the bracelet and told me about his POW, I saw
tears glistening in his eyes, threatening at any moment to cut a
trail down his cheek and through his beard and mustache.
He looked at me and said, "You know, my son graduated from West
Point, and he may well be in the same position as these poor guys one
day. I pray that it never happens, but if it does, and if God wills
it, and my son disappears, I pray that someone remembers. We must
Lt. Col. Bruce G. Johnson (USA, MI, 6/10/65, South Vietnam),
please forgive me. Please forgive us all, lest we forget.
-- Gail Bracy <storm1981 at twcny.rr.com>
"I live in Watertown, NY, and very much enjoy writing. One of my
passions is photography, and I hope to one day combine my
photos and stories in a book of my own."
FROM OUR MAILBAG
(in response to last week's story, Controlling Nature)
I think my mother may have had the same problem as Mr. Walker.
I lost her in 2005, but I haven't had to buy a toothbrush OR
toothpaste since her major stock of items was moved into MY house. I
once wondered what was going to happen to all that STUFF, although I
think I really knew. Now, as I prepare for my own move to another
state, I'm the one who gets to shovel it all out.
-- Susan <iveysusan at bellsouth.net>
HEARTWARMERS ANGEL CLUB
"Thanks for the stories. They uplift my day. God Bless."
-- Rhonda Schmitzer, Turpin, Oklahoma
A big heartfelt thank you to our newest Heartwarmers Angel Club
members. These are the folks who make Heartwarmers possible! If
you're interested in joining, for only $1 per week, please visit
http://www.heartwarmers.com/angel for details. If you are interested
in becoming a Bronze member, just send your check for $25 payable to
. Thank you!
* Thank you Kelly Graser of Anchorage, Alaska, for your very
generous support, again! *
IIa George - Schertz, Texas
Rhonda Schmitzer - Turpin, Oklahoma
Stan & Edda White - San Clemente, California
Kingsley Munroe - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
David Johnson - Caseyville, Illinois
Constance Good - York, Pennsylvania
Kelly Graser - Anchorage, Alaska
Satoshi Shimasaki (Uncle Toshi) - Yokohama, Japan
Albert Blight - Byron, Minnesota
John Terry - Niceville, Florida
Susan Karam - Fall River, Massachusetts
Ann Berger - Colville, Washington
J. L. Bowen - Stanton, Kentucky
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Nanna and PawPaw had just picked Lark up from day care, and she
was talking to herself in the back seat as Nanna drove toward home.
When PawPaw tuned in to Lark's one-way conversation, she was
saying, "I don't want to get in trouble. I want to get in "Happy."