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February 5, 2023

Letter: Respecting veterans

It was a very nice day for a parade.

The sky was a beautiful blue with a smattering of lily white clouds.

The participants were all dressed to represent the corp to which they gave their time and effort.

The people of Gilroy turned out and applauded each and every veteran that passed in parade; the Honor Guard, with the loveliness of the red, white and blue as it billowed in the sweet, but brisk wind, brought them to their feet.

Tears were there but hidden for each knew of someone who did not return, for they had given their all. Others present repressed their wounds, the wounds that we cannot see but only feel on seeing the expression on their face.

What do veterans think about on these occasions?

I thought of my three friends who gave their all; they did not march back but were carried home with great dignity, respect and love. They really gave so much and more, while we only gave our time.

I was reminded of a poem my brother PFC. Frank Sanchez recited when he was with us. I quote here in remembrance:

Memorial Day

By Charles W. Johnson, an Army veteran from the Korean War.

We walked among the crosses

Where our fallen soldiers lay

And listened to the bugle

As Taps began to play

The Chaplain led a prayer we stood with head bowed low

And I thought of fallen comrades

I had known so long ago

They came from every city

Across this fertile land

That they might live in freedom

They lie here neath the sand

I felt a little guilty my sacrifice

Was small

I only lost a little time

But these men lost their all

Now the service is over for the

memorial day

Thanks for all you’ve done

No could ask for more

May you rest with

God in Heaven from

Now through ever more.

To which I add: And to the women, too, who suffered and who died.

Ed Sanchez


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