Featured - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
He was my friend. No, -- Much more than a friend. He was my brother because he died a thousand deaths for me!! In Belleau Wood, a mortar cut him down. At Iwo Jima, it was a bullet as he raised the Stars and Stripes and was frozen into bronze for all to remember. Over the hot sand of Africa, it was his plane that went screaming down in flames, and at Pearl Harbor, his ship is resting at the bottom of the bay supporting now the permanent shrine to his bravery and sacrifice. In the biting cold of Korea, eh died another death and he is still dying today in a place called Vietnam. Yes, he was my brother because he died a thousand deaths for me.
He was not really a fighting man, but fought for all men and gave for his country the last full measure of devotion, because he knew, as all of us know, that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Yet I cannot see his face clearly for he wore so many of them. He was swarthy but pale; a red-headed, brunette, blonde, with with sometimes greying hair, and his young old eyes reflected the browns, blues, and greens of his ancestry. He was Irish, Polish, French Italian, American Indian ------My Brother!!!!!! Although I cannot see his face clearly now, I know his uniform. It's the uniform of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. That's what it was !!!! And he wore it proudly. Yes, he was wearing it proudly before that mortar, that bullet, that anti-aircraft gun and that torpedo bloodied it and ended his life; the kind of life he fought to preserve.
Yes, he was my friend. No ----, much more than a friend. He was my brother. He died a thousand deaths for me and for you, for us. With each of them he gave that last full measure of devotion. He was and still is a part of that eternal vigilance which has kept us free. For that freedom, we, you and I, owe him a debt, this day and every day; a debt that only eternal vigilance and devotion to Americanism can repay. He is not buried at Arlington but lives in our hearts. He was my friend and my brother and I don't even know his name. Yes ----, yes --, I do too. He was called -- "An American."
Norman E. Baguhn
Past Post 388 Commander