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Old 09-12-2010, 06:16 AM   #1
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I touched history today.....

Today was the ninth anniversary of the attack on our country. I got up this morning and I wanted to do something to show my honor to this great country. I went into the closet and unwrapped the American Flag that had been draped over my fathers casket. It was still neatly folded and I wondered if I should use this flag. I thought about it a minute and decided that Dad would be honored if I used it today.

I went to the basement and found a ''tree trimmer'' and removed the cutting head. The tree trimmer is a fiberglass pole that extends out to about 14 feet. I figured it should do fine for a flag pole. I put the flag and the tree trimmer in the car and headed out for a overpass on I-40. I headed east until I came to Lenoir Ryan Boulevard that crosses over I-40. I turned off of 40 and crossed the bridge and parked on the ''return'' lane to I-40. As I got out of the car a sprinkle of rain hit the back of my neck and I was glad I was wearing my Tillie hat because it is almost waterproof for a few minutes, sometimes. This is the kind of rain we call a ''dry drizzle'' because it gets you wet very slowly and you hardly notice being wet until you are soaked to the skin. With rope I attached the flag to the top of the flag pole and I was very careful to fold the flag over my shoulder so that it did not touch the ground. I walked out on the bridge and with my flagpole extended to the max I started waving Old Glory at the passing cars and trucks down on I-40. I will tell you now that this flag is heavy. It has to be over four feet wide and probably eight feet long.

The cars and trucks on the super highway would honk and wave and flash their lights at me as I waved the flag in the slow drizzle . The people on Lenoir Ryan Boulevard were even more friendly. There was a stop light at one end of the bridge and cars and trucks would pack up there and they always tooted and waved as they passed me. Even the cars going the other way on the Boulevard would honk and wave. It was amazing how many military salutes I got and I naturally returned same with pride. I was photographed at least several times. One young lady stopped and took several pix of me and the flag and told me that her husband was serving in Afghanistan and she would send him the pictures. Two young men stopped and asked why I was standing in the rain waving an American Flag. ''Duuuuuuuuaaahhhhh'' 9/11 pal. Where have you been all your life?'' They left without comment.

After about two hours the ''misting rain'' was filling my sneakers and my flag was approaching the gross weight of half a ton I decided it was time for me to go before ''misting rain'' drowned me. As I was about to ''fold my colors'' I noticed an old pickup making the turn on to the Boulevard from I-40. On the front bumper was a ''tag'' with U.S.M.C. WWII engraved on it. Beside me on the bridge there was a turn lane for traffic to access I-40 East bound. The old truck pulled up beside me and stopped. An elderly gentleman stepped out of the truck and walked toward me. I noticed a slight metallic 'click' as he approached. I immediately came to attention as he walked up to me. He stood there before me for a few seconds looking at the flag and he reached out with his right hand and touched the fabric. I could swear I saw tears well up in his eyes. He then came to attention and saluted the colors for a long minute. He lowered his hand and extended it to me and I immediately shook hands with this piece of living history.

''You was a Marine son?''
''No sir, United States Navy sir.''
''Well, I guess I can forgive you for that, a Navy corpsman saved my life on Iwo a long time ago.''
By now a couple of cars had pulled up behind his truck and one honked and the guy stuck his head out of his window and made suggestive remark to the old Marine. With this the Marine invited the man to perform a sexual act with himself that is physically impossible due to the limitations of the spinal column. I bit my lip to keep from laughing for fear I might offend him and he might toss me over the railing. He told me that while on Iwo he had been hit and lost his right leg below the knee and didnt even know it. He said a corpsman grabbed him and laid him down. The corpsman applied sulfur and a battle dressing,.. put a tourniquet on his leg and gave him a 'serrate ' of morphine and 'tagged him'. He raised his pants leg and showed me a artificial leg. More cars were stacking up behind his truck as he again saluted the colors and shook hands with me again.
''I better get on. You are doing a good thing Sailor. God bless this nation 'cause it really needs it.''

He got in his pick up and went on down the Boulevard.

I draped the flag over my shoulder and shortened the flag pole and headed back to my car. I had touched history today.............

God bless our troops and bring them home soon and safe....
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:22 AM   #2
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I fear there are too few of us left that respect and love those colors and the history of human life and sacrifice for the freedoms that are so precious. Never served in military as a female but for whatever reason I cry when at Arlington and most especially Vietnam Memorial (my generation). I had cousins die there and did correspondence with guys in the war.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:38 AM   #3
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Beautiful story but you are one day late, today is the 12th.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:57 AM   #4
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Hey Lostagain,

There was no reason for you to say anything after Beautiful Story!!! Also since this was posted at 7:16 AM on the 12th I am sure he was talking about yesterday!!!

Hey Seajay,

Thanks for your service and that wonderful story!! It was hard getting to the end with wet eyes!! God Bless American and let us never forget 9/11!!!!!!
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:10 AM   #5
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SeaJay, thanks for remembering. I am afraid that way too many in this country have forgotten what the flag means to this country.

I was not in the service, but I am thankful for all of those that served and protected our freedoms and our flag.

Ken
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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Seajay, thank you for your story & above all for your service. Now, hopefuuly I won't insult anyone by posting this on 9/12 but I (we) were just too tired after driving 160 miles round trip to Liberty State park in Jersey City, NJ to view the twin beams of light projected into the night sky last night to honor those who lost their lives on that fateful day.

It was a beautiful sight & most definitely worth the trip. "NEVER FORGET" Jodann - retired FDNY, veteran & proud American
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:16 AM   #7
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Out here in Kitsap County,Washington, on the other coast,we have two large pieces of steel from the Towers and they will be placed in a memorial in an appropriate place soon. The Chief of our Central Kitsdap Fire Dept saw that they were going to be made available and after submitting a proposal,we got two approx 10' sections of twisted steel and it was brought out here on a trailer from the east coast. Just a bit of history,so that us out here will never forget either.
I remember it well as I was driving my school bus with a load of Jr Hi students to school when we heard it on the radio and I saw a couple of them yesterday at the store and they asked if I remembered that morning.Some of these can really surprise you sometimes...
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:02 PM   #8
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Jodann I know exactly what you mean. I got home, changed my wet clothes, put the flag in the dryer and refolded it, put it away. I started the article yesterday evening with aching arms and a slightly broken back after standing in the rain for over two hours waving a wet flag that weighed about half a ton. I just dont under stand it. I am only 70 years young and I seem to ''poop out'' at the least little thing. Two Darvoset and a glass of wine later I decided to finish the article this morning after my arms started working again. I guess we are all getting ''older'' and our stamina just aint what it use to be ........lol.....
From one old fart to another ....''YOU ARE FORGIVEN''.........
Be safe my brother .....
God bless our troops and bring them home real soon 'cause we miss them a bunch .....
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:04 PM   #9
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Another masterful post, thanks Seajay. Yet again my wife notices my moist eyes and inquires if "that Navy Guy" started a new topic.
I look forward to November 11 and your contributions, I know you'll honor all who served in a unique way.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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Ok, seejay, so I was able to hold back tears yesterday as I read about your fairy princess. Not so, today.

Not too bad for a sailor.

Thanks from a "growing older" Marine.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:30 AM   #11
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FYI...... You guys wanna guess where I will be on November 11. Three guesses and the first one dont count. For those of you that guessed On Lenor Ryan overpass over I-40 waving the American Flag in salute to our Veterans, you get a brass button. Yep, I have thought about it and I figure that is the best way to salute our Veterans and our serving troops come November 11. It is gonna be fun being a little tiny part of the celebration for our Veterans and I look forward to the experience. Who knows, maybe just maybe I will meet another piece of history. Maybe another Marine or a Sailor, Soldier or Airman. No matter, I would be proud to salute one and all.

God bless our troops and bring them home soon and safe
God bless our Veterans..... ALL GAVE SOME ... SOME GAVE ALL...
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:05 PM   #12
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:52 AM   #13
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Seajay
you sir are a great american and wonderful story teller
if our paths ever cross i would be proud to say i shook the hand
of a common sense american .keep your great posting going
and thank you for your service
brianj
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seajay View Post
FYI...... You guys wanna guess where I will be on November 11. Three guesses and the first one dont count. For those of you that guessed On Lenor Ryan overpass over I-40 waving the American Flag in salute to our Veterans, you get a brass button. Yep, I have thought about it and I figure that is the best way to salute our Veterans and our serving troops come November 11. It is gonna be fun being a little tiny part of the celebration for our Veterans and I look forward to the experience. Who knows, maybe just maybe I will meet another piece of history. Maybe another Marine or a Sailor, Soldier or Airman. No matter, I would be proud to salute one and all.

God bless our troops and bring them home soon and safe
God bless our Veterans..... ALL GAVE SOME ... SOME GAVE ALL...
God Bless Seajay might I suggest you take the two darvoset and glass of wine before you go out 11 Nov, 2010. Got me through some tough recon's in 68. Thanks
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