Laura here, I got on my Facebook this morning and saw the sweetest Memorial Day post from my grandma. I love the heartfelt words she spoke about our country and I loved hearing about all of my relatives who served in the armed forces. My grandpa was a sergeant and one of my great uncles got a purple heart! I am so proud to be an American and we are all so incredibly blessed to be living in a country where we have so many luxuries and much pride in our country and those who fought for it. We thank all those who have served and are serving our country, for their sacrifices and dedication they give for OUR freedom. Please take a moment to think about those who gave their lives, limbs and blood for what we have now as you celebrate this day! Happy Memorial Day!!
"Today is a special day for all who live in this great land of America. In spite of the bad things going on, there is so much to be thankful for. I know this land was preserved for the purpose of it becoming a land of freedom where the plans of the Lord could be accomplished. Things that could only happen in a free land. My heart is full of thanks for the countless people who have given their blood, sweat, tears, and lives in the making of all this nation stands for in goodness. The only nation, I believe, on earth where the majority of the oppressed and war-ravaged, hungry, destitute people have or try to flee to. We all live in a land of so much comfort, of plenty of the necessities of life, schooling, freedom of travel without national ID cards or permits, not having our children taken from us by the government to be brainwashed into thinking the government takes the place of parents in teaching them how to live their lives. We still have the freedom to worship how we choose and to live our lives accordingly. We know there is a purpose for us to have been born, raised and live in freedom here in America. We must live and defend these great blessings or we will lose them.
I am listing some of the good men related to you who have fought to help keep this nation free. Not everyone is willing to give their service and sometimes their lives in such service, as you all know. Most of you have no real knowledge or experience of having someone close to you serving in the military and I hope you never have to, but please don't take what others have done for the sake of us all, for granted. If the world conditions don't change, YOU may be in the same situation and needing the prayers, love and support of loved ones and the nation, too.
Russell Capel, Maxwell Capel, and Marsh Capel, (three of Grandpa Capel's brothers) all served in the Canadian Forces. Canada entered the war 1939 when Hitler was invading Britan so they were involved longer than the US Forces. Russ served mainly in the European theater and Marsh, in North Africa. Both were in the Canadian Signal Corps which was the "eyes and ears of the forces". Max was an airplane mechanic and helped repair the planes that had been shot up in air battles. All three served until the end of the war in 1945. Grandpas oldest brother, Ray couldn't serve because he had had polio as a child which left one of his legs crippled. I'm sure there are several other relatives in Canada who served but I don't know who they are.
The picture below is of my brother, Frank Martineau, who served in the U. S. Navy toward the end of WWll. He served on an LST ship which is a tank landing ship. After the war ended the ship was used to perform occupational duty in the Far East and saw service in China until 1946. Frank spoke of hauling Chinese people back to China who were being deported from other lands. The people seemed frightened and some didn't want to go back. Later he found out why...hundreds of them were lined up and shot by their own people. Frank was only 17 and a senior in high school when he was drafted so he finished high school after coming home and went on to college in Logan. He taught school and later started his own construction company.
The picture below shows the top of his uniform which he looked so sharp in honorable in. I was so proud of him and almost burst with pride when he came home 'on leave' for a few days and I got to be with him. He passed away earlier this year at 87.The picture in the back ground is of his family.
My brother, Stanley(we called him Bud), served as an MP(Military Police) in the US Army and spent most of his service in India. It's hard to think of him as a policeman as he was such a gentle and loving man but apparently he was able to do what he had to. He never really talked about what he did. I was so very proud of him, too. Such a good brother!
My younger brothers, Rulon and Gary, both served in the US Army in the 1950's but never had to engage in any fighting and I've never really heard about their experiences.
My Uncle Loren Hawkins(my mother's brother), served in the US Army and was one of the men who helped take the American prisoners out of some of the prisoner of war camps in Germany. He was in a lot of the fighting but would never say much about it.
His brothers, Alma and Jim, also served in the army but I don't know anything about their service. Alma's son, David, was serving in the US Navy in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor and was involved in many battles.He was an aide to Gen. Halsey on one of the aircraft carriers. He received the Purple Heart and some other medals.
A cousin, Alma Mangum, was killed during an Allied invasion of one of the pacific islands, fighting the Japanese. He was married and had a little boy at that time.His body was sent to Blanding, Ut. about a year later, accompanied by an Army officer who stayed with it until the burial was over. Alma's coffin was placed in my parents home prior to the service as his parents had moved by that time and they wanted him to be buried in Blanding. I remember it being a solemn time for all of us there.
His brother, Carl, also served for two or three years but I never heard him talk about it.
My sister, Beth, husband, Woodrow Brown, served 4 years in the Pacific Islands.
Grandpa and I hope all of you have a good Memorial Day with your families. May each of us remember and remind our loved ones of what it's really about. We are going to attend a Memorial Day program to be held in the American Fork Tabernacle and go to the cemetery in Salt Lake.
We also can't forget your grandfather, Rod! As you know, he was in the R.O.T.C. (Reserve Officer Training Class) in high school, then in the National Guard and served in the Korean war in 1952.. He was and is very proud of his brothers service and always wanted to do what they had done. He was a Master Sargent of a Company of 250 men for short time until they got the permanent one and served as Permanent Sargent 1st class the rest of the time. He even had his own jeep driver, Shorty, in Korea. He has always had a great respect and love for all who serve in the military! and I'm thankful for that and for his willingness to serve when he did. I know he would do so again. I love him!!
I remember, as a child, watching the small town Memorial Day Parade with all the veterans dressed in their uniforms as well as any soldiers currently serving who happened to be home on leave, marching down Main street as the high school band marched behind them,playing patriotic songs.It was a special time and seemed important to me. After that we all went to the high school auditorium for a wonderful patriotic program where I loved standing up with the crowd and singing the Star Spangled Banner, America, America The Beautiful and God Bless America. It was so wonderful!!"