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Memorial Day 2009: Giving thanks for those who made the ultimate sacrifice

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 25, 2009 12:41 AM

Engraved on the Korean War Memorial:

Pearl Harbor:

The Blue Angels’ missing man formation:

Words and men I’ll never forget:

“Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.” – Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr.

“He knew what he was fighting for.” – father of Lt. Michael P. Murphy.

“He felt that what we were doing was just and right.” – Charles Cummings, father of fallen hero Army PFC Branden Cummings, who died in an IED attack in Diyala, Iraq.

“I genuinely believe the United States Army is a force of good in this world.” – 2LT Mark Daily.

And from young Christian Golczynski, the young son of Marine Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski:

Heather Golczynski and her 8-year-old son Christian hold tightly to the memory of Marine Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski.

On March 27 [2007], just a few weeks before Marc Golczynski was to return home from his second tour in Iraq — one he volunteered for — he was shot on patrol and killed by enemy fire in al-Aanbar province.

During a moment at the burial, Christian stepped forward to receive the flag for his father. The expression of grief on his young face was captured in a photo and became a powerful symbol for soldiers, their families and anyone who sees it.

When asked about his dad by ABC News’ Chris Cuomo, Christian said, “He was a hero. He helped our country.”

…Just days before he left for his second tour, Marc sent a letter to his family that would be his epitaph.

“Due to our deep desire to finish the job we started, we fight and sometimes die so that our families don’t have to. Stand beside us because we would do it for you. Because it is our unity that’s enabled us to prosper the nation,” Marc wrote.

“Marc believed very much what he was doing was right,” [wife] Heather said.

Since Marc’s death, letters of support and gifts have poured in for the family. But for all that his father may now represent to others, to Christian, Dad is the man who spent time with him and played, and who was teaching him about being a soldier.

“He helped our country and tried to stop terrorists,” Christian said.

Give thanks to all who have given their lives in service to our great nation. Freedom is not free.

***

Taps

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
‘Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

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