Today, I take the time out of my usual hectic life to remember those who have given their time, their service and more importantly their lives, to keep the borders in which we live safe.
I like to take a moment to remember those who have fallen, but are surely not been forgotten. One soldier in particular came to mind today—my uncle. Marine Corporal George Morgan. He was eighteen years old, a year younger than my oldest child is now, when his life ended. He attended Overbrook High School, as did my parents, enlisting in the Marine Corps on his 17th birthday. He was assigned the MOS of anti-tank assault man, and was sent to Vietnam and assigned to Company B of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He died in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, on March 18, 1967.
I was only fifteen months old when my family lost him. His sacrifice was a key factor in my decision to become a soldier myself. I never got the chance to know him, but what I do know, is he was a soldier and my mother never let me forget that. A young soldier. As many of our Vietnam vets were. They left the safety of their homes, gone were the familiar faces of family and warmth of the love shared, to serve their country in a strange, far away land where the people spoke a language so different from their own.
Brothers, sons, mother and daughters were lost during this war. During 1959-1975 the U.S. lost over 58,000 soldiers, in a war that raged so much conflict, it almost caused our veterans to be forgotten. Their service—unrecognized, until Vietnam vet Jan Scruggs conceived the idea of a memorial. In a national competition, Yale senior Maya Lin’s design was selected and in 1982, the memorial’s two walls, angled at 125 degrees to point to the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, were erected. The names, inscribed in chronological order, documenting a time in American history as a series of individual sacrifices from the date of the first casualty, Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Massachusetts, in 1956. His name is listed along with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, lost on 7 September 1965.
From one soldier, to those who serve then, and those who forge the way now, thank you. I appreciate your service, honor and the sacrifices you make for your fellow-man and our country.
May God Bless you and keep you safe.