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I will never forget. (A Memorial Day Story.)
Sons of Liberty. #19 | 04/2003 | J.King.

Posted on 07/09/2003 12:46:08 PM PDT by J.King.

I will never forget. (A Memorial Day Story.) By: J.King. Edited by: S.King. & Jeremy Rousse. 04/25/2003

I grew up on the city streets of German Town in Quincy, Mass - G-town for short. We would spend our time as neighborhood kids doing what kids did back then. Playing street ball, collecting baseball cards, spending our afternoons after school doing our odd jobs (mine being the local newspaper boy with well over one hundred deliveries a day). I remember the smells of the city air and the distinct taste of soap that the local Procter and Gamble plant would put into the air every afternoon at around 3:00 or 4:00 P.M. I remember all of the different neighbors and streets, and of course the local store, 'Lester's Variety' where my local group of friends and I would stock up on soda and candy before making the rounds of our neighborhood. I also distinctively remember a pair of two people that I would see almost daily on my newspaper runs in the early years of the eighty's. I will always remember these two people for the rest of my days. They were always polite to me as a child, which in this part of town sometimes was unheard of. The area was considered "the projects" and many people were down and out and did without. People were not usually friendly and a many a time, we kids had situations were we either fought or ran for our lives. Yet, these two people that walked to the store and home again would always show a smile or a friendly gesture. We looked at these two individuals as not to be feared or to be intimidated by, but rather two people from whom we could always expect a smile or a wave-even across the busy street that may have separated us. These two people were a mother and her son, Mr. Edward J. Gargano and "Mrs. Gargano", as I had known his mom.

I loved seeing them both and had a respect for this young man as I watched him walk by his mom's side almost every day, back and forth to the store. I remember seeing him by her side at Sunday Mass and thinking what a great relationship they both must have. I'm not saying that it was picture-perfect; what relationship doesn't have its bumps? I'm just saying that it was a breath of fresh air to a child of my age back then to see some sort of peace within something around me. The day came that this young man joined the Marine Corps. At this point we as a nation were dealing with the turmoil within Lebanon and the early stages of terrorism against America. I can't say much other than when he went off, the church would pray for him on Sundays. I remember his mother would always say a prayer in his name for protection over him (during the part of Mass when the congregation is allowed to pray out loud). I would always second it inside my young heart.

Then the day came. I heard it at school first. Edward John Gargano had been killed while serving in Beirut, Lebanon. No one new how yet, the news was just that he had been shot. The school was solemn and I remember going home to find my mother very upset as was the rest of the family. That day seemed exceptionally darker than most wintry days in New England. I can remember looking out the window down the street to the local store and feeling a sadness grip my heart knowing that Mrs. Gargano would no longer have her son by her side. To this day, it eats me up inside and brings a tear to my eye.

Although life, as solemn as it was, continued as it always does within the neighborhood, I will never forget the cloudy day that Mrs. Gargano had made that trek to the store alone. She walked along the sea wall toward Lester's corner store. As I walked toward her on my route, she seemed to be dressed in black. I remember as I walked toward her, she no longer had that light in her eyes-the brightness to her face- and even as a kid back then, I knew why it had gone and it saddened me! "Some lowlife terrorist took your son, ma'am. Some worthless, no-honor-having pig took his honorable life." Those are the words I would have said if she had stopped to talk. But when she did stop she put her hand on my head, and as I looked up at just her she said, "You're a good lad." And with a small smile she continued on. I was speechless, for I had seen the pain of a mother who had lost her son to a violent death. What could I say? I was flushed with emotions a kid can't really explain to others. I was angry with those who took him and saddened for her all at once.

As life went on I always made a point to smile at her and to say hello, and as I grew older I began to realize the true sacrifice her son made for me. I'll never forget the day they unveiled the memorial in front of my grade school at Snug Harbor in G-town. It was the first time I had seen a WWI Marine in uniform along with other veterans in attendance. I remember how proud I was as they hoisted the flag above the memorial. I remember looking at that WW1 veteran and saluting him with my small hand and him smiling back and saluting me in response. Man, and I thought I was something! :) Every day from that point on, when I would walk (and years later, drive) by the Memorial I would always remember to say a small prayer to the Almighty. A prayer for boys like Edward-excuse me; not boys, but men!- who sacrificed those peaceful walks with their loved ones, be it mother, wife, or child, so that we as Americans can be free! So we as children, who may not all grow up with silver spoons, grow up free nonetheless. Mrs. Gargano, you may never feel that happiness again from your son's walk, but know this ma'am: Your son will never be forgotten by me nor by my family. My children will know this story and remember his name, as will my grandchildren and God willing theirs also. Your son's sacrifice will always be honored in my heart and may God know that we free Americans owe our freedom to honorable men like your son. We thank him for his ultimate sacrifice!

Liberty or Death. J.King.

Foot note: The following information can be found at Edward John Gargano was born on 5 May 1962 in Quincy, Mass. While serving with the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit with Weapons Co. 2/8 "Dragons" attached to Fox Co. in Beirut Lebanon, Ed was struck down in an ambush as he stepped from a helicopter near the US Embassy in Beirut. Sgt Gargano was the 258th Marine to die as part of the Multi- National Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon, and the first to die in the New Year. 8 Jan 1984--

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial
KEYWORDS: marines

1 posted on 07/09/2003 12:46:08 PM PDT by J.King.
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To: J.King.

Our U.S. 7th Cavalry's Opening Days of the Vietnam War 1965-66 =

'Ronnie Guyer Photo Collection'

2 posted on 07/09/2003 12:51:55 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE (Vet-Battle of IA DRANG-1965 www.LZXRAY.comW)
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To: All
Lighten Up, Francis!
Fundraising posts only happen quarterly, and are gone as soon as we meet the goal. Help make it happen.

3 posted on 07/09/2003 12:54:08 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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I will not. You Men are heroes!! Thank you!!!!!!! And I mean that! Thank you for my freedom and your sacrifice for it!

4 posted on 07/09/2003 12:56:16 PM PDT by J.King.
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To: J.King.
Mr. King, Thanks for a great story. I plan to send it to my parish priest, who for some reason seems unable to add the men and women who "defend us every day" in our prayers at Sunday mass. Maybe this story will be the light he needs to understand that praying for our "protectors" is not against peace!
5 posted on 07/09/2003 1:06:50 PM PDT by NavyCaptain
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To: J.King.
Welcome to FreeRepublic.
6 posted on 07/09/2003 1:10:20 PM PDT by EggsAckley ( "Aspire to mediocracy" motto for publik skools.............)
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To: EggsAckley
Thank you Sir.
7 posted on 07/09/2003 1:26:41 PM PDT by J.King.
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To: NavyCaptain

I hope it helps with your pastor. I'm a pretty religious man and I know for a fact Violence is very prominent in the bible it self. God's commandment was, though shall not murder not though shall not kill for defense. God empowers men and women to defend them selves. It is always good to have God on your side, But even better to have a high powered rifle to back it all up :)
8 posted on 07/09/2003 1:29:37 PM PDT by J.King.
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To: dd5339; cavtrooper21
9 posted on 07/09/2003 1:32:11 PM PDT by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
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To: J.King.
Grateful bttt.

Thanks for this Memorial.
10 posted on 07/09/2003 2:09:46 PM PDT by lodwick (Let Freedom Ring)
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To: NavyCaptain
Well you know how it is for we who have been in the military, and how we have been treated by most American's for years (I learned it the hard way having enlisted during Viet Nam), until after 9/11 when all of a sudden everyday American's realized how important we are to their liberty. Thanks to the liberal left in this country my feelings towards average civilians could best be described by the following poem:


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

By Rudyard Kipling
Born 1865

Now I am a veteran who's been proud to serve his country, but I haven't always taken pride in its people if you know what I mean. Please feel free to share this poem with your priest, tell him to substitute the word "GI" for "Tommy" and he'll get the gist of it.

11 posted on 07/09/2003 3:38:10 PM PDT by Colt .45 (Cold War, Vietnam Era, Desert Storm Veteran - Pride in my Southern Ancestry!)
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To: Colt .45
Luckily I had bean raised in a very Military family and had it distilled into my heart and soul that people like them make the Ultimate sacrifice. Colt .45 I also thank you for your service. as I do all Men (and women) in Uniform! Thank God for you people! I was not old enough for the happenings of Vietnam But damn it if I had scene them treat you or any vet like they had I'd explode in to their face! (Got to go chill out) :)

Ok Back now.... I loved My Grand Father... He was one of the best men in my life. A Marine who had flown in three War conflicts beginning with WW2 I would be damned to see some one spit on what he had done. Colt . 45 - Please know that there are many Civvies out here that are not as I call them 'Plastic patriots' Who flew the flag for two weeks after 9/11 and afterward forgot they were Americans all over again...

God Bless Sir.
12 posted on 07/09/2003 4:34:07 PM PDT by J.King.
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To: J.King.
Thank you for this moving testament.

It puts a face on one of those young men in that theater of conflict far away and some time ago.

They were real flesh and blood with families, friends and communities that knew them and their sacrifice.

Now we know too.

13 posted on 07/10/2003 2:08:08 AM PDT by happygrl
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To: happygrl
Thanks Happygrl for reading :)
14 posted on 07/10/2003 5:36:31 AM PDT by J.King.
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