The Corner

Remembering

Four years ago this Memorial Day I was home on leave from my Iraq deployment. I was still recovering from my jet lag but overjoyed to see my wife and kids after many months away. My son turned on the TV to catch the beginning of a NASCAR race and from a different room I heard the sounds of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. NASCAR was honoring our fallen.

The song stopped me in my tracks. In our deployment I’d already heard those bagpipes too many times, played for friends — for brothers-in-arms — who’d fallen in our fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq. I heard the bagpipes again when I went back downrange and again when I came home. Each time honoring a man that I knew, a friend whose face I can see to this day.  

Last summer, I gathered with my fellow officers from Sabre Squadron, 2/3 ACR, for a charity golf tournament and weekend of events to honor the life of Captain Mike Medders, who lost his life to an al-Qaeda suicide bomber in September 2008. Over the course of the weekend we shared stories about Iraq, stories about Mike, and raised money for his foundation. The weekend culminated in a party at his sister’s house. The place was packed, with friends and family filling the home and spilling outside into the driveway and yard. It was a festive gathering — just as Mike would have liked.

Then we heard the bagpipes. A neighbor had walked down the street, stood on the sidewalk in front of the house, and with his own bagpipes began playing “Amazing Grace” virtually unseen in the darkness. Immediately, all conversation stopped. Everyone was completely still. Everyone remembered. He played through each verse and then, without a word, turned and marched home. It was one of the most meaningful and beautiful moments I’ve ever witnessed.

On this Memorial Day, we honor all our fallen. These are the men that I knew: MAJ Andrew OlmsteadCPT Thomas CaseySGT Corey SpatesCPT Torre Mallard, SGT Phillip AndersonSPC Donald Burkett, Mr. Albert HaroutounianSGT Gregory UnruhSPC Matthew MorrisCPT Ulises BurgosSPC Andre Mitchell, and CPT Michael Medders.

May God grant you everlasting rest. And may God comfort your families with the knowledge that you lived and died serving others. As my friend, First Sergeant James Adcock, told Stars and Stripes: “They all need to be remembered, but the guys who served with them are never going to forget, and that’s what’s important.”

Most Popular

The Secret Life of Joe Biden

In a classic episode of Seinfeld, Jerry is accused by his new girlfriend, a police officer, of being a fan of the tacky 1990s soap opera Melrose Place. When Jerry lies and denies it, she suggests putting him on a polygraph to find the truth. In an effort to beat the machine, Jerry seeks the advice of his ... Read More

The Secret Life of Joe Biden

In a classic episode of Seinfeld, Jerry is accused by his new girlfriend, a police officer, of being a fan of the tacky 1990s soap opera Melrose Place. When Jerry lies and denies it, she suggests putting him on a polygraph to find the truth. In an effort to beat the machine, Jerry seeks the advice of his ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Jared Kushner Was Right

Over the past several years, a new certainty was added to death and taxes: Jared Kushner would fail in his role as the administration’s Middle East point man. It caused considerable merriment among President Donald Trump’s critics (and even some of his well-wishers) when he put his son-in-law in charge of ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Jared Kushner Was Right

Over the past several years, a new certainty was added to death and taxes: Jared Kushner would fail in his role as the administration’s Middle East point man. It caused considerable merriment among President Donald Trump’s critics (and even some of his well-wishers) when he put his son-in-law in charge of ... Read More
U.S.

Zoomers and the Constitution

A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center compared generational views on key social and political issues, focusing on the similarities between Millennials and Generation Z. The topics probed include race relations, diversity, climate change, capitalism, socialism, and the role of government. This last item, ... Read More
U.S.

Zoomers and the Constitution

A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center compared generational views on key social and political issues, focusing on the similarities between Millennials and Generation Z. The topics probed include race relations, diversity, climate change, capitalism, socialism, and the role of government. This last item, ... Read More