Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembering, with Gratitude ***Updated

***After re-reading this, I can say this is not my best work, people. But my heart is sincere. Please make allowances.)***

My family has some veterans within it. Yours probably does, too.

I only knew one of these men. Three were killed during battle, in the service of their country. Now, don't go getting all hinky with me about the Civil War relative. My branch of the family tree is the only one to have ever moved north of the Mason-Dixon line--no, I am not kidding---and I am the only family member who has stayed. Yes, only, as in no other. Remember, I am Southern--sort of.

My father's family is originally from Bath, England, where Daw means, 'son of David' (or 'jackdaw', which is some big, ugly crow). Once in Amercia, they settled in Bath, NC, moving to Conecuh County, Alabama, finally moving to Pensacola, Florida. (yeah. and here I sit staring down the prospect of another Iowa winter...what is *wrong* with me? shakes head).

This information was obtained by g**gling 'Andrew James Daw', who enlisted in the Confederate Army, at the time of the Civil War.

DAW, Andrew James, Private
(Roll of honor, Chickamauga; killed in action)

1st Battalion, Hilliard's Legion = 60th AL Regiment

Company F= 23rd Battalion of AL Stallworth's Sharpshooters

At Chickamauga, the 1st and 2nd Battalions suffered the heaviest loss, leaving more than half their number either dead or wounded on the field. They went into the engagement with 238, and had 24 killed and 144 wounded, 16 of whom were officers.

Next, is information on my relatives, and uncle and nephew; one, killed in action in WWII and the other, killed in action, 20 years later, in the Vietnam war.

Cecil Daw
Vietnam War
Wall Panel: 08E Wall Line: 091

Personal Information
Full Name: Cecil Ernest Daw
Hometown: Anacoco, LA
Age: 20

*(ugh. that is my son's age)*
Race: Caucasian
Gender: Male
Religion: Unknown
Marital Status: Single

Military Information
Branch: Navy
Rank: / E3
Regiment: 1st Marines

Casualty Date: 25-Jun-66
Casualty: Hostile - Killed
Gunshot or Small Arms Fire
Ground Casualty

The two comments below are from the Vietnam War Memorial site, under Cecil's name. Christopher is my cousin.

r Hensley
Nam vet with same day of birth.
Rest in peace my HERO brother.
Saturday, January 22, 2005

Christopher Daw
PO Box 873167

This man was my uncle, unfortunately he was killed before I was even born. I know little about him, my family seldom speaks of Cecil, the pain stills fresh even after all these years. I know he was a great man not only because he served his country honorably but because he was my grandfathers son. I've held his Purple Heart, I've read the telegram given to my grandmother on that fateful day in 1965. For me those things and memorials such as this, help show the finality of war and the courage and strength of those brave enough to serve.
Friday, December 10, 2004

Finally, this is my great uncle's headstone. Cecil (Vietnam War) was named after his father's brother, Clarence Cecil, who was killed in WWII in 1944. The namesake Cecil was born two years later, only to be killed in the Viet Nam war, at ge 20. How sad.

The younger Cecil's father, my great uncle Reginald, was a career military man. He served his country his whole life and I remember him as a classic Southern officer and gentleman, always with the love of his life, his wife DeeDee, by his side.

They are both gone now and although I did not know them well, I remember them fondly and am deeply appreciative of the sacrifices they made for their country, my freedom. A lifetime of service. An favorite uncle. A precious son. That's alot of sacrifice.

I stand when the flag passes, covering my heart with my hand. I recite the pledge. I sing the anthem. I pray for safety. I hug and thank servicemen in airports. I shake the hands of the men who march in the parades. I listen respectfully to elderly men's stories, when visiting the nursing homes where my husband works.

It is not enough. It could never be enough.

But I will spend my life remembering with gratitude, men I have never met, who have secured for me something priceless; a legacy of honor and freedom and brave sacrifice.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Mom To Six said...

I, too, am so very thankful for your 3 family members and for each and every one of the men and women that have sacrificed so very much in the name of freedom. Their families sacrifices can also not be diminished, as I could not even fathom what it is like to have a loved one at war.

Thank you to each and every soldier for your service and for protecting my freedom from sea to shining sea.

Val said...

Yeah, I too am grateful. My grandfather was in the Navy during WWII. He won't talk about it--he lost some of his best friends. I'm so grateful for their sacrifices.