I’ll probably never see his grave.
My uncle, Herbert Logsdon, is buried at sea 1000’s of miles from the US in Leyte Bay, Manila. Uncle Herb was a sailor with a specific duty, aviation radioman. He died on October 30, 1944 when a kamikaze rammed his aircraft carrier, the Belleau Wood, in the exact spot where he and nearly 100 others gathered to prepare for take-off, the forward ready-room. With a crew of over 1500, only 97 were killed that day. He was 20 years old.
Herb’s short marriage produced no children. His widow returned to Wisconsin and probably remarried and started a new life. My family never heard from her again. I wonder if she ever talked about her first husband with her family?
So, I ask myself, who is there to remember Herb if it’s not for my cousins and siblings? That’s why I’m posting his picture today. I want you to help me honor a man who left very little legacy, but gave everything he had so that you and I can keep worshipping our Lord without fear of being beheaded.
As I reminisce about a man I never knew, curiosity inspires me to dig through his paperwork. He enlisted two years and three days prior to his death, 27 Oct 1942. Part of his training to be a radioman was at the University of Wisconsin, just a few months later he was in, Memphis, TN, completing his training. He then spent time in, Hollywood, Florida, completing Naval Air Gunnery school. He reported aboard the Belleau Wood, 15 Oct 1943, in California. Somewhere along the line his pay went from $50/month to $94/month.
In 2014, 65 US Soldiers were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan according to icasualty.org. If only a third of those were married, it means there are about 20 new widows/widowers.
Memorial Day honors the fallen. However, it’s those who are left to rebuild life that need our prayers.
Americanwidowproject.org states, “Since 2001, over 6,600 U.S. service members have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. This number does not include the thousands more who have lost their lives due to sudden illness, accident, homicide or those that have taken their own lives due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At the same time, more than 3,600 young military widows face their worst nightmare when they receive that dreadful knock on the door by two military in uniform notifying them of their spouse’s death.”
Military wives are a resilient breed. I know quite a few. They have spunk and guts, don’t doubt their courage and ferocity. In spite of their bulletproof exteriors, they are still women with tender hearts.
Not only the fallen deserve our honor and respect, but so do those they left behind.
Please say a prayer today for the widows/widowers and the children who will never see their soldier again. May they feel God’s comforting presence and may he guide their steps.
Other military widow websites:
More on Memorial Day…
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday originated as Decoration Day. After the American Civil War, graves of the war dead were decorated with flowers. By the 20th century competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It is observed every year on the last Monday of May and is considered the beginning of summer. (Wikipedia)
Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountain areas. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with relatives and others. There often is a religious service and a picnic-like “dinner on the ground,” the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” idea. (From Decoration Day in the Mountains; traditions of cemetery decorating in the Southern Applachians by Alan and Karen Jabbour, University of North Carolina Press, p. 125.)
In Seeds of Legacy, my mom is observing Decoration Day.