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Memorial Day: remember those who didn’t come home

As Memorial Day approaches, I am reminded of a story my mom shared with me years ago. She had a pen pal from Crisfield, Md, named Thompson, with whom she exchanged letters.

Tommy, as he was known, was a B-17 bomber tail gunner stationed in Britain. On a dangerous assignment, his plane was shot down during a costly mission over Schweinfurt, Germany, on Oct. 14, 1943. Five crew members bailed out and were taken prisoner. The other five, including Tommy, were killed. The battle report simply states, “flak knocked out 2 engines and fighters riddled the tail.” The tail. Tommy’s position. More than 600 aircrew members were killed or taken prisoner on that single mission.

When you celebrate your holiday weekend, save a place in your heart and, with mindful reverence, honor the memory of those brave Americans who enabled our numerous freedoms. Remember Tommy.


New voting law places unnecessary burden on counties

The May 15 AJC article “GOP activists plan mass voter eligibility challenges with new Georgia law” rightly highlighted the tremendous problems heading our way because of this flawed new law.

Encouraging frivolous challenges of voters on a massive scale without having to provide credible evidence first is a recipe for disaster. It will create unnecessary burden and expense for county election offices across the state. And it’s simply not necessary. Georgia is already a national leader in voter integrity, recognized as second best in the country by the conservative Heritage Foundation.



Rep. Greene’s latest conflict embarrasses Texans, too

I’m embarrassed. Are you? The things that come out of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s mouth are often shocking and dumb, but we have come to expect that from her.

I am a little surprised that Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, took the bait and hit back after she was insulted by the Georgia congresswoman. Difficult as it is to accept that kind of grade school cattiness, the best course might be to grit your teeth, sit quietly and let people draw their own conclusions. A screaming match on the floor of the U.S. House is squarely in Greene’s wheelhouse, and I’m sure she is celebrating what she sees as a victory.


Remembering brave Marines who fought at Iwo Jima

In 1988, Omaha Beach was found to have high amounts of microscopic metal in the sand, believed to be shrapnel. I went to Iwo Jima in 1995 with 2,000 Marine veterans and family members on the 50th anniversary of the World War II battle. I collected sand from the U.S. landing beach. I recently opened that jar of sand and put a magnet in it. The sand stuck to the magnet. I thought of the guys I met whose memories have stuck with me.

One said he killed a man with his bare hands. He then told me of a Marine dying in his arms, calling, “Mama, Mama,” said, “I’ve never told anyone else that story in 50 years, not even my wife.”

Iwo Jima was the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history. One Marine veteran called his friend to ask if he wanted to go. The friend answered, “No, I can’t, but when you go, see if you can find my legs.”

Marines cheered when fellow Marines raised the flag. One said, “When we raised the flag, I saw a solid row of them (enemy) jump off a cliff.” Many of my fellow Marines dads fought on Iwo Jima. I thought, “How many friends did I never meet because their would-be dads were killed?”

I think about this on Memorial Day.