Today is Memorial Day in the United States. For many it’s a day off from work, a holiday to spend with family, a time to grill dinner and enjoy a picnic with family and friends, or a day to do yard work. And that’s fine, of course. But while we do all that, we need to remember and honor our armed service members who died while they were in service.
The military members of my family that I remember all made it home safely. I wrote a post in 2015 about my uncle, Jennings Marston, who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, made it back home, served in Korea, and then retired and lived a long, happy life on his farm in western Frederick County. He was the best of uncles, and you can read about him here.
Also in that post, I wrote about a family member I don’t remember, because he died before I was born. Delmer Linaberg served in the 101st Airborne Division and was airdropped into France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Delmer was 21 years old, and did not make it home.
Sometime after my 2015 blog post, I was contacted by a history teacher who had read the post. He was in possession of Delmer’s last letter home. It was dated June 2, 1944 and was posted from England. In order for his students to fully understand the history of WWII, this teacher was using Delmer’s letter and any information my family could provide as primary sources for the US History class.
First, I was very impressed by this man. What a wonderful way to make history alive by using real people to teach it. When he offered to send scans of the letter, I was thrilled. I sent copies to anyone in the family who was interested. Every time I read it, though, I end up in tears.
The letter was to Delmer’s mom, and he started by talking about the weather, asking about family, chatting about friends from home. Then he ended, “…in the near future, you might not hear from me for a month, so don’t worry about me…in case anything should happen to me, I want you to know you are the best mother in the world and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.” Of course, you can do the math; the letter was dated two days before he was killed in action.
As a mother of two boys, and knowing that this letter was most likely received after the news of his death, it tears my heart out. I’ve read it many, many times, and I weep every single time I read it.
So in honor of Delmer Linaburg and all the men and women who have died in uniform, I offer this on Memorial Day.
I promised to use retiring Stampin’ Up!® products this week, and I have. The sentiment is from the retiring Sitting Here Stamp Set. The background paper is one of the retiring Twinkle Twinkle Designer Series Paper designs. The focal image is from the Artfully Aware Stamp Set from the 2019 Stampin’ Up!® Occasions Catalog, and this one is carrying over to the 2019-2020 Annual Catalog.
While I appreciate all members of our military – past and present – and am so grateful for their service, on this Memorial Day I honor all those who paid with their lives to keep our country safe and free. Thank you for being there.
Thanks for stopping by Stamping with Buffy.
What a lovely tribute to your family member who served, and all those who still do, Buffy. I still hope for the time to come when no more are called upon to do so.
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Thanks, Deborah. And me too!
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