“For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we are grateful that such men and women were among us…” -Steve Buyer
It’s been raining relentlessly during all of memorial week, here in Hawaii. As if earth itself is aware that such men and women who once lived to defend this country, have passed and are now in Valhalla.
However, it’s now Monday, a fresh start to a new week & Hawaii has blessed us with beautiful deep blue skies and warm weather. The birds are chirping, my neighbor is mowing his lawn & life is carrying on.
Today, I took this gorgeous aloha weather as a sign, and drove onto post to pay my respects to the fallen.
I was slightly surprised to find that all of the small American Flags normally placed at each headstone during memorial day, had all been taken down within a short week. However, hand crafted floral arrangements, lei’s, wreaths and boots still adorned the cemetery. A beautiful sight to see.
With intent to pay my respects, I walked around the cemetery, slowly taking in names, dates, medals earned & wars served, with hopes of finding the most recent one.
Most of the fallen laid to rest at this cemetery are Vietnam veterans, WWII veterans and even a few German POW’s so I began to think there weren’t recent soul’s laid to rest here. However, after some thorough searching, I finally found what I was looking for. R.I.P. SPC Hussein. OIF.
No picture posted out of respect for his family
Unknown’s and POW’s
Now, if you aren’t familiar with military cemeteries, here’s a quick fact: Towards the rear of the cemetery grounds you can usually locate POW’s & the headstones of unknowns, if any. This is usually the area of the cemetery I naturally gravitate to, and today was no different.
This specific cemetery, I found, had a handful of fetal remains ranging from the 1950’s thru late 1970’s.
And to the left, behind some hibiscus shrubbery, lay the unknowns and POW’s.
Looking at the unknown headstones, silent tears began to run down my cheeks. Something about passing away & never being identified holds a tragic story to be told. Hopefully one day, as technology continues to advance, these unknowns could be identified and buried properly.
Gone but NEVER forgotten…
Unknown’s with purple lei’s and POW’s with coins on their headstones.
Memorial Day 2017 may have come and gone, but these men and women receive aloha every day of the year. The grounds are well kept and reside under beautiful hawaiian skies, surrounded by swaying trees and the run away flowers of blossoming trees nearby. These men and women will never be forgotten. Until Valhalla.