Fallen Not Forgotten

  by Ray Boltz, release 1998

He stood beside his daddy
And watched the soldiers marching by
It was Veterans Day and he wondered
Why there were tears in daddy’s eyes;
Later they laid flowers
Beside a monument of stone-
He said, Son-My daddy went to fight
And didn’t make it home

CHORUS:
Fallen, not forgotten
He was a hero
He stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory
He gave his all.

They left behind their families
And the towns where they were born
For the rice paddies of Vietnam
And the sands of Desert Storm
They were soldiers in Korea
And World War One
And World War Two
They paid the price
Some gave their lives
And they fought for me and you

Fallen, not forgotten
They were the heroes
Who stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory
They gave their all

Now freedom is a blessing
But freedom has a price
And we must remember those
Who paid it with their lives

Remember the
Fallen, not forgotten
They were the heroes
Who stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory
They gave their all
Fallen, not forgotten
They were the heroes
Who stood so tall
And forever, we will remember
With honor and glory
With honor and glory
With honor and glory
They gave their all

 

As we here in the US spend the long Memorial Day Weekend that begins the summer, we always should remember the sacrifices that so many of our fellow citizens made so that we could live our lives in freedom. There are multiple holidays around the world.  Veterans’ Day(Armistice Day) celebrating the end of WW1; Anzac Day to honor those Aussies and Kiwis who fought bravely over many years in different capacities, Armed Forces Days in many countries.  But to me the most solemn and moving of these is Memorial Day.  It started as Decoration Day after the American Civil War when the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers were “decorated” with flowers to honor the memory of those who perished in that conflict.  Ray Boltz wrote a song about the many men and women who gave their all that others might remain free. The lyrics above talk of a man and his son watching a Veteran’s Day parade and the father is shedding tears which prompts his son to ask him why.  He and his son visit the cemetery to lay flowers at a grave, and takes time to tell his son of HIS father who went to war and did not return because he was killed in action.  We don’t have to always agree with the reasons that wars are fought, but I think we can all respect the sacrifices that both the soldiers who died as well as the families they left behind made to secure the freedoms that most of us enjoy –so often without thinking about it.  Many writers have said it in different ways… the freedom to be who we are, is never something to be taken for granted. Thomas Jefferson said “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Ronald Reagan quoted James Michener from the “Bridges at Toko-Ri” –“Where do we get such men?”  Chester Nimitz speaking of the Marines who fought on Iwo Jima-“Uncommon valor was a common virtue”. George Patton said “The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.”

 

My local newspaper used to run this editorial about veterans every year:

“War makes strange giant creatures out of the little routine men who inhabit the Earth.

“— WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg — or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s alloy forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can’t tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating 2 gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.

She is the Nebraska farmer who worries every year that THIS time the bank really will foreclose.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th Parallel.

She — or he — is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another — or didn’t come back at all.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who never has seen combat — but who has saved countless lives by turning slouchy no-’counts into soldiers, teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

She is the parade-riding legionnaire who pins on her ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the anonymous hero in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the other anonymous heroes whose valor died unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket — palsied now and aggravatingly slow — who wishes all day long his wife was still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

Our veterans are ordinary and yet extraordinary human beings — people who offered some of their lives’ most vital years in the service of their country, and who sacrificed their ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. They are soldiers and saviors and swords against the darkness, and they are nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. “

I know from my own family that my father’s time in Vietnam not only took him away from us during the year he was there, but that his experiences there haunted his dreams for the rest of his life.  Yet still he went, because that is what believing in something meant to him- being willing to risk death to uphold the principles he held dear and to sacrifice for his fellow man.  I can only hope and pray that I would have done the same-and that by standing up for our own community here today that we can advance the day when we are all accepted as who we are.  Many of our members here at Crossdresser Heaven and Transgender Heaven are veterans.  Despite the difficulties of serving while often/usually hiding their true selves, they nonetheless served honorably and bravely and bear the scars- even if they don’t always let them show.  Many more of us had family who served, and as I wrote back in 2016 (https://www.crossdresserheaven.com/reflections-on-memorial-day/), it is a sacrifice that affects not only the vets themselves but also those who wait (sometimes in vain) on the home-front for their return.

As the years pass by, our WW2 vets are disappearing all too quickly.  If you are lucky enough to come across one still alive, take the time to thank them and listen to their stories if they are willing to share them.  And to those who died in battle or in later years from their wounds-physical, emotional, or mental, and to those they left behind, THANK YOU and know that you will NEVER be forgotten.

Cyn

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*skippy1965(Cynthia)

The Original Cyn, or OC for short. Cynthia is from Richmond Virginia, she crossdresses every day (lucky gal!) and has a knack for tracking down niggling technical issues so we can fix them. She is also on a journey of self-examination to figure out where her feminine journey will lead her, and is always willing to talk with others about their feelings and questions or her own.

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17 Comments
  1. Michelle Liefde 5 months ago

    Cyn, thank you for writing this article and reminding us to thank those who have served or are currently serving to protect their country. I would further extend that thanks to our international members who have done the same for their own countries as well.

    Hugs,
    Michelle

    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 5 months ago

      Yes-though this particular day is mainly the American holiday, it applies to all who fought to protect the world from the forces of tyranny and evil. Thank you for the opportunity to write this.
      Cyn

  2. eleanor holborn 5 months ago

    Thank you, Cynthia, for a profound heartfelt piece. Although we do not celebrate memorial day in the UK we do have remembrance day

  3. Lucinda Hawkns 5 months ago

    too Cynthia this was a great saying and words can not say how great it was said. ah men to this saying and God bless the ones we lost and the ones who came back home and for the ones now serving in the armed forces, God bless them all. have a great memorial day Monday and say a pray, just like i do every year. my grand father and brother served in the armed forces and some of my family members have also and my friends have did also, plus me.Memorial day means a lot too me. Thanks for the post

    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 5 months ago

      Thanks Lucinda-be sure to watch the National Memorial Day concert on PBS tonight-it is live at 8 pm EDT and rebroadcast immediately afterward at 930pm EDT. It is incredibly poignant and memorable.

  4. Gabriela 5 months ago

    Thank you! (I’m…. just thank you!)

    Gaby

    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 5 months ago

      I’m glad the song and my words touched you.

      • Lucinda Hawkns 5 months ago

        yes in deed it did. thanks again have a great Memorial Day

      • Gabriela 5 months ago

        They sure did Cyn. And to anybody who has served to their own country firmly believing they were doing the right thing by doing so… thank you.

  5. Michelle Stephens 5 months ago

    Cyn,
    Well written! We all need to remember the freedom we have because of the sacrifice of others! We can be who we are because of them! Thank you for reminding us all of these valiant people that have gone before us, and paved our way!
    Michelle S.

    • Selyne Phoenyx 5 months ago

      Hello Ladies,
      As someone who is a veteran (five years active duty US Coast Guard) I always make a point of thanking my fellow veterans when ever I see them. I never saw combat but I have been involved in many search and rescue operations from hurricane Katrina to pulling people off the ice of lake Huron on frigid winter days. Also doing drug interdiction and fishery enforcement from the Caribbean to the north Atlantic. So to all of you ladies who did serve thank you from one Vet to another and also thank you for your support it means alot.
      Harmony, Serenity and beautiful chaos to all of you lovely ladies
      Selyne Phoenyx

  6. Terri 5 months ago

    Thank you Cynthia for writing that article. Memorial day is a rough day for me. I was in the Army 67-68. I volunteered my draft at age 18, really because it was rough getting a job at that time because of my draft status. There were 6 of us on my block that were drafted. We all went to Vietnam. 3 of us went into the infantry. They were all killed in combat. The other 3 including me were in support units. We came back. I was injured in a non combat incident in my 11th month in Vietnam. I was sent to a hospital in Japan and came home 3 weeks later. When i came home i went to 2 funerals of my friends. The other friend was killed while I was in Vietnam.
    Every memorial day I ask why I came home. I didnt like the Army, but I did what I was told. I know I was lucky. I think about those guys a lot.
    Terri

  7. Bettylou Cox 4 months ago

    Cyn
    As a USAF retiree, I am ever mindful of those who served, and who gave up so much more than I did. I and my family are safe and free today because of their sacrifices, and for that I am forever grateful.
    Hugs
    Bettylou

  8. Never had I read such an article, steeped in care and sincere Emotion. As a former soldier myself,I shout out one
    big……”Fuc-ing A My Brother/sister”. My Dad never spoke about the D-Day Landing in WW2………I asked…..oh but did I ask….nothing forthcoming. I loved the war movies…..he would sit there quietly or leave. He never missed a Veteran Days Ceremony….of course I bugged him till he let me come along. After to parade he would always be red eyed…..watchcha crying for dad? Dirt speck in my eye boy! Somehow I knew that it wasn’t. Wasn’t a parade something to be happy about like Santa Clause. A time to get presents and be jolly. Our countries praised us all-right………gifts of tin Stars and Agent Orange on one side and baby-killer…..MFO’s….hurled rocks bottle and garbage from the other side. We gave freedom and the gift of choice to a beleagered people……they gave us….no legs,no arms.blind, cancer burns, NAPE…..and no real care and benefits after that till this day. Now we are number in days. The newbies in afghanistan/syria/middle east have more for those who followed us.

    • Author
      *skippy1965(Cynthia) 4 months ago

      Dame Veronica,
      I am humbled by your comment. To know that I made an impact on one such as yourself who experienced all the horrors of combat means more to me than I can express. when my dad returned, he heard some of the same harsh words from the people he had served to protect their rights to say them.(and this was even though he was a meteorologist at Bien Hoa outside Saigon-not that anywhere was safe in that war. He picked his next duty assignment to be overseas in Germany to spare us children from being exposed to all that vitriol. I thank you personally for your service in helping treat the warriors who were wounded there, and pray that you live the rest of your life in as much comfort as possible. Hooyah, Semper Fi, and just……thanks!
      Cyn

      • Hi Cynthia and thank you for those kind words. That reply to your article was getting too intense for me to go further….yah…..it is incomplete. Several of my friends passed away this year….all vets, from various injuries/illnesses from that war. I too am having a lot of medical issues and right now it is really tough and frustrating for me……so much so……I am working on plans to “go fishing” and not return. Real debate is what to wear for my departure. Knight Templars Uniform, US Cavalry Uniform or a nice dress and blouse. A citizen whom had many layers to their life. Most likely, the plan will be executed next spring, when life is renewing and bursting forth, this old warrior with fade into the cosmos. Until then……..party hearty my dear friend! Till later alligator………we all touch one another in some someway during our time. Later gator!

        Love……..

        Dame Veronica.

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