This blog is for Communication among Marines and people interested in the Marines. The 10 is for Communications. The Photo above is Marble Mountain, Danang, Vietnam.

May 29, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day and a Very Important PS

Early Monday morning I gave a concerned look at Katie and wondered why she was not ready for school yet. I knew she had off, but wanted to jack her chain a bit.

She did not fall for it, and looking at me with that "child knowing everything and parent knowing nothing look," she promptly told me it was Memorial Day, and she had no school.

I was surprised she even knew it was Memorial Day, but
then asked her what that meant. Well, she didn't know,
so then I told her how after the American Civil War,
Southern women saw that many Confederate and Union
soldiers who were killed in the fighting, did not have
marked graves. They felt sorry for them, so far from
home, and no one to properly take care of their grave,
let alone mark it. It started as a tradition and spread
till eventually it caught on across the nation, It was
originally called Decoration Day, and finally the
President of the United States declared the last Monday
of May as Memorial Day. 

I told her about Punchbowl and how I saw on the news that the Boy Scouts were out there placing an American Flag at each Veterans' grave. One Boy Scout who was interviewed, placed 200 flags himself, and in all 35,000 small American Flags were put in the ground next to each grave marker. She
expressed an interest to visit it, even though she initially said, "Dead people are bad and scary, and would not want to see all the decaying bodies." I explained that they were not bad people, and asked if she thought her Grandparents, who she loved so much were bad people. She really did not mean "bad" as being terrible mean people. I told her the Veterans were buried under the ground and covered with nice grass, and the cemetery had lots of trees, bushes, and flowers. I asked her if she was ever at a cemetery, and she replied, "No." She actually had, but did not remember being at the cemetery when her Grandparents died.

So, we headed out on the Windward coastal ride, took our time, and visited, the Federal VA Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl. There were thousands of American Flags, all in neat rows, up and down the slopes of the dormant volcano overlooking Honolulu... quite a sight. As we drove down one lane I noticed an American Flag that had blown over, topped the jeep, got out, and up righted it, got back in and continued on. Then we saw there were more fallen over, I stopped again, and eventually Linda and Katie joined me in up righting more flags, and flower pots, that had blown over. I was real proud of both of them.

We visited the immense monument depicting the Battle of
the Pacific, and let Katie go at her own pace, asking
questions and wanting to "touch" the mosaic maps of the
different campaigns and battles. I think she wanted to
touch them just because they were fenced off.

Anyway we got back home about 1800, had Mahi Mahi on
the grill and ate outside with the tiki torches going... really nice and relaxing.

Semper Fi,

and God Bless America!!!


Ron Wozniak


Very nicely written and done, Ron. I am sure your daughter will remember your efforts on placing the flags at the Punch Bowl WW II Cemetary.

My Great Uncle Walter Anderson, who was killed at Kwajalein in WW II, is buried at the Punch Bowl.

So on behalf of him and our family, we thank you.

Semper Fi

Craig Hullinger

APO 7, c /O Postmaster
San Francisco, California

20 February 1944

Mr. & Mrs. Peter. Anderson
Murdo, South Dakota

Dear Mr. & Mrs. P. Anderson:

Words are inadequate in trying to express the feelings
of the officers and men of this organization over the
death of your son, Walter Anderson.

Early in this training phase Walter was singled out as
an outstanding noncommissioned officer, and was
assigned the duties of Platton Sgt. over numerous
senior Sgts. Such an assignment meant that Walter was
second in command of thirty-eight men. While serving in
such a capacity the men in his platoon soon realized
and appreciated his fine qualities, namely, fairness,
coolness, and a great deal of common sense.

During the operation S/Sgt. Anderson became platoon
commander, again in which capacity he skillfully led
his men. For above action I have recommended that
S/Sgt. Anderson be awarded the Bronze Star. Walter was
struck by rifle fire and died shortly afterward.

Please feel free to call upon me for additional
information you may desire.

Military restrictions are such that any information you
may desire concerning grave locations, dispostiions of
remains, effects, and other related matters will be
furnished by the Quartermaster General.

You have the deepest sympathy of the men and officers
of this organization in your bereavement.

Yours most sincerely

Capt. Infantry

Murdo, S. D

December 20, 1991

Dear Craig:

Walt graduated from Murdo High School in 1936, during
the worst of the big depression. It was next to
impossible to get a job but he worked for Edna
and Helmer Liffengren most of the time until 1940.

He was one of the first volunteers for service and left
from Murdo in January 1941. Basic Training in Camp
Roberts in California, later in Fort Ord, CA. His
outfits stormed ashore on an island in the Aleutions,
Alaska sometime before 1943, but the Japanese had all
left so they went on to Hawaii. Walt was a very good
all around athlete so he was picked to take Ranger
training while there. A very tough course, so they say.

The Navy had shelled the small island of Kwajelein,
about a mile wide and two deep for days until not a
tree was standing but when the infantry went in there
were still enemy in underground bunkers who came out
and shot 3 or 4 hundred of our men. Walt was one of
them, on February 4, 1944. His body was buried nearby
until the war was over. With the parents request, he
is buried in the National Cemetery in Hawaii, the very
beautiful Punch Bowl. We were there in 1974.

Paul Anderson 

Brother of Walter Anderson,
Uncle to Louise Liffengren Hullinger

And remembering my Great Great Uncle James Chapin who died in the Civil War.

And the guys who died in World War II including those in my father's unit.

And the folks from our high school in Vietnam.

And my wife's Uncle Jim Young

And my friends in Vietnam - Joe Montoya, Kim, Song, Thieu, Wood, Johnson, Wells, Baker, Davia.

And all the others.

Thank you.

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