Friday, May 26, 2006

Honoring the fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

First off, a proper musical backdrop while contemplating the real costs of war.

With Philly's Constitution Hall (see pic) providing an iconic back drop, A Memorial Day visual/vigel was set up to honor the men and women in uniform who have died in war. A broad coalition of peace activits from across the Deleware Valley gathered this morning to set up a stunning and evocative tribute in the form of several thousand wooden "tombstones" in honor of the Iraq War dead.

I had the privledge of being a steward of the New Jersey section of the memorial.
In the second picture (click to enlarge) I kneel next to the memorial to Army Specialist Marlon P. Jackson of Jersey City who died much too young at 25, the victim of a roadside bomb in Iraq.

Spc. Marlon P. Jackson was a quiet young man of simple pleasures: basketball, Chinese food and Caribbean music. From Iraq, he asked family to send music magazines and sports clippings. And he never forgot to say thank you. "He always thanked me for everything I did. He was so appreciative," said Vanessa Selby, his self-described stepmother. He was stationed in Vilseck, Germany. He is survived by his mother, Lois La Grenade, and father, Leighton Jackson. Before joining the Army in 1999, Jamaica-born Jackson attended community college. He had become a big brother to Selby's son Khabir, 22, and tutored him in his free time. "He was just becoming a young man, trying to be responsible," Selby said.
I was also touched by the tombstome dedicated to Marine Major John C. Spahr who's from my hometown of Cherry Hill. (see last pic) Needless to say it's sad and moving to consider the toll the Iraq War has taken on the great state of New Jersey.

Isn't 43 too many already?


kimmyk said...

WOW what a powerful memorial !

It's amazing to see it laid out like that-the loss of life has been far too many.....

My son just returned from a class trip to Washington DC and they had a memorial there of tennis shoes. And each pair of shoes represented the life of an Iraqi child or mother killed in the war.

The numbers of soldiers and civilian casualties are mind numbing. Seeing it put out like Arlington here just reminds me again why we need to bring our soldiers home.

Marilyn said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my (goofier) blog. Here I'm blathering on and on about inane musical nonsense...and then I come here and see how you're spending your 'holiday' weekend. I did listen to the audio while reading your post...and it instantly made me tear up...because we should have never lost those makes me so angry and so very sad. I'm reading through your posts and look forward to reading even farther back. Just so you know, I do have a more meaningful side (beyond the 'donut') here:

The Kommandos project? Brilliant. I'm gonna go find some little green men...

snowqueen said...

Bush gives americans like you a bad name! That is a fantastic memorial. We need our troops to come home too.

I came to visit as you were kind enough to comment on the soul music entry (though it was written by MrP, not me, though I do share your taste in the Dead). Appropriately the verification letters to this comment read 'eazsssy'

Take care

Granny said...

One would be too many, Jay. Forty-three in this illegal war is unspeakable.

Worried said...

Granny is right. One is too many. They may be numbers on news reports, names on tombstones, but to the people who knew and loved them these sons and daughters of America were persons, dearly beloved, who laughed and cried and had hopes and dreams and a LIFE ahead of them, too soon snuffed out for NOTHING!!

If we must die, if our children must die, let it be for a good and noble cause.