Friday, May 22, 2009

Remember on Memorial Day

Sometimes when the national anthem plays and I’m standing at home plate I think of Jesse Carpenter.

A Destitute Veteran Buried With Honors
From The New York Times, Published: December 29, 1984
Family and friends of Jesse Carpenter at Arlington National Cemetery, where the World War II veteran, winner of a Bronze Star for bravery under fire, was buried yesterday with full military honors. Mr. Carpenter froze to death in Lafayette Park, across from the White House, three weeks ago. He had left his family in 1962 and had lived on the streets ever since. Mr. Carpenter's daughter, Mildred Hamilton, above, was presented with the flag that draped his coffin. Among the mourners was John Lam, in wheelchair, a homeless man Mr. Carpenter had cared for. The two were together when Mr. Carpenter died.
The New York Times/ Ken Heinen

Carpenter's Bronze Star award certificate states that his division was advancing with an observer party when enemy troops opened fire. Carpenter, who was not injured, made three trips carrying the wounded to an aid station 400 yards from the fighting, "braving the unabated fire."

The life and death of Jesse Carpenter should remind us of two important civic duties: first, to remember those (and their families) that have sacrificed for the privilege of freedom we all enjoy; and second, to continually recognize that for some veterans, like Jesse Carpenter, that sacrifice is sometimes hard to discern. These vets deserve our gratitude and, in some cases, our assistance to enjoy and participate in the country and ideals they helped defend.

This Memorial Day remember Jesse Carpenter and Thank a Vet.

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