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Memorial Day

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Carl was my brother Jimmy's best friend in high school, sort of a protective big brother to Jimmy, who was a year younger.  Carl was the captain of the football team his senior year.  An offensive lineman and linebacker, Carl was a natural born leader, and my brother Jimmy desperately wanted to be as good and more like Carl, in spite of Jimmy's smaller size.  Carl was his idol in many ways.   Despite the times (Carl graduated in '67), he volunteered to enlist in the Marine Corps, and of course was sent to Vietnam.   May 19, 1968 was a fateful and terrible day.   When Jimmy got the awful news, he would go to Carl's parents house nearly every day after school, asking "Is Carl home yet?"   Carl was buried in our local cemetery.   I don't remember much of the events of those days (I was only 10 years old), but I recall that Carl's death seemed to make Jimmy a more somber person.   Just a few weeks' later, Jimmy would graduate high school, and was planning to head to a local college to being working on a degree.  A little more than two months after graduation, and exactly three months to the day that Carl was killed, we lost Jimmy when his motorcycle was hit head on by a drunk driver.   Those events I remember as though they were yesterday, even after all these years.   On the day we buried Jimmy, my Mother was inconsolable.    She walked away from the grave site service, and moved along the gravel road just beyond a short hedge, and stopped to look at the first gravestone that was there.   She called out to my Father, who went to her side.  There they stood, not believing what they were seeing.   It was Carl's grave.  Jimmy's grave was located just to the opposite side of the hedge;  they were buried head-to-head;  friends for eternity.  

This Memorial day, let us remember the real meaning of the day.   Take just a moment, if you would, before the barbecue grills are lit, before the first beer is opened, and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.   Here's to you, Carl.  Semper Fi.  Never forgotten.



Carl Frost.jpg

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