Memorial Day

Soon Memorial Day will be upon us.  It is a Legal Holiday, intended to remind us of hundreds of thousands of United States young men, some like I, a teenager, who went off to war to preserve our Nation and its freedoms.  This publication is not about heroism.  Itís about young boys, most too young to vote for their Commander in Chief, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, too young to buy a ten-cent beer, too young to get into a burlesque show.  Not too young to place their lives on the line for God, Family, and our United States.

This report is not about their nation, the United States, it is about a foreign nation, the Philippines, its President, Navy, and its people, who made it possible for now aged men, to honor the memory of young boys who paid the maximum price for all of us, freedom.  The price was death at sea.

Although this report is going out to local and national media, if precedent has its way, this report will not have legs.  All too soon those of many wars who paid the maximum price are forgotten, by their own people.

Not so with those who experienced the horror of losing shipmates and a ship, then spending two days adrift in hostile waters.  The first of those  two days with enemy ships. lists the names of all our men who were Killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Included through a cross linking of patriotic web sites, is the complete list with photographs and ages of all who were Killed In Iraq and on 9-11-01 to Radical Islamic Terrorists.  On my ship site are, included 50% of my young shipmates pictures ages and home towns.  These losses and many others names can be viewed on my personal web site at   On this Memorial Day 2005,  letís remember and honor these young men who paid the ultimate price.  The attached publication shows a foreign nations appreciation for the sacrifices our young made.  They included photographs showing the people of a foreign nation helping us to honor our Killed in action at the exact position at sea, where their bodies rest in eternal sleep, entombed in the hull of our ship. 

          ďUntil the day the sea gives up its dead  and we are all together again.Ē

Wonít you help to get the messages out this Memorial Day?  See how foreigners remember us.  Too bad, the National Media didnít recognize what a grateful Nation of Filipinos did, for their liberators.  They treated us like their own sons, returning home from war.  My wish, that perhaps this message, should it have legs, will inspire the people of Iraq, to treat our troops with respect and honor, in the same manner the Filipinos, from their President, to their poorest did.

Respectfully, Tony Potochniak ex-AMM 2/c, USNR, at the time a  teenager, USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) survivor

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