Around Memorial Day every year I think about two people. One I knew very well, the other I never met. Both of them, to quote Abraham Lincoln, “gave the last full measure of devotion.” So Memorial Day is about them and so many others who gave their lives for our freedom.
Lt. Harry Culbertson, USAAF, was my mother’s first husband. His B-24 bomber was shot down on April 11, 1944 with the loss of the entire crew. They were all buried at the American Cemetery in Ardennes, Belgium. His remains are still there. They were high school sweethearts in the little northeastern Montana town of Chinook.
Martin “Marty” Canavan was a high school friend and we played baseball together. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and was killed in action in Vietnam on March 29, 1969.
Though Harry got married and Marty didn’t, neither of them had children and they missed a huge portion of their lives. I think about all the wonderful experiences in my life that they never had the chance to experience. Memorial Day is a sacred holiday for those who gave that last full measure.
Edward Keene, Waterford