Sunday, May 30, 2010

On Memorial Day, 5-31-10

On Memorial Day

I stare out at the waves,
Pounding toward the shore,
Memories come unbidden,
Of the love we had before.

It seems like just yesterday,
We’d lie close in the sun,
And light a warming bonfire,
When the day was done.

We’d dance beneath the stars,
You held me close to you,
We talked for endless hours,
Of the things we hoped to do.

It seems like just yesterday,
We didn’t have a care,
And, if things were not perfect,
We really weren’t aware.

We knew that we would marry,
But you first went off to war,
And, then I got the telegram,
You were coming home no more.

My heart was filled with sorrow,
And so many mourned as well,
For the heroes of our country,
To whom we bid a sad farewell.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved.

On this Memorial Day, I think of my own family and its military connections.  My mother met my father, Lt. Charles F. Henesy when he was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA toward the end of World War II.  We went by troop ship across the Atlantic at the end of the war and my brother was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1947.  My parents divorced in later years but my mother remarried another Army officer who retired as an Infantry colonel after serving three tours of duty in Viet Nam. 

I remember that, during those long absences, my mother would write to my stepfather every single day.  Once during each of those deployed years, she would eagerly pack for a one week trip to Hawaii where the two of them would have a brief reunion and a tearful farewell.

I, in turn, married an Air Force Lt., Ed Smith, who was stationed at Hanscom Field in the Boston area ( my stepfather - the Army colonel - said he would try not to hold that against me ).  He is the father of my firstborn, Shawn, who has been an Air Force reservist ( now a Tech Sgt ) for over ten years.  Shawn is now deployed to Germany for a few months - he went the week before his brother's wedding and had to miss his best man duties.

I am proud of my family's service to our country and proud of all those men and women who choose to make the sacrifices inherent in becoming part of our Armed Forces.  Theirs is not an easy task.  They must be away from those they love, endure vigorous training, put their lives in danger, miss the birth of their children, bear hositility, frequently from their own citizens, so that we can enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted.  On this Memorial  Day, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and pray that God keeps you safe and returns you, without harm, to the country you serve.

I, also, have many dear friends who have served in the military.  One, in particular, has been close to me since I was sixteen-years-old.  Warren and I met when I took judo at the club at Ft. Benning, Georgia, one of only a handful of female participants.  He was a second degree brown belt from Hawaii, the son of first generation Japanese parents.  He went to Viet Nam three times, at least, once, in Special Forces.  After retiring from the Army, he went to work for the Honolulu post office, also retiring from there.  In all the world, there is not a better or more loyal friend.  I have seen him over the years, in Hawaii or at various places I've lived ( not often enough to suit me, though ) and I cherish our forty-nine years of friendship.

Last, but not least, we must not forget the families of our Armed Forces.  They, too, make huge sacrifices and I applaud and thank them for their generosity to our country.



  1. it is a fact to be proud of .......... now you have your son serving the country too........i believe there is not any great feeling than this.....

  2. wow! but i am not really surprised, youre a wonderful writer after all.
    it was nice to learn about your family background, you have every reason to be proud of the family members.

  3. Time to really reflect and appreciate those who are serving our country!

    Beautiful tribute, Carmen, and have a wonderful day!

  4. A lovely post, Carmen! And congratulations on the book!

  5. You come from a family of heroes, my love! ♥

    I am touched in my heart. ♥


  6. From the bottom of my heart ... thank you for this lovely and meaningful post!

  7. Nice post! Thanks to the servicemen in your family, and to your son serving now...blessings on this day of remembrance and honor

  8. deepest respect for those who fought for all

  9. Wonderful and highly emotional.

  10. I want to thank your family for their many years of service to our country. My son is in the coast guard.

  11. Thanks for sharing your story. You are certainly in a military family! My father was a WWII vet and reservist. My cousin a lifer. Both Air Force. I appreciate the sacrifices the people in the military make. It certainly isn't easy.

  12. I just saw one of your posts on someone else's blog and looked up your book on Amazon. Congratulations on using CreateSpace to publish yourself. I noticed the book is "volume 1" so I can only guess that you have more coming! :-) Good luck!