Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day: USA

Memorial Day: USA

My friend, John R. Hundley III, sent me the following letter about this Nation’s yearly Memorial Day. I found his family tradition and the sad story of his younger sister’s fallen son-at-arms to be highly compelling. It is also a very inspirational story at many levels.
I hope you will appreciate this true story and also, please do not fail to watch the video at the end.
V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D. 5/27/11

P.S. I cannot correct the spacing problems in the first paragraph. This is a problem with Word Press, or maybe my lack of skill with this medium, not the original letter.
The following is the letter and the video.

Tom: I read your latest e-mail message about the upcoming Memorial Day with
interest. My younger sister, Nancy Hecker, edited and published a book
entitled, “Lost Hero’s Art Quilt”, to accompany this work of art. Her son,
Major William F. Hecker III, was killed in action in Iraq by a road side bomb in
January 5, 2006. He is one of the fifty fallen soldiers depicted in the Lost
Hero’s Art Quilt – one from each state. Over the past two years, the Lost Hero’s
Art Quilt has been displayed in a number of state capitols throughout the United
States. My sister said that involvement in this project has provided healing
and comfort to many of those involved.

My nephew, Major William F. Hecker, III, was a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He later received a graduate degree in English and taught English composition at West Point for three years before being assigned to Iraq. Before leaving for Iraq, he wrote a book on the military’s influence on Edgar Allen Poe and was on his way toward a goal of becoming a permanent member of the West Point faculty.
He left behind a widow and four children. In accordance with his last wishes,
he is buried at West Point.

My brother-in-law, William F. Hecker, Jr. is also a West Point graduate. His second son, Marine Captain John Hecker, is currently one of the Blue Angels. My nephew’s cousin, Adam Hecker, producted a video about the Lost Hero’s Art Quilt which can be found on YouTube:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day/ Holy Day

Memorial Day/ Holy Day
I am a veteran, but I have failed to do something that is very important.
On Memorial Day I often have failed to meditated upon the true meaning of that sacred and solemn occasion. I intend to do so this coming weekend–and will try to do so on the number of Memorial Days that I have left. I hope you will too.
But also, let’s have a great Holiday (Holy Day) weekend! So many of our fellow Americans have been maimed, or have perished, so that we can safely and happily enjoy our leisure times and our many freedoms.
Sadly, gratefully, and happily,
Tom Mawhinney, 5/25/11
P.S. Thanks Debby and Tom for forwarding this to me.

Keep it
moving, please,
even if you’ve seen it before.

It is

not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of
It is
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom
of the press.
It is
not the poet,
who has
given us freedom of speech.

It is
not the campus organizer,
who has given us
freedom to assemble.

It is
not the lawyer,
who has given us the
right to a fair trial.

It is
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the

salutes the Flag,

It is
who serves
under the Flag,



I’d be
EXTREMELY proud if this e-mail
reached as many as possible. We can be very
proud of our young men and women in the service no matter where they serve.


Bless them all!!!