|Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT|
Post Number: 1323
|Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 07:59 am: |
by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT,
As the smallish figure approached me, I snapped the most military salute I could conjure up with arthritic shoulder, and crooked fingers. I said, “Thanks for your service”. That brought a big smile and a very sincere, “Thank you”, that is very nice of you”
The dress blues [uniform] were military perfection and topped by an impressive left lapel adorned with almost 5 rows of colorful campaign ribbons. The shoulder boards showed the shiny gold oak leaves of a Major. But there was something else—a cane!
Her walk appeared leisurely, yet “labored” as was mine. Since the area was rather deserted she seemed to hesitate like she wanted to chat. “Where did you serve”, I asked. ‘Iraq”, she said, “and some in Kuwait”. Long story short, she piloted ‘copters, and finally was shot down. The hit devastated her leg and hip, and she sustained other internal injuries. Permanent limp, unable to have children, and trying to find her life [she entered service right out of high school].
She was a lovely, fresh looking young woman-- and smart, but now she had to direct her efforts to other domestic issues and attempt to find a satisfying life.
We parted; and she limped off. She seemed taller, ramrod straight. Can you imagine the myriad thoughts in her mind? But she was still alive. Thousands of others in all of American’s wars are not; of others in all of American’s wars are not;
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky the larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie, in Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.”
And of course, we all have memories of others, simply citizens who supported the efforts to make peace—and even those small ones who never really understood. We fight wars, stupid as they are, when we can’t talk, and when ego runs uncontrollable.
Your weekend will be busy-- we know-- but for one minute! think of the meaning of the day, and if you see someone one in service, please salute and thank the person for the service done [you may never know what they have been through, or what they have seen.
Do you hear “Taps” in your mind-- in mine it is very clear!
GOD BLESS AMERICA
|James M. Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, LEED AP|
Post Number: 112
|Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 09:53 am: |
"In Flanders Fields" was written in 1915 by Canadian physician Lt. Col. John McCrae but its message is just as true for Americans as anyone else. We've enjoyed tremendous liberties for over 200 years and we should recall the price paid for that freedom every time we vote, campaign for the candidate of our choice, point out ways our government can better serve its people, and especially look into the eyes of a service man or woman and say "Thank you."
If you can, wear a poppy flower next Monday; better yet visit a Veterans' Cemetery and observe a moment of silence there.
Thank you too, Ralph.
|Lynn Javoroski FCSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate|
Post Number: 1481
|Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 11:37 am: |
Thank you to all on this forum who served to preserve our freedoms, on both sides of our mutual border.
Thank you to all who continue to fight for those freedoms the world over.
Thank you to those who fight in the voting booth, too. Our freedoms are precious; apathy does no one any good.
Let's rejoice with the Egyptians, voting for the first time in something like 700 years! We should emulate their enthusiasm!
Many fought and died - or lived with physical and mental injuries - so that we could vote.
|Sunny Onadipe (Unregistered Guest)|
|Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 08:10 pm: |
Yes, Ralph, James and Lynn - it's so easy to forget the sacrifices that preceed so much that one "takes for granted". God Bless America.
|David J. Wyatt, CDT|
Post Number: 190
|Posted on Friday, May 26, 2017 - 08:21 am: |
I'm thinking of our good friend Ralph and his thoughtful posts as we head into Memorial Day weekend. I am glad Colin saw fit to archive his writings on this forum so we could look back and enjoy his thoughts, musings, and sometimes ramblings.
I was fortunate to work with Ralph at a Lorman Education event in my area back in 2006. Ralph in person and as a presenter was quite different than the Ralph I had come to know through his writing. He was cool and collected in spite of a misunderstanding he had with the organizers. He had sent a disk containing his presentation to the home office in Wisconsin the week prior to the event with the expectation they would arrange to have it loaded on a PC for him to use when he arrived. Well, that did not happen, and Ralph had to give his talk without his slides. In spite of that, it was the best talk I had heard anyone give on building code topics. He used anecdotes and technical information in a way that made the subject interesting and memorable.
I hope all the 4specs forum faithful have a meaningful holiday and that you are around for many more good years.
|Lynn Javoroski FCSI CCS LEED® AP SCIP Affiliate|
Post Number: 2117
|Posted on Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:07 am: |
Thank you, David, for the reminder and the memories - and the tears. We must not forget our history and we must remember to thank those who serve now and did in the past. Ralph was one of those, too.