May 12, 2017
Corporal Leonard Putnam
May 25, 1945
He’s still dead.
I’ve been writing about him since May 25, 1997, with the last 10 years available on my blog warriorbardit.blogspot.com. Open to May 25.
A Japanese mortar round blew his upper right quadrant clean off on Okinawa on May 25, 1945.
He was a 42-year-old piano salesman from Jersey City, NJ who married my wife’s great aunt Millie. They had no children. I do this every year to keep his memory alive.
I will be otherwise engaged this May 25th so I thought I would get this out early.
[I had another relative who was killed in combat. He died on July 2, 1863 in the Wheat Field at Gettysburg. Perhaps he heard “Garryowen”, the theme song of the New York 69th Regiment, the Irish Brigade. Perhaps not. He came from Ballyglass, County Galway, Province of Connaught, in what is now the Republic of Ireland to die “that freedom may live”. He is still there, “wrapped in his faded coat of Blue”}
Each died facing the front.
Before “Top Gun” there was “The Bridges of Toko-Ri”. The latter far, far exceeds the former in 2 ways: #1 – Better action scenes and #2 - a far, far better looking leading lady.
There is also the final scene where the Admiral, being informed that Lt. Brubaker, Naval Aviator, has been killed by the North Koreans, turns to the camera and asks, “Where do we find such men?” We call them and they appear. Some of them stay. Forever. To them we say thank you.
“Tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
That here obedient to their laws we lie.”
“As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust.
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.