Today marks my first Memorial Day Monday and it took me a couple of years to reach this point.
In the year 2018, I wrote a blog post “Does Memorial Day Still Matter 2018 Edition.” This post honored two people from my town who served in the military of our country: Mark A. Lange, LT, USN, and Army Cpl. Walter B. Howard II.
I've tried to write an annual post on or near Memorial Day honoring people who were killed and served, as this is the entire purpose of the Monday that falls on the last day of May, to honor those brave women and men who gave their last amount of dedication to our country.
There's something making me feel uncomfortable about posting only one blog post per year. I'm not sure where exactly I read it, but a person who wrote the following was a source of inspiration and encouraged me to post at least once a year. The author wrote (and it's a paraphrase) that it is appropriate to stop all activities on the Monday of Memorial Day to commemorate those who have died, but for their families and friends Memorial Day is 365 days all year.
The words that struck me have stayed in my mind for the rest of my life.
So I've been playing with the idea of making a Memorial Day post more than only the day of Memorial Day. Why don't I take the time to write every week a post throughout the year to honor those who passed away? I'm grateful to have this opportunity at RedState and I've taken the decision to get on my feet and write every Monday over the coming 52 weeks in order to pay tribute to those who sacrificed everything and their lives to their country.
For this one-of-a-kind Memorial Day Monday, we have a moment to reflect on my next-door neighbor, Texas Tom, who grew up and lost his life in Vietnam: CPL William James Hillard II.
CPL Hillard was born March 1, 1948. He was killed in combat in Vietnam on the 15th of March 1969. My friend grew up alongside CPL and recalled his personality as a cheerful person who never stopped smiling. With a weight of just 150 pounds in his senior year, he was the center of the football team. He was also the president of the Future Farmers of America.
He worked on the dairy farm in his town operated by Dale Anderson to make some cash and, after graduating from high school, was enrolled in the Peace Corps and was stationed in India for about six months in 1967. He returned home and wed Rosemary Brain before enlisting in March of 1968 and being transferred to Vietnam for Company B of the 26th Engineer Battalion.
The young Corporal passed away just two weeks after his 21st birthday. He hadn’t been married for more than a year.
Corporal Bill Hillard served in a conflict that split his fellow citizens of the United States of America. The commemoration is not made to debate the merits of this battle in any form, shape, or manner. It is intended in order to hopefully remind us that all young Americans throughout the course of our country's history did what they believed was right for their country. Some never returned to their homes alive.
His death impacted the town that lost a young man who was just entering his peak.
America has lost a part of her future, and is owed an obligation that she will never pay.
In November of last year, a bridge that was passing through Randolph, New York, was named CPL William James Hillard Memorial Bridge 52 years after his death, according to The Post-Journal.
Corporal Hillard was an example of the very best that can be found; he was a shining example of the City of Randolph, the State of New York, and part of the soul and heart of America. His brief stay in this world ought to remind us that it's not the flag or national anthem that makes America outstanding, but the people who serve in a variety of ways.
May God keep blessing his loved ones and family who have left behind, and may his legacy last forever.
I am grateful to you taking time reading it, and would like to request a favor from you. I would like to write one of these articles a week, and I would love to share with me the people you know have served and sacrificed their lives to their country.