Sunday, July 1, 2007

Respect Honors No Political Persuasion

There was a time when Seattle’s respect for our troops shone like the wax job on the vintage cars lined up at the XXX Drive-In in Issaquah. It was World War II, a time when Seattle honored the sacrifice of our local heroes. But then, it was a different time, a different war, a different respect, or was it?


Today our local evening news shows a photo of our fallen soldiers, their name and rank. Blink and you have missed the mention of these courageous young men and women. A blink is all they are afforded and certainly few stories of their short lives. You have only to look to our community history to compare the temperature of respect - then and now.

We Salute – Sgt. Page Warren . . . Marine
Seattle Post Intelligencer, February 3, 1944

This is “Marine Corps Day”! “Marine Corps Day” in the Fourth War Loan Campaign of the mightiest war ever known to men! Millions are fighting. Millions have died and are dying in the struggle to decide the fate and future of mankind. Among the many Armed Forces of many nations none are fighting more valiantly, more nobly then those which fight under the Stars and Stripes. And in our forces none have excelled the desperate heroism, the sacrificial boldness, the bloody achievements of our Marines.

These are the boys who but yesterday were playing football in High School and College, skiing on the mountains, hunting, fishing, sailing. Boys who loved life and yet were ready to lose it gallantly for the honor of their Corps.

Today as we pay homage to their deep devotion, one Seattle boy stands out as typical of all the rest – Page Warren. Many of us knew him. Indeed, his memory was the inspiration of this dedication today.

Page Warren was a graduate of Queen Anne High School, popular with everyone, an “ace” in athletic affairs, the sports editor of the school paper, and a member of the Board of Control for the Boys’ Club. Only yesterday his principal remarked that he was one of the finest boys ever to attend the school and, after nine years, the teachers remember him for his courtesy, modesty and cooperation. He graduated in 1935.

Circumstances made it necessary for him to go to work instead of to College. He started as a messenger in the Seattle Trust and Savings Bank and climbed to a responsible position in the Trust Department. He was able then to purchase a modest home for his mother and look forward to a banking career. Then came the war. With two other young bank employees, James H. Duncan and Robert Childs, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He went oversees, became a sergeant. Then suddenly came the news – “Sergeant Page Warren killed in action at Tarawa.”

Page Warren is not forgotten!

The “Fathers and Friends of the U.S. Marine Corps” was founded to dedicate itself to sell as many War Bonds on this day – “Marine Corps Day” – as the hearts of the people of Seattle can afford. Every Seattle Bank and every issuing agent, such as The Bon Marche, are ready to help you to pay tribute to Page Warren and his comrades for their willingness to die for us.

This is a Victory Editorial The Bon Marche


Is Page Warren any different than those young men and women who are making the ultimate sacrifice today in the Middle East? Look to the story of Paratrooper Casey Combs for your answer.

Army Staff Sgt. Casey Combs was killed in Afghanistan, April 12, 2007. He was born in Renton, Washington, and was a 1997 graduate of Sumner High School. He loved sports, lettering in baseball and tennis during high school.

Combs worked as a construction-site foreman until Sept. 11, 2001. Later that week he said he had to do something. That following week he enlisted. Combs told his wife and family that it was "what he needed to do to keep us safe and everyone else safe."

He is the Page Warren of today and he and those like him have earned my respect and my gratitude.

I come from a family of immigrants, some early to these shores, some late, but all Americans. We were originally French, German, Scots, English, and Irish. We were not French American, German American, Scots American, English American, or Irish American, just proud and very grateful to be fortunate enough to call ourselves Americans and to live in America.

My family walked the walk. From the time they arrived my ancestors showed their dedication and respect for America by serving our country in the military.

My parents both served in the Army in World War II and they taught their children respect. Respect for the flag, our country, our government, but most of all respect for those “who loved life but were willing to lose it gallantly for their country.“

Respect honors no political persuasion; it has no color, no ethnicity, and no religion. It is left, it is right, it is Republican and it is Democrat. It is an individual, a family and a community trait. It is what America and the American experience mean to me and to my family.



Blogger TK said...

Very well said, fM!

July 3, 2007 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Respect sums up patriotism very well. Happy 4th of July.

July 4, 2007 at 3:51 PM  

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