WWII Veteran, and my Great Uncle, Melvin Dalton passed away last weekend just six days before his 96th birthday. Uncle Mel served in the U.S. Marine Corp on the USS California during World War II. He later served as Chief of Police in Moab Utah for eleven years. He was an incredible sharp shooter, he was an amazing hunter, a fantastic storyteller, but most of all he was a truly good and honest man.
In his memory today I want to share a page from his life history he wrote before passing. It was words of a talk he gave on Veteran’s Day:
“To give a talk worthy of the selfless service and sacrifices of our war veterans is beyond me.
Even though a lot of us here were part of it, none of us could put into words what we feel in our hearts about those who served and gave their all. We live in such a beautiful land. We’re here because of our veterans.
No other land has ever produced such a bounty for its people. At times like this I think of our forefathers coming here for one reason. They came here in search of a better life. They pursued that goal with such passion that they were able to give that freedom and prosperity to their children. Now it’s up to us.
I think of how they gave thanks to God and prayed to be free from oppressive governments. I think of the things they left us: noble virtues, selfless service, self-reliance, love of God, love of country and courage (maybe the most important of all).
At times like this I think of mothers who spent sleepless nights worrying about their sons and daughters serving in combat zones. My own mother was one of them. I think of those who shed tears because a neighbor’s son or daughter was hurt or killed in combat a thousand miles from home.
You know I think that maybe a mother of a marine, sailor, soldier or airman should be asked to give this talk. We know that America is not perfect but I believe with all my heart she is worth fighting for.
Each year I spend a little time at our cemetery and I walk through the rows of white crosses. I realize that because of them we have freedom today. Everything we have has come about because of someone else’s work, sweat and blood. Help us remember that.
May God bless America.”
I am so blessed to have come from such an amazing family tree. I hope I can always make my Great Uncle Mel proud by living a life of selfless service the way that he did. He truly was AWESOME!
~Amy Rees Anderson
(author of “What AWESOME Looks Like: How To Excel In Business & Life” )