May 30

Thanking the Fallen

By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers

Today is not a day which will live in infamy, but millions of Americans will take time to recognize those who have fallen in the name of American freedom.

Memorial Day means much more than getting a sale on sheets at JCPenney or other stores. That's just what we see on our televisions between our favorite shows. 

You know something, Penney's or any other store has the right to sell its products. That's part of our society. It is guaranteed by the United States Constitution. They are free to do so. While I don't need sheets, I do need what these fallen soldiers have given to me.

I love driving my little Jetta around Stanford, Palo Alto, up to San Francisco to my brother's, and down to his fiance's parents house in San Jose. Barbecue's, weekends away, and one night to Oakland for a Portland Trail Blazers game.

There's nothing in this world I need and love more than freedom.

Today, Memorial Day, signifies the very reason I have that freedom. The men and women we honor on this day are the reason we have this freedom. For nearly 240 years, soldiers have emerged from schools, farms and even diplomatic ranks to ensure that the dirt we pick up on our shoes belongs, indeed, to us.

My mother and father met while both were in the United States Army. They now serve in other capacities (Army reserves and National Guard) and my oldest brother is a corporal in the army.

Memorial Day means something to me. It means a great deal. While many have met those who have given their lives in combat, I know only one personally. He was killed a little over three years ago in Afghanistan. Unlike the past two years, distance prevents me from setting flowers on his grave.

Fortunately -- or UNfortunately if you ask me -- I will still be able to honor him when I join my brother in San Francisco at a ceremony to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. I believe he will hear me.

I don't generally say "I love" this or that, but I will tell you this: I love every person who has given their life to ensure my safety, my independence and my freedom. \

I know that some very brave men and women presented me with my liberty and freedom with their lives. Thanks to their sacrifice, I have  the freedom to love, live, and to even root for my favorite basketball team.

There's only one last request i ask of whomever is paying attention: Whether it's within a ceremony, or a lunch at work, or a picnic at home, please take just a moment to thank the fallen who paid for your freedom with their lives.

This is always something I keep in my mind when i'm living my life -- full of freedom.

All it takes is to look up and say: Thank You.

~ Kassandra

In Kassandra's Words will feature regular blogs throughout the off-season. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end, but our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @Kassandra227


  1. great blog as always kassandra. you are one hundred percent correct and I have never forgotten that. my dad is a wwII vet. anyhow keep on writing great blogs. you even brought some tears to my eyes.

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 5/30/2011 10:26 AM
  2. Beautifully written Kassandra. It is truly amazing what those who have given their lives and are still putting their lives on the line for the sake of our nation's safety, have done, including their loved ones who they have left behind on this Earth or those who are at home, awaiting their safe return.
    I know that my parents and my mother's siblings who left India, for a better life for themselves and their children (me and my cousins) truly appreciate the things that were available to them here. By extension, I can say without any doubt that I would not have wanted to grow up in any other country than the USA. While their might be some differences in some aspects of life compared to the typical American (that probably sounds a bit naive/ignorant, as this nation is made of up such diverse people and cultures), I was able to live a life through my childhood & school years with relative ease.

    I am so very thankful for this and to the people who put their own comfort on hold, leave their families behind to travel far to do their duty. I can't imagine what they collectively go through. Those are some tough and brave souls, for sure, to say the least.

    Thanks for the reflective piece Kass.

    by Anees on 5/30/2011 10:30 AM
  3. Wow Kid make me cry.

    terrific blog. and a wonderful heart. I too share your love for all the fallen comrades of the arm forces. Give your love freely because they deserve it.


    by Hg on 5/30/2011 10:34 AM
  4. It's beautiful that your immediate family was involved with the military. I can see how special this day must be to you. Unfortunately, none of my immediate family served, nor anyone really close, so it's been harder for me (more or less) to really feel the impact of memorial day. This post gave me a new appreciation for our soldiers though, and it truly is them that lets me wake up with a clear mind and blank slate to achieve whatever my heart desires. I feel for you K, your family, and those who have fallen on our behalf. I'm never leaving Portland or America for that matter, so I must show my support!

    by TKOas on 5/30/2011 10:49 AM
  5. thank you for responding. i'd like to not that my friend will not be forgotten. my sister, Angela, will be setting flowers at his headstone. i asked her to say something to him, specifically . bottom line is that my friend will be recognized. please, if you haven't, pray for our other fallen heroes,

    by Kassandra on 5/30/2011 12:13 PM
  6. Great Stuff Kasey! Big virtual hug for you today, thanks for sharing this with the PDX family. The world is a better place today because of each and every fallen hero.

    by BlockParty aka Teamship on 5/30/2011 12:40 PM
  7. My father would have enjoyed reading this. He was a WWII vet and appreciated this day above most all others.

    Very kind words, K. Thank you for writing them.

    by Patch on 5/30/2011 4:08 PM
  8. thanks Mike, Patch. Memorial Day is a huge event in my family. my brother went to an event in saf francisco. i went to a little ceremony in palo alto. it was amazing and respectful. i loved it.

    by Kassandra on 5/30/2011 4:20 PM
  9. Nice one Kass. Glad it got bumped to the front page :)

    America's history of warfare has seldom been about what the everyman believes it is, but I know that when young men and women make the decision to join our military, and commit to potentially making the ultimate sacrifice, they believe in what they are doing wholeheartedly.

    This is not a holiday to me. It is a solemn day, where we recognize what our brothers and sisters have done for the sake of us all.

    RIP - Corporal Charles Dudley Dorman (A Co, 2nd BN, 502nd Infantry, 101st ABN Div) - KIA, Vietnam, May 12, 1968. RPV Gallantry Cross Medal and Purple heart awarded posthumously. One of the many fallen Native American warriors in US wars, Charles was the descendent of Wailaki, Maidu, Pomo, Yuki, and "Pit River" People, all "tribal" groups from Northern California
    ~ We Are All Related

    by SisillaRiann on 5/30/2011 4:39 PM
  10. Good read a usual Kass and very thoughtful too.

    I spent today like I do every Memorial day, thinking all day about my father. My father serve his country in the Air Force for 23 years as an aircraft mechanic. Early in his career, while he was stationed in Spain, he met a beautiful Spanish girl (my mom) and fell madly in love. They had a couple kids and spent the next ten years raising them there. During that time he spent 2 years in Vietnam. My mom said he was never the same after that. My dad was my hero. He could make or fix anything. After he retired from Boeing (yes more airplanes ) He spent most of his off time at Timothy lake. He called it his back yard. He was the best fisherman I have ever met.

    I lost my dad to lung Cancer on September 18th 2007. I think about him every day. On days like today think of what a great generation he was a part of.

    I didn't mean to turn this in to my thing, but these are my thoughts after reading your blog.


    RIP TSgt Sergeant Albert H Hoy SR.

    by Albert Hoy on 5/30/2011 8:12 PM
  11. Pride in America..... Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war !!!!! God Bless Our Troops !!!!!! Bless the Blazers this off-season as well !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by mbmurr1 on 5/31/2011 9:18 AM
  12. Great insight Kass! I am very thankful for the men and women who put their lives on the line in order to protect this country.

    by DHawes22 on 5/31/2011 12:33 PM
  13. thank you all for commenting. while i would like to have been in portland or even with my brother in san francisco, i was very glad i was able to observe the ceremony i did attend. fortunately, i had the chance to talk to a few people there. it was very enlightening.

    Albert: by all means, contribute with your dad's story. i, for one am interested.

    EA i don't look at memorial day as a holiday either; more of a rememberence and a day to reflect.

    by Kassandra on 6/29/2011 10:22 AM
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