Corporal Arthur Schmidt Jr. joined the armed services just after World War II had ended. He was 18, fresh out of High School and eager to serve his country. Service to one’s country is something that he believed in greatly. My dad had MS, a disease that took away much of his mobility. His disability never took away his honor to stand for our national anthem or to salute our flag when it was raised or lowered. He believed then, as I do now that our country is the BEST. In this country today we have our differences. There is some fighting between different people with different beliefs and values, but this country offers everyone, regardless of race, religion or gender a chance to be better and to succeed more fully than ever before. God Bless the United States and all who believe in our Republic.
Respectfully and with great Love,
The family of Cpl. Arthur R Schmidt Jr.
As a young adult, Memorial Day had a much different meaning than it does to me today. Before joining the military, Memorial Day was just another day off and a time to gather with family and friends to mark the start of summer. However, my opinion dramatically changed in the spring of 1997 when I left home to be a part of the world’s greatest Air Force. As a Combat Medic, I personally experienced the loss of comrades while deployed to Iraq. To say the least, it was a very eye-opening experience. It is easy to dismiss the true meaning of Memorial Day when you are not in harm’s way. Memorial Day now symbolizes the loss of my Brothers and Sisters in arms defending the freedom of our nation. So, on this day, let us reflect on all our fallen comrades and never forget the true meaning of why we celebrate this significant holiday. Happy Memorial Day to all!
To me, Memorial Day should be held in the highest regard out of all our holidays honoring the United States Military.I believe too often we group these together as a way to show patriotism without looking for each’s significance. There’s Veterans Day, where we shine the light on our champions who by the grace of God reunited with. Armed Forces day is when we cheer on and miss greatly our active duty men and women whether they’re stationed stateside or forward deployed a world away. But Memorial Day is somber and harrowing, as it should be. The lives we’ve lost in America’s wars were cut, short but the memories we have will stay with us for the rest of ours.Thanks to all who helped organize the Memorial Day event. I appreciate all the work that will go into it.Thank you.
Joseph Michael DeNardo
Petty Officer Third Class
USS Ronald Reagan
Thanks Dad for being my Hometown Hero. Although he stood barely 5 foot tall when his country needed him during WWII he had no problem reporting for duty along with many of his pals from the neighborhood. He fought for his country and was one of the fortunate ones to return home. He was a mail carrier in the service and became a Tech Sargent where he spent some time watching over German soldiers captured during the war. He was a man of many talents and was always there to help anyone when he returned home. A tenth grade education didn't stop him from a successful and lengthy career with the City of Cleveland as a Rehabilitation Supervisor for Urban Renewal. He left us in 2011 but will always be our hometown as well as family hero.
What Memorial Day means to me.Growing up, Memorial Day was the start of summer, firing up the grill, getting out of school.But as I got older the day took on a new meaning. My dad and many of my uncles served in World War II and Korea. Now the day was about being thankful for their service, and thanking God that they came home.I believe my military service allowed me to become a man and taught me many things I still use in my life to this day.In closing, I want to thank all who served to protect our country and allow us to live in Freedom. God Bless you, and God Bless America.
Donald J. Manno
Raymond Cellura Sr
Raymond Cellura Sr. served in the United States Army from 1942 – 1945. As a First Sergeant, Mr. Cellura was an Infantry Rifle Squad leader who fought in World War II. During his time in action, Sergeant Cellura was captured and held as a Prisoner of War. Held captive for 6 months, Sergeant Cellura escaped and made his way back to the American lines. As a family, we are thankful that our soldier made his way home, safely. Today, we honor, remember and pay tribute to those that have fought for our nation who are no longer with us. We are blessed to have Ray here with us today at 98 years young. He is the heart of our family. Thank you to the City of Mayfield Heights for this opportunity to honor our soldier, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. ~
The Cellura Family
Land of the Free and Home of the Brave! This is America. This is our country. This is the country we live in. Today we honor all the veterans, those who are still with us and those that gave their lives in the service or our country. My family has a history of service to our nation, from my father and uncles in World War II to my uncle Gary and nephew Cam in following years.I was 19, I was unsure of what direction my life should go. My Dad wanted me to continue with school but I was not the greatest student so I enlisted in the United States Navy and was assigned to the U.S. Navy Seabees, a construction unit. When I gave my parents the good news my father, who had served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was a prison of war in Germany after being shot down, said, “Are you crazy? There is a war going on!” Needless to say, after training I was sent to Vietnam, not once but for two tours. It didn’t occur to me at the time that I was doing a service to my country, for America, but I am proud and honored to have served. And I am proud of and thankful to all the veterans who helped to make this country the “Land of the Free because of the Brave.” Memorial Day means so much more to me than ballgames and barbecues. It means duty, service, honor and family. It was my duty to enter the service but mostly my honor. So whenever you see a person in military uniform or wearing a veteran cap or shirt, please thank him or her for their service and dedication to this country! It means a lot!!Thank You and God Bless The United States of America.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Rick Tagg