1 day to go! And tomorrow's inspiree is the most special of all 30 so stay tuned for that one. But today is for Mr. Albert M Conerly (and all other prisoners of war, especially those who endured the Bataan Death March (April 1942). Lest we ever forget what our Soldiers & Marines endured in the name of freedom and the "American Way" - like so many other atrocities in our history, we cannot forget what these young men went through.
I happen to know Mr. Conerly's nephew and I'm so proud of him having just completed the memorial Bataan Death March marathon. But as he said, that was nothing compared to what these men had to go through - 10 days of marching without food and water. At what price, freedom? Ask yourself this question when you're thinking about complaining about anything today (try to remember it no matter when you start to "complain" but at least do it today).
The POWs (Prisoners of War) that lived through the wars are such an inspiration for their fortitude and determination. Sure you could say it's "just" survival of the fittest - but you know what - they could have given up and died like so many did. But these men suffered at the hands of the enemy day after day, hour after hour. And they had the courage to continue to live and fight back - even if it was only internally. They were skin and boned, ravaged with illness and injury - yet day after day they clung to life. Could you do that? I don't think I could so my level of respect goes up even more knowing that they were able to do things I could never even fathom. They are the true heroes of our life. They are the reason we're free to do what we want. We complain because we don't have this or that but what did they have - not a darn thing - perhaps just memories of family and loved ones. Some fierce desire to continue living. There had to be something significant for them to hold on to, helping them get through that time.
Can you imagine marching in the sand and mountains without food or drink for 1 day, to say nothing of 10 days. They helped each other get through it I'm sure. There is such a sense of "family" amongst the military (one of the things I miss the most) that they helped each other make it. You know, I can't even begin to describe what it must have been like. Remember that this 10 day trek was not just down the street or in some National Park - it was in a foreign country and they were at war. So they didn't know what lay ahead of them at all. Imagine the fear and anxiety they experienced. But they continued on. Remember that when things aren't going "your way". When things appear "rough" - ask yourself - "are they really that bad or can I accept them and let the good come out of them. What would those Soldiers and Marines do in my shoes?" Ask yourself that and see if your attitude and action don't change. I bet they will.
Remember these brave souls and all they went through - for us! I certainly cannot do any justice to them with this short post but wanted to let them know that I am proud of them and more importantly, very grateful for all they went through for my family and my future! Thank you all! And Tom I'm so proud of your completion of the event Sunday. You Rock!