We attended a very nice Memorial Day event in Santa Cruz, which is a bit surprising.
Freedom is not free. The price is non-negotiable. Each generation pays for the freedom of the next generation in blood. Memorial Day is a day to celebrate that purchase while honoring those who paid for it.
I remember these three men because I have a connection to them, albeit a slightly removed one. These men were killed by a suicide bomber who was attempting to attack the Khor Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT). These men were about to board the dhow when the suicide bomber detonated his weapon killing these three men and wounding many more.
As a result of these actions, I ended up serving on KAAOT in support of security operations to prevent further attacks.
Petty Officer Bruckenthal was the first Coast Guardsman killed in action since the Vietnam war. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery. When I finally make it to Arlington, his is the first grave I would like to visit.
I will never forget.