On this ordinary Saturday in May, I had the unique privilege to attend the City’s dedication of a sign in the honor of my Uncle, Lt. James A Logan, and the VFW Post named for him. My wife and I, along with my cousin, Jane Craffey were in attendance beside a small group of the members of the VFW Post and suddenly became representatives for the family of Lt. Logan.
I was surprised to find myself quickly treated as an honored guest and member of this group being thanked for supporting their cause and gracing them with my presence.
It took some time for this to work it’s way past the surprise I felt before I understood what they were saying.
These people. This scant group of aging men and women were so humble of their efforts as to think that my being willing to be in attendance during this small ceremony deserved thanks and gratitude.
I felt ashamed. I really did. Even now, I feel it. I was there because of blood. Because my mother was Jimmy’s sister. James Logan and VFW Post 6800 is a name in my family tree, my mother’s brother, and a random memory in my history.
But these people, these humble and generous men and women, who took the time out of their lives are the “Logan Post”. They are there because they gave of themselves once, putting their lives, safety and security on the line. They still choose to continue to serve as few can or would. They were not there because they had an obligation or familial connection but because they care about each other. They are a community who shared an experience that most of us could never understand and yet they are still giving as if what they did all that long time ago wasn’t enough.
This group continues to serve and return to those around them despite their dwindling numbers. One of the points mentioned during the presentation was that the “Logan Post” had raised and donated some enormous number, (more than 1.5 Million dollars), to their community and those around them. Me? I showed up.
How can I compete with that level of service and dedication and, dare I say it, citizenship? The kind where you take pride in the life you make for yourself and your involvement in the community. Where you think “How can I help someone else while I’m doing what I do?”
I feel honored to have been well met and received by this group in friendship and I feel ashamed that I cannot express strongly enough my gratitude to them for their service, not just today but through their lives.
To the real “Logan Post”, the men and women of the VFW and the “Ladies” Auxiliary, the blood and sinew that makes up the living and breathing entity who gives and gives and then gives more. It is I who humbly offer you gratitude for giving what you did, do and continue to inspire to be done. I thank you for allowing me to attend and share in this solemn moment where you paid respects to another of your own kind and welcomed me. It was an honor to be part of it.
I hope that these people, this small part of the current remainder of “The Greatest Generation” are honored for all their works and I hope that while they may be unique in the light of history, they are not the last of their kind that we see. When the rest of us look upon one of these civil markers throughout this city or any other, do not think of the horror that these few faced and pushed back but think of the honor they did it with and know that for any one of these memorials, there are tens of thousands whom it represents and they all deserve our thanks and gratitude not what they did then but what they continue to inspire now.
To those I met today, those who served and those married to those who served, it is woefully inadequate but all I can say is “Thank you for your service.”
Nephew to James A Logan.