Speaker: Honor veterans by remembering service

By Lynn R. Parks

Frank Tully, guest speaker at Monday's Memorial Day celebration in Seaford, had a simple message: "Remember, remember, remember," he said. "The only way to honor Memorial Day is by remembering those who wrote blank checks to the citizens and the government of the United States of America and who served in our military."

Tully, who was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1968 through 1972 and who served in Vietnam in 1970 and 1971, is commandant of the Marine Corps League, detachment 780, Seaford. He urged people at the celebration to become "remembering missionaries."

"Get educated," he said. "Read a book. Write a book. Write an editorial. Tell everyone how important it is to remember those who served."

Remembering was the unofficial theme of the ceremony, which was held under a bright blue sky at Kiwanis Park on the west side of town. Master of ceremonies, Pete Bohn, urged those attending to take time to talk with veterans of World War II. "Thank them for their service, and ask them their stories," he said. "There are some amazing stories out there."

Bohn also dedicated seven bricks set in the parks sidewalk in honor of area veterans. "Many people are unaware of those who live right here in our community who have served," he said.

In his speech, Tully talked about being wounded in Vietnam. Today, he said, he still bears minor facial scarring and mild hearing loss. "But I am the luckiest person I know," he said.

"Because on that day that I was wounded, our unit lost two Marines, age 19 and 20. They will remain forever young in my memory, not one day older than they were on the day that they died."

He quoted Abraham Lincoln, who in the Gettysburg Address predicted that "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here."

"Mr. Lincoln, you were wrong," Tully said. "We do remember what you said. We remember the people who served and those who died. For us, they will remain forever young."

Seaford Mayor Bill Bennett welcomed the large crowd on behalf of the city. "Today is about the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice and who willingly went into service," he said. "Their sacrifice gave us the freedom to come together on a day like this."

Linda Chick of Bridgeville was among the crowd of people who filled Kiwanis Park. She said that she attended this ceremony, as well as a similar ceremony that was held earlier on Monday in Bridgeville, for a simple reason: "Just to honor all the people who have served."

Chick, whose husband, John Flood Jr., is a member of the same Marine Corps League detachment as Tully, added that people who serve in the U.S. military make a "wonderful sacrifice."

"I don't want anybody to forget that," she said. "And it's important that we all have respect for what they've done."

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