People who have not served in the military sometimes wonder about the very apparent bond between veterans. I just returned from a trip to the United Kingdom which included an unusual tour and reminded me of the bond and of “Remembrance” as the British call it. We visited Slapton Sands, a small village outside the port of Darmouth, England. There we found the Sherman Tank you see in this picture. It was lost off the beach of Slapton Sands where U.S. troops were practicing beach invasion tactics before D-Day in a secret exercise named “Operation Tiger.” The beach was ideal for the purpose and the U.S. took over the town to allow for the military exercises.
Unfortunately, German U-Boats and fast boats attacked the Landing craft and more that 700 servicemen were lost. The event was classified for forty years, but when it was discovered, the survivors and the British created a lasting memorial to those who perished, both by enemy and friendly fire. You can see the wreaths on the tank as each year a memorial service is held. This speaks to the bond that we share; those who served were willing to risk life for their country and we deeply respect others who embraced the same commitment.
Memorial Day and Remembrance Day are formal events to assure that no one forgets those who paid the ultimate price for liberty and we, as veterans, are usually front and center acknowledging that sacrifice and pausing to remember those who did not get to share the future with us. Yale has always remembered those who served – just look at the names etched in Woolsey Memorial Hall. We have a bond with those we never met; these are bonds of service, commitment, and the willingness to protect our way of life. Please do not hesitate to call me at 203.432.0879 with your questions and comments on how we might support those who have served. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.