by Andy Weddington
Thursday, 04 August 2016
Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion. Calvin Coolidge - 30th President of the United States
Last night, shortly before Taps, arrived a kind email from a stranger.
The note included introduction to Major Ram.
Major Ram's son the sender.
He had, through stumbling along on the Internet, happened upon my commentary site. And took the time to read.
He closed his note with Semper Fi and included a link.
I visited the link last night and again this morning.
Major Ram and I have some things in common - he, like my wife, was from New Jersey; he shares my father-in-law's birthday; infantry officers; duty as Marine Officer Instructors; a passion for country and service; and play the banjo.
In Vietnam, 10 January 1971, Major Ram was killed in combat. He and another officer were hit by a mortar while attempting to reach wounded Marines.
Fifteen days after his death I had a birthday and was still too young to fully understand and appreciate the sacrifices being made by our countrymen and their families.
Nor did I have an inkling of one day earning the title Marine.
This morning I'm wearing a red T-shirt with an eagle, globe, and anchor over the left breast. Over coffee I've thought about Major Ram, his Marines, and his family. And what it means to be a Marine - something that chokes me up, and always will.
I've a busy day ahead but it struck me it'd be a good idea to take a few minutes to share his story so more Marines and Americans can meet Major Ram and pay homage if only privately.
Major Ram understood and lived Semper Fi.
Amidst my morning thoughts, in contrast, I wondered if a certain Marine General now unflatteringly in the news ever did.
Major Ram was a hero and he proved it on the occasion that ended his life.
Please take a moment to read the major's moving story. And I kindly ask you to pass along.
Major Cornelius H. Ram, USMC (1931-1971):