My friend Lugene Clark helped me get through algebra class in high school. He was one of the smartest young men I knew. After graduating, he joined the Marines and went to Vietnam. He died there a few days before his 18th birthday. I still grieve for him. On Memorial Day, I am reminded of how much he sacrificed for us. His death meant so little in comparison to the life he never got to live.
He is, of course, one of the many whose names appear on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
I have also chosen to remember him at the Veteran's Memorial in Lake in the Hills. May you rest in peace, Lugene.
Both my mother and father served the nation during WWII. My father, Paul Hans Yensen, was a refugee from Denmark who came here with his parents before the war. He served on convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic. My mother, Retha Gee, was "Rosie the Riveter" in a wartime factory. Their names are enshrined at the Veterans' Memorial in Lake in the Hills. They were among the millions of Americans of that Greatest Generation who sacrificed so much for us. I will never forget them.