OK, it’s a commercial, and I’m actually leaving Virgin Mobile now that my antique Virgin Mobile phone has apparently died, but this is somewhat amusing . . .
Archive for May, 2012
Last night I joined adult leaders and youth for a portion of the Grandview Ninth Ward Youth Conference. Recently graduated BYU basketball player Jonah Hartsock spoke to the youth at the ampitheater at Aspen Grove, located at the base of Mount Timpanogos and just up the road from Robert Redford’s Sundance ski resort.
In my immediate prior blogpost I mention Ron Fernstedt, who was with the Utah County Sheriff’s Department when I participated in the Law Clerk – Bailiff program in Utah’s Fourth District Court. As he mentioned a 2007 incident with a suicide bomber, I did some searching on the Internet in an attempt to get some information on that incident, and came upon this book, for which he was interviewed.
The following description of this book, which was published in 1990, appears on Amazon.com: “Examines the painful dilemmas of men forced to choose between religion and bloodshed. This collection of personal accounts by more than fifty Mormon veterans of six wars, including the Persian Guld crisis, reveals how members of one religious tradition justify combat despite beliefs about the immorality of murder. It describes, in sometimes graphic detail, the horrors of battle, concentration camps, and the deaths of innocent and guilty alike. Is killing ever a solution to the differences that separate humanity?”
At present the entire text of the book is available online at the link appearing below. As today is Memorial Day, and as the book is quite engrossing, I ended up spending quite a bit of time reading this evening.
I read with particular interest as Ray Hillam, one of the authors, was my international relations professors at BYU. I focused on accounts given by several people with whom I was familiar for one reason or another: Ron Fernstedt, Ray Matheny (I worked with his wife for several years), Spencer J. Palmer (he was in the LDS temple film I first saw, was on the faculty at BYU, and colleagues of mine know him from his connections to Korea) , Kirk Waldron (my father served with him in the Air Force).
I also took an interest in accounts by Grant Ash, who had a remarkable spiritual experience while a POW, and Walter Speidel, a German POW in the United States.
I need to go back and read accounts by others, because of time I left many accounts unread.
Today at 10 am I attended the Provo City Memorial Day program at the Provo Cemetery. In the box below, the image on the left is the announcement of the event from the Provo website, and the image to the right is the program given to attendees today.
The program included two Utah residents who were on duty at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. They had accompanied the Timpview High School marching band to Hawaii for the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. One of the veterans shared some brief remarks.
The keynote speaker, Jeremy Stevenson, was quite humble about his service an an intelligence officer in Iraq, and spoke of leadership, recognizing is mother for having helped him developer leadership.
Ron Fernstedt recited “In Flanders Fields.” He shared that on Memorial Day in 2007, precisely at 8:30 am on May 28, 2007, a suicide bomber detonated himself at his left fender. “I am glad to be alive.” When I participated in the law clerk – bailiff program from August 1990 through March 1992, I was an employee of the Utah County Sheriff’s Department, and Ron Fernstedt had responsibilities for that program, including our POST training.
I read Sports Illustrated reporter Peter King’s MMQB each Monday for his reporting on the NFL, but he often ends up sending me in directions that have nothing to do with football, that introduce me to something that otherwise I may have never experienced.
Excerpt from this week’s MMQB: Before we get to football, I have one modern, tragic Memorial Day story for you. A young woman named Marina Keegan died Saturday in a single-car accident in Dennis, Mass., on Cape Cod, five days after graduating from Yale. She was 22. She wrote for the Yale Daily News while a student there, and her writing was so good, so compelling, that the News included her column, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” in a special edition of the paper distributed to all students and families at graduation. I urge you to read it.