Help please: quote for the funeral of a United States Marine

May 8th, 2004  

Topic: Help please: quote for the funeral of a United States Marine

80-year-old Chuck McDonnell died peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of May 7, 2004.

Chuck was a United States Marine Private who participated in the removal of the Japanese garrison on the isle of Attu in the Aleutians of the northern Pacific. Chuck was severely wounded by an artillery shell in this action.

Chuck is the father of six children and countless grandchildren. The night before his passing, he joined us in the birthday celebration of his youngest child which included most of his closest family. On his way home from the dinner, he commented to his wife how wonderful a time he had had with everyone. As mentioned above, he passed away peacefully in his sleep several hours later in his normal sleeping position, arms folded over his chest, and with his wife resting at his side.

Chuck is my brother-in-law's father and my great friend. Being an avid student of American history, myself, (and specifically American _military_ history), I was the one person that Chuck would talk to about the war. He would cry every time he did so.

Chuck's funeral is Monday, May 10 in Atlanta, GA. I have been asked to speak briefly about the U.S. campaign in the Aleutians and Chuck's part in it to provide those in attendence a brief "backdrop" of his service.

I am hoping to conclude with a quote or two from military history, but I am having a devil of a time finding what I am looking for.

The only quote I have so far that is remotely in that direction is from, ironically, George Patton: "It is foolish to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

Chuck's cremated remains will be given a proper military funeral at a veterans cemetary in Florida in about a month.

If anyone has any sort of a quote that they think might be appropriate for me to include in Monday's services, I would be incredibly gracious and forever in your debt.

Thanks a million!