One particular Memorial Day either during my sophomore or junior year at UGA, one of the student groups decided to put out a series of American Flags with the name of the men and women that had died while serving our country. I remember asking one of the students about what would happen to the flags after Memorial Day. The student told me that he did not know. So, I decided to pick up one of the flags, and to keep it as a permanent reminder that there are great number of men & women that died in service of their country.
The name on my flag was for a Carroll William Minor. He was in the U.S. Navy. For as long as I had this flag, he was a name of a person that I did not know, but I respected because he gave his all for his country. He was an abstraction. Not any longer.
This is Carrol William Minor. He was a Southerner. He lived in Greenville County, South Carolina. On December 9, 1968, he was just 22 years old. He had hopes, dreams, and aspirations for himself. He had a family that he left behind, when he went to Vietnam. Despite all of what he wanted for himself or for his family, Mr. Minor put those aside to serve his country. While I was under the impression that he died on December 9, 1968, my respect for Mr. Minor has not wavered simply because I have learned that he is listed as missing in action.
On this Memorial Day, I wish only comfort and mercy on the family of Mr. Minor. While they have moved on with their lives, I can only imagine that there is some part of them that longs for the knowledge of what happened to their loved one. As for Mr. Minor, whether he is alive or is among the faithfully departed, I say thank you, sir. Your service has helped to maintain this country, and to provide a future for people like myself.