Happy Birthday Captain Crosby

happy birthday captain crosby“Mom, Mom!,” yelled the little boy running into the house with excitement. “Mom. Guess what?” “What son?,” mom asked. “Someone else has a birthday today too!” “Well Herby, how do you know that?” “Because their house has a flag hanging outside also.” Mom smiled, gave him a hug and said, “That may be, but it’s Memorial Day too. Let me tell you about Memorial Day.”

That little boy, Herby, was born on Memorial Day, May 30, 1947. His Grandma Crosby brought a baby gift to him just hours after his birth in the hospital, a full size American flag. Herby grew up with the flag as his icon of birth and patriotism. He became a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Eagle Scout.
That little boy became Capt. Herbert C Crosby, US Army, helicopter gunship pilot (Firebird Nine One) with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company, A/501st Aviation Battalion, Chu Lai, Vietnam. That 22-year old Captain died while serving his flag and his country January 10, 1970. He was MIA 37 years, finally having remains identified and buried at Arlington National Cemetery, May 25, 2007 (Memorial Day weekend). Buried as close to his birthday as possible in honor of his devotion to God, country, and the American flag.
He came into this world with an American flag, lived for the American flag, served his country for the American flag giving the ultimate sacrifice for all it stands for. Freedom.

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from his honor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

 

herby and dad graves

Graves of my brother Herby (foreground) and dad, Herb Crosby, Friendship Cemetery in Donalsonville,GA.
Thank you Luke for placing these flags each Memorial Day. Although Herby’s remains are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 60, plot 557, a grave marker was placed upon his declaration of death in 1974 in Donalsonville.

 

Today, Memorial Day will always be a special day for memories of our fallen loved one. We honor Herby, his father, Herb [dad], along with all our fallen heroes from all wars. As written above, we raise above them the dear old flag saved from his honor; we, in solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those left behind, and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers.
You, and all your fellow MIAs, POWs, and comrades then and now are held in the highest regard and respect. The humblest gift I can give you is to keep your memory alive so other’s do not forget.
Happy Birthday Herby. Miss you and dad, dearly.
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