Ten years ago, May 25, 2007. I was at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) burying remains of my brother, Herby [Capt. Herbert C. Crosby]. The funeral was beyond what I ever dreamed it could be. The patriotic grandeur, the glory it was, was breathtaking, and forever etched in my mind. The many family, friends, and comrades who were there will tell you the same.
Deep in my heart I knew he’d come home some day. This wasn’t the way I hoped for, especially in the early years of his MIA status. He was home though, which gave our family a little closure. So bittersweet it was. We waited 37 years, never gave up hope, and never, ever stopped searching for him.
I’ve visited his grave many times, mostly in December laying wreaths with Wreaths Across America. However, I have not been back to ANC for Memorial Day since his burial. This year I will be there to reflect, remember, and decorate his grave on this 10th anniversary. His [would be] 70th birthday is May 30 [traditional Memorial Day].
If all goes as scheduled, I will be riding with the Rolling Thunder in their annual Demonstration Ride in support of the full accountability of our POW/MIAs. Prisoners from the Vietnam War were knowingly left behind, which is hard to swallow, but it’s true. If for some reason any of them survived this long, time is running short to get them home alive. And, if not alive, their remains will erode in the tropical environments making identification even more difficult than it is now. DNA from myself, and my sister, were used to identify Herby but over time and environment, DNA becomes harder to use too.
A lot has happened over these past 10 years. Ten scholarships have been awarded to Army ROTC cadets in his name. His Purple Heart, Bronze Star medals and additional medals were awarded posthumously. People who wore a POW/MIA bracelet with his name on it contact me to share their bracelet story. (Being Memorial Day weekend many do an internet search of his name.) I’ve attended five Rattler Firebird Association Reunions held across the country. Sadly, there were several comrade funerals, mostly early deaths due to war related illness. Joining the Support Committee for the new Cape Canaveral National Cemetery is one of my give-backs to our veterans. All this, and a lot more, because of one tragic loss in war-time.
Never Forgotten. Remembering you Herby, Dad [Herb Crosby], and all our fallen heroes.
Did you attend Herby’s funeral? Would love to hear your comments of that day.