Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Uncle I Never Knew


On this Memorial Day, the day we remember the members of the military who gave their lives in the defense of their Country, I honor the uncle I never had a chance to meet, James Woodrow Cline.  Jimmy was born in 1920, the fifth of eleven children, Jimmy was 21 years old when Pearl Harbor took place.  His brother Harold was at Pearl Harbor that day, and we are so thankful that he was able to go back to Hawaii and be honored shortly before he passed away.  Jimmy was not as lucky as his brothers who all survived the war.  Jimmy died on May 11th, 1945, aboard the USS Bunker Hill, an Essex Class Aircraft Carrier which was hit by two Kamikaze Pilots on that day, taking the lives of 346 Sailors, including my Uncle Jimmy.
I have vivid memories of visiting my mother’s mother, Grandma Cline, as a child.  She lived in San Jose, when San Jose was just a small city…long time before Silicon Valley was even thought of.  She had a picture of Uncle Jimmy in her living room, and I saw the purple heart, the letter from the United States Government, and I felt the loss that took place so many years earlier.  A family might “get over it”, but they never forget.  And as this great generation dies off, it is up to us to never forget either.

I have been to Washington DC many times in my life, and as soon as the WW2 Memorial opened, I visited it on my next visit.  It is a wonderful memorial, and includes a registry of each and every member of the military who died in the war.  Jimmy is in the registry twice.

image   image

My Uncle is one of so many who gave his life for this nation, for us who live here.  I only hope that this sacrifice is never forgotten, and always remembered from generation to generation.  God Bless this wonderful country, may his mercy continue to be with us, may our leaders NEVER forget, and NEVER EVER let these fine men and women who gave this ultimate sacrifice down.

MemDay        Memorial-Day


  1. Thanks for this heart-felt and personal account of Memorial Day, Dave.

  2. Thank you for telling us about your relative; I believe it is important to recall what they did for our freedom. I may not be American, but I lived in USA as a child and understand that your veterans, ours in Canada and elsewhere, who stood/fought for our freedom need to be honoured and remembered. May God bless you, my friends...

    1. I have many Canadian ancestors, on both mom and dad's side of the family, but mostly on dads. I am very appreciative of the many Canadians who too, fought for freedom and gave their lives do so. May we always stand together in what is right.


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