Yesterday was a wonderful time to reflect on the contribution of the great host of men and women who have served our Nation as members of the Armed Forces in dozens of wars and conflicts throughout our history. As a 24-year Soldier and veteran of two of those wars, I’m humbled to hear the comments of average Americans who are truly thankful for the sacrifice of veterans. Many of them stop me to say thank you. Others have anonymously paid for the meals enjoyed by me and my fellow Soldiers. I try to always express to these citizens my appreciation for their support without which we could not do our job.
Part of my objective in telling the story of Oliver Cromwell Case is that he would not be forgotten. Oliver is no different than scores of other veterans, living and dead, who have a story relegated to the dust bin of history without someone to tell it. The Wounded Warrior Project (a great organization that takes care of wounded veterans and their families with your support) has a motto…the greatest casualty is being forgotten. I am resolved that Private Oliver Cromwell Case, Company A, 8th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, killed in action at the battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 will not be forgotten. His story will live and he will be honored for paying the full and final price for our freedom.
The great American poet and Civil War volunteer nurse, Walt Whitman, once wrote to the parents of a dying Soldier to whom he was attending…
“He is one of the thousands of our unknown American young men in the ranks about whom there is no record or fame, no fuss made about their dying so unknown, but I find in them the real precious & royal ones of this land giving themselves up, aye even their young & precious lives, in their country’s cause.”
I hope to always continue to make a fuss about the living and dying of Oliver. Thank you again, Private Case!