Memorial Day – Connecting it to a face and name

My wife and I had some errands to run today so we loaded up the cruiser, put a leash on the dog, grabbed a handful of cameras and hit the road.  One of the stops we made was a local cemetery with a military section in it.  We made this one of our stops to pay our respects and reflect for a while.

For me it’s hard to describe the feeling in seeing a military headstone with a flag fluttering in the breeze in front of it.   Gratitude for their service, humbled by the cost those who died in service paid, a little patriotic pride, a little sadness that humanity still seems to need “wars” to co-exist on this little spot in the cosmos.

There was one that caught my eye, an unusual name that I had just seen the night before – one of the news stations was scrolling names of the fallen soldiers since the turn of the century, and I remembered this one – Dimitri, it just caught my eye on the news broadcast for being unique.   I was startled to read Dimitri’s name as I was walking the line.

I decided to find out a bit more about Dimitri, this young man who passed away just a month after turning 21.

Dimitri was a gearhead – restoring a 300zx when he was home.   He had been in the army for 4 years and was a loader and then gunner on M1 tanks and made it to the rank of Sergeant.   He was a russian immigrant who citizenship was granted posthumously.

I never met Dimitri, but today I paid my respects to him and thanked him for volunteering to serve and protect the country he loved, even though it wasn’t his birth country. I never met Dimitri but today his story brought a tear to my eye. I the rows of graves, each of those flags marks another story.

Dimitri’s Bio

Denver Post article

Interview with Dimitri’s mother for the “Before they where Soldiers” airing