A Memorial Day Remembrance

His name was Carl Harris Turner and he was my grandmother’s youngest brother. Uncle Carl was born in 1912 in Fort Valley, Georgia, and was fascinated with planes his entire life. When World War II broke out he joined the Army Air Corp and after training was shipped out to the European Theatre.arlington cemetary

On August 22, 1944, Uncle Carl was a sergeant and flight engineer on a B-24 Liberator and was nearing his 50th combat mission when his plane took off for a bombing run over Blechhammer, Germany. According to reports from other plane crews that day, after completing their bombing run, Uncle Carl’s plane and crew came under intense anti-aircraft fire and one burst struck the plane’s left wing disabling an engine. Several crew members managed to parachute out of the plane but Uncle Carl was not one of them. Uncle Carl was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Air Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters.  

Others have simply but eloquently stated that we did not go into battle in World War II to conquer but to liberate, and the only pieces of land we asked for in the end was enough to bury our dead heroes. Uncle Carl is buried in Belgium, a long way from his middle Georgia home. He died without a wife or children and has no legacy – except for the freedom that you and I enjoy because of his ultimate sacrifice.

uncle carlI remember my grandmother’s eyes welling up with tears when she spoke of her beloved baby brother. Today, my mother is probably the last living person on this Earth who has a personal remembrance of Uncle Carl when he was alive, and the deep loss her family felt by his death. By reading this, however, you now join the human chain that extends this memory and the knowledge of his life.

I hope you and your family have a thoughtful Memorial Day weekend and while we remember all of the “Uncle Carls” who have gone before, let us also keep in our hearts all of our family members and fellow Americans around the world who still today stand ready to defend our freedom.



  1. MattMD says:

    Please don’t make the mistake of confusing this holiday with Veterans Day or Military Appreciation Day which your last sentence seems to suggest. In my mind it distorts and cheapens what Memorial Day is supposed to be about.

    • Noway says:

      Matt, only you could put a negative spin on such a heatfelt piece. I’m sure Mr. Lindsey truly gives a rat’s backside how you view his essay. With each posting you just confirm that you’re PP’s resident prick.

    • Edward Lindsey says:

      Matt: I disagree. I had the privilege to attend the graduation ceremony this weekend at West Point and believe it is important on this day to not only remember past sacrifices by men such as my Uncle Carl but to also recognize that today there is a new generation of men and women in uniform who stand ready to do the same to defend our nation and our freedom. The world remains a dangerous place and I am grateful for the sacrifices in the past and mournful that future painful loss will occur.

      • Three Jack says:

        Thanks Ed! Well said and anyone who thinks Memorial Day does not include those still serving or about to serve just doesn’t get it. We should take every opportunity to express appreciation for the sacrifices of those among us willing to risk it all to preserve our way of life.

        MattMD should be ashamed for jumping into this discussion as he did.

          • Noway says:

            Relevance? He doesn’t need to have served to appreciate the importance of Ed’s story. And none of us have any trouble seeing what a sad man you are.

          • Three Jack says:

            Cool, I’ll take that in $100s. Or you can just be a good guy and retract your totally off base first post in lieu of payment. US Navy, it was definitely an adventure!

              • Three Jack says:


                You calling me a liar…If you really want to risk 10 Benjamins, I’ll gladly produce my DD214. Charlie can hold the cash. I’ll donate it all to Wounded Warriors. Checkmate mfer!

                • BriscoeDarlin says:

                  Charlie has the patience of Job. With entries like this, Matt is still allowed to post?

      • MattMD says:

        Rep. Lindsey:

        I understand what you are saying but I still disagree. I appreciate your candor and the way you did not get upset despite the fact I should have been more tactful in my post. I don’t think you meant to “cheapen” Memorial Day but I believe you did indeed distort it.

        I have extremely close ties to the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps and I have lost two friends in OIF. I have lost relatives in some preceding wars (Korea, WWII, American Civil War) but the resulting psychological effect is not the same since I never knew them personally.

        My point is that Memorial Day is about the fallen and that is it. I think people recognize the courage that it takes to join a volunteer force. I would debate that is always about “defending freedom”: our civilian leadership has certainly sent other family’s sons and daughters into elective wars.

  2. Charlie says:

    The thing I’ve always liked and respected about Ed is that whatever the debate, he’s always seemed to have skin in the game.

    With regards to the comment above, this holds true. Carl Turner is exactly what Memorial Day is all about. The only reason I and you know about Carl is because of what Ed writes here today. He gave all so we could do or not do as we desire as free people.

    Ed also has a son and (future?) daughter in law graduating from West Point. As such, he has the unique perspective of someone who understands the sacrifice, and yet has invested in the future of our armed forces.

    God Bless him, his family, and our country. May we all be worthy of understanding what this truly means.

  3. Tom Taylor says:


    Well said. I still carry the dogtags that my grandfather wore as a member of the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) at Kasserine Pass, Sicily, Omaha on D-Day and liberation of Europe. The self sacrifice of that generation as well as all of us that have served, and the families, is one of the things that keep our country great.

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