During our Sunday Worship on 10 October this year, we repeated something we did last year (11/11/2012). We asked for names, and photos if possible, of members, and family of members, who had military experience--past, present, and future--to be honored.
Last year, those attending were asked to stand, as their branches were mentioned. To my amazement, Merchant Marine was mentioned. No one stood. "No one from the Merchant Marine?" "Here we go, Dad. As long as I am alive, you will be remembered," I thought. I proudly stood, and announced, "My father!" When Coast Guard was called, another lady announced, "My Late Husband." One man born in 1914--the same year as my father--stood with the others as the Army was recognized. He was present again this year to stand again. (Yes, 99-1/2!)I could feel not only those present, but those faces from the past as well. Photos were projected of each person on a large screen also as the recognition proceeded.
This year, the ceremony was a bit shorter, but photos lined a wall to be seen as we entered the church.
(Some people still don't think Merchant Marine was anything but a job, not *real* service. How much could you be paid to be torpedoed on a ship which quickly sank? My father was. Needless to say, it wasn't his ideal job! And, he returned, to keep sailing until WWII ended. He also served in Viet Nam, and I believe in Korea as well. He did begin in the Army--I don't know why, and I guess I never will--he transferred to Merchant Marine service for most of WWII, since his health was excellent.)
I found this story very touching, and it was so very kind of you to take over rather than shrugging aside any interest or caring about his welfare, especially since your cousin cared so much about others all his life.