When I was a teenager, I had a “MIA bracelet”, containing the name and date-lost of a Vietnam War soldier. His name was Maj. Gregg Hartness, and he went missing on 26 Nov 1968. I wore that bracelet for many years, until it was so worn that it made my wrist raw. I still have the bracelet.
Footnote.com has a new Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial exhibit. So, I went to my jewelry box and found Maj. Hartness’s bracelet. After a very simple search, I found his name on the wall:
Born on 18 April 1937, Maj. Hartness was 31 years old when his plane was shot down over Laos. A pilot with the 7th Air Force, 504th TSG, 20th TASS, he was from Dallas, TX, married and a Presbyterian.
A quick Google search led me to an excellent page with several articles about Maj. Hartness. His remains were found in February 2005, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full honors. I am not ashamed to say that I had tears running down my face when I finished reading Maj. (now Lt. Colonel) Hartness’s story.
“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln, 19 Nov 1863