May 24, 2019

To Those Who Have Gone Before

Memorial Day brings to mind scenes of outdoor BBQ’s, packed swimming pools and flag-lined neighborhood streets as our country stops for a few moments to remember the brave sacrifices that bought our nation’s many freedoms.

Often those sacrifices bring thoughts of family members or friends who have served or continue to serve in our Armed Forces. Our Pixl community has ties far and wide to service members who have played a role or are still serving as part of America’s proud military heritage. Tales on our blog through the years shine light on many of these heroes and the sacrifices they have made. This Memorial Day, we honor our own senior producer, David Hamilton Jr.’s father, David Lee Hamilton Sr., and his service to our country.

David Lee Hamilton Sr., Navy SKSN, was born in Ohio where he enlisted in the United States Navy as a young man. He was stationed on the USS Independence primarily in the Mediterranean Sea from 1973 to 1976, and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal. During his time at sea, David Sr. had the opportunity to travel to many different countries, learning new skills, encountering new horizons, and taking advantage of his naval opportunities. David Sr. was grateful for the influence of the military rhythm and structure on his life as a young man.  He credits the military with helping him gain his independence and become disciplined. David Jr. said his father felt the military provided him with the balance needed to offset a difficult upbringing and lack of a father figure.

David Jr. fondly recalls his father telling stories of his adventures, but David Jr.’s favorite memory is when his father talked about simply being amazed at the brightness of each star in the middle of the darkness of the ocean. Those of us without sealegs can only imagine that glowing, reflecting sea of stars against the black night. It’s amazing how just the right image at the right moment lasts in our memories.

This Memorial Day, whether you are enjoying BBQ, attending a concert in the park or listening to stories of service and sacrifice, we join you in remembering well. And if you have a chance to look at the stars from sea, perhaps pause and remember the countless soldiers like David Lee Hamilton Sr. who were amazed and comforted by the amazing views in their service to us.  Most of all we thank those who have given their lives and their years to keep the freedoms we enjoy.