Here in the United States, today is our Memorial Day. It is a day we honor our fallen warriors who gave their lives in the service of our country no matter which war over the course of our country’s history. We are grateful to all our veterans and heartily applaud them for their service today and especially on Veterans Day (which will be November 11 this year), but today is the solemn remembrance of those who gave their lives in service.
When I worked for Disney Feature Animation a few years back, our country entered into war after the events in New York and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001. It was a scary time, not knowing if other parts of our country were also going to be attacked. We had received word that possibly the movie studios in Hollywood could be attacked, and security got really tight for a while with bomb sniffing dogs, checking all employee cars for bombs in trunks and underneath, and etc. We were appreciative of the troops that were being sent to the Middle East to try to prevent such a thing from happening again.
During that time, the studio put forth an effort to have employees draw, make cards, and participate in care packages being sent to our troops. I was asked to create a poster in support of these efforts. This Goofy image is what I came up with, and it was on display in the lobby of Feature Animation in Burbank, CA, for a while.
I was extremely honored to be asked to do it, and did so with an eye on the old posters for World War II. It was my goal to stir folks into helping out by hearkening back to the sacrifice many Americans made during that daunting time in our history. No one knew how long our latest efforts would take. Unfortunately, those efforts continue today, but we also continue to SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!
Two years ago I was fortunate to visit the Middle East and Africa with several of my cartoonist mates as we traveled with the USO to bring a few smiles to our soldiers. We visited with many of them listening to their stories while drawing for them. We brought to them a little piece of home, and they brought to us the realities of war. It was a sobering time that I shall never forget. (CLICK HERE to see previous posts of that trip here on the ol’ blog.)
I mention that because I brought this Goofy along with me on that trip. The USO printed up cards that each of us could give to the soldiers as a little memento of our visit, and this was the image that graced my cards. The cards brought many smiles to the folks overseas, and hopefully reminded them of all of us over here in the States.
On this Memorial Day, thank you to all the soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and I wish comfort to those they left behind. I thank our veterans for their service, thinking especially of my father, David Frye, who served during the Vietnam War. And thank you to the thousands of you serving today in some pretty rough places in this world. After having spent just a few days in some of those places with you, I came away with a greater appreciation for what it is you do and where you have do it.
No matter how tough things get in life, I always try to keep this passage from the Bible close to my heart:
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”