This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
May 30th, 2005

Just Another Sailor

It was a chance meeting in our doctor's office - my husband JC (or Castwell) was getting a blood draw and while waiting I was visiting with a gentleman there waiting for his wife. We exchanged business cards and I looked at the picture on the gentleman's card and out loud said "Wow!"

The photo on the front/main page and below this week is of the dedication (2004) of the Eternal Sea Memorial Lighthouse in Seabeck, Washington.

Eternal Sea Memorial Lighthouse

Memorial Day is a fitting time to tell the rest of the story. This lighthouse is 26 ft. high, has a totally functioning rotating light and even a fog horn. It was built by USN, Retired, Al Clayton. Al spent 31 years going to sea, and after retiring from the Navy, he continued serving in the Merchant Marine on tugs and tankers until he finally really retired.

Al Clayton

Over the next few years Al built many smaller 'lights' as they are called, but this one was special. It is not a copy of any existing light, it was designed and built by Al - a very special project.

This one was built and dedicated to the memory of Al's shipmates who didn't come home.

Eternal Sea Memorial Lighthouse.

Thank you Al Clayton, and all who served in the US Military (and Merchant Marine) for your service to this country - and for the reminder that while we take our freedoms for granted - it is you and your fellow servicemen who guard our freedoms, and keep us from harm's way.

You know better than all of us, Freedom is never free. ~ DLB

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