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Honoring Our Heroes Fallen in Battle

Taps across America


Re: The National Moment of Remembrance Memorial Day Taps 2020

I've come from a military family. Taps was never played at 3 p.m. It was played at dusk.

I thought you would like to share this on this day.

As children we were taught the greatest of respect in memory of fallen soldiers, especially after living in Okinawa.

     May God be praised,

     Sister A.J.C., O.C.


Remembering Our Heroes


A beautiful Memorial Day tribute.

Click here for a less than 4 minutes watch.



Honoring My Brother Salem, Marine, Killed in Action in Iraq

Mr. Atila,

Salve Maria!

Since we just finished Memorial Day weekend, I want to tell you the story of my big brother Salem (four years older than me, would have been 35 this year).

Cpl. Salem Bachar, served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, killed in action at the age of 20 in Al Anbar Province on April 13, 2006 (Maundy Thursday). Since we grew up speaking Arabic, he trained to be an Arabic Translator and was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

It was his second deployment to Iraq. He was translating for a doctor in Al Anbar Province, in a somewhat barren area in that was vulnerable attack. Insurgents launched a mortar, and pieces of shrapnel pierced his neck (he removed his protective neck gear; it was common for Marines to remove their neck gear there, since it can get upwards of 100 degrees F). From what I understand, he suffocated from his own blood, and died within 15 minutes.

After 9/11, he thought he could do something to help (since he spoke Arabic), so he enlisted in the Marines. He always wanted to give his life generously in a more noble cause, and that is exactly what he did. He fought and died for our country.

I was fortunate enough to meet the young soldier who held my brother in his last moments. He told my brother, "Salem, hang on, the bird's coming" (the "bird" was what they called helicopters, who would often come for help in urgent situations). My brother couldn't hold on, he was losing consciousness, and soon died. It was his time to go.

Cpl. Salem Bachar

Cpl. Salem Bachar, Marine, killed in action in the Operation Iraq Freedom on April 13, 2006

From what I remember, he was well-liked by his Marine brothers. Once, he was listening to another American Marine translator translating on the spot for an Iraqi man to his Marine superiors. My brother listened to what the Iraqi man said, and what the translator said, and the translator turned out to be translating falsely in order to compromise the position of the Marines (it seems he was bribed). My brother got furious and said "that's not what he's saying!" and he promptly beat the man up, right then and there.

Another instance: he was in Atlanta for a short time for Marine training, and he was walking on the street from the airport, when a strong man ran up, stole his wallet, and started to run away. My brother chased the man down, beat him up, and took his wallet back. You see my brother was not a coward...

Growing up, Salem was always the life of the party, everyone liked him. He was sociable, liked to joke, but was serious when he had to be serious, and he was always kind with everyone. He was sometimes late for school, and his high school English teacher told me that one day, after class had started, he jumped through the classroom window and into his seat (causing some other students to laugh). He played the trumpet and was in the school band, and when he would enter the band room, the other students would play the theme song to "Aladdin" (he was the only Arab in the class). He also did wrestling, track and tennis, becoming very athletic.

Salem always defended my sister and me. I remember when we were in elementary school, there was a boy who was picking on me (I shouldn't have been in coed school, but that is a different story). I told Salem about it, and the next day after school, he gave the boy a very serious and threatening talk (I witnessed it). The boy was so scared, he never bullied me again. When he was in Iraq, my sister and I were in high school, and he told me he would beat up any man who tried to touch us. He always defended his friends and family, like I said, he was kind to everyone; I don't ever remember seeing him treat any of his friends badly.

Like my sister and I, my brother grew up (Novus Ordo) Catholic, but unfortunately apostatized to Protestantism before his death, due to a Protestant woman he was seeing at the time. I pray for him every day, and I pray he at least made it to Purgatory, but only God knows. Maybe if he would have lived long enough to learn about Tradition and the Counter-revolution, he would have given his life immediately to fight for it, he would not have thought twice (and he would not have apostatized). But his life ended differently.

I ask your prayers for him also, in case he did make it to Purgatory. His sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Below is what some people have said about my brother:
  • To family and friends of Cpl. Salem Bachar: I was blessed with knowing him for a short while. He would walk into my classroom and light up the room with his energy and enthusiasm. I could tell right away that this young man lived his life purposefully. I will never forget him. God Bless You. - Jose Chavira, December 04, 2012 - Chula Vista, CA.

  • I miss you very much Bachar and I think about you very often. I will honor you and your sacrifice all the days of my life. I’m re enlisting soon, partially because of you. You gave your life, the least I can do is give 20 years. I will NEVER forget you. - Sgt Dustin Kirkland, April 13, 2011 - Covington, LA.

  • Salem was a friend of my daughter Amanda. They met in middle school and continued their friendship through high-school. Both his mother and I worked at Hilltop Middle when they attended there. Every time he would go to get a haircut, he would stop by and visit for a few minutes. Each time Amanda would tell him how "silly" his haircut looked. They were great friends, so he knew she was teasing him. Salem had such a charming way about him that made everyone love him. And funny, he could make anyone smile and laugh. When my daughter was so sick, it was Salem who visited her, and kept her spirits up. - Susan Buford, April 09, 2007 - Chula Vista, CA.

  • Salem, you were like my big brother, always protecting me. I'll always remember that when I think of you. You were one of those people who would give someone the shirt of your back. I wish you would have chosen a different path for your career but I know the Marines is something you wanted. Your ceremony was beautiful and full of people who loved and knew you. May your soul rest in peace and I look forward to the day when we meet again. I love you. - Jackie S, April 26, 2006 - Chula Vista, CA.

  • I had a chance to work with Cpl. Bachar last year in Iraq. He was extremely intelligent, a hard worker, and was always looking for ways to make a difference. Overall, a truly exceptional Marine. His family will be in my prayers. - Bennett Williams, April 24, 2006 - Ft Sill, OK.

  • "Cpl. Salem Bachar was no doubt, a great Marine and friend with an infectious positive attitude. His integrity, intestinal fortitude, and professionalism still continue to rival the Marines of today. You have been, you are, and will continue to be loved and missed. I remember you and thank you for your ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day, brother." -GySgt Thane A. Lindholm II of SPMAGTF - Crisis Response-Africa.

  • "Salem was – is, one of the strongest people I have ever met. He excelled as a wrestler in high school – his strength matched only by his character and intelligence. Yet despite his abilities he never looked down at anyone, and always sought to lift others up. I regret not getting to know him better, but despite this I have never forgotten him. I cannot imagine the loss his family has felt, and I am sure no words can describe it. I will always remember him." - Nico Pappagianis - Chula Vista, CA.

  • "Hey Cuz, It's me Luis. It’s been almost 3 years since you left and I can't say there's been a day I haven't thought of you. Man you have no idea how much I miss you. When I moved to San Diego I kept thinking it'd be like old times when we were growing up together and we'd get to goof around and climb some trees like you loved to, but the very day I was supposed to move, was when we got the news. And it SUCKED, I just want to say that. I still think you're out there. Maybe I haven't learned to face the fact that I won't get to see you anymore, or that I never did get to see you to say goodbye. I miss you primo, A lot. Every once in a while I'll pop in my old FreeSpace and remember playing with you. Everytime I go to Disneyland I remember chasing captain Hook with you. I REALLY miss you a lot. I haven't seen your sisters in a while, maybe I'll visit them this week since you've been on my mind more often. One day we'll see each other again and it'll be great, cousin. I love you and I miss you with all my heart. I wish I could have said goodbye..." Luis Alvarez - Chula Vista, CA.
     In Jesu et Maria,

     Salwa Bachar

Posted May 26, 2020

The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA

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