On Memorial Day, May 28, 2007 there was a gathering at the Northampton Commons in Richboro to pay tribute to Northamptonâ€™s first casualty of Iraqi Freedom, Army PFC Robert Dembowski, Jr.
A young man who was proud to be an American and who loved his Country with a passion. He joined the Army in January 2006 and was the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was a graduate of Council Rock High North and the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology. He was a member of the Student Advisory Board at Council Rock North and often reported to the School Directors and the Council Rock Community on events and accomplishments at MBIT.
He was an outgoing, enthusiastic student who never failed to take the opportunity to express his pride in America. One of Bobbyâ€™s greatest legacies to Council Rock was his speech to Veterans of World War II at the Chancellor Center in May 2005 when Council Rock was dedicating a World War II memorial in memory of those from our community who lost their lives serving our Country.
As a student who had just made a commitment to serving his Country, Bobby spoke to an audience of over 200 veterans, public officials and members of our community about service, courage and commitment. On Memorial Day, we recognized that Bobbyâ€™s compassion for serving our military has brought him to the ultimate sacrifice in serving our Country.
Dembowsi June2005 Speech to Veterans at Chancellor Center
as read by Fran Dembowski to the May 28, 2007 Memorial:
Hello, my name is Bob Dembowski, enlisted in the United states Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program. I am scheduled to ship out for boot camp just a few days after graduation. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be in the military. A few years ago, the Iraq war started, I was only 16 at the time, but I started to do some serious thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life.
It was a pretty easy decision for me, I knew I wanted to go to Iraq and try to make a difference. People always ask, â€œHey Bob, why do you want to go over there? This isnâ€™t our war, shouldnâ€™t even be there.â€ And yes, maybe it isnâ€™t our war, maybe weâ€™re really not fighting for OUR freedom. But since when is it not OK to try and make the rest of the world a better place? Weâ€™re all humans, weâ€™re all on the same team, and teammates help each other.
When I enlisted in the Marine Corps, and picked my M.O.S. or Military Occupational Specialty, I picked Infantry, and with that I knew would be at a much higher risk of severe injury or death. I have accepted this, and so has everyone else I know who is enlisted and ready to ship out after graduation, and we are all more than willing to give our lives for this country, and to better the rest of the world. Also, we just want to do our part. We want to try to give back to this country, what we have taken from it, and we want to show our respect to all military personnel that have given their lives in every conflict and war before us. Because, even though we have holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day, we donâ€™t feel that Veterans are truly appreciated enough for the monumental sacrifices they have made, in order to make this the greatest country in the world.
And it is the greatest country in the world, and you can thank a Veteran for that. And, donâ€™t get me wrong, there are some things I donâ€™t like about it, but I feel I have been privileged to have been born an American, and I fell it is my duty to do my best now and give other less fortunate people in other less fortunate countries a chance to get even just a taste of the freedoms that most Americans take for granted every day in our country. So please show your appreciation and thank a Veteran. It has been an honor and a privilege to be here today.
I would like to say thank you to all the Veterans, thank you, Semper Fi!