What Carl Bradley teaches us beyond the grave


Carl Bradley was a 19-year-old young man when he died. Although it occurred almost 80-years ago, he was only 19. He left his junior year at Shelley High School to join the Navy, just over one year before being killed.

He wrote one of his brothers by letter saying he wanted to be part of something bigger than his life in Shelley. He entered the armed forces knowing of the wars and rumors of wars that were plaguing the planet at that time. America was on the brink of war, and everyone knew it.

Because of young men like Carl, you and I have lived in one of the most prosperous and peaceful times in the history of the world. Our generations have not experienced or been threatened by serious war. Even on 9/11, our culture and way of life did not significantly change.

Because we conquered those evil powers in the last century, today, our professional army of brave young men and women can quell any uprising worldwide and allow the entire west to enjoy peace, prosperity, and freedoms unmatched by any other era.

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Do your children understand this concept? Do they understand what it would be like to go off to war just out of high school with the thought they might never come home, be married, or have children?

Like so many in WWII, Carl never returned home. Carl was never able to marry, raise a family, go to school, buy a home, or have grandchildren.

He gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. A sacrifice that so many gave willingly so that we could live a better life today. This is the reason we will gather tomorrow morning; to give thanks to Carl for protecting our freedom and our Constitution, which affords each of us to live so blessedly as we do.

Carl Bradley’s memorial will be held tomorrow at the Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery at 11 a.m. The funeral procession will begin at 10:30 a.m. It will travel down State Street to Baseline Road and then to the cemetery. The public is encouraged to attend.

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