What Memorial Day Means to American and Its Founder
Memorial Day is a holiday to remember, honor and celebrate those who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving our great country. It is a day to memorialize our fallen veterans and their families. It is a day for Americans across our great country to take a moment and reflect on the freedom we enjoy. Although patriotic ceremonies for fallen soldiers dates back to the Civil War, it wasn’t until 1971 when the US Congress officially named Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated annually.
The founder of American Solar & Roofing, Sean Seitz, carries a deep respect for US Veterans and those who have given their lives fighting for the rights we have today. Seitz comes from a strong military family that goes back generations.
Sean states, “to me, Memorial Day is a day to remember the sacrifices by my parents, by my grandparents, by our family, and by everyone we met through the military. It’s about everything they fought for and believed in to make our country a better place; to make our country free and to keep it free.”
Seitz grew up in various cities and US bases across our nation and the world. He has an incredible story of his father getting shot down during the Vietnam War. This is a story he was not aware of as a kid growing up but knowing it today, it gives him great perspective. He is grateful knowing his father was one of the lucky ones and survived to tell this story.
The Seitz family understands this horrifying anecdote easily could have ended in a vastly different way. On this Memorial Day, Sean spends time reminiscing on his family history, his father’s story and the connections he made through his military raising. Many of the families he meant shared a similar chronicle, but several of them were not lucky enough to have their loved one survive while serving.
The story of Lt. Seitz and “Jello Liver”
William “Joe” Seitz spent over 20 years serving his country in the military and the US Airforce. In the early 1970s, he experienced an earth shattering and trembling close call, one that later resulted in the Purple Heart Award.
First Lieutenant Seitz was a squadron member of Special Operations and search and rescue missions during the Vietnam War. As pilot of the reliably rated A-1 Skyraider, “Jello Liver”, Seitz quickly found himself in an unimaginable situation while he was supporting the rescue of a downed airman in Vietnam. His prop fighter was hit by an enemy missile.
The front of the aircraft immediately caught on fire and began shaking violently. In hopes to control the fire, Seitz turned the aircraft to the sea. Just as he feared, he was unsuccessful to control the fire and it raged on until the engine quit and he was sent dropping. A light then came on warning Seitz the engine was internally destroying itself. As Seitz gained limited control over “Jello Liver”
and was struggling out to sea, he was thankful to see several US Navy ships in the near distance.
Seitz knew it was time to eject; the cockpit was rapidly increasing in temperature and the engine had officially stopped as the fire raged on. A moment after he pulled the ejection handle, he was hanging by his chute and saw an OV-10 Bronco and an Army helicopter circling closely. He also had visibility to a Navy cruiser below him, moving towards him. There was hope that Lt. Seitz would be rescued and this nightmare would come to an end.
As he hung there, waiting, Lt. Seitz watched his most reliable Skyraider slam into the water as he saw it slip beneath the surface. He knew his aircraft may never be seen again; he would certainly never fly it again. Once Seitz splashed into the water, the Army helicopter hoisted him safely aboard. If these US soldiers had not been there, Seitz would have been sent crashing into the ocean, on enemy territory. We can only imagine how the ending of that story may have gone.
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Those Who Are Gone Are Never Forgotten
Especially with the deep military history of the founder of American Solar & Roofing, Sean Seitz, our company will always hold our military in high regard and respect. “The fact that all my grandparents served our country, in conjunction with my father’s story, it just gives me great pride in what they did and what they fought for. Being in a military family, everyday sort of felt like Memorial Day,” Sean Seitz mentions to his team at American Solar & Roofing.
This Memorial Day, America takes a moment to honor the men and women who have died while serving our country. Here at American Solar & Roofing, we want to thank those individuals who paid the ultimate price and their families, friends and loved ones. We honor you; we respect you; we remember you and we thank you.