(Click on any image below)
Ed's 100th Birthday
Dear Family & Friends,
You are all looking fabulous in this group photo taken by Steven Barber and I will be sending you individual table photos later. What a wonderful remembrance of you and Ed's 100th birthday!
Your stories, anecdotes, messages and memories of Ed will forever remain in my heart and mind. There was so much LOVE in the Room and I know Ed was smiling from above. I almost lost my composure when Lisa sang "You Light Up My Life" Ed's favorite song which he dedicated to me.
I hope you enjoyed the celebration and from the bottom of my heart:
THANK YOU for always being there for me and as the Closing song "I'll Be Seeing You" goes, I know we will see each other again soon.
My DEEPEST THANKS FOR YOUR LOVE & SUPPORT Through good times and difficult ones.
Os Quiero Mucho y Os mando mi amor y Carino.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!
Love & Prayers,
|May 6th at the Luxe Sunset Blvd Hotel with Baby Alana Carolyn in the arms of her grandmother Dr. Janine Ramsey
|Table One with (L-R): Adriana Ramirez, Judy Arevalo, Sue Greenblatt, Dick Greenblatt, Raqui, Adm. Lee & Roz Levenson
Here is the special feature by Awee Abayari of Ed's 100th birthday celebration and Remembrance last May 6th at the Luxe Sunset Blvd Hotel. Please click the image below for a full-sized rendering.
Many of the event's attendees wrote special remembrances of Ed to contribute to the commemoration of his 100th birthday.
Tom Carbonar wrote:
As we all know, Ed’s legacy will always endure because of who he was and what he accomplished and stood for ----Truly an extraordinary and remarkable man!
I will always remember our initial encounter at the first of many Sharon and Paul Martin dinner parties. Having read “Lieutenant Ramsey’s War” (and being in “awe” of his remarkable achievements and ability to survive under dire circumstances and conditions), I proceeded to thank him for his service to our country and tell Ed what an honor and privilege it was to finally meet him. I actually started to salute Ed when I realized I was holding his book in my right hand. As humble and modest as Ed was, he seemed somewhat embarrassed but graciously smiled and signed my book. Needless-to-say, his presence made for a most fascinating and stimulating evening!
However, as we celebrate Ed’s 100th birthday, my fondest memory of Ed was observing how much he adored and loved you, Raqui, and how you both loved each other. It was beautiful to see the love, happiness and respect you had for one another and shared with others.
May God continue to bless you both.
Karen Boyarsky wrote:
A very special Happy Birthday to Ed Ramsey, whom I remember fondly and with much respect. Whenever we spoke, Ed was kind and generous. He was a very gracious man, impeccably dressed and of perfect posture. But there was often a glint of mischief in his eyes, which made him an especially comfortable and charming person to have in one’s company. When his wife, Raquel, was nearby, he was never without a smile. During one of my library contests for Valentine’s Day - Famous Literary and Historical Couples - one contender supplied another pair of names: Edwin and Raquel Ramsey. How correct she was!
Col. Doug Morrison wrote:
Raqui as you know Cathy and I wish we could be there but I have just finished registering for my 35th Class Reunion at West Point. We will be staying at the Hotel Thayer on West Point which is where our wedding reception was held. We arrive there on Thursday the 4th and drive home Sunday the 7th.
A remembrance of Ed…and you? Probably enough to fill a book. A start of a long and close friendship in 1989 at the Cavalry Association Reunion at Fort Riley, KS. Deployment to Operation Desert Storm and all the letters from the Beverly Hills school. Ed’s wonderful stories, humor, and honesty. His continued, dogged support of the Filipino veterans. Your attendance at the Change of Command for 3rd Squadron 7th US Cavalry at Fort Stewart in 1998. We will never forget. Ed was a hero, plain and simple. Raised much like my Dad was, in the country and growing up in the Depression years. It made them self-reliant and tough. They would need that with the war years but they also returned and made family and career a focus on the future.
Cathy and I are so proud to have known such a wonderful gentleman and American hero. He is part of the pantheon of Americans who have answered the call, no matter the cost, since our nation was founded over 240 years ago.
COL, USA (Ret)
Maj. Bob Seals wrote:
One does not often get a chance in life to meet a childhood hero, and perhaps this is a good thing at times, for children do not need to discover their heroes have feet of clay. For example, it was probably a good thing I never met Mickey Mantle when I was 6 or 7, in all fairness to the Mick!
But as a child I was interested in all exciting stories and adventures, to include the Philippine Guerrillas, after reading a book about Fertig and his forces from our local public library, which seemed to be the vast ancient library of Alexandria to a young mind. What a story! What real-life heroes these men were, talk about Never Surrender!
Little did I imagine that years later I would get to actually meet and get to know such a man, personally uncomfortable with being called a hero, Colonel Ed Ramsey (for the record I always promote him one grade in rank, the Army was very stingy in regards to promotions, at least for those fighting behind enemy lines for years, ironically enough). I vividly recall wondering what exactly he would be like while waiting upon him and Raqui at Fayetteville Airport in July of 2001.
The Colonel far exceeded any of my expectations. He was always such a genuine, warm and down to earth person with all, from Private to General, that he truly deserves the title “hero,” in addition to his well-known battlefield heroics. So, sorry to embarrass you Colonel, but you are, and will always be, one of my heroes! Happy birthday from North Carolina!
Bob, Jenny, and Army Cadet Private First Class Bob Seals
Col. Don & Joan Bills wrote:
Fond memories of Ed Ramsey--
What struck us about Ed was his genuine, open and sincere friendly nature. His smile, sometimes in an accidental meeting, lighted up the room followed by an embrace so joyful, which reflected his big heart. Ed was universally kind to all as he seemed to cherish each relationship. He was the epitome of what one thinks of a :"good will ambassador" Oh so many fond memories.
Love Joan and Don
Ann & Howard Grant wrote:
As we write this note our hearts are already in Los Angeles for the 100th Birthday celebration of your beloved Ed. We have always been honored by the invitations you and Ed have extended to us.
The first time we joined together was in Beverly Hills for the 60th birthday party Ed hosted for you. You had called us in Atlanta before we left for the visit and invited us to your suite the evening before. To our delight you toasted us with champagne for being such patriots. We were overwhelmed as it was the two of you who were the ultimate patriots!
We later went to dinner....just the four of us. There are probably no words to express our gratitude for that unforgettable evening. We met all the members of your family the following day and have adored them ever since.
We have now been communicating for more than 20 years - more events spent with family, birthday parties for you and Ed, events, ceremonies and the ultimate documentary premiere last November "Never Surrender". This was such a long and rewarding road that came to completion we all shared together.
Ed's burial at Arlington Cemetery was the most memorable times we have ever spent with you. The eloquent tributes from so many friends and family will always be at the forefront of our memory. The stormy afternoon with glorious rainbow that followed was a fitting passage for Ed that we were privy to witness.
Your remarkable dedication to continue all the projects on Ed's long list are getting accomplished - with daily diligence we will add on your part!
With sincere thanks for your loyal friendship - we are on a very long list of those who continue to admire and to follow your efforts faithfully.
With much love,
Ann and Howard
Raqui's nephew Daniel Ramirez wrote:
Dear Aunt Raqui,
It was so nice to feel part of Saturdays celebration of 100 years of Uncle Ed's life thanks to the live streaming on Facebook that vanilla fire productions decided to do at the Luxe Summit. What a lovely tribute to an extraordinary man that means so much to so many people. Thanks to you, Aunt Raqui, Uncle Ed's legacy lives on.
One short but meaningful story I'd like to share with you via email is the time you and Uncle Ed came to Windsor for my high school graduation in 2001. I remember Uncle Ed congratulating me after my convocation had concluded and as Uncle Ed and I were walking alone and heading towards the car to go to the Windsor Casino for dinner, I had just briefly expressed how amazed I felt how quickly my high school years had past. Uncle Ed quickly responded and said, "Danny, don't think about that, there are bigger and better things waiting for you". Those are words that I will never forget. Another moment which I will never forget is how that same evening we parked a long ways away from the Windsor Casino because it was the same night that Canada and the U.S celebrate our nations beginnings with fireworks and all of downtown was packed. The four of us were together and we decided to walk all the way to the Casino. I remember you worrying about Uncle Ed and the long walk that lied ahead but Uncle Ed never thought twice about the walk. In fact, not only did Uncle Ed make his way to the casino with apparent ease, he was walking at my pace in front of you, Mom and Dad until we made our way to the Riverside Grill. Along the way, Uncle Ed and I shared stories, made small talk and it's a moment in my memory of Uncle Ed that I cherish and will never forget.
Uncle Ed meant so many things to so many people. To me, Uncle Ed represents the Grandfather I never had. I always loved sharing his story with friends and family. I will never forget all of the simple yet important life lessons Uncle Ed so graciously shared with me. There is no question that being a part of Uncle Ed's life contributed to my coming of age and his story continues to influence me today.
I love you so much and I applaud your dedication and hard work that you place on all of your projects. God bless you Aunt Raqui. I am also so happy Mom, Dad and Aunt Judy are able to be there with you for these exciting and special events. Please know, Amy and I are with you all in spirit.
Love and prayers,
Dr. Stephen Ancowitz, retired Navy Captain and Head of the VA Dentistry wrote:
Sorry I'm so late replying to your email. The event was less a story than observation. I went to lunch with Ed and I strongly suggested to Ed that I should drive. But, Ed overturned my request and got his way. He drove. We were driving back to the VA from lunch and Ed was discussing his peripheral vision problems. Of course, I was getting concerned while we were making a left turn from San Vicente Blvd. to Wilshire Blvd. Ed didn't negotiate the turn that well and two co-eds in a BMW looked at him in a disdainful way from the adjacent lane. I wondered what they would say if I could tell them what Ed Ramsey meant to their lives.
Paula Levy, wife of Dr. Meldon Levy (Ed's doctor) wrote:
I was very touched to hear all the tributes to Ed at the brunch. They were beautiful and, because I did not have the pleasure of knowing Ed well, it gave me a much broader look at the man he was. I had the urge to stand up and comment at the end, although it was not a personal reflection: that among heroes, we are not surprised to find traits of courage, selflessness, intellectual prowess, moral clarity, and the focused view that there is a bigger good than their own lives; but Ed reflected a rare trait, not common among heroes, especially war heroes: the de-personalization of his own suffering at the hands of others, or better said, the deep understanding that his own targeting by the "enemy" worked in both directions, and since his own "job" targeted others, he was able to depersonalize his own suffering at the hands of others. So, in his ability to forgive, and move forward in a conciliatory manner with the very same enemy of earlier times, he epitomizes forgiveness, reconciliation, and rebuilding that takes both sides in a positive direction. That trait, to me, is a rare one. A trait not seen in many heroes.
Randy Vierling, Oklahoma Military Academy Hall of Fame, President of the Board and Alumni Association wrote:
As I reflect and recall the memory of Ed Ramsey it can best be described in my thoughts the first time I met him at an Oklahoma Military Academy Reunion. After I was around him for a short time and experienced his gentle persona, I asked myself, is this him, is this the man I have read about, and listened to discussions about for years? Is this the man who led tens of thousands against an unspeakably violent and cruel enemy in a hostile jungle environment for years?
Of course the answer was yes, though you wouldn’t hear it from him. What an honor and privilege to have had time with him and to see him inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame and to attend the Premiere of his Movie “Never Surrender".
Also I look forward with great anticipation being part of Ed receiving the highest honor the Oklahoma Military Academy bestows. The William E. Potts Award of Excellence. In the 51 year history of the Academy and over ten thousand Cadets Ed will be only the 5th Cadet to receive this honor.
I can summarize my impression of Ed in 14 words. A WARRIOR AND A PATRIOT WRAPPED UP IN A CLOAK OF GENTLENESS AND HUMILITY.
"Before he was born he was hand picked by God to accomplish an impossible mission and when he arrived back on heavens doorstep there is no doubt in my mind the
Lord greeted him with a declaration of “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Love you Raqui! Thank you for keeping the legacy of this great man alive.
*“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
- Written by the great Warrior King David in Psalm 139 Verse 16
The brunch was lovely. I enjoyed time with Shelley and Richard, and seeing familiar faces! I especially loved seeing Alona (sp?). She looks so good! So precious. The food was wonderful and the music sublime. The songs were gorgeous. And lastly, but central, to see you in your element, with joy in remembrance and pleasure in honoring Ed's memory.
Thank you so much.
Shelly Kale wrote:
When I first met Ed Ramsey in 1989, I could not have imagined a friendship with Ed and Raqui lasting nearly 30 years!
The day was lovely, though I couldn’t tell you the exact month or date. But it was the place that is most important to this story: the polo field at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. I had come not only to meet Ed, whose manuscript I would be editing and which would be first published the following year as Lieutenant Ramsey’s War. It was also a chance for me, along with Ed’s coauthor Stephen Rivele, to learn about the passion that had started Ed down a road he never imagined he would take: from the Cavalry R.O.T.C unit at the Oklahoma Military Academy to the jungles of Luzon, Philippines. It was a road that tested his resolve and heroism and led to a busy postwar life as a decorated World War II hero in both the United States and Philippines.
But on that day at the polo field, Ed’s startling and inspirational story remained in the past. Steve and I each had brought our young sons to watch the games and we enjoyed being spectators of this uncommon sport. As Ed rattled on about chukkers, mallets, and polo ponies, I remember trying to pay attention to the rules of the game while making sure my son Ben did not wander onto the polo field and into the path of fast-moving horses in pursuit of a goal.
Recently, I learned from an interview Ed gave to the California State Military Museum that the last polo game he played, in the mid-1960s, was on the Will Rogers polo field. Sadly, he was badly injured and never played again. The man who had led the last horse cavalry charge in U.S. history-at the Battle of Morong, Bataan, Philippines, on January 16, 1942-had played his last polo match.
But there were other joys and passions in Ed’s very long life-a life lived well and filled with purpose, values, happiness, and above all, love.