It is an honor to have known Ed for 33 years. As you know Ed Ramsey is one of our great World War II heroes. During his life he managed to touch so many people's lives in a wonderful way. He was extremely proud of his family and loved them dearly. He also cherished his friendships.
I first met Ed in 1980 at the US Embassy in Manila. It was an event honoring our country's military stationed in the Philippines. Guess who was the event's MC? Raqui...of course...but that is another story. At that event I also learned of Ed's distinguished service in the Philippines.
Our friendship blossomed but all good things were put on hold as I received my rotational orders to Washington DC.
My next contact with Ed was 6 years later on a tour boat going from Manila to Corregidor. What were the odds of that happening? Ed was leading a group of World War II veterans on a trip through the Philippines. He took them up to the ship's bow and was explaining important things in Manila Bay and the value of the US Navy's base in Subic Bay. I also had gone up to the bow to look at the bay and decided to listen to Ed. He saw me listening but only gave me a quick glance as he was very involved with the veterans. Anyway, as we left the boat, I went up to Ed and said, "I am Lee"... and that's all I was able to get out! He said, "You sandbagger, you were the Commander of Subic Bay and you let me go on." I quickly said, "but you did a great job." He gave me one of his famous looks and our friendship resumed with much handshaking and laughing.
The one thing I remember most were the deep discussions we had together over the years. We always looked forward to having them, no matter where it was... La Jolla, Los Angeles, Honolulu. Any topic was fair game. No holds were barred and each of us gave our honest opinions. As you know, Ed was never short on honesty or strong opinions.
I could go on, but in closing I want to say: Until we meet again, Ed. God bless.
Lt. Col. Edwin P. Ramsey
Celebration of Life Memorial and Reception
Remarks by RADM Lee Levenson, USN (Ret.)
Former Commander, US Naval Forces, Philippines & Subic Bay