Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day is a day for remembering American military servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, of the 34 members of the extended Reilly-Douglas-Sayes-Davis families who have served in the military, we remember 3 of them today:

My younger brother, BT3 Lawrence John Reilly Jr. USN, was one of the 74 men lost in the sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754) on June 3, 1969.

BT3 Lawrence John Reilly Jr. USN … September 22, 1948 — June 3, 1969

The Evans was participating in a SEATO training exercise during a brief respite from gunline duties off the coast of Vietnam. My Dad, GMCM Lawrence John Reilly Sr. (USN Ret) was one of the survivors of the collision, barely escaping from the sinking front half of the ship.

I have blogged here several times on the efforts of the USS Frank E. Evans Association and others to have the names of The Lost 74 added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, thus far to no avail.

One of my father’s uncles, Stephen John Otten, fought with the US Army in Europe during World War I. He received a Purple Heart after being gassed and several years later died as a result of the injuries to his lungs.

Going back even further on my wife’s side of the family, one of her ancestors, John Calvin Busby, was killed in action during the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. He was one of nine family members who fought in the Civil War, eight of them in the Confederate Army.

Unfortunately, I do not have photos of either Stephen Otten or John Busby and do not know any of the details of their military service.

Today is also a day to remember two other groups of veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice … The Lost 74 of the Frank E. Evans …

The Lost 74 of the USS Frank E. Evans (DD754) … Lost at Sea June 3, 1969

… and the 30 of my West Point classmates who were killed in Vietnam.

USMA Class of 1967 ... KIA Vietnam

On this Memorial Day, I salute all of these men … John, Stephen & Larry … The Lost 74 … and my 30 West Point classmates.

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Pepperdine University School of Law Class of 1975

Forty years ago today, I graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law, marking the start of my career as a California lawyer. Pepperdfine Univesity School of Law Diploma 750524 MediumBecause it was necessary for me to work full time while attending law school, I took most of my classes in the Pepperdine night school program … when I started in 1971, we attended classes in a small former commercial building on Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove, with each classroom in what had been a small store … while the law school administrative office and law library were located in a former office building across the street from the classrooms.

Night school meant taking a somewhat smaller class load each semester … but also taking four years to graduate, rather than the three years that full-time attendance required.

The summer before my third year, the law school moved to Anaheim, occupying what had been the Buzza-Cardoza warehouse and manufacturing facility … this was a definite improvement, but I graduated in May before the law school opened its new … and beautiful … campus on a hillside above Malibu. Pepperdine University School of Law campusIn part because I was the President of the Student Bar Association during my third year (1973-74) … Pepperdine University School of Law Student Bar Assocaition President Plaque 1973-74 High… I was fortunate to have had a close working relationship with the Dean of the law school, Charles F. Phillips. I also had several excellent professors, including James McGoldrick … about whom I wrote here …

… Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Vincent Dalsimer … and the District Attorney of Orange County, Cecil Hicks. Within a few minutes of the start of my first class in criminal law, I knew that I wanted to practice criminal law … and to work for Cecil as a deputy district attorney … a desire I was able to fulfill shortly after learning the following December that I had passed the California bar exam.

Despite working full time … and being active in the student bar association and the law school’s moot court competition … I managed to maintain a spot on the Dean’s Honor Roll …

Pepperdine University School of Law Dean's Honor Roll Certificate Academic Year 1972-73… to graduate cum laude (#3 in my class) … and to win five American Jurisprudence Awards for standing first in my class in the subjects of contracts, torts, constitutional law, conflict of laws and labor law. Pepperdine University School of Law American Jurisprudence Award Constitutional Law 1973Although my team finished 2nd in the 1975 Pepperdine Moot Court Competition, I received the Vincent J. Dalsimer Award as the Top Advocate in the competition … and was added to the Pepperdine team which competed in the 1975 Roger J. Traynor State Moot Court Competition.

Pepperdine University School of Law Roger J. Traynor California Moot Court Competition Certificate 1975My law school experience was, in some ways, very difficult, as it meant long hours and little free time, not even on weekends … but it was also an incredibly rewarding four years, during which I received a solid foundation for the profession I have practiced ever since.

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Happy Mother’s Day 2015

Wishing all of the mothers in the combined and extended Reilly-Douglas-Sayes-Davis family a Happy Mother’s Day today. Sadly, since we last celebrated Mother’s Day, we lost two matriarchs of the family. Robin “Mimi” Sayes, mother of Thomas “Trey” Sayes, Candy Sayes Davis, Morgan Sayes and Summer Sayes Purvis, died peacefully while napping during the afternoon of October 16, 2014, at her home in San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico, at the age of 89. And Ruth Guzinski, mother of Sue Thomas and grandmother of Jeff Thomas, and Gary, Larry and Angela Reposa, died on March 1, 2015, also at the age of 89. So we’re remembering them today, along with the other mothers who are no longer with us … Marion Thomas Reilly, mother of myself, Larry Reilly Jr., Jerry Reilly, Luanne Reilly Oda and Suzie Reilly; Dorothy Hardy Douglas, mother of Sandy Douglas Reilly, Penny Douglas and Mike Douglas; and Sandy Reilly, mother of my children, Douglas Reilly, Matt Reilly, Larisa Reilly Thomas and Sean Reilly. We love and miss them all.


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