Happy Memorial Day

Best wishes to all on this Memorial Day. It is a sobering holiday as we continue to lose men and women abroad in countries like Afghanistan. The cost to these heroes and their families is a debt that we can never fully repay. However, as we enjoy the time with our families, it is a day that reminds us of what they have given to us in their service to this country.

President Obama has been pushing to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan over objections from Afghan leaders, a campaign that continued with his visit on Memorial Day with our troops.

I will not repeat my objections to the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We can disagree on such wars while joining together on this day to honor the warriors.

Thank you to all of our contributors and regulars who have served or have children or spouses serving this country. Best wishes for a safe and joyful holiday.

20 thoughts on “Happy Memorial Day”

  1. I pray that soldiers of all ages who’ve survived war tell everyone they can all about the realities of their experience, the insanity of war and its senseless violence and destruction. So that we may stop repeating it.

  2. Of the six Marines in that famous picture, three were killed in action on Iwo Jima within a few days of the flag-raising.

    We should also remember the 6,800 other American servicemen killed during the battle for Iwo Jima.

  3. it’s been said this is the day we remember those that gave up their tomorrows so we could have our todays.so today we say no prayer for ourselves for it is memorial day. so let us lift and forever remember those that gave that final full measure of duty,their honor lives on

  4. DO,
    You are right. We have to make sure we do not let anyone forget about the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf, no matter what you think of the particular war or military action.
    Every day is a Memorial Day around here. When a family loses a loved one to the tragedy called war, thoughts of them and their fellow airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines and all military personnel, are a daily occurrence.

  5. Thanks, Prof. You have a happy one, too.

    Meantime, we’ll be keeping it civil here and let you enjoy your cheeseburger and brahtwurst.

  6. Why are U.S. troops (and foreign proxies) engaged in any foreign military actions? WHO benefits from all of the deaths and devastation that our country
    inflicts in so many places around the globe?

    Unless and until we begin to ask and understand these things, we will all continue to bear the high costs far into the future. Do Wall Street bankers and major corporations promote “hegemony for profit”?

  7. Today I reflect on how mislead and wasted American veterans are. Callous leaders have sacrificed them …. in the name of ambition. Freedom was not saved… it was endangered. Some veterans were daring & brave … some were were following orders … some of them pushed pencils at a desk …. some cleaned latrines …… but all of them get described as heroes. In fact, some of them were sneaky , vicious criminals …. killers … rapists … torturers.

    Memorial day is a day to pledge to quit making veterans…. by ending America’s obsession with being the world’s policeman. Quit turning Americans into corpses , physical cripples , mental cripples , whining leeches lying about their service record.

    I don’t want to study war no more. #AmygdalaFantasies

  8. Memorial Day… a day to remember those who sacrifice/(d) for us, and a day to pray.

  9. A friend of mine is a chaplain in Afghanistan. His wife posted this morning:
    “Just Skyped John in Iraq and he shared with me the story of one of the men there who has been walking all day in 107º heat around the perimeter of the compound for a goal of 57 times to honor the 57 soldiers he personally knew who died in Afghanistan with a 57 pound pack on his back. John has been rallying some people to walk with him. This truly embodies what Memorial Day is all about. Very humbling. . . .”
    A couple hours later, John added:
    “Morale around here has been low lately, and due to a lot of nastiness and backbiting, it has been a difficult time here lately. So, Kyle started doing his walk this afternoon, and got 18 laps into it when he had to be pulled from the course and sent to the ER with an IV for heat exhaustion, but another took over, and after four laps, he was taken from the course. Same thing. Flushed, dry, tacky, etc and others took over and soon everyone had a lap carrying the flag and wearing the heavy vest and many others tagged along. Finally, at around 1930, pretty much the entire clinic went as a group for the last lap, and we all gathered in a circle after for a moment of silence. It is good to do that here in Baghdad.”

  10. Memorial Day.

    Most of us will spend the weekend grilling burgers and visiting with relatives, or lounging on a beach somewhere, or watching a baseball game in an opulent stadium, overpriced beer and hot dog in hand. And most of us will have forgotten the meaning of the day.

    So when you partake in your Memorial Day festivities this weekend, try to remember a few things.

    When the smoke from the grill blows into your eyes, try to imagine the terror of the young pilot as the smoke fills the cockpit of his F4 Wildcat, spiraling into the sea off Guadalcanal.

    When you sample those pork ribs, remember the Iowa farm boy whose life blood stained the surf at Normandy.

    When you eat a bite of potato salad, think of an Idaho preacher’s kid who died with a prayer on his lips, asking God to forgive him for the enemy soldiers’ lives he had taken.

    While you enjoy the warm summer sun on your face, take a moment to think of the frozen bodies of American soldiers strapped to jeeps and tanks at the Chosin Reservoir.

    When you welcome your niece’s new boyfriend to the table, remember the black kid from Mississippi who died right beside his white buddies in Vietnam, though he wasn’t even allowed to eat in the same restaurants back home.

    When you scold your misbehaving grandchild, think of the little boy whose only knowledge of his father will come from stories told by family, because Daddy died on a dusty street in Fallujah while he was still in the womb.

    When you fetch your wife another glass of tea, think of a young wife living in base housing at Fort Benning, as she hears the news that her husband died at Ia Drang.

    When you invite Grandpa to say grace before the meal, think of young men cut down by a hail of fire from a Maxim at Belleau Wood.

    When you reflect with pride on your daughter’s recent graduation, think of a young woman cartwheeling into the sea in her F14 Tomcat after a failed carrier landing.

    When you look with distaste at the tattoos on her new boyfriend, think instead of the former gang kid from Detroit who found a way up and out of poverty in the Army, only to die from an IED blast in Baghdad. And remind yourself that what matters is how he treats your daughter, not the ink on his arms.

    Whilst you enjoy your beer and bratwurst, remember the 19 -year-old Army private who died in a training accident in Grafenwohr in 1960, one of many young men who knew they’d be little more than a speed bump should the Russians ever come pouring through the Fulda Gap. Yet still, they served.

    When you sit at the table, think of a Navy Captain, a husband and father, who died at his Pentagon desk on September 11. His death was no less honorable.

    If you’re traveling today, think of the passengers of United Flight 93, for in a field outside Shanksville they became the first soldiers in our war on terror.

    When your boys fight, as boys will do, remember the boys on both sides who died at Gettysburg.

    If a loved one can’t make it to the gathering today, think of Mrs. Bixby and her five sons.

    While your kids play in the pool this afternoon, think of other kids not much older, trapped below decks as the Arizona went under at Pearl Harbor.

    If you have bemoaned the layoffs of friends and co-workers in today’s economy, think of the Navy SEAL who lost every single one of his teammates on a rainy night in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

    When you take a shower tonight, think of young men reeking of machine oil and sweat, desperately trying, and failing, to surface their wounded submarine somewhere in the Pacific in 1943.

    **********

    I tell you of these things not to spoil your appetite or your day, but to remind you that the things we enjoy in our lives are made all the sweeter when you consider what made them possible.

    Remind yourself also that your sacrifice is infinitely easier. All you need do is sacrifice a moment of your time every few years to pull a lever. The way to honor a dead soldier is not simply to fly a flag on Memorial Day. Vote to preserve the freedoms they died defending. Elect leaders worthy of those rough young men and women who stand ready to do violence on your behalf.

    And stop by your local Veteran’s Cemetery and put out some flowers on the grave of your choice. It need not even be the grave of someone you know.

    Bring your children along, and explain to them why. It’s important. Now more than ever.

    Kelly Grayson: http://www.ambulancedriverfiles.com/2014/05/25/memorial-day-5/

  11. War is a perversion of life, but we are cursed with it for the long run it would seem.

    So sorry for the suffering of the victims of wars.

  12. Not sure I can agree that this should be mentioned a a happy day, if you remember the origins of this day.

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