Best wishes to all on this Memorial Day. It is a sobering holiday as we think of all of the brave men and women that we have lost around the world. I went this morning for dawn hike on Billy Goat trail for a quiet start of the day as the sun was coming up over the Potomac. It was glorious.

My family was fortunate to have my father, Jack Turley, make it back from the Pacific in World War II. So many did not. It is hard to articulate the debt that we owe those families of the soldiers, sailors, Marines, coast guardsmen, airmen, and Merchant Marines who gave “the last full measure of devotion” to this country. We always make sure that our kids do not think of this day as simply another free school day but rather a time to remember those who gave so much to us and our country.

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.

45 thoughts on “HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY”

  1. Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.[1][5]

    Dwight Eisenhower, 16Apr1953


    Eisenhower’s words ring truer today 62 years later as the US government wastes in excess of $1 trillion of our tax dollars on war year in year out. The US government is also directly responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of innocent civilians through the use of indiscriminate saturation bombing, sanctions levied, chemical warfare, nuclear/radiological warefare


    Honor our veterans and active duty service people by never again allowing them to be used as a lying politicians cannon-fodder or some heel-clicking generals next promotion. We owe it to our fallen loved ones, upon whose shoulders we today stand, to honor our obligations as American citizens by holding the lying politicians and heel-clicking generals accountable.

    Not one more life for lying politicians or heel-clicking generals.

  2. frank….that was when? Every one was going to be reimbersed ten fold for the box nasty. Hence the chief slipping you the money back. Our all volunteer force might volunteer…..but their wives don’t…..as queers will tell you you can’t help who you love…..this memorial day I hope we quit giving lip service to living military families…..i mean making them do dbids was cruel….tracking their comissarry purchases is unamerican. The key spouse program is nothing short of hitler’s dream…..if we really wanted to ‘recognize’ troops we wouldn’t make their families fodder for social engineering then tell them to stfu.

  3. A bit of history:

    In his book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, Professor David W. Blight made the case for Charleston, South Carolina, as Memorial Day’s birthplace, as that city was the site of an obscure (possibly suppressed) May 1865 event held at a racetrack turned war prison, during which freedmen properly reburied hundreds of Union dead found there and then held a ceremony to dedicate the cemetery:
    African Americans founded Decoration Day at the graveyard of 257 Union soldiers labeled “Martyrs of the Race Course,” May 1, 1865, Charleston, South Carolina.

    The “First Decoration Day,” as this event came to be recognized in some circles in the North, involved an estimated ten thousand people, most of them black former slaves. During April, twenty-eight black men from one of the local churches built a suitable enclosure for the burial ground at the Race Course. In some ten days, they constructed a fence ten feet high, enclosing the burial ground, and landscaped the graves into neat rows. The wooden fence was whitewashed and an archway was built over the gate to the enclosure. On the arch, painted in black letters, the workmen inscribed “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

    At nine o’clock in the morning on May 1, the procession to this special cemetery began as three thousand black schoolchildren (newly enrolled in freedmen’s schools) marched around the Race Course, each with an armload of roses and singing “John Brown’s Body.” The children were followed by three hundred black women representing the Patriotic Association, a group organized to distribute clothing and other goods among the freedpeople. The women carried baskets of flowers, wreaths, and crosses to the burial ground. The Mutual Aid Society, a benevolent association of black men, next marched in cadence around the track and into the cemetery, followed by large crowds of white and black citizens.

    All dropped their spring blossoms on the graves in a scene recorded by a newspaper correspondent: “when all had left, the holy mounds — the tops, the sides, and the spaces between them — were one mass of flowers, not a speck of earth could be seen; and as the breeze wafted the sweet perfumes from them, outside and beyond … there were few eyes among those who knew the meaning of the ceremony that were not dim with tears of joy.” While the adults marched around the graves, the children were gathered in a nearby grove, where they sang “America,” “We’ll Rally Around the Flag,” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

    The official dedication ceremony was conducted by the ministers of all the black churches in Charleston. With prayer, the reading of biblical passages, and the singing of spirituals, black Charlestonians gave birth to an American tradition. In so doing, they declared the meaning of the war in the most public way possible — by their labor, their words, their songs, and their solemn parade of roses, lilacs, and marching feet on the old planters’ Race Course.

    After the dedication, the crowds gathered at the Race Course grandstand to hear some thirty speeches by Union officers, local black ministers, and abolitionist missionaries. Picnics ensued around the grounds, and in the afternoon, a full brigade of Union infantry, including Colored Troops, marched in double column around the martyrs’ graves and held a drill on the infield of the Race Course. The war was over, and Memorial Day had been founded by African Americans in a ritual of remembrance and consecration.

  4. forgotwhoiam .. once in a while you say just the right thing. If you earned a CIB, with a Purple Heart, you have my respect, no matter how much we might disagree otherwise. I didn’t earn a CIB, my MOS was Ordnance, however I know without any doubt who kept me alive when working in forward support. Thank all of those in 11B or other 11 MOS’s for that protection.

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