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Memorial Day – Liberty – Freedom

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Today is Memorial Day. A day for silent prayers and warm remembrance. On this day we honor our heroes and warriors, American men and women who died in military service to their country. It was started to honor Union soldiers who died during the Civil War, but now includes those who died in any war or military action.

Memorial Day is not limited to honor only those Americans from the armed forces. It is also a day for personal remembrance. Memorial Day is a time to honor those who gave their lives for our country and to remember loved ones we have lost. Memorial Day is a great day to spend reading your family history and learning about your ancestors, especially those who died in the line of battle.

Memorial Day is meant to be a solemn occasion, a uniquely military holiday – the only one that honors fallen soldiers. But since the first one on May 30, 1868, a little after the Civil War (then known as “Decoration Day”) when flowers were placed on the graves of soldiers from both the North and the South, Memorial Day’s quiet reverence has slowly been lost to the noise of commerce and the American pursuit of recreation.

Talk to your children and grand children about what the day is about. Don’t glorify war, but give the veterans of wars the glory they deserve and earned, some of them with their lives. Consider it a teachable moment, should you be a parent or grand parent, an opportunity to explain to your children and grand children what freedom and liberty really mean. Explain to them that declared independence brought with it a need for the loyalty of patriots willing to die so that we could reap the benefits of their dedication.

Memorial Day is a time to pause and reflect on those who have paid the ultimate price in the service of our great country. Unfortunately, too many Americans view it as the first long weekend of summer.

Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation’s thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country. Memorial Day is a day to remember. Too often we go about our daily lives never giving any thought to why we are able to enjoy all the liberties that we do.

Today is for those service members/veterans who can only be “remembered” because they are no longer with us. Today they are honored with the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, and by religious services, parades, and speeches nationwide. Flags, insignia, and flowers are placed on the graves of veterans in local cemeteries. Memorial Day is when we, wear our poppies, fly our Flags and place flowers and flags on the graves of Military Personnel. We all need to take time to remember the Human sacrifice it has taken to establish and maintain this great Nation of ours … America.

Memorial Day is a solemn and sacred day. We need to remember with sincere respect those who paid the price for our freedoms. I sincerely hope people are grateful and thankful for what our military men and women have done for us. Memorial Day is a time of remembrance and observance of the brave men and women who have served (and continue to serve) our country today and throughout the years.

We, in the Western World, sometimes take for granted the lifestyle we have, the democracy, the freedom. Memorial Day is a day of honoring sacrifice, but specifically the ultimate sacrifice that too many of our men and women of service have had to make. I want people, especially our veterans, to know that the nobility and value of such a day is not totally lost on this generation of privilege.

How do you spend the day?

Do you pause for a moment of silence?

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7 comments to Memorial Day – Liberty – Freedom

  • RandySeely

    For many people, Memorial Day is a time for picnics, boating, enjoying a longer weekend, and kicking off the upcoming fun-filled summer. Today, I just got home from the Memorial Day observance at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery; a wonderful few hours indeed! Sure…it’s a day of speeches from politicians and public officials who want to be sure to get their share of ‘face time’ on the local news, but it’s also a time…for me and my family…to be reminded of the sacrifices made by those who are gone…and those who are serving today! I retired in 1986 after serving 20 years in the USAF…and during today’s observance, I couldn’t help but be proud of maintaining a ‘connection’ with people…years past and today…who are stepping up to serve. I salute all SaigonKids who are serving or have served, and I salute the families of those who have stood by in support of loved ones who are sometimes put into harm’s way! Have a safe and reflective Memorial Day!

  • Mike Dunn

    I live in San Antonio, Texas, home of the Spurs, and also, home of Brooke Army Medical Center, at Fort Sam Houston. Sometimes this city is referred to as “Military City”. The Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery is here and it’s almost filled up. My Mom and Dad are buried there. Dad was a young Lieutenant Colonel in WWII. He served with the 4th Cavalry Group. On D-Day, he led a task force that landed on the Isle St. Mare E’Coufe (hope I spelled that right). It was heavily mined and booby-trapped. It was off the Normandy Coast and had to be cleared before the D-Day landing. Dad’s task force lost at least a whole platoon’s worth of men. There were no enemy forces occupying the islands, so it was considered only a “footnote”, according to Cornelius Ryan, author of . I’m sure it’s not a footnote to the families of those men. Everytime I go to Brooke Army Medical Center, I see young soldiers with wounds that would have made us goners in Vietnam. I am proud to know that we have young men and women willing to give their all for our country. I retired from the Army in 1992. I spent the day with my wife, Yen. She made some wonderful chicken fajitas. I noticed that the AMC channel was running a Memorial Marathon of war movies. I caught a little of the Detroit/Boston game, and we went for a 3 mile walk at about 8:00 PM. If I hadn’t read your Memorial Day Message, I wouldn’t have pondered as much about the sacrifices that our country has made and continues to make with the members of our Armed Forces. Thanks for a great message. I have shown a film several times in my classroom about various holidays, and Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day are in there. The film gives the history of how the days of observance came about. So, our younger generations are still getting the message, but it is easy to forget, as you mentioned.

  • Mike Dunn

    Cornelius Ryan is the author of a book named “The Longest Day”. I didn’t know how to underline it, so I put some carets on either side, and it did not print in the note. He did devote two pages to my Dad’s task force action, so, I guess it was more than a footnote in his book. Ryan was referring to history, though.

  • Maile Miller Doyle

    I have just returned from taking my mother to the US Military Academy at West Point to my father’s 70th reunion. There were 7 of his classmates in attendance, several widows of classmates and children and grandchildren. These amazing old soldiers and their families traded memories, were honored at a memorial service in the old Cadet Chapel, had the Corps of Cadets pass in review and observed the oldest living grad (Class of ’33)lay a wreath at the feet of Thayer statue. I was so honored to be there and know my Dad would have loved every minute of the tradtions and ceremonies being passed down the generations.

    We must never forget the sacrifices made and continuing to be made for us to live in our wonderful land of freedom. I have a niece, Caroline Miller, graduating in 2009 from West Point and pray daily for her safety in the coming years as she will possibly be in harm’s way for our country. She is ready, though, and takes her career as a service woman very seriously as do her classmates.

    Thank you, Bob for your message this week. God bless us all and God Bless America.

  • Frank Stoddard

    Mike, About two weeks ago, I returned from Europe. One of our stops was Normandy. At the Caan Museum, I went into the bookstore and read in Cornelius Ryan’s book about your Dad. When we went to Point du Hoc, I looked west and saw two Islands way out in front of Utah Beach. I do not know if they were your Dad’s, but I thought long and hard about their struggle… “The Greatest Generation”.
    I was not planning on taking kids on any more tours, but the company I go through has a special next year called the 65th Anniversary of D-Day. We’ll be going to London … taking an over night ferry from Portsmouth to Caan… We’ll then be there for the 65th Anniversary memorial at Omaha Beach. From there we’ll go to Paris … Bastogne ..and on to Brussels (12 days in all).
    Gosh, I was exactly four months old when D-Day took place. Where did it all go?

  • This Memorial Day weekend Arlene and David Claiborne are driving from New Orleans to visit Bob and me in Houston. We’ll get to see their reunion pictures and hear about the fun Saigon reunion. It’s always wonderful being together and catching up. I do reflect on my relatives that have served. My great aunts Gladys and Irene were donut girsls with the Salvation Army that served on the front
    lines during World War I, my Mom and Dad who served with the medical corps in World War II, and my Dad’s brother Alan who died on the beach in Anzio, Italy. Cathie leaves for Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in July so we will enjoy visiting her before she goes. I hope you all have a great weekend! Lynn McIntyre Riley

  • William R. Sheehan

    GOD bless all of you!

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