I’ll update this a post a few times today. Other blogging will be light or saved for Tuesday. Feel free to send links to your posts or interesting Memorial Day finds.
I drove up and parked on the only lot left open for those of us who work at the building. In front of me, an older man got out of his red truck and smiled at me. I smiled as I locked my car and he looked as if he wanted to say something to me. Being in uniform, and this upcoming Monday being what it is, I figured he’d want to thank me for my service. And he did. Then he told me that he was the father of one of the soldiers recently killed in the ambush which took the lives of so many. I was speechless. What in the hell could I say to fill that void- The endless pause between sentences? I asked him to wait just a moment. I walked to my car, opened the trunk and got out the extra KIA WIA shirt I had bought (with no idea who I was going to give it to.) I showed it to the man and told him it was nothing, but that it seemed fitting to give it to him. The old man choked back tears and gave me a great big hug. My eyes burned, my throat hurt.. I had no idea what to do but hug this father back.
There is nothing in this world like a soldier fighting and dying for his beliefs, his country, his family and his friends. Or, even more, for the freedom of another country full of people he’ll never meet.
Thyme for Cooking
The marker identifies him as a “fighter pilot”. He was killed here on March 21, 1944 “Fighting the Germans to liberate our land.” “We do not forget him” Above the memorial fly the flags; both of them. There are memorials like this all over France. French people are not forgetting their history.
From early childhood, I would go to the cemetaries with Mama, and sometimes Aunt Flo, on Memorial Day to put flowers on all of the local family graves. Some were veterans, most were not. My father, my lost baby brother, Mama’s lost baby brother and five year old sister. Grandparents and great grandparents, aunts, uncles. It was a solemn time, a time of remembrance. One year, when I was in my 30s, we went and Mama had to search for my brother Storm’s grave and I broke down — there is something of total despair to looking for an infant in a grave yard.
The TGO Zone
These Fine people fought so YOU can enjoy your freedom. All the stuff we take for granted everyday was made possible by these men and women. Also Let’s not forget the fine Soliders who are still alive and fighting for our country, No matter how you feel about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan you should still think of the fine shoulders and what they are doing for YOU. Bow your head in a moment of silence and rememberance. Go to A US Military cemetary and drop flowers at some grave sites, Give to a US Military charity, just do something because we owe them a lot and I don’t think we realize just how much.
Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna
Everyone should experience a small town Memorial Day. It will remind you to honor those who gave their lives for our freedom. And even those who served. God bless our veterans and those now serving throughout the world.
Memorial Day seems to take on a much more sober tone when the names that are read off are people you knew; as a kid I knew why memorial day existed but mostly it was a day off from school. Ask, most people and they will say its the day the pools open. I was reading an article recently about Warriors’ Walk at Fort Stewart. Due, to the current deployment they will have to expand the walk again to make room for the fallen. The Warriors’ Walk is a memorial to 3ID soldiers who have fallen in since OIF I. Each fallen Soldier is marked by a tree and a marker, a light shines on each tree at night. The memorials help remind people who may not have those memories. You remember the person and what effect and impression they had on you. That is true, no matter if a Soldier or a civilian, only the manner of their death is different. One would hope that when I die, and we all do, that I will have had a postive effect on those that met me and that I will be remembered. Memorial Day is suppost to be that time for all Soldiers who have given, no matter the conflict or the politics.
Not only on this day but each day, I genuinely want to remember the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces to protect the values and freedom of this country. Thank you. The United States is far from a perfect country but nevertheless, it is an incredible nation. I am a grateful and proud citizen. But that is precisely my point. Because it is such a great nation, much is to be expected. May the leaders of this country be immensely wise, humble, and discerning as it seeks to carry its role and voice in the larger world.
The Reagan Wing
As they fought and died for us on distant shores, so it is our duty to fight on our own shores in their memory, to preserve, protect and defend freedom here at home.
Law Librarian Blog
Let’s Also Remember Our Troops in Country.
The Moderate Voice
U.S. Lieutenant Kurt Klein passed from this life five years ago last month at the age of 81. I’m a Catholic and we say to those who have died whom we have respected greatly: ‘May you live forever.’ My ability to spell in Yiddish is pretty tenuous, but for Lieutenant Klein I’d might also say: Lang leben zolt ir… May you live long… but that would be redundant. Some beings are already eternal.
Today is Memorial Day, 2007. Today is a day that is more than barbecues and special sales at your local shopping malls though I’d imagine that if you ask most of the people out and about today they’d believe otherwise. A very sad statement to be sure. I’d like to ask that everyone take a moment to think of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces that we’ve lost in the past, and also of those that are currently serving our country both locally and abroad. As a veteran myself, I thank those in the past who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and those in the present for their service and dedication to our country.
On Friday, May 25th, 2007, Private First Class Casey Zylman, age 22, of Coleman, Michigan died of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Tal Afar, Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schoefield Barracks, Hawaii. He is one of the 3,426 US servicemen that have given their lives for us in Iraq as of May 27, 2007.
If you’re out and about today, have a safe and happy Memorial Day. And please don’t forget what Memorial Day is all about, and take time to honor the men and women of our armed services who have given their lives for all of us.
Don’t forget to pause today at 3pm for the national moment of remembrance.
Don’t forget to have FUN! That is part and parcel of what they bought for us. Just make sure your children understand the meaning of the holiday extends beyond the end of school and opening of the pool! And that you remember that, too…
If you’re fortunate enough to live in the nation that remains the last best hope for freedom then do those things this weekend that bring you joy. Cook out. Travel. Be with friends and family. Eat, drink, and be merry. If you have a moment, a toast to those who’ve made it possible would be fine. You honor their sacrifice by living well.
Right-Thinking from the Left Coast
Memorial Day has gone from a day of solemn remembrance to a three-day weekend of barbecues, retail sales, and a celebration of the start of summer. There are efforts to restore to Memorial Day the solemnity and dignity that it deserves, sponsored by Daniel Inouye of Hawaii (a WWII Medal of Honor recipient) which you can read about here.
If you feel that you should do more, you may want to take a look at one of my favorite organizations – the Special Operations Warrior Foundation – which helps care for the families of Special Operation soldiers who have died in the line of duty (combat, training, etc.). Primarily providing for educational needs, SOWF also provides financial assistance in the form of grants for families.
The Global Conservative
To my grandfather, all those who have served, and all the brave men and women serving now in the defense of this great country; thank you and God bless.
There is something fundamentally sacred that attaches to those who have given their lives for this great nation, and consequently I tend to think that Memorial Day is as close to a religious holiday as any secular holiday can possibly be. The appellation “holy day” rarely seems as appropriate. But mere gratitude doesn’t seem to me to be enough — to honor those who have fallen, we must truly memorialize them, committing their sacrifices to memory and never ever forgetting them.
There are 85,000 veterans and family members interned at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, including 22 Medal of Honor recipients. It is right and proper for us to honor their memory. But you don’t have to wait for someone to die to say “thank you.”
To the men and women who will serve our country in the future, I say, look at those who have gone before you. Remember their service and courage, and do not tarnish their sacrifices. You have a lot to live up to, but learn from and follow their example, and you will be the next generation in the unbroken line of bravery, honor and compassion.
La Shawn Barber
The enemies of freedom and civility will never stop envying and hating this country, nor will they cease trying to destroy it. But as long as we’re willing to protect ourselves against whatever threatens our freedom and sovereignty, the deaths of the fallen will not have been in vain.
Grateful thanks to all active-duty and former US military personnel from here, and a respectful nod to the eternal spirit of those who gave that last measure of devotion to preserve the blessings of liberty for the rest of us. May we as a nation continue to live up to and honor your sacrifice.
Grouchy Old Cripple
For Memorial Day, I’m gonna whip up some potato salad and barbeque a pork steak. I live in Georgia, but I’m having a typical St. Louis type cookout. I will take some time during the day to think of all the people who have served and are currently serving. That includes Dan S. and SSG DAVE WALLACH. Thanks guys and thanks to everyone else who has served. All of you have helped to make this the greatest country on the planet. Those of us privileged to live in the Red State Heartland are behind you all the way.
Axis of Right
While Memorial Day has become a beach holiday, “official start of summer”, a big retail sales day, and a weekend of blockbuster movies and barbecues, we sometimes forget that on this day we remember those who have fallen in the line of duty while defending our nation. They deserve our highest honor for making the biggest, most noble sacrifice for us all. So on behalf of all of us here at Axis of Right, we extend to all the families and comrades of our fallen soldiers our sorrow, pride and best wishes on this most solemn of holidays. We cannot thank you enough for your sacrifice.
Let us remember and pray for all members of the armed forces who had died while serving their country. Let us remember and pray for all members of the armed forces who are currently serving their country, whether in the United States or overseas.
Approximately twenty years ago Tejanos in Action started fixing up the cemetery and handling the burials of indigent veterans. In early May Tejanos in Action asked me to speak at this year’s Memorial Day ceremony, held today, May 28. At events like these I always wonder what I need to say–but I know what I must say. They asked me to wear my uniform– it was raining so I wore my DCUs instead of greens. My wife also tagged along– she was dressed to the nines, despite the bad weather. Note the mother of Lance-Corporal Nicholas S. Perez, USMC, was in attendance. Lance-Corporal Perez was killed in action on September 3, 2004, in Iraq. (He was 19 years old.) My wife and Mrs. Valdez had a nice chat before the service. A number of Lance-Corporal Perez’ family members and friends also came. They wore t-shirts with his picture on it.
The Adventures of Chester
While journalists may conceitedly tell themselves that they write the “first draft of history,” I predict that future cultural historians will spend much more time reading milblog archives than they will the archives of any newspaper. Why is this the case? Perhaps other arenas of cultural expression are too corporate, too top-down-dictated, too stale to offer such raw, unrefined opinion on the war. Well, this Memorial Day, I’d like to light a fire under you by bringing to the blogosphere some of the best folk music from World War II.
It seems the young man was not a citizen, but he’d signed up anyway. The father showed some sort of memorial statuette of the twin towers that he owned, and he pointed to it and said that the son had been greatly affected by 9/11, and determined to join and serve. The father said he’d asked his son, if he had to join up, why couldn’t he be something like a cook? But the son had said no; he felt he needed to do more than that. Then the father went over to an American flag he had on his wall, and put his finger on one of the red stripes, and said something like this (only far more eloquently), “When I see this red stripe, it symbolizes the blood of my son and all the others who died so that we could be free–because freedom isn’t free.”
Regardless of the correctness of the decisions that lead our soldiers into war, we can all acknowledge that there have been incredible acts of sacrifice, bravery, and heroism. Today we salute the memories of those who have given their lives (not lost them – given them, through their willingness to serve, for all men and women in combat know there is a chance they will have to sacrifice all). May we reflect on their gift not just this one day, but every day…
Please take a moment during your day of barbeques, beach traffic, golf or whathaveyou to recall, and honor, the sacrifices of so many who have given their lives to secure for all of us the blessings of liberty.
Cop The Truth
It seems odd to me that a nation that owes so much to its veterans only recognizes their sacrifice but a few days a year. It amazes me that, even in time of war, so few Americans actually take the time to honor or thank the brave men and women that have kept us free for some 230 years.
LCDR Tammy Swofford, USNR, NC
Silently we move, the bundle of the living military which remains. Never denying our oath. Never forgetting those who have already paid the ultimate price. Mindful of the families left behind. Silently we stand. A massive shield of defense for America. God Bless our Troops.