Some died in well known battles. Some in lesser known. Many died in places whose names are known to all. Others in places we have never heard of or on nameless plots of ground. Many were returned home. Many were not. Some were lost for all time and some remain…missing.
They died in faraway places. Germany, France, North Africa. They died in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan. They died on Pacific islands and many more places too numerous to mention.
Some lost their lives on hills. San Juan, Hamburger, 881, Porkchop.
Some lost their lives on beaches. Omaha, Sword, Juno, Gold and others we may have never heard of and some we have.
They died in forests, cities, mountains, swamps, rice paddies, deserts and trenches too.
Many died here at home.
The Revolutionary War. The War of 1812. The Civil War.
Some died in the air. Some died at sea.
Some died in places that were never talked about on missions never officially sanctioned.
Many volunteered to go and many didn’t but, they went. All of them went.
Sometimes, it was easy for them to identify the enemy and sometimes it was impossible. Some died in the heat of battle while bullets filled the air and bombs exploded all around them. Others died sleeping in their barracks, eating a meal or in places they thought were safe from harm.
Some died at the hands of the enemy in prison camps under unimaginable conditions.
Today is Memorial Day.
It started to honor those who died in the Civil War and was called, Decoration Day. Later, it was expanded to honor all who died in the service of our Nation regardless of which war or where.
It used to be a solemn occasion marked by placing flowers on soldier’s graves but, sadly, it has changed over the years. Today, it seems young people don’t understand the true reason for or meaning of Memorial Day.
Solemn occasions gradually gave way to patriotic parades and concerts but the meaning was still there and those engaged knew it. That now, has given way to picnics, BBQ’s, and vacations because, after all, it’s now a 3 day weekend.
Today, it’s about sporting events, the “official” unofficial start of summer, trips to the beach and the mall.
Now, we have mattress sales, car sales, special deals at the grocery stores and action movie releases.
Do people today realize that on Memorial Day, flags should be flown at half mast from dawn until noon?
Some do. Many have no idea and if they, on their way to buy a new mattress, see a flag at half mast, they either ignore it or wonder why.
Sadly too, Memorial Day or any day designated to honor our Veterans, has become political.
Over the years and yes, even in the last few days, I have been told by liberals and followers of Ron Paul that recognizing our heroes is a waste of time. I’ve been told to quit waving the flag and elevating our veterans to a place of honor. I have been told that their deaths were meaningless, that our veterans are war criminals and that…Soldiers are not heroes.
Not all liberals feel this way and maybe not all followers of Ron Paul, but many do.
They know full well that they wouldn’t be able to say those things or do what they choose to do on this or any day without the sacrifices of those who fought and died for their rights to do so. They KNOW it but refuse to admit it because if they did it would fly in the face of THEIR ideology and THEIR agenda.
From the Revolutionary War to today’s wars against terrorism, our veterans, our military, those who made it home and those who didn’t, have given us freedom and given freedom to countless millions around the world.
They are heroes.
While the true meaning of Memorial Day is lost to some, it is not lost to Patriots. Sadly, over the course of generations, the reason we honor those who have fallen is diluted and only if we, as Patriots, keep that meaning alive, will future generations understand why they are free.
Those who have worn the uniform of the United States and died to give and preserve our freedoms deserve to be honored and remembered for their sacrifices and we owe them a debt which can never fully be repaid.
Memorial Day is a representation of American values and values than some would just as soon replace with progressive ideas, ideologies and agenda. This is why it is more important now, than ever before, to reclaim and restore the principles for which our veterans fought and for which those in the military today continue to fight.
Today, we thank those who fought and died in the service of our nation the only way we can. By saluting them, not with our hands but with our hearts.
Perhaps those who choose not to, don’t deserve the gift those we salute today gave them with their lives.