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Old May 27, 2024, 12:40 AM   #1
ackley man
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Thoughts on Memorial Day

We can never repay both the living and dead for the great gift for which that fought and so many died. Oh, how many of us have taken it so for granted. Many of us have spent most of our lives feeling that freedom was an entitlement instead of a gift. People have served and died to give us this gift. On Memorial Day we hold it in such high importance but how often in the past have we taken it for granted? The knowledge of how precious this gift is has helped me understand that these men did not serve and die in vain and become the forgotten. Only when we live under the delusion that we are somehow entitled to freedom have we broken faith with them. I have realized that freedom is only free to me because it was paid for by the lives of many. The amazing part is that they gave it to us with no expectations of anything in return. A gift that was fought for and won by those that served was given to us with no strings attached. Our only responsibility is that we protect it well so we can pass it down to our children and all future generations. The truth is that we don't have to know and remember the names of all those who served and died but rather we should hold sacred the cause for which they unselfishly served and died.
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Old May 27, 2024, 10:37 AM   #2
The Verminator
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Amen.
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Old May 27, 2024, 04:17 PM   #3
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I've not served, my draft number was pretty high, but I have lived most of my life trying to be worth the sacrifice of those whose blank check was cashed by the Almighty in service of our country.
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Old May 27, 2024, 10:01 PM   #4
tangolima
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They served, they fought, so that we don't have to. We remember them in gratitude.

-TL

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Old May 27, 2024, 11:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangolima
They served, they fought, so that we don't have to. We remember them in gratitude.
More precisely, since we're talking about Memorial Day, they served, they fought, and they died so that we don't have to.

Let's never forget that Memorial Day is supposed to remind us of those who lost their lives in defense of the country and the Constitution. For veterans who served but survived (including those who died later, such as my father and several uncles), we have Veterans day. For those still serving, we have Armed Forces Day. I find it annoying that Memorial Day has in recent years become watered down to the point that even many veterans don't understand what/who it's supposed to commemorate.

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Old May 28, 2024, 12:11 AM   #6
tangolima
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I agree. On Memorial Day we visit the cemetery. We don't say "happy memorial Day" to each other.

My wife and I took our two kids to visit Rosecrans national cemetery today. We have been doing this for more than 10 years. We laid one flower cut from our garden in front of headstone of Lt. Colonel James Arnette of Iowa, veteran of WWI, WWII, and Korean war. We don't know the Colonel. Years back our little daughter picked out the name on the stone when we stopped by the cemetery. Her kindergarten teacher has the same last name Arnette. The headstone seemed not being visited for a long time, sort of desolated. We decided to "adopt" the Colonel as our own.

Not certain whether the Colonel died in combat. Probably not. But it doesn't matter.

-TL

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Old May 28, 2024, 01:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangolima
My wife and I took our two kids to visit Rosecrans national cemetery today. We have been doing this for more than 10 years. We laid one flower cut from our garden in front of headstone of Lt. Colonel James Arnette of Iowa, veteran of WWI, WWII, and Korean war. We don't know the Colonel. Years back our little daughter picked out the name on the stone when we stopped by the cemetery. Her kindergarten teacher has the same last name Arnette. The headstone seemed not being visited for a long time, sort of desolated. We decided to "adopt" the Colonel as our own.
Bless you.

In May of 1994 my then GF and I went on an adult ed trip to tour Normandy, in preparation for the 50th anniversary of D-Day. We weren't there for the actual commemoration, but the setup was in full swing. As part of the tour, we visited three of the U.S. cemeteries in Europe (I was going to write "France," but I think one of the one we visited may be in Belgium.) Photos of the cemeteries are inspiring, but nothing compares with standing there amid seemingly endless acres of white marble crosses and Stars of David.

It's not possible to put words to describe the experience.

https://www.abmc.gov/normandy
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Old May 28, 2024, 02:28 PM   #8
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When I was growing up, in my family, there was no such thing as "Memorial Day". It was "Decoration Day", and Memorial Day weekend was never referred to as anything but "Decoration Day weekend".

This was the day when we went to the cemetery to decorate the graves of our honored war dead. In my family, it was a tradition that began just after the Civil War.

I fully agree, Memorial day is not to honor all veterans, but to specifically honor those who gave all in the service of our country.

I served, and both my children have served (one still is, a Msgt in the Air Force), and between my family history, my service, and my children doing theirs I have an appreciation for Decoration day many people will never have.

People have every right to agree, disagree, and argue over the political decisions that put us in harm's way. No one has the right to question the service of those who answered our nation's call, particularly those who paid the ultimate price doing so.
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Old May 28, 2024, 07:12 PM   #9
tangolima
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Decoration day was indeed the origin of today's memorial Day. Graves of union soldiers were left in desolation in the south. Ladies of the South started cleaning up and decorating the graves of the forgotten Yankee boys.

-TL

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Old May 28, 2024, 09:01 PM   #10
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My family was in northern New York state. We did it there, too....
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Old May 28, 2024, 11:27 PM   #11
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thread

It pleases me to see this thread the thoughts and practices of some of our members. Every year it annoys me that Memorial Day seems little more to many than a day off work, a chance for sales at the local stores and grilling.

When bamaboy was school age, we made a point of annually carrying him to the Memorial Day service at our county courthouse so as he would fully understand Memorial Day.
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Old June 5, 2024, 07:35 PM   #12
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I think about men I served with every year1964 DaNang 4th Marines.
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