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Memorial Day

LowlyPropCapt

PBR For Life, and Beyond!
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The economy, waterboarding, American Idol and other cultural errata has pretty much dominated the news these days. I worry that all of these distractions may just overwhelm the one day we should set aside each year to solemnly reflect on the lives of those who have served and made the ultimate sacrfice. Lacking any other forum to voice my appreciation, I offer the following thoughts:

...To all of the men and women who have died to protect my ability to raise my children in peace and freedom, you have my prayers and undying gratitude.

...To all those families who have endured to loss of a loved one in the service of the country I love, I stand in awe of your sacrifice and thank you for your unsung service. May you find some peace in the knowledge that at least this american refuses to forget you.

...To those who have lost friends and comrades, it is impossible for me to understand your profound burden. Please accept my sincere gratitude for your service.

...To a 24 year old Marine SSGT who I never got to know: Thanks Dad.

Anyhow, that is my Memorial Day reflection. I thought this board was as appropriate a place as any. Thank you all for your service.
 

pilotyip

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What is Memorial Day?

"Is Memorial Day a hardware sale? is it a good price on a garden pail?, is it the opening of the swimming pool?" Every spring we celebrate this holiday called "Memorial Day" which traditionally marks the beginning of summer. The coming of the summer is a celebration of our freedom. This three-day weekend we are free to do anything we want.
We are free to come and go as we please, to play golf, to ride in our cars, go the beach, to go visit family and have picnics, to go up North to our cabin. Our Freedom is fantastic, we claim our freedom; we take our freedom as a natural extension of our incomparable lives in the United States of American. These are Freedoms we exercise everyday. We love our freedom. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. This day, Memorial Day, is about honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its freedom. It is only fitting that we meet here on the day of National Remembrance. It is time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday and our freedom.
So let us take a moment out of the celebrations to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day, and the sacrifices that our veterans made for each and every one of us. This day - Today, Memorial Day, we honor those who fell from the line, who left us forever never knowing, never knowing how much they did for us. Our freedom was granted to us by the founders of our nation in the Constitution of the United States. The constitution guarantees our freedom, but what makes the Constitution a document capable of protecting these freedoms?
The veterans, every one of the Veterans who died defending our freedom took a solemn oath. They raised their right hands and said, "I solemnly swear to uphold and defend, the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, so help me god". To uphold this oath, they protect us with guns, they protect us with tanks, they protect us with low flying airplanes, but most of all they protect us with their lives.
That freedom comes with a price. That’s what the members of our armed forces do for us; they pay the price, they pick up the check so that the rest of us may enjoy the land in which we live. American men and women have stood ready to take the risks and pay the ultimate price.
Many feel the violence and tragedy of war is too high a price to pay. That is their freedom. However, in the words of John Stuart Mills "For those who deplore violence, they can rest peacefully in their beds at night because of the efforts of those who engage in violence on their behalf." These fallen veterans engaged in violence on our behalf. To ensure our way of life for everyone of us.
We can never measure the value of what was gained by the veteran’s sacrifice. However we live every day in comforts of peace and gifts of freedom. These have all been purchased for us, and we must be grateful for their sacrifice.
It perhaps captures the essence of Memorial Day, when an immigrant to the United Sates writes in a childhood remembrance,
"And during summer vacation, Dad would make a detour and have us visit American Cemeteries. I must confess that initially I found them boring. With all those identical white crosses, row after row!
After all, "So what", I thought. "The war is over, and this only serves to rehash the ugly past and to delay us in reaching our holiday destination". Until one day, in one of those cemeteries – this one in Luxembourg, I recall – my father impressed on all of us children that below every cross lay a young man who had left his beloved family in America - to fight on foreign soil - and deliver from a wicked enemy - my Belgium family - who could not defend itself. My dad said, "You can’t go by on the road - and not come in to say thank you"; and he then fell in a deep silence. She finished with "With out the sacrifice of those American boys - my family would most likely still be Belgium under Nazism or Communism. Gratitude - Gratitude! This is what my dad was teaching me"
And that is what we have to display as a nation - Gratitude,
Gratitude for these heroes who showed the last full measure of devotion to us and our nation.
The hero’s we remember never really set out to be heroes. Each loved his life as much as we love ours. Each had a place in the world, a family waiting and friends to see again. They thought of the future just as we do, with plans for a long life. But they left it all behind when they went to war, and parted with it forever when they died. Each one of these veterans was an American doing his duty. Each was someone’s, brother, someone’s father, and someone’s child. Remember them; remember them ladies and gentleman - remember them all. Especially remember the pain and suffering of their families.
Every Memorial Day we gather at places like this to grasp the extent of their loss, the meaning of their sacrifice and to express our gratitude. It always seems more than words can cover. In the end, all we can do is be thankful, all we can do is remember, and always appreciate the price that was paid for our own lives and our own freedom.
It is because of their sacrifices over the generations that this great nation remains free.
Free to celebrate Memorial Day as a three day weekend marking the beginning of summer.


 

KCPilot

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The Red Poppy

From an e-mail I'd received....

Memorial Day Weekend is less than a week away. Please remember to fly your flags and take some time out of your family fun, to remember those who have served and are serving our incredible country. It’s because of those heroes, we are allowed the freedom to live, speak and worship, as we so choose to do. In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it


HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY EVERYONE … Don’t forget to wear a red poppy!!
 

dispatchguy

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In honor of Memorial Day, I just recently downloaded and watched "Taking Chance", an HBO movie on iTunes. In it Kevin Bacon plays a LTCOL in the Marines who volunteers for escort duty, to escort the remains of PFC Chance Phelps on their final trip home.

As a vet myself, the movie was beyond incredible, and as far as I am concerned, brought the true meaning of Memorial Day home.

Download it, rent it, steal it (well dont do that, the creators of this movie deserve every cent and every accolade), I dont care; just watch it. It made me proud to have worn the uniform.
 

onewithwings

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"Taking Chance"

In honor of Memorial Day, I just recently downloaded and watched "Taking Chance", an HBO movie on iTunes. In it Kevin Bacon plays a LTCOL in the Marines who volunteers for escort duty, to escort the remains of PFC Chance Phelps on their final trip home.

As a vet myself, the movie was beyond incredible, and as far as I am concerned, brought the true meaning of Memorial Day home.

Download it, rent it, steal it (well dont do that, the creators of this movie deserve every cent and every accolade), I dont care; just watch it. It made me proud to have worn the uniform.

One of the BEST movies EVER! Kevin Bacon portrays the Lt. COL to a "tee". LOVED the movie. (Even if it made me bawl every time the honor guard moved the body from plane to plane!)
 
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pilotyip

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Ditto

One of the BEST movies EVER! Kevin Bacon portrays the Lt. COL to a "tee". LOVED the movie. (Even if it made me bawl every time the honor guard moved the body from plane to plane!)
ditto on that
 

727C47

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Amen.
 

FL000

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That's the third recommendation for that movie that I've heard in the last week. I'll have to put it on my list.
 
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