Memorial Day These Words

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Sandbar, May 24, 2009.

  1. Sandbar

    Sandbar Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    4
    These words speak to the heart about Memorial Day. I thought I would share
    them with you.

    Here dead we lie because we did not choose to live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life to be sure, is nothing much to lose; But young men think it is, and we were young.
    By A.E. Housman and inscribed on a plaque honoring the men lost from the USMA Class of 1950, the plaque is located at the Korean Military Academy.


    "Oh, Stranger, Go tell America that here we lie, obedient to her orders" Rudy Jaramillo B 2-12 Calvary 1966 A Spartan.


    Executive Mansion,
    Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

    Dear Madam,--

    I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

    I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

    I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

    Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

    A. Lincoln





    2Corinthians 1: 8-11 8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God that raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us. He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many.
     
  2. hockeyguy21

    hockeyguy21 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    God bless you Sarah wherever you are. We honor you and all that have gone before you

    A few nights ago, I walked a quiet mile with hundreds of other service members. It was a clear night in Bagram, Afghanistan. Although it was late, the birds were singing, perhaps roused by the unusual occurrence of people walking under their trees at the late hour. Soft voices broke the solemnity, but no words were discernible. Suddenly, as if on cue, soldiers, airmen, seamen, marines, broke off the sidewalk and lined the road, spacing themselves regularly and assuming a position of silent watchfulness. The honor cordon had formed.

    Heads began to turn right as flashing blue lights appeared far down the road. As the vehicles neared, one by one, service members assumed the position of attention and rendered the hand salute. In the back of an open truck sat eight military members, and between them, at their feet, was a flag draped casket.

    As I rendered my salute, I thought about the fallen soldier. I did not know his name, his unit or his home. I never saw his face or spoke to his family. I did not know why he volunteered for the Army or what he was doing when he was killed. But there was much I did know. I knew he had fought and died in an honorable cause, a cause that had little to do with our policy on Afghanistan. This soldier had volunteered to put his very life on the line in service to his nation and his brothers-in-arms. I see no more honorable cause that that.

    In a column, Mr. Putney has again raised the debate about the sacrifice of America's "sons and daughters" in uniform. Some have argued that we must continue the fight to honor their memory "so that they have not died in vain." Others argue we must stop the wars to save soldiers from this fate. I think an essential understanding of what motivates those of us in uniform is missing in this debate.

    We are not your sons and daughters, whom you must protect and defend. We are your sword and your shield. We are men and women who volunteer to place our lives on the line so you do not have to. We do not decide when or where we will be sent. We go. You are our advocates, not our parents.

    We trust you to care for our families, to hold our jobs, pay for our equipment, salary and medical care and yes, to honor our sacrifice. We trust you to vote for good political leadership, to speak out against bad policy decisions and to demand public accountability. However, we do not count on you to explain the honorable character of our service. We are ennobled by the very fact we serve.

    Our "high moral cause" is one of service to a nation whose principles we believe in. We miss the point of political debate when we distill it down to numbers of service member deaths. Debate should be about the policy that leads us in or pulls us out of war. I, as a soldier, am personally insulted when debate about war becomes not about policy, but about deaths, because it implies that my service is at best uninformed or ill-conceived, and at worst valueless.

    I know my life is in the hands of others because I choose for it to be that way. I am not your daughter, a child who must be guided. I have made my choice and pledge my honor to it. I will thank you to remember that because we serve our nation, none of us dies in vain, regardless of the cause; end of debate.

    Every day a new Marine enlists or an airman puts on her uniform is a reminder that our defenders come from people who still believe in our nation and the values it aspires to, as flawed as we sometimes are. War does not make our sacrifice honorable, death does not make our service honorable; service itself is our honor.

    We, your American service members, do not see the cause for which we may give our last full measure of devotion, as our nation's goals in Iraq or Afghanistan, and perhaps that is the difference. Our cause is our nation, in all her beautiful, imperfect glory.

    So on a dark night in Afghanistan we stood under a velvet sky of a million stars to honor one man who lay under 50. We never doubted what he died for. Pfc. Patrick A. Devoe II died for you, the United States of America. That, Mr. Putney, is no goof.

    Sarah Albrycht is a Bennington native serving in the Army in Afghanistan.
     

Share This Page