Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, May 29, 2016.
It's not just Beach and BBQ day.
I find myself thinking of not just those who went in harm's way in combat and lost their lives, but those simply doing their jobs, and something happened. I remember the ashen faces of the ground maintenance team as they came in to tell me a young petty officer, newly reported, had made the fatal error of stepping inside the danger line hash marks, in the half light of pre-dawn, of a turning jet engine, unheard with nearby jets taking off. My DH still thinks about squadron mates lost in carrier or aviation accidents, or a junior sailor of his lost overboard and never found. I think of one of my guys who lost his leg when a line snapped on a tugboat and whipped across the deck, and later died from complications. I remember them all.
Here's a traditional military toast, probably borrowed from the British, to hoist your lemonade or adult beverage to today:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Followed by all repeating: "We will remember them"
^^ Poem is titled "For the Fallen," by Robert Laurence Binyon. It was first published in the London Times in September 1914, when the Great War was only a few months old and would grind on for a horrifying four more years.
I'm remembering Uncle Russ. I always knew he was a soldier in WWII because his service photograph was on display in Russ and Jane's house, and later, in their assisted-living apartment. After I met DH and grew more interested in military history myself, I read (naturally) about Patton's 3rd Army during the Battle of the Bulge. A couple of years before he died, when he was well into his 90s, I figured out that my uncle was at Bastogne. He never talked about it, before or after, but he confirmed it when I figured it out. And so I honor the wounds and scars that men and women carry - not proudly or loudly, but privately and with dignity - so that the rest of us can live free.
First, a heartfelt thank you. And a thank you to each of you who were or are or willing to put your life on the line for the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. The United States of America. My Dad, brother and wife all served their country. It really nice to know, that we have people who have our backs for freedom. So, to all of you who have defended or are doing so now. Let me say, THANK YOU to each and everyone of you.
It has been a tradition since our DS joined his BSA troop that we take part on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend joining other troop members and families in honoring our fallen heroes by raising the flagpoles at the Quantico National Cemetery. Yesterday, we were blessed with a clear day and we completed the rewarding task, yet again - around 300 flagpoles.
Being a proud Marine Corps family, it is an activity that is dear to our hearts.
Thank you to all who have served!
So Let Us Remember
They fought together as brothers in arms; they died together and now they sleep side by side...To them, we have a solemn obligation — the obligation to ensure that their sacrifice will help make this a better and safer world in which to live. Chester Nimitz Admiral, U.S. Navy
"'Duty, Honor, Country' — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.
" Did they get off”
SM1c Douglas A. Munro, Guardian Of Guadalcanal U.S. Coast Guard
"Oh, Stranger, Go tell America that here we lie, obedient to her orders"
Rudy Jaramillo B 2-12 1966 A Spartan
Yeah, it's not national Beach and BBQ day. If I had a dime for every self-righteous vet who posts that this time of year, I'd buy this place.
It's not national walk-around-all-mopey day either. I'm amazed how many of my contemporaries spend the entire week admonishing America for supposedly not caring enough.
My suggestion is that folks take a moment to reflect on how many died for our freedom, how many died for others' freedoms, and how many died for no good damn reason. Give thanks and enjoy your day, and as citizens, think for a moment what might be worth adding names to the rolls of the deceased and what might not be.
This free advice is worth every penny. Have a wonderful weekend.
I'm always amazed at how few people know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
EOD/SEAL Mom- you are right it is a huge difference and a common misconception and way too often Veterans Day and Memorial Day are conflated. Memorial Day is important. Veteran's Day - maybe not so much IMHO because there are plenty of Vets who either did ok in their subsequent lives because of their service ( I for example have had a good career on the outside because of my Army career , ) got amply compensated for what was a pretty rewarding job, or sometimes gave the minimum amount of service relative to their pay and benefits- ( every Vet knows examples of the sxxxbird who shammed from his first day in Basic Tng to his last minute before ETS ) so Veterans Day is something less than sacred IMHO.
But Memorial Day is different and in my opinion absolutely is a sacred secular holiday. It remembers and honors the hundreds of thousands of Service members who didn't come home- whose parents , wives , husband or kids never got to see them again because they were doing what we sent them to do whether or not they really felt like doing so. It isn't nebulous, it's not about politics, and it's unconditional because every one that it honors paid a calamitous price.They are damn sure worth remembering and honoring whether or not the terminally cynical like the concept, or would rather it be honored as "National Appliance Discount and Rebate day" or " Weber Grill and Budweiser appreciation day" or would like to impugn the motives of those who do honor those who have given so much . And that is my penny's worth- you can take it or leave it.
Bruno, I mostly agree with you. I differ a little on the importance of Veterans Day however. FWIW, I have personally never served (I actually wanted to, but was talked out of it by my dad and stepdad, who both served during Vietnam with horrible tours). So my perspective is different than those who have served with less-than-stellar members of the military. My feeling is that they agreed to serve, and potentially give their all, and so also deserve the dignity and respect of Veterans Day. I appreciate their service, no matter what capacity.
@Sledge - no words needed.
As a young boy, growing up in Britain, I remember this:
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
And there were the poems of Wilfred Owen....
THIS is what it means...
"THE GREEN FIELDS OF FRANCE". Eric Bogle 1976. The kids have heard this song for the last 26 years and know all the words in many renditions.
"In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined"
"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die"
Separate names with a comma.