Archive for the ‘Memorial Day’ Category

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Eagle on cemetary stone

I’m a veteran, and I hate ‘Happy Memorial Day.’ Here’s why.

I have friends buried in a small corner of a rolling green field just down the road from the Pentagon. They’re permanently assigned to Section 60. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s 14 acres in the southeast corner of Arlington National Cemetery that serves as a burial ground for many military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are fresh graves there.

I spent my formative years in combat boots and all of my friends are in the military, were in the military, or married into the military. I have several friends buried at Arlington, and know of dozens more men and women interred in that hallowed ground.

via I’m a veteran, and I hate ‘Happy Memorial Day.’ Here’s why. – The Washington Post.

Memorial Day seems to be forgotten for its original intent. Now people think it’s a long weekend signifying the start of summer and a time to break out the BBQs.

Please remember our fallen brothers and sisters this weekend. Fly the flag. Remember that your weekend BBQ came at a great price. Freedom is never free.

Memorial Day

By RU Rob

While Memorial Day in the United States often induces thoughts of the beginning of summer, BBQ’s and a long holiday weekend, it is not celebrated as intended. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being its birthplace but was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has sadly diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day as well as its importance to many who have lost someone in the service to the country. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected and have fallen into a state of disrepair. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50′s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights.

via Memorial Day – Rhino Den | Military Stories, MMA News, Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy.

…eleven years later.


I was driving to Fort Irwin that morning when I heard on the radio as I was pulling into the parking lot that the first plane had hit the WTC. It was just a few minutes before 6:00. I walked into the Training Analysis Facility and every TV in the building was tuned to FOX news watching the first WTC building burning. As we watched, like the rest of America that was glued to the TV, we saw the second plane hit the other tower and everyone in the room knew it was a terrorist attack.

Within just minutes of the second plane hitting the tower Fort Irwin was locked down and all air traffic was grounded.
The thought of those thousands of people trapped in those buildings was terrible, but little did we know it was about to get worse.
When the WTC towers fell the silence in the room was almost deafening. Then the anger and the remorse for those lost souls really hit the place pretty hard.
For the thousands that died that day I feel sad for their shortened lives and the lives that were impacted directly by their loss.

May they all rest in peace, and may their loved ones feel the peace of God in their lives.

Never forget.

Here’s your Rock Fest for Memorial Day.

Another Iron Maiden tune, The Colors Don’t Run:

Memorial Day 2012.

A day we remember the fallen heroes of America’s past wars. They gave their last measure to protect the freedoms that we enjoy today.

This isn’t about thanking other Veterans, we already have two days for that. This is about remembering the dead.

In honor of Memorial Day, I honor Major Douglas Amuel  La Bouff. He was a good friend of mine. He was my son’s godfather. He was my last platoon leader. I loved him like a brother.

This is Doug newly promoted to Major.

Here’s Doug smoking a cigar from a box that I sent him.

Doug died in Iraq on the 6th of January 2006. He was on a Blackhawk heading back to his unit with 11 other souls. Their helicopter crashed only a mile from the unit.

Doug didn’t have to go to Iraq. He was actually going to go from Ft. Carson, CO. to become a teacher at West Point, NY.

You can read more about Doug here: Tribute to the Armed Forces of the United States.

I think about Doug all the time. Not just Memorial Day.

This country is better off for having him and is a little worse off now that he’s gone.

I miss him a lot.

So for those that can no longer enjoy a good BBQ with friends and family, please think of them while you are.

You can find out more about Memorial Day here:

Memorial Day — History.com Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

via Memorial Day — History.com Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts.

I’m not going to hammer him. But I think this day was/is meant to honor our dead, not the living. The living have two days devoted to them, this one is for those that gave their last measure of devotion to this country and for those that served and eventually passed on. It is our duty to remember them for their sacrifices.

“Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less.”
10 points if you guess who said that.

At any rate, here’s President Obama’s remarks:

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
May 26, 2012

This weekend, folks across the country are opening up the pool, firing up the grill, and taking a well-earned moment to relax. But Memorial Day is more than a three-day weekend. In town squares and national cemeteries, in public services and moments of quiet reflection, we will honor those who loved their country enough to sacrifice their own lives for it.

This Memorial Day, Michelle and I will join Gold Star families, veterans, and their families at Arlington National Cemetery. We’ll pay tribute to patriots of every generation who gave the last full measure of devotion, from Lexington and Concord to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Later that day, we’ll join Vietnam veterans and their families at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial—the Wall. We’ll begin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. It’s another chance to honor those we lost at places like Hue, Khe Sanh, Danang and Hamburger Hill. And we’ll be calling on you—the American people—to join us in thanking our Vietnam veterans in your communities.

Even as we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we reaffirm our commitment to care for those who served alongside them—the veterans who came home.  This includes our newest generation of veterans, from Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have to serve them and their families as well as they have served us: By making sure that they get the healthcare and benefits they need; by caring for our wounded warriors and supporting our military families; and by giving veterans the chance to go to college, find a good job, and enjoy the freedom that they risked everything to protect.

Our men and women in uniform took an oath to defend our country at all costs, and today, as members of the finest military the world has ever known, they uphold that oath with dignity and courage. As President, I have no higher honor than serving as their Commander-in-Chief.  But with that honor comes a solemn responsibility – one that gets driven home every time I sign a condolence letter, or meet a family member whose life has been turned upside down.

No words can ever bring back a loved one who has been lost. No ceremony can do justice to their memory. No honor will ever fill their absence.

But on Memorial Day, we come together as Americans to let these families and veterans know that they are not alone. We give thanks for those who sacrificed everything so that we could be free. And we commit ourselves to upholding the ideals for which so many patriots have fought and died.

Thank you, God bless you, and have a wonderful weekend.

This is NOT how a nation should treat its defenders of freedom.  This is how we treat their final resting place? This is how we say thank you for your sacrifices?

This is not what America is about. A nation that disrespects her veterans doesn’t deserve the benefits of their sacrifices.

It’s despicable.

Around nation, gravesites of veterans in shocking disrepair

By Mike Jaccarino

The final resting places for many of the men and women who fought America’s wars have fallen into shocking disrepair, with neglect, theft and vandalism prompting veterans groups to question the nation’s commitment to honoring its dead soldiers.

Advocates say smaller federal, state, county and private cemeteries that contain the graves of service members are often poorly kept, marked by crumbling headstones, overgrown with weeds and littered with debris. Perhaps even worse, many veterans’ gravesites have been targets of vandalism and theft.

via Around nation, gravesites of veterans in shocking disrepair | Fox News.