Memorial Day is a United States Federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (in 2008 on May 26). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include casualties of any war or military action .
This Memorial Day as 3 others that I have spent on a deployment I ponder of the warriors who came before us, the ones we try to emulate. It’s an unwritten rule, that we try to fulfill the expectations of those that have gone before us and have changed the world. WW I, WW II, all the wars and battles before and after, one constant theme has been in every one, American men and women have volunteered to stand for the country and keep the wolf at bay. Some returning home, many paying the ultimate sacrifice.
I personally take Memorial Day like this, take the patriotism from the 4th of July, the intensity that comes from the bottom of your gut when you see a scumbag burning an American flag and the feeling of an open can of whoop-ass like you felt following Sept 11th all wrapped up with the upmost respect you can give to someone who has given all for their country.
I would like to parallel Jack Nicholsen aka Col Jessep.
(Maj Pain) You want answers? (Hippie pot head piece of crap): I think I’m entitled. (Maj Pain) You want answers? (Hippie pot head): I want the truth! (Maj Pain): You can’t handle the truth!
(Maj Pain): Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You mister I’ve never worked a hard day in my life”? You, Hippie pot head? I have more respect for those who have gone before me more than you could possibly fathom. You weep because someone is making you go to work and get up before 0700, you complain in public “peace marches” against the things you think you have a right to say and do and you curse those who have gone before you who have the balls to go kill America’s enemy which may have paid the ultimate sacrifice for. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what they had to give up so you can run your trap and be free and have free speech. I know, their death, while tragic, saved lives. And that our existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you don’t talk about while sitting in your parents house because your broke ass doesn’t have a home, you don’t want us on that wall, you need us on that wall. We use words like honor, courage and commitment. We use these words as the backbone of 233 years spent defending something. You use them as a punch line and a reason to blame those who you don’t even understand while you play X-box, for the love of God, your 25 yrs old! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom we provide, then protests we when do it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand to post. The barrel goes towards the enemy bright one. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!
Make a difference this weekend, make it a point to find a service member, a son, daughter or spouse of a fallen servicemember and simply say “Thank You” In between the KFC, car washing and those beers your going to have, I think you can do at least that. Those who have fallen would. If they were here!
Have a safe and special weekend, and remember those who perished while in military service to their country, we will be thinking of you here in Iraq. Is your flag up?