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Irv

Early Memorial Day Thank You

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Thank you to all the men and women who gave their lives defending our great country.   Bless the families who lost loved ones.  You are truly American Heroes!    We owe you!  

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I did not know this... In the spirit of today I'm going to assume that its true:

 

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...indeed a special thanks to all of those who have served as well as families who have braved the loss of loved ones who have served......I'm humbled.....crazy places like this do NOT exist without their fighting spirit for our rights...Godspeed to all...........

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Agreed!! 
 

on a related note and apologies if this is a dumb question, but is Memorial Day reserved for those who served and died while serving? Or is it customary to also honor those on Memorial Day who were vets that have Just simply passed away since their time in the service? 

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16 minutes ago, JR in Pittsburgh said:

Agreed!! 
 

on a related note and apologies if this is a dumb question, but is Memorial Day reserved for those who served and died while serving? Or is it customary to also honor those on Memorial Day who were vets that have Just simply passed away since their time in the service? 

 

Those who died in service to the country.

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12 minutes ago, JR in Pittsburgh said:

Agreed!! 
 

on a related note and apologies if this is a dumb question, but is Memorial Day reserved for those who served and died while serving? Or is it customary to also honor those on Memorial Day who were vets that have Just simply passed away since their time in the service? 

Good question.  Is 11/11 just for  living Veterans?  Is there  a dead Vets Day? I guess Memorial as name  implies, fits. 

1 minute ago, sherpa said:

 

Those who died in service to the country.

I tend to lean this way.  When is dead  Vets Day? 11/11?

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Thank you, to all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of this country.

 

We will never forget. 

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Thank you to those who served and currently serve.  To those that made the ultimate sacrifice, we can never repay you, only God can.

Edited by Happy

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I have never been to Arlington but have been to the National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fl. Very large, very beautiful, and also very sobering...  Here is a 3 or so minute clip of the cemetery if anyone is interested.

 

 

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Visited Colleville-sur-Mer, the Normandy cemetery mad famous by Private Ryan a few years ago.

One of the cool things they do is allow veterans to fold the flag after Taps is played each evening.

My wife and I are both Vets, her a Navy nurse and me a Naval Aviator, and we got to fold the flag after it was retired at the end of the day.

Such a great visit on such hallowed ground.

 

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34 minutes ago, T&C said:

I have never been to Arlington but have been to the National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fl. Very large, very beautiful, and also very sobering..

 

I'll never be in the military, but my dad and grandpa were. Having been to Arlington, and the Vietnam Memorial, is extremely powerful. Definitely should visit when you can.

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An old column that I wrote popped up in my memory feed. Thought I'd share it here.

 

An Idea for Memorial Day
by Frank Thomas Croisdale

 

Everything that is great in the world started with an idea. 

 

Before Adam’s finger stretched toward his creator on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he was but a germ of thought in the mind of the great artist Michelangelo. Before the word “Rosebud” was ever associated with a child’s sled, the notion was a masterful twist in the mind of the great movie-maker, Orson Welles. Before the Golden Gate Bridge became a worldwide symbol of American ingenuity and know-how, the great span was only a thought suspended in the imagination of engineer, Joseph Strauss.

 

So, too, is the origin of the greatest experiment in the history of planet Earth. An idea, freedom and democracy, that gave birth to a nation, America, that grew and prospered and inspired other inhabitants from faraway places to rise up and overthrow tyranny in favor of democratic governments.

 

When the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in the Summer of 1775, the delegates from the thirteen colonies were enamored with an idea that, to many of the time, seemed heretical. The great assemblage of minds dared dream of a form of government where the people would have equal vote and equal voice in deciding their common fate. 

 

On July 4, 1776 the men adopted the Declaration of Independence and this new form of government known as democracy had a blueprint that would serve as a lantern to light the road headed forward.

To be sure, the great think tank, led by soon-to-be legends, Jefferson, Adams and Franklin, were still limited by the perceptions of equality that pervaded the minds of their generations and those of many to follow. Their definition of equality didn’t include women and people of color. But the wisdom of the document they created and the ideology it spawned was that it contained enough elasticity to allow it to expand to grow with the enlightenment that was on the horizon for the nation they conceived. 

 

Here’s the funny thing about ideas that make it to reality: they are much like children that are raised and set free into the world. Sometimes they’re embraced universally and ofttimes they have to be fiercely defended against hostility and aggression.

 

So it has come to pass that America has had to go to war, time and time again, against nations and people that are threaten by this notion of allowing people the ability to climb social classes and pursue studies of their own choosing.

From the Revolutionary War, which was raging while the Second Continental Congress convened, to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, 1.3 million soldiers have fallen on the field of battle never to rise again.

 

After the American Civil War a holiday, known as Decoration Day, arose in the South where flowers and flags were placed on the graves of fallen soldiers as a way of remembrance and honor to those who gave all. A similar holiday soon began being practiced in the North.

 

In 1882, Decoration Day was renamed Memorial Day and it became a federal holiday nearly a century later in 1968 when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved the observance to the last Monday in May of each year.

 

It’s another good idea, to set aside a day to honor those that died to allow all Americans to live freely, but is it enough?

 

With time many great oceans of gesture get watered down until they are nothing but deserts of long-forgotten intent. Do you remember the days and weeks after 9/11 when you couldn’t spot a car without a red, white and blue magnetic ribbon on the chrome bumper? Back then we swore we’d never forget, our sportscasters stopped using words like “bomb” and “sudden death” during football telecasts and when the people at those games arose to sing the National Anthem they sang it with gusto - hat’s off, right hand placed firmly over the heart.

 

Today, we haven’t forgotten what happened that dreadful Tuesday, but we don’t quite wear it on our sleeves anymore either. I guess that’s a natural progression. After all, didn’t Robert Frost say all there was to be said on the subject when he opined, “"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." 

 

So here we are on another Memorial Day. What is the best way to pay homage to the soldiers of many wars who believed so much in this idea of America that they kissed their mothers goodbye, pulled away from the arms of crying wives and inconsolable children and went off into a murky unknown to preserve the great principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

 

Some of us will take in a parade. Others will visit a grave. Many will fly the flag from the front porch.  We will cook on the grill, swim at the beach and let our minds forget the long, cold winter that has passed and embrace the summer that is just on the cusp.

 

Of course, in the new way of connecting, we will post remembrances on Facebook and click “Like" on the holiday posts of others.

 

All of that is just fine. But there are two other things that may be an even better way of honoring those that laid down their lives for all of us.

 

The first is to take the next opportunity that comes your way and thank a man or woman in uniform for their service. I mean walk up to them, shake their hand and say, “Excuse me, but I just want to take a moment and let you know how much it means to me that you chose to wear that uniform and defend the principles of democracy for us all.”

 

Try it just once and when you see the reaction that it elicits you won’t ever have to be reminded to do it again.

 

The second thing is less overt, but no less powerful: Grab hold of one of the ideas floating around in your head and make it reality. 

 

If you’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar, sign up for lessons now. If you have an idea for a novel, get some words down on paper. If you want to volunteer your time then find an organization and get off the couch and into the game.

 

For centuries, human beings were born, lived and died with just such dreams floating around in their brains and they had zero opportunity of ever realizing any of them. Their lives were subjugated to serve the autocratic, caste and often tyrannical governments that ruled their universe.

 

A bunch of crazy thinkers in Philadelphia two centuries ago changed all of that. 1.3 million brave and selfless souls gave up every grain of sand left in their collective hourglass to preserve it for me and you and all that will come after we are but a memory.

 

So, make putting a new action into play your Memorial today. 

 

It’s just an idea...

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