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Memorial Day Remember the Sacrifice

Last updated on May 27, 2024

Image: PV Bella

“This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom.” (Tamara Bolton)

Memorial Day is the day we remember and honor those who died serving our country. It is a day of remembrance, not celebration. Happy Memorial Day is an oxymoron for morons. For too many, it is a day of mourning.

Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, was established to commemorate those who perished during the Civil War. When America entered World War I, the name was changed to Memorial Day, and the purpose was to honor members of the military who died in all wars.

For most people, Memorial Day weekend is just another three-day party. People stock up on food and liquor to celebrate. It is three days of party hearty. With a keen eye for saving, some shop the Memorial Day “sales,” stocking up on more useless crap. The dead are forgotten.

Memorial Day was never meant as a day of celebration, another three-day drunken maw stuffing weekend away from your toils. It was set aside as a day of commemoration. The day was set aside to remember that what we cherish most has a high cost. Whether it was defending our freedoms or defending the freedoms of others, our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters paid the ultimate price.

Count all the crosses and count all the tears
These are the losses and sad souvenirs;
This devastation once was a nation
So fall the dice, how high is the price
There in the distancе a flag I can see
Scorched and in ribbons but whose can it be;
How еnds the story, whose is the glory
                                     Ask if we dare our comrades out there who sleep
(A Soldiers Story/Ennio Morricone)

Image: PV Bella

In our celebrations, we forget the cost of war. Death is the cost of war. Catastrophic injuries are the cost of war. Those who served in wars know this. We glorify past wars as righteous. Yet, those who served know the grim truth.

1,300,700 (+/-) members of the American military personnel perished in the War of Revolution through the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (Statista). The Civil War was the deadliest from which Memorial Day originated (Decoration Day).

I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.” (General William Tecumseh Sherman)

Former President, Barack Obama surprised volunteers at Alexandria National Cemetery when he showed up unannounced to place American flags on the graves of 4000 of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. The cemetery was established in 1862 and holds the graves of Union soldiers from the Civil War through all other wars.

“One of the greatest honors of my life was the privilege of serving as commander-in-chief, and with pride also came sometimes heartbreak and loss,” he told attendees ahead of the morning event. “And the sober recognition of the sacrifices that so many Americans and their families have made to preserve our freedom. As we go out here, I hope that we just reflect and say a prayer for and say thanks for those who came before us. And for those of you who are still serving those of you who may be serving in the future, thanks to you as well.” (Marine Corps Times)

Former president and candidate for president Donald Trump did not participate in any Memorial Day activities to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Why you may ask? He considers those who died for their country as “losers and suckers” His exact words.

Before you throw those brats on the grill, stuff your pie hole with nachos, guzzle beer, or load your vehicle with “sale” items, you should take a minute to remember the reason for this holiday. Remember the fallen. Commemorate the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Silently thank them.

As an aside, Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade dates back to 1870.

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