Memorial Day

80110005It’s nice to have a Monday Holiday.
I remember the Initial Television Campaign in the 1960’s:
“Celebrate America on the Monday Holidays!”
I Was a Kid.
I didn’t understand how you could move a Calendar around like that,
But that was only the beginning of the many Monumental Changes in Life I would have to learn to Understand…

And So Memorial Day went from May 30th to the last Monday in May.
It had been previously known as Decoration Day
Begun after the Civil War as a way to Honor Union Soldiers who died,
the war that claimed more American Lives than any other War — 623, 026 —
the largest War ever fought on American Soil —
after World War I the Holiday was extended to include honoring
all American Men and Women who died in Any Military War or Acton.

It is now mostly thought of as a Day that hails the official beginning of the Summer Vacation Season.
The Old-Fashioned Fashion-Conscious see it as the first day when it’s OK to wear White Shoes — from now until Labor Day it’s OK.
Barbecues and Weekend Travel abound.
FUN!
FUN is GOOD!

At the same time, Let us remember what this Holiday is about.

My DAD served in the Military in World War II.
He jumped from airplanes in the Air Force division of the Army.
They were not separate entities then,
as Air Transportation was still relatively new.
The Wright Brothers very first flight was only some forty years earlier.
My DAD didn’t die in Military Service, though he took this Holiday very seriously as he had many Close Service Buddies who did.
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There are many Courageous Servicemen and Women
who have given their Lives to protect our Freedom.
And while one may question the machinations of those who engineer War,
Whether it is really necessary,
The Bush Cheney Age of “Preemptive Military Strikes,”
And War no longer as a Last Resort,
Let us never Question the integrity of the Soldiers who have fought and given their Lives to protect our Freedom.

Let us Honor and Remember Today those we have Lost:
The 4,489 American Soldiers in Iraq
The 2,356 American Soldiers in Afghanistan
The 20 in the NATO Air Campaign in Yugoslavia
The 12 in Bosnia
The 58,209 in Vietnam
The 405, 399 in World War II…

Every One.
Every Where.

I never fought in a War.
I don’t think I would have lasted ten minutes.
But my day-to-day Life has been protected and Blessed by these Men and Women who made that Sacrifice so that I would not have to…

The debt we owe to them must be neither be forgotten nor ignored.
Perhaps this evening, as you lay your head on your pillow to drift to sleep,
It would feel good to spend a few moments in prayer, meditation, and/or Gratitude
For all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may lay our heads down on our pillows this evening, in peace.
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In the Spirit of this Holiday, Allow me to share with you last year’s response by the Men and Women of the Truman Project,
A Wildly Inspiring Group of Veterans,
To some of the inappropriate remarks made by the Co-Hosts of Fox News’ “The Five”:

Here’s What Happened

And Here’s What the Veterans of the Truman Project Responded

And Here’s to our Military Service Men and Women, All!

Happy Memorial Day!

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