Memorial Day

“For those who fight for it, life and freedom have a meaning the protected will never know”

Each Memorial Day I think of the millions of souls who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving those words undeniable significance. As Veterans we don’t think of ourselves as special, but it takes a special person to volunteer to go into harms way so that others may go on about their daily lives without fear of oppression.

Our position as the world’s leading superpower has been earned through hard work, determination, guts, and ingenuity. It’s maintained and preserved by those sworn to protect and defend it.

Their contributions were and are immeasurable. From Valley Forge to the war against Islamofascist terrorism, Americans can sleep well knowing that their Soldiers are at the frontlines.

My Grandfather fought in World War II. I enlisted in the United States Army the year he officially retired—1976. It was a symbolic changing of the guard and I was proud to follow in the footsteps of his combat boots. Until I retired in 2006, I had the privilege of serving in peace and war, with some of the finest people ever to wear the uniform. Some of them did not come home, and I will never forget them.

With apologies to Rupert Brooke:

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever America.

A big salute to all the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard veterans, as well as those still serving.

How Memorial Day came to be.

More tributes here, courtesy of Chip. (In the comments)

HOOAH.

While you’re enjoying your bar-b-que and beer, take a moment to remember those who gave their lives so that you can enjoy this day in peace.
Try to attend your local Memorial Day parade, stop by your VFW or American Legion, and hoist a few drinks in memory of our fallen comrades.

Duty, Honor, Country

SFC MAC

11 thoughts on “Memorial Day”

  1. Off The Reservation

    Butt Neckid,

    Those three words remind me of a speech from another hardened soldier. Long ago, I had to memorize it. At the time in my youth, it was another requirement in a long list of requirements. As time went on, it meant more and more to me (from my fading memory):

    “Duty, honor, country. Those three hallowed words
    reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you
    can be, what you shall be. They are your rallying
    point, to build courage when courage seems to fail,
    to regain faith when there seems little cause for
    faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”

    — General Douglas MacArthur

    I feel very small when I think about all those who went before us and what they did. We all have much to be grateful for the rights and liberty we possess today were bought with the precious blood of people who believed just like this.

    Thank you Butt Neckid for reminding me.

  2. JOCS, USNR(RET)

    All day tomorrow I shall be thinking of all those who gave the last, full measure of devotion so that i and my fellow citizens are free to enjoy our beer and BBQ – along with all the other gifts bestowed by this most wonderful nation. And there will be a modicum of pride for the small part I played in helping to keep it that way. BRAVO ZULU, SFC Mac . . .

  3. off the reservation

    A very honorable tribute! Many thanks to you and all veterans
    for their service and remembering all of those we served with.

    My mother’s father served in WWII in the Pacific theater. Because he was a native from a tribe still at war with the US at the time he was never issued a rifle and served in the mess on all the various islands. I still have a shoe box filled with black and white photos from Japan that he took in Tokyo, Nagasaki, Mount Fuji right after the end of the war.

    SFC Mac, you are blessed as an honorable warrior and may you find a peaceful place among your ancestors when you are called for your final tour of duty by the Great Creator.

    — Off The Reservation

  4. butt neckid

    CHIP…now you put those turkeys down and take up drinkin’ as a hobby instead of mistreatin’ them birds…

  5. butt neckid

    to all of my fellow citizens that did not wear the uniform…you missed something very special…and you’re welcome…

    to all of my fellow veterans…thank you for allowing me in your presence…

    DUTY

    HONOR

    COUNTRY

  6. butt neckid

    I too come from a line of warriors…my granpa won the war to end all wars with a lil’ help from pershing and sgt york…

    my ol’ man won the war in the pacific…bull halsey and dougie mac helped…

    me…well uncle ho got that one from me…my mom made me come home…she wanted me to play nice or don’t play at all…

    may our young warriors all come home with only memories…

    SARG…thank you…

  7. First off thank you for your service. I did not serve but my father and father-in-law were both WWI combat vets. I know what that service cost them so I do indeed have an understanding of your statement about how freedom has a much deeper meaning for them. Things paid a precious unrecoverable cost for hold a much deeper meaning and value than a gift handed down.

    So I know enough of what that price was to know how deep a debt is owed. So when I say, “Thank yoy” it’s with a deep appreciation for the high cost paid.

  8. Clavos,
    As always, it’s great to have a fellow veteran drop in on my site. Several of my relatives; my father, grandfather, a few uncles, a cousin, and an aunt have all served in the military. One of these days, when I can afford it, I’ll get some extensive ancestral research done. I bet there’s a lot more military history in my family that I don’t know about.

    Have a great Memorial Day!
    SFC MAC

  9. Nice tribute, Sarge!

    Every Memorial Day I especially honor my father, who fought in World War II, and my father in law, whose 23 years in the US Army included service in World War II and Korea.

    Both brave men, of whom I’m very proud.

    And to you, SFC Mac, thank you for your service!

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