Please Remember the Real Meaning of Memorial Day

Today We Honor the Fallen

Today We Honor the Fallen

There will be no episode of TSP today in recognition of Memorial Day.  I do want to take a moment to remind everyone today of what Memorial Day is all about.  Many well meaning people even get it wrong in a way.  My inbox is full of “thanks for your service” emails today.  I appreciate it, there is nothing wrong with thanking a vet today, yet it is not really the day to thank vets many seem to believe it to be.

It seems to me that many think Memorial Day is like Veterans Day Part Two, it isn’t.  Again no day is a bad day to thank a vet but if we become convinced that Memorial Day is about those of us that served and came back home, we miss the point.  Memorial Day is more somber, it is about those who fell in battle and never again got up, it is about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, it bluntly is about those who died.

Today at some point just pause and think about that.  Think about the 4,400 of our US soliders that have fallen in Iraq, the 2,000 in Afghanistan, the 47,000 in Vietnam, 33,000 in Korea, 291,000 in WWII, 53,000 in WWI or perhaps the 212,000 that fell on both sides in the War Between the States.

You don’t have to be for any war past or present to respect men and women who will give their lives for what they believe and fight the wars that politicians initiate.  There are days for just about everything now.  Days for bosses, secretaries, days for this and that and anything Hallmark can come up with.

What you won’t find in most greeting card stores is a Memorial Day Card, because those who would receive the card can’t open it, read it and feel good that someone cares.  All they can hope for is that someone remember their sacrifice, perhaps a flower or a wreath on their graves (if they even have one) or a comrade who is now living with a zeal for life in their memory.

Today my friends is to remember those who served and died.  Enjoy the day off if you have it, just try to remember the cost of this day.  Some say you can’t count the cost, sadly you can and the numbers are very large.  If you want to put it in perspective, just view the US Military Casualties of War Page on Wikipedia.

18 Responses to Please Remember the Real Meaning of Memorial Day

  1. Bravo Jack!!! Well said!!!

  2. Well said. My small town cementary has an avenue of flags, of which three of them are uncles from service in WWII through Vietnam. The avenue gets longer every year, as time catches up to those who came home. As long as we have politicians and a public that is mostly asleep, we won’t run out of flags to add.

  3. I lost an uncle in WW2 and my first boyfriend in the Viet Nam was, as well as a cousin over there. It is sad but we go on, and yes, we need to remember and honor all of those who gave their lives for our country.
    Thanks Jack!
    Shawnne

  4. Jack, the wife and I were just discussing this. With all due respect to all our service members, we don’t feel that it’s meant to be a “Happy” rememberance. Giving up their lives for the concept of freedom where ever it occurs is truly the ultimate sacrifice. Respect, gratitude, sadness and pride. These seem appropriate. Thank you to all who serve, knowing that you may be required to make that sacrifice.

  5. Worth Mason

    Correction: More than 600,000 fell on both sides during the War Between the States. As usual, as a result of any war, many more died as a result after the war ended. So great a price. “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for friends.”

    • Thank you so much for the correction. Truth is 600,000 and closer to one million. Greater love has no man or woman than to lay down their lives for their friends. We will never forget any of them. May we Americans understand FREEDOM once lost may NEVER be regained. Long live freedom!

  6. Thanks Jack. Well said. It’s not the day, but man I get sick of all the “protecting our freedom BS”. I am a vet. My son is in the military now. I’m not a “I hate the troops” guy. I think we can remember the dead and their ultimate sacrifice without being naive enough to believe that the North Vietnamese, Afghans,(fill in the blank) were going to take over the United States.

  7. Thank you saying what you said Jack.
    Today IS about the fallen, those that gave their all so we could live our lives as free Men and Women. It’s up to us to Honor them, and make good use of the incredible gift they have given us. Don’t let it be for naught.

  8. suzysurvivor

    My husband’s father never got to hold his son…he was lost over Borneo on Dec 26, 1944, six months after the birth of his only child and he never had leave to see his son.

    How can someone say ‘Happy Memorial Day’? This is not a day about barbecue, swimming pools and a day off work. This is a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives so that we can live the life we live…free with rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Freedom of speech, the right to elect our government. Nobody ‘gave’ us these rights because they thought it would be a nice gesture. Many thousands of men and women died defending those rights.

    I pray that God blesses the souls of those who died for us.

    • Today I salute your husband’s father for defending freedom for us here today. He and all those who have served shall forever be our heroes. God bless you and your family.

  9. Sadly, All too true, while I personally know some who have died in military service for our nation, too many others do not. Thanks for supporting their memory and the importance of this day. To those who have served and paid the ultimate cost, may Your Deity welcome you with open arms and your nation thank you, Not just American but those who, through their service be our true friends and allies. For those who have served and are alive to be with friends and family, I wish you well. Freedom is not Free, and for those who have paid the Ultimate price, may your Deity embrace you and welcome you home.

  10. Giving thanks to all those who have fought and died for the freedom of others (regardless of their nationality) and devoting time and effort to try to learn from the past and honor their memory. Just finished reading “Anatomy of Peace” by Emery Reves – a very challenging, often uncomfortable read, yet quite thought provoking. May freedom overcome so that those we honor and remember today have not died in vain. Thank you, Jack, for a fitting post (and reminder) today.

  11. My twin brother CW4 Keith Yoakum was killed in Iraq 2 Feb 2007. I think about, and miss him everyday. That being said I’m sure he would have no problem with the rest of us using this day off for some well deserved rest and relaxation. I am also sure he would prefer our time be spent with family, hanging out with our own children, or parents, or anyone important to us. I think we honor them more when we go on living, when we can celebrate what they have given us. it makes no sense to spend the day feeling sorry for someone, especially folks that if they had to do it all over again they would.

  12. Pingback: Memorial Day | Preppers | Lessons Learned | Casualties of War | THE DAILY PREP

  13. Thanks Jack.

    Great post and great link to the Wikipedia chart. Used it in my own post for the day!

  14. I feel for all the people that have lost friends family and loved ones.
    Its really sad, it gets me really angry that these recent wars have happened.. especially when you think about all the lies that where told to go in to the war in the first place and the main reason for the wars being for profit and resource domination, by the industrial military complex.
    i recently watch a documentary called the new American century, i recommend it, very eye opening.

    anyways hope everyone has a good day none the less!

  15. Well said Jack. There are many things that most people that were not in the military don’t really realize about the military or the customs and traditions associated with it. It’s a good reminder to everyone to think for themselves and find the real truth and the real history behind the things we do, instead of just doing it because we always have.

  16. Dear Kevin, I am sorry for the loss of your twin brother CW4, Keith Yakum. I am a 9/11 Family and my husband lost his twin on 9/11 in Tower 1. A day I thought Americans would never forget. In my community we lost at total of 13 Americans. We can never forget how it felt that day. What makes me so proud as a Christian American are men like your twin, CW4 Keith. Our Armed Forces NEVER FORGOT. And I can assure we, the 9/11 Families WILL NEVER FORGET. Much like you my husband has suffered greatly silently. We lost his parents 7 months apart, who never recovered from the loss of their 1st born son William. (we called him “Billy”) I was so saddened that 3 months after America was attacked the media worked hard to make Americans forget.

    Since 9/11/01, I have created a children’s prayer team which received mayoral recognition. My students daily cover our Armed Forces and their families with prayer. I am proud to say some of my students today are serving in the Armed Forces. All the glory goes to Jesus Christ. I know we will meet your twin Keith in Heaven. Until then, may the Lord Jesus Christ continue to comfort you with his love and mercy. Men and women like your Keith make me so proud to be a Christian American. God bless you and your family. You are our heroes.