30 May 2011

Memorial Day Musings...
Seems every year I look to find the right words...and often without plagiarizing that which others have said so very eloquently.
How can one fully explain the REAL meaning of today?

Can we look to all the cemeteries, replete with their small flags decorating the graves of fallen comrades or family members who have served this country and that have passed on?
Can we look to the parades that will commemorate those who have served or are currently serving?
Can we listen to the services and the music from military bands that will be presented to all of us remaining?
I think it's all of these, and so much more.
Some people throughout history have noted as much:
Robert E. Lee once stated that:
"It is good that war is so terrible, otherwise we would grow too fond of it."
William Tecumseh Sherman put it more bluntly:
"War is hell."
George S. Patton Looked at it this way:
"The object of war is to not die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for HIS."
William Westmoreland saw it in this manner:
"War is fear cloaked in courage."
Jose Narosky made this observation:
"In war there are no unwounded soldiers."
John F. Kennedy had this to say:
"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind."
Ulysses S. Grant said:
"I have never advocated war except as a means of peace."
Herbert Hoover noted that:
"Older men declare war, but it is the youth that must fight and die."
Now all these people (and many more throughout history's past) seemed to understand what war really means.
it means changing one's lifestyle...leaving one's family, and perhaps making the ultimate sacrifice to one's nation.
That is what WE remember this day.
Now, we can see all the sales at all the stores, and look to our BBQ grills and even set off fireworks as some sort of divisive way to "have fun" and send a false homage to those in uniform, both living and deceased, but all this falls far short of the ACTUAL REASON we acknowledge this day each year.
America has placed literally MILLIONS of it's citizens into harm's way...
Some (in the past) through conscription, and these days, all by volunteerism.
And of that vast number, while many signed up because it was the RIGHT thing to do, many others simply did NOT want to be placed in the situation they soon found themselves.
But then, a remarkable thing occurred...
Those American troops fought...and fought long, hard and far beyond their normal abilities (as former citizens) in order to achieve the victory needed to end whatever hostility they were thrust into...and that's something VERY remarkable.
The wonderful thing about all that...we've been doing this since the 18th century. This nation has within it, a unique people....
No other nation on earth has accomplished that which we have, in such a short time AS a nation.
And we did it by having brave men and women of honor and integrity fight for liberty and freedom.
There can be no greater patriotism found than in both our military and it's extended families.
THAT is what this nation stands for.
War is never the best option to solve any dispute or problem, but it is often the ONLY recourse left when all else fails.
And when attacked on our shores, we WILL respond and not merely with words, but by deeds and action.
We ARE a free people...and perhaps more free than ANY other nation on the planet.
As such, we are often ridiculed or scorned by those who march to beats of different drums.
And to those people we would only ask that they embrace liberty instead of tyranny; freedom instead of oppression.
Should we be drawn into conflict because of OUR beliefs, we will answer the call to duty.
And we shall prevail.
The endgame is not without cost to us, as a nation...as a people.
We will mourn those we lose in battle, and celebrate their memory.
THAT is what today is all about.
Our nation comes together at this time every year to do this, and it is proper and fitting to take part.
I would ask that EVERY American take today to reflect upon that which is allowed you, by way of such sacrifice by others.
Use this day as a time to appreciate the life you have, and the manner in which you are permitted to live it.
And then look to our men & women who have served and are serving...and thank them for what they have done, and will continue to do, in order that you may life free.
It's what makes THIS nation the one others look to in that regard.
Have a wonderful day, and remember that many of our public safety workers are ALSO veterans of the military.
Take a moment to thank them ALL for their service to you...and this country.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


Bob G. said...

Fellow bloggers & commenters:

Your comments will eventually appear here (or else), so feel free to keep on saying what's on your minds.

It's BLOGGER'S fault (as usual)...not mine (or yours).

Hang in there.

Ann T. said...

Dear Bob,
This post made me weep. So very thoughtful and moving.

Thanks very much for the reflection and inspiration.

Very truly yours,

Bob G. said...

You are very welcome.
It was my pleasure to provide a bit of how I feel about this...to you.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Stay safe out there.