28 May 2012

Memorial Day Musings...

I already know that all of you that DO have a flag to fly got it outside as the sun came up (as I did) and are proudly displaying it...
And I also know that many of you are planning some sort of way to remember today, whether with loved ones, at some service, or perhaps just by yourself, alone with your thoughts and feelings.
All of these are fine and proper.
Today IS such a day to do so.
--Around the "Fortress" it will be Mrs. Bobby G. and myself (plus the 2 cats) and whatever other furry or feathery friends choose to stop by, and that's fine with me. They're welcome here.
I still recall with fondness all the Memorial Days from my past that were filed with people and patriotic events.
--Yesterday (as always), we watched the Indy 500...Good for Dario - his THIRD 500 win. Very well driven race.
I also had to watch We Were Soldiers (Mel Gibson/Sam Elliott/Barry Pepper - 2002)...brought home much about what TODAY is all about.
An excellent movie about those who fought and died for this nation, but more importantly...for each other (and their families).
The Ken Burns series THE WAR was also on, and I had to watch that, too.
I tried to watch the National Concert from D.C. (on PBS), but weather halted it halfway through...damn shame.
--I did finds an article in Sunday's paper that should make all of us think about those men and women who have served in our armed forces (and in many cases are STILL serving).
Here's the story link:
Now, I always knew that many veterans of recent conflicts had trouble re-assimilating themselves after being in theater for however long they were, and in today's world of combat, the severity of wounds have deeper impacts, especially the "unseen" wounds for soldiers.
But the story mentions veterans committing suicide at a rate equal to ONE every EIGHTY MINUTES...!
The article goes on to say that millions of vets do NOT have health care and (imho) if ANY group is deserving of this, it is THEY who have fought, bled and died on battlefronts all over the world in order to make sure that Americans on the homefront COULD have their BBQs, set off their fireworks, and get falling down drink on their booze. To provide for our service personnel IS only fair.
We ASKED them to fight, and they did. We didn't ASK them to die...but they DID. We should not need to ask ANY more of such heroes.
We should be willing to do for them without hesitation.
Interesting numbers mentioned in the story...about only ONE PERCENT of the American people have served in the military throught our history...which leaves (if my math is good) about 99%.
Seems we have a new, more deserving class of "one-percenters" that are in desperate need of medical, psychological, or emotional help.
It would seem all to easy for the OTHER 99% of America to get behind these men and women that have served and assist them in whatever way possible so THEY can get on with their lives.
In some cases, the wounds suffered in combat make even a simple task like everyday living a daunting task...and on a daily basis.
This related story is about the number of vets claiming disability:
I have to admit that whatever aches and pains I'm feeling at my age pale in comparison to what our veterans might have to endure...some for the remainder of their lives.
Now, there are LOTS of groups you can donate to, so as to help those in need, and it's NOT going to cost you the farm, or an arm and a leg (as it HAS for many of our wounded already) to make THEIR life better, and in doing so, make YOUR life more fulfilled.
And I guess I'm done preaching from my soapbox for now...sort of.
--Today, Wifey and I have a quiet (as is possible living among the lunatics down there) day of reflection, with good eats and drink planned.
And it's a time of solace...of reverie...of contemplation...well, it IS a good day to do so, right?
Memorial Day is a day to remember such people as our vets, though...
The WIKI on this day tells all if all you want to history, as found here:
Nice to know it's been around since after the Civil War.
Memorial Day is a day when we remember the FALLEN in uniform that used to dwell among us.
We hold parades, used to decorate our bicycles as kids, and attend services at cemeteries, some that held honor guard tribute.
It's a day of REMEMBRANCE, for that's what's meant by a "memorial"...something we do to remember someone.
To me, it's a day to do things that I feel my late Father would like to take part in.
As Christians, we are commended to "do all to the glory of God", but I think our Heavenly Father wouldn't mind sitting this day out, and say it's OK to do something to the HONOR of your earthly FATHER on ONE day a year.
Same goes for the brothers, sisters, mothers, uncles, grandfathers, sons and daughters that have served.
  So, I take today with the level of solemnity that comes with it, and to that end, I do honor my father for HIS service to THIS nation.
I will raise my glass to HIM in remembrance of the man he was, the uniform he wore, and the nation that supported him and all his fellow G.I.s in whatever branch of the military they found themselves, and in whatever theater of combat they served.
All of THEM made it possible for you and I to grow up and grow older in a free society...and those recently departed from us from our military have made it safe STILL...for today and for our tomorrows.
We take ONE day a year to recollect, and to remind ourselves of the sacrifice.
Should we not take with us into the other 364 days of the year the same acknowledgment of our liberties and freedoms for the sake of those who gave all, and for the sake of our children, that they may also grow up in a country where such things as honor, integrity, and yes, even sacrifice will always mean something, rather than nothing?
I would say...yes.
We much NEVER forget...and ALWAYS remember.
DO have yourselves a wonderful day.
Thank a soldier if you see one...shake his or her hand.
Hell, buy 'em a beer.
And take some time to honor the fallen that made it possible for YOU to enjoy today.
In the meantime...
Be well, make a difference to someone (in uniform) today, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


CWMartin said...

The salute is all that's needed today. Have a great day, guys.

Bob G. said...

Right back at'cha, my friend.

Here's hoping you all have a great day as well.

Stay safe up there.