With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, Please take some time with your family and loved ones, (preferably the younger generation), to reflect upon and REMEMBER all those brave men and women who gave their lives for this Country so we could all be free and enjoy the FREEDOMS we have today.
Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!
As the battery was in a forward wooded area close to the Confederate lines, the traditional three-shot volley was unsafe as it would have given the enemy a good idea of where the battery was located.
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By Daniel Greenfield
On Memorial Day, the flowers bloom. A dozen towns in a dozen states all claim that it began there when after the long weary struggle of the Civil War, the mothers and sisters of the lost and the fallen brought fresh cut flowers to bring a touch of life to the dead men entombed in the cold, gray stone.
“From the silence of sorrowful hours, The desolate mourners go, Lovingly laden with flowers, Alike for the friend and the foe,” reads the famous Francis Miles Finch poem which helped popularize the practice.
Today the wars are no longer fraternal. The First World War is the last war that had anything brotherly in it. It was a war where soldiers from both sides could observe a Christmas truce and hurl nothing deadlier than snowballs at each other. The end of that terrible war on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” became Armistice Day and then, when the “war to end all wars” did not end them, but instead gave way to wars fought against terrible evils, Nazism, Communism, Islam, it became Veteran’s Day to remember those who would go on sacrificing in this eternal struggle against evil.
But while wars are no longer fraternal, the flowers are laid now on the graves of foes, not friends.
The men and women who die fighting for the cause of freedom are not accorded a fraction of the tender affection from the press that it lavishes on a single imprisoned Al Qaeda terrorist. We live today in an America in which the butchers of the Jihad in Guantanamo Bay receive better medical care than veterans waiting endlessly at the VA. While Obama cut off hot meals for Marines in Afghanistan, Islamic terrorists in Guantanamo Bay were enjoying lemon baked fish, honey glazed chicken, lyonaise rice, tandouri chicken breast, okra, hummus, dates, honey and seasoned lentils.
While veterans died at the VA, the men they had fought and helped capture were gifted with a $750,000 soccer field. This treatment is an obscene echo of the days of segregation when German POWs were allowed to sit inside at eateries while the African-American soldiers who guarded them had to wait outside. This segregation no longer occurs by race, but by patriotism and creed.
Obama denies that Islamic terrorism exists and suppresses any training materials about the role of Islam in Islamic terrorism while his administration warns of domestic terror threats from veterans. Muslim migrants from Syria receive lavish social benefits while health care for veterans is slashed. The Muslim migrants, many of whom support Islamic terrorists, benefit from job programs while veterans head for the unemployment line. This hatefully discriminatory attitude has become pervasive on the left.
Hollywood bends over backward to avoid accurately portraying Muslim terrorists, but depicts returning veterans as unstable killers and ticking time bombs. The media gushes over each petty Islamophobia grievance, like Tahera Ahmad, who claimed that she didn’t receive a Diet Coke can on a plane only because she was Muslim, while sweeping the sweeping the thousand veterans who died because of the VA scandal under the progressive prayer rug. A Muslim Diet Coke matters more than a thousand dead veterans.
When Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was slow to release Islamic Jihadists from Guantanamo Bay, Obama summoned him and personally chewed him out over the delays for his beloved terrorists. His predecessor, Secretary of Defense Hagel, said, “I’d get the hell beat out of me all the time on this at the White House.”
Does anyone imagine that Obama summoned the VA secretary to yell at him over the treatment of veterans? Instead he initially backed former VA Secretary Shinseki. And it’s doubtful that current VA Secretary Bob McDonald will be getting personally yelled at by Obama for comparing wait lines at the VA to Disneyland.
33% of veterans who have served since September 11 suffer from a disability. Their unemployment rates are higher and both poverty rates and food stamp use continue to rise. Behind these tragic facts is the tragic truth that we have forgotten how to honor our veterans. Worse still, the country’s leaders go out of their way to actively diminish the respect due to their courage and sacrifices.
On his visit to Vietnam, Obama referenced veterans only to praise John Kerry while insisting that “the courage to make peace” is more important than the courage “to fight”. The old-fashioned kind of veteran who fought in Vietnam, who earned his Purple Heart honestly and came home wounded in body and spirit, who is not interested in pretending that the Communist death squads he fought deserve his tribute is, according to Obama, lacking in courage. True courage is appeasement while the courage that stopped Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan is truly something closer to cowardice.
In his apology speech at Hiroshima, Obama cynically equated American and Japanese soldiers, as he had both sides in Vietnam, dismissing World War II as being fought out of a “base instinct for domination or conquest”. This is how the left sees war and soldiers. There are no good wars. Therefore the only good veterans are the ones who transcend it by recognizing that they made a mistake by fighting. That war is a misunderstanding to be resolved by the truly courageous diplomacy of men like John Kerry.
Is it any wonder that an administration which views the military as an evil to be abolished, which sees the war against Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany not as proof of our moral convictions, but as an outgrowth of our ancestors “having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood, used these tools not just for hunting, but against their own kind”, has such contempt and hostility for veterans?
And is it any wonder that this contempt trickles through the institutions of the left, from entertainment to academia, and that in the shadow of these institutions, the honor due to the men who fought for our freedom, those still living and the dead, from the birth of our nation to its present crisis, is lacking?
Is it any wonder that veterans go hungry while lavish feasts are thrown in the institutions of government? Once we remembered that our freedoms come from the willingness to fight for them. Not with campus activism or empty words, but on the battlefield against those totalitarian enemies, whether they wear the death’s head, the red star or the crescent, which come to deprive us of them.
But our enemies today are as likely to come from within as without. We are in the midst of a quiet civil war and our veterans have become its first casualties. The heroes of today’s ruling class are racist rabble-rousers who tear down the flag for which so many of our soldiers died and replace it with their own militant banners of identity politics. The privileged leftist activists who once chanted “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, the NLF is gonna win”, who even attempted to murder soldiers to aid the enemy, are in charge of the country, while Vietnam veterans sleep on the streets and groan in prisons.
Obama’s disrespect for veterans and the military is only a symptom of a deeper rot. Once again a civil war is underway between those of us who love this Union and those who seek to divide it. It is a conflict fought with words and laws, rather than bullets, but it has its casualties who are all around us. It is not only the veterans who have died at the VA who are its victims, but those who have long slept under green grass and gray stone, whose graves wait to be decorated, whose courage waits to be remembered and whose cause waits to be fought once again.
Today, after writing this, I’ll walk to Swiss Cottage station, take the Jubilee line to Bond Street, and head east on the Central line from there. I’ll emerge from London’s labyrinthine underground network in the shadow of the towering dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Once inside, I’ll head to the eastern end of the building and find the American Memorial Chapel. This corner of the cathedral complex was destroyed during the blitz in World War II, and the chapel was rebuilt as a commemoration of the Americans who died during the conflict.
That will be my place to reflect, to mark this day. Memorial Day is at once a national day of commemoration and an intensely personal one. We all feel Memorial Day differently. But however it’s experienced, it’s the day we set aside as a nation, when we can take a few moments to remember.
There are specific memories that, while always there, come back to me each Memorial Day. I remember the moment I heard the news of the first person in my Officer Candidate School platoon that had been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. I remember the “hero flights” that came to our bases to carry fallen servicemembers on the first leg of their journeys home. I remember the bracelets that we wore, each of which carried the name of a friend gone too soon, and how few wrists were unadorned by one as the years of war went on.
But these are my memories. Few among us don’t have memories of their own. They may be from today’s wars or yesterday’s. They may be poignant or fleeting. They may feature friends, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, neighbors, or just somebody we’ve read about. It doesn’t matter. Today is the day that we set aside to carry those memories forward.
And just as each American will feel Memorial Day uniquely, we will each mark it in our own way. I’ve attended a memorial service in the chapel on a small base in Baghdad; I’ve watched a sunset over the dusty plains of Helmand province from atop a bunker; I’ve made the trip to Arlington National Cemetery; and this year, I’ll head to a small memorial chapel in central London. Much has changed in my life since I stopped wearing ACUs. Marking this day is one thing that never will.
Our calendar is filled with holidays that have iconic and defining items associated with them. Christmas has its trees, Thanksgiving has Turkey, Easter has eggs and a rabbit. Memorial Day is a blank canvas, ours to commemorate in whatever way we see fit. Old men might tell stories about their buddies to children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. Young vets might send around emails to recall stories about “that one time” that a certain friend did something great or funny or crazy before he was gone. Some will visit cemeteries, others will spend some time alone, and still others will take a moment amid a chaotic and happy day with family or friends to remember what today is. It doesn’t matter how we do it. It’s just important that we do it.
We don’t really say “happy Memorial Day.” It doesn’t sound right. So instead, and on behalf of War on the Rocks, let me just say that I hope your weekend has been an enjoyable one, and that you’re all able today to mark this day, however you choose. If it seems right to you, it’s the right way.
Read the Original Article at War on the Rocks
Image: Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, New York Army National Guard
As a Vet, Memorial Day has always held a special place in my heart. Not for the sake of being recognized as a Veteran, but because it is so important to me personally that ALL AMERICANS recognize and remember all those who have served and pay special homage to those vets and their families who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.
After I came back home from the service, I personally struggled a lot trying to understand why did I get to come home? What made me so special that I got to come back, while so many more deserving young men did not? Call it survivors guilt, call it PTSD, put whatever psychological label you want on it, the Question remains and is a valid one.
After many years of searching for the answer, a reality hit me one day in March of 2008 that was like a ton of bricks. It can best be summed up by the speech given by the “Older Private Ryan” character at the end of the film, Saving Private Ryan:
[last lines; addressing Miller’s grave]
Old James Ryan: My family is with me today. They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I…I wasn’t sure how I’d feel coming back here. Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I’ve earned what all of you have done for me.
Ryan’s Wife: James?
[looking at the headstone]
Ryan’s Wife: Captain John H Miller.
Old James Ryan: Tell me I have led a good life.
Ryan’s Wife: What?
Old James Ryan: Tell me I’m a good man.
Ryan’s Wife: You are.
[Ryan stands back and salutes]
Earning the Right to Come Home had more to do with how I lived my life in the HERE AND NOW, rather than thinking about the past and all the “what if’s” that populated it. Earning that Right every day is what motivates me more than anything to be a man of character, honor and integrity. And so it should go with ALL Americans in my opinion, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE! Earn the Right to live in a Democracy every day of your life!
Unfortunately, and I would be amiss not to mention this, but as we have seen lately those with whom we have entrusted the care of our Vets when they come home, (Our Government via The Dept. of Veteran Affairs) have and are currently failing our Veterans miserably. This is Shameful and there is absolutely no excuse for it. And whats worse is our so called “President” has done exactly what he has always done when there is a scandal (Remember the NSA Snowden Affair?) First, he downplays it and then appoints a “Committee” to investigate it. This is more of the same impotent bureaucracy obama is famous for and sadly it will accomplish nothing except ensuring our vets keep getting more of the same: sub-standard medical care or no medical care at all.
Earning the Right. It’s a simple concept really. Too bad those in D.C. seem to miss the point.
So this Memorial Day Weekend go out there and do your part and Thank a Vet for his Service and Say a prayer for all the families who are dealing with the loss of their Hero.
Earn the Right. I know I try every day, are you?
This Memorial Day, be sure to tune in to the History Channel at 8pm CST for their Premiere 3 Night Event “The World Wars”. It will track the History of WW2 through the lives of Roosevelt, Stalin, Patton, Hitler and Churchill and the pivotal decisions they made during WW1 that eventually shaped the world.
As a Veteran, I take very seriously three Holidays: July 4th, Veterans Day (Nov. 11th) and Memorial Day (May 27th). My reasoning for my seriousness is based on two things: My Understanding of History and My Dedication as a Patriot to the Foundational precepts of this Country. Let me first expound on the first reason as it might further enlighten my second.
When you understand from a historical perspective WHY a Holiday is celebrated, you can appreciate it all the more. The root word is Memorial Day is of course, “Memorial” which denotes “Memory” or “Remembering”. But that of course begs the question, “Remember WHAT?”
Taken from Wikipedia here is the definition I found:
“Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.”
Now, if we take this definition to answer the above question “What are we Remembering?” Yeah, you would get the traditional (and correct) answer of “Men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces.” But you also get these shallow, idiotic responses:
Sadly, a large part of the population if asked the above question on the street would not give you the correct answer, but one of the three moronic ones.
Now granted, there has been action taken by the prior White House renters in 2000 to try and “Re-Direct” the what I call “National Attention Span” (which by all accounts has a SEVERE case of ADD) with the National Moment of Rememberance. But pitifully, Nothing has come out of Washington since that time (13 years!) to try and honor the fallen and get lazy sheeple off their ass and give respect where respect is due.
Now I know what you are thinking “If you are waiting on Washington D.C. to do something meaningful and productive, you are gonna be waiting a long time!“ and you might be right, but I also remember my Grandfather telling me you can tell a lot more about a persons character by what he DOES NOT DO than by what HE DOES..and let’s be real honest here; the current White House renters don’t do a whole lot in terms of Patriotism. If I was an outsider I would almost want to guess they really do not like America or our Constitutional Precepts! It is almost like they are ashamed of this country (oh wait, I seem to remember Michelle Obama saying just that!!)
Which brings me to my last and final point.
As a Veteran, I was willing to die, (and still am until they plant me) for this country and the principles it was founded on. I consider myself an Ardent Patriot, a DEFENDER, if you will, of this Great Nation’s Heritage. And no matter who is renting the White House and the socialist scams and/or laws they try to push on me, those beliefs will never change.
This quote from Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC sais it all to me:
“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who gave us the freedom to demonstrate
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag.
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag.”
Please take a moment at 3pm on May 27th, Memorial Day and Remember those who gave it all and if possible, do something tangible and helpful for the veterans in your community, especially the disabled vets!
Stay Dangerous and Remember!