Please forgive me but the picture I have to show you all I found at Twitter. A Tweeter gave this picture up so that all could make an Avatar for it and I did. Unfortunately, I forgot to save the Tweet and I forgot to save the pictorial web site. So if anyone out there knows who’s picture this is, let me know. Thanks.
Memorial Day is not Veteran’s Day nor is it a birthday or Christmas or any other “holiday”. As a matter of fact, Memorial Day is not a “holiday”. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the Fallen – the men and women that have died for the American Flag and those that have been wounded for the American Flag. This is a Patriotic day.
This isn’t a time to make a savings at whatever store that is having a sale on whatever it is that you want to buy.
This isn’t a day that you have a party of sorts making hamburgers, hot dogs or any other kind of meat and potatoes nor is it a day that the vegetarians can make a salad.
This is not a day that friends gather and drink so much alcohol that you will have to worship the porcelain gods later.
This is not a day that the Holiday Crowds can get a free day off.
Memorial Day is a day of Remembrance.
Seeing what this day called Memorial Day has become, I have grown to hate this day – because I remember.
I remember days and days of battle.
I remember what the smells are like from battle.
I remember what spilled blood looks like.
I remember what spilled blood tastes like.
I remember taking showers and baths just to wipe the blood off of me that wasn’t my own.
I remember taking showers and baths to wipe the blood off that was mine.
I remember the screams.
I remember the pain.
I remember the Glory of Victory and I remember the days of defeat.
I remember carrying the once alive men.
I remember carrying the dead.
I remember cleaning off the blood from myself when there was no blood to wash off…it just felt like it was blood; and tasted like blood and it could have been my own or anyone else’s blood – but I washed it off anyway. And it is still there.
There are no unwounded from battle.
There are no undead from battle.
War is hell and those of us that lived in and through war know what it is like and we prayed for peace…peace will never come, I’m afraid.
I remember getting dragged by a Marine to a place of safety – I don’t remember anything after that actually until I woke up in Germany. I don’t remember much of Germany either. I do remember coming State side.
I remember what the Vietnam Veterans remember…a country packed full of people that do not belong to this Nation.
I even remember someone telling me, “Welcome Home, Soldier”. And, yes, I cried. I remember.
I remember what has happened to this pathetic day called Memorial Day and I hate it so.
I remember what family members of the Fallen remember, and know. They remember that their family members are now dead and gone from this planet Earth forever. I remember their pain because I remember it as well. I remember.
I even remember The Why we always go to war and get killed or wounded and I also remember PTSD and what happens to a man or woman that gets PTSD. Why? Because I have PTSD and there is no getting over it. There are no unwounded in war, in battle and there are no undead.
The Diplomats all cause wars to occur. Why? Because all the Diplomats do is prolong war. Diplomats in their hedonistic ways and means are actually too nice and in the end, I suppose they take great pride in causing the deaths on the unknowns…people like myself and a man named Monsoor among all the rest. Roger That. I suppose their trueness is actually a False Doctrine. Isn’t it? That’s the way I remember them.
Yes. I remember. And you? What do you remember? Do you remember what a fool you make of yourself hunched over the porcelain god? Do you remember the savings you make at the stores? Will you remember the Fallen? I remember. Do you say a toast to the Fallen? I do. Why? Because I remember.
I remember how many of us respond to Memorial Day and most of us do hate this day for what it has become.
Update on Sat, May 28, 2011 at 19:40 by Mark “Snooper” Harvey
Picture by: @ImpeachTheIdiot
Update on Sun, May 29, 2011 at 15:29 by Mark “Snooper” Harvey
Keep the Memory of Those Who Died In Your Name Alive – by Judge Patrick Dugan
For most of my life, I was like most people: I knew what Memorial Daystood for, but I didn’t really stop to think about what it truly meant. That changed after I went to Iraq in 2004 as a civil-affairs soldier with the Army Reserves. When you serve with people who don’t come home, Memorial Day means something different.
Memorial Day is not about politics. Whatever your feelings about current or former wars, remember this: All military personnel take an oath. The fallen swore and gave their lives honoring a promise:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the uniform code of military justice. So help me God.”
The soldiers who gave Uncle Sam a blank check with their lives offered to answer our nation’s call to arms. The military does not decide to go to war; it just answers the call of our nation. And the numbers of those who have died answering that call continue to rise: 4,454 and counting in Iraq; 1,586 and counting in Afghanistan; 58,220 in Vietnam; 36,574 in Korea; 405,399 inWorld War II. Since 1775, in fact, more than 1.3 million military personnel (and counting) have given their lives for this nation.
It’s a huge number, but, then, Memorial Day is not about the numbers. It’s about the individual human being: the American, the man, the woman, the father, the brother, the spouse, the friend, the son, the uncle and the daughter who answered the call of our nation to deploy into violence, into war.
It’s about people such as Upper Darby High School graduate Lt. Col. Mark Patrick Phelan, 47, from Pennsylvania, a father, uncle, husband and brother who went to Iraq with the 416th Civil Affairs Battalion (Norristown) to win the “hearts and minds” of Iraqis. His remains now lie in Arlington National Cemetery, with fellow heroes, such as Cpl. Michael Crescenz, of Philadelphia, a Vietnam veteran who received the Medal of Honor. Lt. Col. Phelan was an Army reservist killed by a “homicide bomber” who rammed his explosives-filled car into the Humvee in which Phelan was riding.
Memorial Day is about Americans like infantry paratrooper Robert Dembowski Jr., 20, a graduate of Pennsylvania’s Council Rock High, who was killed in Baghdad in a small-arms attack. It’s about Roger Haller, 49, a Maryland National Guard command sergeant-major, whose helicopter was shot down in Iraq and who now rests in Arlington. It’s about Nicole Frye, 19, a Civil Affairs soldier from Wisconsin, who was killed in Iraq by an IED as she drove an unarmored Humvee that had a plastic tarp for a door.
Memorial Day is for Bradli Coleman, 19, of Ford City, Pa., who was killed by a mortar as he slept on his bunk in Mosul, Iraq, after working the night shift in Task Force Olympia headquarters. Memorial Day is about Marine Maj. John Spahr, 42, a former Philadelphia All-Catholic quarterback at Saint Joseph’s Prep, whose F18 went down in Iraq. Memorial Day is about Marine John Basilone, killed in the Pacific during World War II. Memorial Day is to remember the sacrifice of Lee Hartel, killed in Korea. It is about Patrick Ward, 21, a helicopter machine-gunner from Fairmount who did not return from Vietnam.
Every day is Memorial Day for the fallen’s families, friends and comrades-in-arms. Look into the eyes of Robert Dembowski Sr., or those of a Gold Star Mother, and you will see the immeasurable price that some pay for our freedoms.
Memorial Day is about the infinite void that each deceased hero leaves. It’s about the families and friends of Phelan, Crescenz, Dembowski, Frye, Spahr, Haller, Coleman, Basilone, Hartel, Ward and countless others, about their everyday pain as they continue through life even as their loved ones become names on marble monuments.
As you enjoy your federal holiday, I urge you to include in your festivities a time to remember what Memorial Day truly means: a time to stop, put down your barbecue tongs and join the families and comrades-in-arms, and think, if even just for a short time, about the sacrifice signified by the numbers on the walls.
I urge you to take your children to a ceremony honoring those who have fallen. Take them to a Memorial Day parade. Put a flag on your lawn. Help a veterans’ group. Better yet, help a “survivors’ group.” Attend one of the many services throughout the region honoring our war dead.
The Vietnam memorial honors the fallen. The Korean memorial also honors who fell. But, remember, these are not just numbers or names on a wall. They are your fellow citizens, who died in your name. Keep their memory alive.