On this Memorial Day

Everyone has seen the bumper sticker that reads “If you can read this, thank a teacher.   If you are reading this in English, thank a vet”.   Well, there are some vets we can’t thank.   Those who have given the ultimate gift to their nation.   Those who have fallen in battle can’t hear the applause in an airport.   They don’t see the smiles on the faces and the proud grins of parents and loved ones as the parade of returning heroes pass by.   They can’t hear “Thank you for your service.”

I would think that everyone reading this has, or knows someone who has, had a family member give his life to preserve ours.  If  not in the sands of Southwest Asia,  then perhaps the jungles of Southeast Asia some 30 and 50 years ago.  Many, many more family members were lost in the great battles of Europe and the Pacific 30 years before that.  We lost more soldiers, sailors, and airmen in one week in 1945 than we have lost since.  These men and women have given this country a great gift.  The gift of reading that bumper sticker in English.  The gift of being able to place, without governmental recrimination, another bumper sticker that says “Bush Lied – People Died”.

From the hills of Concord, Massachusetts to the dark alleys of  Fallujah,  men and women have given all they had for the people of this great country.  It is for them this day is set aside.  So… when the barbecue is blazing, and the beer is cold, take a minute to note the great gift given to us by those who can’t come home to enjoy it.  Take another minute to remind your children that this day is much more than the “unofficial start of summer” and a great day to buy a new car.

Published in: on May 26, 2008 at 7:06 am  Comments (6)  
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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Memorial Day Sonnet

    If Liberty means anything to me,
    I will remember what my freedom cost,
    By those who gave their all to keep me free,
    Whose lives were sacrificed, but never lost.
    I will remind myself of what they did,
    And keep them dearly cherished in my heart;
    Their honor never from me shall be hid
    And I will know they always did their part
    To save our nation and its people here,
    To pledge their lives in defense of our ways,
    To show that freedom always outlives fear,
    And sacrifice is hallowed all our days.
    If Liberty means anything to me,
    I will remember those who kept me free.

    © John Stuart 2008
    Pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church,
    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Audio at:
    [audio src="http://media.libsyn.com/media/stushie/Memorial_Day.mp3" /]

  2. Well said! It is refreshing to see that someone remembers what this day is about. I can remember as a child that stores were closed on Memorial Day, not competing to have the largest sale. To all the corporations that have these Memorial Day sales I say this, I hope you enjoy your blood money.

  3. Thank you for reminding these people how it is that they can
    enjoy the things they, such as “expression”


  4. This is a great post. Being a Veteran, I do express my gratitude for those that gave their all to keep me free.I will be proud to be a Vet as long as the Good Lord allows me to be on this earth…Sometimes I wish I could go back on active duty just to do something to help…God Bless all of out Troups….. My he bless and comfort all the friends and families of the ones who gave the ultimate sacrafice for our great country….

  5. Rick, I lost a cousin on Leyte in the Philippines, lost some good school chums in Korea…Lost some friends in Viet Nam…Lost a second cousin in the work up for the present unpleasantness…Some day, maybe man will learn that all that is gained in war is more ground to bury the dead…Until that time, though, we must remember our Service People, dead, living and those of the future, and thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their service, sacrifice and willing death in defense of freedom…Have A Very Fine Navy Day (HAVFND)…John

  6. P.S. I am a veteran of the Korean War and the Viet Nam War…2 was enough for me….John

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