Its not Burgers, Beer, Boating or even B-Ball.

I want to say something about this Memorial day. I want to perhaps compose some prose that will express the respect and admiration I have for those who gave “all they were” to keep this land free.

I want to talk about farmers and shop keepers who became a militia in 1775 and fought the most powerful nation in the world to victory. About the Battle of Bunker Hill and the “Shot Heard Round The World. About a four ship ragtag Navy they took on the British fleet.

I want to talk about those who fought that same super power again one generation later. Those who fell in the battle of New Orleans or those who gave all they had near our new Capital in a futile attempt to keep it from enemy hands.

I want to talk about Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Antietam, Bull Run and the rivers and streams that flowed red with the blood of father against son.

Remember the Maine! Was the battle cry as Teddy Roosevelt charged up San Juan Hill.

There is no one left to remember the first time “Over There” was sung. We went to Europe to fight the “War to End War”. Men, dug in in trenches in places like Verdun and Belleau Wood, forfeiting their lives more from bad food, dysentery and other ills than from bullets in battle. Hero’s none the less.

Then came December 7th, 1941. A day that saw more than 3000 men die while preventing Japan from taking a strategic position within striking distance of our western shore. Other names come to mind, Midway and Coral Sea on the water along with Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal on the land. On the other side of the world there was The Battle of the Atlantic, Kasserine Pass and the Battle of the Bulge. If you tour Europe today you will find countless places where the Sons of this great land are laid to rest. They gave all they were to defeat the Social Democratic government of Adolph Hitler and the fascist Emperor of Japan.

But we are not done yet. There was Inchon, Chosin Reservior, Heartbreak Ridge.

Twenty years later we heard words like An Loc, The Easter Offensive, Hamburger Hill and Tet.

Even today we remember those who are in western Asia fighting against a cowardly enemy who will plant a bomb in a square and run away.

There is no generation in our history that has not given a portion of its sons (and now daughters) to defend us against tyrants, dictators and communist rule. There is no higher price to pay and therefore no higher honor given to a man or woman than one fallen in battle.

This day I will pray for my country, I will pray for the families of the fallen. I will honor those who gave all so I could live free.

Our President, on the other hand, has chosen to go the Chicago to play b-ball with his buddies rather than attend the ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown in Arlington Cemetery. A tradition unbroken in decades.

The English language does not contain words to express my contempt.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Rick, Thank you for all the remembering….we too will honor the living who served and especialy those who gave their life, their all, for our chance at freedom. We take too much for granted….like giving the followers of B.H.O. the majority in the Congress to saddle our children and grandchildren with the horrible financial responsibility….and to think out President is not at Arlington National Cemetery today is unbelievable. We in South Dakota could have elected a Republican Senator in 2008 – and we didn’t – we followed the crowd – and the outcome of that election will haunt us for centuries. Thank you again for your thoughts on this Memorial Day weekend.
    Mary Jean Jensen

  2. A tradition unbroken in decades? Sounds like revisionist history. George W. Bush who missed one; there is a break. President Clinton did not miss any in his eight years; no break there. George H. W. Bush was out of the country for one and on vacation in Maine for three others; didn’t do it once. Reagan missed 4 Memorial Day trips to Arlington; more breaks there. Sound like it was broken several times, except by Clinton, in the past three decades.

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