I know what a lot of people have been doing this weekend. It is, after all, the unofficial start to summer. And for folks in the eastern and northern climes, it’s a chance to shake off winter, albeit, with social distancing, and get outside to enjoy the sun, the wind, and nature. It’s a time for bar be ques, and grilling out. Spending time at the beach, or if you’re like me…in a normal year… watching the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600 all in one day.

But there’s something even more important than that.

We are celebrating Memorial Day to remember those that gave their lives for us. Overall, in all of our conflicts, police actions, and wars since the Revolutionary War, there have been 1,354,000 deaths in our military (in war). Another 40,000 were declared Missing In Action. Today celebrates those 1.4 million people that gave the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I could be free. That is why we are celebrating today.

I have several friends that served in the armed services. I knew a couple back in Vietnam that lost their lives, and I’ll never forget the anguish and grief their parents went through right up to the point when they saw their sons again in Heaven. And I don’t limit my thoughts and prayers to just those that didn’t come back. I also think about my friends, co-workers, and neighbors that gave up years of their lives to serve in our military. Some of them went to Vietnam, and others to various skirmishes around the globe.

I think of the year that my daughter and granddaughter moved in with us in Ohio, when her husband, a Navy reservist, was called up for duty in Iraq. Now, I really respect the sacrifice he made in leaving his daughter who was about 8 months old, and going overseas for a full year, with only one break to come home and visit. But to be honest, it was one of the neatest times to get to see my one granddaughter grow up, turn one, take her first steps, and eat sugar for the first time! I still have the video of that one!

So, today, as we get set to fire up the grill, head to the beach (unless you live in California and don’t want to be arrested for walking on “dry sand”), or open the backyard swimming pool, please take a moment. Please remember the reason we are here, the reason we are free. Please remember those 1.4 million folks that offered their lives to you. They were totally unselfish, totally willing to serve their country, and totally willing to give up those lives and those futures for the good of our country. Let’s never forget them today, or every day!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Remembering This Day

I seem to do this for a lot of holidays. Then again, I think Americans relish the day off of work a lot more than realizing why it is they actually get the day off of work. Today is one of those days, like Christmas and Easter, that everyone should stop at least for a minute and pay homage to those that have given the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I can actually HAVE a day off of work!

Today is Memorial Day.

We remember today. We remember those that have given their lives in the pursuit of freedom. We remember today that freedom isn’t free. It’s been excessively costly. It continues to be so. It’s one of those things that if you turn your back on it, even for a short period of time, you could lose. And I fear that we are in the midst of one of those times.

Today is not about hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, or opening the backyard swimming pool. It’s not about the Indy 500, or the Coca Cola 600, both of which yes, I’ll admit to watching yesterday (along with the Monoco Grand Prix). I think both of the American races do a nice job of supporting the troops, and remembering the fallen. I’d hate to think that it’s the only place that does so anymore.

I know when I was a kid there was always a Memorial Day parade. And I’m sure there still are places that do that. You gotta remember, I grew up in small town, midwest America. We had parades every time the Mayor got over a cold. But I do remember going downtown and standing on the street corner as the various Boy Scout troops, and the VFW, and the Shriners, and the High School Band all marched by waving at the people. I never really understood Memorial Day back then. Maybe it took the Vietnam War, when it seemed everyone I knew lost someone they knew in that terrible conflict.

But today, I stop and pause. I do think about those that I knew that lost their lives in battle fighting for freedom. Those people came from all types of families, were all ages, all races, probably all sexual orientations, and all income levels. They all had one thing in common and that was a love of America, and a desire to protect it from all threats, foreign and domestic.

So, today, I ask, no…I BEG you to stop what you’re doing. Think about and thank the memory of someone you know that gave their life for this country. It doesn’t have to include going to a cemetary and putting flowers on a grave marker (though that would be nice). It’s a gentle reminder that yes, we may have political differences, but we ARE one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

What Today Means

Those of you new to this blog haven’t read this before, but I always reserve a couple of dates for holidays and their true meaning. We, as Americans have reached the point in our decline as a nation where we fail to realize why it is we celebrate certain holidays.

Today is one of those days.

Memorial day is set aside to honor the men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I may enjoy the freedoms of living in what’s still the greatest country on earth. Though it is tougher and tougher to say that with all of the left-wing fake news, and “win at all cost” mentality that the left wants to employ. But there isn’t a country on earth that gives us the freedoms to call them on it, and to expound on why we are such a great country in the face of their negativism and hate-filled rhetoric.

Today is a day that we should all be visiting a national cemetery. It’s a day to think about those in our lives who have laid down theirs so we could enjoy ours. Our history is filled with millions of people who have done just that. Whether they threw themselves on a grenade in World War II, or took a bullet or a roadside bomb in Afghanistan or Iraq so that their platoon could be spared, we pause, think of their memory, and thank them for their service and their sacrifice.

It’s out of fashion in this day and age, with us fighting a war on terror that is entering it’s 19th year, to pooh-pooh the military. Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of that, but you’ll understand if you look at history and especially history in the last fifty years, that the conservatives in this country are the ones that have backed and honored the military without fail. It’s been the liberals that have wanted to use that money to further re-distribute the wealth. It’s been the liberals in our society that would take money away from soldiers in the fields, and like in California, want to give it to illegal aliens in the form of free health care (which should boil the blood of EVERY American!)

Before you fire up the grill today, before you crack open a beer and go to the lake or the pool this fine day, stop and give thanks, either aloud or silently for the millions of people that can no longer give thanks. Thank them for their sacrifice so that you can enjoy that beer, that hot dog or hamburger, and that sun tan you’re getting today. It doesn’t take long. But pray for their souls, and thank them for all they’ve given you.

They truly are and continue to be real American Heroes.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!