Something To Remember Today

I know I do this every year. I do it because it’s important. Not just to me, but to America. We need today. We need a day to thank the 1,185,586 men and women who have given their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, so that you and I may enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy in this country. It IS that important.

My wife and I recently traveled to Texas for our eldest granddaughter’s high school graduation. We drove through El Paso, and peered across the Rio Grande into Mexico. I can only think of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people that would love to be living on this side of that river. No, we didn’t see any of the illegals on our trip, we mainly got through El Paso as quickly as possible. But I wasn’t lost to the fact that people all over the world, even in the weird and troubled times our country is in right now, they still long to live here. And we all should be grateful to be given that choice by God!

I’ve told many stories over the years of people I’ve known in the military that didn’t come back from God forsaken places like Vietnam, and Afghanistan, and Iraq. Friends, neighbors, high school and college students that left the safe confines of our country and went off to do battle with the forces of evil. And they were unselfish in their sacrifice. That’s why I’m totally in favor of giving the military pretty much anything they want. That’s why I think every single service man and woman should receive free healthcare for life. Not from the VA, but from anywhere they want to go, the highest “Cadillac plan” out there. They’ve earned it.

And I know that most of us are thinking of today as a day to spend at the beach getting sun burned, having cookouts, and eating a dozen hamburgers and hot dogs. It’s a day to relax by the pool, or to go to a ballgame. It’s a day off of work for most of us. And yet, like most other holidays we celebrate in our country, we’ve seemed to have lost the true meaning of why it is you get the day off work. It’s because those 1.2 million people gave up their lives so you and I could live ours. Today is a day to remember them. It’s a day to think about those that we knew that never came home. And it’s a day to think about those that we didn’t know, for they were just as important to the cause as the ones we did.

It’s the “unofficial start of summer”, but in reality, it should be a sad day, and a happy day rolled into one. Sad because who knows what those individuals could have accomplished had they come back home. Sad because without them, we wouldn’t be as free as we are today, and I know that doesn’t necessarily seem like we’re all that free anymore. But it’s also a happy day. Because we can look at the fact that we ARE free to a greater sense of the word than most countries on this blue marble. We should be happy that there are people living among us who freely give of their time, treasure, and talents to put their lives at risk, so that we can enjoy those hot dogs and hamburgers today. For as many people that have given their lives during the course of our country’s existence, even more, 1.3 million continue today to risk their lives for us. And let’s never forget the 18 million Veterans that did indeed come home and are with us today. Let’s not forget they also sacrificed for our country. If you are among that number, I humbly and sincerely want to thank you for all you’ve given me and my family.

Today is not a day for cookouts and beaches. It’s a day to remember those we’ve lost. Let’s promise never to lose that thought. And by chance, if you happen to go to a Memorial Day parade today, or you happen to see a man or woman in uniform, or even if you know a Veteran, thank them for their service somehow. Buy their lunch, shake their hand, let them know that what they gave up for us meant something more to us than just a day in November. They are all special people. They deserve the best, and with that…

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

We Celebrate Today For A Reason

And that reason isn’t a cookout. Nor is it a trip to the beach, or an amusement park. It’s not about going to the lake and celebrating the “first day of Summer”.

Today is to celebrate those that have made us free.

Today is for the people that left their lives, the wives and girlfriends, husbands and boyfriends, kids and kids to be and went off to war. They unselfishly put their country ahead of themselves. And they did so knowing full well of the dangers that they may not come back home. For the people we celebrate today, they didn’t come back home. They may have died in Europe, or southeast Asia, they may have died during a special mission in the Middle East. Maybe it was a Gulf War, or Afghanistan. Maybe they fought the Germans, or the Japanese, or the Taliban. It didn’t matter.

What mattered most to these heroes was the fact that they were preserving freedom for people they never met. The did it for people like you and me. And today is the day we set aside to remember them. And it would have been an abject travesty if today’s blog was about anything besides honoring these brave men and women.

I’ve told the story for years about one of the few and proud that gave their lives that I actually knew. I still to this day, some fifty odd years later think of him today. He was the son of a prominent family in our small town. He joined the Marines to fight in Vietnam, and he never came home. I weep still when I think of him because here was a person with so much of a bright future ahead of them. And just like the rest of his family, he put others first. He did it by joining the service. I admired his courage then, and I honor him every year on this day. He taught me a lot about life without ever knowing it. And he did it not for pay, not for the thanks, but so I could live free in the greatest country in the world…even with all of the garbage going on today.

So, before you light the grill, or put the boat in the water, or fill the backyard swimming pool, please take a few minutes. Gather the family together and explain to them why they don’t have to go to school or to work today. Maybe tell them about someone that you knew that didn’t come back from war. And let them know that their sacrifice, the greatest sacrifice they could give wasn’t in vain. It hasn’t been forgotten. And it is more than twenty seconds of Joe Biden placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It’s about real heroes, millions of them, who have always held out country and our freedom above all else.

God bless them and give them rest on this Memorial Day!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Today Is NOT The First Day Of Summer

Today is May 31st. We are still 21 days away from the start of summer. Now, I know that for a lot of you, that is about as foreign as if I were writing this in Mandarin Chinese. But it’s true. Summer actually starts on June 20th. Today is Memorial Day. And while that may be the “traditional” start of summer, it really doesn’t have anything to do with the seasons. It has to do with something much more important.

It’s a time to reflect and remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice so that you can eat hot dogs and drink beer today. Never forget that.

I think back in my life to the people that I have known that have served in the military. I worked for several. I had several work for me. I knew quite a few that gave their lives in combat in places all over this cockamamie world that I couldn’t pronounce if I had a gun to my head. And they did it for one reason.

They were all heroes.

These are people who died so that you and I could live. They are the most unselfish people that have ever walked the face of this earth. They did it because of love of country. They did it because they believed in freedom. They did it because they believed that the United States of America was the greatest country ever. And there is nothing that you or I can do that can come close to repaying them for the sacrifice that they made. We can’t say “sorry” enough times to the wives, and husbands, and sons, and daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles that they left behind.

But we do have today that we can use to remember them. I bet most of you know of someone, somewhere that went off to war, off to fight for our country, and never returned home. I think it’s the absolute least we can do to honor them at least one day a year. We can say thank you to them in whatever small way we can. We can visit a grave site. No, it’s not the beach, and it’s not a party. But that’s not what today is about anyway. You didn’t get today off to go and get drunk or go boating on some lake. You got today off to remember all of those people, those millions of people throughout conflicts and wars from the Revolutionary War through today that stand guard and fight for us.

So, today…even if it’s just for a brief moment…say a prayer, visit a grave site of a fallen soldier. Attend a memorial service in their honor. Do something…ANYTHING to remember what today is really about. And then, if you want to get back to hot dogs and wave runners, fine. But let’s keep our priorities straight, at least for this one day. Can we?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!


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!