Happy Memorial Day

Discussion in 'The Champagne Room' started by SRT-Tom, May 27, 2023.

  1. SRT-Tom

    SRT-Tom Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderator Article Writer

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    Oct 2, 2011
    southern New Jersey
    Have a safe and happy Memorial Day.

    This writing captures the true meaning of the holiday.

    Memorial Day is their day, isn't it? It is supposed
    to be the day a grateful nation pauses to quietly
    thank the more than one million men and women who have
    died in military service to their country since the
    Revolutionary War.

    Or is it the day the beach resorts kick into high gear
    for the summer season, the day the strand is covered
    by fish-belly white people basting themselves in
    coconut oil, the day the off-season rates end and the
    weekend you can't get in a seaside seafood restaurant
    with anything less than a one hour wait.

    Or is it one of the biggest shopping center sales days
    of the year, a day when hunting for a parking space is
    the prime sport for the holiday stay-at-homers?

    Or is it the weekend when more people will kill
    themselves on the highways than any other weekend and
    Highway Patrol troopers work overtime picking up the

    I think the men and women who died for us would
    understand what we do with their day. I hope they
    would, because if they wouldn't, if they would have
    insisted that it be a somber, respectful day of
    remembrance, then we have blown it and dishonored
    their sacrifice.

    I knew some of those who died, and the guys I knew
    would have understood.

    They liked a sunny beach and a cold beer and a hot
    babe in a black bikini, too. They would have enjoyed
    packing the kids, the inflatable rafts, the coolers,
    and the suntan lotion in the car and heading for the
    lake. They would have enjoyed staying at home and
    cutting the grass and getting together with some
    friends and cooking some steaks on the grill, too.

    But they didn't get the chance. They blew up in the
    Marine Barracks in Beirut and died in the oily waters
    of the Persian Gulf. They caught theirs at the
    airstrip in Grenada in the little war everyone laughed
    at. They bought the farm in the I Drang Valley and on
    Heartbreak Ridge, Phu Tai and at Hue. They froze at
    the Chosin Reservoir and were shot at the Pusan
    Perimeter. They drowned in the surf at Omaha Beach or
    fell in the fetid jungles of Guadalcanal.
    They were at the Soame and at San Juan Hill and at
    Gettysburg and at Cerro Gordo and at Valley Forge.

    They couldn't be here with us this weekend, but I
    think they would understand that we don't spend the
    day in tears and heart-wrenching memorials. They
    wouldn't want that. Grief is not why they died.
    They died so we could go fishing. They died so
    another father could hold his laughing little girl
    over the waves. They died so another father could
    toss a baseball to his son in their backyard while the
    charcoal is getting white. They died so another buddy
    could drink a beer on his day off. They died so a
    family could get in the station wagon and go shopping
    and maybe get some ice cream on the way home.

    They won't mind that we have chosen their day to have
    our first big outdoor party of the year. But they
    wouldn't mind, either, if we took just a second and
    thought about them.

    Some will think of them formally, of course. Wreaths
    will be laid in small, sparsely attended ceremonies in
    military cemeteries and at monuments at state capitols
    and in small town's squares. Flags will fly over the
    graves, patriotic words will be spoken and a few
    people there will probably feel a little anger that no
    more people showed up. They'll think no one else

    But we do remember. We remember Smitty and Chico and
    Davey and the guys who died. We remember the deal we
    made: If we buy it, we said, drink a beer for me.

    I'll do it for you, guys. I'll drink that beer for
    you today, and I'll sit on that beach for you, and
    I'll check out the girls for you and, just briefly,
    I'll think of you. I won't let your memory spoil the
    trip but you'll be on that sunny beach with me today.

    I will not mourn your deaths this Memorial Day, my
    friends. Rather, I'll celebrate the life you gave me.

    This Bud's for you, brother!

    -Author Unknown-

    Last edited: May 27, 2023
    stingray, SFCR, Chuckv and 2 others like this.
  2. SRT-Tom

    SRT-Tom Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderator Article Writer

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    Oct 2, 2011
    southern New Jersey
    The annual commemoration of Memorial Day was born in the former Confederate States in 1866, where thew graves of Confederate soldiers were decorated and honored. The holiday was adopted by the United States in 1868, through the efforts of Gen. John A. Logan, who headed the Grand Army of the Republic- the largest Union veterans’ fraternity at that time.

    On May 30, 1868, he wrote in an order stating that the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country should be decorated with flowers. The holiday was originally called Decoration Day. In later years, it evolved to honor not only Civil War soldiers but all troops who had fallen serving the country, and was renamed Memorial Day.

  3. B5blueRT

    B5blueRT Full Access Member

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    Sep 30, 2018
    Broadview Hts., Ohio
    All I can say is "WOW". That writing really sums it all up and reminds you (me) of what Memorial Day is all about.
    Thanks for finding it and sharing it with us Tom. I'm sharing it with all my adult children.
    Everyone - have a safe holiday weekend!
    fritzthecat, stingray and Chuckv like this.
  4. SFCR

    SFCR Active Member

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    Dec 23, 2021
    North Carolina
    I cannot express the gratitude of your words Tom. I proudly served and would do it again...any day!
    stingray likes this.
  5. stingray

    stingray Full Access Member

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    Feb 26, 2012