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Today is Memorial Day

by Keith Koffler on May 26, 2014, 2:16 am

Freedom is not free. And it is not cheap.

It is purchased with lives.

Lives that will not be completed. Lives that will not fill the emptiness of those who loved them, and lost them, and must live on without them.

Their families can’t even thank them. We¬†can’t even thank them. For dying for us, even though they didn’t know us.

But they knew of us. They knew about America.

We can be cheered that their lives were not wasted. Many lives lived much longer are wasted. But dying for the greatest nation in history, for the hope of mankind – for the last hope of mankind – is not a waste.

But it is a tragedy. And it is awfully sad.

God bless the men and women who have fallen defending this country. And, dear God, thank them for us.

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{ 64 comments }

Political Clown Parade May 26, 2014 at 4:27 am

They gave their collective future to ensure ours. May they find peace beneath the white headstones in the land they fought to defend.

Diogenes May 26, 2014 at 4:52 am

As Ronald Reagan once said in a Memorial Day Speech:
“Some people today say there are no heros. They just have looked far enough….To the rolling hills of Arlington….”. God Bless Them All.

Aileen May 26, 2014 at 9:55 am

Just listened to a recording of that speech. Also read a quote from Billy Graham today:
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
May God be merciful to the USA.

KenoshaMarge May 26, 2014 at 6:47 am

Amen.

Sportinlife10 May 26, 2014 at 7:06 am

Lovely, Keith.

Lee May 26, 2014 at 9:18 am

Agree.

MarjoJimbo May 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

Thank you.

Sportinlife10 May 26, 2014 at 8:18 am

Back to business: Did the o leave because Rolling Thunder was arriving? Didn’t he do this last year too?

srdem65 May 26, 2014 at 9:13 am

An elegant tribute to our honored dead, MrK.

Girly1 May 26, 2014 at 9:35 am

Thank you, Keith. And a big hug to all of our Vets.

Julie Brueckheimer May 26, 2014 at 9:49 am

What I like about you, Keith. The truth spoken plainly, the opposite of Purple Peggy.

judyeth May 26, 2014 at 10:21 am

Thank-you, Keith, for your tribute to our military and their families.
To Honor Memorial Day, scouts have placed thousands of flags at the gravestones of each soldier at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery.

One flag has been placed beside the headstone of the MIA Vietnam Soldier, Blassie, who was buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for years until he was brought home to his final resting place.

Americans must never take the Freedoms for which they all died for ‘granted’. We must become involved in making absolutely certain that our Veterans have the ‘BEST’ care possible and SOON. What has happened is criminal, and criminal charges should be filed immediately. I won’t hold my breath! jb

lc southern May 26, 2014 at 10:34 am

My husband Jeff lost his life to Agent Orange exposure from his service in Vietnam. He was Army, 101st Airborne, 5th Special Forces, Green Beret. He was awarded the Accommodation medal with Valor, 2 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. Came home and had skin cancers, diabetic, thyroid all messed up within 5 year’s. Took the VA 30+ year’s and triple bypass surgery to acknowledge it. He came home and found another way to serve. He became a police officer. He worked many part time jobs to put food on the table. After 30 year’s he was forced to retire. The Agent Orange was destroying his body. I honor his service and sacrifice this Memorial Day.

Julie Brueckheimer May 26, 2014 at 10:43 am

Bless you.

Lee May 26, 2014 at 10:50 am

Thanks for sharing your husbands service to our Country.
That was a time in my life to hold tight in memory.
I am sorry your husband suffered, and had to wait so long for medical help needed.

lc southern May 26, 2014 at 7:37 pm

We were lucky to have private insurance so he could get treatment. Had we waited on the VA he would have died many years sooner. Once the VA approved his disability I still refused to let him go there for treatment. I knew he had excellent doctor’s and with the overwhelming number of vets who did not have private insurance needed there resources more than we did.

srdem65 May 26, 2014 at 11:11 am

I’m sorry for your loss, and I guess, our loss too.
He sounds like he was a wonderful man; a credit to himself, his family and our country.

Star May 26, 2014 at 11:21 am

Each war seems to have some hideous environmental issues–our govt blats on about environmental safety but never really comes clean. I am listening to a memoir of a woman who lived near Rocky Flats, where the nuclear triggers for all atomic weapons were made–the people in the plant and in the nearby subdivisions had no idea of the danger. Even today, I get the impression this material is being handled in an iffy way.

DeniseVB May 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

Thank you for sharing and please feel comforted by knowing your husband Jeff has the love and thanks of a grateful nation.

lc southern May 26, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Thank you all for the kind words. He was a hero in his military service and again a as police officer. He was greatly respected by the officer’s who worked and trained under him. Knowing his fellow officers and soldiers respected and looked up to him brings me great comfort.

Julie Brueckheimer May 26, 2014 at 4:07 pm

You reminded me that we should remember and thank the families of veterans too. They go through so much, overwhelmingly unsung.

Marcus May 26, 2014 at 5:27 pm

ic..so sorry for the loss of Jeff. Words cannot begin to convey the sorrow. My brother Bobby died in 2013, from brain cancer (and other cancers) brought on by Agent Orange. He, like Jeff, fought the VA all these years for a correct diagnose, and the VA refused to do so until 2010. He was in Vietnam 69-70. He and his family went through hell with the VA, as I am sure you did also.

lc southern May 26, 2014 at 7:44 pm

I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. You and the family have my gratitude and a big heartfelt hug. I feel for any family trying to deal with the VA. It is a maze of paperwork and appeals. The families do not get the support they so dearly need as they fight for medical care while they assume the roll caretaker of their loved one.

lc southern May 26, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Jeff was in Vietnam 67-68

Keith Koffler May 26, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Marcus, thank you, my condolences on your loss. What a crime about the VA. This has to change.

Keith Koffler May 26, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Thank you lc. That’s heartbreaking. It’s also so inspiring that he pushed on nevertheless, served again, and then did extra work to make ends meet. I am sorry that he suffered. He must have been a wonderful man and clearly, very brave.

CiscoKid May 27, 2014 at 12:55 am
Kathy May 26, 2014 at 10:47 am

Thank you for writing such a profound and beautiful statement Keith. God bless all those who have served and continue to serve the USA. And thank you Keith for all that you do for us.

gracepmc May 26, 2014 at 11:07 am

Thank you Keith for your plain spoken heartfelt thoughts on this Memorial Day.

Blessings and thanks to all who have fallen in defense of this country and our liberty. And God bless America.

Star May 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

Fox has a touching picture of a man and his three young children at a military grave. Was it their mother’s? Or was he showing them his world? Either way–moving.

Sportinlife10 May 26, 2014 at 11:31 am

…and google, that great American company, has: google. They can honor everything except patriotism. They ought to be ashamed.

DeniseVB May 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

Thank you Keith and God Bless the USA :)

Star May 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Apropos of nothing in context, I saw that Jemhu Green this morning on Fox. She is the best (worst?) example of an admin apologist the US has to offer. For some reason (and not because of her melanin supply) she bugs the patoots off me. Her gambit today–the Republicans must bring up Benghazi and the VA because the economy is so much better. When I think of this money this woman makes compared with me, it almost lures me into the equality quagmire.

SnarkEsq. May 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Star, I saw that segment on Fox earlier today and was aggravated by her remarks, as usual. First she claimed Republicans are focusing on Benghazi and the VA scandal because they have no solutions for anything. Then she claimed it was also because the economy is doing so much better. What a joke. Tell that to the 326,000 people who filed new unemployment claims last week.

Sadie May 26, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I turned off FOX once she opened her yap.
Fair and Balanced is one thing, but Weird and Annoying is out of the question.

New Yorker May 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm

I’ve been away from the TV all day. Was Mooch at Barack’s side at the laying of the wreath? Or is she taking advantage of the Memorial Weekend sales at Target? Any sighting of the daughters?

Lee May 26, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I think she may have skipped this, and is planning a trip around the world. sarc

Star May 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm

She was there–Michelle–in a white dress with one of her little tight cardis.

SnarkEsq. May 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I also saw it and MO was wearing a black dress with a small or cream print. Jill Biden wore a white dress.

MO Instagram – Memorial Day photo

SnarkEsq. May 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm

I just have to add this – my goodness, that hairstyle does nothing for her.

srdem65 May 26, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Wig.

SnarkEsq. May 27, 2014 at 1:44 am

Ha. She needs to return it and get a refund.

Sportinlife10 May 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm

She looks carnivorous.

AFVet May 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

At this point,…who gives a damn where Mooche is ?

Julie Brueckheimer May 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm

You mean Michelle “all this for a damned flag” Obama?

lc southern May 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm

At least Obama didn’t have a hot mike to be heard saying Jesus after laying the wreath on his way out…this time.

Julie Brueckheimer May 26, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I’ve never heard that one. Was it last year?

The Business May 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm

the liberal idiots at google skipped this holiday…..AGAIN!

…but they’ll be sure to remember memorializing the 117th birthday of the the inventor of the bottle cap or some crap.

New Yorker May 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Bing.com did the holiday proud. Go look. Fie on Google!

DeniseVB May 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Why I do Bing, not the Google searches.

Star May 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Freedom of speech and capitalism involved at all?

aunty M May 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Well written, Keith! Thank you.

CiscoKid May 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Memorial Day. The day we remember Americans who have fallen in battle, whether in the air, land or at sea. “…They lay in Flanders Field, where the poppies grow…”
I’m well into my 60′s and don’t know how many more times I’ll have a chance to share the memory of the following men from my old neighborhood, a small Catholic parish located in South Chicago.
Pvt. Antonio C. Chavez Jr. USMC, KIA, RVN, 2 MAY 67
Pfc. Peter Rodriguez, USMC, KIA, RVN, 10 FEB 47
Pfc. Joseph A. Quiroz, US Army, KIA, RVN, 29 JAN 66
L/Cpl. Michael S. Miranda, USMC, KIA, RVN, 30 MAR 69
Pfc. Dennis J. Rodriguez, USMC, KIA, RVN, 5 DEC 69
Pfc. Al

fred Urdiales, US Army, KIA, RVN, 7 FEB 68
Pfc. Charles A. Urdiales, US Army, KIA, RVN, 7 FEB 68
Cpl. Edward Cervantes, US Army, KIA, RVN, 30 JAN 68
Rest in peace my brothers…” for he that sheds his blood with me today share forever be my brother…”

CiscoKid May 26, 2014 at 4:45 pm

” shall forever…”
Excuse mistakes or misquotes or bad editing.
Having senior moment. Thank you.

CiscoKid May 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Again, Peter Rodriguez, KIA, RVN, 10 FEB 69
I just want to be correct on their sacrifice.

Sportinlife10 May 26, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Lovely post. So many thanks.

gracepmc May 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm

x2 Thanks for remembering them and for allowing us to share.

Lee May 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Thanks for sharing.

lc southern May 26, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Thank you for sharing their names with us. RIP

SnarkEsq. May 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Thanks for the lovely Memorial Day tribute to our lost military, Keith. We owe them and their families so much for the sacrifices they’ve made for us and our great country.

Just wanted to share Chris Stirewalt’s piece today:

FoxNews.com: On Memorial Day, some portals to the past

Lee May 26, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for the piece on Memorial Day.

SnarkEsq. May 27, 2014 at 1:41 am

You’re welcome, Lee. Chris Stirewalt, who is often on Megyn Kelly’s show, has a very good daily newsletter (Monday through Friday). It’s filled with good political and election info. On Monday, though, he put that aside to pay tribute on Memorial Day. But, if you’re interested, I’d recommend signing up to have his newsletter emailed to you each morning:

Fox News First – Daily Newsletter Sign Up

Lee May 27, 2014 at 4:37 am

Thanks…

CiscoKid May 27, 2014 at 12:58 am