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Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Video || Vice President Pence at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

President Trump is visiting Japan on Memorial Day, hoping to keep the United States out of another war, this one with North Korea.

I’ve disagreed with his methods, but not his motive. He’s at least trying to pick up a can that’s been kicked down the road by the last three presidents.

So Mike Pence went to Arlington Cemetery this year to mark the day.

I visited the Vietnam Memorial Saturday. It is, always, such a moving experience to see the names on the wall, and the tributes that have been left. I just happened to see a newspaper clipping left there about the death of a young man from near where I grew up in Rockland County, New York. To think of the life he missed out on.

I don’t like the memorial, I think it implies that the war was wrong and the lives were wasted. But I don’t deny its power, or its usefulness to those whose loved ones died there.

Have a nice day. And to the fallen, the wounded, and those who suffer the psychological scars of war, I am sorry I can’t do much more than salute you and say, thank you for your service.

Memorial Day and the Vietnam War Memorial

This Memorial Day weekend, as part of an annual rite, veterans will roar into the Washington area on the motorcycles. Many of the older ones  – grey bearded and what remains of their hair in a pony tail – served in the Vietnam War, and will visit the Vietnam War Memorial.

I have come to appreciate the Vietnam War Memorial more than I used to. But I have never really liked it.

I have always seen it as kind of an insult. A sepulchral depression into the earth, its stone facade lists the names of those who died. By throwing at us the names of the dead, the message delivered is clear: This war was a waste, these people died in vain, and your chief emotion in thinking about the war should be regret.

And yet, those who died are heroes who served in a noble cause. America fought the Vietnam War to prevent the spread of communism throughout Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, America did not fight to win and committed too few resources to the battle too late, and lost. Just the kind of incrementalism we see now in President Obama’s war against ISIS.

The results of losing the war proved its merit. Vietnam because communist, its people suffering terribly. In Cambodia, the communist leadership unfurled one of the century’s great genocides. Fortunately, fighting the communists in Vietnam may well have prevented communism from taking root in other parts of Southeast Asia and creating a massive new Soviet-backed bloc.

Many of you may disagree. But the effort of our veterans should still be celebrated, not diminished.

Still, I like the wall better after visiting many times and seeing the families of veterans find the names of their loved ones, sometimes etching copies of the engraving with charcoal on paper. It gives them something to cherish. And the moment is often cathartic, with emotions spilling over and onto the ground before the wall.

But there’s another, lesser known portion of the memorial, the glorious “Three Fighting Men” statue. It provides a welcome contrast to the staid mournfulness of the wall nearby. I thought you might want to read how Ronald Reagan and Jim Webb, who is running for president this year, ensured that something saluting the heroism of our veterans would be part of the memorial.

May God bless those who died for this country. And the wounded, for whom there is no particular holiday.

And may God especially care for those who died in Vietnam. Your deaths were tragic, but they were not in vain. You did not die for nothing.

Today is Memorial Day

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.

Thanks for Your Memorial Day Comments

If you haven’t had the chance, I hope you will take a read through the comments on the post, Would You Like Us to Know About Someone Today, which I put up on Memorial Day so that people could share stories about those they knew who served their country, and some who died for it.

There are so many moving tributes, I think that you may find as I did that it’s impossible to stop reading them once you start.

My sincere thanks to all who contributed. Some of your stories broke my heart, some stirred me with the heroism and commitment to duty they described, and all of them made me proud to be an American.

Would You Like Us To Know About Someone Today?

How can we repay the gift they have given us?

We can’t, because they are not here to receive their due.

All we can do is remember them, and honor them, and wish we had their courage and selflessness.

Maybe you want to remember someone. Maybe you would like others to know of their sacrifice. If you would like to tell someone’s story, or even just share a name, I would be honored to have you do it here.

I know there are many who read this website who would like to hear about it. I know I would.

To all those who have given their one and only life to save the country we love, rest in peace, and God bless you.

Obama Leads “One of the Greatest” Militaries Ever

Some may think this is a small thing, but I believe it is emblematic of a bigger thing.

Here’s a line from Obama’s remarks on Memorial Day, pointed out to me by Miranda, one of our readers. She saw it at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace.

It’s one of my highest honors, it is my most solemn responsibility as President, to serve as Commander-in-Chief of one of the finest fighting forces the world has ever known.

First of all, this is factually incorrect. It can be stated without question and without resort to excessive chauvinism that the U.S. military IS the finest fighting force ever, not one of them. It can destroy any other military currently or previously deployed. Assuming decisive leadership, that is.

So what could cause our president to make such a mistake? It reminds me of Obama’s now infamous resort to relativism early in his presidency on the question of whether America is the best place on earth.

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.

This implies of course that the superiority of America is just one man’s opinion, and not a fact. I think it is a fact; others may disagree. But there really shouldn’t be much question in the mind of the man who is actually leading the country. Perhaps after two and a half years as president, there no longer is.

Now, for the commander in chief to have to qualify his opinion of the armed forces, when no qualification is necessary by anyone, shows . . . well, I’m not really a psychoanalyst.

I just know that the president needs to do some research.

Michelle Quietly Visits With Wounded Troops

First Lady Michelle Obama today made a decidedly unsplashy Memorial Day visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to comfort wounded veterans who are recuperating there, ABC News reports.

The White House properly low-keyed the visit, which was not widely reported. The meetings with the veterans were private.

A nice way for the first lady to pass this solemn day.

Mrs. Obama has made the armed forces one of her traditional first lady projects, running, along with Dr. Jill Biden, the “Joining Forces” campaign to support service members and their families.

Thanks to one of our readers, srdem65, for pointing this article out.

Obama Goes Golfing on Memorial Day

The business of memorializing our war dead done, President Obama headed out to the Fort Belvoir golf course today, finding his way onto the links for the ninth weekend in a row.

Obama earlier today laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and met with families of those killed in battle. But he emerged from the day’s solemnity to go golfing for the 12th time this year and the 70th time of his presidency.

The decision to golf on Memorial Day invites comparison with President George W. Bush, who gave up the game early in his presidency and said he did it out of respect for the families of those killed in Iraq.

Obama is out with the three younger aides he typically has in tow on his golf excursions, junior White House staffer Ben Finkenbinder, White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson, and Energy Department staffer David Katz.

In a sign of his determination to play no matter what, Obama is golfing even though it is currently 95 degrees at Fort Belvoir and it “feels like” it’s 98 degrees, according to The Weather Channel.

Thank You Can Never Be Enough

The following was written this Memorial Day morning in the comments section by one of our readers, Susan. I don’t think it could be said better: “In loving memory to all of the brave men and women who gave their all for our freedom. To those currently serving our country thank you for your sacrifice.… Continue Reading