In the past Memorial Day postings, I have named my friends and comrades who have fallen in combat and I have ranted about not making this day nothing more than a day for BBQs an store sales. As you have seen, those posts have all been re-visited today. So now I am going to talk about something a little different.
A friend of mine really brought a thought forward for me. There is nothing “Happy” about this day. It should not be a HAPPY Memorial Day at all. The purpose of this day is to remember the dead, the fallen, the ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice. I cannot plead with you enough not to forget that.
Please don’t be as STUPID as some of our elected representatives who have been put in positions of leadership and mix this day up with Veteran’s Day.
Back on May 27th, the 2nd in line to be President of the United States, Speaker of the House Pelosi said the following:
“On Memorial Day, America will come together and honor all who served our nation in uniform,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a floor speech, noting the symbolic timing of the debate. “I urge my colleagues to vote for the repeal of this discriminatory policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and make America more American.”
The only thing worse than mixing up Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day is using the day that is designated to honor those who have fallen in combat as a F@#$@#%* pedestal to push your partisan political agenda. Were all those who have died to make this country gay? I don’t think so, in fact I have had the honor of knowing more than a few who have made the sacrifice and I can tell you they were in no way gay.
I digressed from my original topic which was to talk about why this is not a “Happy” day per-se. It is a solemn and somber day where all Americans (whether you have known a family or friend who has fallen in service of this country or not) should remember those who have fallen. The feelings you should have today are the same you should have when you walk the deadly battlefields of the civil war, or the way you feel if you have ever walked in the gas chambers of Dachau, or in the best example I can give the way you feel when you walk through the Gardens of Stone at Arlington. It is “MEMORIAL” day because we are in remembrance.
So if not the word “happy” then what is the proper word? Maybe just “memorial day”, or as one friend suggested “honor memorial day”, or like the Alamo you should say “Remember Memorial Day”. I am not sure of the proper word to use or what sounds best. I think it depends on each person, where you are, and the context you use it in. I think if you find yourself in a place that requires you to say something, you will find it in your heart to know what should be said. This is assuming that you remember, and don’t forget what this day is for.
For me, I am finding myself traveling today. It is very unfortunate that I could not perform my standard ritual of going to visit a few of my past soldiers today. I hope their families will forgive me. I am traveling today and the cemeteries were not opened this morning when I left. I am traveling on this holiday for work. I am traveling so this week I can do my part to hopefully keep a few out of the remembrance rituals of families in the future. I am going to be working with soldiers all week in order to record and document their hardened and painful lessons learned in combat so that those can be passed to others and to those that make things for the Army.
I know it is not the same as visiting my past soldiers as I have always done. But I guess in my mind I am thinking that by traveling today and doing what I will be doing this week there may be some slight chance that some unknown family in the future who’s loved one will reap the benefits from my work this week will be able to spend the day with that loved one alive and not visiting their gravesite.
I have a lot of friends that have fallen at the hands of our enemies and I can never visit them all on this somber day, but I have to think of their lives, our times together and the sacrifices they made. So on this day, those who rest near where I live will have to be in my thoughts and prayers today also. They are always on my mind and with me in spirit as I have felt them talk to me and me to them. So today after I get to where I am going, I will be on my knees praying to the almighty Jumpmaster in the sky and to my fallen brothers. And when I get back home after work is done, I will be sure to pay a visit to tell them about what has been happening since the last time we talked.
Bouhammer Honor Roll:
PFC Thomas Johnson – Vietnam
SGT Ed Kutz – Operation Desert Storm
SGT Ronald Randazzo – Operation Desert Storm
SGT David Roustum – Operation Iraqi Freedom
PFC Ben Scheuster – Operation Iraqi Freedom
SGM Jeff McLochlin – Operation Enduring Freedom
MSG Bernard Deghand – Operation Enduring Freedom
SPC Nelson Rodriguez – Operation Enduring Freedom
Rest in Peace Warriors, we will meet on the battlefield again one day.