Remember to Remember

Memorial Day seems to be falling out of “fashion” with a lot of folks. That makes me sad, and a bit angry if I really dwell upon it.

My ultimate online reference, Wikipedia says:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed this year on 200705-28). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.

For much more information, go read on!

In my community, only the VFW (Veterans of Foreign War) and the Elks do much for the day. No big parade, no fireworks… It has become a “Whooohooo, Summer’s here!” party time, which hardly does justice to the remembrance my area has been respecting since just after the Civil War. You see, some cities were honoring their military dead at least that far back. I don’t mind that it has grown to include a general concept of service or a day of honor for all the dearly departed in our lives, but to equate it only with summer fun is a bit shallow, if I may say so. If you’re living in the USA, you’re enjoying freedoms that our veterans fought and died for. Please take a moment to reflect on that. Freedom really isn’t free, after all.

I’m going to borrow an idea from Sue and have a little personal Memorial Day roll call:

First, those still living:

My father inlaw : US Navy, Cuban Missile Crisis (Only recently have those serving then been recognized as vets of a foreign WAR, as the US didn’t declare war… same with Korea and much more. Sigh.)

My grandfather inlaw: US Army, WWII, Germany

My uncle and godfather: US Army, Vietnam, Vietnam jungles

My long-time former boss and life-long family friend: US Army, Vietnam, also “in country”, earned a Purple Heart

My stepson’s stepfather: US Army, Afghanistan

All the guys and gals from the fire department, representing every branch of the US Military

Next, those still serving:

My cousin’s husband: US Navy

My dear friend and former co-worker: US Navy, two tours in Iraq

Another friend and former co-worker: US Army, just back from Iraq

My second cousin: US Navy

My friend’s husband: US Navy

Another friend’s husband: US Army

(And yes, I know where they are, but I don’t know how classified their locations might be, so…)

And last, but not least, those who have died, but served:

My father: US Marine Corps, Korea

My uncle: US Army, Vietnam War, Germany

More of the firefighters, also representing several branches of the Military

Yet another Uncle: US Army, WWII, Europe. Lost both legs to compression complications later in life. He became my uncle because he and his best friend enlisted together, and he promised his friend to take care of the friend’s girlfriend if something happened. The friend was killed in combat, and the rest is history.

I’m sure I forgot a few, and I wish I could have named all the friends and former co-workers by name, because they deserve the honor, but I’d still be typing in an hour or so. So, my sincere thanks to those who served and are serving, and to their families.

Happy Memorial Day to all of you.

3 comments on “Remember to Remember

  1. Sue J. says:

    That’s quite a wonderful roll call, Chan. How wonderful of you to put it on your blog. God bless them all and God bless you. Lest we forget.

  2. Miss Me says:

    In Canada we observe our vets on November 11th, representing the time that the Armistice came into effect with the First World War – 11th hour, 11th day of the 11th month. I couldn’t do a role call like you, but I do take my kids to the services every year. It’s our responsibility to make sure that they understand what so many gave for our freedom. Sadly, more and more young people are called to serve their countries every day.

  3. Shawnee says:

    I love the idea of roll call — never forget!

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