May 24 2013
As we start our Memorial Day weekend today, let’s not forget the real reason for Memorial Day.
As I sit here at my desk looking outside, I ask myself, what does Memorial Day mean to me? It is more that a day off, it is more than a day that signals the start of summer vacations. It means so much more to me and here is why it means so much more to me.
It is a time to remember the men and the women that has been asked by their country or freely gave of themselves to this country their lives so we can continue to live in a free country, free from tyranny, free to practice any religion we wish or no religion if we choose, the freedom to speak as we wish and in the form we wish to speak it. They gave us the freedom to be able to travel this great country to see its great offerings. They gave us many freedom’s.
I take the time to really remember those men from Lexington defending the hill, to those that froze in the winter at Valley Forge, those men that braved the chill of the Delaware River to cross it with George Washington to help turn the tide, those men that fought in the swamps of Georgia, North and South Carolina. To the men that brought victory to our new nation in Yorktown.
Remember the sailors and the marines that said to the pirates of Tripoli that you cannot take our ships.
Remember the troops defending us that night our anthem was wrote watching the bombardment of Baltimore during the War of 1812, to the sailors of the USS Constitution as the shells bounced off sides of the hull giving her the name “OLD IRONSIDES”.
Remember the men that fought in the Mexican American War. Remember the brothers and fathers fighting arm in arm or against each other during our own Civil War.
Remember the soldiers charging up San Juan Hill.
Remember the doughboys fighting in the trenches to make sure France stayed free.
Remember the sailor’s, soldier’s, airmen, and marine’s, our father’s and grandfather’s, that gave their all to make sure this world remained free. Remember those men that fought the battles in the desert of North Africa, that brought freedom back to the people of Sicily and to Italy. Remember those men that landed that fateful day in June of 1944 on the beaches of Normandy to bring freedom back to France once again. Remember those men that refused to surrender in Christmas of 1944 in a small city called Bastogne.Remember the sailors and Marines that fought in the jungles of the Solomon’s. Remember the men that fell in the worst battles at Tarawa and Peleliu. Remember those that gave all on the volcanic sands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Remember the men that said our ship will not sink on the USS Franklin and USS Bunker Hill after being attacked by kamikaze planes.
Remember those marines that refused to surrender on Chosen during Korea.
Remember the men that gave of themselves in the heat of the jungles of Vietnam.
Remember those men that gave freedom back to people of Grenada.
Remember the men and the women that freed Kuwait from its occupation and to those men and women that brought a new freedom to the people of Irag and Afghanistan.
I will remember those sailors that are still on patrol and waiting to return to their home port. I remember those on the Thresher and Scorpion as they are still on patrol. I remember my shipmates from my time giving of myself to this country. I thank those men and women that are on the lines today willing to give it all so I can stay free.
This is what Memorial Day means to me.