Memorial Day: Never Forget For What They Gave Their All

Memorial Day.  It’s always important, and it’s always meant so much to me, an Air Force brat taught to love my country and honor our troops long before the former went out of style and the latter became an empty mantra meant to make shallow, hate-filled people feel better about themselves.  Somehow, though, this year, it means so very much more. 

When I think of where our great nation is heading, my heart breaks for the many men and women who have fought for America, for the real America that we all know and love, for her promise of freedom and for all that she represents and is.  Our great nation is imperiled at this moment by forces both outside and within, and we, who remain at home while so many of our bravest fight for our freedom, are duty bound to ensure that they do not stand alone.  That they do not and have never died in vain. 

What they stood for, what they fought, bled, and died for is not some antiquated, useless ideal, some “greedy” economic system, some random country that is no better or worse than any other.  They fought, bled, and died for America.  America the exceptional, the beautiful, the land of the free, the home of the brave.

God.

Country.

The Constitution of the United States of America.

Our Flag.

Freedom.

On this Memorial Day remember not only those who have given their all that we might live free but all that they stood for, all that they were willing to and have died for.  We can best honor them by ensuring that they did not fight, bleed, and die in vain, by protecting and defending our beloved country and all that she represents, all that she means, all that she is.


The Star Spangled Banner Lyrics
By Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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25 thoughts on “Memorial Day: Never Forget For What They Gave Their All

  1. Fuzzy,

    That was a beautiful and moving post in honor of our Veterans.

    So you were an Air Force brat. Bro and I are so old our father served in the Army Air Corp as the Air Force had not been oficially made a branch of the Armed Forces. He taught instrument flying at Macdill in Tampa during the war. Then they moved back to Fort Myers.

    Well the sun is comming up and I need to go put my flag out!

    Lock & Load!!!

    Sons & Daughters of Liberty Unite!!!

  2. “Somehow, though, this year, it means so very much more.”
    those are the thoughts that have been going through my head as well. I've pondered as to why this year, more than others.

    My husband was in the Air Force as a German linguist. I have always had a place in my heart for this day, but why this year more than others?

    I think you stated the reasons well.

    And now, it feels as though we are fighting the enemy within, and in so doing, we are all enlisted.

    “God.
    Country.
    The Constitution of the United States of America.
    Our Flag.
    Freedom.”

    You and I and millions of others are willing to take a risk for what is right.
    This is going to take those of us who love this country on a different path, than maybe we expected.
    I guess we'll see what we're made of.

  3. That's a moving tribute Fuzzy. Well written!

    And your National Anthem is way more inspiring and passionate than the dirge about the Queen we are obliged to sing on occasions such as this. It's the first time I have read all the words – I shall bookmark this post for future reference.

    So you were an Air Force brat? Were you and your family ever based in England? or Germany?

  4. This is a beautiful post! This is a special day when it is proper for us to honor our brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and those in our military who are in harms way today. God Bless, Fuzzy!

  5. With you, Fuzzy. I feel torn apart by the eagerness of so many to destroy what was so hard won and purchased at so dear a price. If we do not manage to hold onto our republic, I think that will be my deepest sorrow, the abandonment–even repudiation–by America of this sacred trust.

    But what can we expect? A great number of us have given up on America being run by Americans, and so many people have no trouble at all–in fact, think it our responsibility–to give political power and the privilege of voting to people with no understanding of our political process, and think it's “cool” to hand the presidency to a man who, without argument, was not even raised in an American culture.

  6. @ L, thanks 🙂

    @ Born Again American, woohoo! Welcome back. And thanks 🙂

    @ Trestin, thank you 🙂

    @ Pedaling, yes, we will indeed see what we are made of, thank God that it's strong American stock! 😉

    @ CL, thanks 🙂 The downside to our national anthem being more “meaty” than your God Save the Queen is that so few Americans know all the words. (Um, yeah, that sadly includes me :().

    Yes, we were in England in the '70's, at Upper Heyford. We were not stationed in Germany, that's mostly Army, I think, though my dad was briefly stationed at Ramstein (we didn't go).

    @ Tammy, I saw that on your blog and wasn't sure what to say. My heart goes out to your sister and your family, and I feel deep gratitude. Words can be so inadequate, but I hope you know what I mean and feel in my heart.

    @ Odie, thanks! 🙂

    @ Teresa, thanks 🙂 We must do our part to protect and preserve our great nation in honor of the sacrifice of all of our servicemen and women who've given their all for us. It's the very least we can do.

    @ QR, “If we do not manage to hold onto our republic, I think that will be my deepest sorrow, the abandonment–even repudiation–by America of this sacred trust.” Beautifully stated. And quite right. (heh)

    @ Opus, thanks 🙂 I wish I could write more of them, and do my best. I'm so glad you like it.

    @ Kid, thanks 🙂 I wouldn't mind, though, if the progs went somewhere else, somewhere more in line with their craziness . . . like Cuba or Iran. And I wouldn't mind our tax money going to one-way tickets for the lot of them. Wouldn't mind one bit.

  7. @Fuzzy. Upper Heyford – Oxfordshire? I was born at an RAF station in Lincolnshire so was nearly an air force brat – my parents (both in the air force) left when I was about 2. You must have left before the Peace Camps I guess? Must have been a tricky time to be an American in the UK ………

  8. Hey CL, no, I was there in the '70s (don't think the “peace camps” caught on until the '80s?). We did not experience any anti-American sentiment, and we lived off base, I attended primary school off-base. We were in Oxfordshire, which was pretty conservative back then, anyway (not that I knew about politics, I was just a kid), and my parents were hardly the type to hang around liberals, anyway. :p

  9. @Fuzzy – Great experience! Bet you came home with a British accent – tee hee. Glad you didn't experience the Peace Camps. Regardless of the reasons behind them I always felt sorry for the kids on those bases ….. they must have found the situation very tough and puzzling.

  10. CL, no worries, I doubt they were at all tough or puzzling, such things are usually ridiculed (or ignored) by Americans. Though I suppose we shouldn't have been complacent about rampant leftism, look where that's got us (and the Europe).

  11. Great post, Fuzzy. I was an expat brat in England growing up also. My dad was ex-Navy, in finance then. But I was there earlier, starting in 68, when we had to endure all kinds of sanctimonious letures by Brits about how Americans were racists, and Ugly Americans, and barbarians, etc. We just smiled and restrained the wish to pound our schoolmates for dissing our country. But overall I loved England. Back then it was a far more pro-military place than it is now, and a more coherent culture.

  12. Hi Retriever, I loved England, too, and I know what you mean about its having changed. I still love it, but it's rather gone to the dogs in recent decades (as have we). Hopefully, the failure of the euro and the failure of socialism will sink in this time, they are certainly in a much stronger economic position than some other European nations (for now), and there are many many good people there who are getting active and trying to make a difference as we are here. Heck, they even have a Tea Party now! I think I'll always love England, but it's sad to see it lose itself bit by bit.

    Maybe I was treated to such lectures and have just forgotten them? I was still in primary school, and I'm pretty sure the main thing I and my friends talked about was which sweets we liked best at the shops and if James was going to be able to rescue the centipede after if fell off the giant peach. 🙂

  13. A friend of mine wrote this and I read it over the radio last Monday…what a job! I just about lost it while my voice began to crack about halfway through…but I made it, my partner said it was great. Although this reading was not planned (I just lead into it during our talk about Memorial Day) the next time I ever attempt such a reading I'll make sure I read it about fourteen times before going on the air…here it is here see if you can read it aloud without an emotional swell in your tear ducts…
    http://capecodtp.ning.com/profiles/blogs/purple-heart-teardrops

    Then ask yourself, “Where was Obama this memorial day?” or better yet, “Where would you like Obama to be on Memorial Day? You can get an answer here http://normanhooben.blogspot.com/2010/05/obamas-memorial-day-multiple-choice.html

  14. Try this one: http://normanhooben.blogspot.com/2010/05/purple-heart-tear-drops-by-lew-waters.html

    The only difference is at the other link I preceded it with this:

    Dateline Memorial Day Weekend All Across the U. S. Of A.

    Let me tell you about a friend. His name is Lew Waters (He's also a Vietnam veteran). Lew wrote a little essay the other morning that just made my heart swell…its one of those mixed emotions things where one feels a since of pride and at the same time sorrow…where it seems that with each heartbeat a tearduct is pumped and you find yourself reaching for the Kleenex.
    All of us who know Lew forwarded our appreciation for the timeliness of the article with a sincere thank you for a job well done. Lew commented back to express what was going on with his internal temperment while in the process of writing. This is what he said (responding to Rightwing Cowboy):

    I know the feeling well, Cowboy. My unit lost 13 while I was there. I too get emotional during Taps or just visiting a Memorial. I have yet to make it to the Wall in D.C. and am afraid that when I do, I'll break down in emotions.
    You have no idea how emotional I was while writing it this morning. Partly because the part about the son he never saw was based on a true event.
    One that lost his life had a daughter born 3 months before and they never saw each other. She contacted a group I belong to asking about her Dad and how he died. Needless to say, we adopted her..

    Before I go on I must admit that I changed the title of Lew's essay to the one you see at the top of this page. I told Lew about it and he accepted my edit…my title was inspired by reading,

  15. Thanks, Norm, Taps is hard to hear, but it's something that we can also take pride in and know that we will not give up the fight for our country now that it's moved to our own soil.

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