Memorial Day

It’s always tough for me to write anything about Memorial Day. While most people think of it as a day to cook out or head to the beach, for many it’s a day of sorrow, solemn remembrance and mourning. This is not a day to thank your veterans, although gratitude is always appreciate it. This is not a day to celebrate. This is a day to pay respect to those who have given their lives in the service of this country.

I have a lot of friends who equate this day with somehow worshiping death, or militarism, or nationalism, or any other kind of “ism” that implies support for government tyranny or military action. I see people on my Facebook page posting idiotic memes about government conspiracy and the folly of our foreign policy.

To the conspiracy nuts, I say, “I will root you out and delete your stupid ass.” I’m sick and tired of paranoid morons with half a brain using this day to advance their “government is evil” theories. That is not what this day is about, and if you cannot understand that, you don’t belong on my friends list.

To those who merely disagree with our government’s foreign policy, I say, “Fine. Disagree all you want. But please try to separate your foreign policy criticism from your respect for people who took an oath to serve and protect this nation and its laws.”

I have lost friends. I have lost people whom I respected and with whom I served. I pay homage to them every day, but especially on this day – a day we set aside to remember the people who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation – for a nation in which they believed, and for a nation they loved.

I’m not telling you to shut up. I’m not asking you to keep your foreign policy discourse and disagreement to yourselves. After all, it is a free country. I’m merely asking you respectfully to stop politicizing the loss of those who have paid the ultimate price. Remember them. Respect them. Thank them. But please don’t use them to advocate your political views.

These people had lives, families, friends, loved ones, who will miss them, and who acutely feel their loss every day. Please don’t use their dead heroes as a foil for your political views. It’s not right, it’s not ethical and it’s indecent.

That’s all I ask. I hope it’s not too much.

Brittany Jacobs of Hereford, N.C., hugs her 17-month old son Christian at her husband, Marine SGT Christopher Jacobs' gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day at in Arlington, Va.

Brittany Jacobs of Hereford, N.C., hugs her 17-month old son Christian at her husband, Marine SGT Christopher Jacobs’ gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. (NBC News)

13 responses

  1. It was best said by General George Patton:

    “It is foolish wrong to mourn the men who died – rather, we should thank God that such men lived”

    Like

  2. I’ve read a lot of posts where the veterans write this isn’t their day – and they’re right – but I still want to thank them for their service. I can only remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. I can’t thank them enough, or repair the damage their passing left with family and friends. I can honor them by thanking those that served and returned. It’s part of my memorial and I’m honored by all that served and still serve.

    Like

    1. And the gratitude is very appreciated, Jess. It really is. I just think many of us don’t want to take away the attention and respect for those who have fallen. Not sure if that makes sense, but that’s about the best I can explain it.

      Like

  3. Words just seem so very hollow to those who have lost someone in war, our respect for that sacrifice is part of how we honor those we lost. Another part is giving thanks to those soldiers and their families whose debt we can’t repay. I understand what it does to people. my grandfather watched so many friends parish in WWII. Those images have stayed with him to this very day, God Bless them all.

    Like

    1. When I see photos such as the one in this post, it absolutely tears me apart. The loss is so profound and so palpable, there is really nothing that could be said. My daughter is going into the Marine Corps this summer. She wants to serve her country, and I’m so proud of her, I can’t even begin to describe it! There’s a part of me that’s a bit nervous, but I truly respect her and know she will continue to make her family proud.

      Like

  4. Let us, however, never fail to remember that the sacrifices these heros made on our behalf places an OBLIGATION on all of us to make this a better country than the one they died to protect, also, Nicki.

    Like

    1. Agreed – there’s no better way to honor their memory.

      Like

  5. Timothy P. O'Flaherty

    Nicki, the way I get around this conundrum – When well-meaning people try to thank me for my military service on Memorial Day – is to point out to them that, while I appreciate the sincere expressions of thanks, Veteran’s Day is reserved for those who served and who are living; on the other hand, Memorial Day is reserved for those who gave their last full measure of their devotion. Thinking a lot about both Bob whom I did work with in Kosovo (KFOR 8) G4, and that great NCO MSG Dupont, former US Marine, from the 26th BCT. MSG Dupont got killed in Afghanistan by an IED that struck his armored vehicle. Worse, he came “home” to Walter Reed in March 2007 with burns all over his body, and died after suffering horribly that same year in June. SFC Dupont is now buried at Camp Edwards on the Cape in Mass. Bob’s loss – He was murdered for Pete’s sake! – and Dupont’s hurt more so than I wish that they should. Requient in pacem!.

    Like

    1. *tears up*

      Thanks, Tim. We’ve lost so many friends and compatriots!😦

      I just try to appreciate people’s gratitude and keep silent about the rest. It’s uncomfortable, and if I feel they want to discuss it, I will.

      Like

  6. I’d like to add that even though I’m Australian, I’m quite aware that if not for America in WW2, we Aussies would not be here and free now. Thank you, yanks, for the sacrifices made on our behalf.

    Like

    1. Morris, your lot pitched in quite well, IIRC. Thank YOU for your country’s sacrifices.

      Like

  7. The photo used is of my son and me…. It was a very hard day for me. It was the first time I had seen his headstone and it was overwhelming. We miss him so much.😦

    Like

    1. Brittany, it’s a beautiful and touching photo. I hope you don’t mind that I used it. I’m so very sorry for your loss and that of your son. I tear up every time I see it, and I hope you have the love and support you need to help you get through this difficult time.

      Like

%d bloggers like this: