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Memorial Day 2007.

Today, we honor those who have gone before. In November, we honor the living.

Lieutenant Leonard Cowherd in the TC hatch of his Abrams in Iraq

I don't mind the sales. Commerce built this country. I don't mind "Going to the Lake" - having fun with family and friends makes life worth living. And this day is about having a life worth living.

And I know that most of us (though not perhaps those who read this space) have no memory of a loved one lost in war. Many of the younger of us don't remember or never knew a relative who served in time of war.

Heh. TINS. At work, we have VFW "Buddy Poppies" out for sale, the proceeds go to benefit veterans needing assistance. When Jack, my colleague who is in charge of that little fund-raiser, went to collect up donations at the local food emporium in our building, the owner told him the young kids who work in the building and eat in the Cafe had been surprised to learn that Memorial Day had an actual meaning, beyond a three-day weekend. Good golly have we adults collectively failed our children in that regard. That said -

Have a good time. That's the point.

By living your life, planning your future, you redeem the voucher that those who have answered the Last Call for the last time bought for you.

Their service was *all* about the Capital F Future.

Just by living our lives, and taking an interest in what goes on around us, we pay that debt. We can pay it ahead by keeping an eye on those who commit us to war. And recognizing that avoidance for avoidance's sake is as bad in its way as rushing headlong and blindly into battle. Truly, in this arena, the answer lies in the middle, not at the extremes.

But.


BUT...

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Whatever else you do with your free day - Remember Them. It only takes a moment. But Remember. They are not truly gone until we forget.

For some of us, the true meaning of this holiday doesn't come into focus until...

We Hear The Knock.

Attend The Funeral.

And Bury Our Dead.

This is why today is Memorial Day.

Click here - and Remember.

The town of Culpeper Virginia remembers.

Culpeper Memorial Bridge

Carren Z, who almost became a War Widow, has a post up that isn't so much about Memorial Day as it is about *why* we have Memorial Day.

Today, at Castle Argghhh! we remember those who one way or another touched the Castle and it's Denizens this last year.

At Princess Crabby's, Major Mike Nachsen remembers.

Bad Cat Robot remembers.

Denizen Kat has produced a Memorial Day Video.

SWWBO remembers William J. Healy, her father, and WWII veteran.

We remember 2LT John T. Donovan, an artilleryman of the Great War.

We remember Ann Donovan, my mother, who saw a husband off to two wars, and a son off to one.

We remember Bill Meriwether, Colonel of Infantry, AUS, WWII and Korea.

We remember LTC(R) Karl Teepe, my ROTC instructor, who died at the Pentagon.

We remember Charlotte Winters, a veteran of WWI.

We remember Corporal David Unger, who died in Iraq.

We remember Sergeant Donald Lucas, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan

We remember Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan

We remember Corporal Aaron E. Williams, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan

We remember Coporal Brent Poland, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan

We remember Private Kevin Vincent Kennedy, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan

We remember Private David Robert Greenslade, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan

We remember Col. Thomas H. Felts Sr, who died in Iraq.

We remember Colonel James Harrison, who died in Afghanistan.

We remember Specialist Benjamin Ashley, who died in Iraq.

We remember Specialist John Edward Wood, who died in Iraq.

We remember Colonel Paul M. Kelly, who died in Iraq.

We remember Staff Sergeant Darryl D. Booker, who died in Iraq.

We remember Staff Sergeant Lawrence Lee Roy Parrish, who died in Iraq.

We remember Second Lieutenant Emily Perez, who died in Iraq.

We remember Navy Lieutenant and sometime President of the United States Gerald Ford, a veteran of WWII.

We remember Elmer B. Lindsey, a veteran of WWII, who drove the first vehicle across the Ludendorff Bridge, at Remagen.

We remember Colonel Jeff Cooper, veteran, and one hell of a shot.

We remember Sergeant First Class Bernard Lee Deghand, who died in Afghanistan.

We remember WO Frank Mellish, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan.

We remember WO Richard Nolan, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan.

We remember Sergeant Shane Stachnik, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan.

We remember Private Mark Graham, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan, due to friendly fire from US aircraft.

We remember Chief Warrant Officer Robert (Bobby) Girouard, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan.

We remember Corporal Albert Storm, Canadian Army, who died in Afghanistan.

We remember Captain Glenn Ford, US Navy veteran of WWII and Vietnam. Oh, and he was an actor.

We remember Lieutenant Jessica Hill, USCG, who died on duty.

We remember Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Duque, USCG, who died on duty.

We remember Kenny L. Sculley, fellow Rotarian, Army veteran.

We remember Private First Class Kristian Menchaca who died in Iraq.

We remember Private First Class Thomas Tucker who died in Iraq.

We remember William K. Healey, a Vietnam Veteran.

We remember Major Douglas Zembiec, the Lion of Falluiah, who died in Iraq.

We remember Sergeant Alexander Funcheon, who died in Iraq.

We remember Professor Liviu Librescu, who died a sheepdog, protecting his flock, at Virginia Tech.

We remember Staff Sergeant Darrell Kasson, who died in Iraq.

We remember Staff Sergeant David Berry, a holder of the Soldier's Medal, who died in Iraq.

We remember Sergeant Ian Anderson, who died in Iraq.

We remember Staff Sergeant George Brown, a soldier of the 2nd Division, in WWII.

We remember Arvil Stanley, a Marine Raider in WWII.

We remember Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis, who died in Iraq, that his buddies might live.

Whatever else we may do today... we will Remember.

Because, it's just a pittance of time.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of our American dead.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of our fallen Commonwealth Allies.

And lastly, now is the time at Castle Argghhh!, when the Armorer dances, alone, for Mom. To the music she requested for her service, The Navy Hymn.

Others doing a little remembering...

Blackfive’s How to Honor the Real Heroes.

Soldiers’ Angels Germany, Remember.

Iraq the Model on a different kind of Memorial Day event, today in Baghdad.

Malkin, How Not to Honor a Fallen Hero.

Badgers Forward, Memorial Day Observed.

Michael Yon’s Memorial Day Message.

The Anchoress: These Formidable People Think Freedom Is So Valuable That It Is Worth Dying For.

Butterfly Wife, The Memorial Day Ads Are Here.

My Desert Adventure, The Real Hero.

Old War Dogs, Don’t Let Them be Forgotten.

And not least - another excellent roundup of fine Memorial Day posts can be had at Mudville Gazette, where Mrs. Greyhawk spent many hours pulling that together.

Homefront Six explains she was once one of those kids I talked about.

Neptunus Lex has an *excellent* post that takes a historical bent.

SGT Hook, The Honor Was Ours.

And just as I finish this update... my inbox pings.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 24 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle.

They were assigned to 1st Brigade Transition Team, and attached to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.

Killed were:

Sgt. 1st Class Robert E. Dunham, 36, of Baltimore, Md.

Staff Sgt. Russell K. Shoemaker, 31, of Sweet Springs, Mo.

For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the Fort Riley public affairs office at (785) 239-3410.

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Remember Them from the Middle Ground on May 28, 2007 6:44 AM

While we enjoy this day, please give a moment of thought to those who never made it home and those whose names you will never know, but purchased this day for you with the utmost love and devotion. Read More

Memorial Day. Make sure you read The Armorer's Post first today. Then when your done, as I have nothing inspiring to say (my wife and child are in new York for the rest of the week. So I am home alone, a bottle of Wild Turkey for company and a boat ... Read More

Memorial Day, 2007 from The Glittering Eye on May 28, 2007 7:57 AM

As you must surely know, today is Memorial Day, a day for reflecting on the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform who have given their lives in the service of their country. It began as Decoration Day, a day for decorating the graves of those who... Read More

Memorial Day from She Who Will Be Obeyed! on May 28, 2007 9:00 AM

My handsome husband, John, pretty much says it all for me today in his Memorial Day post I will add one more to his list of people to remember. William J. Healy, my dad, who served in World War II.... Read More

Memorial Day 2007 from Sister Toldjah on May 28, 2007 9:15 AM

John at Castle Argghh! posts a moving tribute to the fallen on this Memorial Day. Here’s another Memorial Day link round-up from Jules Crittenden. The President will visit Arlington National Cemetary today to pay tribute to the fallen and to lay ... Read More

Today is Memorial Day. A day to remember all those who died in the service of our special country ARLINGTON, Va. - Just a few years ago, Lance Cpl. Steven Szwydek was a classmate of students at a high school in the mountains of Pennsylvania’s F... Read More

Memorial Day 2007 from Righty in a Lefty State on May 28, 2007 11:53 AM

Before you take off today for picnics or cookouts, or boating or golfing, whatever enjoyment awaits you with family and friends, remember those who have died ... Read More

Memorial Day from Fuzzilicious Thinking on May 28, 2007 12:59 PM

...So, I don't have words of great poignancy or power to share with you today. I only ask that you join me in acknowledging the staggering gift of lives laid down for us, and in vowing to live that our own lives may be worthy of such a gift. Read More

Memorial Day Tribute from Wake up America on May 28, 2007 1:23 PM

We bow our heads and pray for you, Our country's heroes, red, white and blue. The Nation stops and stands still today, To honor you on Memorial Day. Read More

Memorial Day on America’s North Shore from America's North Shore Journal on May 28, 2007 1:53 PM

Memorial Day is a special day for most people in the small communities that dot America’s North Shore. It’s the holiday that the entire community participates in, and that’s something you don’t see in the large communities. Grow... Read More

Obviously I'm not the only blogger remembering our fallen today. A little sampling of some of the better things I've found so far: Two I'd probably have seen anyway, but thank you Lorie Byrd for making sure I did. Remember Memorial Day - Thank You From... Read More

11 Comments

Yup, that one always does the best eyeball lubrication for me, too! Whatever words one chooses to sing to the melody (and there are many) there's something about that one which is right serious in some way I don't think I exactly entirely understand, somehow. "from rock and tempest, fire and foe, protect us wheresoe'er we go." .
 
P.s. I don't think *anybody* can rationally understand something of a mystical nature, like that there. There are many things not dreamed of in yer philosophy, etc. usw.
 
I just spent a good part of the day yesterday at a couple of cemeteries. I believe I now have Leavenworth National Cemetery's grid layout memorized and can now tell you what section contains what veterans. That is about three hours into searching for all appropriate graves before my mom decided to be helpful and said, "there is a grave locater kiosk at the front gate". After we came back from my uncle Leon's grave, my mom handed me some flowers to take back down (we were at the top of the hill and he was at the bottom; you have to know Leavenworth to understand the quest) since no one had brought him flowers. The cemetery is oddly one of the most beautiful places I've ever been too and the chapel bells regularly play hymns and songs of the different branches. It rained this year, not quite like last year with the booming thunder that echoed like cannon, but a steady light down pour. It was very green. I am going to complain though, to the management. Some of the flags were rather faded and decrepit on the graves. They should have been replaced sometime ago. I think I will have to go out and replace some of them.
 
I will dance for a lad who was told "You are the man of the house: I have to go to war." A 19 year old who was killed by the North Koreans in 1950..Jack Webster, the cousin I never knew. The Navy Hymn... Awesome.
 
People may not ’care’ or even like any stories about Britain’s Prince Harry not going to Iraq but the rest of our boys and girls are doing their bit without the protection afforded by virtue of a royal birth and a worried set of this years politicians. They've just got on with it and ignored the hypocrisy. With a little lateral thinking, or even joined up thinking the Brits came up with wwwimharry.com - invoked the spirit of the fiction of Spartacus and showed a defiance, bravery and humour lost on those who view real life from a porch. I’m Spartacus, I’m Harry, We’re ALL Harry. And the web and the the gag are helping spread the word that if everyone is Harry then no-one is more valuable than anyone else. Anyone remember the rallying call ’All for one and one for all’? Let’s get behind the guys actually out there shall we, and stop the hand wringing. algy
 
I remember the 39 men of the 162nd AHC, killed in RVN. There's no use in weeping, Though we are condemned to part: There's such a thing as keeping A remembrance in one's heart... -Charlotte Bronte,
 
Good post, John - a wonderful tribute. Remembering each one is a small duty for us, and living our lives fully is a great tribute to their sacrifice.
 
My son-in-law had the privilege of placing a wreath at General Patton's grave in Luxembourg, this weekend. Of all the national/war cemeteries I've been to, that one impresses me the most somehow. I think it's because of the lay-out, with the General laid out facing his troops as if in eternal formation.
 
There's something I've been trying to say for a couple of years now, and I can't--quite--find the right words, but here's as close as I've gotten: Those three thousand plus lives, spilled out into the sand, those aren't the price of oil, as so many would have us believe. Rather, they show the worth of liberty, and our worthiness to receive it. They are liberty's sacrament. === Two more links: Short film about inter-service rivalry: Reveille, over at the AnarchAngel. And Scott Ott has a gardening tip:
As the United States marks Memorial Day, recognizing those who sacrificed their lives in service to the country, scientists worldwide admit they are likely years away from discovering a “fertilizer for freedom” as effective as the blood of American troops. “Where liberty has sprouted around the world,” said one unnamed scientist, “we usually find American blood at its roots.”
 
http://daddy.typepad.com/daddyblog/2007/05/memorial_day_ma.html We thought you might enjoy this Memorial Day post Respectfully, Robert and Angela Pedersen
 
excellent roundup, john..... thank you