Remembering on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is much more than the three day weekend that marks the start of summer. Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2013 — Memorial Day, which has a history going back to the civil war, is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. It is a reminder of those who died so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.

This day was initiated in memory of our honored dead. It now includes those Armed Services members who are missing in action (MIA).

Many Americans have seen many wars, and some have experienced the horrific sights of death while serving our country. These brave veterans have vivid memories of the loss of their comrades, no matter how long ago it occurred. To give a perspective on the magnitude of loss of life to preserve our freedoms, the following is some approximate figures dealing with the American Armed Services in wartime:

More than 400,000 died in World War II

More than 54,000 died in the Korean War

Over 100,000 died in the Vietnam War

Approximately 148 died in the Persian Gulf War

Between 2003 and 2012, 4,486 died in Iraq

As of January 2013, 2,084 have died in the war in Afghanistan

Memorial Day weekend is a time when volunteers sell the small red artificial roses as a fundraisers for our disabled veterans. It is a time to place flowers and flags on the graves of those who have fallen in combat. If you live near a military cemetery, take a drive and see the awesome view. While you are there, have a moment of silence, remembering our fallen military. Let us not forget about the many graves of those who died for our freedoms that are on foreign soil, such as those from World War II who are buried in France.

This is a day of family picnics or get-together, so this use the opportunity to tell children the true meaning of this day. One of the most important responsibilities we have as members of a freeborn society is to transmit the knowledge of those men and women who gave their lives for our freedoms to the children.

So, on this Memorial Day, let’s remember their heroism and for some think back to the happy times we shared with these “beautiful people,” as they are true heroes.

******

Eulogy for a Veteran

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

(Author Unknown)

*******

However, that’s the time and place I am from-

 


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Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles is a fifty-four-year career in technology retiring at the directors level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a free-lance columnist, published three books, over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, radio interviews, one television commercial and finally married for sixty-five years, four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great grand children. 

Charles is also a Navy veteran.

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