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What Memorial Day Is About


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Memorial Day

Begun in 1866 to honor Civil War Combatants, it was later expanded to honor all brave men and women who served this country in all wars.

 

Between cookouts, picnics, vacations and sales, Memorial Day may be losing its meaning!

 

Please take one minute, at 3 PM local time on Memorial Day to Remember and honor those brave men and women, who paid the piper that we may dance.

 

A Day to Remember
By Derek Gore

 

They gave their all, their lives, and the futures they held dear,
They left behind a legacy of sadness and of tears.
A folded flag, the sound of Taps, the pride mixed in their leaving,
With heads held high, and tears in eye, the loved ones still are grieving.
Remember them.

 

Went in harm's way, so young, and they never will grow older,
Leaving memories, and pictures, citations in a folder.
They left their sons, their little girls, to grow up wondering why,
Their daddy that they loved so well, went off to war to die.
Remember them.

 

For some it changed, and mother, was the casualty of war,
The arms that hugged them never would again, forevermore.
Yet all were sons and daughters, and left behind an ache,
In the hearts of those, whose turn should come, before their children's wake.
Remember them.

 

They rest in peace, some say, and who am I to doubt it?
The higher purpose it was served, the enemy was routed.
Some came home, some never went, some only watched the news,
But they will never hold their child, or argue current views.
Remember them

 

It wasn't meant, in leaving, when they all marched off to war,
That we'd be left without them, from the cannon's deadly roar.
I'm sure that they, would rather, have been here for all of us,
But someone had to fight those wars, someone pay the cost.
Remember them

 

At 3 PM, this Monday, my flag will fly half mast,
As all across the nation, floats the somber sound of Taps.
It's only for one minute, or maybe three or four,
In tears, I will remember, those who died in every war.

 

© RV Roadie / Derek Gore 2002

Taps and Amazing Grace can be downloaded here to play at 3PM on Memorial Day local time for a national moment of remembrance:
http://www.mymorninglight.org/taps/

How to observe Memorial Day
http://www.usmemorialday.org/observe.htm

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Huah.

If you want to download taps in mp3, go here to the Army site,and click on download taps. It is a 955kb file and 1 minute play time.

http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/taps.asp

 

I have a loud Bluetooth speaker shaped like a large cone that is perfect for Taps. I keep it on my phone. I like the one minute versions for my minute of silence.

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Saturday evening I was watching the news and saw something that made me stop and think. That day the Pentagon had an event for the families of military members who were killed in action. It wasn't advertised to the public and there were no politicians giving speeches. It was simply a day for those spouses and children to meet others in the same situation. They did show a short clip of a general sitting there singing with the kids. And the man could carry a tune.

 

This article describes what went on.

 

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=128894

 

My point is that I often think of those who died and especially so on Memorial Day. But I rarely think of the families they left behind. It made me feel good to see our military remembering them on the weekend of Memorial Day. And I'll make it a point to be more thoughtful in the future.

 

Jim

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Jim,

Thanks for the article.

 

The military is a big family. We look out for each other. Today more than ever we offer much needed support for grief and the trauma of being exposed to death and combat. I was glad to know they are on it. When one deploys, knowing their family has a support system that really cares makes it easier for them to face war and return. You can spot the real leaders. They are the ones taking care of their military family, not just their own career and spotlight.

 

Other than unrelated comrades we have my wife's mother's sister. Both their husbands were AAC buddies and joined together, my FIL and his buddy who was a bomber gunner and died in action. My FIL retired from the AF in 1968 after a slight break in service after WWII. while still Army Air Corps he served as a guard at McArthur's residence and HQ when he was military governor of Japan. We have pics and clippings of his stint there. My dad was an AF SP as a British national for four years and after divorcing us in the late 50s went on to earn the MBE in the Foreign Service and died while serving as honorary Consul to Mexico at Acapulco at the turn of the century. We have a history of service under arms and diplomatically in our family that comes to the fore on both Memorial Day and Remembrance Day. Lots of unsung warriors like him that seemed to fade away for all, except their families. I dealt with the friends and subordinate funerals and families a active, and so included that as the focus for the ripples of war that spread wide after the cannon's roar.

 

Not everyone who dies in war is a hero. Not every hero dies in war.

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