Memorial Day

Today in the US we celebrate Memorial Day so I thought I would do a little post on that theme. Today is not a day for me to rail on about the political side of war or to protest what is being done by the US around the world. Today we pause to remember those who served us by serving us and paid the ultimate price, their own life. Veterans are afraid that Memorial Day is becoming just another day off for people and they are forgetting what the day is all about. I am off in a few to go to the local parade in honor of the day and I am sure the crowd will be very thin. I am driving one of the fire trucks in the parade and we have had a hard time getting people to come in and work today. Put the beer down, leave the hamburger on the plate and remember for a moment those who have gone before us.

Memorial Day was started as Decoration Day after the Civil War since everyone in the country was affected by this war in one way or another. 620,000 died in that war and was the war where more Americans have been lost in history.

25,000 dead in the Revolutionary War
20,000 in the War of 1812
116,000 in World War I (the war to end all wars)
105,000 in World War II
36,000 in the Korean War (the forgotten war, thanks Dad for serving)
58,000 in Vietnam
300 in the first Gulf War
506 in Afghanistan (thanks Mike we miss you!)

4081 (so far) in the Iraq War

Those are the ones that this day is for! Those are the ones we should remember! It is not about hamburgers and hot dogs and beer. It is about remembrance. On the POW/MIA flag is the statement We Will Never Forget! Well it seems we have forgotten, or some of us have.

I found this prayer in the Air Force Prayer Book and thought I would reprint it here if you want to use it to pray:

O God our strength and redeemer, by your leading our ancestors brought forth on this continent a great nation, born of faith and struggle, dedicated to liberty and freedom, characterized by justice and courage, and committed to promotion of the common good. A changing world continually challenges these time-honored values, proving the temper of their metal in American lives. In such moments, we seek your blessing, O Father. Enable us through the maze of temptations by lesser gods. Prosper each initiative for human freedom, for peace and justice in our land, and for the common good of our global village. Refresh us in eternal values, and inspire our hearts and lives to fulfill the potential you’ve placed in each one of us. Amen.

The tradition is to pause at 3pm and remember those who have gone before. I will ask all my readers to do just that.


  1. after we went to our locale parade which ended up being very nice but small in size, we went for a ride and noticed that some flags were at half mast but most were not. i guess that says something about us as a people but im not sure what it says.anne

  2. Our parade was super small, the speakers did do an outstanding job. The flag bearers would say that with the wind being as overbearing as it was, it was challenging. One of the wreaths was broken in the processing of placing the gold star at one of the monuments. How embarrasing! What other’s noticed was the disrespect of the officers on duty not soluting when the colors went by. I noticed that some of the High School band memebers were sitting while playing the National Anthem, Imagine? Oh, they were tired. Children were given little flags and they were happy. People are still coming out and thats good news on such an important day.

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