Memorial Day salute, veterans

When I was a child I was helping my uncle, a veteran of World War II, move some belongings, including an old trunk. In that trunk, neatly folded, was the uniform he had worn as a United States Marine. I asked him why he kept it so many years. His reply was one I now think many soldiers would echo.

“Once a Marine, always a Marine,” he said simply, yet very proudly.

And those who served in other branches of the military can easily substitute Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force … God bless every one of them as Memorial Day nears.

“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”

- General Douglas MacArthur

Memorial Day, known to previous generations as Decoration Day, is a time for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”

- Winston Churchill

Memorial Day is a time of reflection and memories, of visiting graves and realizing that lives were lost to preserve this incredible country and the liberty that we all too often take for granted. This is a time to stand up and be proud of America and America’s fighting forces.

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”

- Unknown

When Memorial Day rolls around each year I think of my uncle and how proud he was of his uniform. I remember my dad and his stories of serving in the Navy, and stories my grandfather told of World War I.

I think of all the old friends I have had over the years, soldiers no longer here. More and more of them disappear every year, and while Memorial Day is one of my favorite holidays, it is also bittersweet.

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”

- Jeff Miller

We hear so much today about what is wrong with America, but seldom does anyone trumpet about how much is right. Those we honor on Memorial Day embody all that is right about this country.

“Let their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.”

- Daniel Webster

Many of us will enjoy our three-day Memorial Day Weekend, cookouts, trips to the cabin, an extra day off work. But let’s not ever forget those who made it possible.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.”

– General George S. Patton

Here’s hoping that everyone has a terrific Memorial Day Weekend. And if possible, thank a veteran for their service.

“Veterans are a symbol of what makes our nation great, and we must never forget all they have done to ensure our freedom.”

– Rodney Frelinghuysen

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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