Honoring America’s Veterans

Memorial Day Shadow SoldierSo we find ourselves on Memorial Day. No big topics today. No debate over who is right and who is wrong on the political scales. Instead, a simple recognition of soldiers on one of the few days that are dedicated to them. You know, oddly enough, when I was a new soldier, I saw Memorial Day as just another chance for a 4-day weekend courtesy of the US government. Ah, so young and dumb… you know the rest. But once I learned the meaning of Memorial Day, it became a holiday that I cherished and honored each year. And now here I am, for the first Memorial Day as a person who runs a website. And I am so glad that this gives me the opportunity to offer at least some form of tribute to those fallen heroes that provided me the ability to voice my dissent today.
 

Memorial Day Cartoon HelmetsFor anyone who doesn’t know the purpose of Memorial Day in the United States, allow me to fill in the blanks for you. Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time.

Memorial Day for me is a time to honor fallen brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives. It is not a day for political partisanship, or debating the pros and cons of the United States military or its mission throughout the world. 

Whether in the trenches of World War I, the beaches of World War II, the Jungles of Vietnam, the mountains of Korea, or the deserts of the middle east, many a fine American soldier has gone forth and laid down his or her life in service to the country. Let us not forget those who we lost during times of conflict and times of declared peace, in missions throughout the world. Today is a day for remembrance. If I could, I would like to share a poem that I read several years ago that has always stuck with me. Written by a soldier, Roger Robicheau, in 2001:

What Heroes Gave

Each donned their uniform to be 
Defenders of our liberty

Their mission sure, their spirits bright 
Guard freedom’s home, be brave to fight 

One final day each faced their call
Each gave their best enduring all

We’ll never know what they went through
But know they loved this country true

Deep down inside we should all feel
What heroes gave, their cost so real

We must stay thankful, grateful of
The gift of freedom through their love

Their loved ones bore the gravest pain
What we can’t know, some now sustain 

To God I pray their pain will cease
And each will find long-lasting peace

Remember this from year to year
What heroes gave – shan’t disappear

We’ll never let their special day 
Their time for honor slip away 

These brave fought for a nation free
If not for them, where would we be?

Soldier Saluting DuskSo take a moment today and thank the veterans that you know for what they gave to their country. Take a moment today to remember those who are no longer here to thank. We take for granted the ability to come together on this blog, discuss our opinions, and question not only those who represent us, but the very government that we live under. We live in the greatest country on earth, with freedoms that other nations simply do not have. And all of these things we owe to those brave men and women who gave all of themselves so that we may continue to live free. No matter where we all fall politically or in terms of our philosophy, we all owe a great deal to those who sacrifice in service to the country. 

On a more personal note. Today is a day for me to remember my brothers, who would be miffed that I even take a moment to mourn them. Time has marched on. Days continue to pass and I have moved on and did the things we all promised one another we would do. Never hang a head, never regret, and take advantage of what the ultimate sacrifice would provide for those who remain. 

Arlington Gravestones with flagsBut I don’t forget. I won’t forget. I miss you and I love you, brothers. Especially you Marty, Tom, RanMan, and Vice. I hope you have found the peace that you fought so hard to ensure others would enjoy.

Thank you to all of those veterans, who give so much of themselves, not for money or fame or glory, but for duty, honor, and country. You have my eternal gratitude, respect, and support. 

Now everyone go enjoy Memorial Day with your families. That is what all of these fallen heroes sacrificed for.

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Comments

  1. I always try to remember the names of all the friends I have lost over the years, it is not always easy. This is the one day that I go back and visit each one so that their names will stay fresh in my mind. This is the one day I will allow myself a little emotional indulgence. If I were at home this Memorial Day, my wife would know that I need a few hours alone to remember. I DO REMEMBER!

    CW3 Joel B Sizelove
    US Army Aviation

  2. I thank all my fellow vets who served to secure our nations freedom!!! Thanks as well to those who currently serve, or have family members serving! Remembering the fallen is never easy, but their sacrifice always has an ongoing result, FREEDOM!

    God Bless!

    G!

  3. Thank you.

  4. Lemminkaenen says:

    I want to thank all of the veterans on this site for their sacrifices and experiences.

  5. My thanks to all who serve.

    Stranger in a foreign land
    Fearful cries surround him.
    Returning home a wounded man
    To find he’s been forgotten, yeah.
    Courage is the badge he wears
    Blinded by obsession.
    Wars are won by those who dare
    The memory still haunts him.
    Remember the heroes
    Who fight for the right to choose.
    Remember the heroes
    We’ve all got a lot to lose.
    A rebel to the naked eye
    An undiscovered legend
    Face the facts and don’ t ask why.
    It’s something to believe in.
    In the dark
    Day and night.
    Fight for wrong to prove what’s right.
    Remember the heroes
    Who fight for the right to choose.
    Remember the heroes
    Just another life to use
    Remember the heroes.
    We’ve all got alot to lose.
    -solo-
    Remember the heroes.
    Remember the heroes.
    Remember the heroes.
    Remember the heroes.
    To take a life without a say
    Demanded without reason.
    To turn our backs and walk away
    A faceless act of treason.
    A father’s son must carry on
    The wound is only deepened.
    Remember the heroes
    Who fight for the right to choose.
    Remember the heroes
    It’s just another life to use
    Remember the heroes.
    You know we’ve all got alot to lose.
    Remember the heroes
    Who’s gonna fill their shoes?

    Sammy Hagar

  6. Black Flag says:

    What would happen to war if we no longer glorified it?

    • USWeapon says:

      Dude, don’t mess with the day. It isn’t about glorifying war, it is about remembering fallen soldiers who served their country. Would it kill you to leave alone the one day set aside to honor the dead?

      • SFC Dick says:

        yeh well, I think my post in building a foundation III sums up my memorial day so far.

    • Black Flag says:

      Because we honor death, we get more of it.

      • Black Flag says:

        It is not to diminish bravery, it is to disavow the entire institution.

      • There are things worse than death.

        • Black Flag says:

          …like slavery.

          • SFC Dick says:

            Like the waste of bright eyed courageous youth feeling the call to duty, giving their all in a war that the greatest super power in the history of man kind gives this much -[ ]- of an effort

      • USWeapon says:

        When you choose not to respect those who wish to remember their fallen loved ones on this day, you end up with them losing respect for you.

        • SFC Dick says:

          US you know…you KNOW how much respect I have. I stand in awe of men less than half my age.The courage and sacrifice I see from them on a daily basis humbles me.

          Yes, I have a certain swagger, not much, but as much as the job calls for to calm and give confidence in those young heros. That’s my job. I gain their respect through display of experience and competence, they gain mine in their courage, their commitment to the greatest ideals and an optimistic belief.

          My God, I never leave their presence with any sort of arrogance or superiority complex, I leave quieted.
          But I become more and more enraged. I take my position with a revered, profound sense of responsibility. Make no mistake, it is not that I think myself unqualified or worthy, I am both and more. I am also aware of what I ask of them regularly.

          If you move with me, if you happen to be lucky or unlucky enough, depending on your outlook, to be assigned to me, you will find the fight. You will find a fight where others find none or actively ignore. You will find yourself moving across rice paddies into hedge rows that no other units here go. You will find yourself down back alleys that non US soldier has seen in these 8 years of war.

          And you will also find me always at the front. You will find I take that crap about “lead the Afghan from a close follow” and toss it on the public crap pile where it belongs. You will find that I take this U.S “idea” this “tactic” of strolling about as bait, waiting to get hit and toss it right on that same crap pile. You will find that I’m the living contradiction, seemingly showing the Afghan man more respect than I do some of my U.S commanders. You will find me with much public outward deference to the local elders, even when I know damn well they are Talib.

          You will also find that I gather these brave, beautiful,…I don’t even have the ability to describe the good..young warrior, in small private groups and do my best to teach them all my dirty little tricks, all the voodoo and mystic bullshit about reading the tea leaves so that they get the drop on these roten pieces of subhuman trash that are arrayed against us.

          I have to take all this continued hammering from command that makes these men second guess their primal instincts to survive and defend themselves and try somehow to rebuild the confidence they should have, that should be encouraged, to act.

          You will find that I honor those who went before me by continually testing myself, driving myself to more than asked, even doing what is not asked, not allowed. If I see something or know of any area and it scares me, I mean an honest to God knot in the gut, then I know that is what I have to do, that is where I have to go; and hell yes, there is much vengeance, in my mind, involved.

          I understand Black Flag, he also drills down to the point, the essence and because of this some misread or understand. He sometime does not take one’s hand and moves them through the existential path that displays the niceties and good to get to a point that can be interpreted as both pro or con, sometimes seemingly con, but in fact a sober truth that validates, or gives the higher value. Clint Eastwood took much heat for Flags of Our Fathers. I finally watched that about 2 months ago. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I just didn’t want to watch it. The knock some made was it de-glorified war. Some will argue that Privet Ryan was, powerful and showed the horrors of war; I wouldn’t argue it either way.

          I argue some of the greatest horrors are visited upon us by our own. Where is the outrage on that. The proof is out there, for years. The proof on this war is one or two key strokes away. I am no lone voice.

          I honor all those who served, who stuck their heads around a corner, or in a cave and didn’t get blown up, because they had to keep doing that again and again and again.
          The war dead, that is private for me.

    • Black Flag says:

      And, by the way, just because the topic is sensitive to the hearts of some, that should never stop the expression of truth – even if it is uncomfortable.

      Indeed, this is when the such expressions and debate is needed – and should never be avoided.

      • USWeapon says:

        You have 363 days a year to disavow the entire system. And you use most of them. Allow those who lost a loved one have a day to honor the fallen. Their mourning and remembrance is not some acknowledgement that war is good or that they agree with the system. It is merely that… remembrance of the fallen. You get to make your point every day here. There is no reason to choose use the day of remembrance as an opportunity to do so again.

        A little respect, not much to ask. I didn’t ask you to agree with them, their reasoning, or the institution. I only asked you to suspend your criticism for one day of remembrance. Not a lot to ask.

      • Black Flag says:

        Is it not bizarre that you remember your loss only once a year on this day?

        The day is purposeful, not for remembrance of friends lost, but to glory death in the name of the State

        • USWeapon says:

          It is not bizarre. The losses are remembered every day. This is the one day set aside for it. I am sorry that your idealism doesn’t allow you to simply allow a day to honor those men. You are too interested in proving you are right. I will leave this alone now. I made my request. You made your decision.

  7. SFC Dick says:

    yup

  8. Memorial Day Home Page

    How To ObserveMemorial Day

    “…gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime….let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,–the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.” –General John Logan, General Order No. 11, 5 May 1868

    The “Memorial” in Memorial Day has been ignored by too many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Often we do not observe the day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice:

    * by visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
    * by visiting memorials.
    * by flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon.
    * by flying the ‘POW/MIA Flag’ as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act).
    * by participating in a “National Moment of Remembrance”: at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day, and for Taps to be played.
    * by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our falled dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.

    • These mist covered mountains
      Are a home now for me
      But my home is the lowlands
      And always will be
      Some day you’ll return to
      Your valleys and your farms
      And you’ll no longer burn
      To be brothers in arms

      Through these fields of destruction
      Baptisms of fire
      I’ve witnessed your suffering
      As the battles raged higher
      And though they hurt me so bad
      In the fear and alarm
      You did not desert me
      My brothers in arms

      There’s so many different worlds
      So many different suns
      And we have just one world
      But we live in different ones

      Now the sun’s gone to hell
      And the moon’s riding high
      Let me bid you farewell
      Every man has to die
      But it’s written in the starlight
      And every line on your palm
      We’re fools to make war
      On our brothers in arms

      Dire Straits

      • SFC Dick says:

        That’s the one, right there, right about the time of my central America tour. It still bring a chill.

        Two songs bring a chill to my spine, that and the Anthem.

  9. Thanks for the reminder that there are some things worth dying for and the challenge to live for those things as well.

  10. Black Flag says:

    Interesting, that we have a day to remember those that enter battle armed and ready to kill – or die.

    We have no memorial of those who did not enter battle, stood unarmed, and were killed by those we glory.

    200 million civilian dead – 20th century.

    • BF, God remembers the innocent, each and every one, and weeps.

      • BF, Did you see this today? I’m not sure that China agrees with your analysis of the dollar.

        China unveils first sovereign credit rating standards

        “China unveiled Saturday credit rating standards for the sovereignty entity of a central government, the first sovereign credit rating standards in China, aiming broader participation in global credit rating.

        The standards were announced by Dagong Global Credit Rating Co Ltd, one of the first domestic rating agencies in China.

        The sovereign credit rating standards would be able to evaluate the willingness and ability of a central government to repay its commercial financial debts as stipulated in contracts, said the company.

        The rating results could reflect the relative possibility of a central government to default as a debtor, and the rating is based on the country’s overall credit value, according to Dagong.

        Elements of credit risks will include the country’s political environment, economic power, fiscal status, foreign debt and liquidity, said the company, adding that it judges the credit of a sovereign entity on the basis of a comprehensive evaluation of its fiscal strength and foreign reserves.”
        http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2009-05/2

        • Black Flag says:

          They are bearish on the US$ with the creation of this system, as I am.

          This is not a big deal, at this time.

          The Yuan is far too restricted to be a replacement for the US$ – too many currency exchange controls, and the Chinese govt. is as equally bad running their economy as the government in the USA.

          They have absorbed all the US inflation spiral for the last couple of decades at the expense of their own citizens’ wealth. Americans should thank the Chinese citizens for their (forced) generosity.

          China will suffer badly if the US tanks. China will recover faster then the US – simply because it has shorter to fall.

    • BF, Alittle riddle for you. Those we memorialize today, gave their lives, for ONE word. It’s part of a sentence in the constitution. A hint, it’ not the word freedom! Good luck, I’ll check in later!

      G!

  11. USW, In 2001, before 9-11, I wrote and recorded a song about a family who lost a child to an accident. It helped them understand their own feelings and actions, and to this day they play on the anniversary of his passing. However, it was written to express how to deal with these losses in all circumstances. I would like to e-mail it to you if you would like. I only share this because maybe it’s time that people get a grip on life and death. It is not a sad song, but a wake up song to the grieving. Let me know if you would like me to send it to you!

    PEACE!

    G!

  12. Black Flag says:

    G-Man,

    Memorial Day is a national holiday, held on a Monday in order to make a 3-day weekend possible.

    This lets Americans drive home from a weekend vacation.

    Americans honor the military personnel who died in a series of avoidable wars by sitting in their cars grumbling about traffic.

    USWep is right.

    Today was proposed to honored the dead of the Union Army, though not the dead of the Confederate Army.

    Memorial Day is about memories of the fallen dead.

    Their deaths had their origins in a series of violations of the constitution.

    I mean a very early constitution: the second constitution in American history, the Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641). (The first constitution was the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut [1639]. The document says 1638, but back then the first 10 weeks were dated by the previous year.)

    Why the Massachusetts Body of Liberties? Because of Article 7.

    No man shall be compelled to goe out of the limits of this plantation upon any offensive warres which this Comonwealth or any of our freinds or confederats shall volentarily undertake. But onely upon such vindictive and defensive warres in our owne behalfe or the behalfe of our freinds and confederats as shall be enterprized by the Counsell and consent of a Court generall, or by authority derived from the same.

    The Puritans of Massachusetts understood the threat to liberty posed by the military . They put this limit on it: no foreign wars.

    Fast forward to 1787: the United States Constitution. Article I, Section 8 defines the powers of Congress.

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.

    The Congress was not authorized to conscript members of the militia to serve in foreign wars.

    The Constitution never allowed the creation of a permanent standing army. (To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;)

    The Confederacy drafted men to serve in the army (April 16, 1862). The Union followed suit (March 3, 1863).

    The Confederacy justified this constitutionally on the basis of repelling an invasion.

    The Union justified this on the basis of suppressing insurrections.

    Both sides then crossed the border of the other side’s claimed territory. By the end, 600,000 did not return home alive.

    World War I and World War II were fought with draftees, in a foreign war.

    So was the Korean non-war. (Congress never declared war, as required by the Constitution.) So was the Vietnam non-war. (Same reason as was every war since).

    It is a shame that Americans have such short memories on Memorial Day.

    If Washington ever pulls all of the troops and ships and planes out of the nation’s 900+ foreign bases, selling the real estate to entrepreneurs in the host territories, that will be glorious.

    Then, I will fly its flag on this day.

    But, today, mine still flies.

    • USWeapon says:

      First, what do you, of all people, care what a constitution says, whether it be the first, middle or last version. In your own words, a silly piece of paper signed by men you didn’t know.

      Second. You assume to know the meaning of the day for all who honor it, when you are wrong in your assumption. Nowhere in my article did I say war is good, constitutional, just, or anything of the sort. What I had asked you to do was forget your idealistic arguments against government for one day. I didn’t ask you to voice your support or change your position. I asked only that you silence your rhetoric for 24 hours. All you had to do was say nothing. And you couldn’t give me that. That disappoints me. Remind me never to ask for a moment of silence when you are in the vicinity.

      • Black Flag says:

        First, this was more in response to G-Man.

        If you and he believe you were fighting for the Constitution, I was merely pointing out that you weren’t.

        I’m not sure, then, what you both thought you and your men were fighting and dying for….

        Today should be a day of outrage – a day glorifying and memorializing the consumption of blood and soul in the worthless name of State ambitions!

        Instead of bowed heads and distance thoughts, you should be marching in anger upon the Government at such a futile and pointless waste of blood.

        • Black Flag says:

          PS: You can have your day back

          • USWeapon says:

            Little late now

            • SFC Dick says:

              USWeapon, come on man. You earned this day, not many have. Look at the percentages.

              I would have had a cook out years ago, been drunk and punched Black Flag in the head for saying stuf like this at my memorial day (birthday weekend) party.

              Now,…

              Now, I’d punch me in the head if I were at my cook out saying the things I used to say on this weekend.

  13. Black Flag says:

    Sorry, I can’t help it….

    From another post:

    Of man’s achievements, there are many worth celebrating, worth memorializing.

    Warfare is not among them. Humanity has not been bettered by war, the spoils of which have been taken by the States, Churches, Tyrants, and Thieves who have convinced ordinary men to be extraordinarily evil. About this, I am absolutely certain.

    This cabal (by whatever name you call it) has most definitely profited from centuries of war, and they see more profit in its preponderance—else humanity would have long-since erased the practice from the minds of men.

    Sadly, it is the efforts of these men and women, no matter how well intended, or how poorly misguided, have contributed substantially to human suffering. Humanity at large is always the victim in war.

    Some say that they knew what they were doing. I disagree.

    The only reason these men and women fought, is because they did not know what they were doing.

    Millions of men and women who fought and died “for their country” over the last century or two (and for their gods, prior) were lied to. Even though they were instrumental in the “success” of the System—that is, in making the world a worse place for just about everyone in it—very few, if any of them fought (or died) explicitly to for these terrible conditions, despite the fact that their fighting nevertheless achieved them.

    They were pawns and patsies, fodder for cannons, collateral damage and sacrificial lambs.

    Which is not to say I hold them blameless.

    It is the unwillingness to examine critically the morality of one’s own actions, the ignorance which is to be admonished. The rationalization of what we all understand to be crimes, which is deplorable.

    The real war, and the only one worth fighting, is for the minds of men.

    When man questions the orders to fight, given down to him by nameless leaders, when he resists any establishment, any institution which contributes to violence and suffering, when he realizes that cooperation—not combat—is the only path to achieving freedom and happiness, then and only then might that war be won.

    That humanity has failed to eradicate its basest, most evil, most inhuman trait even centuries after the so-called enlightenmenet, is evidence of how long and challenging is the battle ahead.

  14. Thanks to all who serve or have seved in the Military. The only true “Public Servants”. I know it’s hard to justify warfare, but it seems to be part of the human condition. BF, I see your point, but maybe continued tomorrow?

    For now I would just prefer to honor those who have made the ultimats sacrifice for our freedom. Freedom of the press wasn’t GIVEN to us by some reporter. It was EARNED by the Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine and Guardsman.

    God bless America and those who gave all.

    • SFC Dick says:

      we need more reporters over here, I don’t cae what their political bent, but they have to stay for more than a week, give them complete accees and get them the hell out of BAF, Eggers and Phoenix.

  15. I was curious to get Black Flag’s response to the riddle I proposed. That was not to smart on my part, as his reply failed to answer the riddle, but did serve as an interesting history lesson. The words I was speaking of was “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” The answer to the riddle was the word in the middle “LIBERTY”. Freedom from government control, or true liberty, is why we memorialize our fallen, as they fought and died for that reason.

    BF, you can NEVER, despite your philosophical rantings, can’t change this, in the minds of those who have served and survived.

    In some ways, BF, your not much different from us vets, as we had to be heartless to remain, your views today prove to be much the same! Welcome to our world!

    G!

    • SFC Dick says:

      G-Man

      We are a motly group brother, hard bitten, don’t suffer fools gladly and pretty much hate the very government we serve.

      I was chatting with a young CPL who had been attached to us for a misson. I like a little alone tme with some of them after, that allows them to ask or say what ever, sort of an earned privilage.

      We’d been chatting about 10 minutes or so, candid, I guess he felt at ease.

      I’d said nothing along these line previously and this 19-20 year old CPL tells me

      “I hate the government”

      He looked a bit sheepish, like he’d over stepped his bound,

      I knodded.

      “Brother, most of us do”

    • Black Flag says:

      Probably because that is the Declaration of Independence, and not in the Constitution.

      The men in the trenches – like SFC Dick, simply shouldn’t be there – ever. The only way they’ll stop being there is when they decide not to go.

      As long as boys get ideas of glory in war, sadly, the carnage will continue.

      Too young too stupid, too wise too late.

      Government doesn’t take a day off in its war on the People for my or your birthday, or when I’m sick or frail or weak, it doesn’t give me ‘a do-over’ – it is relentless and unstopping.

      So must anyone engaged in a fight against it for the minds of men.

      Black Flag – Black Heart – if no one will speak the truth to you, I will. Even if it hurts either or both of us.

      • SFC Dick says:

        These men volunteer because they think it is expected, to be a man you must sacrifice your life for this cause. They always have always will.

        it’s child abuse.

        The adults need to get their heads out of the asses and figure out what is worth dying for, then, when the politicians childer are on the front line combat units as trigger pullers, we should send them all. Not untill then.

        should we be here?

        should we send an 18 year old into a burning sky scraper?

        How about we prevent the fire in the first palce.

        9/11 was completely avoidable.

        the adults stand guilty and send our best and brightests to put out the fire allowed through their years of incompitance

  16. This to Black Flag

    There is no one on this planet who despises war any more than I do.

    Not even you.

    Yet there is one enormous difference between you and I.

    I have the intelligence enough to know that there is only one thing important enough, yes even worth enough, to go to war over.

    Freedom.

    You are welcome to the freedom that I and those like me have fought for and will continue to fight for until the end of time.

    • Black Flag says:

      Sir,

      The last time someone fought for my freedom was in 1865 and they lost.

    • SFC Dick says:

      GA Rowe

      Gunny, you know I’m 100% behind you, and though we have never personally met, we share a brotherhood forged and bonded under the most extreme trials. Few men serve, fewer end in the utlimate endeavor, actual war.

      I fully understand Black Flags point, ofcourse making it here and now is throwing gas on the fires of a character set that , I feel, makes men who have this character set stand out, head and shoulders above the others.

      The thing is, Black Flag is merely being consistant in his argument about the abuses of this government, and by extension it in the arena of the wars it wages.

      I am disgusted by the likes of Cindy Shehan, or how ever it’s spelled. She is dragging the corpse of her heroic dead son around as a political tool and I believe it’s an ego boost for her; now SHE’S important.

      My mom said she was going to protest when ‘Storm was still ‘Shield. I said “nope’

      Not only that, if I get deployed and popped and you get interviewed you say only “he felt privaliged to serve, our famly’s loss is great’ and you say only that so no one may use this as anything political.

      Yes, you and men like you Gunny, and there are many on this board, have and continue to provide that blanket of security that America sleeps under, but as far as freedom, those very freedoms you and others endured and many like you and I , continue to endure after the fight, off the field of battle, are no longer extended to the very public we love and serve by the very government we serve under.

      I wish it were different. I equivicate much and rationalize, I fight for the security of my fellow citizence in a war that my government allowed to errupt through 20 plus years of ignoring to confront, in any real way, an enemy that started a war against us in 1979. Shah this Shah that, Iran was the opening attack and we ignored to act against the larger threat.

      I fight in a war I think was avoidable for a government I mistrust as a member of a military whose command I have grown to loath in defense of a society that has grown appathetic at best and fascist activist in its continued push for illegal laws.

      But at the end of the day I am here because of none of those, I am here because I have brothers on the field of combat, as they are in that arena I feel compelled at this old age, and a certain arrogant “I’m one of the best, a 10%” attitude. I see the bastards who were 1 minute too early or 1 minute to late to kill my cousin who had just gotten off the subway in the tower that had not been hit yet. I am here out of vengeance too. I believe we need those that will go forth, our force of vengeance, and I will answer to my creator for that, but there are some types that I feel need to be eradicated from the face of the earth. I will stand by all these contradictions but I also feel strongly enough to put up because i won’t shut up.

      I find many who wear the uniform are those that do feel things in life important enough to risk their lives, I just don’t see the government affording the people the freedoms that you, USWeapon, many others, and I have fought for.

  17. USWeapon says:

    Black Flag,

    I will make this final attempt to reason with you. The point is lost as you already made the day exactly what I wanted it not to be.

    You know that I respect you. I work to always show respect to everyone, but I think I go above and beyond to show respect to you. I take the time to listen to what you have to say, even if I don’t agree, and evaluate it for what it is worth. I have never censored your thoughts. I have always defended you when you were attacked on this site. I hope that you will do me the courtesy of giving a fair listen to what I am saying here.

    I know how you feel about the institution. We all know how you feel about the institution. And 363 days a year I am all for you putting your point of view out there and defending it. You always bring insight into the conversation and you work to find consistency. There are two days I ask you to not attack the system, to simply allow people who feel differently than you do to simply pay homage or remember or whatever they want to do: Veterans Day and Memorial Day. One pays tribute to those Americans willing to give of themselves to something other than selfishness, to serve their country. The other is a day of remembrance for those who have been lost in military service. I asked that we leave our grievances at the door in this one thread for this one day. It was not a day for deliberation or to make a point or to insult or verbally injure those who have lost someone they cared about.

    I did not ask you to agree with those soldier’s sacrifice or their reasons. I did not ask you to support the idea of war or to change your stance on the issues. I asked only that you respect the day. Respect those who have lost someone enough to allow them this one day of remembrance. I asked only for your silence. If you didn’t support the idea of memorial day, all you had to do was remain silent. Allow people the day. You would lose nothing by doing so.

    If you know a man is not a good man, the funeral is not the time to say so. You save it for another day. You respect the grieving family, the friends who knew that man. You can say what you want later, you can denounce that man all you like. But that day, you leave it alone.

    Your points about the institution are well known and get ample time on this site. There was nothing to be gained by using the day to hammer your points home. It was a callous and spiteful thing to do. Because you can make your same argument tomorrow or the next day. And it will have relevance. But today was not the day, and you did nothing positive by using the day to attack. Those offended will respect you less for your callous comments on a day where they simply wanted to remember and honor those who mattered to them. Those not offended did not need your comments and would have been just as swayed or receptive tomorrow.

    I understand that you are man of principle and that you feel as though you are taking a good stand to take this one day for remembrance and give some tough love to those who are remembering their fallen loved ones. You were more interested in proving that you have a better grasp on what is “right” than all those others who read here than you were in simply being a good person and allowing them their day for remembrance. But as a man of logic, you also know that there was nothing to be gained by doing so. Not when you are such a well-heard voice every other day here. And that makes your choice insensitive at best. It makes it mean and spiteful at worst.

    I don’t expect you will back down or acknowledge this as a mistake. You will remain atop your moral high horse and simply claim that you were doing it for their own good. But you had no reason to hurt people’s feelings or to intentionally rain on their single day of mourning.

    You have much to offer in the way of principles and values. You have much to offer in many areas. And that is why you have done yourself a disservice by refusing to simply respect the feelings of others for this one day.

    At this point I am rambling so I will leave it alone. I simply expect better than this from you.

    • Black Flag says:

      My principles are immutable – you know that. They don’t stop just because its a holiday.

      —-

      It is exactly these type of government institutionalized activities that are among the powerful ools to cloud men’s minds.

      It turns remembrance of personal loss into government propaganda – and done so for many concurrent purposes.

      If you wish to remember and honor your comrades (and others sons or husbands) – as you said, you have 363 other days to do so.

      Is there a reason you feel you need to do it with other people that you don’t even know, and by a government decree?

      You are sucked in on this day to do so because of government manipulation – manipulation of remembrance, reverence, of misplaced purpose.

      You are sucked in by government games – exactly the games that caused you and your brothers to go off into foreign lands and die.

      As long as you submit to these games, the game wins. This day is part of that game – the propaganda game that makes war acceptable to the masses. It appears to give the sacrifice some measure of worth, when not one widow, or mother – if given a ‘do-over’ would have let their husband or son go to die. They’d cling to their soldiers with an unrelenting grip.

      But these ‘celebrations’ by decree – this is how that grip is loosened.

      Government is relentless and never stops nor sleeps. When you fall asleep, USWep – and fail to realize what crime continues to be committed upon you by the government in its propaganda war – a war, sir, directed at you and veterans specifically – I’m there to remind you.

      • Do not necessarily disagree with you Flag but, be aware that I and mine are attuned 365 days per year. Can’t ever pass a cemetary or monument without thinking of the wasted promise.

  18. If anyone wants to see what we were up to yesterday go to:

    http://news.webshots.com/album/572410568MnxRDz?vhost=news

    Sorry, I still can’t do the quick link stuff. Anyways, you will see the fantabulous Troop 27 BSA Color Guard at work and the efficacy of one hour of motivated close order drill.

    This is our 20th year of marching. Every year we pick out a fallen vet, do a quick written bio with photos and explain to the boys we are marching for him. This year it was Marine Sgt Merlin German. Whenever possible, I like to use someone in the 18-19 year old age range. That brings it home to the boys. There but for the grace of God goes you or your older brother.

    • Well, how do you like that! The machine does the link by itself! Curiouser and curiouser as Alice would say.

      • SFC Dick says:

        SK Trynoski Sr. Sir,

        The son does great honor to his father in his actions and is testament to a character that you have built and nurtured in him.

        “as long as my brother is on the field of battle I too shall go. I will not alow him to stand alone, with out me at his side and we two shall shoulder the burden; joined as brothers by our shared sacrifice and bond of unconditional commitment to each other’s survival”.

  19. esomhillgazette says:

    I spend most of my Memeorial Days cooking out, watching war movies, and remembering all our fallen heroes. I spent my time in the peacetime Army.
    Maybe because of this. Or maybe because there is a long tradition in my family, and in others families, of sending soldiers to war, I think a lot on the sacrifices our men and women in the Armed Forces have made. My family has had family in every war since the Revolutionary War.
    My grandfather was in WW1
    My GrandUncle and Uncle were in WW2
    3 of my Uncles were in Korea including The Chosin Reservior.
    My Daddy was in VietNam
    I had 2 cousins in the ’91 Persian Gulf
    and 2 cousins in the Iraq War
    This is not bragging. I myself did not have to go to war. For this I am glad. My family has gone to war in the past so that I did not have to now. most of them were drafted and did not volunteer, but went and served their Country with honor.

    It is easy to say that some did not have to go. It is easy to say that they should have refused to also. But most Americans do not look at it this way. I, do not look at it this way. The way I see it it takes duty, honor, and courage to go out and defend liberty. Especially if it’s not You or Your Country’s Liberty that you are defending.

    Rowe has, on his site, a lot of the foriegn cemetarys of our war dead. France, Italy, and Britain are full of them. These are memorials to the sacrifice that our young men and women have made to help keep liberty in place in other countrys than their own.

    Thank You to all of them and to all of you who made it back home. May your sacrifices never be forgotten.

    Benjamin Karl Lindsey
    Esom Hill Gazette

    • Black Flag says:

      What American liberty was earned by 50,000 USA dead and the couple of million Vietnamese?

      What’s telling about that war is that America lost – and if you’re telling the truth, America should have lost her freedom and we should have become Vietnamese.

      We didn’t. So somethings wrong with your argument.

      What American liberty was earned by 35,000 USA dead and the couple of million of Koreans and Chinese?

      What’s telling about that war is that America lost – and if you’re telling the truth, America should have lost her freedom and we should have become Chinese or Korean.

      We didn’t. So somethings wrong with your argument.

      The intellectual and moral chasm that exists in America between the illusions that dominate American minds and the truth is so large, these are the days I believe it will be insurmountable.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        No BF. There’s nothing wrong with my argument because I am not arguing to begin with. I am simply telling of my family’s Honor and Sacrifice for their Country.

        I sure as hell ain’t gonna argue over it.

        • Black Flag says:

          I honor their bravery.

          I had great-uncles, both highly decorated by their respective governments, fighting against each other.

          One fought for the British on the Somme, the other fought for the Austrians against the Italians.

          The moment you see this, one realizes war is insanely stupid.

          • esomhillgazette says:

            I already know war is insanely stupid. The Government makes the policy and the Military takes the casualties.

            Maybe someday it will be different BF. I sure hope for that day. But until then, I will honor our veterans. It’s our government’s stupidity, not theirs.

  20. USW’s wishes were for all of us to enjoy the holiday while taking some time to remember those who fought and still fight. I will do so with humility and thanks.

    I will add this. My son served in the US Army from 2002 to 2006 as a Combat Medic with the 3rd ID 1-15th near Balad. He lost 12 brothers in his last tour. He still wears a braclett.

    I told him I was proud of him for serving his country and for helping to keep us free. He and I have not had many conversations relative to the events he experienced while in harms way, because he has not wanted to discuss them. He did make one comment that seems to be appropriate.

    “Dad, I didn’t want to go, but I had a job to do. I wasn’t over there protecting America as much as I was protecting those I was assigned too. People thank me for serving and that’s fine, but none of the guys I served with felt our country was threatened. Our days were spent keeping each other safe. So, I guess most of us were just defending each other.”

    If you think about it that’s what most of those we call veterans were doing in any war; defending each other.

    • Black Flag says:

      Sad that they are thrust into a game where they have to fight for each others lives instead of sitting around a table having a beer and playing poker with the same buddies at home.

      I’m happy he made it back.

      • SFC Dick says:

        Common Man, sir

        The son does great honor to his father in his actions and is testament to a character that you have built and nurtured in him.

        “as long as my brother is on the field of battle I too shall go. I will not alow him to stand alone, with out me at his side and we two shall shoulder the burden; joined as brothers by our shared sacrifice and bond of unconditional commitment to each other’s survival”.

        again, I’ve got to get more than 2 hours sleep, I’m losing track of the posts I’m posting on 2 seconds after opening the reply, but this did also apply SK Trynosky and his son.

  21. THANK YOU ALL WHO THANKED ME FOR SERVING, FEMALE U.S. MARINE CORPS. WW2, 33RD BATTILION, I HAVE ALWAYS THANKS SERVICE PEOPLE WHEN I SEE THEM, I AM OLD, DISABLED, NOT SERVICE CONNECT, OSTEOPOROSIS CONNECTED, LOST 5 INCHES IN HEIGHT FROM THIS DISEASE. BUT I ENJOY THIS SITE AS NOT A LOT OF NASTY QUARRELS, IF SO I WILL QUIT. JUST A CHANCE TO EXPRESS MY OPINION. I DON’T CARE FOR OBAMA, NOT MY CHOICE, BUT REALLY WE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH OF A CHOICE DID WE, MY SON VOTED FOR RON PAUL, I AM INDEPENDENT, DIDN’T CARE FOR MCCAIN, BUT DID WHAT I THOUGHT WAS RIGHT AT THE TIME. NOW I REALLY LIKE LIMBAUGH, GINGRICH, BUT THOSE 2 ALSO HAVE A LOT OF BAGGAGE. SO DOES ANYBODY THIS OUR COUNTRY, USA WILL BE ABLE TO LAST UNTIL 2010, WITH ALL THE MONEY GONE, DEBT TREMENDOUS, I AM BEGINNING TO WONDER. NEW SUPREME COURT PICK WILL BE SEVERELY VETTED, GOOD, BUT OBAMA WAS NOT VETTED AT ALL, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING. HE DOES NOT FIT THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A PRESIDENT, WHO IS HE, WHO ARE HIS PARENTS, WHERE WAS HE BORN, WHY WAS HE NOT VETTED, JUST A FEW QUESTIONS I AM CURIOS ABOUT. GOD BLESS ALL AND TAKE CARE. THANKS AGAIN

  22. whitehorn says:

    Thank You Goldie and all the other vets. I just wonted to say Im also a vet as is my son and my Grandaughter who is now serving in the United States Coast Guard We didnt serve cause we had to but because we wonted to. and as i said in another comment I didnt die when in the service but ill sure as hell die for the right to stay free weather from this Goverment or another. Because it scares the hell out of me from what i see is happening in this world today God Bless you all and this great country

  23. Danak13 says:

    Wow. This is my first time to this website. I got the link from Fox Forum. However, it is interesting to see the comments and the commentary. Especially Black Flag and some others who have their reasons for felling the way they do.

    As a Veteran, April 2, 1969 through April 2, 2009, I thank you for the website and the opportunity to post. I am a Vietnam Veteran, (2 tours 5th Special Forces stationed in Nha Trang and Ban Me Thout), Kuwait Veteran (1991), Bosnia Veteran (1996 – 6 months), and Afghanistan Veteran (2002-2003). This does not put me above the rest but I have seen the world and what it thinks of us, meaning the United States. I cannot agree with all the policies of our country, for we are neophytes as far as the world goes. However, in my treks around the globe and dealing with local populations and governments, despite the travails of the United States, we are still the best there is out there. Europe cannot hold a candle to the United States for we have accomplished more in 250 years that the world in 5,000 years. We stand for a lot of things and I abhor needless sacrifice more than the next. I have been wounded in combat, seen the wounded and dying, and even caused some of it in conflicts that some say are needless and stand for nothing. What liberty have we saved from Korea or Vietnam or Iraq? No liberties except the willingness to sacrifice for a principal. Would I go again if the clock were turned back? The answer is yes. Do I think that some of our policies were wrong? Yes. Do I think that the sacrifices were worth it. Again, yes. Why? Because our country does stand for something out there. I have seen it on the faces the world over. Admiration and sacrifice to promote two things. Freedom and individual choice. Has the United States exported its own brand of this. Of course it has. Along with freedom and individual choice also comes the responsibility to control our government by the people and for the people. But what worth would WE have if we espoused our freedoms but did not sacrifice some of our best? I was winning to sacrifice and willing to do so again, but at age 60, the military has decided, and I agree, that it is time to step aside and let the young and brightest continue to carry the mantle. I only hope that I can help control our government by now being a voice.

    Thanks to all my brothers and sisters in arms..past..present..future.

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