May 31, 2010


Monique Chartier


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This is a "holiday"in name only.It is a somber recognition that over a million Americans laid down their lives for this country since its founding.
Sorry if I don't much care for the barbeque/party atmosphere that attends every Memorial Day.
I am remembering my buddy,Barry Murtaugh,of Ridley Park,PA who was killed with six other members of my squadron on what was to be their last day in country.He always used to kid mme about getting home first,and he never did.
The President should have been at Arlington,not at a barbeque in Chicago.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 31, 2010 10:17 AM

At least he didn't go to Bitburg to honor the Nazi's like Bonzo!

Posted by: Get Real at May 31, 2010 11:55 AM

Joe, you forgot about the all-important clothing, car, and furniture sales.

Posted by: Dan at May 31, 2010 12:04 PM

Thanks for the list, Joe.

Your prior comment about Memorial Day was part of the impetus for this post.

Posted by: Monique at May 31, 2010 1:22 PM

Dan-thank you for pointing out the commercialism.
Monique-glad to help.
Get Real-Bitburg?That was a Pat Buchanan
setup on Reagan.Reagan did serve in WW2.
I am definitely not a fan of Pat Buchanan,although a stopped clock can be right twice a day.
Even draft dodger Clinton made it to Arlington 8 times.
Obama never served,but was of course not a draft dodger-he was about what you'd expect in that age group-no wars to fight and no draft,so why bother?
I'm not judging him in that arena,just saying it would have been better had he gone to Arlington with two ongoing wars.

Posted by: joe bernstein at May 31, 2010 1:33 PM

A friend said earlier, "Today is a holiday that we do not celebrate, we observe."

I understand his point, and agree that far too many Americans, who were not taught the history of their country, having no concept of today's significance, think of today as merely the first weekend of summer and treat it accordingly.

Here is the first item of General Order No. 11 of 1968, establishing Memorial Day:

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

The last line of this strikes me. There are many charities established for the families of those who fell in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a good week to get a head start on our charitable tax deductions by writing checks or otherwise contributing to some of those charities. That's what I'm doing in my spare time today.

Posted by: BobN at May 31, 2010 6:10 PM
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