We Remember, We Honor, We Celebrate

Today all across this great land we call America, we pause to remember those who have fallen. We give thanks for their final sacrifice, for their love of country, and we say prayers for them, for their families, for the country they serve. We fly flags to honor their service, to observe our own dedication to America. However, being the ever optimistic Americans we are, we have turned this day formerly known as Decoration Day into a nation wide party, a celebration of patriotism, family, summer’s promise, and just any old other thing we choose it to be, but in some places like our little town Memorial Day is still about the fallen servicemen and women who gave their lives for our country.

Tracking the origins of Memorial Day proves to be a somewhat difficult task. Some attribute it to former African slaves paying tribute to fallen Union soldiers. There is strong evidence that women of the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War. On May 30, 1868, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. By 1890 all the northern states were observing the day. The South would not observe the same date until after World War I, when it became more than an observance recognizing those fallen in the Civil War.

So, it took another war to unite Americans in remembrance of those fallen heroes. Stubborn aren’t we? Here in the South, I grew up visiting the cemetery on birthdays, holidays, and whenever my mother felt a need to connect with those gone from her – but never forgotten. Each visit to the cemetery (my mother never let us call it a graveyard) was a fascinating experience to me as a child.

Always walk around the plots, never step on one. Wander away as my mother knelt in the grass coaxed lovingly into growth in the red Georgia clay. Look first for relatives, those my mother spoke of, and those strange names I was unfamiliar with. Look for the little stone with the lamb on top – the resting place of my mother’s baby sister, Carole. Look for more lambs and little angels – they were dotted around the older section with alarming frequency, something I noticed even as a child. Take note of all the flowers.

It was a fine thing for a family to have many who remembered to honor their dead. I also very vividly remember the little American flags stuck in the ground on days such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Not too long ago, I found a small cemetery with a mass grave of Confederate soldiers who mostly died of an outbreak, possibly flu, during the war. Those little flags had been put in the ground around the few individual markers. I wondered if they minded that 50 star flag, or if they were grateful to be remembered, honored, prayed over.

It was something I lived with as a child, this presence of the dead. I never thought much about it until recently. Here you literally cannot stray far outside your own yard without encountering some reminder of the war fought on this soil, and those fallen. As a child, many of our parents remembered grandparents who fought in the war. It is alive for us, and so has colored how we honor our dead, those who have fallen in battle, and those who in the words of many a fire and brimstone preacher, “The LORD has called home to be with HIM.” Believe me, no disrespect intended, just an indication of a little local flavor.

And so, I find myself wondering. Is this a southern thing? Is it an American thing? Or is it something common to all of us, this need to return to the place we left our loved ones for the final time on this earth? Is it a regional custom, tied deep in the roots we are so tangled in, or a need born with our souls? I think it must be the latter, with a twist of regional observances that may vary from place to place, but sooth the heart of those who wait here, on this side. Perhaps, after all is said and done, it meets our needs more than just paying respect to the dead. We wander there, among those peaceful plots, wondering, imagining, where are they? How is it there? When will my time come? Will I be with them again? Then, that most human of all questions. Who will honor me in my time, when I lay beneath the grass coaxed lovingly into growth in the red Georgia clay?

I hope you enjoyed the video of my hometown. I couldn’t be more proud to live in a place like this little town. Volunteers work for several weeks to place the poles and crosses. You can even get a list of names and locations so that families can locate the cross for their own loved one. We Remember, we honor, we celebrate. I sure hope we always will.

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148 Responses to We Remember, We Honor, We Celebrate

  1. wtd says:

    Here’s a video featuring Diana West, author of “American Betrayal” and “The Red Thread” with Stephan Molyneux. This discussion reveals a detail which is discussed and addressed all too rarely. They also make particular mention of the fading of a group who worked for years to bring the issue of POWs to light for ultimate resolution.

    Diana discusses the issue of decades of

    “…prisoners of Wars that were never returned. Understand that this was one of the most, the greatest betrayal you could imagine for a country against its own fighting men. I mean this this was just a bit the ultimate betrayal and you have any number of presidents and their administration’s, factions of their administration’s that have kept the seal of secrecy on this.

    I will note that this Memorial Day weekend we will see the FINAL running of Rolling Thunder which is when about 500,000 motorcycles come to Washington on Sunday, the day before Memorial Day proper, and they circle the mall in waves, thunderous waves.
    It is thunder. Many of them are carrying the POWs black flag…to be a commemoration of their brothers left behind in that war so long ago.
    These men are getting so old that this 2019 is going to be the last demonstration of this American betrayal.”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. daylight58 says:

    Today always hits home.
    For five years, I was an active member of the Patriot Guard Riders organization – rising to the level of Assistant State Captain (West) in Washington state.
    I can still hear the crying of those moms and wives whose husbands came home, the red-eyes of little boys and girls whose memories of their big brothers and daddy’s would become mostly the events of a ceremony at a funeral service and a never-aging photo next to a folded casket flag.
    I can still remember being given the honor to tell a grieving woman at the funeral that we, the PGR, would always be there for them. And, telling the young children, as we presented a teddy bear with biker’s ‘cut’ and PGR patch sewn on the back, that their daddy was a hero to us.
    And, the honor of six of us carrying our hero into the funeral home – or, providing an escort for the coach (thinking of you, still, Joel C. – and your widow and your infant son, Orion.).
    I don’t know how many times, exactly, I had the honor to do. I don’t want to know. It is just too painful.
    But, I’m glad that I had to show my final respects for them and their families.

    Liked by 11 people

  3. 100% YOOPER says:

    All gave some. Some gave all.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. farmerren says:

    I love our military. My comment now is for you Viet Nam vets who are home and a prayer from the heart to those who are up There. I remember you boys. You beautiful boys. I quit college (temporarily) after my freshman year and went to work in downtown Dallas. Each day I’d walk from my bus stop past an induction center (think that is what it was called). I saw the long line of you beautiful boys. Solemn. Waiting. I knew you were going away to fight. You had my heart.
    Take care of yourselves and to those up There, wrap yourselves in the warmth of our Heavenly Father’s love.
    Thank you All.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. NJF says:

    Really wish I had one near me.

    God bless to all. Happy Memorual Day.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Soldier/Cop/Grunt, Retired says:

    First Mr. Kennedy, then Mr. Johnson, and finally Mr. Nixon; none wanted to hear! Then Mr. Bush (the younger) in revenge for his father paid us no heed as he rushed into Iraq! I pray as we honor those who’s souls have gone on to a better place we do not forget those who walk the earth today with souls just as dead!

    An old vet who cannot forget!

    TROOPERS LONG LOST & FORGOTTEN

    WE KILLED AND CRIPPLED IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM; IN THE JUNGLE WE PLANTED OUR YOUNG WITH ONLY PRAYERS TO LEAD AND FEED THEM.

    BLINDED TO THE ENEMY THE DEATH MARCH BEGAN AS THE JUNGLE SCREAMED THE BEGINNING OF THEIR END.

    IN SUBHUMAN CONDITIONS HEALTHY FLESH BRED ROT, WHILE IN THE TREES HUNG BODIES STRIPPED OF ONLY GOD KNOWS WHAT NOT.

    SOME SOUGHT THEIR OWN RELEASE UNAWARE IF FRIEND OR FOE; THRUSTING AGAINST A SHIELD TO KILL HIDDEN FOE, OFTEN NEVER TO SHOW.

    ONLY THE DEAD PAINED NO MORE, THE LIVING WERE IN HELL FORCED TO BEAR THE DAILY DEATH AND GORE EVERMORE.

    YEARS UNCOUNTABLE PASSED WHILE VAST NUMBERS DIED; OTHERS CAME HOME WITHOUT WELCOME AND WITH WOUNDED SOULS WHO COULD ONLY CRY.

    SOME RETREATED TO THE HILLS NEVER MORE TO BE HEARD, UNABLE TO COPE OR LIVE IN A WORLD GROWN SO ABSURD.

    OTHERS WERE PRODUCTIVE AND WENT ON TO MULTIPLY, BUT CARRIED SCARS TO AFFECT THE APPLES OF THEIR EYE.

    WE SHOULD HAVE CLEANSED THEIR MORTAL HURT INSTEAD OF SWEEPING THEM UNDER CARPET LIKE LONG FORGOTTEN DIRT.

    FOR SOME THE NIGHTMARES NEVER END, HAUNTED BY A WAR THAT SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN.

    THEY LEFT AS BOYS AND RETURNED AS MEN; MADE OLD AFTER SEEING MORE THAN THEY COULD EVER CONTEND.

    THEY PAID THE PRICE FOR A DEBT SOCIETY CAN NEVER REPAY; ROBBED OF THEIR YOUTH AND LEFT WITH SCARS AFFECTING GENERATIONS TODAY.

    AN AMERICAN SOLDIER

    Liked by 3 people

  7. stats_guy says:

    thread

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Sepp says:

    In years past, there were many newspapers across the country that printed the names of the local fallen soldiers in honor of Decoration Day.

    In later years, the newspapers used to print the lists of names of the fallen military members from the particular state as the tolls increased during tbe two World Wars, especially.

    There are probably many local, county, and state historical and/or genealogical societies across the country that have the names of the fallen soldiers and military members from each war in American history, perhaps online or in special books available.

    There are probably a lot of Treepers who know the name of a military member who died in service. For those who are interested in learning more names and helping to fill the gap in remembering Decoration Day / Memorial Day as it was intended, maybe they could find a way to do some local research or team up with those already involved next year to honor the men and women who have fallen, but are forgotten.

    It would be a good way to set an example for others on this day instead of going shopping or whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. CorwinAmber says:

    This is a special Memorial Day for me since my old man turns 100 next month. I’ve been celebrating Memorial Day all my life (I still vividly remember the parades my family attended in the 1950s when the marchers were mostly veterans from WWII, a mere dozen or so years earlier), but one of these days it will really hit home because I will have a grave to visit, sigh. So many of the men my father served with are now gone…some in battle, the rest as part of the normal progression of life. He’s still pretty sharp, but is somewhat confused and baffled by the social course his country has taken in his lifetime…I can see him wince when he hears stories about pedophile priests and scoutmasters because he cannot comprehend how society would allow such behavior OR the disrespect so openly shown to our President and members of law enforcement, institutions that were so highly honored when he was growing up. His generation passed the torch and we have faltered…let us pray it is not too late to make amends.

    Meanwhile, in remembrance of our fallen heroes, I was perusing a special 50th anniversary issue of the old American Heritage magazine from 1994 and noticed a letter to the editor from a soldier who took a tour of World War I battlefields shortly after the end of World War II. While he was exploring Belleau Wood, he visited the nearby American cemetery and struck up a conversation with the caretaker, who was an American himself (remember that each of these overseas American military cemeteries has an American civil servant living on the premises to ensure the proper respect is afforded to the heroes interred therein). During their talk, he discovered that the caretaker had remained there during the entire occupation of France!

    The soldier inquired as to how the Germans treated a lone American taking care of an American monument in the middle of the Nazi occupation of France. “Well,” he said, “two well-dressed Wehrmacht officers dropped in early on and asked to look around. I took them to points of interest, ending up at the U.S. cemetery. They looked at the grave markers and asked if there were any German graves. I said yes and took them over to the smaller German cemetery. I could tell they were mentally comparing the maintenance of the American graves with the German ones. They had to admit there was no difference; I’d been very careful to see that ALL my graves were maintained as well as could be done. They left obviously pleased, and during the rest of the occupation many German visitors called upon me, but I was never molested in any way.”

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find this story fascinating. It reminds me of how Mount Vernon was off limits during the Civil War. I have many questions: who paid this guy during the 4 years of occupation and if so, how was it done? How did he eat? Did he do all the maintenance himself, or did he have a work crew? If he had a work crew, who paid them and how did they avoid military service themselves (my guess is that they were likely elderly poilus who were well past their military prime)? Did the armies in 1940 and 1944 deliberately avoid maneuvers through his territory? If so, it had to be somewhat like Ensign George Gay clinging to a life preserver in the middle of the Battle of Midway with all the action swirling around him. The mind boggles…I wonder if the American Battle Monuments Commission has some sort of account of his life on file? He must have been debriefed after the war…if so, it would be a fascinating read…but that’s just me.

    In any event, to the families and loved ones of all those we honor today – have a great Memorial Day, your sacrifices are not forgotten or unappreciated. God bless all of you.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Sepp says:

    Although I do not have an affiliation with the retail chain, there is a Midwestern group of stores that are specifically closed in honor of Memorial Day. This is unusual.

    Blane’s Farm and Fleet stores across the country closed today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bookdoc says:

      That’s a wonderful bit of info-nice to see at least ONE business that understood that today is not for special sales but to honor those we’ve lost

      Like

  11. Bendix says:

    Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth Countries, on our Veterans Day, strikes the right tone for observance of our Memorial Day, at least to me.
    I stretch the meaning of the day a little, as I visit the grave of my WWII veteran father, although he did not die in that war, and I do check out the other graves in the family plot.

    Thank you, Menagerie, for sharing your personal experience, and for the reminders.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. lizzieintexas says:

    The more I hear Tom Cotton (Senator from Arkansas) the more I like him. I didn’t really know much about him until recently.

    Every headstone at Arlington tells a story. These are tales of heroes, I thought, as I placed the toe of my combat boot against the white marble. I pulled a miniature American flag out of my assault pack and pushed it three inches into the ground at my heel. I stepped aside to inspect it, making sure it met the standard that we had briefed to our troops: “vertical and perpendicular to the headstone.” Satisfied, I moved to the next headstone to keep up with my soldiers. Having started this row, I had to complete it. One soldier per row was the rule; otherwise, different boot sizes might disrupt the perfect symmetry of the headstones and flags. I planted flag after flag, as did the soldiers on the rows around me.
    /snip (go read the rest)

    https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/sacred-duty-soldiers-tour-arlington-national-cemetery/

    Liked by 1 person

  13. PInky1920 says:

    Spoke to my little brother today, a Vietnam vet. We reminisced; the uncles, friends, cousins, nephews…gone, but not forgotten. We are all so grateful for them, and that my little brother survived horrendous injuries during his two tours of Vietnam. They wanted to take his legs and one arm, but he wouldn’t let them. After Two years in hospitals, many surgeries, years of physical therapy, and a lot of prayers, he walked out, on his own two feet and lived..got married, had a family, worked for 40 years in construction, on his feet…

    These are the kind of men, the kind of people, who made America; they are the same men that an entire political party in this country has declared war on.

    Today, in the neighborhood where I live, I am the ONLY person who is flying the American flag. I walked outside where a few kids were playing and asked them if they knew why they didn’t have school today…they couldn’t answer, because they don’t speak English.

    No doubt illegal; this is what our elected POLITICIANS have done to us. They have stolen our country from us. Not a shot fired.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Patriot1783 says:

    Thank you Menagerie for your posts.
    Never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. stats_guy says:

    Liked by 6 people

    • stats_guy says:

      and a long thread on life and death:

      “I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” – A. Lincoln

      Liked by 1 person

  16. free73735 says:

    Hi Menagerie…a quick fyi: I was born & raised in Wyoming. Most everything u described, we & most of the town, did similarly. God Bless U, ur family & friends!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. topavalley says:

    Congressman Dan Crenshaw’s Memorial Day post
    dancrenshawtx

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Menagerie says:

    I have done a pretty good job of being reasonable about these posts, but if you cannot respect the memory of our Veterans, you best not post here. If I have to delete your disrespectful post, you are banned. Period.

    Like

  19. 🍺gunny66 says:

    Memorial Day,

    We remember our military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice……On this day……

    But I like to remember ….… before they left….some were our friends for a long time….some not….some our family…some we did not know…but..

    We saw them leave…saw them leave for the boot camps……Army, Navy…US Marines…Coast Guard….long hair, raggedy clothes, cocky smiles….from the city..from the country, the farms……

    Then they came back…..They were no longer children They now stood tall and straight. Clear eyed. Impeccable uniforms, clear but firm voices.

    They were now…Men and Women…with their demeanor and attitude virtually nothing was the same.

    They were now …..Warriors…. then they went back…back to their units….

    For decades our Military were sent to war…in the jungles, the desert’s.. …we prayed while they were gone…they prayed they could come home…to America..

    Then they returned……. in caskets or alive ….another change…. it was…….dramatic…and a moment no mother, father or friend. will ever forget. Some with no limbs..some with PTSD…

    For those who came back the first one noticed was “their eyes”….They were the eyes that saw death…what most people would never see and could not understand…. the death that they experienced….the blood…..They were silent…they had nightmares…they were hard.

    Because…now…those who were still alive knew….if he were to survive.

    A Warrior must focus his attention on the bond between himself and his death. Without remorse or sadness or worrying, he must focus on the fact that he doesn’t have time and let his acts flow accordingly. He must let each of his acts be his “last battle” on earth. Only under those conditions will his acts have the rightful power. Otherwise they will be, for as long as he lives, the acts of a fool.

    A Warrior knows that his death is waiting, and the very act he is performing may well be his last battle on earth. It’s a battle because it is a struggle.
    Most people move from act to act without any struggle or thought. A Warrior on the contrary, assesses every act: and since he has intimate knowledge of his death, he proceeds judiciously; as if every act would be his last battle.
    Only a fool would fail to notice the advantage a warrior has over his fellow men. A warrior gives his last battle his due respect. It is only natural that his last act on earth should be the best of himself.

    It is pleasurable that way. It dulls the edge of his fright.

    And to those of us who have become Warriors in this battle “we call life.”

    Most times, for those of us who served…and have been in battle for our country….especially with our friends, in the jungles, the deserts…and watched many of them perish……..after the war is the most difficult battle we have ever faced.

    Many….many… people should also be considered Warriors with the battles they are fighting at this moment. The hardships they are experiencing. The pain…

    Most important in all of these struggles is to find our path. Anything is one of a million paths.

    Therefore, we must keep in mind that a path is only a path, if we feel that we should not follow it, we must not stay with it under any conditions. The decision to keep on that path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambitions. We must look at every path closely and deliberately. There is a question that a “Life’s Warrior” has to ask that is mandatory.

    “Does this path have a heart?”

    All paths are the same. They lead nowhere.

    However, a path without a heart is never enjoyable. On the other hand, a path with a heart is easy….it does not make us work at liking it: it makes for a joyful journey; as long a person follows it….he is one with it.

    So this Memorial Day….I would ask that we honor all of our hero’s…Those who left us…and those who are still with us……

    Like

  20. GSparrow says:

    No other country in the world remembers and honors its military veterans as sincerely and impressively as the USA and no other country has done more to bring peace to the world. The collapse of the ISIS caliphate being the last contribution.

    Let’s hope and pray that the numbers of recent American soldiers that are remembered on Memorial Day and other special days for making the ultimate sacrifice for their country continues to decline over the years and those that served in uniform and returned to their families continue to be respected and appreciated by a grateful nation.

    Like

  21. Rose says:

    In times of war and not before, God and Soldier man adore. IN times of peace with all things righted, God and Soldier often slighted.

    Like

  22. Blase Bauer says:

    Thank you for sharing, and thank you for all your hard work in this webpage. Keep doing what you do, its appreciated!!

    Like

  23. Deplorable_Vespucciland says:

    During WWII, before there was a military branch called the US Air Force, those who flew in the Army Air Corps found every mission was a gamble. As one navigator said “Anybody says there weren’t afraid, they are full of cr@p.” Air combat was a completely new form of warfare and they were writing the rules as they went along.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. teaforall says:

    Menagerie,

    Thank you for sharing all the Patriots in RINGGOLD GA. This is what I remember as a child. Local Parade Honoring Our Fallen Heroes, Laying A Wreath at the foot of the American Flag in the center of town. Neighbors barbecuing, kids playing. The American Dream

    Both My Parnts served..Mom medical Presidia, Ca Dad fought in Germany Gunnery in a tank.
    My Dad unit was going to Normandy but my Father had a abscessed tooth and developed lock jaw the night before. He ended up in a hospital in England.he also help Liberate POW Camp.
    Yesterday I Honored both of them. and placed flowers at their grave site. Brig Gen Doyle Veterans Cemetery in Bordertown NJ. . When I first drive thru the cemetery seeing all those American Flay waving gently in the breeze, always take my breath away.

    God Bless all the Men and Women that serve this great Country To all that have given the Ultimate Sacrifice….THANK YOU
    TEA

    Like

  25. WSB says:

    We attended the FDR library today, which has a service every year celebrating our lost warriors on Memorial Day in the Rose Garden, where FDR and his wife are laid to rest.

    This year it was to commemorate a young man from Poughkeepsie, NY. A Jewish teen who graduated from the Poughkeepsie High School, he was on his way to Clark University in Massachusetts. He was drafted at the age of eighteen and was killed at nineteen, barely a year passing from his graduation. May God bless Private Herman T. Siegel, Post #625.

    An interesting fact brought up by the Jewish War Veterans’ speaker….it is the first veterans’ group in US History, formed because the press lied about any Jewish soldiers serving in the Civil War.

    Pictures of the ceremony and the FDR gravesite:

    Liked by 1 person

  26. WSB says:

    For anyone who has interest in D-Day and the latter years of FDR, the Roosevelt Library has a unique and timely show of the beginnings of Overlord, including declassified correspondence between Churchill and himself, as well as many other artifacts surrounding their unique fate

    I took some photos today during our visit, and the first link explains the new exhibit.

    https://www.fdrlibrary.org/mighty-endeavor

    http://i.imgur.com/2j1DdM0.jp

    Liked by 1 person

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