Memorial Day 2017

May 26, 2017

All Posts, Editorials

Memorial Day 2017

Decoration Day, which we now call Memorial Day, began spontaneously in the spring of 1864 as our national day of suffering.

It was the inevitable result of the American Civil War in which at least 620,000 men died. Their survivors suffered from those deaths. About 576,000 men were wounded. Surgery was primitive. There were no antibiotics and the only anesthetics – alcohol, cannabis and opium – were often in short supply. One hundred thousand men died of camp diseases and another 400,000 simply disappeared. Some of them may have been deserters but some portion of them simply rotted where they fell. About eight percent of the combatants in the War Between the States returned home without an arm or a leg.

That suffering only found meaning when it was remembered.

Decoration Day was the day the living tended the monuments to the dead. In the beginning, usually the monuments were made of wood. Sometimes they were slabs of slate. As decades passed, as the North and the South reunited in their shared suffering and their terrible shared history, the monuments turned to granite, marble and bronze. Those monuments were not made as insults to some unimaginable future. There were made so the future might never forget that it was built on the bones of those who sacrificed their own futures for us.

By the time of our next war, when 2,446 Americans died in Cuba and the Philippines, American History was carved in stone. There was nothing arbitrary and relative about the story of us. History is not made of sand. It can only be buried by it.

Every generation or so, we are reunited as a nation by our sorrow.

Fifty-three thousand four-hundred and two American soldiers died in the War to End War; 405,399 died in the war after that; 36,574 died in Korea; 58,220 perished in Vietnam; 383 died in the Gulf War; and so far 4,410 have died in Iraq and 2,184 have died in Afghanistan. They were all our sons and brothers. They are our heroes.  They died for us. Our history is written in their blood.  Each of their deaths was its own timeless moment and we are not redeemed from our history by renouncing it. We are not only who we are. We are also who we were.

Our history is a pattern of timeless moments. Each of their deaths was an act of faith in us, in who we would become, in who we have become and in who we will become.

Enjoy your barbecue.

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42 Responses to “Memorial Day 2017”

  1. fayettenamhoe Says:

    go back and learn, the rich scum financed and encouraged all these wars, now they pit us against each other over trivial dumb shit?
    you go figure out why, divide then conquer, and yes i pay my respects’ to all the dead, they deserve it, can do no more harm

  2. fayettenamhoe Says:

    all wars are bankers wars, goes back even before our “CIVIL WAR” who fights them? always the working class and the poor, who dies? working class and poor, 99% dies for these rich scum, the bankers created ww1 and ww2, J.P. morgan sunk the TiTTanic to profit from a bad investment, the truth has cometh, IRAQ .V. IRAN more bankers wars, the whole drug and oil, terrorism trade in this country has been financed by the USA and very power-full bankers who control the debt, and out most trusted entities of our own GOV. and you fucks voted for another boss that just as be-holdened as the last, , hahahahaha,,,, hahahahah,,, my apologies, do your home work, your harley’s won’t, blah, blah, blah, blah, and i wish all the best, learn how to duk

  3. Dutchboy Says:

    @ Gandalf I agree, of course I have the Stars & Bars, the Gadsden, and Old Glory hanging in my shop (the last one hangs highest). Mexican or Irish flags flown as a symbol of ancestral pride? No problem. ISIS flag considering we are at war with them currently? Big problem. Of course that is me, each has to make his own calls.

  4. RAGU Says:

    EXCELLENT WRITING, GREAT INFO AND A THANK YOU TO THE FALLEN, THEIR FAMILIES FOR THEIR LOSS AND ALL WHO SERVED.

    RAGU

  5. Gandalf Says:

    @ Dutchboy. Flying the ISIS Flag is Racist to me. Flying the Stars and bars is Racist to some.(Not me) Flying the Mexican Flag ain’t no different as flying the Irish Flag. ALL Protected Speech.

  6. Dutchboy Says:

    Interesting that some jurisdictions have decided flying the ISIS or Mexican flag is “protected speech” but the Stars and Bars or Gadsden Flag is “racist”. To paraphrase Einstein “Intelligence is limited, but stupidity is infinite!” Especially in government!

  7. Gandalf Says:

    @ James W Crawford (and whoever). The Confederate Statue “Issue” is pure BS. A “Issue” used to divide our country more than it already is. The Fact is (and always has been) Living, Local Citizens have always decided what statues (or Flags) stood in their parks, on their courthouses etc. They decide what names are dedicated to Schools and streets etc. Who are we to tell the people of New Orleans what Statues they must look at? For example; Who are we to demand a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest stands in a park surrounded by and used by blacks? Or that some street in a white neighborhood be named MLK Blvd? (Changed from RL Lee Blvd)This statue thing has NOTHING to do with disrespecting Vets of Southerners. I’m sure many other communities would love to have that RL Lee Statue in their park. The whole Confederate Flag thing is also BS designed to divide. People have the right to Fly it just like people have a right NOT TO. If a State decided “not to” fly the stars and bars anymore…. it is their right and I’m sure a vote was taken to remove it.

  8. Harleyguy Says:

    I find it so asinine that Confederate monuments are taken down,while statues like Thomas Jefferson (who owned slaves) stays in place. The confederate flag did fly over slavery for 4 years but our national flag flew over slavery for 85 or more years. My Great Grandfather was in the Confederate cavalry, that does not make me him. It was a part of history.

  9. SK Says:

    Thanks Rebel. A great reminder of the sacrifices made to keep this country free from tyranny and oppression.

  10. James W Crawford Says:

    Beutifully Said!

    The current mania to desecrate Civil War monuments because it is politically incorrect to venerate Confederate soldiers demonstrates a profound misunderstanding. Just as Southerners’ respect for the monuments erected to honor Union soldiers helped heal the rift between the States, Northerners’ respect for monuments erected to honor Confederate soldiers also healed the rift. As a result, there were many Southerners who fought gallantly for the US insubsequent wars.

    People such as former Governor and current Ambassadore to the UN Niki “Dydeetown Girl” Haylee refuse to understand this.

  11. Dasein Says:

    I was REMF, with an apt. in Saigon, and weedy afternoons in the bars of Cholon. I was there, but I wasn’t. These guys were:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxPeHqH4XxI

  12. Sandmann Says:

    @Rebel and Paladin:

    Great writing. Thank you for that.

    Respect to the deserving,
    Tom

  13. Rebel Says:

    Dear Goldsboro Williams,

    Welcome home, Dude. Fuck ‘me all but nine.

    Rebel

  14. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Rebel: I may never have a lot in common with some of your regular posters, but what I do have in common with many of them is serving the country and a love of freedom. Two tours in Afghanistan here, and my son has done his time in Afghanistan as well.
    .
    As far as the ridiculous vandalism of confederate graves, it started with Obama. Up until recently, little confederate battle flags were put on confederate graves on memorial day. He ended that. Of course, he was all about division and hating our country, our vets and our history, so that is no surprise.

    My thanks to all of you who served. I know a lot of you had it worse than I did.

  15. East Coast Says:

    Rebel, Paladin, Dutchboy;

    Well said, great sentiment

    It is only the sheep of this once great country that can put it back on course.

    “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” – so very true.

    Respect

  16. tiopirata Says:

    Rebel
    Here, here.
    Lest we forget.

  17. Gus Says:

    Thank you, sir. Well said.

  18. RtC Says:

    A SAFE & reflective Memorial Day weekend to all.

  19. Catfish OCNY Says:

    Well said. Thanks to those who serve, those of us who have served, and most of all to our heros who gave their last full measure for this Republic. God Bless America.

  20. FF Says:

    DEO VINDICE

  21. Union proud Says:

    Remember the warriors not the wars.

  22. Dutchboy Says:

    Well said Rebel. As a Vet I do get offended by all the marketing hype (it isn’t about cheap mattresses folks) but the photo of a desecrated Confederate Marker really made my blood boil. One last time for the short bus crowd so eager to find offense where it does not exist or to sell our freedom to the likes of George Soros; what you learned in history class is all lies, if not a lie in fact then a lie by omission. Somewhere between 640,000 and ONE MILLION Americans died in the War Between the States (Civil War or War of Northern Aggression). Out of a national population of 31 Million. Our current population is north of 310 Million so that is equivalent to 6.4 Million to 10 Million Americans (most of HS or College Age) dead and rotting. Those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it.

  23. Phonebooth Says:

    Damn. You are a poet, writer, and philosopher of the first order.

  24. Ol'LadyRider Says:

    May the sacrifices made in war be honored in the pursuit of Peace.

  25. Dirty Dingus McGee Says:

    @Paladin

    I agree with 99% of your post, except for the following;

    “Because our soldiers have always fought and died on foreign soil, this Country’s citizenry has been insulated from the true nature and horror of war.”

    I would submit that the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the War between the States, brought the ugly side of war to the attention of the population. Yes it was many moons ago, and I hope there is no repeat anytime soon. I have a feeling however, that I might see one in the balance of my lifetime.

  26. Gandalf Says:

    Great Writing Rebel. @ Paladin. If we can exploit Jesus Christ (God) with Christmas surely you can be surprised about the treatment of mere humans. Every Holiday is perverted by Humanity. It’s what we do and who we are. Sick Mother Fuckers! LOL Y’all Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend (I’m $working$) Respects to you all.

  27. dogbreath Says:

    This piece belongs on the front page of all of this nations newspapers, followed by Paladins post below the fold.

    Thanks to both of you thoughtful men for your words.

  28. Bagger Says:

    Some great words spoken here. Remember and honor those this weekend and throughout the year, who gave their all for us.

  29. Bone Head Says:

    It is sad the way we observed Memorial Day. Rebel, you’ve written a very good piece about the real meaning. It is also too bad that mainstream America will not get the chance to read it. Maybe your next book might include it as a kind of “foreword by the author”?

    Paladin…Azbrick…your words were good and hit home too. Thank you and all who served.

  30. Nuke n' Pave Dave Says:

    As one who had forebears who fought on both sides of the Civil war, I have to say thank you Rebel for that footage. But that my family could be as civil to each other even now as those gentlemen were then at their fiftieth anniversary. Some people can forgive and others, among them some of my very family, have a harder time of it…
    I think I’ll fwd that footage to a certain few of my damn relatives!

  31. New England Rider Says:

    This stands for itself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrtyDvcO8oc

    Much honor, love and respect to those who gave and to their families.

    LL&R,
    New England Rider

  32. Shutup Says:

    Some gave all…
    Respect, Rebel.

  33. stroker Says:

    Thank you Rebel.

    and Thank You too, Paladin. Good points.

    On Memorial Day, I will take yet another flag to my buddy Chuck’s gravesite.

  34. Azbrick Says:

    As a Desert Storm vet, thank you for posting this. Every Memorial Day I am thanked by people for my service. I politely tell them that Memorial Day is for the heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country..

  35. Paladin Says:

    I have come to realize the true meaning of Memorial Day

    Memorial Day is a day that has very little to do with this Country’s fallen soldiers and a lot to do with this Country’s retailers exploitation of our fallen soldiers for the discounting and hocking of their wares. So as not to seem discriminatory, retailers exploit Veteran’s Day for the same reasons. The retailer’s behavior is the more offensive on Memorial Day, due to the fact that the sales events take place on what is supposed to be a day of remembrance and reflection on those that paid the ultimate (non-discounted) price, so retailers and consumers alike can carry on.

    With the exception of the European invasion that destroyed and enslaved the North American Indian, this Country is unique in the fact that other than the British, this Country has never been invaded or occupied by a foreign nation. As such, the citizenry of this Country has never experienced the death, destruction and very real horror of an invading and occupying force.

    Because our soldiers have always fought and died on foreign soil, this Country’s citizenry has been insulated from the true nature and horror of war. If this Country’s citizenry had to step over or around the mangled and lifeless bodies of its soldiers in order to get their Memorial Day discounts, the very real sacrifices of our Country’s soldiers might be brought into sharper focus.

    Am I bitter about the way our fallen soldiers are remembered and the way our veterans and those that serve are treated? Yes. Do I think that all of this Country’s citizens are uncaring, greedy little Lemmings? No. However, this Country’s government is a direct reflection of the citizenry that elected it. If this Country is to truly honor its fallen soldiers, veterans and those that serve, the citizenry of this Country must demand that its government honor its fallen soldiers, veterans and those that serve.

    Paladin

  36. Leatherneck.Chug Says:

    The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. Semper Fi
    LFFL

  37. CenTexShovel Says:

    “Our history is a pattern of timeless moments. Each of their deaths was an act of faith in us, in who we would become, in who we have become and in who we will become.

    Enjoy your barbecue.”

    Longtime reader, first time poster….outstanding prose, Rebel. Respects to those who gave all and for those who still fight for brotherhood and freedom.

    May their sacrifices long ring in our consciousness.

  38. Griz's Gal Says:

    Your Memorial Day posts always make me stop and think and bring a tear to my eye. I read them to Griz, who is a Vietnam Vet. He thanks you.

    As do I,
    GG

  39. david Says:

    When all Civil war combatants later made permanent peace, set an example and the real possibility of all MC’s riding in peace.

  40. Smitty1961 Says:

    Amen Rebel.

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