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Another Memorial Day weekend; take the time to enjoy it and remember those who can't. :)

We celebrate Memorial Day to remember the cost of American freedom. Americans have the wonderful privilege to live in a country that provides its citizens with freedom. Freedom of expression and religion are just two of the freedoms that the country was built on. The United States Constitution provides Americans with all kinds of freedoms and guarantees citizens numerous rights. There are no other countries in the world in which the citizen’s have so many rights and freedoms guaranteed by the basic foundational documents of the country.



Memorial Day is one day each year that is set aside to remember those that have laid down their lives for all the citizens of America. Memorial Day is a holiday designed to honor those who paid the ultimate price to protect and ensure the freedoms that Americans enjoy.

Thanks jw.
 

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For those who have served:

Civilian Friends vs. Military Friends


CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Get upset if you're too busy to talk to them for a week.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Are glad to see you after years, and will happily carry on the same conversation you were having last time you met.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Never ask for food or alcohol.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Are the reason you have no food or alcohol.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. And Mrs.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Call your parents mom and dad.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Bail you out of jail and tell you what you did was wrong.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Would be sitting next to you in jail saying, "Damn...we screwed up...but man, that was fun!"

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Cry with you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Keep your stuff so long they forget it's yours.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds' ass that left you behind.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, "I'm home!"

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Are for a while.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Are for life.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Have shared a few experiences...
MILITARY FRIENDS: Have shared a lifetime of experiences no Citizen could ever dream of...

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you've had enough.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say, "You better drink the rest of that, you know we don't waste...that's alcohol abuse!!" Then carry you home safely and put you to bed...

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will talk crap to the person who talks crap about you.
MILITARY FRIENDS: Will knock them the hell out for using your name in vain.
 

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Remembering those who died for not only our Freedom but so that citizens in other countries can also have freedom. Also remembering my Dad who fought in Europe in WWII and my brother who served during the Vietnam war.

Thank you to my Niece who has served two deployments in Iraq and will probably be going to Afghanistan this fall. She and all the other Military troops serve now so we can continue to keep our freedom.
 

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As a 21+ year veteran what bugs me the most is all the Memorial Day sales, especially the ones that tout this weekend as the start of the summer fun time. Go to Arlington and find gravestones with your loved one's names on them, maybe that will get someone's head on straight. I'll now get off my soapbox.
 

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This year was one of the worst for my base (I spent 8 years there and retired from it.). We had 6 line-of-duty deaths not to include the other 7 that were either local accidents or suicides. That is 13 military that died fromthis one base this past year yet not a peep in today's paper except how this is the biggest tourist season ever.

The suicides, almost always swept under the carpet for various reasons. I guess as to not cause a chain reaction. The line-of-duty deaths for this whole military community is around 15. I'm guessing the newspaper will do an article on it tomorrow since this year nearly doubles those of prior years.

I've had the chance to be a part of many repatriations (first time remains hit US soil) in my time. One of the happiest yet saddest times ever. Sad in that the family finds out their loved one is dead, happy because they had been unsure for almost 2 decades. One of the most mixed feeling memorials ever.

My base has been steady renaming streets in honor of those we've lost in the line-of-duty. Too many streets have been named. I had one coworker who lost his military wife (plane crash), watching him slowly go insane was not fun. Naming a street after her was just a painful reminder IMO.
 

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Sorry Kermit, that is rough. I'll remember this in a prayer. Hope you can still have a decent weekend. I scheduled poll worker supervisor training for this morning inadverntently forgetting the Indy 500. Well I can still see the Coca Cola 600.
 

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Sorry Kermit, that is rough. I'll remember this in a prayer. Hope you can still have a decent weekend. I scheduled poll worker supervisor training for this morning inadverntently forgetting the Indy 500. Well I can still see the Coca Cola 600.
Thanks. Over time you kinda just get numb to it. My first co-worker that was killed was hit by one of our own trucks. No one would stay with the body to put it on the plane so I did. Since then I've toughened up in those situations. After that it has been aquantinces than friends anyhow. Mostly people I've trained. I don't do that stuff anymore but feel for those that are out there doing it.
 

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Lest we forget - Red Poppies


Red Poppies


In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms. Michael. When she returned to France she made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help.



Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

Memorial Day
 

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The national colors displayed at my home came down to half-mast this morning recognizing those in uniform who gave their all; and they will rise to the peak again at noon, recognizing that our nation still lives, and that it always will. They will stay aloft until on the Memorial Days to come on each of those few years I have left, when they will again go to half-mast from sunrise until noon.

Little Smart also proudly flies the colors today, as she has for all this long weekend.

Why do so few of our citizens appropriately celebrate Memorial Day? Some years ago a Gallup poll found that only 28% of U. S. citizens even knew the reason why we have this national holiday, and it would appear that even fewer know why today, or, if they do, they don't care. This shocking ignorance which gives priority to hot dogs over the reason why we have a Memorial Day is unbelievable and unforgivable.

More than 200 years ago George Washington told us that we must beware of those imposters who only pretend to be patriots. Those imposters now appear to be the great majority of our citizens. As I drive around this city which has a university which is second only to West Point in annually providing officers for the U. S. Army I am hard-pressed to find our colors flying. This is why the words "thank you for your service" have always irritated me when coming from strangers, as I only did for more than 24 years what I believed, and still believe, was my duty, and the odds are that they come from the mouths of imposters.

Jim
 

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As a Vietnam vet myself, I will often go up to another vet and thank him/her for their service. I have also gone on two Honor Flights as a guardian for a WWII vet and the treatment they received was absolutely awesome. I recall the feelings this country had for the Vietnam vets in the 60's and 70's and they/we are now starting to be appreciated a little bit more for our service and sacrifices. I do believe that our service personnel are currently being a little more honored and respected than they have been in the past. There is much more media coverage of those mental and physical injuries that our vets in the Middle East have endured and experienced and I think more of the general population is seeing it and appreciating it.

Len
 
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