Remember – Memorial Day

This weekend is the unofficial American kick-off to summer. With the weather we are getting here in the Northeast, it feels like summer already. It’s Memorial Day Weekend. So, without further adieu, I will get to the point. As we get together with friends and family this weekend and enjoy the extra day off from work, please take a moment (or several) to remember why this weekend is so special. This holiday is defined by many as, “a day, the last Monday in May, on which those who died in active military service are remembered.” Imagine, or better yet, try not to imagine what this weekend, or what any day might look like, were it not for the amazing men and women who gave their lives for the greatest country on the planet. They are among the biggest reasons why the USA is the land of opportunity. This weekend, so many of us kick back, relax and enjoy the many freedoms we take for granted in the first ten minutes of most days. I don’t want to forget those who have, do, and will give their lives for the country I am so proud to be from. I remember. Please remember. This weekend and every weekend could be so much different, so foreign, were it not for these folks who paid the ultimate price. This weekend is a Memorial to the thousands who paved the way for the lives we lead now. Remember them.

I wrote about this subject last Veteran’s Day and I have posted the poem (below) that woke me one night last fall and had to be written down.

Remember

Remember more often, remember with others aloud
Remember more than today, remember they should feel proud
 
Remember to thank them, remember that is for always
Remember to be respectful, remember not just holidays
 
Remember we have no idea, remember they have been there
Remember our freedoms; remember they walked where most don’t dare
 
Remember that there are triggers, remember they relive then
Remember we have a place, remember we can love, we’ve never been
 
Remember, heroes to remember; remember time spent is a prize
Remember we can help them; remember to look into their eyes
 
Remember they didn’t always know why, remember they went on call
Remember some disagreed; remember them, not one, but all
 
Remember how we live today; remember it could have been a different way
Remember our men and women, remember them, embrace them today
 
Remember that memories don’t end; remember we must pass this on
Remember those serving today; remember all, not just those who are gone
 
Remember every day, remember, certainly, on this Memorial Day
Remember our place in this; we’re thankful supporters in every way

America’s Wars

WORLD WAR I

(1917 – 1918)

Total Service members (Worldwide)………………..4,734,991

Battle Deaths…………………………………………………….53,402

Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater)……………………63,114

Non-mortal Woundings……………………………………204,002

Living Veterans…………………………………………..0

WORLD WAR II

(1941 – 1945)

Total Service members (Worldwide)………………16,112,566

Battle Deaths…………………………………………………..291,557

Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater)…………………..113,842

Non-mortal Woundings…………………………………….670,846

Living Veterans…………………………………………….2,079,000

KOREAN WAR

(1950 – 1953)

Total Service members (Worldwide)………………..5,720,000

Battle Deaths…………………………………………………….33,739

Other Deaths (in Theater)…………………………..2,835

Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater)…………………17,672

Non-mortal Woundings…………………………………….103,284

Living Veterans……………………………………………..2,507,000

VIETNAM WAR

(1964 – 1975)

Total Service members (Worldwide)………………..8,744,000

Battle Deaths…………………………………………………….47,434

Other Deaths (in Theater)……………………………………10,786

Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater)………………32,000

Non-mortal Woundings…………………………………….153,303

Living Veterans…………………………………………….7,569,000

GULF WAR

(1990 – 1991)

Total Service members (Worldwide)………………..2,322,000

Battle Deaths………………………………………………………….148

Other Deaths (in Theater)………………………………………..235

Other Deaths in Service (Non-Theater)……………………..1,565

Non-mortal Woundings…………………………………………..467

Living Veterans…………………………………………..2,246,002

GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR

(2001 – PRESENT)

The Global War on Terror, including Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom are ongoing conflicts. For the most recent statistics, please visit the Department of Defense Website:

http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/ gwot_component.pdf

While I get lost in the numbers from these wars, I try to remember what these numbers represent. I try to think on those times and the feelings that rippled through America at each of these times. This is why history is so important to me, it’s not about just the event, or the headline, but also about the mindset at the time, the circumstances in play while decisions were being made. Hindsight almost always clears the picture, but it also loses the frame the picture was taken in. That’s where people come in. I have said, and will say many more times, its people who make the world go around. This relates to history as well. People lived through these times, through these fears, through these emotions, and they are the resource we can learn the most from. Why did they do as they did? What was the feeling? Ask. Just ask. OR Read. I read a lot of books on baseball history and the icons that make those memories sparkle for so many of us. Some of the more memorable things I have read in numerous books, is the effect of war, and the emotions tied to it, on baseball and our country at that time. People remembering, sharing the experience. So important. Context is huge.

So today, remember those who serve, those who have served, and learn all you can. Be there for those who are still here but lost someone so we could be free. As we get to Tuesday and complain how fast our extra 24 hours off passed by, think about the hours our fallen heroes spent defending our freedoms. Think about how long a single hour may have felt to them and the thousands of questions and thoughts that must have raced through their minds. Think about the fact that so many never were able to experience the next hour, let alone 24 extra hours. Respect them and those they left behind. Remember. In this day where so many feel they’re entitled to something, to anything, it’s our fallen heroes that are entitled. They’re entitled to be remembered, to be respected, to be thanked, and to be honored. That fun weekend you are experiencing now would likely not be possible if the brave hadn’t defended our home. Remember and have a memorable Memorial Day Weekend.

2 responses to “Remember – Memorial Day

  1. Reblogged this on 1inawesomewonder and commented:

    Happy Memorial Day! (Reblogged from last year)

  2. Pingback: It’s Memorial Day – established to remind people to remember | 1inawesomewonder

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