Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Today, in honor of Memorial Day, we're going to have a guest post from a friend of mine. He is a veteran and comes from a long line of veterans. He is a member of Lady Osborn's Pub on Facebook, a closed group of my friends and fans. His words are far better and more meaningful with regard to the day than mine could ever be.

-Stephanie Osborn

Memorial Day
by Christopher MacArthur

I come from such a long line of Soldiers, it gives me pause, a chain of us going back centuries. American Revolution, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Grenada, Desert Storm. I'm afraid I am among the last to serve; I don't see any of my relatives or their children following me to serve again; such has our society changed. Perhaps I'm wrong, who knows? Future history hasn't been written yet.

Only a few of us left now. Myself, an older brother, two nieces. We're it.

One of my most cherished pictures is myself at age 5, sitting in a chair. Surrounding me is my dad and two uncles, Veterans of WWII and Korea. Men who answered the call and fought hard to save the world from being plunged into darkness. Such things they saw, the things they did. Storming the beaches in the Pacific. Flying over Nazi Germany in thin metal cans, risking their lives to get our own back. They're all departed now, but still live in my head and heart and thus are never really gone.

I wonder if this is appreciated by most of our citizens anymore, except for small, trite accolades such as "The Greatest Generation." Save for rare places such as here at A/T, or from other Veterans, do you know that despite wearing military garb on such significant days, almost no one even acknowledges it anymore? They're all in a hurry to get their day off and their BBQ by the pool. Is this it? Is that all? As the Raven said, "Nevermore?"

But then I see returned Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, battered and worn, but still standing proud despite their wounds visible and invisible, and I know that we're not done yet. Not yet. Not yet.

The line from the movie, Patton, about "Americans hate to lose," resonates with me. That is right and proper. We servicemen, past and present, hate to lose. This should hearten you, given the forces operating today from without and within to bring us down. Take comfort, there are still those who will man the ramparts in extremis.

We haven't lost that fundamental American quality, we've simply lost our way for a time. Ultimately though, I believe this will set us back onto the correct path. Character and Quality over Ideology any old day of the week. Just remember what these men did on our behalf. If they did these things, so can the rest of us.

A million dead since our inception as a nation, so that 300 million could live in safety and security today, a free people. And as long as we remember their sacrifice, that we will not lose, that no alien influence can enslave us without a fight, we will persevere.

So today, reflect on these things. Salute the flag of a free people. Remember our honored dead and their sacrifice. Thank a Veteran. Don't be in such a hurry to get your day off, it'll still be there when you're done.

~Christopher MacArthur