While you’re out and about today, preparing to BBQ – or cookout, for those not from the South – please take a few minutes to remember the reason for this holiday: our fallen heroes, men and women who have given their lives for us to be able to enjoy the freedoms we do today. We have lost men and women of all ages and backgrounds – young ones just entering into adulthood, those who were married with children, those who had served in previous in wars but who reenlisted after 9/11 out of a sense of duty to their fellow countrymen … all of these brave men and women had family and friends back home who grieved over losing them, and still grieve today. Let’s all remember them in thought and prayer.
Here’s some related Memorial Day reading for you:
The dead cannot ask to be remembered. That decision is left to the living. For eight days, a constant flow of volunteers has come to Riverside National Cemetery to stand at two lecterns and read the names of all 148,000 military veterans and soldiers buried there.
The two lecterns have read in shifts 24 hours a day since May 16. It is the first such unbroken roll call at any national veterans cemetery in the country.
The “roll call program” began as an idea by Riverside cemetery staff members and they started asking for volunteers in April.
Video of the roll call:
Sean Askay, a Google engineer, released on Sunday a Google Earth layer, called Map the Fallen, that contains detailed information of more than 5,700 service members who died in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. This is an interactive tool that allows you to see photos, learn about how each service member died, visit memorial Web sites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died.
It’s pretty neat. Make sure to check it out.
Fox is reporting that President Obama has just laid the wreath at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. He has also continued the tradition of sending a wreath to the Confederate Memorial, despite objections from several “university professors and scholars” – including William Ayers. As a compromise, he sent a wreath to an African-American Cival War soldiers memorial.
One of my favorite quotes about our military:
“Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don’t just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home. For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag who gives that protester the freedom he abuses to burn that flag. No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn’t believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.” – Senator Zell Miller (D-GA), 2004 RNC
God bless military families all over the world who have lost loved ones in the line of duty, and who have loved ones who have served or who are currently serving. You never know when or if there will be a day that you will get “the visit.” I pray you never have to.