I deleted this because I thought it could be construed as negative and offensive. Then I talked with my grandson, Andy - now Sgt. Andy, USMC, who has done two tours in Iraq and one WestPac tour, and is now teaching machine gunning. He turned 24 last week.
Because of my conversation with him. I decided to repost it.
Happy Memorial Day!
What on earth does that mean? Happy remembering the day your son got his limbs blown off in Viet Nam, or let’s remember the day your beautiful daughter lost her brains all over the side of a Hum-V in Iraq. Or for some, they are remembering the day two uniforms knocked on the door and said “We regret to inform you...”
Very few of us ever really get to experience soul- to-soul those kinds of memories. We see, read, and have it visualized for us with snippets of young widows clutching children the father will never see. They only knew them as a photograph, or in some cases, an ultra-sound.
The old saints – yes, saints, who have been awarded the Medal of Honor, Bronze Stars, and Silver Stars, and multiple hundreds of thousands of Purple Hearts, because they valued someone else’s life more than their own. They are wrinkled, gray, and dim of sight, and weak of limb. They can’t remember what they had for lunch yesterday, but they can recall the day, the weather, and the event with every detail, that preceded the award. They remember every name of every guy in their squad. Smooth muscles that carried wounded men off the battlefield, now sag with loose skin, and require the help of a cane just to rise to a standing position.
There are also saints who are young and vibrant, and still full of hopes and dreams. Some have learned to control their weapons, but not their acne. They don’t have much, but often will give their last MREs to a child, who perhaps hasn’t eaten in days.
Heroes walk among us, and we don’t recognize them. They are the ones who ran into harm’s way to rescue some of our fathers, uncles, grandfathers, mothers, daughters. They laid down their lives so you can have yours. That should make you happy. You still have the opportunity to live in a free country.
The average soldier is under twenty-five years of age. He wears an eight-pound vest, and carries a back-pack few of us could handle. But it’s not the pack on his back that bothers him; it’s the ones that fall. It’s not the heavy boots they wear in hundred-degree weather that bother them, it’s the ones that stand empty, with a rifle and a helmet.
While we shower in our marble baths, they bathe with baby-wipes. As we sit on our porcelain thrones, they dig a trench for a toilet. They have seen and experienced things that no amount of computer graphics or special effects could imitate. And they do it over and over and over again.
Yet, they don’t complain. They are glad to do what they do. They love their country. And obviously the people in it…that would be you and me.
" Not for fame or reward, not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity, but in simple obedience to duty." --Inscription at Arlington Cemetery
"Each of these heroes stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase in its blessings." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
During 230 years of American history, 45 million have raised their hands and said “Yes, I’ll go die for my country.” One and a half million did – for people they never met.
I get very emotional every Memorial Day. I’m astounded by this group of men and women who leave everything to protect our country and our freedom. And lest we forget, there are thousands of our brave, missing in action, and prisoners of war. Attached to them are families who still don’t know if their loved ones are dead or alive, naked, or hungry, whole or maimed.
I love our military.
I was a military wife. I’m a military grandma, and soon I will be a military mom.
Our country may not be perfect, but it’s still good enough that people will risk their lives to get in.
So while you’re barbequing, swimming, and enjoying your family picnics, take one minute and remember our vets: past, present, and future. That’s why you can have a
Happy Memorial Day.
Post script: I think the title "Delete and Replace" is appropriate... that's what we do with our veterans.