Memorial Day 2012

I recently had a discussion with a friend (a veteran) regarding an email he received. It was an email full of glurge, about how birds could can exhibit bravery, compassion, loyalty, etc. The message was entitled, “His Eye Is On the Sparrow“, and was quite touching; the included pictures were heart-wrenching. The problem we both had was the way the email opened:

While many use this holiday weekend to celebrate war and those who engage in it, there are other forms of courage, kindness, tragedy, and other innocent hearts filled with forever love of for the also innocent…” [emphasis mine]

Ugh! That’s all quaint and warm and fuzzy except that it’s both profoundly stupid and grossly flawed reasoning. It’s stupid in that no one in his right mind celebrates war, and the reasoning is warped because birds didn’t end slavery, demolish Nazism, or stop ethnic cleansing. Most of us observe Memorial Day as a time to reflect on the sacrifices made, to consecrate the blessings achieved in blood, and to say thank you.

This is a photo of  my uncle Horace. He was born in 1920 and died by his own hand in 1945. He was wounded while serving as a machine gunner on a B24 Liberator. From what I’ve been told, he never did get over his injuries and chose to end the suffering.

Look into his eyes. His skin tore and burned just like yours might. His bones broke just like yours might. And his mind no doubt went wild in horror, just like yours would. But there was a terrible cancer upon this earth, and he rose to try to help excise it.

Dear readers, have a safe and happy holiday, and if you could be so kind and respectful, amidst the car races and the hot dogs and the beer, stop for just a moment and think of my uncle’s face. He never got to have a career, children, or grand kids. He never got to earn his college degree or celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary. He missed out on a lifetime of Thanksgivings and Christmases. He never watched humans on the moon, listen to the Beatles, or fuss with the Internet. Gone, baby, gone. Just meditate a prayer and whisper a soft thank you.

With that, we give heartfelt thanks to all who serve, active and reserve. Thanks to the past, present, and future members of the United States Marine Corp, the United States Army, the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, and the United States Coast Guard.

Alan Speakman

Cross-posted at


8 Responses to Memorial Day 2012

  1. DT says:

    My Heart goes out to all the families who have lost friends and loved ones through the ravages of War. I realize, with much gratitude, the sacrifice that was made by our Military personnel who fought to preserve our Freedoms and Liberties, here at home.

    There were times in our History when our men and women fought Wars which had a “Just Cause” – and that doesn’t diminish those who sacrificed when the “Cause” wasn’t clear. And that is the Great Shame and horrific tragedy that surrounds these Wars of our time. I watch my TV, with great sadness, the “continuing sacrifice” being made by our Troops overseas in Wars that should have ended long ago. And as the names and faces scroll across my TV screen, all I can do is think about the families – and what they must be going through. My Prayer is that these Wars would end and our Troops would come home SOON!

    With that said, I believe it’s time that we LISTEN to our Troops. I’m all for supporting them, honoring them and respecting them. Do you want to “Really” SUPPORT the Troops? Then it’s about time we start LISTENING to them. It’s the least we can do.

  2. Dr. Steve says:

    Too bad DT cannot comment without going on a Ron Paul Rant. However, wanted to welcome Alan back; I love reading Stoutcat and Gerry’s posts, but miss Alan’s. Hopefully we will be seeing more of them.

    • Stoutcat says:

      Thanks, Dr. Steve. So glad yuo’re sticking by us even though we’ve been worse than sporadic for a while lately. Trying to get back into the groove, so keep your fingers crossed!

      We try to go with the flow on the Ron Paul stuff, because DT does bring up interesting points.

  3. Dr. Steve says:

    No doubt; probably even I agree with some of what DT says. But I guess I do not agree with or appreciate trying to hijack to sentiment of Alan’s post, which was to think of an thank our veterans, not to go on an antiwar rant. Again, I might even agree with SOME of what he says-but he should post this on his own blog if he wants to preach this stuff.

    Again, good to hear from Alan.

    • DT says:

      Dr. Steve

      You’re not suggesting to “limit” my Freedom of Speech. Say it ain’t so! Just kidding…

      I’m curious to know your mindset, Dr. Steve. Are Wars which are “undeclared” by Congress (ie. the People NOT Declaring War through their Representatives) – are these Wars “Just Wars”? I mean, if we’re going to honor our brave men and women who gave and are expected to give the “ultimate sacrifice” – wouldn’t it be more fitting and more honorable to them to have the Country totally behind them through a “Declaration”? Words means things, Dr. Steve – and the word “Declaration” has a VERY STRONG Meaning. It’s unfortunate for ALL of us that this word has been so “cheapened” and disregarded when it comes to War, especially when War comes with the expectation of possibly dying for your Country.

      Call me what you will. But I hope that someday, we, as a Nation, will get back honoring our Constitution – and in so doing – properly honoring our brave men and women who swore to preserve, protect and defend it – and died doing just that.

  4. Dr. Steve says:

    Not calling you anything, DT. Not demanding that you not post what you wish (that is up to the authors of Grand Rants). Just wish you could stick with the sentement of the post and not try to grandstand a Paulian position. That’s all. There are plenty of blogs out there for this viewpoint.

    • DT says:

      Dr. Steve

      I was sticking to the sentiment of the post. On Memorial Day, we remember and honor those who have died in War for our Country – Just or Unjust. I’m sorry that you are offended by what I’ve posted, but I believe I was most respectful to Alan and to Uncle Horace.

      I’m just trying to understand you, Dr. Steve. In the email posted in the article whereby Alan expresses with emphasis: “While many use this holiday weekend to celebrate war and those who engage in it, there are other forms of courage, kindness, tragedy, and other innocent hearts filled with forever love of for the also innocent…” – I’m sorry, but do you find that offensive? In a matter of speaking, I do. I find it offensive because it seems that the emphasized statement is true. My point being is that if we, as a Country, followed the Constitutional Guidelines regarding a “Declaration of War”, the “Celebration” would then take on the correct meaning. The “Celebration” is for those who gave their lives and we celebrate and honor them – and not the War itself.

      I’m sorry you don’t agree with the “Paulian Position” for a “Just War” or a “Declared War”. WW2 was a “Declared War” whereby the Country was behind the Troops 100% – WITHOUT SAYING. Now and since WW2, we, as Americans, are constantly being told to “Support the Troops” no matter what the circumstances or the objectives. I find that compelling. Don’t you? And what are the results of fighting Undeclared Wars? The Deaths and Maiming of our Troops, as well as the innocent civilians overseas, are being questioned – and the Troops are the ones doing the “questioning” by their overwhelming support for Ron Paul. This cannot be Ignored, even if you choose to Ignore what the Troops are saying. Not to mention, the suicide rate of the Troops coming home from Wars which are being called “Unjust” or are being fought for all the wrong reasons. “Undeclared” Wars have their consequences. And I believe the two go hand-in-hand.

  5. Dr. Steve says:

    No DT, I do not think the statement “While many use this holiday weekend to celebrate war and those who engage in it” represents what most Americans feel about Memorial Day. Most American abhor war-it is disgusting to suggest that Americans want and wish for war. My point is that Alan seems to have posted to allow us to honor and think of those that have served. You have posted to question the reason for the service-not a unpatriotic position, but (I think) an inappropriate “rabbit trail” for his post. As I have mentioned, I may even agree with some (or much) of what you have mentioned; but I think it was a distraction to Alan’s post. Perhaps I am wrong. I do think that your points have merit. I do not think, in my opinion, this is the appropriate forum to air them. I am sure you disagree. I will read your reply and not reply further, as we have different viewpoints-I believe we can honor and think about the sacrifice troops have made without going into the “Paulian” line of comments and rants. You disagree-fine. Again, I will not reply on this line further. I will follow your line of thought in other venues, but for now, I will think of our troops and thank God for the sacrifice that many have made.

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