Today is Memorial Day. To a lot of folks it is just another day off of work or a really good shopping day. To some (notably recent HS graduates) it marks the beginning of "adult" life. To others it marks the beginning of the official summer time BBQ and Bikini season. Then, to a reletivily small group of Americans, it is a day mixed with sadness and pride or even anger.
To me it is the latter. I have lost friends over the course of my time in the Marine Corps. Some died in Beirut in 1983. They will be nineteen, forever.
Then there are friends who died on active duty in training accidents, car wrecks, cancer etc. Thier loss is no less tragic. I also know Marines killed in Iraq during this war. So today is for the memory of all of them.
We will drink to thier memory and visit a local cemetary. We will look at the flag and realize that it is different things to different people.
But most importantly, the thing we must all do is to carry on. We cannot waver in our resolve to be (stealing an Army line) "all you can be". This means that folks who normally oppose each other on issues will continue to do so. It means that, to quote Teddy Roosevelt, we must continue to be the "man in the arena" for whatever purpose that is.
Another appropriate quote comes to mind: It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. -- George S. Patton
To do any less is to dishonor the memories of all those who died for us.