Memorial Day weekend…

Take a moment this weekend to say a prayer for those who gave their all.

Nuff said…



Memorial Day weekend… — 13 Comments

  1. With a background on the fast mover side of Naval Aviation, there were many lost in training and ‘routine’ peacetime missions as well. I remember them too!

  2. I think of my Dad and my Brother, who both now have died. My Dad went in the Marines at 17 in 43 and was island hopping until he was injured badly on Okinawa in 45 went he got blown up. He spent a year in a Naval Hospital in traction with a broken back, most of his stomach gone, he had scar from left top shoulder to right hip and scars all across both legs top to bottom. He was given medical retirement and every 6 months would go into the VA to get weighted and his back straight. He died due to age.

    My Brother was drafted into the Army into Vietnam as he was 6 years older then me in 69. He spent 3 years in Vietnam and most of the time was in the Rangers. When he came home it was after his Ranger unit was wiped out and he was the only one that survived, and he was the second time he was wounded. He was home for 30 days and then went to Ft Hood and spent 3 more years in the Rangers. He later became a truck driver and was killed on the road in an accident.

    Both my Dad and my Brother would never talk about their war experiences. I did learn some from my Dad’s best friend who served in the Marine Battalion with him and would come over they would talk between themselves. The same with my Brother who had a friend that was in the Rangers in Vietnam with him but left a year before he did and lived a city over from us, so when he came home to visit the family he would see his friend and they would talk about SE Asia. It turns out that my brother spent time in North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, but not much in South Vietnam.

  3. Dov- So do I. Way too many…

    Ed- Amen

    JG- Many don’t talk about their experiences unless it is with someone who ‘shared’ those experiences. You are not the only one whom I’ve heard say that.

  4. I would normally post “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, but today I went looking for something specific to the Pacific Theater in World War II, and with a distinctly American flavour to it. I humbly offer this:


    “— who’s there!” – a shot! Machine guns stuttered–
    That’s just the way it started,
    That holocaust of blood and flame,
    Where weary pals were parted.

    “They’re down below and on our flanks”
    This word was passed about,
    When suddenly from on our left,
    There came this awful shout

    “They’ve fixed their steel and here they come,
    A runnin’ and a screamin’!
    Hold your ground and give ’em hell,
    And cut them till they’re streamin'”

    Three times they came and thrice they fell,
    Bewildered, beaten-, broken;
    And then they knew, and knew it well-,
    That Edson’s men weren’t jokin’!

    Many were the men we lost,
    That bloody hellish night;
    But through that blood and hell
    And fought with all our might.

    Then came the silence of the dawn,
    The dawn that we had prayed for.
    The battle’s won!–And rest is here;
    The rest that we made way for.

    The Jap’s, I doubt, will ne’er forget
    That night they tried to raid us.
    When asked who beat them at their game,
    They’ll utter, “Edson’s Raiders!”

    — Pvt. James G. Hall

  5. The perversion of Memorial Day into the unofficial beginning of summer, not to mention an occasion for massive sales, has bothered me for years.

    I tend to rant about it on my blog each year. This year’s are already cued up.

  6. Irish has this up over at his place–

    I spread this one around each year–

    The Things They Carried….

    They carried P-38 can openers and heat tabs, watches and dog tags, insect repellent, gum, cigarettes, Zippo lighters, salt tablets, compress bandages, ponchos, Kool-Aid, two or three canteens of water, iodine tablets, sterno, LRRP- rations, and C-rations stuffed in socks. They carried standard fatigues, jungle boots, bush hats, flak jackets and steel pots. They carried the M-16 assault rifle. They carried trip flares and Claymore mines, M-60 machine guns, the M-70 grenade launcher, M-14’s, CAR-15’s, Stoners, Swedish K’s, 66mm Laws, shotguns, .45 caliber pistols, silencers, the sound of bullets, rockets, and choppers, and sometimes the sound of silence. They carried C-4 plastic explosives, an assortment of hand grenades, PRC-25 radios, knives and machetes. Some carried napalm, CBU’s and large bombs; some risked their lives to rescue others. Some escaped the fear, but dealt with the death and damage. Some made very hard decisions, and some just tried to survive. They carried malaria, dysentery, ringworm, jungle rot and leaches. They carried the land itself as it hardened on their boots.
    They carried stationery, pencils, and pictures of their loved ones – real and imagined. They carried love for people in the real world and love for one another. And sometimes they disguised that love: “Don’t mean nothin’! “They carried memories. For the most part, they carried themselves with poise and a kind of dignity. Now and then, there were times when panic set in, and people squealed or wanted to, but couldn’t; when they twitched and made moaning sounds and covered their heads and said “Dear God” and hugged the earth and fired their weapons blindly and cringed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild and made stupid promises to themselves and God and their parents, hoping not to die. They carried the traditions of the United States Military, and memories and images of those who served before them. They carried grief, terror, longing and their reputations. They carried the soldier’s greatest fear: the embarrassment of dishonor. They crawled into tunnels, walked point, and advanced under fire, so as not to die of embarrassment. They were afraid of dying, but too afraid to show it. They carried the emotional baggage of men and women who might die at any moment. They carried the weight of the world.



      “He ain’t heavy – he’s *my brother!*”

  7. They ought to go back to commemorating the day on the 30th. Making it a three-day weekend has debased the reason for it. Everyone holding a “Memorial Day Sale” should be flogged.

    (It’s an ongoing rant on my blog.)