The weather is warm, the sky is clear, the meats are ready to be grilled to perfection. You’ve got the beer on ice and your friends coming over for some corn hole in about an hour. You’re off from work because it’s a federal holiday. What better way to spend your weekend? Right?
Wrong. Some people do not get to enjoy their weekend. Some don’t get to enjoy any weekend. Many families use this day as a marker for them to go and visit loved ones who have since passed on. They spend their days at a headstone while you spend yours with a Keystone.
I know many will criticize this piece for various reasons, one being “don’t you all get enough days to be remembered by?” I don’t care what you think. We should remember everyone who sacrificed for this country, all the time. They gave up a life of whatever they could’ve been to do the dirty work so you could live your life as you chose. They served so you didn’t have to.
The common misconception, or ignorance of the day is that many people take advantage of it. They assume they just have a free day off of work. Too many out there, that III%, they know the truth behind it. The day in question is Memorial Day. So many people take this day for granted. They use the time to lay out by the pool, invite friends and family over for a cookout or even go catch a game if there is one playing. While these types of things are all well and good, nobody seems to take the extra moment to be silent. To reflect. To remember.
Memorial Day was something many wanted to have placed on the calendar. And it was, but through countless years of trial and error, they finally picked a day. The last Monday of May. It has been this way since 1971. We remember those who have served and are no longer with us; those who were killed in action. The fact remains they still have a good chunk of their life in service to this country.
I could sit here and harp about the importance of Memorial Day and rant about the ignorance of those who don’t know what it truly stands for, but I won’t waste your time. I want you to remember those who served and moved on to Valhalla. Take a moment whenever you’re about to fire up that grill and bow your head. Silently thank them for giving their life in exchange for you to be able to grill on this nice sunny day.
The list of the departed is far to long, but from people I have contacted, I would like to list them below. Please, leave a comment with those who you want recognized. And share this blog so people you know can understand the true meaning of this day. So they can understand what was given for them to be here reading this right now.
Remember the fallen.
1LT Omar J. Vasquez – US Army
PFC David Finch – US Army
Gunnery SGT Robert D. Riggan II – USMC
SSG Thomas W. Owens – US Army
SPC Brian Luckey – US Army
SPC Christian Chandler – US Army
SSG Jesus Duran – US Army
SPC Scott “Grandpa” Henry – US Army
PFC David Jones – US Army
Donald G. Scott – US Navy
Anthony Conti – US Army
Maj. Robert Blair – US Air Force
1LT George Rogers – US Army
LTC Ashley Davis – US Air Force
SGT Norman Tollett – US Army
Maj. Dan Marhanka – US Air Force
TSgt. Larry Spiek – US Air Force
CPT Comer H. Bird – US Navy
Maj. Deanel B. Wilson – US Army
PVT Adam C. McClain – US Army
SPC Timothy L. Maples – US Army
William G. Cranton – US Navy
Charles E. Easthom – USMC
SGT Paul Rich – US Army
SSG Austin Pratt – US Army
SPC Hunter Levine – US Army
SSG Jeffrey Taylor – US Army
PFC Jerome Potter – US Army
SPC Wade Twyman – US Army
SSgt. James D. Lake – US Air Force
CPL Albert Tackett – US Army
Elis D. Shelly – US Army
SFC Roy S. Shelly – US Army
CPT Howard Galarneau – US Air Force
MSgt. James Baugh – US Air Force
SFC Fredolf Johnson – US Army
SPC Ethan Martin – US Army
LCPL Jason N. Barfield – USMC
Dannia Ray Howerton – US Navy
The names listed above are just the names of those who are close to many people I know personally. I am well aware that this is just a tiny fraction of the list. It is truly heartbreaking to know that all of these families and friends are without the names on this list. Some take it as a blessing that they have moved on to a better place but others still struggle with the loss of their loved ones. Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters.
If you find yourself wanting to give back, even just a little bit, do the following: Go to Walmart or another store like it. Purchase a bundle of the miniature American Flags, they’re cheap, don’t worry. Head to the nearest National Cemetery and start placing flags. The Old Guard handles this every year, but I’m sure they’d enjoy a moment to remember their fallen friends and family members as well. it’s the American thing to do.
Please, take a few minutes and bow your head. Thank these brace souls who gave so much of their life up to defend this country that you proudly live in. If you don’t feel proud to be part of this country, that is your prerogative. But have the decency to remember those who loved this country enough to die for it.