Memorial Day. Celebrate It Right!

Memorial DayAs soon as most people hear “Memorial Day”, they automatically think of the beginning of summer. Visions of cook-outs, family picnics and trips to the lake or beach fill their heads. Blockbuster movies are released by Hollywood because the weekend has become a goldmine of movie-goers. Most people get a 3-day weekend and if you’re a fashion guru, you can break out the white clothes again. In other words, it’s a day of celebration.

In some ways that’s OK. As long as you’re celebrating the lives of the people who died so that you could have those picnics and raise your family in peace and safety, then you’re doing it right; after all, those people died so that you could be happy.

However, Memorial Day is becoming increasingly less about remembering and shamefully more about getting the extra day off to party.

Memorial Day is supposed to be about remembering and memorializing the brave, dedicated men and women who died for this country. When they enlisted or were drafted, they wrote a check, up to and including their lives, payable to the people of the United States of America.

{adinserter bph}They didn’t fight for their government and many of them didn’t fight for an ideal; they fought for their families and their neighbors. They fought for complete strangers. They fought so that death and destruction would stay in distant countries and not invade the precious ground that they called home.

For those who have experienced a personal loss, Memorial Day is a somber day; a day to remember a loved one that didn’t make it back. For patriots, it’s a day to reflect and be deeply thankful to the strangers that gave their lives so that you could live yours in peace.

For veterans, the day is often an emotionally conflicting day. It can be fraught with sorrow and guilt. The sadness and horror of remembering the deaths of good men and women whom they fought beside leave many vets looking for a quiet place to reflect instead of looking for a crowded place to party. Some veterans feel guilt because they lived and the soldier beside them didn’t, while at the same time feeling secretly relieved that it wasn’t them. Such are the scars of war and they run deep.

It’s understandably easier for people who have never lost a loved one or seen a fellow soldier killed to enjoy the superficial benefits of the day. Still, everybody living in this great country should take a moment to reflect.

Those people who died fighting for the people of this country aren’t faceless. They aren’t just names on a wall or a plaque. They were real live people. They lived, they loved, they laughed, they cried. They experienced joy and pain and they celebrated living. They were somebody’s brother or sister, mother or father or friend, and they didn’t want to die.

A poppy is to remmberEvery single one of those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice deserves to be remembered because without their sacrifices, there would be no holiday and there would be no freedom to celebrate. You wouldn’t be able to run with your friends on the beach or take your family to the lake.

You wouldn’t even be able to walk out your front door without fear of death or persecution. You wouldn’t have the freedom that many so often take for granted.

Look around at your circle of friends as you barbeque or swim and ask yourself this: How many of them would be willing to jump in front of a bullet for you? How many of them would be willing to leave their families and their lives 1000’s of miles behind them to fight an enemy so that you can continue to live in peace?

Not many (if any) of them, right? Well that’s exactly what a complete stranger did for you.

To them, you weren’t a nameless, faceless person. You were an American that they were willing to die to protect and that’s exactly what they did. As you gorge yourself on hotdogs and live and laugh with your loved ones, take a minute to remember what the day is all about.

Take time to say a heartfelt “thank you” to the brave men and women who didn’t make it back to eat and be happy.

Remember the people who aren’t with their families today because they died so that you could be with yours.

Teach your children to remember and to be grateful, too. Teach them what Memorial Day is all about.

Celebrate Memorial Day, but do it for the right reason; do it for those who can’t because they died for you.


This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

Written by

Theresa Crouse is a full-time writer currently living in central Florida. She was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia, where she learned to farm, hunt, fish, and live off the land from an early age. She prefers to live off the grid as much as possible and does her best to follow the “leave nothing behind but footprints” philosophy. For fun, she enjoys shooting, kayaking, tinkering on her car and motorcycle, and just about anything else that involves water, going fast, or the outdoors.

Latest comments
  • Having served in the military…. Coming from a military family background…. with family going all the way back to the Revolutionary War… Does Memorial Day mean anything to me?…. You bet your flag waving ass it does and I’m willing to stand up and fight for everything the we all have!… From the food I grow to feed the family.. to the discussions I have with those who don’t agree with me politically… My family has fought and died for all of us to agree to dis agree and still have the God given right to say so… I would still stand and fight for those inalienable rights…I am a God fearing man and an American Patriot and will be so until I take my last breath for those who don’t even know me!

  • For many years, Memorial Day was just another day off- UNTIL……….
    I saw 1st hand what our Freedom’s represent.
    They are forged in blood shed on the battlefields of history-dating all the way
    back to the time of Abraham(in the Bible).
    Mankind has never learned how to get along with one another because satan is in control of the “greed” on this earth and has been since Genesis chapter 2.
    But like the guys in white hats riding white horses (like the Lone Ranger, etc)
    God and RIGHT will ultimately prevail.
    God has blessed America since the days of Joseph and his 2 sons Ephriam & Manasseh- The only problem is- the only ones who know about these blessings are those who study God’s word and those who have fallen for our freedoms-
    May God continue to bless America, our military and His goals for this earth!
    Because without His blessings- We are NOTHING!

  • “They didn’t fight for their government, they fought for their families”…
    Are you s*** me?!!!!…. Tell me about one young man draf to be sent in Vietnam because their own family requested it!…

    • Marius
      You are dead right about this govt. They are “ALL” owned by the big corporations-who are owned by the big banks. more and bigger govt means
      more regulations on Americans.
      Like i said before, the only reason there is a draft or war is because of greed!
      You know who makes all the materials for war- it is the big corporations- They could make their billions of $ on peace if they wanted to, but they have chosen WAR because they are GREEDY! And there is more money in War than in Peace.
      Wars create ruin, death,famine & disease- the 4 horsemen of Revelation

      • You’re too kind Chuck, and no doubtly many, many fine men died for this country. My question is WHY?
        The last war when men fought for their land and families here in the Us was in 1835, at Alamo, and later to Gettisburg Ferry Crossing ( now known as Houston’s memorial). They really fought for their families, and they really made a point.
        Since then?!!!… Name only one war in which people had anything to say in the matter! Everything was just damn politics!!!!….
        And still is…
        Happy F%#*&ng Memorial Day! Just remember who butchered you, pals… It wasn’t ISIS, what put you in the ground were weapons sold to ISIS by CIA . I hope you are still enjoying democracy…

  • “Our Soldiers Died For The Profits Of The Bankers”
    Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war. We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom. US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view. He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company. Here is an excerpt from a speech that he gave in 1933:
    War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
    I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
    I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
    There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
    It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

    Most American soldiers died fighting foes who posed no threat to the United States. Our soldiers died for secret agendas of which they knew nothing. Capitalists hid their self-interests behind the flag, and our boys died for the One Percent’s bottom line.

  • “Top Bush Era CIA Official Just Confirmed the Iraq War Was Based On Lies”

  • Memorial Day Heroes
    “Thank you for your service”…on second thought –

    It is Memorial Day again. Some will celebrate. Some will drink too much. Some will march in parades. Some will rally around the flag. Some will go shopping. Some will mourn. I am among the mourners.

    I mourn mostly for those we have killed — and I mourn for those we haven’t killed yet, but will in the days ahead. I mourn for all of the mothers and fathers who put their children to bed at night and wonder if this will be the night that they are killed by a drone attack.

    I mourn for the 500,000 Iraqi children – dead because of U.S. foreign policy. The official policy as described by Madeleine Albright on 60 Minutes was ‘that we think the price was worth it.’ Worth it to whom? Not to the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandmothers and grandfathers of those children.

    I mourn the execution of Pvt. Eddie Slovik — the gentle soldier who was too moral to kill. He refused to fight. On January 31, 1945, the U.S. executed him before a firing squad. He is the only U.S. soldier, that we know about, who was executed during World War II. In recent years has friendly fire been used against some who refuse to kill?

    I mourn for all the unarmed civilians slaughtered by U.S. troops in Korea. The massacre at No Gun Ri is one of many war crimes.

    I mourn for all those being held in Guantanamo. Either put them on Trial, or release them and pay them compensation for the time they were illegally imprisoned.

    The results of recent elections show that more than ninety percent of United States voters support the foreign policy of the Democratic/Republican Party. That includes support for war, torture and imprisonment without due process. More than ninety percent of the people, as evidenced by their votes, are not peace makers. Supporting crimes against humanity is not an option for people of conscience. Any vote for any Democrat or Republican candidate is a vote for war. Those voters are complicit in war crimes because they enable crimes against peace. Electing peace makers to the Congress would save lives and money.
    As a nation, none can compare with the United States when it comes to the ability to slaughter innocent civilians. Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States is the only nation to have used nuclear bombs to kill.

    Now we can kill from the comfort of our own neighborhoods … at no risk to our own safety. Some believe that the use of drones is a cowardly approach to warfare. Some argue that the use of drones is a war crime. No matter how one feels about drones, it is certain that drone warfare has raised the killing of civilians to a new level. The slaughter of little girls walking to school is a crime against humanity.

    Do the drone operators who sit at a computer thousands of miles away from any danger deserve our admiration? Their safety is not at risk. Should they be “‘thanked for their service”? Does wearing a uniform give anyone the moral or legal right to kill unarmed civilians? Does wearing a uniform make anyone a hero? Is killing by remote control really an example of heroism?

    How can “heroism” be defined? Heroism is the willingness to stand alone in opposition to evil and injustice.

    We have many heroes. Julian Assange, Ed Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond, John Kiriakou, Aaron Swartz are just a few of many. There are also local heroes. In one small New England town Ron Conroy, a disabled vet, stood up against the Select Board. Conroy spoke in defense of First Amendment rights for panhandlers.

    Archbishop Oscar Romero took on the entire power structure in El Salvador. With grace and dignity he defended the poor and disenfranchised. He was assassinated while saying Mass.

    When I think about heroes, I always think about my friend, Elliott Adams. During the ’60s, Adams volunteered for the Army. He fought in Vietnam, He was a paratrooper. He was wounded. After hospitalization, he was redeployed to Korea, and then Alaska. All of those things might make Adams seem like a hero to most people, but that is not why I think of him as a hero. Adams is a former president of Veterans for Peace, but that also is not why he is a hero to me. More than anyone I have known, Adams has dedicated his life since being discharged from the military to working for global peace. He has gone to Gaza with Physicians for Social Responsibility. In solidarity with the prisoners at Gitmo, Adams went on a hunger strike. Adams has been at the forefront of the protests against the use of drones at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse, N.Y. Adams was arrested while participating in peaceful protest.

    Below is Adams’ sentencing speech as he delivered it to the court. This is one of the most articulate anti-war statements I have ever heard.

    I appreciate the bench’s effort to understand the arguments made — arguments involving local law, international law and, even the principles of civil disobedience.

    My experience in war has taught me that in life we periodically get tested to see if we can stand up to the pressures of ‘socially acceptable procedural norms’ which push us to work within the little laws and instead comply with the requirements of International Humanitarian Law. I cannot condemn others when they fail that test for I have failed it myself. But those who do fail it are condemned to live with the horrendous cost society pays for their failure. I believe this court failed that test. The court may not have felt an unavoidable compulsion to comply with International Humanitarian Law, but it certainly was given the justifications it could have used to stand up and comply with International Humanitarian Law. But being here in DeWitt near an epicenter of war crimes couched in the humdrum of civilian life, the bench may find it is tested again … and again.

    I believe that my co-defendants and I did what is right morally, but more relevant to this court, what is required by the law, the big law, that law that deals with thousands of lives, not the little law that deals with disorderly conduct. If the court had chosen to decide on the big law it would have found us innocent. But since the court chooses to rule on the little law, the law about orderly conduct, then it must not only find me guilty but guilty to the fullest extent, with no mitigation.

    As the court stated, there will always be consequences for pursuing justice through ‘changes made by actions outside the socially acceptable procedural norms.’ Among other life experiences I have over 15 years in local elected public office and it became apparent to me that abiding by the ‘socially acceptable procedural norms’ can only lead to more of the same injustice, indeed those norms are there to prop up those injustices.

    I am proud to accept the consequences of my acts and any jail time. I do not want any suspended sentence. If you give me one, also please let me know how I can violate it before I leave the courtroom. I do not have money to pay a court; I spend what little money this old man has trying to bring about justice. My community service has been doing the duty that the courts shrink from — calling attention to war crimes and trying to stop war crimes. Standing in this court a community service, it is the little I can do for society.

  • My dad gave 33 years of his life for this Country as a Lifer Marine!! He fought in WWII Pacific & Korea. He wanted to serve in Vietnam,but was turned down, because I was serving there already in the US Army. He was an alcoholic brought on by PTSD and died of cancer of the brain. Until the end, He was a Patriot, and said that the reason our Country is in the sorry state it’s in, wasn’t because of the Patriot’s, but because of the idiot draft dodging cowardly Career Politicians, that were only out for the $$$$$!

    • Amen to your Dad’s comments, Brian Workman
      He “is” right on there!