Who We Honor on Memorial Day

By Joe Ragonese

Memorial Day began after the Civil War, when some Southern ladies tried to clean up the unkempt graves of Northern soldiers buried in Southern graveyards. The practice spread quickly from South to North and politicians soon took note. It became known as Decoration Day, and was first codified in several states.

Its purpose was to honor the dead from the carnage of the Civil War, where over 600,000 Americans, both blue and gray, died in the service of their countries. Because wars didn’t begin, nor end with the Civil War, federal politicians soon turned Decoration Day into a day to remember all Americans who died for their country.

Henceforth, Memorial Day came to be. It was a day to remember all who died in the service of their country. The thing is, not many have died in the service in a very long time, at least one full generation. The last of those who died in World War II, the last time the majority of Americans were personally involved with the deaths of those who gave all, are now being forgotten as time has erased their memories. The same is true for Korean and Viet Nam dead.

While those deaths did not affect as many, many servicemen died in those undeclared wars affecting a large number of Americans, making more people vested in the real meaning of the day. As the numbers of deaths have gone down in our more recent conflicts, the sacrifice made simply doesn’t register to the masses. Mostly because our mainstream media ignores the huge sacrifices made.

In fact, so few have died for this nation in recent wars, that most Americans today have no one to honor on this day, no dead to morn. Not even some distant cousin. That is because only one percent of our nation has ever served in the military in any capacity. Which turns this sacred day into just another excuse for most to take a day off of work, bar-b-que, drink beer, get high, and complain about how awful this nation is.

The fact is, that the vast majority of Americans have no first hand knowledge of those who died, and worse, many actually think those who died in wars to maintain our liberty and freedom were fools. As the saying goes, “they have no dog in this fight.” So, to the vast majority of Americans today, Memorial Day is meaningless. And that is mostly due to the way American history is taught from grammar school all the way through college.

Sadly, that is the state this nation today. It is one of the reasons that our nation has come face-to-face with the biggest threat to our existence in our history. Of course our nation is now at war with itself between the socialists and those who want to maintain the freedoms that our forefathers fought and died for.

While most who read US Defense Watch are the exception, and truly honor all who have paid the ultimate price to keep our nation free, most will never understand what this day means. Today it means the difference between individual freedom or socialist hell, but that story is not understood by most.

Memorial Day is a day to remember that freedom isn’t free.

The grave markers that are decorated on Memorial Day represent the true heroes of this nation. These men gave all for this country, so that you and your children can live a life of freedom with the liberty to choose your own destiny. It represents one fork on the triad of ideas that made America great in the first place; and then made it the greatest nation on this earth. Of course that triad is God, Country, and Guts. The love of God, the love of our country, and the courage to carve a nation out of the wilderness is the true tale of this nation.

Today there is no wilderness left to face, yet that third fork, courage, is needed more than ever.  On Memorial Day we honor the courage fork of that triad. That courage to run into combat when your nation needs you to do so, when every impulse in your body says that it is a really bad idea. It is the stuff of heroes, and heroes made this country great. And those who died for their country are the real heroes.

In fact, today’s young people are so starved for heroes to honor that they idolize comic book characters, when the fact is there are heroes all around them. Actual heroes that they never see nor hear about. These heroes are invisible because the America hating MSM has hid every hero from Viet Nam until today. And there were many heroes that had their stories been told, the comic book worshiping youth would be in awe.

They might have even been inspired to embrace this nation and its traditions. However, that was not allowed to happen. So, our young people, along with the vast majority of Americans, find fault with everything this nation stands for. On Memorial Day, most MSM will cover parades and the frivolous side of this day off, never saying a word about the sacrifice these fallen warriors made.

In our 20 years in Afghanistan alone there were at least 16 Congressional Medal of Honor’s awarded to heroes, living or dead. Here are some of their stories.

(https://www.wearethemighty.com/veterans/medal-of-honor-iraq-afghanistan/). Stories most have never heard because it didn’t fit the American hating narrative. There are many more untold stories from Korea until today. But most never heard anything about the sacrifice real Americans make constantly. Instead we are fed victim after victim as what this country is all about. The truth is exactly the opposite.

America became the greatest nation on earth because almost every unit of every service had several heroes among them, many who never received more than a combat ribbon. Men who faced their worst fears yet moved forward when every synapse was telling them to hide and run as far away as they could get.

Yet they moved forward, overcoming their growing panic, knowing that that movement might be their last on earth. That is the courage we honor on Memorial Day. Because that is the courage part of the triad that made America Great, and will continue to do so.

And those are who we honor on Memorial Day. They are the GI Joe’s, the average man/woman who gave all for their country. Remember them this Memorial Day, and face an empty chair, while lifting at least one beer in their honor. That’s what Memorial Day is all about.

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