Monday, May 30, 2011

Courting our Vets on Memorial Day!

Keywords or Terms: Memorial Day; Old Glory; Star Spangle Banner; Military Personnel; Democracy; Heroes; Civil War; Foreign Wars; Freedom; Sacrifices; Veterans; National Cemeteries; Arlington Cemetery; and America.

Memorial Day sharpens our awareness that freedom is not free! For those living in the illusion that America is great because of her political system or arrangement, and not because of our strong and dedicated military personnel, maybe its time to think again. No one is lampooning the fact that we practice and maintain the greatest democracy that the earth has ever known; that is indisputable; however, we are only able to do this and many other great things, because many men and women are able to give of themselves, without caring the cost. Today is a day to remember their huge and more than enough sacrifice.

People who count the dead from foreign wars appreciate the sacrifices that our great heroes have made so that you and myself can have a refuge, a home to go to; a refuge to hang unto; where peaches and honey are served in abundance, where children are able to play in a sand box in the backyard; where mothers can do their laundry or shop in twenty-four hour grocery stores without fear of loosing lights and electricity; where husbands can watch twenty-hour football, baseball or golf on television, teenagers go to movie and shop at the corner store looking across beautiful green lawns without bating an eye lid; where farmers can run their horses and cows on areas and acres of land without doubting that a new day will come, when and where harvesting, threshing and milking will be in abundance; and, there are huge markets to trade their wares. A country where huge and behemoth boats and vessels can take many on cruises and allow the free spirited to gamble and dance all night, without care. A country where there is Disney land and world for children and many adults, who have and want to refuse to grow up, but play till kingdom come. An aboard where July fourth is filled with the sounds of sirens, fireworks and air is filled with crackers and dynamites. A country where you are free to practice your religion, a Merry Christmas or Honokaa and Id-el-filtra of joyous homes, with the pleasure of classic movies like Gone with the wind, Sound of music, Chariots of Fire, and the Godfathers; a Hollywood where degenerates have redefined the word: responsibility. A good life from seas to shinning seas!

For all these privileges and benefits of living in this great country, many brave men have shed their sweat and blood, many brothers are brotherless, and sisters, sisterless, sons and daughters, fatherless or motherless, and many parents shed tears daily for loss of dear loved ones. Now, for those who think America is great because of its system of government, let them once again, think hard. Somewhere in America today, our Memorial Day, someone is feeling the pain of the huge service and sacrifice. The blog today give credence to the reality that we as Americans are able to do all of the above and more, because great men and women have fallen in the fierce battle of wars, domestic and foreign. Lately, some thousands fell in the tall buildings in the heart of New York, some at the Pentagon; others fell in the fields of Philadelphia, Chattanooga, Petersburg, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Shiloh, Manassas, Fort Sumter and more; and sometimes, in lands unmentioned and untold because of security and lack of space.

There were the heroes of the Civil War, World Wars One and two, the nasty Asian Wars, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam; the rugged battles of Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and so many other wars, where the star spangle banner were song on exit of our great heroes and old glory flew in the air with the rendition of rhythms of either Amazing Grace, Going Home or Flowers of the Forrest. An atmosphere so solemn and steely, only the strongest of the strong can hold back tears; and even when they do, they stare into the horizon holding back an endless pain that seems as if their legs are about to give way. I have seen one of those and heard great grown men cry like babies at the sound of those lamentations. I have watched one of those ceremonies at a local National Cemetery with my daughter, when she asked me why we fight wars, and all I can say: “Just to keep you and mummy safe!” Men, it’s tough, real tough; sometimes, I wished we never had to fight wars, but unfortunately, we do, just because there are too many bad human beings who have very little value for life itself.

Valor, not withstanding, great men have passed on this earth and gave their all, so the old glory can still blossom on porches and beautiful children of America can hold their hands and stand shoulder to shoulder to sing that song once popularized by another brave heart: “Free-at-Last, Free-at-Last, Thank God Almighty, We Are Free at Last! When our sons and daughters enlist in our military, they take with them part of all of us. When they head to wars, we are always with them, even when not physically, but in spirit. There is often the same depth of sacrifice from their families. When news of the fallen heroes come home, the raptor knocking at the door of bereaved parents are occasionally gory and defeating. The sounds of mourning and crying unravel the depth of loss from our neighborhoods and among our people. Until the news of sacrifice move like wild fire in the prairie across the neighborhood, hardly do we appreciate the great sacrifices that many of those young heroes have made. If only, we can know, if only we can understand, if only we can be in the shoes of those families who have lost loved ones, maybe we will be more circumspect in sending the bests of us to wars in far flung lands like Afghanistan, which offers us none!

It’s not simply a matter of getting our politics right or our political friends safe; we have often let go of the greatest among us, to ensure the sanctity of our democratic values and maintain a sense of conviction that we are right, and they are wrong. Our government and lawmakers must understand that the sacrifices in some parts of this nation are sometimes overwhelming. There are some rural towns and cities, which have lost many of their most beautiful, handsome and brave, to wars. To those communities, we duff our hats, to their family, we are forever grateful, to their childhood friends, we say stop crying, savor the moments you shared with our heroes before they set to war and the cold hands of death snatched them. We shall meet again at the side of the river. The beautiful, the beautiful river! It is good to know that there are consoling songs like that to fall on. To be patriotic is not left at the steps of going to war, spending tremendous time on a day like this to reflect on those we lost, is also patriotic. To fail to appreciate their sacrifice will be incomprehensible and probably, treasonable.

All our veterans deserve a big thank you! There maybe questions regarding the purpose or reasons for going to war. There maybe doubts regarding what wars are justifiable and which, are not. There even may be apprehensions, whether our veterans are treated rightly or wrongly, after surviving the brutality of wars and sacrificially scaling death. However, one thing that must never be taken away from them, is that they were the few, the brave and the unyielding, who stood up to be counted, when there was or were the call to save this Democracy. For those times and for those veterans, we are forever grateful. Talent and bravely are needed in the military and the tactics of war can only be managed by the brilliant; that is why heroism, is the dazzling and glorious concentration of courage!

J.C. and A.W Hare, in their book, Guesses of Truth, said Heroism is the self-devotion of genius, manifesting itself in action. The devotion of many Americans who have fought repeated wars and still volunteer to return to battle, even after being wounded, are best engraved in self-devotion and commitment to the land of Stars and Stripes. There are men and women, who are on the second and third tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, who today, are far away in those foreign lands, without the comforts of their homes and families. What a great sacrifice they make, what an uncommon American, they are. When the history of this Democracy is written, may their bravery, devotion and commitment be written in gold! Once again, thanks, and thanks for being our Heroes.

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