Memorial Day

| May 27, 2024 | 34 Comments

Originally called Decoration Day, the day first honored the Civil War dead and now recognizes all veterans who died while in service to the United States during times of conflict.

“Memorial Day” was technically born in Waterloo, New York, in 1966, as President Johnson declared the new name for the annual observance.

In Washington D.C., the National Memorial Day Parade hosted by the American Veterans Center, proceeds down Constitution Avenue on Monday afternoon and is broadcast live on all the major networks.

Beyond the Washington, D.C., area, Memorial Day is observed in thousands of cities and towns throughout the nation every year.

Enjoy the beginning of summer with friends and family, and take a moment to tip a glass in remembrance to those who gave all.  It’s their day.

Category: We Remember

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Hack Stone

Can Hack Stone get first comment for Memorial Day Open Thread?

Hack Stone

Magic 8-Ball says “Hell Yeah!”


Can Hack Stone get first comment for Memorial Day Open Thread?”

Only if Hack Stone happens to be around to comment when the Memorial Day Open Thread drops. Ahem…notice Sir Stoned of Hack, this particular thread is posted under the category of “We Remember”. And we should certainly Remember those that never returned or came home in a box. We should also Remember that it is our Duty to care for the Widows and Orphans of The Fallen that made the Supreme Sacrifice. The pain of their loss will never get better…it will only, hopefully, get bearable.

‘lest we forget…

Hack Stone

Hack screwed the pouch on that one. Was up at 04:00 to drop someone off at Reagan Airport, and just before going back to sleep he saw this drop, and in his excitement he mistook it for the Holiday Open Thread He can’t blame this one on his crappy work issued phone, nor on Hack Stone Publishing. This is all on Hack.

Hack Stone

You’re doing a heck of a job, there Pete. No joke. He must have followed Governor Newsom’s plain for the high speed rail line connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco.


Is the canteen open today?


Mine is…getting ready to hoist one in remembrance of the Servicemembers I have known who are no longer with us, starting with my late brother. Not a military themed song, but it just seems to hit that way for me especially since my brother loved this song and used to play it on his guitar:

Here’s to life…


In a way, it’s fitting that a day set aside to honor our fallen marks the unofficial start of summer. Heck, I even got our pool up and filled so the kids can hang out in it today. A temporary 12×24′ aboveground pool may not be as nice as my neighbor’s $120k inground pool, but it’s a start. Speaking of which, I gotta run up to the local family-owned grocer in a few to pick up chlorine and steaks. I’ll pay the premium over going to Walmart for the third time in as many days.

Across our nation, families will be enjoying cookouts and water-based activities, with few stopping to think of the significance of today. As “our” wars fade into memory, and fewer Americans have a direct link to the sacrifices made, the blur between Memorial Day and Veterans Day only thickens. The Fall of Saigon will mark its 50th anniversary next year, and it’s already been over two decades since we stormed into Baghdad. While it’s a point of contention for many, I don’t get worked up when I hear someone wish a Vet a “happy” Memorial Day. Mass ignorance is permissible because of the sacrifices of the few. It’s better than living under a regime that demands absolute toeing to the party line.

No matter how you choose to mark today, whether in remembrance, celebration, a mix of the two, or some other way, do so responsibly and remember those who can no longer spend today with us.



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Amateur Historian

I don’t know if this video has been posted to this blog before, but I do try to watch it every Memorial Day and occasionally Veterans Day.

Lest we forget…

Amateur Historian

Happy Memorial Day everyone.


I remember those that have fallen and what would have their lives been like today. A family, a job, hobbies, and friendships. Brings great sadness to my heart to think of those that have given much to our freedom and nation. I will walk in the cemetery today and reflect on those lives lost. I pray their family’s find peace today as we honor them for their sacrifice.


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During my abbreviated second tour in The Old Guard, I took the time to walk to Section 60. There, I visited friends I once knew and acquaintances I never took the time to appreciate. SSG Dickmyer was a Tomb Guard and was very popular within the Regiment. I spoke to him in passing but never got to know him. Six markers behind him lies one of my former Soldiers, CPL Hernandez. As Reenlistment NCO, I got him to reup for Germany, where he was supposed to be manning a desk. Instead, he became the first enlisted Soldier to receive Full Honors, after being KIA in Afghanistan only weeks after I’d left TOG for recruiting.

I visited SSG Hake, another NCO I never knew in life, but who had served in A/1-3 just before I arrived, as well as WO1 McCotter, briefly a subordinate and then peer. There were many others, and I also paid respects to a man buried in a mass grave, whose poem I’ve shared on these pages often over the years:

If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.
And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.

Major Michael Davis O’Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam

Besides official duties with TOG and MDW, I’ve never ventured back into ANC.


I haven’t been back to Arlington since I took off the uniform.

When there was still the possibility I might join many of them in Valhalla (or, possibly, Fólkvangr), I and my tears felt welcome among brothers. Now, I wouldn’t feel quite so welcome; unworthy – just another tourist in some outdoor museum. I’ll overcome that obstacle, someday soon, I’m just a little hesitant.


You paid the cover charge when you took your oath of enlistment and got the lifetime pass when you completed your honorable service. Go visit your brothers and sisters; you’re not a tourist, you’re family.

Last edited 17 days ago by MustangCPT

That means a lot more than anticipated. Thank you.


I’ve been to Arlington a number of times since I hung up my nomex including one Memorial Day. Our normal Memorial Day is we travel about 3 hours to my “hometown” to the National Cemetery where my parents are interred side by side. During the Obama admin we visited my sister and brother-in-law at Ft Detrick and went to Arlington National Cemetery where I made the point to show my kids about a square mile and 300K+ flags marking the graves to make the point that freedom isn’t free.

My eldest graduated from High School this weekend. So we went with our alternate Memorial Day Plan due to the competing hooplah. We ventured the slightly more than an hour down the road to Anersonville National Historic Site and the accompanying National Cemetery. The 13000+ flags on the burial trenches from the POW camp days where the prisoners were buried shoulder to shoulder in the burial trenches is a memorable sight. The other flags throughout the Cemetery just add to the effect.

To my knowledge I have no family buried at ANC. Three relatives who lived in Northern Virginia chose to be buried at the Quantico National Cemetery. Various family members have done geneolgy research and while they have traced branches of the family that go back to the Mayflower and have identified relatives who fought and survived the American Revolution and subsequent conflicts. I haven’t found any that didn’t survive. My kids can’t make that claim as we’ve identified that my wifes paternal grandfather was KIA remains not recovered during the first week following the invasion at Lingayen Gulf in December 1941.

I think I’ll go have a beer in remembrance Of those who paid the ultimateprice for my freedom





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Brings tears to my eyes to see such things. I’m not someone who sheds a tear easily. But for some odd reason patriotism does that to me.


Same for me, Jimbo…and I would think it’s the same for many of the gruff, closet teddy bears around here. Tho we have lost many Female Service Members thru-out the wars, the majority have been males and it was the women and children who suffered the greatest loss. And it was the women of The South that started “decorating” the graves immediately following the WBTS being as there were so many sons lost. The average was 20%, but some Mothers lost ALL of their sons. Attached is a semi “forgotten” history of what we now refer to as Memorial Day. Well worth the few minutes it takes to read. We are the lucky ones and but for The Grace of God or pure luck/skill (depending on one’s beliefs) it would be us in that grave and our loved ones mourning. Deo Vindice


Just returned from visiting a veteran who served at my base, but was killed before my arrival. Just happens that he is from my area. So I visit every year. While saying a prayer I noticed a family having a small gathering. Sitting on the headstone and lawn chairs. I noticed a flag at the headstone and knew it was a veteran at the center of the gathering. Holding hands and singing. Followed by lots of hugging and talking as they left after their singing.


To those who celebrate this holiday, but wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day, I commend you for your dedication, but would like to explain that is not a day to be happy. Not saying we should not celebrate – we should. We should celebrate that these hero’s died defending our wonderful country and our freedoms, but my Dad taught me that it should be a somber day and that before we wolf down our hotdogs and hamburgers and beer we must remember these brave men and woman who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. Celebrate them, but this is not a happy holiday. Just my two cents.


Exactly. It’s time to reflect and think about those who we served with and are no longer with us. Some of those memories will be the funny ones, but some will cause tears. And even some of the funny memories will cause tears. Never forget.


Let us always remember and never forget their sacrifice.



Greeting of the day.

Reply to various well-meant “Happy Memorial Day”.


Mike B

Every year I do Memorial Day post on the maby forums I’m on. This years post.

As Americans go about their hard earned 3 day weekend, let’s not forget the true meaning and price of Memorial Day.

Over 646,596 American troops have died in battle and more than 539,000 have died from other, non-combat related causes, since the American Revolutionary War started in April 1775. That’s a total of over 1,185,596 Americans that have died in service. Think about that for a minute, that’s almost 1.2 million people, the price of freedom hasn’t been cheap.

Some are interred here at home at national cemeteries, or public ones, some are interred in cemeteries across Europe and the Pacific. Of these some lay under markers with their names, while others just have a number. They are the ones known only to God.

Some are entombed in the aircraft or ships they fought and died in. Still some lay forgotten, except by family, on the battlefields they fought and died on, awaiting a homecoming or memorial, that has eluded them since death.

So on Monday, no matter where you are, or what you’re doing at 1500 take a moment to reflect in silence what you have and remember those who paid for it with there blood and lives.

Memorial Day is meant to pay homage to them, not to get plastered and make assss out of ourselves. My flag will fly at half mast in honor and remembrance of their sacrifices.

With all this said, I wish everyone here a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

I’d be remiss if I failed to mention that our allies over the years have loss their fair share of military members, ensuring freedom.


I can pay homage to fallen brothers AND get plastered and make an ass out of myself. I’m talented like that.

In the case of many of those brothers, I can’t think of a better way TO pay homage.


I get the feeling they would expect no less. As I’ve told my wife on more than one occasion, “I’m a Soldier, not a Saint!”


Thanks Ed