Every day should be your Memorial Day

| May 30, 2016


The other day, my friend, Matt Burden, wrote on Facebook that this weekend should absolutely include barbeques and picnics because that’s how our fallen warriors would want us to spend a weekend remembering them – that we can push all of the worries in the world to the side because of their sacrifice. His point was that we don’t need to visit graves, plant flags and flowers in veterans’ cemeteries to honor their last full measure of devotion. All we need to do is live a life worthy of their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of their families.

Most of those warriors would be embarrassed by the attention, well, I know I would. But then, I’m embarrassed when someone thanks me for my service. It’s not that I’m not grateful for their verbal expression of gratitude, it’s just that I never know what to say. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of every one of my friends and soldiers who have been lost because of their service to the American people. In my mind, what I’ve done doesn’t even approach that which they’ve done for this country and I honor their memory by living a life that they would consider worth what they gave to us.

In that regard, every day is Memorial Day for me. I don’t need to visit Arlington Cemetery and stand among the headstones. Everyday, I stand among the headstones in my mind.

Mostly, those warriors who went on before us, just want you to enjoy the life that they helped secure for you. Enjoying the time that you spend with your family and friends, doing the things with your life that make you smile is honoring the sacrifices that were made for you. I think “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” were all mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.

It’s not what you do one day out of the year that honors veterans, it’s what you do the other 364 days. It’s not the “thank you for your service” that matters, it’s what you say to me before you know that I’m a veteran.

So I hope you have an honorable Memorial Day weekend.

Category: Who knows

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Well said, Jonn. We cannot ever repay the debt of those gone before but we can remember and do our best to live our best life. I like a bit of ceremony, not for me, but for others to take a minute and remember who might not understand what you or I do.


Every day is Memorial day at my house and my flag(s) fly 24-7! As for what to say when someone thanks me for my service, I finally came up with an answer that seems to me to show how I feel…I say “You are welcome, it was my privilege”!


I always say “the honor was all mine”.


Jonn: Shack. You and Matt speak eloquently.


I’m with you Jonn. I also hope that I live a life that is worthy of their sacrifice.

RIP Roy Reinhardt and Dodge Powell.


Behind my yard is the town cemetery dating back a few years. As I look out my window its a rolling field of stones dotted with American flags. I pay my respects every day. Today I will smoke a moderately expensive cigar on top of the hill after the ceremonies and just try to take it all in.

HMCS(FMF) ret.

Very well written, Jonn.

RIP – HM3(FMF) Travis Youngblood and HM1 (FMF) Joseph DeGuzman


Thank you. I needed that.


“In that regard, every day is Memorial Day for me. I don’t need to visit Arlington Cemetery and stand among the headstones. Everyday, I stand among the headstones in my mind.”

Well said Jonn and thank you. The memories of my friends and relatives lost is with me always.

Green Thumb

My best to all on the great and somber day.


On this day most of all, Memorial Day, we will remember you. We will remember each of you who gave, the last full measure of devotion. We will also remember each of you who served us and have since passed from our lives. Today, we in this nation, your nation, most humbly and gratefully will rise and say thank you. We are free in all because of your sacrifices. Though we may stumble and face travails in our efforts to keep our nation great, we do so as a free people. A people born under the tree of freedom. A tree rooted in and planted by our forefathers and since then kept alive, by the blood and sacrifices of patriots such as you. What more could be ask of anyone, than was asked of you? What more could be given by anyone, than was given by you? Today then is your day. The day to remember all those who served and have passed. And yes, indeed we will remember. Moreover still, we will never, ever forget you. God rest your souls in peace now. Whether you be in The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier or the small cemetery we pass by or those in lands far and away, God please, rest you well. I sincerely thank you, all my brothers and sisters lost from us now, for your precious gift of freedom to me. God bless and keep, The United States of America.


Good sentiments…too bad people don’t remember and think the same about Jesus….he gave his life for ALL OF US at a very young age and he was completely innocent! Thank him when you get a chance!


Sand from Omaha Beach contains tiny black dots that are remnants of shrapnel.

Perry Gaskill

Here’s a tune for the day by Mary Fahl. It was used as the title intro for the film Gods and Generals.


Thank you Perry Gaskill.


Rest in peace my friends that I lost during our service together.

I may forget at times your names, but everyday I will remember your faces.




Well said.

I think it’s also important that we pursue personal growth. Striving to reach one’s full potential within the boundless opportunities life in the Unites States provides is a way to honor those that have fallen.

Our success honors their sacrifice.


Thank you for that post again Hondo.


For some reason this video compilation from the “Sharpe’s Rifles” series on the BBC set to the tune of “Over the Hills and Far Away” speaks to me. Sharpe is a fictional British Napoleonic war soldier elevated from the ranks to officer-the series follows him primarily thru the Peninsula Campaign against the French (hence the “Flanders, Portugal and Spain” in the song).


If I should fall to rise no more
As many comrades did before
Then ask the fifes and drums to play
Over the hills and far away



For all those who didn’t make it back.

And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods

Rest well, brothers-in-arms.

We remember.


FWIW: the full work from which the quote above is taken is available at



Brave Horatius does thankfully survive his encounter at the bridge, but the ethos of sacrifice and duty is perfectly expressed in the poem-that is what seems to me to be lost and what I hope is remembered today.

There is a scene in Zulu when a young Private asks Colour Sergeant Bourne “Why does it have to be us Sarge?” And Bourne answers “Because we’re here lad. Nobody else, just us.”

I’ll add one more which I think is also appropriate along this line of thought: “Duty is the most sublime word in the English language. Do your duty in all things-one cannot do more, one should not expect to do less.”


With you on all points, Jonn.

When someone thanks me for my service, I really try to be gracious and simply respond, “It was my honor.” Most folks mean well with their thanks, so it behooves us to be kind Still, each time it happens, or I over hear someone else being told, it is painful because of all my friends who were spat upon, and worse. Those memories always surface. I’d really rather folks just nodded an acknowledgement and moved along.


Rest in peace, my friends.

June 22, 1990

USS Detroit (AOE-4)
Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Eight

CH-46 Sea Knight crashed approximately 6 1/2 miles east of Virginia Beach, returning to the USS Detroit (AOE-4), all crew members were killed.

LT. Jane T. Paradeis, 26, of Rice, Minn.

LTJG. Jason K. Skubi, 24, of Sandpoint,Idaho

Petty Officer 1st Class Norman H. Geisel, 29, of St. Mary’s, Md.

Airman John W. Burkhardt Jr., 21, of Boylestown, Mass.


Amen Brother


*trigger warning*

Happy Memorial Day, Guys!


Fiddlers’ Green

Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.
Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen.
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marines,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green.
Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene.No trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he’s emptied his canteen.
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers’ Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers’ Green.


Do a little research on what hell is, NDE’s where people have been shown hell….and you won’t post that poem ever again!


Alot of these post today are so true. We remember those lost and try to live good meaningful lives, lives of service to others and our community. But I will always have that ache of pain for my brothers lost.


Jonn, we think alike; this was my comment to Zero Ponsdorf’s piece on Saturday when another commenter complained about some civilian jerk saying “Happy Memorial Day”:

For me, Memorial Day is mostly for civilians. For those of us who served in combat and those who supported that effort, that extra level of patriotism that civilians aspire to on Memorial Day is a routine maintenance level for us. I know for me, and I believe for most of you reading here at TAH, it is an awareness, an integral part of us, that is always with us and will be to our graves.

Still, it’s good to know that our countrymen have set aside a period to honor our fallen and mostly do so in a manner I think those warriors, for certain the infantrymen I knew, would find fitting and have a deep appreciation for, the consumption of large amounts of beer and other adult beverages. It’s like once a year America conducts a good old-fashioned wake for them. They’d like that.

So if someone says “Happy Memorial Day” to me I’m not going to get ugly, but rather remind them that the holiday they are so happy about had to be earned, and was not done so by them, but by others with a blood price, their lives. And then I’ll suggest that at least once during their long weekend they should raise a can or bottle in salute and say thanks to those who made it possible.


^^^^^ This ^^^^



In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium



Each time I read this, I discover new meaning. I relish each word, learning each time.


I agree, Jonn.

Some days, it’s only the memory of that sacrifice that motivates me to continue to strive against the Darkness that seems to be overwhelming the Republic.

To absent companions.


Jonn: I echo your’s and Matt’s sentiments.

Some numbers per US Dept of VA, Public Affairs; American service member deaths (Does not include Global War on Terror deaths as it is still ongoing:)

•American Revolution: 4,435 died fighting King George’s tyranny and establishing the greatest country in the world.
•War of 1812: 2,260 died fighting more of England’s tyranny.
•Civil War: 140,414 Union soldiers died fighting against the tyranny of slavery. (I also honor the CSA soldiers for their valor and their approximate 75,000 deaths which are included in total deaths)
•WWI: 53,402 died fighting German tyranny.
•WWII: 291,557 died fighting German and Japanese tyranny.
•Korean War: 33,739 died fighting for the South Korean’s freedom from the Communist North Korea.
•Vietnam War: 47,434 died fighting for the South Vietnamese’s freedom from the Communist North Vietnam. This includes 19 men (of whom I knew four) during my time in the battalion in which I served.
•Desert Shield/Storm: 148 who died fighting for the freedom of the [Kuwaitis].

Total battle deaths: 651,031 with roughly another 500,000 deaths In-Theater and Non-Theater.

The Founders gave us freedoms never before seen in the world – ever. There have easily been over a billion people in the US since its inception in 1776. Far less than 1% of our populace has died in defense of those freedoms and in efforts to give the same freedoms to others in the world. God bless them.


140k Union and 75k Confederate combat deaths, but easily 3X as many total deaths during the Civil War.


68W58: Exactly. I didn’t want the posting to be too long, so I only brought up those deaths (In/Non-theater in all the wars)in the final tally. It is only fitting to remember them all.

A Proud Infidel®™

Absolutely, both sides in the Civil War lost more to disease than combat.

2/17 Air Cav

Remembering the Fallen is a regular occurrence at TAH and for most Veterans
across the nation, I’d guess. The civilians, the ad makers, and the stores confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day, as the pretender in chief famously did a few years ago. He will do what he must today. The White House website is all over Memorial Day. Just kidding. Visitor’s are greeted by a pic of the knucklehead and his campaign to cut waist. Benghazi.

Silentium Est Aureum

If we live our lives to our fullest measure, we have not forgotten. May America be worthy of the sacrifices made in her behalf.


Remembering a non-combat death, still tragic, still a loss: Sergeant Raymond B. Sadler, USMC. Died after being electrocuted while on a train convoying equipment in South Korea.

Dave Hardin


Rest In Peace Mike Peddle, CPL/USMC, 05JUL1970. You were a good friend, a great Marine and a truly great man. You have been gone now 46 years, but you have never been forgotten.

RIP all others who have gone before, having served so well those of us who remain.

IMO, each loss both lessens us in some manner, but enriches us as well. Difficult for me to explain.

Blessings to all …

MSG Eric

Very eloquent. Unless I’m on duty doing something, I’ve been asked to read roll call a few times, I prefer to stay home and away from the public. Same as on veteran’s day. I’d just prefer to stay home and be recluse. Especially when HBO shows Band of Brothers on Memorial Day. Too good to pass up, even though I already have the collector’s set.


Thank heavens I’m not the only one who gets embarrassed when people say that.


[…] Correctness The Quinton Report: Ad Attacks Rep. Renee Ellmers On Abortion This Ain’t Hell: Every Day Should Be Your Memorial Day Weasel Zippers: Obama Proclaims June “LGBT Pride Month”, Orders Americans To […]