Memorial Day Open Thread

| May 25, 2020

Stand tall and proud. (Time Dot Com)

Happy Memorial Day! This day memorializes those who died in combat, or as a result of combat. Others expand this definition to include other causes of death related to active duty. A unifying theme for these definitions involves dying while in service.

Category: Open thread

Comments (40)

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  1. ninja says:

    Following AW1Ed’s Lead…

    Recommend no “First” on this Thread.

    “First” should go to the TAH Family remembering our Veterans who served our Country faithfully and with Honor.

    SALUTE to our Veterans on this Special Day.

    • ninja says:

      Salute and remembering our Veterans who are no longer with us.

      Special Salute and Remebrance goes to our Jonn Lilyea, the Father of TAH.

      Rest In Peace, Platoon Sergeant. You are and will never be forgotten.

      • ninja says:

        To All:

        Yes, I am very aware that Memorial Day honors those who died while serving our Country.

        I think of Jonn on this day because of his passing due to complications of ALS.

        Jonn served Boots on the Ground during DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM.

        Have read studies on the link between DS Vets and ALS, i.e. those DS Veterans have a higher percentage rate of having ALS.

        Just my personal perception and two pennies of thinking of Jonn today, but not taking away the true meaning of Memorial Day, i.e. honoring those Veterans who sacrificed their lives for our Country.

        Thank You for letting me share my viewpoint as well as having the patience of reading my rant and raving.


        • Roh-Dog says:

          You will not find a complaint here!
          Thank you for your words, couldn’t have said it better myself.

  2. CNF says:

    It is not a “Happy” day, it is a day of mourning, remembering those who paid the ultimate price.

    • AW1Ed says:

      While “happy” isn’t the most apt descriptor of Memorial Day, it isn’t a full day of mourning, either. The folks I knew who are no longer with us would rather be remembered during a family gathering, a parade, and cook-outs with friends. Just take a moment or three to remember their sacrifices so we can enjoy that pulled pork sammich and beer in the greatest country the world has ever seen.

      • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

        Like one of the Buddies I lost in A-stan said, “Don’t cry and mourn me, remember me when you’re enjoying a nice drink and a good cigar!”

      • Poetrooper says:

        Amen, Ed. Had I gone down in combat, I guaran-damn-tee ya I’d rather those remembering me did so in a happy, celebratory manner and I think those I served with who did go down would agree.

    • ArmyATC says:

      While I would never describe Memorial Day as a “happy day,” I would also never call it a day of mourning. I refer to it as a day of remembrance. I remember my buddies and tip a glass to them. Then I enjoy my family, my wife, children, and grandchildren as I know my friends would want me to. I don’t take only one day to remember them. I remember them always.

      To quote Gen. George S Patton, Jr.; “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”

    • thebesig says:

      I’m not just saying this to CNF, but to anybody that aligned with one or a combination of the responses above to CNF, and to everybody else.

      Those who passed on want us to be happy. This is a sense that I get when I’ve had vivid dreams of those who passed… Including a nap dream where I saw Jonn.

      They want us to be happy, and not to mourn their deaths, as they’re not really dead. “Death is just an illusion”. This is another impression that I get during a vivid dream involving someone that had passed on.

      It was like an illusion, a trick, that the magician pulled on the stage… Like “sawing” a live person into two, no pain, no blood. It was like “death” was something less serious than a simple cold that disappeared real quick… “That was cured”.

      In this dream, that I had of Jonn, he didn’t speak. But his thoughts came to me. He felt completely free, completely relieved, free from sickness and ailments, in possession of full mobility and of self… He regained a sense of who he truly is. He was happy and content.

      Our spirit is our true self, our bodies the vehicle, the learning tool. We don’t see that now, being flesh, bones, muscles, etc. By necessity, we’re under spiritual amnesia… It is how we could best learn the lessons we intended to learn and to carry out what we were born to carry out.

      Jonn also showed gratitude for what we have done for this site and continued to do… To each and every one of us. He cared about us more than what he demonstrated in his writing, and in his videos.

      A good series of books to read about this topic are those written by the late Dr. Michael Newton: Journey of Souls, Destiny of Souls, Memories of the Afterlife, Life between life.

      Others have followed his lead, and have also written books.

      Dr. Michael Newton engaged in regression hypnotherapy. His patients were people who had problems that couldn’t be resolved by traditional medical practices or medication. However, after these sessions, his patients reported physically doing what they needed to do and seeing an improvement in their lives.

      These people, those that went through his sessions, didn’t know each other. Yet, they reported a very similar pattern of what happened while under hypnosis… After they passed away in a previous life and beyond what’s normally reported in “near-death experiences”…

      These results were repeated by other hypnotherapists that did the same thing as Michael Newton.

      A common response, under regression hypnotherapy, when asked about the aftermath of their last passing, was that they reached out to comfort their surviving friends and family. They wanted those who they left behind to be happy.

      In fact, mourning them may hold them up from “resting in peace”.

      Seeing this as a day of remembrance is not mutually exclusive from seeing this as a happy day. I see it as such… For many reasons. We don’t mourn all day, nor do we just reserve this day as a day of remembrance… We do the remembrance part every day, not just today.

      And, the best way to remember them is not just to remember them, but to do the things that they wanted us to do… A reason they, and we, chose to serve and deploy to war. They wanted us to be happy when they were alive. Their “passing” doesn’t change that.

      Our physical world and its “distractions” are nothing but an illusion to our spirits. They’re trivial… Something that’s shared in the Gospels when the reader is reminded that they shouldn’t put their desires towards valuables like gold, silver, or anything physical that could deteriorate… But on what we could accumulate “up there”. The Book of Ecclesiastes goes into more detail and covers our physical and mental pursuits as if they’re trivial and driven by vanity.

      “From dust you came, to dust you shall return”… The next time you’re near loose, dry sand, and it’s windy, pick up a handful and let the wind blow it out of your hands. That is our physical life. Our positive impact on each other is what matters, and is what would carry over with us. The rest is like dust in the wind.

      So yes, Happy Memorial Day.

      If you’ve lost someone, and you are still grieving, I highly recommend reading Dr. Michael Newton’s books. If you have any skepticism of what I said here, there’s an excellent chance that it would start disappearing by the time you get through the pages.

  3. Sapper3307 says:


  4. Dustoff says:

    Thank you to all of our American Brothers and Sisters that gave their lives.

  5. USAFRetired says:

    No Freedom Isn’t Free

    I watched the flag pass by one day.
    It fluttered in the breeze.
    A young Marine saluted it,
    And then he stood at ease.
    I looked at him in uniform
    So young, so tall, so proud,
    With hair cut square and eyes alert
    He’d stand out in any crowd.
    I thought how many men like him
    Had fallen through the years.
    How many died on foreign soil?
    How many mothers’ tears?
    How many pilots’ planes shot down?
    How many died at sea?
    How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
    No, freedom isn’t free.

    I heard the sound of taps one night,
    When everything was still
    I listened to the bugler play
    And felt a sudden chill.
    I wondered just how many times
    That taps had meant “Amen,”
    When a flag had draped a coffin
    Of a brother or a friend.
    I thought of all the children,
    Of the mothers and the wives,
    Of fathers, sons and husbands
    With interrupted lives.
    I thought about a graveyard
    At the bottom of the sea
    Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
    No, freedom isn’t free.

    -Cdr Kelly Strong USCG

    From 2002

    This poem is important to Kelly because he wrote it as a high school senior (JROTC cadet) at Homestead High, Homestead, FL. in 1981. It is a tribute to his father, a career marine who served two tours in Vietnam. When he finds others trying to take credit for the authorship of the poem, Kelly sees it as a dishonor to the man who inspired the poem, his Dad.

    Kelly is now an active duty Coast Guard pilot living in Mobile and serving at the US Coast Guard Aviation Training Center. He has three kids and a great wife, Najwa, who just completed work at the Miami VA clinic as a physical therapist.

  6. ninja says:

    Some Gave All:

  7. 5th/77th FA says:

    We the survivors owe a Debt of Honor to remember the fallen Brothers and Sisters that earned the “coffin, metal handles.” They are the ones that cashed the blank check that we all signed.

    The American Flag ripples on the Breeze of the last breath of the Service Members who died to defend it. I’ll be visiting some of them in a bit.

    Never Forget!

  8. 26Limabeans says:

    Beautiful sunny day here. A bit breezy but the
    occasional snap of old glory reminds me of the
    reason I am able to live my life free of bondage.
    I can mow the lawn, paint the garage… or neither.

    If only my comrades lost to war could see me now.
    Set for a spell and share a glass or two.
    Talk about that time we spent together as kids.

  9. I was in Publix last week wearing my ball cap at the checkout counter and a lady thanks me for my service and I said thank you, but you should thank the ones that never made it back. I’m always having people say this to me and it seems that if it’s a Viet Vet, they won’t mention it unless I ask them what branch did they serve if they did serve. Very few wear Viet caps because I think that’s it’s that stigma from when they were coming home. I get a lot of vets that thank me but won’t mention that they were also active duty unless I ask them and then we will spend some time talking about our time in the service. Also a number of WW2 vets still around plus Korean War Vets. Warm weather down here keeps them going.

  10. Fyrfighter says:

    RIP Brothers and sisters. With all this Wuhan flu bullshit, it’s really odd. We usually help PAFB raise a large flag for the parade, but all that’s cancelled this year, so we’re just doing our normal station activities, outside of a moment of silence this morning.

  11. Jim says:

    Here is a post for Memorial Day, and because it occurred in Ramadi in 2008, it is contemporary:

  12. Sparks says:

    Rest in peace all of you I knew and loved, and all I did not know and will not forget.

    May God bless and keep The Untited States of America.

  13. Combat Historian says:

    In memory of my colleagues from MNF-I Command Staff

    COL Brian Allgood
    COL Paul Kelly
    CSM Marilyn Gabbard

    all KIA on 20 Jan 2007 in Diyala Province, Iraq.

    Not forgotten…

  14. ninja says:

    I agree 100% what Staff Sergeant Johnny “Joey” Jones (Retired Marine Corps NCO who lost his legs fighting for our Country) and Jonathan Hoffman wrote/tweeted about the recent New York Toilet Paper Times article:

    “Joey Jones: ‘Shame On’ The New York Times For ‘Cheap’ Op-ed On US Military And White Supremacy”

    You Be The Judge

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Is the the same bunch that celebrates A Pulitzer for aiding and abetting Stalin’s mass murder of 20 million Ukrainians, and subsequently covering up the Holdomor?

      -that- rag?

      Anyone got the Ukrainian words for “despicable hypocrite shitbags”?

  15. Comm Center Rat says:

    Mother earth, mother earth enfold you in her cold embrace
    Sinking down, killing ground, worm crawling on your cold white face
    Win or lose, ought to choose, all men are equal when their memory fades
    No one knows, friends or foes, if Valhalla lies beyond the grave…
    Deaf forever to the battles din!

    ~ Deaf Forever by Motorhead (1986)

    “Time will not dim the glory of their deeds.”
    ~ General John J. Pershing

  16. 26Limabeans says:

    Lima Site 85 was just a rumor when I first heard of it.
    It seemed so unreal that a bunch of radar techs would
    volunteer for such a mission. I could understand the technical
    challange but the bravery part of it puzzeled me for decades.

    The story unfolded over the years in various books about
    the war and was finally delassified when Etchberger was awarded
    the MOH by president Obama.

  17. Commissar says:

    There is no “first” on this thread…

    But when American goes to war there is always a first to fall…and a last to fall.

    • ninja says:


      Thank You for sharing the article.

      There is some skepticism reference Kenneth Shadrick being the first KIA of the Korean Conflict:

      “Subsequent publications have shed doubt on the accuracy of the claims of Shadrick’s distinction. Eyewitness accounts at the Battle of Osan point to the first death as a machine gunner in the 21st Infantry Regiment, who had been killed at around 08:30, eight hours before Shadrick’s death. This soldier was killed when a different T-34 tank was disabled at the battle and one of its crew members attacked nearby troops with a PPSh-41 “Burp Gun”. In the confusion of the battle, many of the wounded and dead troops were left behind by retreating American troops, and a large part of the force was also captured; consequently, the identity of this first combat fatality remains a mystery.”

      Perhaps we may never know.

      Was not surprised to read that the last KIA of the Korean Conflict is unknown.

      • SFC D says:

        The last KIA in the Korean Conflict is yet to occur.

        • Hondo says:

          Correct, since hostilities in Korea were terminated by an armistice vice a formal peace treaty or other agreement ending the war. The war technically is still ongoing, though hostilities are now quite sporadic.

          The last known US casualty for the Korean War is CW2 David Michael Hilemon. He was KIA when the helicopter in which he was co-pilot strayed into North Korea on 17 December 1994 and was shot down by North Korean forces. The pilot of the craft, CWO Bobby Hall (precise rank at the time of the incident unavailable), was held captive for 2 weeks by North Korea before being released.

  18. Poetrooper says:


    I was that which others did not want to be,
    I went where others fear to go,
    And did what others failed to do.
    I asked nothing from those who gave nothing,
    And reluctantly accepted the thought
    Of eternal loneliness should I fail.
    I have seen the face of terror,
    Felt the stinging cold of fear,
    And enjoyed the sweet taste of a moment’s fear.
    I have cried, pained and hoped,
    But most of all, I have lived times
    Others would say were best forgotten.
    At least some day, I will be able to say
    That I was proud of what I was, a soldier.

    George L. Skypeck, Reg™, Copyright © All rights reserved, used with permission of Mr. Skypeck
    Military Historical Artist

  19. Roh-Dog says:

    Grunt Style (it’s a clothing company, hires Vets, has some great YouTube vids) shutdown their retail site today and streamed members of the staff reading the names of the Fallen from OIF/OEF/GWOT-timeframe.
    It was overwhelming, then came the names of the men I knew…
    Rest In Peace, Brothers and Sisters. Until we meet again, be our ambassadors to the Great Almighty.
    May our pursuit of Freedom across His lands please Him, and grant us Eternal Comfort together in the Great Assembly Area in the Sky.
    The motto of the Twenty First Infantry Regiment of the United States Army is a simple one-word that is a request, command,…a challenge, it can also be an acknowledgement, of skill, prowess, sacrifice, both small and great. From the depths of this man’s heart, I pledge: I will never forget, nor allow my Countrymen forget, a word that carries so much weight, it has crushed bone and blinded eye. It has led to feats of daring, bravery best captured in prose, and sacrifice oh so deep.
    I ask, speak the word of the 21st’s motto, be the force that will change the World.
    Take the challenge.
    To all those that have paid for Freedom Eternal: