Memorial Day remembering the dead

Memorial Day remembering the dead

"All gave some and some gave all
And some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall
Some gave all" (Billy Ray Cyrus - Some Gave All Lyrics | MetroLyrics)

Memorial Day weekend is upon us.

Once again we give lip service to the meaning of the holiday. People forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice so they can party hearty.

Once again, the men and women whose lives were taken in service to their country are remembered by sales, parties, gluttony, and drunken debauchery.

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Photo: Peter V. Bella/Click photo to enlarge.

Memorial Day, formerly called Decoration Day, is a holiday set aside to commemorate those who died serving our country.

Memorial Day is a celebration of death. Death for a greater cause. Death in the name of God and country.

Death is an ugly word. It is not associated with glory or celebration. Death is mournful, depressing, and sad.

We set side one day a year to commemorate those who died. Men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. People who gave all. We forget to remember the death of these people.

We remember to get to sales before stuff runs out, buy the beer, booze, food, charcoal, or just hit the bars for three days and nights.

Oh, and we don't forget to watch sports.

The Chicago Board of Trade organized a flying artillery battery during the Civil War. The battery fought in most of the major battles. They sustained few casualties and half were caused by disease.

The Chicago Board of Trade organized a flying artillery battery during the Civil War. The battery fought in most of the major battles. (Peter V. Bella) Click photo to enlarge.

We forget to go to the cemeteries where the fallen are laid. To walk the rows laden with flags. To see the erosion on long forgotten graves. To appreciate the monuments to sacrifice. To appreciate the sacrifice itself.

We are too busy shopping, eating, and drinking. Too lazy to move from the game on television. Too self absorbed to remember these people died for a concept called freedom.

Death in combat is not glorious. It is ugly, dirty, bloody, and brutal. There is nothing glorious about death during war.

There is something special about life lived in sacrifice.

So, while you are pushing your laden shopping cart through flag festooned stores, firing up the grill for brats and burgers, downing shots of whatever, or sitting in front of the boob tube watching sports and sucking suds, take a minute.

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Photo: Peter V. Bella/Click photo to enlarge.

Take just one minute. Remember why we celebrate Memorial Day. Remember those who died throughout the history of this great land.

Remember those who gave all.

Let us never forget sacrifice.

"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." (In Flanders Fields/John McCrae)

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These people did not waste their lives. They died for a cause. The highest cause and calling, service and duty to our country.

Take a minute out of your meaningless life and wastrel weekend to commemorate the reason you get to celebrate.

Memorial Day is the day of the dead.

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