What Does Memorial Day Mean To You?

What Does Memorial Day Mean To You?

The Memorial Day weekend is something we all look forward to. It signifies the beginning of summer with BBQ’s and parties packed with beer and hot dogs on the grill. It is a much needed break for many of us after a long winter, especially in Chicago. where spring is almost non-existent. It is a time for us to enjoy our friends and family in celebration.

Yet, Memorial Day has a greater meaning to most of us who have had family members who have served in the military. My first memory of Memorial Day was with my grandfather who was an Italian immigrant who became a citizen and served in World War II. He often showed me the medals he received while serving in the army. He was proud to defend his new country and to be an American. As a young child, I can still remember the tears in his eyes when he spoke of the war.

My father also served in the military in Korea. He left my mother who he was engaged to at the time to fulfill his duty. She patiently waited for him to return. He spent most of his time in Germany as a communications expert, of which he developed close bonds with his fellow service men.

My mother’s brother was a marine who served in Vietnam. He was on the front line and watched his friend get blown up by a land mine. He was forever traumatized by this event and was sent home with shrapnel throughout his body, landing him in Great Lakes Hospital.

I visited my uncle there when I was ten years old. I sneaked in to see him; he was my favorite uncle. The images of soldiers laid up in their beds with no arms and legs will forever stay in my memory. Still they offered me a smile, so happy to have visitors.

This is the reality of war. People’s lives are changed forever. Those who serve our country in war place their lives in danger and many get hurt or die. They protect our life here in America and deserve to be supported and recognized, not only this weekend, but every day of their lives.

Happy Memorial Day to our military who protect our freedom. You are not forgotten.


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  • Memorial Day means more now than ever before to most Americans. We have generations from WW II, Korea, Vietnam and Gulf war with us.

    There was time in our society that people hated Vietnam Vets. No parades, no parties. Vietnam Vets were spitted on, and called "baby killers". Many ended up prisons or on drugs. America got a "guilt" conscience later on life for not thanking the Vietnam Vets. Want to really "thank" a Vet, then give them proper post traumatic medical treatment and a job they want o have.

    I had two uncles in WW II. One fought the Japs in the Pacific off an aircraft carrier, and the other fought the Nazi's in Italy landing at Anzio. Both survived the war and had great lives afterwards. My dad was about to be sent to Korea, and at the last minute got pulled from his unit and sent to Germany to watch those Commies on the other side of the fence. Only action my dad saw was the fight who got the beers first at the local German bar.

    War is bad, sometimes we cannot fight all the bad guys in this world. And most times, a war gets the local economy going. Before WW II, were only a handful of millionaires in this country. The govt. got many small company owners to become millionaires by turning their business into a war factory. Now, our politicians and their family members are becoming multi-millionaires by knowing inside information of who will get a govt. contract to supply goods to our troops.

    There will always be a Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, Castro, or Bin Laden who believe they can takeover the world and spread terror. The world is changing. Our past enemies become our allies and trade partners decades later.

    One can see labels of "Made in Vietnam" on clothing items. Maybe Ms. Ryan's can think of all those young boys who died or lost limbs on Vietnam battlefields, which turned into a factory sites where items are made to be sold in America. Just look at Nike, where they have Vietnam kids making ten cents an hour to make several hundred dollars of Air Jordan's. One day we will have american companies making products in Iraq. Now, Vietnam is one of our allies, and China is their enemy.

    War is not just countries overseas. As we have seen already, today's war is brought to our streets. War is fought over for three reasons in history, land, religion or over a woman. When it comes to a religion war, that is the most "all out war" we could see that could take the highest toll of human life.

    I always think the worst insult to a Vet is offering a free meal on Memorial Day to them. Those restaurant who do that, should be a shame of themselves. How about offering a job position at their corporate office to the Vet! How about corporations chipping in and building homes for Vets who are poor? One out of every three women leaving the military, become homeless. How about giving proper medical care to our Vets?

    This should not happen in a country has the most wealth in the world.

    But all you people keep on voting these politicians back into office who never spent a day in the battlefield and will never have any of their sons serve in the military. Instead, these politicians will keep selling out America by sending american jobs overseas so their corporate friends and themselves make more money.

    Politicians and Lawyers, they are the ones ruining this country.

    I always said if we need to get this country back on its feet and get the people back to work, we need to take out all the corrupt politicians, lawyers and judges in this country out in the street, and hang them!. The injustices on Americans today are at an all time high. Spied on, over-taxed, bullied by our politicians and those who are in power. And we have thousands of graves of dead american soldiers who gave their lives for this! Sometimes the bad guys were not overseas, but right here in our govt. Give it some time, we will have drones dropping bombs on people in this country who are label by the govt. as "anti-american" because they used their 1st amendment right to question the powers of our leaders.

    What else Memorial Day means?

    Mattress sales, taking the boat out on the lake, visiting the in-laws you hate, war movies around the clock on AMC, going to a baseball game and paying $200 for a family of four, going to a Disney park, beginning of the hurricane season, cooking a bar-b-que in your backyard, watching Indy 500, or knowing that summer has arrived.

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