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What is the real meaning of Memorial Day

Topic closed. 16 replies. Last post 11 years ago by Rip Snorter.

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four4me's avatar - gate1
United States
Member #1701
June 18, 2003
8393 Posts
Posted: May 28, 2006, 5:36 pm - IP Logged
    New Mexico
    United States
    Member #12305
    March 10, 2005
    2984 Posts
    Posted: May 28, 2006, 7:20 pm - IP Logged

    Historically it's a day to remember the men & women who died while serving in the military.  But to many it's just the beginning of summer or the end of the school year and a 3 day weekend (not for me) to get away from work.  I guess if someone has lost a loved one, Memorial Day can be a special day to pay a visit to his or her grave, whether or not he/she was in the military. When I grew up, it was always May 30.   I'm not sure when it was changed to the last Monday in May.  Very interesting article on the main site for the Arlington National Cemetery in the visitor's section:


    For those who don't want to read it, here is what a monument to Confederate soldiers reads. I think its sentiment expresses what Memorial Day is all about...and I'm not just referring to the Civil War. 

    Not for fame or reward
    Not for place or for rank
    Not lured by ambition
    Or goaded by necessity
    But in simple
    Obedience to duty
    As they understood it
    These men suffered all
    Sacrificed all
    Dared all-and died

    Excellent post, justxploring.

    I heard a moving address from an elderly Navajo at the Memorial Day ceremony at the Santa Fe National Cemetary in 1992.  He was one of the surviving Navajo Code Talkers.

    The old man sat through all the lofty speeches by politicians and preachers referring to those lines of graves around us as heroes and freedom fighters.  When his turn came he gestured with his chin to the graves of the Navajo scouts and Apache scouts who died leading the US Army against the Apache and Navajo.

    "Don't insult me by calling the men in these graves freedom fighters.  Don't insult my people by calling them heroes.

    "Those Navajo, those Apache are buried here because their own people didn't want them after what they'd done.

    "I fought in the Pacific during WWII.  I saw many men die.  They died in many ways and for many reasons.  Some died before ever boarding the troop ships.

    "This day," he whispered, "Is our way of remembering the dead.  Some were our enemies.  Some might have been our friends.

    "Some of them died fighting for freedom, some died fighting against it."

    His arm raised and swept the sky over the cemetary.

    "Those men died for our mistakes.  We owe it to them to remember those mistakes.  Only in remembering our mistakes and through doing so, remembering the men in those graves, will they not have died in vain."


    Absorb the good, ignore the bad, weigh the ugly.

    It's about number behavior.

    Egos don't count.


    Dedicated to the memory of Big Loooser