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MEMORIAL DAY IS NOT FOR POLITICS 6 years 11 months ago #362421

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Even though I do not have Facebook or any other social media, Mrs. Ghostrider does. She read me several comments or posts or whatever they're called from people talking politics and telling us how we should spend memorial day. These are my thoughts...

Memorial Day is not a day for celebration. It is a day for observance, remembrance and appreciation. And the ONLY way to observe Memorial Day is to do so with respect and reverence, NOT by pushing a political agenda, especially one of the partisan variety.

When Private Benjamin Smallwood from Virginia spent the Christmas of 1777 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, he wasn't thinking on the politics of the day. He just wanted something to eat, a warm coat, and to keep all of his fingers and toes in tact, because he knew he would need them, and his country would need him when it came time to cross the Delaware in the spring.

Before Corporal Michael Brennan from New York lost his life in a rural area north of Manassas, Virginia, in the summer of 1861, he wasn't concerned with the morality of slavery, emancipation, or whether or not all men were equal, he already knew that they were, they all bled and died the same. He just wanted to go home, so that he could stop choosing between loyalty to his country and loyalty to his fellow countrymen.

While charging up San Juan hill in 1898, Captain Frank Frantz was not considering his position on corporate trusts or workers rights. He was too busy trying to keep as many of his men alive as he could. Inspired by his Colonel, a real hard ass by the name of Roosevelt, the Captain did his duty even though neither he nor most of his men ever came back down from that hill.

While Private Tom Kenney was dying of his wounds near The Marne River of France, in the summer of 1918, he didn't give a single thought to women's suffrage. Instead, he prayed that if he was to die, he could die at Belleau wood with his friends and the other 1800 soldiers that lost their lives that day.

When Corporal Edmund Greenwood from Wisconsin surveyed the carnage on Omaha beach in 1944, the politics from home never entered his mind, because as far as he was concerned, he would never see home again. Like the rest of his friends, he had already accepted his death even though it had not yet happened. He was right to do so, he died alone with thousands of others on a sandy beach, thousands of miles from home.

Captain Charles McVay III of the USS Indianapolis didn't know what nuclear politics were. He instead, after having his ship torpedoed, while attempting to return home, unescorted due to the secrecy of his mission, spent some of the final days of the war watching the finest men he had ever commanded, become a buffet for dozens of sharks.

Families across America spent Thanksgiving of 1950 arguing over the recent mid term elections. Sergeant Fred Burks didn't have that luxury, he spent his Thanksgiving trying to stay warm at the Chosin reservoir, fighting a war that nobody remembers today, where he eventually froze to death.

Private Allen Smith didn't care about "free love", mind expanding drugs, civil rights, marching in protests, or the morality of war, or lack thereof. He had no room in his thoughts for anything other than leaving that God forsaken jungle. After being K.I.A. in early February of 1968, he finally got to leave the jungle, albeit feet first, it was almost three weeks before his remains could be evacuated.

And last but not least, the thousands of modern soldiers serving today In the Middle East and across the world, aren't thinking about third wave feminism, border security, 2nd amendment rights, or recent electoral upsets. All they want to do is get out of the 120 degree heat, drop their 80 pound pack, wash the sand out of the crack of their ass and everywhere else, and write a letter home.

It makes me angry and leaves me heartbroken to see a day like today used as political capital. The men and women who fought to give us our very existence as the nation we are today, didn't have the luxury of entertaining political ideals themselves. They bled, suffered and died so that we could. Dead or alive, veteran or active service, they would never dream of calling themselves heroes, martyrs or even deserving of their own day of remembrance. But, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't give it to them anyway.

With the advent of social media we spend day and night, night and day, 24/7/365, bickering about every possible thing we can. From morals to values, to social justice, to political affiliation, and everything in between. I don't think it's too much to ask or expect for us to spend one day a year with our mouths shut, considering the cost of these freedoms we never had to pay for, and remembering those who gave their lives and often sacrificed them willingly, by very gory and violent means.

Have some respect and get your act together America.
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