According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: We Must Honor Their Sacrifices

Friday, May 25, 2012

We Must Honor Their Sacrifices

Since Monday is Memorial Day Sam and I would like to salute all of our veterans living or dead. So many men and women have sacrificed their lives for us and for our country. It is fitting to pay homage to what they did. 

Did you know that 405,399 Americans died in WWII from combat and other causes and 670,846 were wounded? 116,516 died in WWI and 204,002 were wounded. 36,516 died in Korea and 92,134 were wounded. 58,209 died in Vietnam and 153,303 were wounded. The death toll in Iraq was more than 4,800 and the wounded totaled at least 32,000. Afghanistan figures are hard to pin down but more than 2,000 have died there and the number of wounded is no doubt many times higher. There also are scores of smaller wars or skirmishes too numerous to mention where Americans also died. 

But what’s really amazing is that 562,000 soldiers died during the Civil War where Americans killed Americans, and 418, 206 were wounded. For what? To end slavery as many suggest? To protect state’s rights? To protest high tariffs on foreign trade? 

An article titled Memorial Day History, found on the internet but with no author’s name, says that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. Many cities and towns have laid claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day, but some women's groups in the South probably started the tradition of honoring our war dead by decorating graves before the end of the Civil War. Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, 

“Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971, to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays).” 

As you probably know, many towns and cities still hold Memorial Day parades and sponsor other activities,  but observances of Memorial day have diminished and thy aren’t what they used to be. Too many of us are at beach or checking out the sales at the malls. A lot of people, particularly younger ones who don’t know any better, think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. 

Quoting again from the aforementioned internet article, “There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights.” 

If you’re interested, a National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed in Dec 2000, asking that at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, all Americans voluntarily and informally pause from whatever they are doing to observe a moment of silence or listening to Taps. That certainly seems reasonable. 

Some people, including members of Congress think the three-day weekend observance of Memorial Dy takes away from the importance of Memorial Day. Those people have proposed to restore observation of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May as a stand-alone day. 

Three bags of poop on us if we forgot those who have sacrificed their lives so that others may live.

No comments:

Post a Comment