On Behalf of A Grateful Nation

By Posted on: May 26th, 2014 in Featured Article, News 6 Comments »



I remember it like it was yesterday. The honor guard took the flag from my father’s casket, folded it, and saluted it. Then one of them knelt down in front of me, speaking softly as he placed it in my hands. Although there were more words spoken, what stood out to me was when he said he was presenting the flag, “On behalf of a grateful nation.”

Daddy had died just a few days earlier … on Memorial Day. Every Memorial Day since, my thoughts harken back to him and to every veteran that has ever stood in harms way for me to be able to enjoy the freedoms that we all share as Americans.

My Dad was a 21 year veteran of the US Army and a World War II vet who fought in the South Pacific. He never talked about the war but I vividly remember him having bad dreams, where he would talk in his sleep, sometimes raising his voice, and often waking up in a cold sweat.

He had experienced some terrible things during that war, but he was one of the fortunate ones who got to come home. More than 407,300 American soldiers did not. All total, in the history of the United States, over 1,300,000 military personnel have died in service to their country during war time and military conflicts.

Today is the day we set aside to honor their memory. Daddy chose to honor it even in death. His final request was to be buried with his comrades. We honored that request and he was laid to rest in the National Cemetery in Florence, South Carolina.

We who are alive should take time from whatever we’re doing on this day to stop and remember them for their supreme sacrifice. In fact, many Americans are not aware that President Clinton initiated a ‘National Moment of Remembrance’ in 2000 for this purpose.

The presidential resolution asked that all Americans, “Pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday … honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values.” President Bush continued the practice and asked that all Americans as well as the news media observe the moment at 3 p.m. in all time zones.

So as a part of “a grateful nation why not stop your activities today for a brief moment (if possible at 3 p.m.) and have a silent ‘moment of remembrance’ for all those who have given their lives so that we may enjoy this day with our friends and family. God bless their memory and

God Bless the USA!

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  1. wpleagle says:

    Amen, Brother. It is sad how few Americans today take the time to remember those who fell so that we may be free. The older I get, the more I value their sacrifice.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Sounds like a plan. I’ll be thinking of my father this day, also.

  3. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    May Almighty God hold them all in the palm of His hand and bless all those who have served and are serving this great country. God bless America!

  4. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Memorial Day or Decoration Day has long been a part of the American culture. History records the practice became noticed in 1866 after the American Civil War in Columbus, Mississippi when locals visited the town cemetery and placed flowers on graves that fought for both sides. It was adopted a few years later in the North by the “Army of the Republic” a large veterans association.

    But perhaps the very first Decoration Day ever recorded was held a few months after the battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania by the sitting President Abraham Lincoln. I have always thought this address, albeit short, was poignant and heartfelt, should be the model that we all go by.

    He stated:

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Abraham Lincoln
    November 19, 1863

    No matter the politics or the reasons they came to be, President Lincoln was trying desperately to preserve the union. Speaking only for me, I am glad he did.

    My fervent prayer is that Americans remember the sacrifice made by those who have fallen so we may live in a country that provides us so many freedoms. Politics aside and no matter the scandal of the day – this country is still the greatest on earth. When you look at the numbers of those who have fallen fighting on our behalf it should be sobering. And speaking from experience, walking into a combat zone is not a natural act. Yet, so many men and women have served and still some gave everything. Today is the day we remember them.

    I believe it’s important for each of us to remember what President Lincoln said… “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.” I make no predictions about this experiment we call a country but I am blessed to be a part of it. I thank God for many things every day, but today I thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed on our people that make up the nation of the United States of America. That He placed men and women here who thought enough of me and my family that they sacrificed everything on my behalf and laid down their life so we might be free.

    May God continue to bless America.

    WDE

  5. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Thanks for posting this. Unfortunately, it seems like today is just another reason for a 3 day weekend for alot of people. And sometime seems like the main thing is Memorial Day sales. We need to remember those who fought and died for our liberties and keep those who are standing between us and the bad guys in our prayers.