Let's Recall for a Moment Why We Even Have a Memorial Day Observance in This Country

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13

I have some random thoughts on this 53rd Memorial Day (meaning I have been blessed enough to be converting oxygen to carbon all that time).

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Here they are.


Back when I was younger this day was officially the kickoff of the summer season. Living in the state of Michigan, that is a pretty big deal around here. Winters in these parts sometimes seem to last for six to eight months and when things begin to turn green and flowers bloom this holiday was the first signal that cabin fever was about to end, if it had not already ended.

Of course, I was just a youngster, and youngsters are allowed to have vapid and shallow feelings.

However, now and really for close to two decades, this day has started to grind at me. To nag at me. Slowly, but surely, I have come to the realization that honoring people for one day who made the ultimate sacrifice for us to live as we so choose is really not enough. We can never truly repay the debt to the families of those who have lost a soldier and combat wearing the uniform of the United States military.

Truly, it is impossible to do.

Through the fog of wading through Memorial Day ad sales for furniture and cars, we as simple and mortal human beings are afraid to even contemplate the cost that some have given to secure freedom for all. Thinking of that subject is so very heavy and the weight of it too great to bear that I don’t blame people for focusing on going to the beach and having a barbecue or just taking a moment to catch one’s breath in the off-center world that we live in today.

As I get older, I become more grateful for those men and women who laid down their lives to benefit people whom they most likely would have never met if their life had continued. I attribute this gratefulness to the gaining of wisdom with the incredible gift of life that God has given me and that I have not always been as thankful for as I should be.

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I should have been more grateful all along as so should my country. We need to do better and it needs to be in the form of more than just a one-day observance.

I need to do more and I hope with today’s observance I can commit myself to the task of helping remember those who committed their lives to the ideals that this country stood for and keep their names and memories alive. This is the only way I know how to thank those who had more guts than I ever will or even dream of having.

So here I am reposting a part of my offering from 2018 called Does Memorial Day Still Matter? 2018 Edition. which recalls two gents from my high school who served and perished in the line of duty.

This year I wanted to add to this and not just ask the question but actually give examples of why it still does. Actually, I wanted to tell you about two people from my hometown that have died in the service of our country.

Mark A. Lange, LT, USN and Army Cpl. Walter B. Howard II.

These two men were both from Fraser, Michigan and killed in combat.

Lt Lange was shot down over Syria on December 4, 1983. That’s right…1983. We were not in a time of war technically but the United States was offering assistance fighting terrorism even back then. Lt. Lange plane was shot down and died in the aftermath.

Army Cpl. Walter B. Howard II was a classmate of mine in High School. I might have met him once or twice but I did not know him at all. He died on Feb 6, 2006, after he sustained injuries in Ashraf, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his M1 Abrams tank.

One of them. died in an undeclared war over 35 years ago and one died while fighting in the surge in Iraq 12 years ago.

They both are heroes and they are worth remembering along with all of their comrades who have fight for this country all throughout its history.

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Please take a moment on this day to pray for all those families and friends who are reminded each and every day of the loss of their loved ones. Memorial Day is not just one day out of 365 days in a year for them but each and every day.

Thank you


Hello there, maybe you have some thoughts on any of this, you can always let me know by checking out my bio RIGHT HERE and let me know via email or multiple social media platforms. Also, you can check out my FACEBOOK LIVE every Mon-Wed-Fri at 10 EDT over at Duke Over America and let me know what you think in real-time.

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