By Ray Cardello for May 30, 2021. Season 1 / Post 134
Since the early days of our existence, men and women have stepped up when called upon to fight for good and right. Whether for our independence, to eliminate slavery, or to fight fascism and terrorism worldwide, we have sent our sons and daughters into harm’s way. They have never questioned the why, only what they needed to do to accomplish the mission. Drafted or volunteered, they were all equal in the pursuit of a successful end to their mission.
Over 1.2 Million American military personnel have given the ultimate sacrifice. Over half of that total died in the Civil War when Americans of the North fought their fellow Americans from the South. The Union Army had more casualties but still succeeded in bringing the Confederates to their knees and ending slavery in America. Unfortunately, some do not recognize the purpose of the Union troops and still believe this country was founded to preserve slavery. There is a list of 300,000 names of Union dead that will prove these people wrong.
As a country, we are still very young. That has not stopped the world from calling upon us to lead the forces against evil on numerous occasions. There are many pieces of land around the globe with white crosses marking the final resting spots of American warriors who did not return home. Too many moms, dads, husbands, and wives received a visit from a military liaison informing them of the death of their son or daughter instead of the warm embrace they yearned for.
In Washington, there have always been Hawks and Doves. There have been those who are quick to fight and those who strive to avoid conflict. The interesting dichotomy is that those backers of the fight are not always the strongest supporter of the troops. Republicans have always been for a strong military as a deterrent to conflict, while the Democrats tend to scale back the military while at the same time involving Americans in battle.
Memorial Day is not a time for politics. The Red, White, and Blue that our men and women in uniform are willing to die for have no Left or Right. Regardless of which party is in power, we can always count on our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard to have our backs. There is nothing we could do that would be enough to thank those who wore the uniform. Whether they came home as survivors or were a casualty of the battle, they left a part of themselves on the battlefield. They are forever changed.
Memorial is one day on the calendar. The military deserves our thanks, respect, and gratitude every day. They ask for nothing, but they are entitled. As you enjoy this weekend, remember why we are celebrating. Give thanks to veterans everywhere for the country and life we enjoy and probably take for granted.
My Dad was a member of the Army Air Corps and served in the Philippines. Like most who served in World War II, he never spoke about the time he served abroad. He volunteered to serve and was one of the lucky to come home. Here’s to the Greatest Generation. Here’s to all the brothers and sisters who have served before or after. It seems trivial to what you gave us, but today we raise a glass to you—a tribute of thanks, respect, love, and gratitude. May we live a life worthy of your sacrifice.