Tomorrow is the most important of America's ignored major holidays. Cinco de Mayo gets more attention, more people turn out for the drunken debauchery of St. Patrick's Day, and the liberal elite media ooh and ahh over the fake celebration of the fraudlent Kawanza Hut Day...
Memorial Day doesn't even come close to the public awareness and participation of these events. Perhaps it’s because on Memorial Day the purpose is to honor the dead, be reflective, somber, grateful and respectful for an hour or two, or even a few minutes.
Jack Kennedy said something along that lines that… a nation can be measured by how it remembers and respects its heroes; America fails miserably amid its intentional inattention to the sacrifices made on our behalf by generations of patriots. Even in this time of war and sacrifice the vast majority of Americans will ignore the purpose and solemnity of tomorrow, forsaking it for avarice, sloth, and gluttony.
My fellow Marine, friend and author, Charles Henderson (Marine Sniper, Silent Warrior, and the just published Goodnight Saigon) offers this remembrance:
I hope that you have a great Memorial Day weekend. While you’re having your holiday, please remember why we set aside this day. Also, while we honor those veterans who lost their lives, remember too those who survived but with disabilities. Today, many of them survive on the grace of the nation.
Unfortunately, the grace given to them has become more and more shallow, while more new faces see war, endure the battles, fall or join those ranks disabled from their wounds. While applauding the heroism and sacrifice of our veterans, cheering them into battle, Congress and the President busily cut veterans benefits, and look to save even more budget dollars by taking away from the veterans. Congress will close VA hospitals, reduce benefits for disabled, reduce benefits for retirees, but will give Viagra to sexual predators through Medicaid.
Veterans and retirees must buy Viagra, by the way, along with many other drugs such as Nexium (for acid reflux disease—a common ailment). Convicts and other Medicaid recipients get this stuff free.
At any rate, the glad handing and back stabbing are nothing new.
When Rudyard Kipling’s son was killed as a soldier serving in India in 1916, he wrote the below poem, along with a few others that make commentary about military service, and a grateful nation. Such treatment to the valiant who sacrificed their lives for a nation that offered lip-service but little substance offended him too.
So, as you enjoy the Memorial Day Weekend, think of the veterans who died, who live today disabled, and think about the poem below.
Semper Fidelis, Frater Infinitas,
Charles W. "Bill" Henderson
by Rudyard Kipling
I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!