As a veteran that served 24 years in the United States Navy, Memorial Day has a different meaning to me. Many have forgotten what the day is about. It isn’t about an extra day off or a big sale at a store.
The official definition of Memorial Day is meant for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle, or as a result of a wound sustained in battle. I do not remember only those that have died while in combat, I also remember those that died in training, while working in the defense of our freedom, and even those that have lost their lives as a result of the scars they brought home from those wars.
On this Memorial Day, I want you to remember those that I served with, those that were friends, those I knew, those I worked with, and those that I helped to train. For they gave the Ultimate Sacrifice while serving in the Defense of our Liberty, Freedom, and American way of life. I ask you to not to just read these names, but to look just one name up and see what they gave to this country and to each and everyone one of us. I remember them every day, today I want you to remember not only these heroes,
but the loss their families will always bear.
I will post the names of MY WARRIORS in the comment section for this article on eParisExtra’s website, Facebook, and Instagram pages, then I will share it to my social media pages. I ask that you list the names of YOUR WARRIORS, your family members, your friends, that served and never came back home to their loved ones. Then share the posts on your social media page so they will never be forgotten to the rest of us.
“I do not know or recall all those that came before me to pave the path that I was honored to walk. They shall forever have my utmost respect, my thanks, and my remembrance always” JD Marrs
In 1989 I was onboard the USS Iowa (BB-61) installing some equipment for the Commander of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean not long after the explosion in turret #2 that took the lives of 47 sailors. It was a somber time and the first time that Memorial Day really hit me in the face. It forever changed the way I looked at this day. I read this somewhere years ago and reworded it to fit my thoughts, feelings and to be my 10 personal ground rules as a Veteran for the Memorial Day Weekend:
1. Do not wish me a Happy Memorial Day, there is nothing happy about those dying for our freedom.
2. It is not a holiday, it is a remembrance.
3. If you want to know the true meaning of Memorial Day, then visit Arlington, your local VA, or the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial, not the sale at the store.
4. Do not tell me how great any one political power is. Tell me about one of the names I have listed, one you served with, or someone in your family that sacrificed it all.
5. Attend a Bell Ceremony or a Reef Laying Ceremony and shed some tears.
6. If you have never put on a uniform, don't tell me you understand. I have carried the burden too many times for my warriors who now stand their post with God.
7. Remember the Fallen for all the Good they did while they were here.
8. Reach out and let a Veteran know you are there as we are losing too many after their service is over.
9. Before you start your BBQ or feast, say a prayer out loud so all can hear the thanks you give to those that are gone, for all the families that have lost, for the freedoms we have because of their sacrifices. Now you can eat in remembrance.
10. Veterans, raise that drink to your brother and sister, you do not need to say a word because everyone knows what you are thinking and the tear that goes with it.
I wrote this poem after losing a close friend and one of My Warriors.
“You & I”
You are my brother
I remember you every day.
You will never be forgotten
I will tell all your sacrifice.
You touched my soul
I shall not weep your loss.
…for You know I would have taken your place.
Lastly, if you want to hear the best Memorial Day message that pays tribute to all that have fallen in our Nation’s Freedom, listen to this 10 minute “Memorial Day 2018: Remember Me” post from the Jocko Podcast. I had the honor of being stationed and serving with Jocko Willink. http://jockopodcast.com/2018/05/28/memorial-day-2018-remember-me/