by Rees Lloyd
May 26, 2023
Memorial Day is a day to remember what should be remembered every day–the service and sacrifice of the more than 1.3-million American veterans who have given their lives in war so that we, their posterity, might live as free Americans. (See attached below a chart of casualties in all the wars from the War of Independence to Iraq and Afghanistan.)
But Memorial Day 2023 differs from past Memorial Day observances. Our nation is more divided on this Memorial Day than perhaps any time since the Civil War. Indeed, the country has been experiencing accelerating transformation from being “one nation under God” into a divided nation without God, resulting in seething, increasingly violent, animus and mutual distrust.
The original national motto —“E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of Many, One”) is scarcely ever referenced, even as a goal, let alone as a reality. Cries of “racist!” fill the air at any disagreement over policy and social interaction. Riots and looting, and the threat thereof — forms of “social extortion” in the name of “social justice” —replace good faith attempts to seek solutions for the common good.
The goal of the original Civil Rights Movement of a “color-blind society” in which all are treated equally under the law regardless of “color,” has been replaced by a creed of color-consciousness underlying every governmental or social action.
The goal of “equality” under the law, with all being treated equally without regard for race, has been abandoned in favor of all actions being consciously based on race, and “racial preference,” in the name now of “equity,” (i.e., equal results) — instead of “equality,” (i.e., equal opportunity).
Treating Americans differently based upon their race is by definition “racism,” even when postured as “anti-racism” in search of “equity”
The simple, undeniable reality is that all racism is evil—no matter the color of the perpetrator, no matter the color of the victim.
Certain truths endure and must be recognized, perhaps especially on Memorial Day, if the American people are going to continue to live in freedom:
The first enduring truth of our American freedom is that freedom is not free, but has been purchased by the blood of American patriots, over 1.3-million of whom have given their lives in defense of our freedom.
We Americans of this era owe a great debt to those American patriots who came before us, veterans who gave their lives for freedom. We pay that debt to those Americans who came before us by what we are willing to do to preserve freedom for the Americans who will come after us.
Maj. General Patrick H. Brady (USA, ret.), Medal of Honor recipient (Vietnam) is considered to be America’s most decorated living veteran. Along with his daughter, Army veteran Meghan Brady Smith, Gen. Brady is the author of the memoir, “Dead Men Flying: Victory in Viet Nam, The Legend Of ‘Dust-off:’ America’s Battlefield Angels”). Gen. Brady reminds us on Memorial Day:
“We have no ‘titles of nobility’ under our Constitution. America’s ‘nobles’ are our veterans. On Memorial Day, what is most important, indeed, most vital, is that we remember, honor, and are grateful for, the courage, love, service and sacrifice of America’s veterans in defense of our freedom—especially those more than 1.3-million veterans who have given their lives defending our country. They are the soul of freedom, the guardians of our Constitution, and the vault for the values of our nation.”
Similarly, the late-General Norman (“Stormin’ Norman”) Schwarzkopf, Commander of forces in the Persian Gulf War (“Desert Storm”), succinctly stated an enduring truth: “Some things are worth living for. Some things are worth dying for. One of those things is freedom.”
We Americans on this Memorial Day must honor those veterans who gave their lives for our freedom, and we must ask ourselves: Are we Americans still a people willing to die to preserve freedom, as did those 1.3-million Americans who gave their lives for us?
I attach below data on those who have given their lives for our freedom in all the wars. Each one of those veterans — and their families — should be remembered and honored on Memorial Day, and every day.
I attach also the greatest war poem ever written, Flanders Fields. Although written in 1915 during the Battle of Ypres in WWI, it is as relevant, compelling, and moving today as it was then. This is most especially true of the final lines, which call on us to take up the “torch” of freedom from the falling hands of those dying, and warns: “If ye break faith with us who die/We shall not sleep, though poppies grow/In Flanders fields.”
If we are to remain free, we Americans must not “break faith” with those 1.3-million American veterans who have given their lives for America, for freedom. May God bless and keep each and all of them; and may we Americans never forget, and always honor them.
Finally, may we have the courage, the integrity, the love of God, family, comrades, and country, to make the choice they did if we are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
FOR GOD AND COUNTRY FOREVER; SURRENDER TO TYRANNY—NEVER!
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE — REMEMBER THE AMERICANS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN WAR THAT WE MIGHT BE FREE:
American Wars: Killed In Action
War of 1812……………………..2,260
Spanish American War………. 7,166
World War I…………………… 116,708
World War II…………………… 408,206
Persian Gulf War………………..363
TOTAL KIA: 1,342,219
TOTAL MISSING IN ACTION: 83,126
In Flanders Fields
by [Canadian] Major John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
[For the full story on Flanders Fields and the Poppy tradition]
© 2023 Rees Lloyd – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Rees Lloyd: [email protected]
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Author: Rees Lloyd
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