May 29, 2011

There Must Always Be A Day Of Rememberance

Why do we bother with memorials and remembrances? Why should we care whether or not events peculiar to our culture are observed for all time by future generations?

Unfortunately things have progressed to the point in America where perhaps we need to have discussion like this. Memorials have been observed for thousands of years. The earliest indications of human existence are recorded in some part due to man's need to remember (also to serve some rather colossal egos!), to hold near and dear the memory of important lives and events in order for the culture to survive; not merely to survive - but to remain intact. We can survive, but will we recognize the end result in a few generations?

Will the image displayed above pertaining to the war my father and his brothers fought have the same emotional impact on my great grandchildren as it does for me? That question is why memorials are created, to preserve the values held dear by one generation and to pass them on to the next.

One of the earliest surviving memorials is the Passover, as detailed in the Book of Exodus. The observation of Passover celebrates the deliverance of Israel from the tyranny of an Egyptian Pharaoh approximately thirty-five hundred years ago. The Hebrew Feasts and holidays, in effect their memorials, are what helped keep the identity of the Jews alive despite two thousand years of persecution, murder and dispersion.

Our Memorial Day started as Decoration Day on May 30, 1868, to honor the dead from the Civil War. There have been many wars since. In all, since 1775 over 1,316,000 men and women have sacrificed their lives for our country.

War of Independence ----(1775-1783)------25,000
Quasi-War -----------------(1798-1800)-----------20
Barbary Wars -------------(1801-1815)------------35
War of 1812 ---------------(1812-1815)-------20,000
1st Seminole War ---------(1817-1818) -----------30
2nd Seminole War --------(1835-1842) -------1,500
Mexican-American War - (1846-1848) -----13,283
3rd Seminole War ---------(1855-1858)-----------26
Civil War --------------------(1861-1865) ---623,026
Indian Wars ----------------(1865-1898)----------919
Spanish-American War ----(1898)-------------2,446
Philippine War -------------(1898-1902) -------4,196
Boxer Rebellion ------------(1900-1901)-----------37
Mexican Revolution -------(1914-1919)-----------35
Haiti Occupation ----------(1915-1934)----------146
World War 1 ---------------(1917-1918)------116,708
World War 2 ---------------(1941-1945)-----407,316
Korean War ----------------(1950-1953)------36,914
Vietnam War ---------------(1964-1973)------58,169
El Salvador -----------------(1980-1992)-----------20
Persian Gulf Support ------(1987-1988)-----------39
Invasion of Grenada -------(1983)------------------19
Invasion of Panama --------(1989)-----------------40
Persian Gulf War ------------(1991) ---------------269
Somalia -----------------------(1992-1993) ---------43
Bosnia -------------------------(1995) ----------------12
Afghanistan ------------------(2002-2010) -----1,514+
Iraq ----------------------------(2003-2010) -----4,454

It is said that men do not necessarily die in combat for their Cause or their Country; but they will die for their friends.

Jesus said in John 15:13

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for His friends".
If we are to be true to the precepts that founded this Nation, then we must also accept the sacrifice that our friends made for us. That is why there is a Memorial Day - a Day of Remembrance for our friends: past, present and future. We will never forget the blood sacrifice that Christ made for our sins and we must never forget the blood sacrifice that our vets made for our freedom. To forget these sacrifices is to deny what we are.

And then what will we be?


Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Great piece Sig94 ... Thank You!

USA_Admiral said...

Great job Sig.

The discussion is long over due.

Gorges Smythe said...

Excellent post. May God bless You as we remember THEM.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Spot-on Sig and thanks for the post!

sig94 said...

Thank you all.
Before we left for church this morning I emailed my daughter who is in Afghanistan stationed in a FOB outside of Kandahar. They are aware of the tremendous support they enjoy back home. Once they return they too will become part of the remembrance. We remember the heroes who gave their life and limb. They remember their mates. A different sort of remembrance in intensity and experience perhaps, but a loving, faithful recollection that should never end.

Subvet said...

Very good. Unfortunately too many Americans think no further than the barbecue and beer cooler on Memorial Day.

But perhaps things will change, the returning vets from our present conflicts will have a greater appreciation of our the meaning of words like "sacrifice", "patriotism", "honor", etc. All the words that have fallen into disrepute with many of our fellow contrymen.

Maybe an unintended consequence of these times will be a rebirth of those values.

We can hope.

FWIW, I'll remember your daughter & her comrades in my prayers tonight.

sig94 said...

Subvet - FWIW? It's worth everything. Prayers are precious and I thank you all.

Anonymous said...

God bless you, boy. Well said.

Kid said...

Beautiful stuff Sig.

Also, as Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is not passed down from one generation to the next through the blood stream. Freedom must be fought for and defended by each generation, otherwise you will be setting on your front porch in your old age, telling your children and your grand children what it was like to live in America, when men were free."

Knowledge is not passed down either. In this way, animals actually have a leg up on humans. Humans are born dumb as rocks and couldn't possibly survive on their own.

sig94 said...

Vicar - thank you.

sig94 said...

Kid - if only we had another Ronald Reagan waiting in the wings.

But then again, perhaps we do...

Time will tell.

christian soldier said...

beautifully done- and thank you for the statistic list---

GoodnightVienna said...

Beautifully said, Sig. Very moving. Sad to say that in England we've seen an increase in vandalism to our war memorials in the past few years, not to mention abuse of our AF from certain quarters. When ordinary people are present they don't get away with it but govt & courts don't seem to be in synch with the people.

sig94 said...

CS - The stats are sobering. Soldiering is a dangerous occupation. Even in peacetime, over 1,000 soldiers a year are killed just in training and accidents.

sig94 said...

GV - It's truly our own fault. The quality of parenting and our schools has gone to hell. That's where the kids are taught values and culture. If no one teaches them about honor, why are we surprised when they act dishonorably?

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