Monday, May 29, 2017

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Hey You!  Put that burger and beer down for a minute and shut up and say to yourself something that resembles a prayer or some form of thankfulness to people you never even knew who were real dare devils and went to some foreign country where they couldn’t   even speak the language held up a gun that failed to save their own life.  Yeah!  That is what Memorial Day is all about.  Not the latest sale at the department store or a nice   barbecue with   your buddies.  It is about saying thanks to all the strangers you never met who died with an American flag sewed onto their clothes with their own blood soaked into the stars and stripes.

You say to yourself, who in   their right mind would do something like that?  Who would risk the    one   life   they have for anyone no less for some cause in some foreign country?  It does sound crazy but we call those American soldiers brave representatives of our country and it can make you sick when you realize the amount of   handsome and beautiful able bodied young people died in some war somewhere.  Go to Washington and visit Arlington National Cemetery and just look out at the sea of thousands of white tombstones lined up tightly and efficiently of rows and rows of some of the most famous soldiers who have died fighting for this country. It   will make you feel sick.  Then you have to think about all the unknown soldiers   scattered all over the world without a proper burial and the soldiers who are buried next to their wives and moms.

I love to look at the old veterans of war.  Those old guys that stand in front of supermarkets wearing those little triangle hats, proudly wearing an American flag sewed to their clothes still.  They might be near 80 years old but their demeanor is still of a proud soldier.  They still have a toughness and a roughness to their faces and can still remember in detail the day and the time they gallantly fought and survived some senseless   battle somewhere in the world.  On Memorial Day we should thank those guys and listen to their stories and donate money to whatever cause or battle they are   representing for us today.

Unfortunately there are many young soldiers who have fought in recent wars that we need to thank too.  I wish war was just a  part of foolish history.  I wish humans who are supposed to be at the top of the food chain would have the bravery and the intelligence to work out our differences without a single act of violence.  I want to thank President Jimmy Carter who was the only recent President who is still alive who never sent a single soldier to war during his presidency.  That took a lot of courage and intelligence in a world where there seems to be always someone killing somebody somewhere sometimes for no reason at all.

Here are the number of people we need to thank in recent wars:

The Civil War  498,332   dead soldiers

World War I    146,516   dead soldiers

World War II   405,399   dead soldiers

Korea              36,574    dead soldiers

Vietnam          58,220    dead soldiers

Iraq                 4,476    dead soldiers

Afghanistan        As of October 18th, 2016, there have been 2,386 U.S. military deaths in the War in Afghanistan. 1,834 of these deaths have been the result of hostile action. 20,049 American service members have also been wounded in action during the war. In addition, there were 1,173 U.S. civilian contractor fatalities. This year there are more deaths and now a threat of nuclear war with North Korea and the Libyan government is burning the American flag in their governing halls.

Read the words inscribed in the stone base of the statue at Arlington’s Confederate War Memorial that say, "Not for fame or reward. Not for place or rank or lured by ambition or gone by necessity but in simple obedience to they understood it."

Every single person who has stepped forward to go to a place like Afghanistan or any war deserves that respect. Ok, Now you can finish your burger and drink your beer and enjoy the safe Memorial Day weekend of fun and pleasure with people you love and want to be  safe and sound in our backyards.

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