Tag: Memorial Day

May Day: Indianapolis 500

 

The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 was glorious. It was the fastest qualifying field ever and the fastest ever race on the track. And, a wonderfully positive, emotional driving star won his fourth Indy 500 checkered flag in a race that was a battle to the very last lap. The race was largely unmarred by accidents and was run entirely under bright blue skies. The very best part: the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 was before a full stadium of unmuzzled fans.

This great American tradition, signaling the start of summer, was a loud rejection of the entire leftist agenda, with the sweet smell of racing fuel and hot tires savored by Americans shoulder to shoulder in the sunshine without any sign of leftist plandemic fear and virtue signaling face coverings in the sea of normal humanity. The cherry on top was the winner; Helio Castroneves won at age 46.

True, there was a scattering of masks, frequently pulled down, in the press and event officiating crew. Yet, there was no solidarity in that stance. The masks have dropped. The official story was that track management limited fans to 40 percent, in submission to so-called public health officials or “experts.” On camera, it looked like the stands were full.

‘You Can Blame the Submarine Service’

 

One of my dad’s golfing buddies did not care too much for President George H. W. Bush. He started ranting about George H. W. Bush one afternoon, and my dad ended that part of the conversation by simply saying; “You can blame the Submarine Service.”

My dad served in the Submarine Service in the Pacific during WWII. President George H.W. Bush was rescued by a submarine after being shot down in the Pacific. George H.W. Bush spent another 30 days on the USS Finback as the Finback completed its’ war patrol. He called that experience another 30 days of terror.

Remembrance and Gratitude

 

I am grateful to those who have come before me. I am grateful for those who sacrificed themselves to build and keep the civilization we have. May God continue to preserve us through his children.

Let us take time today to remember those who came before us, those who fought and died to build and preserve the civilization we grew up in, the civilization that has rights and freedoms based on the Bible, on Christian and Jewish tradition, and on Enlightenment values. Let us remember those who fought to end slavery, whether centuries ago or in recent decades.

On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Emily Domenech joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss how she banded together with the Travis Manion Foundation to found The Honor Project and encourage Americans to gather to recognize the fallen on Memorial Day.

Member Post

 

Memorial Day is more than just the “unofficial start of summer.” It was originally a celebration of the lives sacrificed on both sides during the War Between the States. Not an official federal holiday until 1971, the history of Memorial Day is one of controversy. This guide traces the origins of this American day dedicated to remembering […]

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The Dead Man in the Background

 

I was reading Medal of Honor citations and something really stuck with me. The recipient’s heroism is often shadowed by dead men. For example, one soldier’s unit came under fire, and the lieutenant led a counter-charge before swiftly getting cut down. The recipient took over the charge, storming the position and killing several of the enemy. We know little of this dead officer, the dead man fading into the background. Could he have fought side by side with the honored recipient all the way through the end? Would he have risen to the occasion later, saving other soldiers with his service? Could he have been a successful man civilian life — a father, a gentleman, a businessman, a scholar, or even a hero in his civilian life? We don’t know, and can’t know, and he falls into a sea of stories that few remember.

This is not out of neglect or malice. There are literally so many stories of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen lost in battle that no one can remember them all. That’s why we have Memorial Day — a day for the dead men in the background of our country, the people who died so we remain free, since each of their lives matters. This is not a movie with stars and extras, this is a story of people much like us who gave up their lives.

They Also Served: Cold War Casualties

 

U.S. Army Major Arthur D. Nicholson was called the last Cold War casualty, killed in 1985, 35 years ago. I argue he was not, tell the rest of the story about his death, and offer a brief account of a young soldier who died, as I recall, in 1988. Both Major Nicholson and a number of service members who are known mostly to their families and former unit members died in defense of our nation during the long Cold War.

Major Nicholson was in uniform, accompanied by a sergeant when he was shot dead in East Germany by a Soviet soldier. His sergeant was held at gunpoint and made to watch the major bleed to death. The Soviets were making a point. Major Nicholson was a true hero, not to be confused with “true heroes” as medical personnel who actually face minimal risk of death treating COVID-19 patients.

A Small Memorial Day Ceremony

 

This afternoon at exactly 3 p.m., a small group of Scouts from Troop 466 (where I have been as Asst. Scoutmaster for 20 years) gathered in the parking lot of Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church in Silicon Valley — joining Scouts around the nation — to hold a short ceremony. Troop 466 is actually quite large — 90 boys and, now, 10 girls in a sister troop — but at the local Council’s request, we kept it to a small group, masked and keeping the proper social distancing.

We began by taking turns memorializing veterans in our own lives. Needless to say, the parents mostly spoke. I mentioned that my family tree is filled with warriors, from the French and Indian War through almost every conflict in American history up to and including Afghanistan. I dedicated the day to my great-uncle John Collins, who died in the trenches in WWI.

We then held a brief flag ceremony. The troop has an elaborate historic US flag ceremony involving a half-dozen flags from throughout our history. But they are stored in the gym and church has been shut down and locked up now for more than two months. Instead, searching for a solution, I decided to bring my father’s funeral flag.

ACF Memorial Day: Patton

 

So we’re celebrating Memorial Day and I wrote an essay on Patton, the greatest American war movie. It’s a good day to watch the movie again, and to remember the great man. In my essay, I talk about the importance of great men in times of crisis, the limits of institutions and the specific character of the modern executive, and the way this ties to American character.

If I may also recommend VDH on Patton, perhaps as good a starter for conversation as the movie itself:

Learn all about how Memorial Day started and why it’s so important to celebrate those who have given their lives defending our freedom.

On this special Memorial Day edition of the Dave Carter Show, the host takes us back to his days of driving a military show truck to special events across the country.  A veteran himself, Dave tells about his final event in the show truck, during which he accompanied the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall to a small town in southeast Texas.  Written from the perspective of that memorial, Dave tells the stories of the men and women who gave their lives for our country, and of the comrades, family, and friends they left behind. Please take about 10 minutes, and listen to this moving account.

Memorial Day: ‘Mort de la Guerre’

 

Over 40 years ago while bicycling through eastern France, I took a break and walked into a small grove of trees that grew in the middle of a wheat field. There, sitting in a small clearing was a simple stone, inscribed with the phrase “mort de la guerre.”

There was no name, no date, and no means of identification, just a simple stone marking the final resting place of someone who had fallen in defense of Liberty.

Since then, the men and women of the United States armed forces have been sent to the far corners of the world to defend the Liberty that we so often take for granted. It’s only appropriate that we dedicate at least one day a year in remembrance of those who didn’t come back.

Memory and Forgetfulness:Part 2

 

Seventy-five years ago, Operation Overlord was launched, opening a third land front in the strategic counteroffensive against Nazi Germany. The Germans were already reeling back from their high-water mark in the east (Stalingrad), and had squandered the cream of their veteran force in the Battle of Kursk during the summer of 1943. Predominantly American forces were slowly slugging their way up the length of Italy, where terrain favored competent defenders. It was finally time to open a western front with the sort of maneuver room found on the eastern front. We ought to pay tribute now, while there are still veterans of that great crusade with us.

The note here, dated July 5, was written by General Eisenhower, in case the D-Day landings failed. He praised “the troops, the air, and the navy,” and took total responsibility for the failure: “If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.” His message was ready for transmission to the Allied nations. Mercifully, it never needed to be sent.

Calling out the deeds and identities of World War II heroes, both lost and living, is especially fitting on this, “The Last Longest Day.”

Memorial Day in a Small Town

 

We stand on the shore of the lake and wait. The shore is steep and spring green, winter having only recently retreated from my small home town in northern Wisconsin. It’s overcast, but still we squint up into the grey clouds, watching and listening for the airplane.

Every year on Memorial Day, just before the start of the parade, a small private plane flies in low over the lake on the edge of town. From the plane drops a single wreath, which falls slowly to the surface where it floats briefly before sinking to the bottom.

Over on main street we can hear the high school band warming up. A few short notes from a trumpet, some squeaking of woodwinds. It’s a small band — it’s a small school — and most of those kids probably don’t want to be there, but this is what they signed up for.