Tag: Memorial Day

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.

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Memory and Forgetfulness

 

For a metropolis of 500,000, Mesa, Arizona still has a small-town feel. Each year, veterans’ organizations and community members gather to honor our war dead at the original Mesa Cemetery, established in 1891. This year, the downtown posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion hosted the ceremony. The ceremony was simple and dignified, conducted in unseasonably mild weather.

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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.

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Member Post

 

Reading the many moving Memorial Day tributes/reminders online, there are two I’d like to draw to Ricochet’s attention. First is Memorial Day tribute by a pastor, Bob Russell. Couple of observations: I recall the same respectful silence in theater after watching Saving Private Ryan he describes; he’s right that it would be good required viewing […]

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Member Post

 

I’ve posted this poem on previous Memorial Days. There are several versions online, as well as several claims of authorship. However, it’s always been “Anonymous” as far as I know: Freedom Isn’t Free More

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Daughter’s Band in DC Memorial Day Parade

 

I believe it was Senator Steve Daines who nominated my daughter’s school band to play in Washington, DC this coming Monday. The band, which ends its yearly spring concert with a hearty rendition of “Stars and Stripes Forever,” was honored to accept. Glacier High School will be wearing green uniforms, and we can follow along with the event live here.

Of course I’m happy and proud, but I’m also looking forward to having my kid back safe from DC next week, done with plane rides, and ready to graduate on the first of June.

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Memorial Day Weekend “To Do” List

 

You have been bombarded with messages about sales, specials, and entertainment opportunities for this weekend. Please add the following items at the top of your list for the weekend, slipping the big sale a little ways down the page.

If you have not seen the HBO movie Taking Chance (included in Amazon Prime, available elsewhere), watch it. Have a box of tissues or a couple hankies handy. If you had other entertainment plans, watch this trailer, and reassess your priorities for the weekend:

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Remembering the Boys of Pointe du Hoc this Memorial Day

 

Friday’s online Wall Street Journal carried the usual Saturday column by Peggy Noonan. Aside from having been one of President Reagan’s speechwriters, Noonan is not ordinarily one of my favorites, but today’s column, “Which Way to Pointe du Hoc?” really hit home for me for some very personal reasons.

One of the main reasons I signed up for a D-Day to the Rhine tour was that I wanted to stand on the spot where President Reagan stood when he delivered one of the most powerful speeches ever delivered by any President, “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc,” with a number of the survivors of that truly miraculous assault straight up a 150-foot cliff sitting on the front row. There is a video of that speech and every time I watch it I realize anew that it represents the very essence of what Memorial Day is all about. I have been trying to read everything I can get my hands on about this particular part of D-Day, and every time I find something else, I learn about one or more miracles which took place that day; courage and bravery beyond mere words. They were The Boys of Pointe du Hoc. Thank God for them. And all their Brothers in Arms.

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Member Post

 

Memorial Day is a day to remember, a day In Memoriam to those who have died in service to country. Some talented citizens make beautiful tributes with patriotic quotes set to stirring orchestration that never fail to stir my gratitude and grief for those lost and those who love and miss them still. This year […]

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Friday Food and Drink Post: For The Gift I Have Received, I Am Truly Thankful

 

File:World War I veteran Joseph Ambrose, 86, at the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982.jpgThis Monday, May 27, is the nation’s officially designated Memorial Day. My mother-in-law never called it anything but Decoration Day, and never celebrated it on any day other than May 30 in any given year.

The day has an interesting history, and yet its essence today is simple and can be distilled as follows: Let us remember, in all the ways we can, those members of the United States Armed Forces who’ve given their all, so that we may live in peace and freedom. One of the ways we do that, in context and with love and appreciation in our hearts, is to enjoy the day with our family and friends. We may attend community and church events. Often, we picnic and have fun. Sometimes we mourn a personal and private loss. But always, we remember and are thankful.

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Code Talkers

 

We are between Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. The first is a minor holiday intended to honor those serving in our military. The second is a major federal holiday and is intended to commemorate our honored war dead. A recent conversation with a younger veteran led to talk of his grandfathers’ service in World War II, and that in turn led to a broader reflection on a seldom remembered or only partially understood group of Americans in the two world wars.

The younger veteran’s Hopi grandfather was a tank mechanic. His Navaho grandfather was a code talker in the Marine Corps. As we talked, I mentioned recently learning of the original WWI code talkers, a small team of Choctaw Indians in the American Expeditionary Forces. The Native American veteran replied that there were Hopi and other tribes also used as code talkers in WWII. It is just that the Navajos were the largest group and became the center of historical attention.

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Member Post

 

The third Sunday in May on my calendar is called Armed Forces Day. It used to be called “I am an American” Day. It is a day to honor and receive into the American family, all those who choose to come to the United States and become citizens. Turner Classic Movies has been featuring for […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America return with three crazy martinis. First, they shake their heads as President Trump tweets that those who died for our country would be really proud of his economic record. They also roll their eyes as liberal politicians and media figures express outrage over images […]

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How I Remember This Day

 

Our dead brothers still live for us and bid us think of life,
not death-of life to which in their youth
they lent the passion and joy of the spring.
As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again
and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers
and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more.
a note of daring, hope and will.
I see them now, as once I saw them on this earth.
They are the same bright figures that come also before your eyes and when I speak of those who were my brothers,
the same words describe yours.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes ~

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Quote of the Day: Memorial Day

 

“The troops, the air, and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.” — Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower’s message in case of failure at D-Day

Over 25,000 of the nation’s finest lost their lives in the D-Day invasion. What a staggering loss. The enormity of it all — including Eisenhower’s willingness to embrace the responsibility for it — astounds me.

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Member Post

 

So, I just have to ask. Ricochet is a center-right social media platform, with editors curating the public-facing, main feed between members’ and contributors’ posts. More

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Member Post

 

I posted this poem a few years back, and I think it’s time for a Memorial Day repost. There are several versions online, as well as several claims of authorship. However, it’s always been “Anonymous” as far as I know: Freedom Isn’t Free More

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Member Post

 

Memorial Day, for some, is nothing more than an excuse to have a picnic and get drunk. It is the unofficial beginning of summer and it is a three day weekend (woo hoo!). Somewhere in the last few decades it became passé to honor the fallen heroes of war. Sure, people will go to parades, […]

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Tropical storm Alberto is on its way, and will soon be bearing down upon the Florida Panhandle. The path of landfall looks like it might be headed for my neighborhood… so I went out earlier and put away the outdoor porch cushions and pried up the assorted sizes of American flags that were flying in […]

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