I hope each of you has a fine Memorial Day, and that you hold in your heart its true purpose. I know that many other countries have their own version of Memorial Day, with Great Britain, Canada and several other nations observing Remembrance Day or Poppy Day, and I wish you the same.
I have always been a student of war, and an avid believer of giving our most heartfelt thank you to those who have served in our military, and especially during war. The biggest reason for that gratitude, rests in graves all over the world. Nobody has more to give than their lives, and on this Memorial Day, let’s remember those who “ gave the last full measure of their devotion”, to quote Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Memorial Day began its life as Decoration Day, when it originated after the Civil War, as a remembrance of those who died in that war, both Union and Confederate. It was a way to bring the whole country together in a joint effort to memorialize those who gave everything, and do so in an equal fashion.
I think I have seen every war movie that has ever been made. I still believe the best TV series of the 1960s, and maybe of all time, was the World War ll drama, Combat. With all of that being said, it can become easy to glorify war, and forget the horrors and inhumanity of the beast. I believe many wars have been necessary and righteous, as they took on the challenge of stopping the “beast” ( Hitler and so on), but both necessary and evil wars, rob the good people their lives.
On March 3 of 2011, I wrote and published an article entitled War Stories. It told of the first time that I felt the truth about war, deep down inside. I was a child on vacation with my parents when we visited the site of the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. We walked the fields, and read the simple plaques that told the story. I could feel the screams of anguish, and picture the little stream in front of me in the color red. That stream was described by the survivors of that battle, as running pure red, with the life blood of soldiers. 23,000 died at Antietam. As we walked those fields the pain became more and more evident. For the first time in my life, I understood the horror of war. It didn’t seem like those fields were big enough to hold 23,000 people total, much less all the living plus 23,000 dead. It is said that there were many locations on that prairie where the living, had to walk on the dead to get to where they were going.
After Antietam I continued to read about war, and watch war movies, but they forever had a new meaning for me. It’s amazing how one day on a prairie in Maryland can make a little boy grow up. Those feelings only served to increase my gratitude for those who have given their lives in the name of our great country.
God bless those who gave all they had, so others could remain free.
Micah Chapter 2, Verse 2: And they covet the fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
God Bless, Wayne