Memorial Day 2019

Arlington National Cemetery

It would be hard for me to write a better post for Memorial Day than the one I wrote in 2017 after visiting Arlington National Cemetery. Many of you read that story. Your comments made the post so much better than I could do on my own. If you haven’t read that post, or if you want to peruse the comments, it’s over here.

Memorial Day is the day we in the US honor those who died in service to our country or, as one person mentioned in her comments on that older post, in service to the world. Recently, I’ve seen statements honoring these men and women get twisted into useless politically motivated arguments on social media. To those who would waste this occasion in service of a modern political agenda, I would say what my father said to me as I fidgeted while we watched parades on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day – “Be quiet. Show some respect!”

My father survived his service in World War II. As far as I can remember, all of our family members who served, returned home. We had family and friends who had been injured, but I don’t recall any who had lost loved ones. They all knew people who had died. Many had seen people die in front of them. They didn’t speak of those memories, but they didn’t forget. Perhaps it was too hard to talk about. Perhaps they didn’t want to burden us with what they had seen. Perhaps my father and his friends considered that a few quiet thoughts of gratefulness and respect are all they needed. Maybe that’s all we need today. Just as long as we don’t forget that they died and why they died.


  1. Your dad said it perfectly – show some respect. It’s the very least we can do.

    In my various travels, wherever I see a memorial I always stop. One that left its mark is the Korean Memorial in Washington. Even though it’s been 20 years since I’ve been there, those ghost-like statues still touch my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We know why you’ve grown up to be such a fine man….”Be quiet and show some respect .” This is a moving and sobering tribute to all those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep this country free. We can’t fly enough flags, give enough thanks or say enough prayers to begin to express our gratitude to these men and women.

    I hope everyone gives thought to what this holiday is really about before they focus on whether they have a full propane tank, enough hamburgers, and that Uncle Fred doesn’t forget the beer.

    Read your post from 2017. Excellent! And today’s gallery is excellent too!

    Happy Memorial Day to you Dan and the Editor and Faith.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ginger. I hope you enjoy this day. I know you understand. The local redhead had been for her walk. We went to Memorial Park (her park). The flag was backlit by the sun and flying almost straight out.


  3. Your memorial day posts are always touching. India has so many festivals to celebrate the bravery and victory of mythological characters but none for those who actually serve us. All we do is politicize their death, put up a show to win elections and brush them aside later. And if you’re a civilian, you just blast your stereo on the Independence Day with some inspirational army songs, enjoy lunch, take a national day off with family and get on with your life. That’s Nationalism at its best in India.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Today, I am grateful for the men and women who have honored us with service to this country and I shall quietly give tribute to those who paid a price for feedom with their lives. Salute!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Great post(s) Dan. Thank you for paying the proper respect without politicizing.
    My father and grandfather both fought and returned home unscathed but they saw things and did things that they never talked about. They lived the rest of their lives in quiet dignity.
    I am proud that I recognize the value of service, as do you, thanks to those who fought for our country. I fear that current and future generations will not

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for reminding us, Dan. My dad served in WW II. He didn’t talk about it either. My husband served in the Navy in Viet Nam. He saw his friends die in the fire aboard the USS Forrestal. He still can’t erase the horrible scenes from his mind. I’ve never seen such disrespect for our service men and women and our flag as I see today. It really makes me mad!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many great images in your gallery Dan. My Dad’s older brothers served during WWII and were thankfully sent home alive and well. My grandmother often had to read the code in their letters to know where they were many times. One of my uncles served under Patton for a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan, last year’s post was one of the finest Memorial Day tributes I ever read. It was personal and right to the point of why we honor and remember those who served. Thank you for posting it again. And thank you for the photos of the many war memorials. Never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for a wonderful post, Dan. A good reminder on what Memorial Day is all about. My dad was also a WWII vet. He didn’t talk to me about his experiences, but he did talk to my sons about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Dan – such a tender, true relating to the little girl … I’ve never been to Arlington, nor have I visited the Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries in France, Belgium, the Netherlands or the many others in places around the world. Some people have graves … there are many others who don’t – the horror of those that survived, or the dreadfulness of those who never did and perhaps suffered even more before peace in death came along.

    We do need to remember and we have the 75th anniversary of D-Day coming up very soon … the telling of that period of history 70 years ago was very moving … I learnt a lot. We’d never discussed it in the family … too devastating … and my mother lost her first husband (the love of her (young) life), her brother and friends … I have found out a few things about his death … which bring the sadness to the fore.

    Thanks for this … a prompt for me to do something for the 75th … which will include my post of five years ago on the 70th … you’ve reminded me of times in my life … your Memorial Day is well timed – just before the Remembrances for D-Day …

    I’m so glad the red-head had her walk in the park and was able to be with you as you contemplated the challenges the veterans faced, and subsequent sadness experienced by so many – yet who we must remember for the life they have allowed us to live. Thanks for the images and thoughts – I hope we can find our way to a peaceful world … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Hilary. I look forward to reading your upcoming post. It had to be so hard on the people in the war-torn regions. Here, we grew up hearing stories of rationing and working to produce everything the war demanded, but we weren’t being bombed and civilians weren’t dying. I hope we never see such senseless destruction again, on anything approaching that scale. I’d like to think we could end all wars, but that doesn’t seem likely.


    • Thanks Paul. It’s so hard to express how being in those places makes me feel. I remember being at the WWII memorial when a guy in a wheelchair (on an Honor Flight) asked me if I wanted him to move so I could get a better picture. I told him “I’d be honored to take the picture with you in the foreground.”

      Liked by 1 person

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