Memorial Day 2018

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A gentleman named Owen A. King from our subscriber list sent me the following two quotes recently, the first, from one of my favorite authors, one I have heard repeatedly “dismissed” by intellectual progressives (currently working college professors teaching at UCLA), as “some obscure writer from the 1950’s”….grrr:

 “(W)hen you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed.”  Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged 

And the second from a contemporary writer I am not yet familiar with:

“There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”Ed Howdershelt (Reference Stephan Decatur Miller, circa September 1830)

On this Memorial Day I see us in the abyss, the limbo between Mr. Miller’s second and third boxes, and that makes Any Rand’s words ever more insightful. The Prepper Journal is a big fan of making “lessons learned” no longer an oxymoron, but a reality, while the elites are busily erasing all the lessons from our history, except for the ones that further their agenda, and these are usually skewed to fit their narrative.

And, as a result, I find the image above so powerful on this holiday. While taken to represent honoring those lost in the most noble of causes, it could equally be of our frustration over the limbo we find ourselves in currently between the boxes, our gathering of resolve to rise from this position with all the fury of a fallen superhero in some Hollywood blockbuster. Or it could be seen as us presenting our current state of affairs on this, their day of honor, to all those who gave their all, all the way back to our founding fathers.

The Short Lesson

This Federal Holiday in the USA was established for remembering those who died while serving in our Armed Forces. Currently celebrated on the last Monday of May, it originated in 1868 as Decoration Day after the American Civil War, when the Grand Army of the Republic established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union’s war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day was eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.  Arlington Cemetery is the centerpiece of the official ceremonies.  Did you know this was General Robert E. Lee’s home before he left Washington to take command of the Confederate Army? Was it taken as a punishment that has now become the focal point of our honor? Your call. Okay, that ends the history lesson.

This brings me back to my experience. I saw The Viet Nam War memorial on a business trip to Washington D.C. awhile ago. I knew before I went that I would find names on it that I knew as flesh and blood. Names I broke bread with, names I saw when they were drunk and when they were scared and they saw me that way too. One a bookworm from Wooster Massachusetts and another a certified red-neck from Pasadena Texas; others as well. I thought I was prepared. It was a sunny, hot day. A kind woman offered tissue. That is my story, there are many like it, it does not make me special BUT those names on that wall are special, each and every one. As they are for so many wars, so many throughout our history who stepped up. And that brings me back to point…

This is a day to remember, reflect and honor those brave men and women. And the moments of silence, the reflections would, I suspect, bring them no more joy than the laughter of our children and the friendship of family and friends at our picnics and our gatherings. I believe THAT is why they were willing to step up, to preserve the hope of a nation that they knew as family and friends and community.

God bless them every one.

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A former rocket scientist (really) who has traveled the world, father, freedom lover, hates to stay indoors, and loves wild places, people and things. PC challenged, irreverent but always relevant and always looking to learn new things.

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Red J
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Thank you for your thoughts in this column. Very fitting.