T.S. Eliot Quote - Going too far Religion Brotherhood Home Address Pirates Churchhill

Memorial Day, 2017.

It means a great deal to me, and many of my brothers in arms, that you recognize what we gave up for you and our country in the service of our armed forces. As much as we appreciate those who would say "Thanks for your service!” we are reminded that while every veteran served at great cost, the sacrifice of those of us that came back pales in contrast to those who gave their lives, their bodies, or their minds in the service of our country.

All gave some, some gave all, it is said of those of us who served, and it is a simple reminder that the highest honor be accorded to those that gave, as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently said at Gettysburg, “the last full measure of devotion”.

The veterans you see this Memorial Day, with ball caps and patches silently proclaiming their unit or service affiliation, standing straight with a hand salute, or kneeling in quiet tearful memory at a solemn grave marker, know this more painfully than you can imagine and we would not have you diminish the memory of those that ‘gave all’ by diverting your attention to those of us that ‘gave some’.

Memorial Day is a day of remembering and honoring those that gave their lives in service to our country. It is not a celebration, but a solemn acknowledgement of those that made the ultimate sacrifice. Veteran’s Day, in November, is for the living, and while I always look forward to hearing your words of appreciation, Memorial Day is for the dead.

This weekend, find a few minutes to stop by the local memorial to those that gave their lives in conflicts around the globe, or quietly stroll through the pale white crosses and stars in the military section of the cemetery. Offer a silent prayer, place a flag or flower, or simply reflect on the price that your freedom has cost. Honor them this Memorial day, and express your gratitude to those that have purchased our liberty with so great and costly a sacrifice.


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© 2018 Brad Williamson
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USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association
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U.S. Naval Institute News