Happy Memorial Day...

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by GM404, May 25, 2018.

  1. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

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    I really, REALLY wish people would think (for just 5 seconds) about what the phrase "Happy Memorial day" sounds like. Personally, it makes my skin crawl.

    In the AF, I had the honor of flying way too many fallen service members back stateside from the AOR. The flights were always very quiet, sad, and somber. Doing the hourly checks of the cargo compartment of the mighty C-5 Galaxy and seeing the flag draped "transfer cases" is one of the most sobering memories I have of my career. Reading the inventory lists of personal effects of those war dead....I still can't think about how very personal those items were to those men and women without the tears welling up in my eyes. The memories of the honor and the privilege I had of standing jetside as the fallen were repatriated at Dover during the "dignity transfers" so many times over...this is what Memorial Day means to me...not a day off, not hamburgers, and not having a "happy" day.
     
  2. Glockenator

    Glockenator Active Member

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    Exactly. It's not a day of celebration. Is a day of reflection and honoring.
     

  3. FrontSight

    FrontSight Well-Known Member

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    Quoted from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
    "that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
     
  4. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

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    Thank You so much for those words. I saw so many leave the Field on the trip Home. To know that there were Men and Women like you caring for them on that trip means more to Me than I have the ability to express in words. I made it about half way through your post before the tears started. I guess the older somebody like me gets the more you realize what The Fallen missed out on in Life.It hurts really bad .
     
  5. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your words, it was hard to write. The last flight that I was on that had Fallen Americans on board was in 2011. I remember like it was yesterday and it's something that to this day I have difficulty in "processing". It's hard to talk to my current friends about it, because they weren't there. The few flyers that I still am in touch with that also did these flights (and there were/are too many of them), well, we can't talk about it either. It's just a tough thing, and the "celebration" of Memorial Day just...well, you know.

    Many talk shows have been discussing the flag and the NFL players over the last few days. I tried calling into the Kimmer to relay my thoughts and experiences on the dignity transfers, but I couldn't keep my composure for more than 10 seconds. What I wanted to say was that I would like to know that if any of these players witnessed the ENTIRE process of loading up the remains, flying them back stateside (and perhaps witnessing a most majestic sunrise or sunset as you cross the North Atlantic) and then seeing the repatriation to the Dover mortuary, if they would have a different outlook on what the flag means to so many people.

    In conclusion, I share this video. It's a tough one to watch, but is so worthy of folks few minutes.
     
  6. Craftsman

    Craftsman Well-Known Member

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    Did not serve. Probably best for all concerned at the time. I eventually grew up.

    Great-grand-ancestor died in a Yankee prison camp. Confederate dead are legally the same as all US war dead. Also have a great-grand-long-ago-ancestor dead in the revolutionary war. My family has been here a long time.

    Great Uncle "Jiggs" was KIA in Korea. Awarded "The Medal" the hard way. Damn good flyer.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Andrew_Davis_Jr.
    His dog tags are a war trophy on display at the North Korean Imperial War Museum. I would appreciate it if President Trump could get them back for my family.

    Remember Memorial Day.
     
  7. Schweisshund

    Schweisshund Well-Known Member

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    I use the phrase "Happy Memorial Day" but I also understand that memorial day is to refelct on those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I don't mean to make your skin crawl.
     
  8. Glockenator

    Glockenator Active Member

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    That's understandable.

    Last night, I hope someone had a good talking-to with the a$$hats shooting fireworks, like people often do around here starting a few days before a holiday. Those fireworks didn't last long. If I hear them Monday night, I may try to hone in on them and tell them myself to stop that crap.
     
  9. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

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    You can obviously say what you like, but when I hear it, my mind translates it to "Happy dead soldiers day".
     
  10. Mrs_Esterhouse

    Mrs_Esterhouse Swollen Member

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    Happy dead enemy soldiers day!
     
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  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I am named for my grandfather, killed in action, so it is hard for me to think of anything else on Memorial Day.

    What really makes my skin crawl is "Thank you for your service," from those who know I served. While I know these persons mean well in their ignorance, it bothers me. My own personal Cold War constant prep for but no war service has nothing whatsoever to do with Memorial Day, unlike my grandfather dying after the Chinese overran the top of the Korean peninsula (well quite a while after), thanks to the Democrat in the White House not wanting to use nukes to stop them before they even had a chance to cross the Yalu River (just as his predecessor Democrat in office had not used them to stop the USSR from seizing all of eastern Europe). He served in Europe in WWII as an enlisted man (paratrooper patch in the pictures), got out after the war, and answered his country's call again as an officer in Korea. When I think of the conditions there and then, yeah, I just do not want to hear anybody on Monday thanking me for my service, which was a rather enjoyable and fun time in my life.
     
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  12. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

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    I feel your pain with the "thank you for your service"...my days in the AF were some of the best days of my life. Of course, there were terrible days, and even days when my life was in peril (not anymore than driving down the 75/85 connector, though) it was *nothing* compared to others that came before me. When I transferred out here and was able to wrap up my service doing flight test w/ Lockheed, I got that comment A LOT...obviously not too many folks in east Cobb county are running around in flight suits. It was always awkward and frankly embarrassing...but of course I simply thanked the person for mentioning it. And like MP, I would get a twang of anxiety when someone wearing a WWII or Vietnam hat would tell me that...I always thought that I had it so much better than those guys.
     
  13. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

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    To me Memorial Day is in honor of my brother who served in the USAF and died in the service of my country during the Vietnam war.
     
  14. Bkite

    Bkite PawPaw x 3

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  15. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    I've slipped up and said "have a happy Memorial Day" a few times, and within a fraction of a second I knew it was wrong.
    What I MEANT was for them to have a happy HOLIDAY WEEKEND, one that Congress specifically intended for traveling to visit friends and family members, and engaging in the sort of recreation that calls for a 3-day weekend. Which is why the holiday is on a Monday.

    Originally, the date to honor war dead was always on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, and it was called "Decoration Day" -- a day to go visit the graves of the soldiers killed during their service.

    By renaming it "Memorial Day" and making a long weekend out of it, our government, and our people, have diluted the original meaning of the day to include picnics, water sports, outdoor recreation, and a welcoming of the new season of Summer. That's just how it is. It's reality.

    So when if I say "Happy Memorial Day" I mean in that sense.

    But i ALWAYS take some time, a few minutes or a couple of hours sometimes, to remember our honored fallen war dead during this festive weekend.

    I also correct people who seem confused about the difference between Veteran's Day and Memorial Day.

    P.S. Do young children, in elementary or middle schools, learn what Memorial Day is about? Certainly they are not allowed to hear any reference to "Christ" during December, nor will their teachers try to tell them, or even answer any questions about, the real meaning of Easter. So I suspect that, in the best tradition of brainwashing and anti-Americanism, our public school children are taught that "Memorial Day" is ONLY meant to be a summer holiday, and all references to honoring war dead are omitted.

    Can any parents of school kids chime in to confirm or rebut my theory?
     
  16. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    P.S. My Dad served in WWII as a fighter pilot, and he would (when asked) name several of his fellow pilots who were killed while serving. About an equal number were killed in accidents during training or routine missions where there was no combat, but some were killed directly by enemy fire. Either way, they're all wartime casualties and all remembered with honor. Even the fatal accidents would probably not have happened if not for the pressures of the war effort and relaxed safety procedures designed to win the war as the first priority, even if that meant taking shortcuts that would not be acceptable in peacetime aviation done for pleasure or business flying.
     
  17. Arty

    Arty Fire for effect

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    There are a lot of good posts in this thread.
    Memorial Day is indeed intended to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country.
     
  18. Schweisshund

    Schweisshund Well-Known Member

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    My great Uncle Robert V. Cunningham, buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Killed at the age of 21 while stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. US Navy SK1.

    Robert Virgil Cunningham.jpg

    My grandmother still weeps when she talks about him, he was her brother.
     
  19. gsusnake

    gsusnake Token Liberal Hippie

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    If politicians were as concerned about dead soldiers as most of the rest of us are, they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to sacrifice them and create more.