A Vietnam Vet Looks At Memorial Day

Joe Belle-Isle is a Vet who comments frequently on my posts.  Although his views are a little ‘out there’ sometimes, he’s always welcome here.  Joe, thank you for your service.

by Joseph Belle-Isle

When I was a kid, there was a fireworks display every Memorial Day. The adults, many of them immigrants, were CELEBRATING the fact they made it through W.W.II and the Depression. And they proudly flew the flag because they knew it symbolized the fallen soldiers who made their survival possible.

Last night I saw an old photo of one of our soldiers’ cemeteries from W.W.II. There was a sea of perfectly-aligned monuments representing our soldiers who died in battle. Of course Christians got crosses on their stones, Jewish soldiers got Stars-of-David,  Muslim soldiers got symbols of Islam, and I understand, today the VA even has symbols for Wicans and atheists.  The point is, you don’t have to be a Christian to fight and die for America.  And I kind of think that’s what the country is always fighting for: Freedom for EVERYONE.

When I looked at that photo, I saw a lot more than orderly, clean head stones. I “saw” the screaming and the blood and the noise and the bombs and sometimes the lack of food and ammunition.  I “saw” the horror that each man under every symbol felt when he realized that ‘this is it – so maybe I’ll just charge into death for a cause – so someone else will be free’.

This year, when you fire up the grill and set off the fireworks, I hope you’ll remember to bow your head for a second and think about why your kids are playing in the glow of freedom. Maybe they’re even old enough so you can explain it to them.

Today let’s CELEBRATE and enjoy America’s freedom! And please remember the Vets who made it all possible for you – and even for the people who forget why we’re celebrating.

2 Responses to “A Vietnam Vet Looks At Memorial Day”

  1. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    This is part of a letter I received from a senator and his Dad involved in grassroots activism:

    The Tools of Liberty

    And that brings us to a whole new list of
    things for which to thank the Lord: He
    has given us the tools to defend liberty.

    Yes, they are different than the tools that
    secured America’s freedoms against the
    British.

    Instead of the the Kentucky Rifle (one of the
    most common rifles of the American
    Revolutionary War) or the Brown Bess musket (the assault weapon
    of its day), we use computers,
    printers, postage, petitions, the internet and the other mundane
    tools at the very core of the battle
    for freedom.

    The pen truly is mightier than the sword, and
    I hope and pray we never have to use
    anything else to continue securing the blessings of liberty.

    To say we’re thankful for these modern tools
    for defending freedom, though, is an
    understatement. The privilege of fighting side-by-side with our
    Founding Fathers in the cause of
    liberty is the greatest blessing of all.

    For Freedom,
    Dudley Brown,

  2. paolo. says:

    Thanks, Joe. Thanks for reminding us and, as always, thanks for your service. Now I’m off to the parade!

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