We All Should Carry the Burden

Never Forget

So many Americans believe that the Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of summer, a time to vacation at the beach or go camping with the family.  All this may be true but it means much more to those who have served in the Armed Forces or have lost loved ones in the service of their country.   Memorial Day traces its roots back to the Civil War.  More American Soldiers died in the Civil War than any other conflict in our history.  Shortly after that war ended, communities across America began grass root spring time memorials to honor those they lost.  Waterloo, New York has been honored as the birthplace of Memorial Day.  In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which established the last Monday in May as Memorial Day.  This law went into effect in 1971.

Memorial Day should be a focus on those we lost and to assist the families that our hero’s left behind.  I believe Memorial Day has lost its true meaning in America.  This is because most Americans do not feel the burden that our Armed Service Members feel every day.  In World War Two, the civilians back at home suffered along with those fighting over seas.  They dealt with shortages of food and gasoline and other untold hardships.  Back then Americans took ownership of the conflict and were vested in the war effort.  Today the general civilian public has no such vested interest in combat overseas.  They don’t share the burdens of the war effort like yesterday.  Approximately 9 percent of Americans serve in the military; the weight of war is carried by these military members and the families who support them.  The rest of the population of America needs to carry a weight of sacrifice.  Then and only then will Memorial Day become the Holiday it was meant to be.

Back in 2003, while in Iraq, I really thought that the American Public cared for the soldiers who toiled in hardship, suffered fatal injuries, disability and mental trauma.  When I came home, I found that it was business as usual and with the exception of short reports on the nightly news; the war was generally forgotten.

What can we do differently?  My family has had a tradition of going to the Vietnam Memorial near our home on Memorial Day and thank Veterans for their service.  We discuss the importance of our military members sacrifice and talk about why words such as courage, honor, and duty are so important.   In reality every day should be Memorial Day, we should continually strive to honor those we lost and never forget their sacrifice.

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

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About twotiretirade

Keeping the faith of fanatics who feel fired up for anything motorcycles. It’s all about the journey and the philosophy of riding on two wheels. Let’s bring alive the truly unique culture of motorcycling and never let the ride leave the fibers of our being. View all posts by twotiretirade

10 responses to “We All Should Carry the Burden

  • pradsliff

    Every day I think, “There but for the grace of God, go I” because of those, like you, who have served and made it possible for me to ride my Concours to and fro under our free skies. My Dad served in WWII. My father-in-law was at the battle of the bulge. I missed serving in Vietnam by a scant year, something that I was not trying to avoid, but nothing I was eager to seek, either. I’ve always wondered if I would have measured up if, or when, my time came. I will never know in the context of military service, but I certainly do what I can to honor those who did/do serve. And wish to thank you, and know that those who have given their full measure of devotion will not be forgotten. Not by me, at least.

    • twotiretirade

      Service is in your blood. Thank you for the kind words. We honor those with our thoughts and prayers and above all positive actions. I know for me, positive action is what I will focus on in the future. Again Thanks for the reply and thoughts.

  • 2me4art

    Tomorrow we are going to the veterans memorial, like we do 2times a year to honor & give thanks.

  • Cupcakes and Kickstarts

    I completely agree with you. Here in New Zealand our version of Memorial Day is “ANZAC Day”, April 25th. My husband and I always attend the dawn service at our city’s main war memorial. It’s so touching to see small children marching proudly past the monument, holding their grand or great grand parents hands as they salute the flag and remember the fallen.
    Thank you for your service to your country, I will be raising my children to know that they have right and freedom only because of the sacrifice of other families.

  • Military Outreach Greater Chicago

    Great Memorial Day post. I hope that you have a wonderful Memorial Day and I would like to extend my personal gratitude to you for your service to our nation. Many of us Americans forget the cost of freedom, but hopefully we can began to turn the tide. While vacations are nice, honoring those that have gone before us and the many who lost their lives so that we could enjoy things like vacations is far more important!

  • Paul Nielsen

    Thank you. It’s so true that the meaning has been lost to so many. My father served in Korea and Vietnam, I lived without a dad for many years because of his service to the country and the cause.
    For the past couple of years I have spent Memorial Day in Utah at the World Superbike races, Miller Motorsports Park does a wonderful job of making sure that everyone there knows it is Memorial Day not just a ‘race day’. There is a huge military presence there and flags everywhere and a time of silence for the fallen heroes of our country.
    Thank you for you commentary.
    Paul

  • twotiretirade

    Sounds like Miller Motorsports Park is a great place to be for Memorial Day. Thanks for the suggestion.

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