Monday, May 23, 2011

Saving Private Ryan

Next Monday is Memorial Day. Most of us have never seen war up close, I know I haven't. War isn't pretty, it isn't fun and what it costs in blood and treasure is really hard to calculate.

America has had quite a few foes over the years, and joined in the fight against some of history's most evil leaders.

Memorial Day is in honor of those that gave their lives in the line of duty. Veteran's Day is to honor those that have served. I celebrate both. I don't personally know anyone that gave their life to war, but I am grateful for those that have - really grateful. I like freedom, I like choosing to work, to have a job, to decide where I want to be educated, what town I live in and how I express my faith.

I have a number of soldiers in my linage, all who were better at it than I; they all saw front line battles and lived to talk about it.

My grandfather on my mother's side, born in Ireland in 1888, came to the USA and served in WW I. He also chased Pancho Villa are around the Mexican border in 1916. He received a Purple Heart - I actually can't remember how the story goes - but his injury affected his hearing.

My father also served his country in both the European and South Pacific theaters during WW II as well as the Korean War conflict. He received 2 Purple Hearts for injuries sustained fighting for my freedom and yours.

How I wish I had a better understanding of their sacrifice while they were alive.

My nephew was wounded in Iraq, he too has a Purple Heart.

No one likes war, regardless of the rhetoric. It is, however; a fact, that war has made America free. From the Revolutionary War to the battlefields of New York City, Afghanistan and Iraq, brave men and woman have laid down their lives for you; for your freedom of religion, your freedom of speech and your pursuit of happiness.

Today the VFW was taking donations and giving away poppies at the local grocery store. I always like to stop by the booth and listen to a tale or two, to see a tear shed because someone cares enough to listen. And these are the ones that survived. Memorial Day, this is to honor those that didn't. The ones who's lives weren't really completed. They forsook families, jobs and retirement to serve you and me. Others left parents, wives and children without sons, husbands and daughters. The price was high.

Next time you watch the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan, or the firefights in Platoon, remember freedom, it's not free.

2 Chronicles 20:15 (b) This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.

Happy Memorial Day, and God Bless you and America.


Anonymous said...

" .. the firefights in Platoon .. "

That's what drove Charlie Sheen to madness. And when he came home from Vietnam, he had to fight the Commies in Colorado (Red Dawn).

Yes, war is heck.

- A gnawn on moose

Joyce Lighari said...

Great blog - I need to stop and listen to some stories too. When I worked as a senior center director I heard so many, it's been a while.

Tracy said...

You're spot on; I'm so grateful for all the freedoms that I experience every day and for those who fought, and even died so I could have these freedoms.

Tony C said...

I've watch that scene and the scene in Band of Brothers were Easy Company is shelled in the woods at Bastogne dozens of times, and it's hard to imagine even with the help of Hollywood.

The Greatest Generation is slowly disappearing, and I often wonder if the following generations are capable of filling their shoes. I hope we never have to find out...but fear we will.