Remember Memorial Day

It used to be celebrated each year on May 30.

Now it’s celebrated on the last Monday in May.

It used to be called Decoration Day and was for decorating graves of those who served in the northern armed forces from 1861 to 1865.

What is it?

It is Memorial Day.

And it has expanded well beyond being a day regarding any one side in any one war.

If it has been a while since you attended a traditional Memorial Day event or decorated a final resting place, think about doing so this year.

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When you do so this Memorial Day, think of those patriots who gathered their muskets in the late 18th century and served the fledgling United States in the War of Independence.

Think of those who defended the young United States in the War of 1812.

Think of those who fought for their freedom from enslavement.

Think of those who sacrificed so much in the war of the mid-19th century.

Think of the descendants of the first peoples to inhabit the Americas, descendants who were either slaughtered or herded onto reservations.

Think of those who defended the United States throughout the 20th century.

In the 1940s, an uncle of this columnist was in a tank in northwest France not far from the Atlantic. When the tank was hit, he got himself out, spent several months in hospitals, and recovered, yet during his earthly life, he never understood how he managed to get himself out of the tank.

You see, he recalled that to get out of the tank, he bent forward. A human body will bend forward at the waste. But, as he often said, “Knees don’t bend that way.”

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Think this Memorial Day of those who have sacrificed in new ways in the 21st century.

On September 11, 2001, a country that had long substantially relied on two vast oceans to protect it learned that those oceans no longer provide the protection they once did.

On that day and during related events since then, thousands have died or suffered injuries.

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Think this Memorial Day of those who have sacrificed as a result of two different kinds of invasions in recent years. Those sacrifices extend not only to first responders, whose actions are heroic, but also to neighborhoods near yours, if not your own.

First, drug dealers have pushed even more deadly versions of their poison into or within the United States.

Don’t think for a moment that this affects only particular segments of the population.

As one funeral director has said, and as many could have said, “We’ve pulled people out of some very nice houses.”

Second, beginning in 2021, the United States has in effect opened its southern border. As a result, millions of people have entered the United States illegally.

To understate the point in several ways, a few of them don’t exactly have the best interests of the United States at heart, don’t exactly wish the United States well, or don’t exactly care what grief they cause on future Memorial Days.

Or any other days.

Mark these words: We have barely begun to see what terror, evil, or wickedness will ensue from what in effect has been the opening of the southern border. Whatever happens, whenever it happens, blame will lie with those who have in effect opened the southern border.

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Finally, think this Memorial Day of good people who have died yet, for whatever reason, have been deprived of the dignity of being in their final resting places.

This Memorial Day, no true family members and no true friends can visit them in their final resting places.

Although their final resting places exist, the departed aren’t there. Good people certainly deserve better than that.

Some good people may or will never be in their final resting places. Good people most certainly deserve better than that.

Randy Elf is attending a traditional Memorial Day event this weekend and hopes you will as well.

(c) 2024 BY RANDY ELF


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