Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memorial Day 2010-My thoughts

As Memorial Day, Monday May 31, rapidly approaches one must take time to contemplate its meaning.

It should be a day of somber reflection and dedication to the remembrance of all veterans, what they sacrificed for their
country. A National Day to honor anyone who wore the uniform of our nation.

Originally know as Decoration Day, a day set aside to honor those who died in the Civil War. It now commemorates all
men and women who died while in the military service, regardless of uniform worn or period of service. A moment of
remembrance takes place at 3:00PM local time. The U.S. flag is traditionally flown at half-staff from daybreak to noon
local time to honor all who died.

As changes were made to the date of Memorial Day through the years, it became a day of backyard barbecues, picnics
and a three day weekend evolved. Baseball games, auto races etc., and it became just another excuse to party.

The VFW in 2002 stated in their Memorial Day address "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day"

Perhaps it is time to return to the original meaning and intent of this holiday. Honor and respect, dedication to those
who served, the ones who gave their all. Spend a moment in silence, visit the cemetery or memorial near you. Take time
to reflect on how great this country is, all it stands for; and remember those who serve(d) past, present and future.
Remember "Freedom is not free".

When you see a veteran say "Thank You". Think long and hard on what the future might hold, and what might
have been if not for our veterans.

We should on this day also recognize and honor all veterans, those who served in the field, on the front lines, those
who served "stateside" no matter where, or what the job description; they were there to do their duty.

Do not forget those who are currently on active duty, the ones now facing danger every day. We as veterans honor
and respect and offer our gratitude to you and your families. We understand the problems and hardships that you
face now and in the future.

A veteran placed their normal lives on hold, often far from home and loved ones. Many times in harsh and dangerous
situations. Of course there was the usual complaining and grumbling, but it was our sworn oath to protect freedom; to
uphold our constitution and all it stands for.

All veterans should wear their medals and ribbons with pride and honor, it is just and deserved; a small reward from
your country. It does not say "look at me, I am a vet", instead it says I am proud to be a veteran. my country called
and I answered.

As you attend the Memorial Day parades stand tall and salute Old Glory as the flag passes by. You can
indeed issue a "hand salute" in civilian clothes. If you are not a veteran, take off your hat, place your hand over your heart.
Show respect for the flag, and all it stands for.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans, Inc.
"We Remember"