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Remember The Meaning

Reposted from BRO on Memorial Day 2005. I’m back from Forest Lawn with an updated photo, which I will do each Memorial Day:

While driving down Main Street earlier today, a couple of I couldn’t help but notice the thousands of little American flags adorning the grave markers at Forest Lawn Cemetery. I remembered that when I was younger a friend of mine’s job was to plant all of those little flags. I never thought too much about it other than they were an awesome sight to behold.

Today was different. There was a beautiful light shining on the motionless flags. And Main Street was unusually quiet due to the holiday. So I pulled over and snapped a photo. On the way home I thought about what to say if and when I posted the photo. What can words say that the photo doesn’t? I guess the only thing I can hope for by sharing this photo and these thoughts with you is… my day was pretty busy, and had we not driven by Forest Lawn, I don’t know how much I would have thought about the meaning behind Memorial Day.

This is my way of giving thanks to everyone who planted or raised a flag on this day, helping to remind all of us that no matter how busy our lives may be, we need to take a few moments to think of those who once put their lives on the line for our country…

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  • LouisTully

    Thanks, BRO, for a nice post.
    Better than last Memorial Day.

  • star

    Yes queenseyes, seeing those flags on all the veteran graves at Forest Lawn does make you pause and reflect…. and be thankful for our freedom.

  • RaChaCha

    Well, I posted last Memorial Day:
    http://rising.wpengine.com/2010/05/honor-our-fallen-servicemembers-this-memorial-day-weekend.html
    So I’ll take the lumps if I inadvertently gave offense — but would also love to know, constructively, how.
    Or are you thinking instead about this post (from last September): http://rising.wpengine.com/2010/09/forest-lawn-monument-unveiling.html where the very first commenter called the monument “propaganda and B.S.”–? If so, I agree that those comments were way outta line.
    Either way, a sincere thanks for your service!

  • emslieclinton

    Dear Ra- I believe Mr. Tully is referring the the article I wrote entitled “War Resisters Are Veterans, Too” which I think needs to be restated every Memorial Day. I refer you all to this months GQ Magazine article entitled “Just Deserts” about my friend Phil McDowell.

  • emslieclinton
  • buffloonitick

    great article. would make for a very good documentary movie. hopefully Phil can get this legal matter settled soon and get on with his life.

  • RaChaCha

    EC thanks for the info — have a great week!

  • LouisTully

    I get GQ and I read the article. I was also pretty liberal as far as the military goes, and particularly for an officer. I definitely didn’t vote for Bush, ever. But I served anyway because my personal belief is that my service has earned me the right to be an American. I made a decision and I fulfilled my commitment. As was stated a year ago, regardless of personal beliefs, a day to remember those killed for just and unjust wars is hardly a day to draw attention to deserters. How about something like this:
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/america_not_at_war.htm
    I will forever hold that until you experience it, yourself or family, you will never understand what it means to serve.

  • Heisenberg

    Choosing not to serve during a period of war that you believe to be unjust is just as patriotic as your service to the country. Your service, while appreciated does not give you the right to blindly call out “deserters” without exploring their reasoning and hearing their story first, in my opinion.

  • NBuffguy

    And let us not forget that our military has a history of dicriminating against a segment of the American population who would have liked to serve their country.
    “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) is currently pending repeal. While it supposedly prohibits military personnel from discriminating against or harassing gay service members or applicants, it specifically bars openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans from military service. The policy prohibits people who “demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the armed forces of the United States. While it is entirely appropriate to honor those who have served, and are serving, their country’s military efforts, it’s also important to recognize that there are countless Americans who have been systematically excluded from being allowed to earn this same respect we’re offering.
    I will forever hold that until you experience it, yourself or family, you will never understand what it means to suffer such blatant discrimination.

  • KangDangaLang

    BobbyCat I never knew you were an openly homosexual male? Being a vet I can tell you that I knew many service members who were openly gay, and never once were they discriminated against. Once you you make it through training you are the same as everyone else. I personally think that repealing DADT is a huge mistake. Which will create more discrimination and less cohesion amongst units.

  • NBuffguy

    Not being a vet myself, but being an openly homosexual male, I can tell you that I never considered enlisting. Why? Because it seemed dishonorable to me to be a liar, even if only on a temporary basis, so that I could get into the service. I guess I didn’t know that once I got through training, I’d be able to talk openly about my boyfriend, when my heterosexual peers talked openly about their relations with women, especially when those types of conversations between young men often become quite graphic.
    It strikes me as funny that simply because you are a vet, and you knew “many service memebers who were openly gay” that you think you know whether or not even a single one of them was ever once discriminated against. That’s a pretty big assumption, and a bold statement, to make about other peoples’ experiences. Just because they may not have told you about it, doesn’t mean it never happened. On the rare occasion I feel as if I’m being treated unfairly because of my sexual orientation, for example, I generally commiserate with my gay friends who can personally relate to the situation at hand.
    As a vet, you may be opposed to repealing DADT, because you feel it would create more discrimination and less cohesion amongst units, but fortunately other people with greater credetnials disagree with your opinion. Gen. Colin L. Powell, who was the nation’s top military officer in the 1990s, used to agree with you but changed his mind, saying, “In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed. And he added, “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”

  • KangDangaLang

    “that you think you know whether or not even a single one of them was ever once discriminated against.”
    I didn’t know that STEEL was replying to my post? I thought he was the only one that could take a statement and toss a Fox News spin, and totally blow it out of proportion. My statement was that all of my fellow Marines who were openly gay in my unit were accepted and never treated any different. So you can take my quote in the context of what it was meant to be (my experience). As far as your Colin Powell quote goes. I’m sure I could find “people more educated than myself” who would be against DADT 10:1 compared to those for it.

  • NBuffguy

    Oh, OK. So it was YOUR experience that these OTHER guys never had any problems in the military as a result of being openly gay while serving. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • KangDangaLang

    If you would have read the original post you would have realized that before inserting foot into mouth.

  • NBuffguy

    No foot in mouth here. I guess you don’t read sarcasm very well. I was actually amused by your self centered opinion with regard to your gay fellow Marines. Whether or not they felt they were treated differently is their experience, not yours. You couldn’t possibly know whether or not they experienced discrimination or felt they were treated differently. Your experience is simply your perception, and it’s irrelevant. You don’t know how they were treated when you weren’t around. That’s not a Fox News spin; that’s a fact. But that point just goes over your head.

  • KangDangaLang

    “You couldn’t possibly know whether or not they experienced discrimination or felt they were treated differently.”
    Man it looks like someone really has their panties in a bunch (Meeeeeeyowwww). To comment on your post….I actually can fully comment on if they were discriminated against. I was good friends with both of them. There was a group of about 10 Marines from our IT (where both of them worked) shop that were really close. So close in fact that they used to actually go watch (enter name here) one of my fellow devil dogs perform in drag shows down in Wilmington. It was widely known that both of them were openly gay, its just not one ever cared. On top of that we were in the same unit for almost three years, out of a four year enlistment so Im pretty sure I knew both of them pretty well. Sorry if I ruffled some over your flamboyantly fabulous feather sweatheart ;-)(wink wink).

  • NBuffguy

    Well you certainly said a lot with your condescending use of gay stereotypes (“panties…meow…flamboyant…fabulous…feather…wink”) in order to convince me you’re a good judge of whether or not gay servicemen are treated differently from straight ones. Now you may go ahead, open mouth, and insert foot (or whatever other body part you prefer).
    Oh snap!