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Memorial Day, 2023; Remembrance and Prayer

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By Douglas V. Gibbs

Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance.  It is a day to remember the sacrifice given by members of the American Military for the purpose of protecting the American idea of liberty.  

In 2000, my wife and I visited the USS Arizona memorial in Hawaii.  As I entered, I removed my hat, slowly approaching the names on the bulkhead, reading them carefully.  Remembering these men I never met.

In 2002 I visited the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, near Washington DC, stopping at one point while at the cemetery to observe the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  My wife and I walked the entire grounds, appreciating those that gave their life for their country.
Every year I observe Memorial Day with a moment of silence, and a visit to the Riverside National Cemetery, where my Grandfather, Thurman Clark, and two of my friends, are buried.

Memorial Day is about those fighting men of the American Revolution that were a ragtag collection of farmers, store owners, and businessmen who weren’t exactly sure what they had gotten themselves into; about a young nation’s military that stormed the shores of Tripoli during the Barbary Wars to protect America’s trade routes; about the second revolution during the War of 1812 when once again invaders came to America’s shores; about those brave soldiers who fought to support Americans during their westward journeys; about those who fought to liberate lands from a dictator in the Mexican-American War; about a war fought between the States that defined America’s resolve to truly reveal the meaning of liberty; about the rough riders who stormed San Juan Hill; about the brave warriors in a war that America did not have to enter in Europe, a war so bloody it was hoped it would be the war to end all wars; about the greatest generation as they gave their lives in yet another defense of freedom in Europe, and this time also in the Pacific; about the Americans who served to stop the spread of communism in Korea and Vietnam, about those Americans that gave their lives during the Cold War that turned out to be a war that was often not so cold after all; and about those Americans who served in the places they needed to be to stand against Islam’s terror.  War is a thing that nobody desires, but sometimes must be fought.  War has created generations of the fallen, and Memorial Day is all about remembering our fallen. It is a day for prayers and reflection. It is about thanking those we can no longer thank in person. It is about visiting the cemeteries where they lie, dropping off flowers and American Flags at their graves. Kneeling in prayer, and dropping tears on their name plates as we remember their sacrifice.

Memorial Day is about the defense of an idea called freedom, and remembering those who gave their lives to preserve that idea.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, and appreciation for the sacrifices of the fallen.
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