Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day

Memorial Day: Our Day to Remember

As we Americans immerse ourselves in holiday plans this long weekend, we should try to remember its purpose; i.e., to honor those who fought, and died for the principles by which the United States was created, and for which we hopefully will continue to fight to maintain those principles -- embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.   

We are emphasizing the sacrifices of our soldiers in wars of liberation from tyranny by presenting images of the cemeteries in which our soldiers were buried in various parts of the world.  You may be unaware that some of these exist.

St Mhiel, France
For the most part, these graves of America's finest are maintained by the very elderly in these countries -- because they remember how they suffered until these soldiers sacrificed themselves so these foreigners, whom they had never met, and whose languages they did not speak, could live in a relatively free environment.     

Aisne-Mame, France
Many of the younger residents of these countries resent the US, and some even hate the US.    

Ardennes, Belgium
Flanders Field, Belgium
Henri-Chapelle, Belgium
Brittany, France
Aisne-Mame, France
Florence, Italy
We met a Belgian fellow who professed his hatred for the US military, referring to them as imperialist pigs.   

We clarified their status for him with the reminder that that the cemeteries in Ardennes, Flanders Field, and Henri-Chapelle were filled with the bodies of US soldiers who died so that he could live in a political environment in which he was free to express his hatred for their sacrifice.   

Had it not been for their sacrifices, chances are he would be sporting a swastica on his sleeve, speaking German and marching in Goose-Step wearing jackboots -- or existing in a concentration camp. Colin Powell expressed our imperialism motives quite well when he advised "...we ask only for enough land to bury our dead" [after they have fought and died for you.]


We found a few sites in the Pacific of which we were unaware, but in retrospect, we're not surprised: 

Australia, the Philippines [at Clark Field], Thailand in Kanchanaburi,  and Indonesia. 

In Burma, there are numerous unmarked graves which we are only now finding.
We found additional sites in areas we couldn't imagine; for example, Tunisia, Srpska [formerly in Yugoslavis], Warsaw-Poland, and not surprisingly, in Sicily.    
Not having saluted the US flag before ...
Although we would like to keep this day apolitical, we must comment that it is embarrassing that the United States is led by a President whom we're not sure is even a US citizen, who is married to a woman who expressed her disdain for the US, and who was caught on video at Ground Zero expressing her consternation that she had to sit through a ceremony honoring the US flag ["All this for a 'flag'?"]

"All this, just for a flag?"

We're not sure how this embarrassing duo came into the White House, but we will not regret seeing them depart.