Last Monday on May 28 we celebrated another Memorial Day. In addition to all the sales and the days off, this day has always marked the beginning of summer. When we go into the grocery stores and the malls we see all the things that have been marked down in honor of this day. I have over the years participated in the family parties and have taken advantage in buying those sale items.

Memorial Day began as Decoration Day in the 1860’s. It was created to honor both Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the American Civil War. It became a national holiday in 1967.

In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holidays Act. This moved 4 holidays from their traditional dates to be celebrated on Mondays. These holidays included Washington’s Birthday (3rd Monday in February), Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October) and Veterans Day (4th Monday in October).

The only changes made to this act occurred in 1978 when Veterans day was moved back to November 11th and in 1983 when Martin Luther King Day (3rd Monday in January) was added to the Monday rotation.

I was always confused with the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  These were two holidays that seemed to celebrate the same thing. They do not. Memorial Day focuses on those who died during in military service, while Veterans Day celebrates all (both alive and dead) military serviceman/women.

It is hard to imagine what life would be like if we did not have a strong military and dedicated people who make it possible to enjoy the freedoms we have.

When I was growing up the Viet Nam War was in full bloom. This was the last war that used a lottery system to get men (women were not drafted) to serve in the Armed forces. There were volunteers but the bulk of those who served were drafted. I did not serve because I had a high draft number. Those with the lowest numbers were picked.

During that time there were a lot of demonstrations against the war. Almost every day there was some sort of demonstration going on that focused on the displeasure that some had with us being in that part of the world. Some of this displeasure spilled on to those who were doing the service. Some of those veterans were called puppets and baby killers.

Just think what this country would be like if those same veterans had not performed their duties all over the globe. It could be easy to imagine that the tyranny that exists in some of those distant places could be a way of life here. We have seen in many of these places that demonstrations and demonstrators are dealt with very cruelly.

Whether or not you agreed with what went on in Viet Nam or if you have those same feelings about our involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan, one thing is clear. There are many young men and women who paid the ultimate price so that we could enjoy the freedoms that we have.

The American death tolls for the 6 wars we were involved in are staggering. They are WW1 (117,465), WW2 (418,500), Korea (38,576), Viet Nam (58,269), Iraq (4770) and Afghanistan (1827). That brings the total to 639,407. We owe a great to those who died in these foreign lands.

Let’s take a moment to think about all those positive parents who lost someone while serving their country. I’m sure they all feel a void because of their fallen loved ones. I also feel that they must be very proud that their kids’ lives were lost defending this country. They did not die in vain.

I feel as most do that as a country, we can’t send our young men and women to every conflict that pops up in the world. I also feel confident that if these young people are needed, they could go anywhere and perform what they were trained for to a high level.

My#2 son is getting ready to end his high school career and he is seriously considering joining one of the armed forces.  I am very proud that my son could become one of these highly trained individuals who have chosen to protect our way of life.

As a positive parent I will continue to pray for all those who are serving our country. I will pray not only that they do the job they were sent to do effectively. I will also pray that each one returns to their families safely.



  • Thank you for this article. My husband served in the military during the Vietnam War. Many never understood. I’m against the strike that Obama wants to do in Syria.He seems to be to eager to do the strike so fast before UN has finished their investigation. Another cover up like Benghazi? However, what our government does our military shouldn’t be spit or — on like they did during the Vietnam War.

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