Heros, Patriots and our President!

By: Richard H. Frank

I expect if a survey was taken today asking the American on the street the meaning of Memorial Day we would be shocked at the answers we would receive. For most young people, and many under 50 years of age, it is a holiday that ushers in the summer season for all the fun activities such as swimming, boating, barbeque and celebration with drink and huge fireworks displays. Those of us having received a more traditional education, and for many having lived the horrors of war, understand the real meaning of the Holiday. We honor the memory and service of those heros and patriots that made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Following the Civil War it was called “Decoration Day” for the observance of those families that decorated the graves of those killed in the fight to preserve our Union and Constitution. In 1868 the day assumed the title of Memorial Day and in 1971 was finally recognized in the “National Holiday Act” as the official day in remembrance of those who have died in the service of our country and to preserve America’s liberty. Today we honor those heros and patriots that paid the highest price for the freedoms we enjoy in America today. Their sacrifices were as follows for those of you that did not have the advantage of an unaltered history education:

  • Civil War – 618,000 killed.
  • WWI – 908,371 killed.
  • WWII – 292,000 killed.
  • Korea – 33,665 killed.
  • Vietnam – 58,226 killed.
  • Golf I – 378 killed.
  • Iraq – 4287 killed and counting.

That totals 1, 343,927 souls that have sacrificed their lives in fulfillment of their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and to preserve our liberties. These are the men and women we honor on Memorial Day. The tradition is that our President lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns as our country’s acknowledgement to their ultimate sacrifice is an honored tradition not to be taken lightly. Yet today we are told that President Obama will delegate the ceremony to Vice President Biden as he is taking a long weekend holiday with his family in Chicago, but will be back to greet Paul McCarthy. Apparently our Commander-in-Chief doesn’t feel the photo-op of placing the wreath is as important as his appearance at the Lincoln Cemetary in Chicago, or is it that he will make some “token” appearance to honor our soldiers. What must the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan think about choosing where they would like to be  when meeting their sworn responsibility this Memorial Day?

General George S. Patton was vilified for reportedly slapping a soldier for what he perceived as being  a coward. Patton said his purpose was to restore the individual’s integrity and honor to service for his country. President Obama’s decision not to participate in the Arlington ceremony constitutes a  slap in the face to every man and woman who served in the military and makes general Patton’s actions look like a national hero.

For the first time in my life I am ashamed of the President of the United States. Not the Office of the President but the man holding that office. I am sure I speak for many veterans and gallant men serving our country today. Not withstanding our President, ” May God bless America and those brave Americans serving our nation today and the memory of those that have served in the past!”