Memorial Day Thoughts by Mark Alexander

Memorial Day Is NOT on Sale

By Mark Alexander · Thursday, May 24, 2012
Millions of Patriots Have Already Paid the Full Price

“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.” –John Adams

Memorial Day provides a stark contrast between the best of our nation’s Patriot sons and daughters versus the worst of our nation’s civilian culture of consumption.

Amid the sparse, reverent observances of the sacrifices made by millions of American Patriots who paid the full price for Liberty, in keeping with their sacred oaths, we are inundated at every turn with the commercialization of Memorial Day by vendors who are too ignorant and/or selfish to honor this day in accordance with its purpose.

Indeed, Memorial Day has been sold out, along with Washington’s Birthday, Independence Day, Veterans, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. And it’s no wonder, as government schools no longer teach civics or any meaningful history, and courts have excluded God (officially) from the public square.

In his essay “The Contest In America,” 19th-century libertarian philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote, “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

It is that “decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling” which accounts for why so many “miserable creatures” have downgraded Memorial Day to nothing more than a date to exploit for commercial greed and avarice. While units large and small of America’s Armed Forces stand in harm’s way around the globe, many Americans are too preoccupied with beer, barbecue and baseball to pause and recognize the priceless burden borne by generations of our uniformed Patriots. Likewise, many politicos will use Memorial Day as a soapbox to feign Patriotism, while in reality they are in constant violation of their oaths to our Constitution.

That notwithstanding, there are still tens of millions of genuine American Patriots who will set aside the last Monday in May to honor all those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen who have refreshed the Tree of Liberty with their blood, indeed with their lives, so that we might remain the proud and free. My family, which humbly descends from generations of American Patriots from the American Revolution forward, will honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s fallen warriors by offering prayer in thanksgiving for the legacy of Liberty they have bequeathed to us, and by participating in respectful commemorations.

Since the opening salvos of the American Revolution, nearly 1.2 million American Patriots have died in defense of Liberty. Additionally, 1.4 million have been wounded in combat, and tens of millions more have served honorably, surviving without physical wounds. These numbers, of course, offer no reckoning of the inestimable value of their service or the sacrifices borne by their families, but we do know that the value of Liberty extended to their posterity — to us — is priceless.

Who were these brave souls?

On 12 May 1962, Gen. Douglas MacArthur addressed the cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, delivering his farewell speech, “Duty, Honor and Country.” He described the legions of uniformed American Patriots as follows: “Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world’s noblest figures — not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.”
Gen. MacArthur continued:

His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast.

But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.

In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people.

From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory’s eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.

I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.

Duty. Honor. Country — these are not for bargain sale or discount.

On Memorial Day of 1982, President Ronald Reagan offered these words in honor of Patriots interred at Arlington National Cemetery: “I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them. Yet, we must try to honor them not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.”
President Ronald Reagan

President Reagan continued:

Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we — in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to give of ourselves.

It is this, beyond the controversy and the congressional debate, beyond the blizzard of budget numbers and the complexity of modern weapons systems, that motivates us in our search for security and peace. … The willingness of some to give their lives so that others might live never fails to evoke in us a sense of wonder and mystery.

One gets that feeling here on this hallowed ground, and I have known that same poignant feeling as I looked out across the rows of white crosses and Stars of David in Europe, in the Philippines, and the military cemeteries here in our own land. Each one marks the resting place of an American hero and, in my lifetime, the heroes of World War I, the Doughboys, the GIs of World War II or Korea or Vietnam. They span several generations of young Americans, all different and yet all alike, like the markers above their resting places, all alike in a truly meaningful way.

As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. … I can’t claim to know the words of all the national anthems in the world, but I don’t know of any other that ends with a question and a challenge as ours does: “O! say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” That is what we must all ask.

Indeed, in this era when Liberty is being crushed under the weight of Democratic Socialism, Patriots must all ask that question, and act accordingly.

For the Fallen, we are certain of that which is noted on all Marine Corps Honorable Discharge orders: “Fideli Certa Merces” — to the faithful there is certain reward.

Thomas Jefferson offered this enduring advice to all generations of Patriots: “Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them.”

We owe a great debt of gratitude to all those generations who have passed the Torch of Liberty to succeeding generations. In accordance, I humbly ask that each of you call upon all those around you to observe Memorial Day with reverence.

To prepare hearts and minds for Memorial Day, take a moment and read about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Join with other Patriots across the nation who will be placing flags at headstones in your local military cemetery (generally the Saturday prior to Memorial Day).

Son of Liberty

I served for 20 years in the United States Navy all on active duty. My older brother served for 21 years in the Navy, my Father for 4 years in the Army (1944-1948) and transitioned to the Airforce to serve another 17 years. He is a Vietnam veteran as well. I have two Uncles who served during WWII 1 in the Army Air Corps and one in the Infantry, my late Grandfather in the US Army during WWII, and my late Great Uncle served in the US Army during WWI. I come from a long line of veterans, who fought for their country and did so proudly. And all my brothers in arms, who gave all their tomorrows just so we could have today.

We OWE them to defeat this enemy within! We cannot just speak of freedom in past tense, nor can we look upon the Constitution as a forgotten law. We must FIGHT for that jewel called freedom with everything we have. That fight starts now, and we must carry it through to November to defeat the Socialist who occupies the White House! And all his cronies must all be driven from power. We must restore the anger and take back our Republic. If we only pay it lip service, we are unworthy of that which the Founders and our forefathers left us.

So when you look at the white marble headstones in the National Cemeteries remember this … if we fail, if we lose our freedom – their sacrifice was all for nothing! I will not let my ancestors down.

How about you?!

C. L. Calliso

Teach your children to respect this nation while they are very young. Take them to patriotic parades and teach them our beloved, patriotic songs. Tell them, this year, that our “Star Spangled Banner” was written 300 years ago, and tell them about the man Francis Scott Key, and the conditions under which he wrote it. 2012 is a great anniversary year. Teach them all of the verses of this song, and “America”. Teach them in hopes that when they grow up, they will be patriots and will continue our American traditions. They will know why we are the last free country in the world, and who paid for this freedom. God bless America!

LTC Malcolm Chandler, USA (Ret)


U tube video. — “Here’s to the Heroes Who Never Came Home” —

Excerpts from the Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln

— We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those for those who here gave their lives that the nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. — It is for us the living, rather, — to continue the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we, here, highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

(Comment) Notice that the words “under God” came easily from the lips of President Lincoln. In this present age, there is great secular pressure to take God out of our Motto, our Pledge Of Allegiance and our currency. You have heard the claim that the Constitution requires a “Wall Of Separation of church and state”. This is not true. The First Amendment only states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. It clearly adds “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Our forefathers would be aghast at the idea that men should try to govern without the guidance and wisdom of Almighty God.

Benjamin Franklin said to his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention, in 1775, “Do we imagine that we no longer need His (God’s) assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without His notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without His aid?”

George Washington, in his Thanksgiving Proclamation, in 1789 said, “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.”

(Comment) The black-robed regiment of the Revolutionary Period were preachers who spoke out concerning the issues of the day. They understood that in order to have a great government, then you must have great citizens. The way that you have great citizens is by having great people that are rooted in the foundation of the Word of God. Week after week they expounded upon the principles of the proper role of government, the proper role of individuals, all underneath the kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Alexis deTocqueville, a french historian, is said to have written in his book “Democracy in America”: “In the end, the state of the Union comes down to the character of the people. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there. In the fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there. In her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits, aflame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Slide #5 The 4th verse of our National Anthem

O! thus be it ever, when free men shall stand,

Between their loved homes and war’s desolation.

Blessed with victory and peace, may our heaven-rescued land,

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must when our cause it is just,

And this be our Motto, in God is our trust.

And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave,

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

(Comment) It is time, my friends that “we, here, highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”. It is time that “We, The People” should DEMAND that our Government abide by the code of ethics established by God in the Ten Commandments, and, not so incidentally, in the Honor Code of West Point:

“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

(Comment) Although this last may be VERY POLITICALLY INCORRECT, I would contend that it is the ONLY way our beloved United States Of America can hope to survive as God would have us to do and as our Patriots who have gone before us would like us to live –victorious lives in their honor.

(Comment) Finally, my friends, I would like to pay tribute to those family members who were left behind when their loved ones died for our freedom. It seems to me that it takes courage of a different order to go on and rebuild our lives as God would have us to do, and as our Patriots who are gone would like us to do — to live victorious lives in their honor.

My wife never met her Uncle Charles (Bud) Garthwaite. He was killed in WWII some years before she was born. Her Grandparents were presented with an American flag at his funeral. My wife’s Father gave her that flag before he passed away and every Memorial day we take it out of it’s box and show it to our children, and now grandchildren. My wife tells them the stories about Uncle Bud that her Father told to her and we make them pledge to remember them so they can tell them to their children and Grandchildren someday.

ohn DiChiara

Thank you so much for republishing MacArthur’s farewell address. It ranks as one of the most beautiful, moving and eloquent speeches in American history. The final passages, in which he acknowledges the long shadows drawing over his life, are worthy of our finest poets.

I read in one of his biographies that the stunned cadets who were privileged to be there that graduation day in 1962 are still talking about it’s profound affect on their lives.

Matt Bonner

Absolutely phenomenal piece – I was yelling Amen throughout. Excellently written and captured Mark. You are one of the best writers out there and I’m constantly amazed at your ability to capture the heart, soul and spirit of your fellow patriots across this blessed land. May it ring true from coast to coast and wake up a slumberous citizenry from its slothful and indifferent posture about this most important day. God bless you and the faithful crew at the Patriot Post!!


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