may you have a safe Memorial Day, but please do not forget what the actual meaning of this day is. If you are really not for certain what the day was for, here is a link to help. http://www.usmemorialday.org/act.html
Take the time in the midst of your cookouts and family gatherings to have a minute of silence and say a prayer to all of our Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, Uncles, Cousins and Brothers and Sisters in arms who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us and our country in order to enjoy the things we have today. We enjoy this forum, even the arguments and the mixed up politics and the wonderful information here ultimately because of the contributions made in the past. We are so very fortunate and how quickly we soon forget that we could very easily be like the third world countries and not have the freedoms we do. Do not forget to fly your flags at half mast to honor those Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Coasties and Airmen who died in the name of The United States Of America.
Michael "Mac" McLane
United States Navy
Persian Gulf Veteran
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After visiting the World War II memorial this past week, I was overwhelmed with the magnanimity of what that single generation did so we can sit here and crow and whine about pissants every day. Each and every day of the war in Europe, 10 brave men climbed aboard a peanut sized airplane by today's standards to bomb Germany or Italy. Each time they did, they new that 7 out of every ten of those airplanes would not return at days end. But they got on the planes ANYWAY.
The memorial has a "Freedom Wall" to remind visitors that freedom has never been free. On that wall are 4,000 gold stars. Each and every star represents 100 souls who never returned from that war. Today, the media and politicians are railing over casualties in the Middle East, but do you know that of those 4,000 stars, the Middle East could only account for about FOUR STARS? What would the Ted Kennedy's of this world done when Dwight Eisenhower decided that 1000 men a day would be an "acceptable loss" in the invasion of Normandy? How about one MILLION for the projected losses of invading Japan?
Those numbers don't comprehend today, because of what that generation did for us. They died so we don't have to think in such macabre statistics.
So on Monday, when the highlight of your day is to watch the Indy 500 or maybe have a picnic or go to the beach or the mountains, just take a second or two and thank those brave souls who gave their all, just so the Post Office could have a day off.
Even if today's causaties in Iraq are low by WW II's standards those "few" in Iraq are still someone's dad, brother, son, husband, wife, mother etc. So don't just count numbers. War is a terrible thing and should only be undertaken if necessary. I believe our CIC's arguments for invading Iraq were not good enough.
You want to import your distorted logic and politics on the memorials to those who've died. NO you can't ignore WHO they are in Iraq any more than you could ignore that 400,000 people who died in World War II were exactly those same things to some people. YOUR determination that the president was wrong was exactly the same thinking Neville Chamberlain used for Britain (look that up). Regardless of your religious persuasions, the Bible is correct in foretelling, "there shall always be wars and rumors of war". SOMEONE has to fight for what's right. If we don't, then WHO will. Woodrow Wilson (Democrat) tried isolationism and his grandiose ideas, just like yours, proved false and World War I happened. The logic of Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge (both Republicans with strong anti-war religious leanings. Hoover was a Congregationalist and Coolidge was a Quaker) in not enforcing the Treaty of Versailles , like Bill Clinton's allowing the UN mandates to expire dozens of times, led to World War II. You can't have it both ways, Cecil. You speak English instead of German or Japan because SOMEONE took off their blinders to see facts beyond ideals and OTHERS committed their lives to making it so. You dishonor that sacrifice by even trying that political crap of yours in this post. Go to another one and start it there.
Throw it back into my lap and try to put me on a guilt trip. Let me clarify:
Our troops are so valuable and cherished they should not go to war unless absolutely necessary. To insituate I do not value the gallent men and women that sacrificed for us is way off the mark. You can't be serious. I'd have to be a moron (did I spell it right this time?) to argue that defeating the Nazis was not important. I dishoner no one.
What would be a dishonor to our over 800 troops and counting lost in Iraq would be to have the country have a coup, at the blink of an eye when we are no longer there, and revert to a theocracy or another dictatorship. I still say our CIC did not consider all the ramifications. He was naive and foolhardy.
Veterans not only killed in action, But all the wounded Vet. And all the Vets that are still missing in action. Plus all that served in the milatary to fight for the freedom we all have today. No matter what war it was.
SSGT. Michael E. Rathnow
and even harder to say and accept, one has to start sometime to create change for the good. To say that our people have died in vain, in my opinion, for those in Iraq, would be incorrect. Saddam Hussien brutally killed people. He went as far as putting them head first into what can only be described as an oversized blender.(I've seen that particular type as I have inspected them and sat on the rotating blades) Hussien killed over 2 million of his own people. Cecil, I can understand, I believe, what your saying. Yes, the potential for a coup or overthrown government is very high and shall be for quite sometime. You cannot take democracy to a people who have never had it and expect them to accept it without reservation nor resistance. But, even though I do not personnaly believe that the U.S. should be the policeman of the world, something needed to be done. Someone needed to take that first step. Yes, the timing sucked and came 12 years late. Right, wrong or indifferent though, the planting of the seed of freedom will eventually bring forth a plant and from there fruit of the labor. Is there cost that must be paid? Most certainly. The U.S.Colonies in it's succession from England paid the price, in our own Civil and Revolutionary Wars our ancestors paid that price, through WW I and II our ForeFathers paid that price and what was the bottom line? Freedom from repression. It is understood that in conventional aspects Saddam Hussien may not have had the ability to strike the U.S. as did the Japanese, but unconventionally who is to say. I understand where the opinions lie in regards to G.W.B as I can see what drives them, but I also know that I am not recieving the same information he gets in order to form an informed and objective opinion or rational for action. I guess it's the military training that tells me that he made the decisions given the info he had at the time, but bottom line is the decision has been made, we are committed, so let's finish it and be done as best we can. Republican or Democrat, we should be doing what we can to find a solution, because at this point in time, regardless of who's in office, it's going to take a massive effort to get things to work over there. I think Everyone has been naive of that culture, fool hardy, well that's always subject to opinion. Regardless we can only pray for as quick a return as possible for our fighting men & women and keep supporting them.
My apologies, as I neglected some of the most unsung heroes, you and our troops who served in Viet Nam to fight a similar unpopular war. Welcome Home Sir, and thank you, the other Viet Nam, Korean and World War II vets who read this for serving your country as there those of us who DO appreciate your sacrifice as I know at the time of your return, there were so many who did not.
God Bless Yall
Just disagreeing in our usual gentlemanly manner. LOL
Mac and Coyote my hats off to you even if I have a difference of opinon! Shoot -- I even respect George -- just don't always see eye to eye with Mr. Personality. LOL
Not a problem here Cecil. I know you and George rarely see eye to eye. And I do like reading your responces to each other. Memorial Day is just a special day for me. I lost 2 close friends in Nam, one in my arms. Thats the only reason I hate to see fighting and arguing about this coming weekend. Sorry if I offended either of you.
I did lash out unnecessarily. I understand you weren't dishonoring those gallant men and women, but sometimes OUR politics rears up between us. My comments were rude, though true, and weren't directed at you as much as the ideas and insinuations of today's media. No one should glorify war as the dead remain dead regardless of who "wins".
and I sure hope I didn't ruin your special day. I'm sure my dad who was a Green Beret could share some stories with you about Vietnam over a few beers. Sadly not many good ones. He's a tough ol' bird that got the nick name "Stoney" in Vietnam, but after a few beers and bringing up Vietnam he has been known to shed some tears. Last time he shed some tears he was talking about an incident where several coppers kept crashing into each other in an ambush with each copper trying to rescue the one before it.
I think one of the reasons he does not like the present administration (his opinion) and this war is he has experienced first hand orders from very high places that got people senselessly killed. He knows how politicians in white shirts and ties can be clueless. (I'm not necessarily saying this is the case with Bush.) Like the time he was ordered to send in team after team of troops behind enemy lines to see what the NVA was doing across the DMZ. It was obvious as there were so many they were up and about in broad daylight doing their laundry. But the pentagon wanted to know anyway. Sadly after several teams went in never to meet again at a rendezvous point the pentagon finally decided that was enough. What a waste. It would have been easy to bomb the crap out of the NVA getting ready for an offensive, but I guess our politicians didn't allow it.
George just got to tell you. As much as we disagree and appear to be going at it incesently to those that are new to this site, you're still O.K. in my book. I don't take anything personal on here.