31 05 2010

It is the last day of spring here in the US, which means parties, barbecues, a day off from work, visits from friends and family, and lots of “sales events” bedecked with red, white, and blue trim. This is all well and good, but take a moment amid your merrymaking and remember those who can’t be present for the parties. Those same people whose sacrifices made it possible for you to have the freedom to enjoy those parties and sales.

Make sure you spend at least a moment to honor the fallen to whom you owe so much. Lift a glass to the memory of those who fought and died so you could enjoy those barbecues, and remember that some of those who died for your freedom spoke a different language or wore a different uniform.

Remember the thousands of French soldiers and sailors who gave their all so the US could win its freedom from Great Britain. Remember the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who died fighting the Japanese tooth and nail with no support. Remember the Russian peasants who died in their millions to bleed the Nazis white. Remember the Marines at Guadalcanal and the soldiers at Wake and the thousands of Australians who drove Imperial Japan out of the mountains of New Guinea at the point of a bayonet. Remember the Arabs who fought the Turks armed with little more than steel and courage in the deserts during World War One. Remember the British airmen who kept the Hun at bay so the United Kingdom could survive to grind the Nazis into the deserts of North Africa. Remember the Gurkhas who stormed the heights at Casino, and the Anzacs who died at Gallipoli. Remember the Canadians who stormed ashore at Normandy and suffered 50% casualties in the first wave. Remember the sailors aboard Bonhomme Richard who fought Serapis until the decks ran red with blood. Remember the thousands of Chinese who fought hopeless battles against Japan to buy us time to strangle Japan at sea. Remember the hundreds of Australian coast watchers who died so the Allied navies could know exactly where the Japanese were running their ships. Remember the British  sailors onboard HMS Hood.

All of those men and women, most of whom were not even Americans, died so that you can enjoy a beer and a barbecue in peace today. The very least you can do is remember them.

Current status: Somber

Current music: 1901 by Phoenix



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