Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ray’s Corner Soapbox – Memorial Day

5442-Flags Flying

A few citizens of this country have voiced opinions about Memorial Day and the participation by the military.  They are quick to point out that we have Veteran’s Day in November so why should we have two federal holidays for military?

First of all, Memorial Day is not just the military but a day to reflect on the citizens that came before us making this country great.  People like my father who did not serve in the military.  He wanted to join in World War II even though he was at the upper limits of the age the military would accept.  The military refused to allow him to join.  He was working for a defense contractor (Raytheon) installing a top secret electronic system on PT boats and Destroyers.  The mere mention of the system in public would subject him to years in prison.  We still use that electronic system and not just on military vessels.  It is called RADAR.

I never knew about what he did during WWII until I became a RADAR technician in the US Navy working on avionics.  (Electronics for aircraft…)

Back to the subject I started with.  Memorial Day is a celebration of someone who is no longer with us.  This happens all too much considering Iraq and Afghanistan War with our boys taking the major roles of the war.  Veteran’s Day is for veterans, like myself, that have served their country and are still here to talk about it.

You’ll probably hear speeches this weekend from politicians (folks that stay on the top floor of the ivory tower)stating the men in our national cemeteries have made the supreme sacrifice for their country.  Yes, they did sacrifice but the ones that made the supreme sacrifice are the wives, children and other family members of these soldiers.  The soldier is at rest, the family is now solely in the hands of the military widows and their offspring.  To my fallen comrades and their families, I salute you not only this weekend, but always and always.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, Ray! Well said, and good to remember. My uncle Keith lied about his age and got into WWI, but my Dad, my brother and I never had the opportunity to serve (I was turned down for medical reasons). But we certainly do appreciate and cherish those who did or do currently serve, whether "in the trenches" or even sitting back home behing a desk or under the hood of vehicles or scanning computer reports. Hats off to all of you -- and thank you for your service.