Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day 2016
Boy Scouts place flags in Sumner Cemetery, Pierce County, WA. (Image: Screen grab of Pierce County TV video, YouTube)

Across America on Monday, people will have the day off, and will spend their time with family, both to enjoy fellowship and recreation, and to commemorate the men and women who have died fighting for the country that has afforded us so many blessings.

Here at Liberty Unyielding, we figure it’s all about the memory of our fallen heroes.  It’s about those whom they carried in their hearts, who will never forget them.  It’s about the America we love.

So there may be unseemly battles for narrative and rhetoric going on out there.  But among the treasured citizens of LU Nation, Memorial Day is about remembering, with gratitude and the highest respect – and recognizing how that endows us with hope and a future.

Stick with me here, as you won’t want to miss the grand finale of this one.

We begin with a combined children’s choir in San Diego performing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” on 31 May, 2015.

One of the loveliest Memorial Day tributes is made in Boston, where a “garden” of more than 33,000 flags is now planted each year on Boston Common to commemorate all the Massachusetts fallen from America’s wars.

Garden of Flags on Boston Commons, Memorial Day, 2013. (Image: Screen grab of Townies/Brian Morrison video, YouTube)
Garden of Flags on Boston Commons, Memorial Day, 2013. (Image: Screen grab of Townies/Brian Morrison video, YouTube)

We continue with our gaze on the American Revolutionary War.  We note a most compelling piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer about a local couple, members of the Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church, who have made a vocation of identifying the Revolutionary War soldiers who are buried in the church’s cemetery, which dates to about 1764.

Reportedly, when Ronn and Ellen Shaffer moved to Spruce Street in 2000, only nine of the Revolutionary War soldiers in the church cemetery were known.  In the years since, Ronn Shaffer has identified more than 270 additional veterans of the Revolution, using church and local records.

Needless to say, the Revolutionary War veterans are honored with flags every year.

Revolutionary War graves in Old Pine Street Church Cemetery, Philadelphia. (Image: Screen grab of Wanda Kaluza video, YouTube)
Revolutionary War graves in Old Pine Street Church Cemetery, Philadelphia. (Image: Screen grab of Wanda Kaluza video, YouTube)

We move on to a few images that convey the vastness and diversity of the service members who have died fighting for America.

The Civil War dead at the National Cemetery in Culpeper, VA. (Image: Wikimedia Commons, Carole J. Buckwalter)
The Civil War dead at the National Cemetery in Culpeper, VA. (Image: Wikimedia Commons, Carole J. Buckwalter)
Charles Lindbergh flying over the WWI American cemetery at Flanders Field, Belgium
Charles Lindbergh flying over the WWI American cemetery at Flanders Field, Belgium
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium, in the section where members of the 101st Airborne Division lie. Hundreds of Americans are buried in other sections of the vast WWII cemetery. (Image: Screen grab of 101st Airborne Easy 506 video, YouTube)
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium, in the section where members of the 101st Airborne Division lie. Thousands more Americans are buried in other sections of the vast WWII Allied cemetery — 7,992 in all. (Image: Screen grab of 101st Airborne Easy 506 video, YouTube)
A 2009 salute to the Buffalo Soldiers interred at Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, TX. (Image: concordiacemetery.org)
A 2009 salute to the Buffalo Soldiers interred at Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, TX. (Image: concordiacemetery.org)
Navajo Veterans Memorial and Cemetery in Window Rock, AZ, where some of the famous Cod Talkers of WWII are buried. (Image: "wrenchwench," Little Green Footballs)
Navajo Veterans Memorial and Cemetery in Window Rock, AZ, where some of the famous Code Talkers of WWII are buried. (Image: “wrenchwench,” Little Green Footballs)
Los Angeles National Cemetery decked in 80,000 flags, planted for Memorial Day by the Boy and Girl Scouts in 2009. (Image: Screen grab of LAObserved video, YouTube)
Los Angeles National Cemetery decked in 80,000 flags, planted for Memorial Day by the Boy and Girl Scouts in 2009. (Image: Screen grab of LAObserved video, YouTube)

An LU salute wouldn’t be complete without an address from Ronald Reagan.  Here, he speaks at Arlington National Cemetery 30 years ago, on Memorial Day, 1986.  His words are worth listening to both for the sense of a disappearing past, and the sense that what he says still applies to our present and future, and the courage we need for both.

Our military conflicts continue today, and soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines continue to be brought home from the battlefield to their final resting place.  Here are just a few we know are remembered well on this Memorial Day.

Staff Sergeant Jason Rogers, USMC, of Brandon, MS (killed in Afghanistan, 2011)

From the funeral of SSgt Jason Rogers, USMC in Brandon, MS, 2011. (Image: Screen grab of KingfishMs video, YouTube)
From the funeral of SSgt Jason Rogers, USMC in Brandon, MS, 2011. (Image: Screen grab of KingfishMs video, YouTube)

First Sergeant John Locicero of Buffalo, NY (died in South Korea, 2015)

Patriot Guard Riders (in the background) salute as the casket of 1SGT John Locicero, USA, is transported to his gravesite in 2015. (Image: Screen grab of Laura Friend video, YouTube)
Patriot Guard Riders (in the background) salute as the casket of 1SGT John Locicero, USA, is transported to his gravesite in 2015. (Image: Screen grab of Laura Friend video, YouTube)

Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Collin T. Thomas of Morehead, KY (killed in Afghanistan, 2010)

CPO Collin T. Thomas, USN, receives final honors in 2010. (Image: Screen grab of milesphotographer video, YouTube)
CPO Collin T. Thomas, USN, receives final honors in 2010. (Image: Screen grab of milesphotographer video, YouTube)

I doubt LU readers need this next reminder.  But the image conveys everything that matters about the gravity and heroism of giving all for your country – that she and her people may be free.

Memorial Day Marine and boy

There are plenty of more polished and elaborate videos out there of the 21-gun salute and Taps on Memorial Day, and at military funerals.  But, for our grand finale, I think you’ll see why I had to choose this one, from an unnamed commemoration in Texas.

We will never forget.

A soldier of the Old Guard performs the "Flag In" ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. (Image: Screen grab of Patriotism USA video, YouTube)
A soldier of the Old Guard executes “Flag In” at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. (Image: Screen grab of Patriotism USA video, YouTube)
J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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