Memorial Day

The primary purpose of national holidays is usually to honor historic individuals and events. Nevertheless, we might consider a secondary role:  Uniting a country that has become almost as polarized during the last few decades as a century and a half ago during the Civil War. Perhaps, it’s also appropriate that Memorial Day was instituted in 1868 just few years after a Civil War that killed 600,000.

For over two centuries our American Republic has remained a bold experiment in individual freedom and representative democracy. Sometimes that freedom has made the United States appear vulnerable to dictators and despots.  However, the resulting American ingenuity, initiative, and productivity (as in WWII) have made the United States an “Arsenal of Democracy”.

From a delayed start in late 1941, and then fighting a worldwide two front war, the Axis powers were totally defeated during WWII. The United States alone lost over 400,000 KIA (Killed in Action) and many times that in wounded. The US World War II KIA’s were approximately: 1 of  25 Merchant Marines, 1 of 35  US Marines, 1 of  50 US Army and Army Air Force, and 1 of 150 US Navy and Coast Guard.

On Memorial Day, let’s remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending the freedom and liberty of our country.  Next, insist that our armed forces are supported with the best leadership, training, and equipment. Finally, Americans can express their appreciation with a more reasonable and thoughtful level of political discourse.