A Local Editorial: Memorial Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"The soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

— Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Today is Memorial Day, a day for sober reflection on too-seldom shared sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces. These are the patriots who when called upon give their lives, their hopes, their dreams, for their country, for America.

Theirs is an unbroken record of valor extending from Gettysburg's Cemetery Ridge, to shell-pocked fields in France in two great World Wars, to Pork Chop Hill in Korea, to steaming jungles in Vietnam, and today to brutal sands and bloody streets in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They are the ones who never fail to answer when the war tocsin sounds. They are the ones who too often return in flag-draped coffins, or with missing limbs and permanently scarred bodies. They are the ones who make possible the relatively easy and prosperous lives enjoyed by their countrymen at home while they who wear the uniform bleed in distant lands.


Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces* South Carolina

6 Comments
Posted May 28, 2007 at 6:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Kendall Harmon wrote:

Tarawa is too little known. My friend Mike Lumpkin’s father, William Lumpkin, an Episcopal priest, was a chaplain there.  One thing Bill Lumpkin said will always stay with me: every marine he buried on Tarawa fell face down, going forward.  No exceptions.

May 28, 12:54 pm | [comment link]
2. qharbour wrote:

I can not help but wonder why we do not sing “patriotic hymns” on Sundays closest to Memorial Day and July 4th.  Yesterday, May 27th, the day before Memorial Day 2007, this would have been a perfect time to sing a patriotic hymn. In our hymnal a number of hymns under National Days are available.
The Church I attend,(in the Myrtle Beach South Carolina area) we might just as well remove the National Hymns from the Hymnal as we never use them.
We have men and women fighting in foreign land.  Iraq where as of May 26, 2007, 3.451 American lives been lost.  In the period from Memorial Day 2006 through last Saturday, 980 soldiers and Marines died in Iraq.  Such a staggering number and we cannot sing a patriotic hymn.
I do not know who decides what hymns to sign, whether it is the Rector, Choir Director, but who ever it is, it appears to me that, patriotism has a low priotiry.

May 28, 1:42 pm | [comment link]
3. Shirley wrote:

All of the posts make my heart cry and bring back so many images from my childhood and WW II.  I was 9 when Pearl Harbor was bombed and I remember listening to the reports on the radio that morning.  I remember the newsreels at the movie theaters showing the battles taking place, the bombing of targets, and on the front page of the paper, there would be drawings of the battle lines of the “Allies” and the “Axis”, little pyramid like figures in a line between the two forces - showing whether we were advancing or being pushed back.  Strange how certain things make an impression on a child.  My mother’s youngest brother came home from the war and everyone said he was “shell shocked” and he was different the rest of his life. 

Thanks for all the posts, Kendall, even though they are sad.  We do need to sing patriotic hymns and honor our men and women whenever we can.  May God protect them and bring them home soon.

May 28, 3:21 pm | [comment link]
4. carol wrote:

We opened up Sunday morning with God Bless America followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then the processional and service.

We always do patriotic songs close to or on a holiday and I love it and the pledge isn’t far behind.  It is the Navy Hymn that gets me as I am the wife of a navy man who retired after 24 years in the submarine service and that was 23 years ago.

May 29, 4:12 am | [comment link]
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