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Memorial Day
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Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Memorial Day on 05/31/2010 09:12:13 MDT Print View

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Thank you to all of those who have served and those currently serving our Country.



The history of Memorial Day dates back to just after the Civil War.

The following is from the Web site Memorial Day History.

"Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo, New York, was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.

"Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30,1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in every state on the last Monday in May (as decreed by Congress with the passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971)."

So if you know a veteran, an active member of the military, or recall someone who fought for this country but has passed on, take a moment to consider their service. We are all better off for their sacrifice.

Enjoy the day.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
We were "Just Kids"...."Taking Chance"....(an old Marine's reflections) on 06/05/2010 09:52:06 MDT Print View

Juston,
Your Memorial Day message inspired me to share with you and the list the following message I send on Memorial Day
to those who served and know the pain........
****************
To my Marine buddies, those who served and those who know the PAIN.
I was watching the movie "Taking Chance" and it took me back to a time very long ago.
If Memorial Day means anything to you, you owe it to yourself to watch the movie "Taking Chance".
It will rip your heart out, make you feel all mushy inside and make you appreciate and respect the honor bestowed upon our fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
It is by far the movie that best reflects what Memorial Day stands for.
I don't know what it is about Memorial Day that makes me feel this way and makes me say the things I am about to
say.........

We were "Just Kids", in the summer of 1965, when we landed in Vietnam.
"Just Kids", most of us 18-19-20 years old, just barely out of High School, not yet old enough to drink but old enough to die for our country.
We never could quite understand that....if you are old enough to die for your country you should be old enough to drink.
With one year of advanced infantry training including jungle, desert, cold weather, hand to hand combat and raider (comando) training we were "gung ho" Marines, tough enough to chew nails....I mean we were Captain Tolleson's
Echo 2/7, the cream of the crop of the Marine Corps' Raider Battallion and ready to kick ass.
We were "Just Kids" eager to be Marines, eager to serve during a time of war, eager to be heroes.
That naive fantasy thinking can change mighty quick when the landing crafts hit the beach and the bullets start flying.
There is no glory in war, only misery...it is your worst nightmare.
Our first casualty was by friendly fire....the tragic part was that the bullet that caused our first casualty was fired by the casualties best friend.
In combat, reflex decisions have to be made in a split second and sometimes those decisions turn out not to be the right ones.
In my mind there is no greater honor than serving your country during a time of war and no greater sacrifice than a soldier paying the ultimate price while serving his country during a time of war.
Take Pat Tilman for instance....Pat was a professional football player who had fortune and fame, yet walked away from a $3.6 million contract to serve his country and paid the ultimate price.....ironically also by friendly fire.
But it does not matter, friendly fire, enemy fire, the results are always the same and Memorial Day is to honor all of our fallen heroes, for they served their country and paid the ultimate price.
If it was not for men like that, Obama might be our Prime Minister or our national language might be German and Memorial Day is to remind us of that and pay our respect to these fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy what we have today.

We did not consider ourself to be "Just Kids", but now that I am older and wiser I realize we WERE "Just Kids".
Nothing has really changed and many of our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are still "Just Kids"....not yet old enough to drink, but old enough to die for their country.

Think about that for a moment, on Memorial Day, and what that day stands for.

Reinhold Metzger
Sgt. USMC 1964-68
Gunner, Echo Co., 2nd Battallion, 7th Marines

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Memorial Day" on 06/05/2010 11:58:58 MDT Print View

Thank you for posting that, Reinhold.

"Taking Chance" is the most moving movie have ever seen.......I highly recommend it.