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Memorial Day: Honoring those who served

Written By | May 24, 2015

MISSOURI, May 24, 2015 — Memorial day was initially created as a way to honor our veterans who died in service to our country. This day now includes recognition of those armed service members who are missing in action (MIA).

This day, which has a history going back to the civil war, is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To veterans and families who have lost love ones in service to their country, it is a reminder of those who died in the service of their country so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.

READ ALSO: Memorial Day: 21 films, including American Sniper, that tell the story of war

Seniors have seen many wars, and for some have experienced the sight of death while serving their country. To this day, some of these brave veterans have vivid memories of the loss of their comrades.

To give a perspective to the magnitude of loss of life to preserve our freedoms, the following is some approximate figures dealing with the American Armed Services casualties relative to a war:

World War1 116,516

World War 11  405,399

Korean War 36,516

Vietnam War 58,209

Persian Gulf War 258

Iraq War 4, 804

War in Afghanistan (as of November 13, 2013) 3,395

There are also casualties from skirmishes and the fight against terrorism all over the globe.

Many other veterans survive combat but return home with injuries that later cause their death, but they are not officially counted as casualties of war.

If you have never visited a veteran’s cemetery on this day of recognition, take that drive and see the awesome view. While you are there have a moment of silence and, yes, say a prayer.

READ ALSO: Memorial Day: Honor sacrifices of the dead with progress for the living

This is a day of family picnics or just get togethers, so it is an opportunity to tell our children the true meaning of this day. Along with the moms and dads, grandparents can join in on the significance of this day. It is one of the most important responsibilities that we have as a member of a freeborn society is to transmit that message of freedom to the children.

In addition to the memorial to our honored dead and those still missing in action one cannot help but to think about the “Gold Star” families who are left behind with these sad memories.

What a sorrowful time when there is a loss of a love one for family and friends. So on this memorial let’s remember their heroism and think back to the happy times we shared with these “beautiful people,” as they are true heroes.

It is appropriate to close this article with the following eulogy that says it all so read it in the silence of your home and think deeply with your heart the words you read.

Eulogy for a Veteran

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the Gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

-Author Unknown

 God Bless our honored Armed Forces and those who are still missing in action-MIA.


However, that’s from a time and place I am from-

Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles spent a fifty-four-year career in technology, retiring at the director level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a freelance columnist, he has published three books, made over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, and been involved in numerous radio interviews and one television commercial. He has been married for sixty-five years, and has four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great-grand children. Charles is also a Navy veteran.