Memorial Day Post 2015

It's late for the Memorial Day observance this year, but early for next year! :-)

I saw lots of stuff on Facebook and Twitter, some good, but far too many angry or guilt ridden. The best may have been from Terminal Lance (if you aren't reading this comic, start now), a repost of his 2012 comic and accompanying post. Following the guidance of his character Abe, every beer I drank this weekend was dedicated to the fallen. I drank many beers, because there are many who fell, but sadly, there are more fallen than there is room in my stomach, so the drinking will have to continue same time next year. If you are a civilian, and untouched by this or any previous war, I am not angry that you don't understand or lack awareness. If anything, I am a little jealous. Just understand that your three day weekend means something else to a segment of the population, and that they are hurting a little (or a lot) and are depressed a little (or a lot).

Here is a cool photo that went viral this week. Just a lucky snapshot by a passing journalist at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Haunting and poignant and not at all angry. Share it if you haven't already.

Finally, as has been my haphazard tradition, here is a poem for Memorial Day. Here is the complete Star Spangled Banner (it goes on much longer than we ever sing it). The opening lines of the last verse says it all for this holiday "O thus be it ever where freemen shall stand between their lov'd home and the war's desolation!"

The Star-Spangled Banner
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - “In God is our trust,” 
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.