Politics/Government · Security Who do you think about on Memorial Day? Eric Ringham May 30, 2011, 5:00 AM May 30, 2011 12 comments Today is Memorial Day, a federal holiday dedicated to the memory of soldiers who have died in America’s wars. Today’s Question: Who do you think about on Memorial Day? ‹ Older Does Internet access rise to the level of a human right? Newer › Would you take $100,000 to forgo college? Browse by category Education Health Economy Politics/Government Culture Religion/Ethics Science/Technology Transportation Race/Gender Environment/Energy Security International affairs Immigration Media Military About the blogger Eric Ringham firstname.lastname@example.org Ron Zuchora I don’t think about anyone in particular, but I think collectively about many unfortunate families who have lost loved ones to war. I’m torn because while we need to be respectful, and must, it saddens me that war continues generation after generation. Linda All my family members who have served in every conflict from the civil war on. I also think about the broken promises to wounded vets. Everyone should be letting their elected officials that no matter how difficult the budget mess is veterans’ benefits should not be cut. They have insured our feedom and deserve every support promised. Suzie I think of the men and women who are currently serving or who have served in our military. I think of those who are still suffering from the physical and mental injuries received during their service. I especially think of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and their families who are now left with only memories of their loved ones. All these millions of good men and women who have suffered and/or died in conflicts, peace keeping missions and wars since the beginning of time – and we as a supposed “civilized” world, can’t learn from our collective pasts. Mike Newman Today I am thinking of all the men and women that have fought and died for freedom and human rights for the United States and changed the world for the better. In particular those members of the Army 71st infantry (nick name The Red Circle) that liberated my father from a concentration camp in Vienna May 1945 Antoinette Arnett I think about my father, Robert L Arnett, who served in the South Pacific during the Second World War. I also think about my grandfather, George Arnett, who served in France during World War One. I honor them but I hope to spend a Memorial Day in the future celebrating World War None. I believe they would agree with me. Pauline REMEMBRANCE With gratitude and kindness, I remember all who have served. Today I remember with gratitude the men and women who have died in military service. I pray for all who have lost a loved one. I pray for the safety of those serving today. I may shed tears when I think of those who are no longer with us. I feel tenderness for families, spouses, children and communities who mourn their lost heroes. Today I share a kind word, give a loving embrace, or say an extra prayer of peace and serenity. With an open heart, I remember that we are all one with Spirit. As my heart opens wider, I feel my connection to others expand and grow. I am forever connected to those who came before me and those who will follow, and I am grateful. I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.–Ephesians 1:16 Steve the Cynic I served in the military years ago. I never personally knew anyone who died in combat, but I remember that many did. It grieves me when we misuse the freedom they died to defend. We dishonor their memory by living self-centered, hedonistic lives without regard for the common good, measuring our well-being in dollars instead of what really matters, begrudging a social safety net to the poor and vulnerable among us, befouling the planet, complaining that the fuel for our gas-guzzling SUVs is too expensive, selling America to the highest bidder, making the business world safe for economic predators,to have a foreign policy that makes more enemies than friends, remaining blissfully igorant of world history, and resenting the fact that we have to pay (gasp) TAXES to build and preserve a society worthy of their sacrifice. I don’t think they died to enable the rich to get richer at the expense of the poor, to allow us to let children go without access to basic health care, or to have stubborn politicians fight like children on the playground instead of making reasonable compromises. Pat Bauer I remember a friend and colleague, Keith Johnson, who served in Vietnam. Fortunately, he didn’t die there, or he wouldn’t have touched as many lives as he did. Keith taught middle school students for many years and was very active in his local VFW branch in Cannon Falls. Last June, he died of cancer as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange. We miss his storytelling, delightful sense of humor and his great humanity. Charlotte Carey Today I am remembering Michael Eugene Mullen from La Porte City, Iowa, who was killed by friendly fire in Vietnam on Feb. 18, 1970. I was recently visiting family in Iowa and while driving north on I-380 I saw the exit for La Porte City and the memories flooded back. Michael’s death turned his middle American silent majority parents, Peg and Gene Mullen into anti-war activists as they pursued the truth about Michael’s death. I will never forget the ad Peg Mullen placed in the Des Moines Register (using Michael’s life insurance money). The ad featured 700+ black crosses to represent all the Iowa soldiers killed in Vietnam. “To the Mothers and Fathers of Iowa…” it pleaded for an end to that awful war. Michael’s story was the subject of a best selling book written by CDB Bryan. To this day that book remains a classic about the Vietnam War. Rest in peace, Michael. You are not forgotten. stuart klipper In the summer of 1985 I spent 6 weeks, day in and day out, on the Western Front of the Great War. I visited a few hundred cemeteries and scores of war memorials. My experiences have haunted my life ever since. They are never far from the surface, but on Memorial Day they leap to the fore. Since that summer I’ve unfailingly stopped at every soldier’s grave I’ve encounter. Those Fallen are also with me now. Matt I think about Ed. Back in 1981 and 1982, my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Vollen, arranged for my entire class to spend Wednesday mornings at the St. Cloud V.A. Each of us were assigned a patient with whom to spend time, be it playing cards or shooting pool. My assigned guy was Ed, a World War II veteran who lost most of his hearing while fighting on the island, Guam. Ed and I played cards for the most part. I recall trying to ask him questions about the war, but he usually couldn’t hear me or simply didn’t respond. Instead he’d say, “Rummy!” He never complained or acted put out by me, a 12-year-old tough-to-love kid who, at the time, really didn’t understand Ed’s sacrifice. Back in the early 1980s, the St. Cloud V.A. was filled with guys like Ed. Most of them are gone now. Most of them died while living in that V.A. I just wish I had the time and money to demonstrate my full appreciation for their sacrifice. But I don’t. Therefore, I honor Ed by thinking about him and others like him. Thanks guys! Lisa Kruse-Robles There is a very small Scandinavian graveyard nearby and as I slowly walked through the few hundred tombstones (or less) today, I was struck by the amount of people who had served in our military. I counted 132 American flags marking the selfless dedication for our freedom ….. thank you, brave soldiers and their families.