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I didn't see a thread for Memorial Day this year.

Mrs. Merkt and I have commented together over the years about the widespread misunderstanding about the basis for Memorial Day. Or Decoration Day, as it was sometimes called when I was a youngster up until into the 1960's some time.

The misunderstanding is, many people think it's a veteran's day equivalent. Yes, it's about some veterans, but only those who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation. Another misapprehension is that somehow it's a day to remember anybody who has died. I guess that's okay if it causes a person to have good memories of people departed.

Memorial Day is one of two weekends when we never venture forth. The other of these two holiday weekends is Labor Day. We are happy to celebrate at home. I will put my big US flag out but not many will see it from out along the road. We are set back some and there isn't much traffic.
In some households....Everyday is Memorial Day.

To those who have died while in matter what uniform , no matter what country...
No matter where you may be....May find the peace that eluded you in life .

SFC. Louis Buckley JR.
21 MAY 1966 SVN.
The soldier on my POW / MIA bracelet.
May you never be forgotten.
Just left another Memorial Day thread on another forum. I didn't serve and know few families that have lost a loved one in war. All my uncles did serve though. I feel kinda bad being on the lake with close friends but we have done a rememberance walk around the lake community flying the flag in the past.
Our church does host many gold star families for a week at a camp we have in East TX.
This weekend we remember the men & women memorialized for their service & supreme sacrifice for our country . May we hold them close to our hearts and live in our memories always .

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When I was in grade school, we used to sing songs like, You're a Grand old flag, and the like for these holidays. I can't imagine that happening today.

There was a kid that we were told, couldn't participate for religious reasons, for some things. From what I remember, everyone respected that. No teasing or anything.
When I was in grade school, we used to sing songs like, You're a Grand old flag, and the like for these holidays
Fourth, fifth, sixth grade in the '60s -- "The Ballad of Rodger Young," "The Caissons," "The Marine Hymn," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "God Bless America," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "You're a Grand Old Flag;"hell, my Dad used to sing "You're a Long Way from Tipperary," "Mademoiselle from Armentieres," freakin' WWI songs.

Friends and shipmates, I've lost too many. I can't hear "Amazing Grace," "Taps" or the bagpipes ever again without the eyes getting leaky ... Even before the forever wars started, we lost a lot of good men on "peacetime" missions.

LCDR Kurt Barich. USN, VAQ-130, 1963-1998
CAPT Willie McCool, USN, Space Shuttle Columbia, 1961-2003
LT Scott Bubeck, USNR, VFA-83, 1963-1994
I'm also proud of America and the American Flag, it flies year round at the nammac's. This year a fresh version of Ole Glory, old one goes to my daughters Girl Scout troop for retirement ceremony.

Teach your children well to be proud and not ashamed of America or her colors.

Blessings to those who have lost service members, those who have made the supreme sacrifice, prayers and thoughts with all of you.

I only learned recently of the passing of one of my teenage pals, Al Bandy. He was in the USMC in Vietnam, a couple of years ahead of me. He was a gun fancier, shooter, and collector of militaria.

alan bandy1.jpg

I looked up a couple of pictures of Al taken when we were young and crazy. Both of the following were taken in July, 1967, before Al went into the Marines.

Above is a picture of Al in his going shooting outfit. Note the nice, new-looking 1911 holster, in brown leather, bought at Doughboy's Surplus for $1.95. I think the kinda bush jacket was French Army or Legionnaire surplus. The picture was taken on the front porch of my parents' home on Nixon Street (really).

This picture shows Al sitting in the middle. Same brown Tee shirt, but in desert heat in July, he's removed the bush jacket. Al was a year and a half older than I was, but he'd been held back in school one grade, as I recall.

The guy on the left, that was Gary James, he was two years younger. He's no longer with us either. He killed himself in 2010, fired a .45 automatic into his head in Oregon. He was also in the USMC in Vietnam, about the same time I was there in 1970-72. He was up country in one of the last Marine units to leave. He was one of those guys who couldn't wait to grow up. He quit high school at age 17 to join the Marines. They wouldn't send him to Vietnam until he turned 18, so he sat it out on Okinawa for a while first.

The guy on the right in the back seat, I'll just use his first name, Tom, because he's still around. He was a year older than me. Graduated in 1967, enlisted in the US Army, he signed up for everything. He went to airborne school, then he went to NCO academy, then he signed up for the WO helicopter pilot program and went to Vietnam as an army aviator. We met up once while I was over there. He finished his time in the RA, went into the Army National Guard, and finally retired at at 60.

So. all four of us wound up going to Vietnam, one way or another. One guy missing from this picture who was on the same trip didn't go. He had ear problems that caused him to fail a physical, but he didn't want to go anyway. I don't hold it against him and we are still best of friends.
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Yes, it's about some veterans, but only those who made the supreme sacrifice for the nation.
Thank you for correctly (IMO) referring to it as the "supreme sacrifice." This is the way I remember it being said for most of my lifetime. In recent years, however, I hear it referred to in the mass media and by most people as the "ultimate sacrifice." Somehow it seems diminished that way. The 2 words are not equivalent.

Supreme = Greatest in importance, degree, significance, character, or achievement.

Ultimate = Being last in a series, process, or progression.

I prefer to think of those who gave their lives in the service of their country as having made the Supreme Sacrifice.
Is there an air show near Pdx? Heard an unusual jet this morning really loud didn't sound like the usual f-15s. Also saw a formation of 8 WWII fighters flying in really close formation. I think some of them were replicas based on the adsb exchange. @Ura-Ki probably knows what these are. Too brief to see what they all looked like and too high. Adsbexchange only showed 2 overlapping planes but there were 8. Looked like acrobatic team or something maybe? Here is one from the adsbexchange map:
Memorial Day weekend has always been celebrated by previous generations in our family and currently it still is. Flowers on the graves are placed on all of our deceased family members and family friends at four different small cemeteries in E. Washington over this weekend. Small flags are placed on the graves of Veterans. Some of these cemeteries are small and rural enough that upkeep is entirely dependent on the physical efforts of concerned individuals, they are dirt not grass. We have been spraying weed killer and raking at one of these locations since the start of spring. Planning for having enough flowers to go around starts a week or two prior and species that bloom at this time are planted in abundance (iris, peony, lilac, some roses).
Many of our deceased family members were Veterans and for most of my life a R.O.T.C. group traveled from Spokane to an itinerary of these small rural cemeteries proving an Honor Guard and a rifle salute to deceased service members. Unfortunately, funding and lack of membership has curtailed these events in the last decade.
This weekend becomes the yearly family reunion and members who don't live local travel from Puget Sound, Idaho and Arizona to attend. Many of us take pride that this custom is our heritage and we try to maintain and pass it forward to the next generation.

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