Tuesday, May 31, 2016

US Memorial Day 2016

Yesterday all America looked back to honour all of its fallen in military service. Once merely a day of remembrance for the dead in the American Civil War, Memorial Day has since expanded greatly to include all American soldiers who have died in every conflict they have fought in throughout the history of the world. Such devotion to honor a hero was headlined by President Barack Obama placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, DC as its custom. But this was merely the tip of the iceberg of celebration.

Everywhere there are touching and emotional acts of remembrance done in honor of those who have served and died for the country. The Denver Post relates certain events at the Fort Logan National Cemetery that could tug at the heartstrings. Take for instance 11-year old Felicity Bloom visiting the grave of one Lance Cpl. Gregory P. Rund. They were not related, but Rund was a very close friend of Felicity’s mother from their high school days at Columbine, where they were both survivors of the tragic mass shooting incident in 1999. Gregory Rund would be killed 2004 in Iraq and posthumously awarded the Bronze Star. Then there are the flowers, an American flag, a teddy bear, some Reese’s peanut butter cups and an unsigned child’s note of gratitude left at the headstone of Marine Cpl. David Sonka, killed at age 23 along with his K9 partner in Afghanistan on 2013.

But not everything happening about the holiday was uplifting and respectful. Fox News has taken note of several malicious acts of vandalism in veteran-related memorials throughout the country mere days before Memorial Day proper. In the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, a simple Vietnam War memorial painted in 1992 on a city-block stretch of wall that listed an estimated number of missing- in-action servicemen in Southeast Asia along with individual names was heavily defaced by graffiti along its bottom half for much of its length. Meanwhile, a Memorial Day cross display listing up to 5,000 names of veterans dating back to the Revolutionary War was wrecked by a motorist who drove through the crosses in Henderson, Kentucky just Saturday. Finally, the Petersburg National Battlefield outside Petersburg, Virginia was dug up by looters, with un-authorized excavation sites in multiple places all over the 2,700-acre battlefield where over a thousand Union and Confederate soldiers fought and died 151 years ago during the final days of the Civil War.

There were also the usual facets of Memorial Day other than the remembrance of the military dead, like mattress sales at shops and stores, and outdoor barbecues. After finishing with the solemn ceremonies, such light-hearted celebration seems in order as the end of Memorial Day signals the start of summer vacation season.

Photo Credit to MemorialDayUsa.net