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Hi, folks:

We've had some interesting discussions here, whether about the Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Insight, crude oil and the refining thereof, gas taxes, laws, government, politics and just about every other topic under the sun, it seems..

Hmmm...it just occurred to me that contrary to common perception, government and politics are not necessarily the same. And oddly enough, "real life" and politics are not necessarily different!

I value this board, and want to say to all of you that even for all of our differences, most of us still have lots in common. Maybe more than we realize or want to admit.

Anyhow, I digress....what I really wanted to do was recognize those of you who have served in any branch of the United States' armed forces.

You do what you do to protect your homeland, or to protect freedom, or to protect our right to speak our minds freely or to practice our religions without government dictate. Or maybe you simply do it to protect your family; your children.

Whatever the reason, and even if there is no particular reason for you personally, I want to say THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And for those of you who have lost a loved one in this war on terrorism or in the past, this coming Monday has been set aside as a Memorial to their service. Their sacrifice.

I know that I cannot replace your friend, husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or best friend. I also realize that I will never know the true extent of your pain, sadness, or the loneliness that comes from your loss.

All I have to offer is my sincere gratitude. My thanks. My respect. And my prayers for your loved one, and for you.

Memorial day is too often thought of as the "official start of summer." Of course, it is that. But to me, it's a much more solemn, sobering day. And the gravity of that day is often lost in the pool parties, cookouts, baseball games, camping and amusement park trips, and so on. To me, it sounds strangely odd to wish people a "Happy Memorial Day." Does anybody else here feel that way too?

So I'm going to take a couple days away from this forum. But not to go join in the "holiday" festivities. I'm off to reflect. Pray. I'm not really a religious guy, but yet I will pray. I'll also shoot photos. Walk the beach, if I can find a quiet one. Maybe play and/or compose some music. But most of all, to remember.

So I want you all to know: Not everybody has forgotten. In fact, I think that most people have not forgotten; and I hope that at some point, maybe they too, will stop and remember. And maybe say a little prayer.

God bless you all, God bless our men and women in uniform, wherever they may be, and God bless America.
 

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I come from a long line of warriors. I've had relatives serve in each of America's wars, all the way back to 1776: My grandfather was wounded in WWI; I never knew the uncles who died in WWII and Korea; my favorite cousin lost his life in Vietnam; a nephew still struggles from injuries sustained during the Gulf War. For me, Memorial Day is a time of remembrance and a time for small, private tributes. Each year I try to show thanks for the safety and freedoms which I enjoy and renew my pledge to use my voice and vote, which are mine at great sacrifice, to speak truth to power.

Moo
 

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First world war, second world war, Korean war, invasion of the Dominican Republic, Vietmam war, invasion of Grenada, invasion of Panama, Gulf war, invasion of Iraq... all of this in the less than 100 years. Is there another country on Earth that has been involved in so many wars? :(
 

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Thank you, Bif, for saying what many of us are feeling. Thank you all who have served this country and the planet. I pray that as we grow, we will all serve less in war and more in love.
 

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jamarimutt said:
First world war, second world war, Korean war, invasion of the Dominican Republic, Vietmam war, invasion of Grenada, invasion of Panama, Gulf war, invasion of Iraq...
And lets not forget those who were sent into the armed incursions in Honduras in 1924, Nicaragua in 1926, and Lebanon in 1958 and 1983. It may seem churlish to bring this up on a day when we honor those who have sacrified so much, even their lives, to give us the right to speak and live freely. If only the ones who sent the soldiers off to fight had as much honor as the ones who went...
 

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jamarimutt said:
First world war, second world war, Korean war, invasion of the Dominican Republic, Vietmam war, invasion of Grenada, invasion of Panama, Gulf war, invasion of Iraq... all of this in the less than 100 years. Is there another country on Earth that has been involved in so many wars? :(
Remember it is the politicians, not the military, that gets us into wars.

A few years ago there was a small item in "The Proceedings" of the US Naval Institute. Going back to the War of 1812 the less the decision makers in Washington have been involved in the military the more we went to war. We elect the people that send our childeren to fight and die. So it you want someone to blame, look in the mirror.

Something to remember come November.

Lt. John Schultz, USNR (ret.)
 

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BIF-
Thank you for so beautifully and eloquently stating what so many of us feel. My grandfathers both served in WWII, my uncle in the Korean War, and another uncle has come very close to being sent off to the middle east. Although to my knowledge I have no relatives or ancestors that have ever died in combat, I still thank God, quite often, for the sacrifices, the bravery and the dedication of our men and women in uniform.
I had actually looked into the military myself right out of high school (I was the class of 1999) and had I signed on for a 4 year commitment, I most likely would have been sent off to any number of the conflicts resulting from 9/11. I was told that I was best suited for field intelligence so I can only imagine where I would have been sent. Had my dad not died in 1998 which left my disabled mother with only me for support, I would have followed through with that. I can only hope that had that all happened, I would be around today.
Besides everyone else that we remember on Monday, I will also be taking time to remember the people that died on flights 11, 93, 175 and 77. Although we know a fair amount of what happened on flight 93 and the efforts made to stop the attack (that one landed in Pennsylvania) I think it's fair to imagine at least a handful on each flight made some kind of effort. Patriotism comes at the craziest times, even where there isn't a former foundation. Thomas Jefferson even said, long before 9/11/2001, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots..."
To me, Memorial Day isn't just a day to remember those that fell in the line of duty, with a military rank, but also to remember anyone that has fallen, whilst protecting the way of life and the freedoms we have here in America. I truly am proud, and in many ways have never been prouder, to be an American and thank every single one of my American brothers and sisters for the accomplishments toward freedom for so many they have never known.
What heroes!
God Bless America and all the PATRIOTS that keep the dream alive!
 
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