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Today is when many of us enjoy a much needed day off from work. It is another paid holiday that we all enjoy, but what is it? Memorial Day is just another holiday to so many, yet we do not even give a second thought to what it is. Memorial Day is a holiday to remember those brave men an women who fell fighting for what they believed in – their country – our freedom – and so much more. Perhaps they lived and have since fallen, but they deserve to be remembered.
This Memorial Day is even more special to this Web Master because this year I have lost a father. A veteran of World War II, my father was there on Iwo Jima as a marine sniper. He watched as his fellow combatants climbed Mount Suribachi and placed the American flag on top of the mountain. That famous photo by Joe Rosenthal that has inspired so many monuments around the country. My father placed his own small flag there too. Just a small flag patch stuck to a rock with a piece of chewing gum – now long gone. He watched a lot more too. He watched as 6,821 of his fellow marines and other combatants were killed. He watched as almost twenty thousand were wounded. He also watched as over 18,000 Japanese were killed. There were only 216 Japanese taken prisoner. The rest died in heroic determination to defend the island. He often told me that he could not understand the determination of the Japanese on the island.
Those images were so etched in his mind that it bothered him until his death just this year. He shared those images with very few, often trying to hide them and his true horrors from those around him by telling bullshit stories of that event. But he shared with me because I too have my own images for I too have seen the horrors..
So this Memorial Day I ask you to remember. Remember those that are over there in Iraq or Afghanistan and the images they are seeing right now as you sit in your home enjoying a quiet meal a perhaps a beer.
This Web Masters asks only that you remember them. All of them on this Memorial Day.
One last thing. Enjoy your beer. That simple pleasure has been paid for with the lives of thousands.