I’m sitting here listening to the greatest War song. The Pogues, The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. As time goes on, the men who fought in each war march together each year. Eventually there is only a few left to march until the last survivor dies and the people are left to forget the war. “And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march reliving old dreams of past glory. And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore. The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war and the young people ask, “What are they marching for?” And I ask myself the same question.
Memorial Day carries great sadness for the American fighting man. Pick your war. The WWll Veterans are disappearing. The Korean vets have lived a life of neglect from an ungrateful nation. And the Vietnam Vets, well ask a person under the age of 40 what they know about Vietnam. They say, “Oh, the war we lost? More likely than not, they will admit that they know little or nothing about it. “I had an uncle that fought there.” They may mutter.
Memorial Day is not a day that we celebrate with cheerful greetings of “Happy Memorial Day!” There is nothing happy about this day. Hopefully, it will be an occasion each year for the American people to recognize and honor those who paid the supreme price defending this country.
Yes, in 1969 I was fighting in the jungles of Vietnam and Memorial Day fell on May 30th. I had already lost three friends. Since that horrible day, I take an hour out of whatever day Memorial Day falls on and I take the time to honor them in my own way. I hope that you never forget.