Saturday, May 26, 2012

Take A Moment To Go Silent On Memorial Day

I like a good hotdog and a beer as much as the next guy -- maybe more than the next two guys -- but it's important that everyone remember that this Monday is not really about firing up the grill and getting an extra day off from work. We're talking Memorial Day, people, and let's start by keeping our two main "military holidays" clear and distinct. Veterans Day celebrates all who have served our country in the armed forces.  Memorial Day, which we observe on Monday, recognizes those who have lost their lives in serving our nation.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) announced yesterday that it is asking all Americans to ‘Go Silent’ this Memorial Day " honor of the 6,442 Americans who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11."

“This Memorial Day, as Americans head to barbecues and the beach, IAVA will head to hallowed ground from Arlington to The Presidio. For our community, there is no other day of the year when the civilian-military divide feels greater," said Paul Rieckhoff,  founder and Executive Director of IAVA.  "We have lost more than 6,400 brothers and sisters in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These fallen Americans stand apart for their bravery, sacrifice and last full measure of devotion for our country. As we come together to support their families, IAVA encourages all Americans to unite with us this Memorial Day and pledge a moment of silence at 12:01pm in honor of their lives and legacies.”

Sadly, most of our citizens will not even remember what holiday we're celebrating this weekend and all IAVA is asking is that all of us take a moment of silence at 12:01pm on Monday to remember those we have lost in war.  This timing coincides with the Wreath of Remembrance service at Arlington National Cemetery.

I will be at Arlington for the first time on Memorial Day and I know it will be both a rewarding and emotional day -- as it is for all Veterans and military families. And there's certainly nothing wrong with Americans kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the long weekend -- but we should all take just a few moments to remember how much of great consequence has been given for our country.

Said Rieckhoff: “For veterans of all generations, Memorial Day is a solemn time to remember all one million Americans who have died to protect our freedoms. It’s important for the entire country to commemorate that sacrifice, as well as build a foundation for the hundreds of thousands of troops still serving in Afghanistan and around the world."


  1. My daddy was a Navy vet. I wear an anchor on my ankle in his honor. I will mark Memorial by being silent at 12:01 - you can count on it.

    1. Thank you, Aliza... We all work hard so there's nothing in the world wrong with enjoying the long weekend - the people we've lost would have wanted us to! -- but we should never forget what Monday is intended for. And I know you won't!

  2. Bob, Great to see you back blogging and looking forward to your posts!

    1. Thanks very much Paul... Don't know that I will be as prolific here as I was at but I think it will get important information out and be a good companion for the book I am working on. As I've said to you for years, thank you for your support!


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