by Ericka Andersen:
... Former Marine Sergeant Brandon Nordhoff has helped lay many of his unknown brothers to their rest. After his deployment to Iraq in 2003, Nordhoff began volunteering to appear at the funerals of soldiers. The U.S. military honors ceremony includes an honor guard detail and according to law, the honor detail must at least perform a ceremony that includes the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of “Taps.” At the funerals of 20 Midwest soldiers, Nordhoff presented the American flag to mothers, wives and kin.A Memorial Day Message from Michael Yon:
“We didn’t know them but you might shed a tear because you feel a brother hood with them,” said Nordhoff. “Then you hear ‘“Taps,”’ which is probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard.”
Flag presentation is one of the most sacred moments of the ceremony, performed at the end, and presented, “…on behalf of the President and a grateful nation.” Grieving mothers and wives often define the war at home. When a soldier presents the flag to these women or next of kin, they embody the absence of the fallen. ...
... Most of us don’t do more than take the day off on Memorial Day. But each of us owes the fallen the greatest debt: it is to them we owe our allegiance because they have preserved our freedom. Every Memorial Day we owe them a small prayer, and to remember them, one and all.
... Both men often lamented to me how frustrating it was to be back home and realize that the average American is not aware of practically any of the progress that’s been made in Iraq. Both men darken with something closer to anger when they consider the sacrifices made by fallen soldiers and the fact that while the media most likely counted the deaths in all instances, they also most likely failed to mention any of the good things their fellow soldiers had accomplished while in Iraq.Again, thank you Michael.
I plan to stay in Iraq for the rest of 2007, doing my part to tell of these and other accomplishments, and both of these men would not have it any other way. But when I do finally get home, I want to see these heroes, and be reminded what Memorial Day is all about.
And Fred Thompson correctly remembers:
... Memorial Day is about remembering. It’s about remembering those who died for our country; but it's also about remembering why they believed it was worth dying for. Too many Americans, though, have never been taught our own history and heritage. How can you remember something that you’ve never learned?I'm going to take the kids to the Memorial Day ceremony in Williamsburg tomorrow. Hopefully that will help them learn that the freedom they have has come at a huge price... a price that others have paid for them. God bless our soldiers.
On a tangent... how's this for teaching kids right from wrong. Unfortunately, evil breeds.