Remembering the Heroes on This Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day and while we are enjoying warm sunny days (one hopes), a cold beer, listening to baseball on the radio and getting our BBQ’s ready, it is also time to reflect on the sacrifice made by the thousands of soldiers who have given their lives so we could be the most free, prosperous and extraordinary country in the history of mankind.

I for one am spending my weekend hitting on all the above notes, but also reading a terrific biography of the one of the greatest Americans ever to live.  The author, Robert Coram, should be applauded for bringing to light the incredible life of Marine General Victor Krulak.  It is an amazing story; it is indeed, the quintessential American story.  It is a story that runs through all of us; it is the real story that truly makes the American myth so real.

This book, Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine, deserves a fuller review and I hope it comes into the hands of every American.  And I have to wonder why I had to wait until midlife to hear this man’s story and cannot help but ask, why hasn’t Hollywood told this story?  But at least these stories are still being told and we are remembering.

America has its skeptics and doubters, it is so easy to fall prey to those thoughts.  Perhaps we do stand on a precipice, but then I think, we always have.  I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the men and women who have come back from Iraq and Afghanistan and I see the same mettle and courage that was at Trenton, Antietam, the Somme, Iwo Jima, Chosin and Khe Sanh.  So long as America produces these warriors, there is more than hope.  Shake the hand and hear the story of a Marine who was at Fallujah and you will indeed know the flame for the last best hope of mankind still burns bright.

I can sit here and have a cold beer and light the coals on my BBQ, anguish over my White Sox as they struggle through another nail biting late finish, listen to my children play and laugh, all because of men like Victor Krulak and the many that fell in battle to keep us free.  May we continue to be blessed.  Thank you to all the fallen heroes.

Michael Finch is the chief of operations of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

  • Steve Chavez

    "America, a country where its soldiers will put their lives on the line in order to protect our right to spit on them!"

    Many of our Vietnam troops were literally spit on but all of them were verbally spit on by calling them "baby killers!" This type of degrading comment, protected as "free speech" is continuing today. "You fought for a lie!" "You bombed innocent women and children!" "You're terrorizing women in the dead of night." "There were no WMD!"

    I had lunch with an employee of the Veteran's Administration at a local eatery and just sat with him because there were no other seats. He told me he worked with soldiers that had PTSD. I asked him what effect these degrading comments had on the soldiers and it ranked at one of the top reasons. I then scolded him that he and whoever higher-ups it took, to fight these hate-speech mongers! "We can't say 'Geronimo' but we can call our soldiers "baby-killers and the real terrorists?" I told him that one of my brothers, when returning from Vietnam, was spit on by my sixties hippie sister and two years ago he reminded her, still a Leftist bordering on a Obama Cult, and she denied it but he hasn't talked to her since. He remembered and held it in for decades!

    How many Democrats insinuated that General Betray Us was lying? They scolded him but were actually just doing this to the person who they really wanted to be sitting in their hearings: George Bush, a man they spent years on trying to hang. Now those very spitters are depending on General Betray Us and I wonder if any has apologized!

    "The war is lost." "We support the troops" and then "you're dying for a lie and for oil!"

    Fort Hood murderer, Nidal Hassan, was a therapist trying to help our soldiers but I bet he was contributing to their misery by asking questions like, "What did these people do to you? Did you kill any little babies and don't you feel guilty for it?" Their answers only made him psychotic!

    If we want to help our returning soldiers, do what Vietnam Vets are doing: Lining up at airports cheering on, saluting, hugging, crying, and giving them the greetings they wish they had! We also need to stand up to Hate Speech even though those soldiers say many times: "But we'll fight for the right for you to say it!"

  • paul w jackson

    To all of America,
    if you guys stop standing up for "freedom" then we the great civil society of the west and more is doomed. God Bless the U.S. Military.
    Paul from NewZealand.

  • muchiboy

    Let me and my family say thank you to America's war dead.Our world owes so much to your heroes.God Bless America.Ron Grant (aka muchiboy) and Family.

    May I also honor the Israeli war dead.You have many heroes. muchiboy

    • aspacia

      This must have cost you big time.

      • WilliamJamesWard

        Quite a surprise but not the first one, hummmmmnnnnnnn!William

      • tagalog

        Back in 1967 in New York City there was a board set up to take volunteers for the Israeli-Arab war that was brewing. Because I was a parachutist then, I was selected to enter the Israeli parachute force, an elite position if I could get through their qualification requirements once in the IDF. Unfortunately, I did not get to carry out my plan to become an Israeli paratrooper due to the extremely short duration of the Six-Day War. I still have a regret or two from that moment, even though I think the Israelis were snowing me a bit at the time, and I probably would have gotten nowhere near Israeli jump school.

  • theleastthreat

    This is a great day to remember our fallen. It's the least we can do. Furthermore, I think there should also be a day set aside to honor the combat wounded veterans. Some of them will never be able to walk again, or see again, or button their own shirts because they are missing an arm. God bless them all.

  • OLJingoist

    I salute our countries service members for the continued service to your countrymen.
    To my fallen comrades I say, Thank You……….. Semper Fi

  • muchiboy

    "This must have cost you big time."

    Not really.It is true to my core values,aspacia.We are all God's children,and we are all more the same then different.Sure,it is a daily challenge to be true to ones values,even more so when the conflict is so dear to ones heart.Both yours and mine.Of course,my sentiments are easier to express for America because we are good neighbors and I fought with American vets in my unit in Rhodesia.
    I still have fond memories of elder Jews when I was growing up,one more meaningful then the others.He was our grocer,and my dad had him show me the numbers tattooed on his arm.He looked out for me when my Mom was away.His memory is never far from my mind even when I engage in heated debate on FP.For me,Mr.Spatz was special,but really,he was representative of a special people.muchiboy

  • tom chastain

    would like to wish a happy memorial day to 3 of floridas finest vetrens captain sonya march a decorated gulf war vetren and johnnie m clark a decorated marine m60 gunner from nam and chris hart who is also a decorated combat vetren from nam(johnnie m clark is the arthur of gunners glory and guns up)

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I remember and it is right and fitting to have a Memorial Day for our Nation to
    think on the great sacrafice of so many loved ones. I remember every day.

  • RancherFran

    Hi Michael,
    Great review of the book about a brave soldier. We must never forget that we once knew how to win wars and achieve victory. The Jihadists know that to achieve victory, it is not necessary to kill your enemies. To achieve victory, one must make continuing to fight or resist worse than defeat. Today is especially poignant for me because my husband is buried in Arlington National Cemetery which is all the way across the country from me here in California. It doesn't help that the president lays a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington because we know he has no love for the American fighting man or woman.

  • Steeloak

    My father joined the Navy in 1943 and served in the Pacific. After the war, he went to college on the GI bill & through ROTC, received a regular Army commission. He was on his way to Korea in 1953 when the war ended. He served another 17 years as an officer & retired in 1970 as a Lt. Colonel, after a final tour of duty in Vietnam. He has always been my hero and this year he turned 85, reminding me once again how precious little time remains for the surviving veterans of WWII.

  • Mike in VA

    In addition to remembering and giving thanks to the men and women who gave all to defend our lives and liberty, please consider doing something to support the families our fallen heroes left behind. If you cannot personally lend a hand, there are many great charities out there dedicated to serving America's Gold Star families that could use our support.

  • Amused

    Flying Old Gloory , 24/7/365 , this morning I brought her down to half-mast .Walking off an airliner in Seattle in March of '70 , I thanked God , I was alive and back home with all my body parts , touching American Soil again , immediately the memories of my freinds filled my vision , there would be no joyous call to anxious parents , for they returned in body bags .THEY are the heroes ,and every year since, on this day they are remembered , forever young as I knew them .Since I have a spotlight , the Flag will remain half-mast over night , until the morning , when I will raise her to the top again.
    God Bless America ,and her fallen .

  • Monty Lasovsky

    "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight out countries battles on the land as on the sea….." the Marine's hymn still applies to the American soldiers wherever they may be. Like Muchiboy, i too served in the British South Africa Police during the bush war and had an American instructor who loved Rhodesia and it's cause at the time,but he always spoke of his desire to return to the USA to do his stint in Viet Nam for Uncle Sam. As long as America fights the world's battles, we are safe from the new tyranny the world is facing. God bless America!

    • Charles

      Monty, that stopped being true when Obama was elected. but as an ex Rhodesian and "new" American, i like your sentiments.