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Memorial Day is another legacy of the Civil War. In 1868 Gen John Logan (from Illinois? I believe), at the time head of veterans affairs for the Grand Army of the Republic, created Decoration Day as a day in May when the survivors and families of those who died would decorate the graves of those who had fallen during the war. May was chosen as it was likely that flowers would be in bloom throughout the country by then. It was also a day of parades, speeches and reunions of surviving veterans of the Civil War.

After WWI, Decoration Day was expanded to include soldiers who fell in all wars. Most Decoration Day celebrations were local affairs until 1971, when Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday. The tradition has grown to decorate family graves as well as fallen soldiers.

Take time this Memorial Day to say thanks to all who served, and a prayer for those who never made it home.
 

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Thank you Veterans. Those that have served, and especially to those that have fallen. You are what has made this Country Great.
 

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"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.

- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC
 

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Posted By Torby on 05/25/2008 11:31 AM
"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.
- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC

Sorry, Father O'Brian, this just is not true. Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence? The Federalist? The Constitution? It's very clear--the rights the US was established to protect are described as inalienable rights, they come from god, not from soldiers. No soldier "gave me" freedom of speech. We have freedom of speech--and if you follow this you will see the sense of it--because it is part of our essence. Opinions are part of what we are. I cannot not have an opinion. By my very nature, and yours, we have opinions. You can silence me, stop me from voicing my opinion, but the right of human beings to an opinion comes from the fact that they have, by their very nature, opinions. That's why it's tyranical and unjust to suppress that right. You can silence someone, but you cannot alienate him from his right to an opinion. It's the way rights are set up in our society.
Think of it this way: you can kill me, but you cannot take away my right to life. That's why killing is unjust. You can gag someone, but you cannot take away his right to a opinion. If you do, you're a tyrant and should be resisted.
If a soldier "gave me" my rights then a soldier could take them away. There would be no foundation to freedom other than some general's willingness to allow you or me to speak. That's a profoundly un-american idea.
Our political system is based on this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights." They are self evident and inalienable--they don't come from soldiers or politicians.
Soldiers, obviously, deserve all honor for their service to their country and their willingness to protect it. But they do not give us our rights.
 

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Sorry, Father O'Brian, this just is not true. Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence? The Federalist? The Constitution? It's very clear--the rights the US was established to protect are described as inalienable rights, they come from god, not from soldiers. No soldier "gave me" freedom of speech. We have freedom of speech--and if you follow this you will see the sense of it--because it is part of our essence. Opinions are part of what we are. I cannot not have an opinion. By my very nature, and yours, we have opinions. You can silence me, stop me from voicing my opinion, but the right of human beings to an opinion comes from the fact that they have, by their very nature, opinions. That's why it's tyranical and unjust to suppress that right. You can silence someone, but you cannot alienate him from his right to an opinion. It's the way rights are set up in our society. Think of it this way: you can kill me, but you cannot take away my right to life. That's why killing is unjust. You can gag someone, but you cannot take away his right to a opinion. If you do, you're a tyrant and should be resisted.
If a soldier "gave me" my rights then a soldier could take them away. There would be no foundation to freedom other than some general's willingness to allow you or me to speak. That's a profoundly un-american idea.
Our political system is based on the this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights." They are self evident and inalienable--they don't come from soldiers or politicians.
Soldiers, Obviously, deserve all honor for thier service to their country and their willingess to protect it. But they do not give us our rights.

Have you never read how a soldier takes a oath to uphold the values and thruths of the very Constitution that you speak of. The "Constitution" may not have been written by soldiers, but soldiers are the ones that have gone to battle risking their lives so that we can have the pleasure to live under its "Inalienable" rights. If a U.S. soldier has taken this oath, why (especially on Memorial Day weekend) would you doubt his trust?? I know, you can dig into your books (or watch CNN) and tell stories about the few bad ones, but for every bad soldier their have been hundreds of thousands of good ones. Yes, all men are created equal.......But the U.S. soldier has been the one to shed their blood to uphold (by oath) this grandest of documents.
And, thank you - Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC...... YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE CORRECT!!
 

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Posted By lownote on 05/25/2008 5:52 PM
Posted By Torby on 05/25/2008 11:31 AM
"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.
- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC

Sorry, Father O'Brian, this just is not true. ... No soldier "gave me" freedom of speech. ... I cannot not have an opinion. By my very nature, and yours, we have opinions. You can silence me, stop me from voicing my opinion, but the right of human beings to an opinion comes from the fact that they have, by their very nature, opinions. That's why it's tyranical and unjust to suppress that right. You can silence someone, but you cannot alienate him from his right to an opinion. It's the way rights are set up in our society.
Think of it this way: you can kill me, but you cannot take away my right to life. That's why killing is unjust. You can gag someone, but you cannot take away his right to a opinion. If you do, you're a tyrant and should be resisted.
If a soldier "gave me" my rights then a soldier could take them away. There would be no foundation to freedom other than some general's willingness to allow you or me to speak. That's a profoundly un-american idea.
Our political system is based on this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights." They are self evident and inalienable--they don't come from soldiers or politicians.
Soldiers, obviously, deserve all honor for their service to their country and their willingness to protect it. But they do not give us our rights.

\
Okay, I'm tired of cutting out the guano, so I'll say it a clearly as I can:

Yeah, your diddling with semantics is correct, the soldier does not "give" you your intercoursing rights, but that same soldier
DOES protect your right to express that right/opinion/etc.

Try taking the context of the message for what it is, not what you can intercoursing read into it...

Too bad the forum rules preclude me from calling you what I think you are...

Yeah, I'm pizzed off!!!
 

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Ditto Duncan!
Vietnam Combat Vet
U.S. Army
9th INF DIV
Mekong Delta 1966-67
 

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Thank you Duncan and Steve!
I have had enough of the so called experts also. My Military Ancestory goes back to 1777 from the battle of Momouth NJ to Yorktown. My own is 23 years and two tours in RVN.
Actually 1 and 1/2. They stopped the war before we could win it back from Walter Commie Cronkite and Rather Dan who were better military stratrigist than all the generals and directly lost us the war with post TET 68 (Yes I was there) comments. Comments for which they should have been shot! Yes Jefferson,Madison, et al gave us the Constitution and Bill of Rights but Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen have ALWAYS stepped up to assure it longevity. I took an oath of office as a young 2LT in 66 to "Uphold and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies Forigen and Domestic." I am getting damned tired of the "domestic" enemies of the Constitution and I too am pizzed.
George N. Crawford (Noel)
President Sons of the American Revolution Cecil County Maryland
LTC Retired
PS Dwight..Go ahead and kill this if you wish, I have had my say.
Noel
 

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You guy are really knee-jerk

Did you see where I wrote this:

"Soldiers, obviously, deserve all honor for their service to their country and their willingness to protect it."

It's an obvious point, I affirmed it. I affirm it again now. There is no criticism of soldiers in my post--none, zero. I have nothing but high regard from America's veterans.

How dare I invoke the Constitution and the declaration of Independence on Memorial day! What kind of a monster does that? What kind of person invokes the documents the soldier takes an oath to?

Do you all know the story of George Washington at Newburgh? It's a very good Memorial Day story. Washington is camped at Newburgh in NY, on the Hudson River. It's near the end of the Rev. War and it's looking better for the US then it has, but it's a still a very dicey proposition. Washington has been constantly asking the Continental Congress for more supplies, for more men and gotten what seems like practically nothing. At Newburgh his officers approached him and said that he should march to Philadelphia and seize control of the government. We, they argued, have laid down our lives and treasure for the cause. We are the ones who paid the highest price. We should seize power ourselves and make you our leader.


Washington refused. He came out before his officers and started to read a speech, but he could not see it, and he stopped and put on glasses. He said "Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country." He went on to say that their cause was greater cause than power, it was the cause of rights. Washington refused imperial titles based on his military service--he submitted him self to the democratic principle of rights. Look it up--Washington at Newburgh. This is what made Washington a great man. His ifficers at Newburgh wept and gave up their plan to destroy the fledgling democracy.


Washington, unlike you people, understood that the rights he was fighting for were not given or taken away by soldiers--that they were a different way and new way of understanding rights, a revolutionary way. Washington, our first president, part of the generation that wrote the declaration and the constitution, understood that he as a soldier did not give the people their rights, he protected the exercise of those rights from tyrants.

What a sad decline that you can wave the flag and not understand what it was established for. What a pathetic thing that invoking the Declaration if Independence provokes outrage!

Tomorrow I'll be at a retirement home for military veterans, mostly flag level officers. I'll be thanking them for their service. They understand the meaning of the oath they took and the rights it protects.
 

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I know the story of General George Washington at Newburgh.
I understand it VERY well.

And that is why every Military person since has sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution and not follow those would overthrow it such as Burr and others. I could tell you a story on the day Nixon stepped down that would or should chill your blood, but because of the Honor and Dedication of the Soldiers , it did not happen. And yes I was there.
The system does work, but it has taken the sacrifice and courage of our Military through the years to make it so.
If you can read this in Freedom and without fear thank a soldier.
If you can read it in English, thank a teacher.
Enough!
Noel
 

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Posted By livesteam5629 on 05/25/2008 7:04 PM

If you can read this in Freedom and without fear thank a soldier.
If you can read it in English, thank a teacher.
Enough!
Noel




Already have, always do. I said absolutely nothing critical of veterans or soldiers--absolutely nothing. I only pointed out that the good Father O'Brian of the USMC was wrong to say that we get our rights from soldiers. Yes, the oath all soldiers take comes from Washington as example. The US military's willingness to submit to the principle or democratic, civilian control is one of the great triumphs of America

It might interest you--though I doubt any of you would believe it matters--to know that I also took an oath to uphold the Constitution when I became a teacher. Actually understanding the nature of our rights and their origins, to me, is a crucial part of upholding that oath.

What could possibly be wrong with talking about the Constitution, and the nature of our rights,the rights soldiers fought and died for, on Memorial day?
 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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Posted By lownote on 05/25/2008 5:52 PM
Posted By Torby on 05/25/2008 11:31 AM
"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.
- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC

Sorry, Father O'Brian, this just is not true. Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence? The Federalist? The Constitution? It's very clear--the rights the US was established to protect are described as inalienable rights, they come from god, not from soldiers. No soldier "gave me" freedom of speech. We have freedom of speech--and if you follow this you will see the sense of it--because it is part of our essence. Opinions are part of what we are. I cannot not have an opinion. By my very nature, and yours, we have opinions. You can silence me, stop me from voicing my opinion, but the right of human beings to an opinion comes from the fact that they have, by their very nature, opinions. That's why it's tyranical and unjust to suppress that right. You can silence someone, but you cannot alienate him from his right to an opinion. It's the way rights are set up in our society.
Think of it this way: you can kill me, but you cannot take away my right to life. That's why killing is unjust. You can gag someone, but you cannot take away his right to a opinion. If you do, you're a tyrant and should be resisted.
If a soldier "gave me" my rights then a soldier could take them away. There would be no foundation to freedom other than some general's willingness to allow you or me to speak. That's a profoundly un-american idea.
Our political system is based on this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights." They are self evident and inalienable--they don't come from soldiers or politicians.
Soldiers, obviously, deserve all honor for their service to their country and their willingness to protect it. But they do not give us our rights.

Since no one has said it yet....Thank you Tom for the post. After that quote....Not much more could or should have been said, especially to the contrary./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif:confused:

Lownote, how does someone respond to what you have said without it sounding personal, not to mention starting something in a thread that is meant to honor and not dis-honor the memory of those that have fallen. There really is no way. It's great to have an opinion and believe me I sure do exercise mine wrong or right. Yet in this case the best point to make would be the one not made. I can't believe what I have read.
It is men that designed our system and although they were deeply convicted and devout in their religious beliefs they were still men. It was those men that organized a militia of men to fight for those rights. It was also the militia of men that was sent to deny us of those rights and beliefs. It was only through the perseverance and unselfish sacrifice that we were, are and will continue to be able to exercise those rights. Without the military or the soldiers and their true devotion to their beliefs and oath, their unselfishness and willingness to die for those beliefs, then we will loose that Freedom. If the freedoms and rights we enjoy and sometimes abuse were truly "Unalienable" and did come from God directly then all human beings on this planet would enjoy them. Yet I guess that in the true "Spirit" they could be considered God given since as humans we have always sought freedom and what freedoms we have today. Especially since though out history there has been a battle between the Armies of men to secure or deny those rights. It may be in our nature to seek these rights but it is also in our nature to seek power and power over others. This is as undeniable as the air we need to breathe. Until human beings loose their desire for power over others there will always need to be the militia to defend the freedoms and beliefs we have. The "ideal" that is this country may not last forever yet it would be nice to think it could. Unfortunately it is when people of a society have thoughts like this or display actions which diminish the importance of a militia and the slighting of their sacrifice, that can and will be more damaging to that freedom than any conquering army or tyrant. So in every essence....what Father Dennis Edward O'Brian said is true.
 

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Look I have said absolutely nothing critical of soldiers or veterans. I do not understand why any of you think I did.

How about this--while American soldiers are fighting in the Rev. War--a very very tough slog--Ben Franklin, who never was a soldier, was over in France convincing the King--the King!--of France to bankroll a war against the very principle of monarchy, and in favor of universal human rights. Without Franklin's efforts, the Revolutionary War would have been lost--no doubt about it. Do my rights then come from Franklin?

Well sure, partly yes. But Franklin never thought he was giving people their rights. He thought he was helping them secure the exercise of rights they already had, because they were born with inalienable, universal human rights.

You think I'm splitting hairs or engaging in semantics. But it matters where you think rights come from, it matters a lot. If you think rights are given to you by soldiers, then you have no rights other than those the soldiers choose to give you, and soldiers, should they wish, could take them away. American soldiers never have.

But if you think your rights are inalienable and god-given, which is what it says in our founding documents, than you have them whether their are soldiers or not. You cannot exercise those rights, enjoy those rights--without defense from tyrants. So once again, all thanks to those serving and to veterans for their sacrifice and their service in the defense of those universal human rights which the US was founded on.

And once agian, I have said absolutely nothing dishonoring american veterans or soldiers--absolutely nothing. There is not a single word of criticism of American soldiers in anything I said, I have only praise for their service and their memory.
 

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Washington DC today is full guys on big motorcyles, the rolling thunder guys--10,000 or more. A lot of them fly the flag from their bikes. To me, that's a disgrace. The flag is a national symbol--there are proper ways to treat it. My wife, who grew up on Marine bases, is particularly disgusted. The flag should go up at sunrise and down at sunset, unless it's illuminated; it should be properly folded when it's down. While it goes up, activity stops, and while it goes down, activity stops. It's a sacred symbol, not a bumper sticker, not a decoration for your radio antenna. And because it's a sacred symbol, it should be flown with care and thought, not carelessly and in a slipshod way.


The title of this thread is "What is memorial day--Lest we forget." I don't care if you all hate me, to me it's crucial that we not forget what the rights we celebrate are all about, that we not forget or fail to ever understand the nature of the rights men sacrificed and died for. So I will tell you now--the best way for me to memorialize the deaths and service of veterans is to fully understand what they fought and died for. Or should I just drive around on a hog with a flag on a spring?
 

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You know Lownote, you keep proving why kids keep graduating from College with little common sense. This is not the time (Memorial Day Weekend) to philosophize with you through your typical "College Professor" thoughts. We are not College kids scared to disagree with a Professors diatribe, or be flunked. We are not afraid to call you out on this and your over educated arrogance.
 

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Posted By Steve S. on 05/25/2008 7:52 PM
You know Lownote, you keep proving why kids keep graduating from College with little common sense. This is not the time (Memorial Day Weekend) to philosophize with you through your typical "College Professor" thoughts.




When is the time, SteveS?
 
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