May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

Reserved by our great nation to honor the service and sacrifice of generations of fellow Patriots now-departed.

“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” —John Adams

Honoring American Patriots

Memorial Day is reserved to honor the service and sacrifice of generations of now-departed American Patriots, those of our Armed Services who held fast to their sacred oaths “to support and defend” the Liberty enshrined in our Constitution. Accordingly, please visit our tribute page to fallen American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

Flags should be flown at half-staff until noon, your local time. Observe a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m. local time for remembrance and prayer. Please give a personal word of gratitude and comfort to surviving family members who grieve for a beloved warrior fallen on the battlefield defending our great nation.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” —John 15:13

“What do you think of when you see an American flag in front of a Veteran’s headstone? Let me tell you about one flag. As a fighter pilot on my 93rd mission over North Vietnam, my F-105 was hit by an air-to-air missile and my Electronic Warfare Officer Harold Johnson and I, were forced to eject. After unsuccessful rescue attempts, we were captured by enemy forces and imprisoned in the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ for the next six years. One day in our sixth year of imprisonment, a young Navy pilot named Mike Christian found a piece of cloth in a gutter. After we collected some other small rags, he worked secretly at night to piece them together into a flag. He made red from ground-up roof tiles and blue from tiny amounts of ink, then used rice glue to paste the colors onto the rags. Using thread from his blanket and a homemade bamboo needle, he sewed the pieces together, adding white fragments for stars. One morning he whispered from the back of our cell, ‘Hey gang, look here,’ and proudly held up that tattered American flag, waving it as if in a breeze. We all snapped to attention and saluted — with tears in our eyes. A week later, the guards were searching our cells and found Mike’s flag. That night they pulled him out of the cell and, for his simple gesture of patriotism, they tortured him. At daylight they pushed what was left of Mike back through the cell door. Today, whenever I see our flag, I think of Mike and the morning he first waved that tattered emblem of our great nation. It was then, thousands of miles from home, imprisoned by a brutal enemy, that he courageously demonstrated the liberty it represents, and that is what I see in every American flag today.” —Col. Leo K. Thorsness (USAF Ret.), Medal of Honor, POW — Vietnam (1967-1973)

And a final note, in his essay “The Contest In America,” 19th-century libertarian philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote, “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” Amen.

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