In my youth, the holiday we celebrate this weekend was known as Decoration Day, which started in 1861 when a bouquet was placed on a Civil War veteran’s grave and continued as America paid homage and tribute to the men and women who paid the ultimate price in defense of America by “decorating” or placing flowers on the graves of fallen heroes.
The name was changed to Memorial Day and became a federal holiday in 1971.
America has lost over one million in our combined wars, and, by whatever name, it is appropriate and noble that we should set aside a day to honor their memory, their service and their sacrifice.
To be a true patriot, at least in my opinion, we must appreciate the terrible price our country and its people have paid to become the greatest nation the world has ever known, and we must acknowledge and honor all those who have served in our military and pay special tribute to the ones who gave their all.
We should never forget the warriors who lost their lives to win America’s independence, defeating what, at that time, was the mightiest army and navy on earth, the British. Outgunned, outmanned, barefoot and hungry, they fought on, buried where they fell – their graves unknown and their families never knowing what happened to them.
The Civil War was responsible for the deaths of over five hundred thousand men, many dying and buried in swamps and on mountains, and in deep woods and tiny villages without any markings to identify them.
For them and all the other heroes who have died in combat – their bodies lost in heat of battle – the president lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier symbolizing honor to all those who died and were lost in the fog of war.
I remember my mother taking me to church early on June 6, 1944, where the building was packed to the rafters with people who had come to pray for the troops, who at that moment were storming the beaches of Normandy, running into the artillery and machine gun fire that cut so many to ribbons.
Yet, on they came, wave after wave, until, at the end of D-Day, the Nazis back was broken, and the March to Berlin was on.
They called it “The Longest Day,” but it was also the bloodiest day, as there were an estimated 209,000 Allied casualties, including ground and air forces.
This weekend, we honor their memory.
The Vietnam War, the Gulf Wars, the War on Terror, skirmishes, the raids and rescues, and the covert missions we never even knew or know about have all cost the lives of brave men and women who were willing to stand between America and her enemies.
It’s frustrating these days when we have people who are obviously enemies of America and our ally, Israel, serving in the halls of power. It is also frustrating when elected officials put their personal feelings and the goals of their political parties ahead of the good of our nation.
Is that what so many brave men and women gave their lives for? So that while our nation faces so many dangers, so many dedicated enemies, so many domestic problems that a bunch of self-righteous empty suits insult their sacrifice by tearing apart the nation these brave men and women paid the ultimate price to defend?
Shame on you, Congress. Shame on you, Senate.
A million plus American citizens have given their all to give you the privilege of serving this great nation.
Only two things protect America, and it’s not the kindergarten classes on Capitol Hill. It’s not the idiot talking heads on TV who thought Michael Avenatti would make a good president. It’s not political correctness.
It’s the grace of Almighty God and the United States military are the two things that protect America. And the day we stop honoring either one is the day we’re going down.
To all the families, friends and brothers and sisters in arms who have lost a loved one in the service of this nation, from Hazel, Charlie, Jr. and me and all the folks at The CDB and Twin Pines Ranch, we salute you. We join you in honoring their memories on Memorial Day and the other 364 days of the year.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.