Pella Chronicle

Opinion

May 15, 2009

Memorial Day is for Patriots

In some circles, patriotism has become a synonym for arrogant or jingoistic.  Some people even use it as a political weapon; “Don’t question my patriotism,” they say. Yet, this Memorial Day, and every other day for that matter, we should remember that those who died for this country are the true patriots.

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes called Memorial Day, “our most respected holiday,” and urged that “we not ponder with sad thoughts the passing of our heroes but rather ponder their legacy – the life they made possible for us by their commitment and pain.”

At its core, Memorial Day has always commemorated  the universal all-encompassing understanding of, “No greater love than this does any man have, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

President Lincoln put their sacrifice into perspective at the battlefield in Gettysburg when he said, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”

After the terrorists struck us on 9/11, America was changed. Our all volunteer force responded. People with comfortable jobs left their towns and deployed with their Reserve and Guard units. Some even joined the active-duty forces. The existing military responded in its typical heroic fashion, overthrowing a tyrannical regime in Afghanistan and battling ruthless insurgents in Iraq. Thousands gave their lives.

The call to freedom came and they answered. Just as their predecessors in the two world wars, Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, Grenada, and the Persian Gulf, the War on Terrorism is being won by ordinary Americans making extraordinary sacrifices.

One such man was Marine Cpl. Travis Braddack-Nail of Portland, Ore. He played the drums, loved punk rock and drove his mother crazy with his tattoos. Although he hoped to attend college, he extended his stay in Iraq to help his platoon. “The platoon wasn’t surprised by his decision. He would always step in and take his spot,” a Marine buddy recalled.

Text Only
Opinion
Features
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Obituaries