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Ultimate Sacrifice: “Every day is Memorial Day for us.”

16

This day we remember the fallen heroes who died fighting for our freedom.

It is a debt we cannot repay. All we can do is remember them and work in our own lives to see that their sacrifice was not in vain.

ABC News: Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached — a cheerful “Happy Memorial Day!” from oblivious well-wishers.

The former Army captain and Iraq War veteran had a ready reply, telling them, matter-of-factly, that she considered it a work weekend. Jaslow will be at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday to take part in the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. She’ll then visit Section 60, the final resting place of many service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“You can see it in people’s faces that they’re a little horrified that they forget this is what the day’s about,” said Jaslow, 34, who wears a bracelet bearing the name of a fallen comrade. “Culturally, we’ve kind of lost sight of what the day’s supposed to mean.”

While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer — think beaches and backyard barbecues, mattress sales and sporting events — some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday that honors more than 1 million people who died serving their country would command more respect.

Or at least awareness.

“It’s a fun holiday for people: ‘Let’s party.’ It’s an extra day off from work,” said Carol Resh, 61, whose son, Army Capt. Mark Resh, was killed in Iraq a decade ago. “It’s not that they’re doing it out of malice. It just hasn’t affected them.”

Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed. More than 12 percent of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II. That’s down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren’t personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.

With an all-voluntary military, shared sacrifice is largely a thing of the past — even as U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan and Iraq nearly 16 years after 9/11.

“There are a lot of things working against this particular holiday,” said Brian Duffy, commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“It hurts,” Duffy said. For combat veterans and Gold Star families especially, “it hurts that, as a society, we don’t truly understand and appreciate what the true meaning of Memorial Day is.”

Jaslow’s group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, is trying to raise awareness with its #GoSilent campaign, which encourages Americans to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. Monday to remember the nation’s war dead.

Of course, plenty of Americans already observe the holiday. At Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia, fresh flowers mark hundreds of graves, and fields of newly erected American flags flap in the breeze. Hundreds of motorcyclists thundered in for a Saturday service. By the end of the weekend, thousands of people will have come to the cemetery to pay their respects.

“This is our Super Bowl,” said Randy Plummer, the cemetery’s administrative officer.

Jim Segletes, 65, a Vietnam-era Marine visiting the grave of his father-in-law, a World War II veteran who died in 2000, said he thinks Americans became more patriotic and aware of military sacrifice after 9/11.

“Everyone is more in tune with veterans, more so than when I was in the service,” he said.

Douglas and Rene Kicklighter, Iraq veterans at the cemetery with their 10- and 12-year-old sons, said they believe most people understand what the holiday’s about. But they, too, cringe when they hear: “Happy Memorial Day.”

“It’s not happy,” said Rene Kicklighter, 37, who retired from the Army National Guard. “It’s somber. I try to flip the lens on the conversation a bit and gently remind them what it’s really about.”

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was conceived after the Civil War as a way to honor the Union’s war dead, with Southern states setting aside separate days to honor fallen Confederate soldiers. By the early 20th century, the holiday had evolved to honor all military members who died in service.

Some veterans say Memorial Day began to be watered down more than four decades ago when Congress changed the date from its traditional May 30 to the last Monday in May to give people a three-day weekend. Arguing that transformed a solemn day of remembrance into one associated with leisure and recreation, veterans groups have long advocated a return to May 30. For years, the late Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, asked Congress to change it back, to no avail.

That leaves it to people like Resh, the Gold Star mother, to spread the message.

Invited to speak to high school students in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she said she told them, “What is the true meaning of Memorial Day? Ask any Gold Star family and they’ll tell you what it means. It’s not about the picnics. It’s about the men and women who have given their lives for this country.

“Every day is Memorial Day for us.”

"The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in France covers 113.5 acres and contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II .
“The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in France covers 113.5 acres and contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II
"Within the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France, which covers 130.5 acres, rest the largest number of our military dead in Europe
“Within the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in France, which covers 130.5 acres, rest the largest number of our military dead in Europe
The Cambridge American Cemetery in Cambridge, England has approximately 3,812 graves of servicemen, including airmen who died over Europe and sailors from North Atlantic convoys.
The Cambridge American Cemetery in Cambridge, England has approximately 3,812 graves of servicemen, including airmen who died over Europe and sailors from North Atlantic convoys.
The Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial is a 48.6-acre (19.7 ha) site which rests on a plateau 100 feet (30 m) above the Moselle River in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains in Dinozé, France. It contains the graves of 5,255 United States' military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the campaigns across northeastern France to the Rhine and beyond into Germany during World War II.
The Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial is a 48.6-acre (19.7 ha) site which rests on a plateau 100 feet (30 m) above the Moselle River in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains in Dinozé, France. It contains the graves of 5,255 United States’ military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the campaigns across northeastern France to the Rhine and beyond into Germany during World War II.
The Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial occupies a six-acre site which lies on the southeast edge of the town of Waregem, Belgium. At this peaceful location rest 368 American military Dead, most of whom gave their lives in liberating Belgium in World War I.
The Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial occupies a six-acre site which lies on the southeast edge of the town of Waregem, Belgium. At this peaceful location rest 368 American military Dead, most of whom gave their lives in liberating Belgium in World War I.

 

The The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial lies approximately 30 kilometers east of Liège, Belgium and contains the graves of 7,992 members of the American military who died in World War II. It is one of three American war cemeteries in Belgium.
The The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial lies approximately 30 kilometers east of Liège, Belgium and contains the graves of 7,992 members of the American military who died in World War II. It is one of three American war cemeteries in Belgium.
The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial is located just outside of Saint-Avold, Moselle, France. It covers 113.5 acres (0.459 km2) and contains 10,489 graves; the largest number of graves of any American World War II cemetery in Europe. Those interred died mostly in the autumn of 1944 during the Drive to the Siegfried Line and were mainly part of the U.S. Third and Seventh Armies.
The Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial is located just outside of Saint-Avold, Moselle, France. It covers 113.5 acres (0.459 km2) and contains 10,489 graves; the largest number of graves of any American World War II cemetery in Europe. Those interred died mostly in the autumn of 1944 during the Drive to the Siegfried Line and were mainly part of the U.S. Third and Seventh Armies.
The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. The cemetery, which is 50.5 acres (204,000 m2) in extent contains the remains of 5,076 American service members. On 22 occasions two brothers rest side-by-side in adjacent graves. Most of the interred died during the Battle of the Bulge which was fought nearby in winter 1944/spring 1945.
The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial is located in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. The cemetery, which is 50.5 acres (204,000 m2) in extent contains the remains of 5,076 American service members. On 22 occasions two brothers rest side-by-side in adjacent graves. Most of the interred died during the Battle of the Bulge which was fought nearby in winter 1944/spring 1945.
The Manilla American Cemetery and Memorial is located in in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City in Metro Manila, Philippines. The cemetery, 152 acres (0.62 km2) or 615,000 square metres in area, is located on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. With a total of 17,206 graves, it is the largest cemetery in the Pacific for U.S. personnel killed during World War II, and also holds war dead from the Philippines and other allied nations. Many of the personnel whose remains are interred or represented were killed in New Guinea, or during the Battle of the Philippines (1941-42) or the Allied recapture of the islands.
The Manilla American Cemetery and Memorial is located in in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City in Metro Manila, Philippines. The cemetery, 152 acres (0.62 km2) or 615,000 square metres in area, is located on a prominent plateau, visible at a distance from the east, south and west. With a total of 17,206 graves, it is the largest cemetery in the Pacific for U.S. personnel killed during World War II, and also holds war dead from the Philippines and other allied nations. Many of the personnel whose remains are interred or represented were killed in New Guinea, or during the Battle of the Philippines (1941-42) or the Allied recapture of the islands.
The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial is a 130.5-acre (0.528 km2) World War I cemetery in France. It is located east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon in Meuse. The cemetery contains the largest number of American military dead in Europe (14,246), most of whom lost their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial is a 130.5-acre (0.528 km2) World War I cemetery in France. It is located east of the village of Romagne-sous-Montfaucon in Meuse. The cemetery contains the largest number of American military dead in Europe (14,246), most of whom lost their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
At the Mexico City National Cemetery there are 750 American soldiers buried that were killed during the Mexican War. Their remains were gathered in 1851, four years after the war, and buried in a common grave at this cemetery. They were not identified so they are classified as unknown soldiers. In addition there are eight veterans of the Mexican War buried at this cemetery.
At the Mexico City National Cemetery there are 750 American soldiers buried that were killed during the Mexican War. Their remains were gathered in 1851, four years after the war, and buried in a common grave at this cemetery. They were not identified so they are classified as unknown soldiers. In addition there are eight veterans of the Mexican War buried at this cemetery.
The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery which lies in the village of Margraten six miles east of Maastricht, in the most southern part of The Netherlands. The walls on either side of the Court of Honor contain the Tablets of the Missing on which are recorded the names of 1,722 American missing who gave their lives in the service of their country and who rest in unknown graves. Beyond the chapel and tower is the burial area which is divided into sixteen plots. Here rest 8,301 American dead, most of whom lost their lives nearby.
The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery which lies in the village of Margraten six miles east of Maastricht, in the most southern part of The Netherlands. The walls on either side of the Court of Honor contain the Tablets of the Missing on which are recorded the names of 1,722 American missing who gave their lives in the service of their country and who rest in unknown graves. Beyond the chapel and tower is the burial area which is divided into sixteen plots. Here rest 8,301 American dead, most of whom lost their lives nearby.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American soldiers who died in Europe during World War II. The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach (one of the landing beaches of the Normandy Invasion) and the English Channel. It covers 172 acres (70 ha), and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. Included are graves of Army Air Force crews shot down over France as early as 1942.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American soldiers who died in Europe during World War II. The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach (one of the landing beaches of the Normandy Invasion) and the English Channel. It covers 172 acres (70 ha), and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. Included are graves of Army Air Force crews shot down over France as early as 1942.
The Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial is an American war cemetery in Southern France, memorializing 861 American soldiers and mariners who died in Second World War operations in that area. The cemetery covers 12 acres (49,000 m2) within the city of Draguignan. The cemetery is named for the Rhone river and its watershed, where most of those interred fought and died. Those interred were mainly part of the U.S. Seventh Army, in particular the US 45th Infantry Division, the US 36th Infantry Division, and the US 3rd Infantry Division. They died mostly in the summer of 1944 during Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France from the Mediterranean, which followed the Allied invasion of Normandy.
The Rhone American Cemetery and Memorial is an American war cemetery in Southern France, memorializing 861 American soldiers and mariners who died in Second World War operations in that area. The cemetery covers 12 acres (49,000 m2) within the city of Draguignan. The cemetery is named for the Rhone river and its watershed, where most of those interred fought and died. Those interred were mainly part of the U.S. Seventh Army, in particular the US 45th Infantry Division, the US 36th Infantry Division, and the US 3rd Infantry Division. They died mostly in the summer of 1944 during Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France from the Mediterranean, which followed the Allied invasion of Normandy.
The Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial lies at the north edge of the town of Nettuno, Italy, which is immediately east of Anzio, 38 miles south of Rome. The cemetery covers 77 acres, rising in a gentle slope from a broad pool with an island and cenotaph flanked by groups of Italian cypress trees. Beyond the pool is the immense field of headstones of 7,861 of American military war dead, arranged in gentle arcs on broad green lawns beneath rows of Roman pines. The majority of these men died in the liberation of Sicily (July 10 to August 17, 1943); in the landings in the Salerno Area (September 9, 1943) and the heavy fighting northward; in the landings at Anzio Beach and expansion of the beachhead (January 22, 1944 to May 1944); and in air and naval support in the regions.
The Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial lies at the north edge of the town of Nettuno, Italy, which is immediately east of Anzio, 38 miles south of Rome. The cemetery covers 77 acres, rising in a gentle slope from a broad pool with an island and cenotaph flanked by groups of Italian cypress trees. Beyond the pool is the immense field of headstones of 7,861 of American military war dead, arranged in gentle arcs on broad green lawns beneath rows of Roman pines. The majority of these men died in the liberation of Sicily (July 10 to August 17, 1943); in the landings in the Salerno Area (September 9, 1943) and the heavy fighting northward; in the landings at Anzio Beach and expansion of the beachhead (January 22, 1944 to May 1944); and in air and naval support in the regions.
The Somme American Cemetery and Memorial in France is sited in the commune of Bony, on a gentle slope typical of the open, rolling Picardy countryside, in northern France. The 14.3-acre (58,000 m2) cemetery contains the graves of 1,844 of the United States' military dead from World War I. Most lost their lives while serving in American units attached to the British Army, or in operations near Cantigny.
The Somme American Cemetery and Memorial in France is sited in the commune of Bony, on a gentle slope typical of the open, rolling Picardy countryside, in northern France. The 14.3-acre (58,000 m2) cemetery contains the graves of 1,844 of the United States’ military dead from World War I. Most lost their lives while serving in American units attached to the British Army, or in operations near Cantigny.
The St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial in France, 40.5 acres (164,000 m2) in extent, contains the graves of 4,153 of American military dead from World War I. The majority of these died in the offensive that resulted in the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient that thre
The St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial in France, 40.5 acres (164,000 m2) in extent, contains the graves of 4,153 of American military dead from World War I. The majority of these died in the offensive that resulted in the reduction of the St. Mihiel salient that threatened Paris.
The Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial is a United States military cemetery in the Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine), France. It is located in a suburb of Paris on the southeastern slope of the hill below Fort Mont Valerien. Originally a World War I cemetery, it now shelters the remains of U.S. dead of both wars. The 7.5-acre (30,000 m2) cemetery contains the remains of 1,541 Americans who died in World War I and 24 Unknown dead of World War II. Bronze tablets on the walls of the chapel record the names of 974 World War I missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
The Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial is a United States military cemetery in the Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine), France. It is located in a suburb of Paris on the southeastern slope of the hill below Fort Mont Valerien. Originally a World War I cemetery, it now shelters the remains of U.S. dead of both wars. The 7.5-acre (30,000 m2) cemetery contains the remains of 1,541 Americans who died in World War I and 24 Unknown dead of World War II. Bronze tablets on the walls of the chapel record the names of 974 World War I missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.

pacific wrecks

American Cemetery on Guadalcanal located near Lunga Point Credit: US Army Date: 1945 Read more: PacificWrecks - American Cemetery on Guadalcanal located near Lunga Point
American Cemetery on Guadalcanal located near Lunga Point
Credit: US Army Date: 1945
The late US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens leads a delegation from the US.S. Embassy at the graves of the men of the USS Intrepid at Old Protestant Cemetery ...
The late US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens leads a delegation from the US.S. Embassy at the graves of the men of the USS Intrepid at Old Protestant Cemetery …

libya cemetery

American war dead buried in Tripoli, Libya. They were killed in 1804 during the first foreign war, the first Barbary war, Islam’s first war on the US (not just one but two wars, the first and second Barbary war). They should be exhumed and brought home a/s/a/p.
The oldest military monument in the U.S., the Tripoli Monument, was commissioned to honor the heroes of from the age of sail. The monument was at the Washington Navy Yard until 1831 when it was moved to the west lawn of the Capitol. In 1860, the monument was moved again to its current site at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. (source)
US memorial on the Scottish Isle of Islay. It pays tribute to the US servicemen. The Kilchoman Military Cemetery contains 74 graves; 71 from the Otranto (of whom 43 remain unidentified) and 3 other casualties brought from elsewhere. The grave slabs are all similar except the one of Captain Ernest George Davidson, the captain of H.M.S. Otranto, which stands out from the rest. Shortly after the sinking of the Otranto the remains of American Troops were buried here as well but their bodies were later repatriated or reburied in the American military cemetery at Brookwood in Surrey.
US memorial on the Scottish Isle of Islay. It pays tribute to the US servicemen. The Kilchoman Military Cemetery contains 74 graves; 71 from the Otranto (of whom 43 remain unidentified) and 3 other casualties brought from elsewhere. The grave slabs are all similar except the one of Captain Ernest George Davidson, the captain of H.M.S. Otranto, which stands out from the rest. Shortly after the sinking of the Otranto the remains of American Troops were buried here as well but their bodies were later repatriated or reburied in the American military cemetery at Brookwood in Surrey.

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