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Posts Tagged ‘Veteran’

US-FlagGrilling, pool parties and retail discounts.  I’m talking about Memorial Day!

This coming Monday is a day to remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

So as you cue-up your music playlist for a ride on this holiday and/or prep the BBQ’s to spend time with family and friends, it’s important that we take a moment to pause and remember our fallen heroes.

If you’re looking for Oregon Memorial Day events to participate in then visit HERE.

Photo taken by author.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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The brass marker on the deck of the USS Missouri marking the spot of the signing of the surrender of Japan that ended WWII

The brass marker on the deck of the USS Missouri marking the spot of the signing of the surrender of Japan that ended WWII

Monday is Memorial Day, a day we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of rememberance for those who have died in our nation’s service. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on Union and Confederate Soldiers graves in Arlington National Cemetery. Ever since, Americans have set aside a day in May to observe Memorial Day and pay tribute and honor those who died in defense of our nation.

For many of us it’s a holiday and in between the BBQ’s and spending time with family and friends, it’s important that we take a moment to pause and remember our fallen heroes.

Photo taken by author on the USS Missouri.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Frater_InfinitasThe Fort Hood, TX., shooting spree yesterday by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is disturbing.  He had duties as a psychiatrist to help treat soldiers returning from combat with P.T.S.D. and it’s being reported that he shouted “Allahu Akhbar” (phrase meaning “Allah is great” in Arabic) as he opened fire on returning soldiers assembled from combat duties in the middle east.

The commander-in-chief was being constantly briefed on the shooting situation and stated “Let’s not jump to any conclusions” during publicized remarks in the wake of the shooting.  This from the same person who said a couple months ago that police in MA., were “stupid” for arresting a Black college professor – who was a personal friend – and was thought to be breaking into a home?!  The contradiction is disturbing.

And instead of a somber commander-in-chief offering expressions of sympathy and compassion to the Veteran’s and their families, the President maintains his previously scheduled meeting and makes inappropriate and light-hearted remarks at the Tribal Nations Conference.  Backslapping and providing “shout-out’s” to attendees.  A full three minutes into the speech the President finally spoke of the shooting – one of the worst killing’s in military base history!  They should have cancelled the meeting realizing a disconnect between the horrific killing played out at home and the light hearted banter coming from President – the Frater Infinitas (“brothers forever”) disconnect is disturbing.

But I digress.

In a few short days another Veteran’s Day will be celebrated.  It’s about honoring military veterans.   There will be parades large and small celebrating those who stepped forward to serve our nation.  I can’t forgive Hasan for the betrayal and I’m not going to allow a psychologically disturbed individual cast a shadow on remembering them either.   I have a lot of respect for our soldiers and appreciate the service you do for this country.

Photo courtesy of itmon.

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chapelA good riding buddy of mine lost his father recently.

Coping is difficult for family and for friends it’s can be challenging to know what to say or not say that might remind the person about something they don’t want to remember.  But close friends know how not to say a word and yet provide comfort.

Frank served in the U.S. Army and was a Korean War veteran which meant he always had a sense of purpose to what ever it was he was doing.  I first met him back in the early ‘80s when he ran his own company selling electronic components.  I worked at a medical instrumentation company which purchased his parts and I’ll never forget his deep vocabulary of “one-liners.” A salesman of high integrity to the very core and one that would make Glengarry Glen Ross “ABCs” proud.   I remember on more than one occasion “chasing” him out of the manufacturing assembly area for chatting up the “common people” not because he had a talent of figuring out what his clients were always up to, but was the kind of guy who made people laugh and truly enjoyed learning more about the folks he worked with.  Chatting/laughing and killing time in manufacturing = fewer widgets thus the need for chasing him off.

I was a privilage to know Frank and I was thinking about his — “Trust No One” — saying while I wrote this post.  How prophetic that the biggest story of the week is the insane profits at Goldman Sachs.  If you’d rather get your news from “Rolling Stone”, Matt Taibbi weighs in HERE.  Clearly Wall Street’s bad habits — above all, the system of compensation that helped cause the financial crisis — have not gone away.  In addition, it spotlights that by rescuing the financial system without reforming it, Washington has done nothing to protect us from a new crisis.

Frank passed away peacefully surrounded by the love of his family and friends.  Small as it may be, I wanted to provide a shout out of remembrance and re-commit to memory his one-liner as I sit in front of the TV screen, anesthetized by “talking heads” hoping our future doesn’t go down the drain as banking insiders believe it’s business as usual.

Photo taken at Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Az.

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Willamette National Cemetery

Willamette National Cemetery

Whether just back from a combat zone or have been home for 60 years, Memorial Day is a day for remembrance of those who have died in service to the United States. 

It happens on Monday, May 25th and is a U.S. federal holiday that was formerly known as Decoration Day. Enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.

There is a good summary of Memorial Day events in the Oregon Dept. of Veterans Affairs website.  There are a number of Portland-centric activities planned.  In addition, Memorial Day weekend marks one of only two times per year that more than 100 wineries in Oregon’s Willamette Valley throw open their doors to the public for a chance to meet winemakers and owners.

Be it a BBQ, a day of wine tasting or a visit to the Blue Star Memorial… I hope you’ll take a moment to remember the U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.  If you know of other activities that don’t appear on the state site, feel free to post in the comments.

Photo taken at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon

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