Our country was born from strife. We have from the very beginning been a country of fighters who will defend our own right to exist as country and we have also been willing at any turn to fight for freedom for anyone striving for the freedoms we enjoy. As a result, we have lost many American soldiers to this cause over the last 235 years since our Declaration of freedom in 1776 not counting the wars prior to the fight for our independence. It seems to me these days that most of us have forgotten what Memorial Day is all about. It is not just a three-day weekend, even though that is nice, but it is a day to remember and honor all the soldiers who have fought and died so we could have this three-day weekend.
Memorial Day was first proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan who at the time was the national commander for the Grand Army of the Republic. The day began as a remembrance for soldiers who had died during the Civil War, regardless of whether or not they fought for the North or the South, and when first observed on 30 May 1868, flowers were placed on the graves of all the war dead at Arlington National Cemetary. Later on it became a holiday to celebrate all of our war dead.
We have become so accustomed to our fighting nature and the impact it carries across the world that I believe we have become numb to the sacrifices that our soldiers make to ensure our prosperity as a nation. Today, we see the major increase in amputees and we decry the fighting that has caused all these grievous wounds, yet, we don’t realize that the increases in our capabilities in what is essentially combat surgery has saved many more lives. War Amputees Field Surgeons now operate on wounded soldiers literally just a couple of minutes behind the lines and as a result, many soldiers who would have died, are now saved.
Also, we have seen incredible improvements in prosthetics and now the field of robotics has produced an exoskeleton to help parapalegics walk. Paralyzed Student Walks at Graduation
These improvements don’t smooth over the fact that combat scars people physically and mentally, but they do highlight the fact that as a nation, we are always searching for ways to support those who keep us free. Look through the news and see if you can find a story like this coming out of Iran, Syria other non democratic nations without free reign to try to improve the way the world lives. That is why our country is exceptional and those who fight and die for our country are the ones who deserve to be honored. For it is on their backs and through the advances in research the government funds to give our soldiers the high-tech edge they need to win that many of the conveniences we take for granted everyday are originated. GPS, Internet, Satellite and smartphones, night vision devices are just of few of thousands of benefits we receive and use simply because we want our soldiers to have every advantage when they fight for our freedom.
So, next time we plug-in our Garmin and get accurate directions to the nearest Starbucks so we can have a latte’, remember that the convenience came as a result from research that was trying to keep our young men and women alive in combat.
Their sacrifices have become an integral part of who we are and we need to remember that every day and not just once a year.