Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ‘twixt that darkness and that light.
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done – Ronald Reagan
And Southern Air Pirate adds his note on the day as they (Truman CSG) are homeward bound this holiday:
As I write this I am on my lunch break during this Memorial Day and on the way home from my seven month cruise. I just wrapped up visiting Marseille France and providing a flex deck for a French Naval Fighter Squadron (the 24th) and the French E-2C squadron. We did this so they could get some carrier qualifications in; along with increasing our abilities to work with our allies. I have another postcard with a variety of thoughts on the French Navy and the city of Marseille on my computer being composed.
This one is to talk about the significance of Memorial Day.
I think of it that even though I am wrapping up my seven month cruise there are those sailors, Marines, airmen, and soldiers who are preparing for an upcoming deployment. If they are not preparing, then they are leaving this weekend to go on a deployment. Whether that is a deployment to Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Europe, or a slew of other places in support of national interests. Some of these are simple things as when I operated with the French earlier in this week, we work with allies to strength bonds and ties. Some of these deployments are to help and try to stabilize regional security. Some of these deployments are to the war zones. It really doesn’t matter that much what these deployments accomplish on the big picture. If you look at the details you will see mothers separated from their families, fathers from their new borns, new husbands from their wives, sons/daughters from their parents. You will see birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, weddings, and various other family functions that are missed. Some of these people may have to face challenges such as a serious illness in the immediate family, which by the time the powers to be release someone for emergency leave you might get a chance to make it for the funeral.
Some of these people may not make it back home.
Whether that is because of a hostile attack, an accident, an illness, or random act of god. Those that are left behind are told via a nice letter the Secretary of Defense regrets to inform them that their relative died. This may be followed up by a visit from an casualty assistance officer. Along with a letter from the commanding officer regretting the lost of a fine human being, maybe even a letter from their Leading Chief or Leading Petty Officer. Those that died are brought home, usually buried with honors and remembered by their family.
So while the rest of your fine readers are out bar-b-queuing, buying that brand new widget which is 50% off with that newspaper ad, traveling to enjoy the long weekend. Remember that there are those of us out there that trying our best to hold the barbarians at the gates. Some of us will be coming home on our shields. Take your time to stop at the local cemetery, look for those that gave their lives through out the life of this nation. Remember them and give those of us who are still in the uniform a kind word.
Southern Air Pirate