Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day in America is a time that we remember the Service Members of our Armed Forces that paid the ultimate price, the ones that gave their lives in service to our nation. Yes, we have a three day holiday weekend, sales at all the stores, and family cook-outs. Most of our holidays are commercialized. And that’s fine, as long as we keep the meaning of why we have the three day weekends, sales, and cook-outs. I just ask that we take a few minutes and reflect as to why this holiday exists. As you enjoy your time off, save money on a big screen TV, and have some great burgers cooked on a grill, remember the ones that never came home from serving our country.

 

Below is a poem I wrote in 2009 while serving in Iraq. It was inspired by a memorial service held on the base I was at. It was in honor of a Soldier that died at a different base, but part of his unit was on the same base I was. I’m guessing each base held a ceremony. I never met the man, though I have personally known a couple Services Members that died in service to our nation. The memorial service in Iraq inspired the following poem.

 

Memorial Day in Iraq

(originally written/published May 2009 by David George)

 

The buildings may have fallen, But our spirits not shaken

They did not die in vain, Innocent lives that were taken.

And willingly we came, as so goes the story

Doing a job that has little glory.

 

Many here now were kids when it started

When the airplanes crashed, And America was smarted.

And when our kids study history and learn about this war,

They can say dad was there, To help settle the score.

 

In the battle for Justice, Some gave their lives

So the rest could live free and not sacrifice.

But I’ll go home, Alive and well

I think of those who didn’t and it hurts like hell.

 

We fight this war, for Freedom’s true cause

And remember the families that suffered a loss.

Just six feet above, are markers that stand,

Over American heroes, who died for their land.

 

Good day, God bless.

Dave

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14 thoughts on “Memorial Day Weekend

  1. Beautiful poem Dave. Your post resonated with me on many levels but mostly because society (not meaning too) often get caught up in the sales, start of summer etc. and forget the true meaning of Memorial Day; a day meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for OUR country. Some were new, some seasoned but they gave the same. Thank you for your poignant memory check.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you don’t mind. They are heroes that often don’t come back either.
    Tribute to a war dog
    They took me from my Mom
    At eight weeks or so,
    And brought me to this real secure place,
    But I really didn’t want to go.
    While other pups back home,
    Got to romp and play,
    I was busy learning things like,
    Sit! Down! and Stay!
    There was one guy they called my handler,
    I think his name is Mike,
    He wore the same thing every day,
    On his arm was sewn 5 stripes,
    He came and got me every morn
    Before the sun was up,
    Out of this place called the kennel,
    It was me and 5 other pups.
    He would take me to do my business,
    Then pat my head when I was through,
    Sargeant Mike was a little strange,
    The other handlers were too,
    Then my favorite time of day,
    When Mike would yell lets eat!
    Me and the five other dogs ,
    Were ready for our treat!
    After all the food was gone,
    They would actually let us play,
    Chasing ropes and balls and wrestling,
    What a way to start the day!
    Then it was time to get serious,
    We always knew it was time,
    When they put a choke chain around our neck,
    And made us stand in line.
    They made us climb through tunnels,
    And walk up wooden frames,
    These army guys are kind of different,
    Even more strange are their games!
    After running this thing they called the course,
    Mike would take me off with him,
    To a metal building marked explosives,
    It looked like an old gym,
    They would hold this powder under my nose,
    Then they would make me sit,
    Then pat me on the head again,
    Yelling good boy, yes that’s it!
    I would do this every day,
    They said I was the best,
    Then one day they took me out back,
    I wore a tan and brown camo vest,
    As soon as I got back there ,
    I started to smell that smell,
    The scent that I was to sit down to,
    I knew it all too well,
    Mike looked at me and said where is it boy?
    Go have a look around,
    I found where the scent was really strong,
    They had it buried underground!
    I sat down like they taught me to,
    To show Mike what I found,
    Then I heard Mike scream out yesss!
    He jumped three feet off the ground!
    After three more months of this,
    I heard them say it’s time,
    They put me on a giant plane,
    Me and this handler of mine,
    The flight seemed like forever,
    Thought it would never end,
    Then it was time to go to work,
    Me and my handler friend,
    This new place was dusty,
    And everywhere was sand,
    And everyone I was near,
    Had a rifle in their hand,
    I heard them talking about me,
    Said I was the best around,
    Can someone point me to the water bowl
    In this sandy little town!
    They didnt have a kennel there,
    Mike let me sleep at his feet,
    Woke up before the sun came up,
    And he had me something to eat,
    Then he said lets do this,
    We have a job to do,
    We must clear IED alley,
    Just me and you,
    He took me to this dusty trail,
    With piles of dirt everywhere,
    He packed us a canteen of water,
    For he and I to share,
    I smelled that smell that makes me sit,
    I knew it all too well,
    Mike said find it for me boy,
    He was excited, I could tell!
    I started on my journey,
    Had my nose to the ground,
    Barely had gone a half a mile,
    And look at what I found,
    Theres that smell that makes me sit ,
    It’s what I am supposed to do,
    Then Mike whispered stay right there,
    Dont make another move,
    Then at once a shot rang out,
    What was I to do?
    Then it felt like my leg was on fire,
    Mike come and pull me through!
    Mike grabbed me by my harness,
    And held me to him tight,
    He said bud you’re going to make it,
    Don’t give up now fight,
    He called someone on the radio,
    Said we need help right away,
    In flew a blackhawk copter,
    He came to save the day!
    First he destroyed the snipers,
    That put a bullet in me,
    Then he hovered above us,
    As a jeep came and helped us to flee,
    I passed out from the blood loss,
    But then I finally came to,
    Had no idea where I was,
    My leg I could barely move,
    A guy they called the doctor said,
    You are lucky to still be here,
    I just needed to know if Mike was ok,
    That was my biggest fear,
    The doctor asssured me he was ok,
    That wasn’t enough for me,
    Then I heard his voice,
    Somebody open the door I need to see!
    There he was my very best friend,
    Then I tried to stand,
    Then Mike tried to warn me,
    Stay still if you can!
    The bone in my leg was shattered,
    It will never be the same,
    They said something about a purple heart,
    And a wardog hall of fame.
    Yes this shattered leg it bothers me,
    But compared to some this problem is small,
    I was actually a lucky one because,
    MANY don’ t come back at all!
    DEDICATED TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED OR WHO CONTINUE TO SERVE ON TWO LEGS OR FOUR THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

    Like

  3. Pingback: Memorial Day Weekend, 2017 | Story of My Life

  4. Thanks for the past remembrances that lead us to reading today’s post. So often we take more than our uniformed heroes for granted. Do we stop to thank the families of there heroes that are going thru such turmoil after a loved one is gone? Most of us grew up and knew both parents but so many will not know one or possibly both. Salutes to all in uniforms today, this weekend and every day that we the people can bask in our freedom. Thank you Dave!

    Liked by 1 person

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