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Kristian: Don’t thank, let’s reflect on Memorial Day

Kristian Garic
May 25, 2020 - 5:49 am
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As Americans sometimes we occasionally lose perspective about the meaning of our holidays.  Christmas is one, Easter the other and Memorial Day often gets confused with Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day.  On Memorial Day, please refrain from thanking veterans, who are living, for their service.  Our day will come in November.  This day was created to honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice...who perished on foreign battlefields.  
 
I don't like telling people what to do with their lives, but on Memorial Day while your barbecuing with the family, please spend a couple of moments reflecting on the gallantry and valor of those who gave their lives for this wonderful country.  I think about them on this day every year.  They are the reason we can have the BBQ, seafood boil or bike ride with our families.  They are the reason we have the liberties we enjoy in America.  Other countries might have powerful militaries, but none that rival the bravery of USA troops. 
 
Earlier in the week on Sports Talk we got a call from a guy named "Philly,” who expressed some concerns about forcing college football players back into action this fall.  Philly was asserting that we are asking those college athletes to put their lives on the line.  Later in the call Philly asked Bobby Hebert, if Hebert ever had a job worth dying for.  The Cajun Cannon quickly said, “No.”  Philly didn't ask me the same question, but I answered anyway.  The truth is I have had two jobs worth dying for...one serving with the United States Marine Corps...the other serving as a sheriff’s deputy in St. Bernard Parish, before landing my dream job at WWL.  You know what?  If I could do it all over again, I’d choose to serve my country and community again.
 
A lot of Americans fear death, and that's okay.  Those men and woman, who perished during combat, accepted their possible fate, and in some instances knew they would die during the course of a conflict.  These heroes made selfless decisions to give their lives for their buddy next to them.  You are their buddy too.  Even though you weren't right behind or next to them charging that hill, they made the ultimate sacrifice for you...for me...for the belief in the principles the United States stands for. 
 
I remember having honest  conversations with my fellow Marines, when we had some downtime in the field conducting operations.  Every single one of us came to the conclusion that dying in combat is the most honorable death.  In fact, in some ways I feel guilty that I served and never went to combat.  I'm still alive, but would have gladly traded places.  
 
Tomorrow, if you are out and about and run into a military service member, please refrain from thanking them for their service.  (Like I said, our holiday will come.)  Instead, just spend some time reflecting on those who gave their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms we have, albeit different under Covid-19 conditions.  It's still the best country on earth.  
 
Just google names of service members, who died in combat.  Read about their sacrifice, dedication and honor...and do it with your kids.  Teach them about the heroic acts of these brave men and woman. 
 
I read about five of them on Memorial Day weekend every year.  Every year I'm blown away by the gallantry and courage.  Every time I read about their deaths, I ask myself, would you have been that brave?  Frankly, I don't know.  I hope I would.  Most of the time I get emotional reading these stories.  What tremendous fortitude in the face of certain death.  These were all somebody’s son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister.  
 
This Memorial Day, lets think about them.  We must never forget.  America would not be the country it is today without their sacrifice.   
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