USA! USA! USA! USA! The chants can be heard loud and clear before the American teams take the fields or courts during Olympic Games or other major events such as rallies where citizens express their pride for this country.
Recently some of our fellow Americans have made comments that these chants could seem inappropriate or intolerant. Even some of our government representatives have been seen walking out of speeches by our president where “USA” was being chanted.
Today is Memorial Day, recognized in this country since 1868, originally named Decoration Day and later changed to Memorial Day. In 1971 a federal law took effect declaring Memorial Day a national holiday to be held on the last Monday of May.
This day is observed to remember the sacrifices of Americans who served our country and did not return during American wars.
When I hear of anti-chanting Americans or political correctness when showing pride for our country, I always revert back to the remembrance of those people who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and what that means to me. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, nearly 1 million soldiers have died during actual battle during American wars. This does not include record of deaths during training exercises preparing for battle.
How can we as Americans memorialize these soldiers who offered up their lives fighting for this country?
Continuously show gratitude towards those who have already sacrificed their life and will sacrifice their life in the future. The families of these heroes have lost grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandchildren or children. If you haven’t already, imagine what it would be like losing a family member while they were serving a greater purpose.
Keep the memories alive. Explore the happenings of our country. There are many stories of heroism that are documented and many that are not. Talk with a Veteran and pick their brain about any events or people that they can remember that passed away during their time of service. Keep these memories alive by teaching your children or anyone that will listen. This is a great tribute to those lives lost.
I recently had a conversation with a Veteran who served in Quan Loi during the Vietnam War. The stories stirred emotions in my heart for the people that have memories of unpleasant experiences as well as lost comrades. The threat of fire from opposing forces was always in the back of their mind. Think about trying to carry out your everyday job, sleeping or watching a movie with your family and always having to think about being fired upon by your enemy. In several instances these attacks destroyed structures or damaged equipment. But ultimately, men lost their lives because of these attacks. Men that lived together, worked together, fought together, and had free time together shared the common goal of serving a greater purpose, the USA!
“All gave some, some gave ALL” To those who gave everything, I am forever grateful!