THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION
by David Sisler
Today is Memorial Day, the day we honor those men and women who have given their lives in defense of our freedom.
Typically today, we celebrate by discounting washing machines 20 percent, advertising furniture for sale at half price, and broadcasting loud and obnoxious commercials to sell automobiles.
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War.
Two years ago in this space, I wrote, "The Americans who have died, guaranteeing our freedom, are not honored by the 'beginning of summer' sales." The cost which soldiers have paid to bring down Osama bin Laden and all of his terrorist ilk only amplify the shame of the crass commercialism that stands on the bodies of our honored dead.
Writing in The Weekly Standard, Jonathan V. Last lists the names of the men and women who have given their lives fighting terrorism. He says, "Our debt to them is to great to repay. But it is right that today we reflect on their names, and honor them in our hearts with prayers and gratitude."
Read their names. Honor their sacrifice.
AustraliaSgt. Andrew Russell
CanadaCpl. Ainsworth DyerPvt. Richard A. GreenSgt. Marc LegerPvt. Nathan Smith
DenmarkLance Cpl. Brian Juul AndersenStaff Sgt. Thomas Kruse ButzkowskiLance Cpl. Kim Carlsen
GermanyFirst Sgt. HachertFirst Sgt. Rubel
The United States of AmericaSpc. Thomas F. AllisonSpc. Marc A. AndersonCapt. Matthew W. BancroftLance Cpl. Bryan P. BertrandChief Petty Officer Matthew J. BourgeoisGunnery Sgt. Stephen L. BrysonSpc. Curtis A. CarterTech. Sgt. John A. ChapmanMaster Sgt. Nathan Ross ChapmanStaff Sgt. Walter F. Cohee IIICpl. Matthew A. CommonsStaff Sgt. Brian T. CraigSgt. Bradley S. CroseSenior Airman Jason D. CunninghamMachinist's Mate Fireman Apprentice Bryant L. DavisMaster Sgt. Jefferson Donald DavisSpc. Jason A. DisneyStaff Sgt. James P. DorritySpc. Jonn J. EdmundsChief Warrant Officer Jody L. EgnorMaj. Curtis D. FeistnerSgt. Jeremy D. FosheeStaff Sgt. Kerry W. FrithStaff Sgt. Justin. J. GalewskiStaff Sgt. Scott N. GermosenChief Warrant Officer Stanley L. HarrimanSgt. Nathan P. HaysMaj. Stephen LongPvt. Giovanny MariaSgt. Jamie O. MaugansCapt. Daniel G. McCollumMaster Sgt. William L. McDaniel IIStaff Sgt. Dwight J. MorganCapt. Bartt D. OwensSgt. 1st Class Daniel Henry PetithoryStaff Sgt. Brian Cody ProsserStaff Sgt. Juan M. RidoutPetty Officer 1st Class Neil C. RobertsSgt. 1st Class Daniel A. RomeroStaff Sgt. Bruce A. Rushforth, Jr.Johnny "Mike" SpannPfc. Kristofor T. StonesiferSgt. Philip J. SvitakSgt. Gene Arden Vance Jr.Sgt. Jeannette L. Winters
Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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