VIENNA, Va, May 28, 2011 — President Obama stopped for two days in Warsaw, Poland. His visit included a visit to Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza, Poland’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
If my math is correct, this is the second consecutive Memorial Day that the President has decided to honor the war dead of another. A second time he has found himself too busy to be at Arlington National Cemetery.
Instead of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington, he placed a wreath at the Ghetto Heroes Memorial. This is an important memorial in that it honors the sacrifice of tens of thousands of Jews who were killed in the Warsaw Ghettos uprising on 1943. (Read more … )
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By Judge Patrick Dugan
“For most of my life, I was like most people: I knew what Memorial Day stood for, but I didn’t really stop to think about what it truly meant. That changed after I went to Iraq in 2004 as a civil-affairs soldier with the Army Reserves. When you serve with people who don’t come home, Memorial Day means something different.
Memorial Day is not about politics. Whatever your feelings about current or former wars, remember this: All military personnel take an oath. The fallen swore and gave their lives honoring a promise:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the uniform code of military justice. So help me God.”
I am an American Soldier
I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined,. physically and mentally tough,
trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy
the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
Many years ago, I enlisted in the US Army. Though offered a commission, I declined. I wanted to earn respect by my performance, not by the rank I wore. I served a mere three years and was not involved in combat. One of my daughters has chosen to follow in my footsteps, and has already served 5 years, including a tour in the desert. As happy as I am that many Americans have never known such hardship as seen in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos, or Iraq and Afghanistan now, it is an UN-happy truth that without struggle, there is little appreciation. Many Americans do not value the freedoms we still have. They exist in a quiet complacency that disregards the deeply personal sacrifices of the past. All too many just don’t care. I thoroughly hope you are not among them.
Memorial Day has traditionally been observed in Washington D.C. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery. Although President Obama has not seen fit to continue this observance in Arlington, there is much symbolism involved inn the traditional ceremony.
“The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery is also known as the Tomb of the Unknowns and has never been officially named. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier holds the remains of an unidentified American soldier from World War I.
Next to the tomb are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza. Interesting facts about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Sentinels of the Third United States Infantry Regiment “Old Guard.”
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