The Meaning of Memorial Day

A message from Mickey Schuch, President of the McHenry County Right To Carry Association:

Memorial Day 2016

Freedom is bought and paid for with blood.

Sun City 9-11 flag memorial.

Sun City 9-11 flag memorial.

To assume anything else is foolish.

In nature, one creature takes from another to sustain and exist.

The world is not a Disney film, except that we do have villains — lots of them.

I think its in the DNA of Americans to crush the badguy.

Our nation is the single greatest force behind the explosion of the well-loved notion called liberty.

The Washington Monument with American Flag waving.

The Washington Monument with American Flag waving.

We have spread our wealth of money, food, medicine and manpower around the globe.

More important than all of these things, though, is how we acquired them.

Freedom and liberty created the environment for that to happen.

As a people, we are generous and full of love for our fellow man. That’s not only my opinion, but also evidenced by the artifacts of history.

The problems arise when evil festers in the hearts of men.

Evil and greed breeds men who subjugate others to fulfill their desires and appetites.

Through fear and oppression this evil conquers and eventually snuffs out any trace of what once was true freedom.

This is how nations such as Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Nazi Germany and so many others ever came to be. Fear of evil cripples common men — and they allow it.

Here is where my thoughts on our Day of Remembrance begin.

Have you ever really read the words of our anthem?

When Francis Scott Key penned the poem that became our nation’s anthem, it was while watching his countrymen — our countrymen — being bombarded and killed at the battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

Francis Scott Key was moved to write in the midst of a battle at the sight of old glory still flying through the smoke and flames. That flag was huge — 42 feet long and 30 feet tall.

General George Armistead, the commander of Fort McHenry, specified “a flag so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance.”

Sounds like an American to me.

“We are right here, come get it.”

The red stripes on our flag symbolize hardiness and valor.

Webster’s dictionary defines valor as,

“great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.”

When I see the red, I personally think of blood, not in a morbid or grotesque manner, but rather in a reverent and sacred way.

I think of the blood spilled by over 1.2 million Americans that stood in that gulf between the villain and liberty.

Crystal Lake's JA Frate's Fallen Heroes trailer was in Crystal Lake's Indendence Day Parade after the huge Lions Club flag.

Crystal Lake’s JA Frate’s Fallen Heroes trailer was in Crystal Lake’s Indendence Day Parade after the huge Lions Club flag.

That bloodshed ultimately allows me to sit in my comfortable chair and sip coffee and type this now.

Wow, 1.2 million dead.

That is not a typo.

I think to myself,

“What can I do? How should I live to be worthy of such a gift that I am woefully inadequate of deserving?”

Such a sacrifice, 1.2 million lives traded for millions to live free.

A view of the Crystal Lake American Flag from Lake in the Hills on a clear da.

A view of the Crystal Lake American Flag from Lake in the Hills on a clear da.

There must be more we can do to honor them.

President Lincoln pondered this in the Gettysburg Address. Here is a quote.

“that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”

Notice what I highlighted.

Highly resolve.

Lincoln did not say from time to time take a moment of silence.

He said be highly resolved.

Joe Alger spoke at one of Crystal Lake's Memorial Day Ceremony.

Joe Alger spoke at one of Crystal Lake’s Memorial Day Ceremony.

May 30th will be, to many, a day off work with hot dogs and burgers, a day when stores have sales and people sleep in. That’s all fine. But before you fire up the grill and tip a cold drink, take your family to your local parade and Memorial Day ceremony. Make your kids stand up when the flag passes.

Don’t let them play because they are bored or mess around on a phone.

Teach them why they should pay attention.

Don’t protect them from the sobering meaning of the day. Listen as your local service men tell tales of brothers who did not return.

This must be remembered.

Over the course of 240 years, 1.2 million Americans entered that dark void with the light to their backs.

With evil ahead, they rushed into the breach, trading their lives in defense of yours and mine.

Think on that.

Be highly resolved to live honorably for this is the only repayment we can remit.

That red stripe on our flag means valor; valor is earned through blood.

The Memorial Day raising of the colors at Crystal Lake's Union Cemetery.

The Memorial Day raising of the colors at
Crystal Lake’s Union Cemetery.

Have your hot dogs and beers, but know this, you were GIVEN the gift to sit safely in your back yard in the light of day, only, and I mean only, because young boys met evil in the dark on your behalf.

Stop and look at that red stripe.

Think on it.

Allow tears to flow if they come, not only in sorrow but also in gratitude for a gift you cannot repay — except with respect and recognition.

Whisper a thank you.

Whisper it when the flag is flown. Say it in your heart when you enjoy a sunset, a stroll, or a meal with family in this land of the free.

Say it aloud, “Thank you!”

Thank you to the 1.2 million.

We will see you on the other side and tell you with an embrace,

“Thank you.”

Remember to be aware, implement action when needed and protect life and liberty where you are able.


The Meaning of Memorial Day — 8 Comments

  1. A beautifully stated reason we cannot allow those who sacrificed so much for future generations to have died in vain.

    Generations of Americans have thrived and protected what these men gave us.

    Today, generations of Americans are openly and actively, working to destroy our treasured country.

    We are at a point that the damage already sustained is crippling our nation.

    Wake up America!

    Get involved by righting the wrongs of those who cannot, and will not, fully grasp the meaning of freedom and what our nation stands for.

  2. Great write Mr. Schuch!

    “Freedom is bought and paid for with blood.”

    Now the reality bite:

    Since 2006, ‘ghosting’, ‘shadow-banning’ and outright censorship has existed on the internet.

    If you believe you have not yet been impacted, you have not been paying attention.

    Now we also have to face lawsuits which may be designed to infringe on your first amendment rights.

    What is the most scary to me is that apparently 44 percent of our population relies on internet social media for their news.

    Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker

    “Google has implemented a faulty spam filter into the YouTube commenting system and now this spam filter has been shadow banning innocent people for making normal comments that it thinks is spam.”

    EXCLUSIVE: Twitter Shadowbanning ‘Real and Happening Every Day’ Says Inside Source

    “Under Stealth banning (also called Shadow banning, Hell banning, Coventry or ghost-posting) is a practice used by managers of some online communities, the action taken to block content added by spammers and Internet trolls. It is also used to block the content of other individuals whose interests do not coincide with that of a manager or the community. It lets the content be blocked through hiding of the individual’s contributions from public view but leaves the individual’s account active and the actual contributions visible to the individual.

    The examples go on and on. Your freedom of speech is being chipped away daily.”

    “44 percent of the overall population gets at least some news through the leading social network.”

    Now, tie that all in with:

    The last link contains the following:

    “*U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith is a former Google executive and the longtime spouse of Re/code Executive Editor Kara Swisher, from whom she is now separated.”

    On Memorial Day and every day, more should pay attention to the above quote:

    “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”

  3. It is indeed a difficult task to preserve liberty when
    the very politicians who swore a solemn oath to protect and defend those liberties are the ones who work tirelessly to deprive you of those same liberties.

    Now and forever – LET FREEDOM RING !

  4. I’m not forgetting the Americans killed in action in Benghazi September 11,2012 either.

    “Benghazi Matters”

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