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Thread: Memorial Day--Honoring the Sacrifice

  1. #1
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    Memorial Day--Honoring the Sacrifice

    Across this great land, a great people are honoring the sacrifices of those who gave the last full measure of devotion.

    Cemetaries are decorated. Rolling Thunder rides. Pulpits evoke pain, admiration, and gratitude. Among those honoring the sacrifice, perhaps the most ardent of all, are many who served but did not die, honoring fallen friends and comrades.

    I have a few questions. First the groundwork.

    From the Norman Invasion to the Bill of Rights, there were 725 years of suffering, blood, and smoke as people wrested rights from government. The cost to obtain rights was almost unimagineable.

    From time to time on this forum somebody makes a comment diminishing or devaluing a right. Less today than in the past, but it still happens. For example, recently a member wrote in his OP that he didn't want to be seen as a p*ick by police for politely exercising his rights. Rights paid for in blood. Another example is a a recent thread about a mouthy Marine assaulted by a cop. The OPer was conflicted about the cop's assault, unsure whether it was deserved.

    Excepting the English Civil War and the American Revolution, all the rights wrested from government in our history were wrested non-militarily.

    Queen Mary Tudor, the second monarch after Henry VIII, burned three-hundred people at the stake for heresy.

    Four men had their ears cut-off by the High Commission* for non-conformity. The religious tyranny was bad enough, but they were convicted because they invoked the right against self-incrimination, the government's policy being to take invoking that right as a confession. Moreover, one of the men had already suffered that punishment previously, but the court noticed stumps of ears...and had the stumps cut off.

    John Lilburne died in his early forties, his health broken by spending much of his adult life in prison for fighting for freedom. Oliver Cromwell's government couldn't convict him despite putting him on trial for his life four times, so in order to silence him it simply seized and imprisoned him in the isolation of one of the Jersey islands. There his health deteriorated beyond repair, and his wife finally won his release to be with her. Along the way, the government whipped him for a walking mile, pilloried him, gagged him so hard his mouth bled, and imprisoned him repeatedly for writing against government tyranny. It was Lilburne's incandescent career that finally won us the unalloyed right against self-incrimination. He also influenced the right for a jury to judge the law as well as the facts--jury nullification. He influenced the right to receive the indictment--be told the charges. He suffered much of his adult life.

    I don't think I need to go on with examples.

    So, here is food for thought, posed as questions.

    How can the fallen we honor today deserve greater respect than those who suffered, bled, and burned winning our freedoms?

    How can the fallen we honor today deserve that honor unless the freedoms, that is the individual rights, are cherishable? If the rights are not cherished, are not the sacrifices of the fallen diminished?

    How can sacrifices made to preserve rights be greater than the sacrifices obtaining them in the first place?

    How can a person justify his admiration and gratitude to the fallen soldier if he doesn't cherish the rights for which they fought?





    *The High Commission was the church's highest court in Tudor England. In Tudor England, you had multiple courts, each hearing its own types of cases. The common law courts heard cases like everyday crime. The Star Chamber Court heard cases against the queen's perogative--political crimes and/or offenses hurtful to the queen's authority. And, the High Commission heard cases alleging offenses against church law. The High Commission was composed of bishops and perhaps archbishops. For a time, the High Commission could not inflict punishment except deprive non-conformist ministers of office. Otherwise, it could only find guilt. It had to refer a convict to the Star Chamber court, composed of members of the queens closest advisers, for punishment. In the late 1600's Archbishop William Laud brought the High Commission and Star Chamber court so close functionally as to become almost indistinguishable. Thus, today, we hear about the Start Chamber court's abuses of the right against self-incrimination because they operated closely together towards the end. But, the High Commission was just as nasty as the Star Chamber court.
    Last edited by Citizen; 05-27-2013 at 12:23 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    I think Memorial Day is about remembering all the people who have died to allow us to have the freedoms we enjoy today, from the first rebellious individuals whose actions inspired the fight for freedom, to the men/women/soldiers who died protecting them. To attribute the day just to fallen soldiers I think is being very short-sighted. And yes I think the complacency of many American's today is a smack in the face to all of these people. Where political correctness rules and people don't want to exercise their rights for fear they might offend someone. It's a damn shame is what it is.

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    It is easy to honor those that died "defending liberty" without caring a wit about the rights that make that liberty possible.

    All you need to do is 1) never find yourself in a situation where your long term personal comfort depends on exercising a right in the face of opposition to your doing so (values of "long term) will vary); and 2) not care about those whose long term personal comfort depends on exercising a right in the face of opposition because your personal comfort (short and long term) is not being threatened.

    Today we make heroes out of some folks who merely do their job, when that job entails conditions or situations that we find displeasurable. If this were followed consistently, our biggest heroes would be garbagemen and those that run the wastewater treatment plant but those jobs are icky so we do not even think about them unless someone stops doing them.

    And yet, those we honor today were all just doing their jobs - either after putting down one job to pick up what became their last one, or returning from the job of soldiering to pick up where they left off until their allotted time ran out.1

    I think that beyond all the political rhetoric we have two holidays remembering/honoring those that those that served and those that died while serving is to assuage the guilt of those who chose not to serve. I have never been able to wrap my head around the notion that the majority (50%+1) of the nation ever cared that much one way or the other.2

    stay safe.

    1 - http://www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html It's only recently that on their death we include those who survived combat on Memorial Day.

    2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGClrsAN2aY (please forgive the commercial)

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am entitled to claim to be a combat veteran. Except for "spray&pray" suppressive fire against what turned out to be a water buffalo and harassment&interdiction throwing of grenades while standing perimeter guard duty, I have never been in close combat with the enemy. I have been under fire (mortars & rockets) for the requisite number of days so the bureauacracy awarded me the Combat Action Ribbon. Excpt for coming up for air and to repair/refill our private shower I was in a bunker all that time. It took a few hits that required sandbags to be replaced, but that was not my job.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    All the more reason for us to learn about our rights and what it cost to obtain them, eh fellas?
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  5. #5
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    One may try to subvert or change the purpose of Memorial Day, but IMO that will gain little traction. It is only necessary to understand the original designation of Decoration Day and the history inherent there to grasp why this is. Over the years ancillary layers have developed, but none have come close to disposing the public acknowledgement of gratitude to our military men & women as the very foundation for Memorial/Decoration Day.

    "Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30."
    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...ial-day-149547
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    One may try to subvert or change the purpose of Memorial Day, but IMO that will gain little traction. It is only necessary to understand the original designation of Decoration Day and the history inherent there to grasp why this is. Over the years ancillary layers have developed, but none have come close to disposing the public acknowledgement of gratitude to our military men & women as the very foundation for Memorial/Decoration Day.

    "Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30."
    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...ial-day-149547
    Thank you.

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