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  • Morning Bell: Happy Memorial Day

    Today, Heritage is proud to honor the men and women who gave their lives defending our country. In the midst of barbecues, parades and the beginning of summer, we want to take a moment to remember what today is truly all about.

    Memorial Day, the most solemn American holiday, traces its history back to the Civil War era, when private citizens designated a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. Today, the day is meant to honor all who gave their lives in military service in all of America’s wars.

    While we celebrate the holiday and honor the past, we must also remember to honor those who are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice every day. The men and women in America’s armed forces are unmatched. Each of them has given of themselves and volunteered to fight the nation’s wars. Many of these soldiers will spend this Memorial Day in the mountains of Afghanistan or in the deserts of Iraq and Libya far from their families and friends. Their sacrifice and courage should remind us of our commitment to support them not just today.

    The freedoms we enjoy are paid for by those we honor, both the fallen and those still fighting. Our nation is truly thankful.

    Edwin J. Feulner
    President, The Heritage Foundation

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    33 Responses to Morning Bell: Happy Memorial Day

    1. Frank says:

      As we remember those who have sacrificed so much (including their very lives) over the years to preserve our our nation & our freedoms, let us reconsider what were the intents of our Founding Fathers & where our present nation stands. We honor our veterans best by holding firm to those ideals worth fighting & dying for.

    2. Val says:

      My sincere Thanks to all who fought for my family and my own personal Freedoms and Safety. God Bless You all ,and for those dearest to our hearts R.I.P."THANK YOU."

    3. Neil in SF BAY AREA says:

      "Happy" Memorial Day is a tag that doesn't quite fit for what you described as a solemn (it definitely is) occasion. Would you greet someone who is bereaved (this is what Memorial Day is about) at a funeral with "Happy Funeral?" Think about it.

    4. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I have a grandfather, brother-in law and his two first cousins buried in Arlington Cem. therefore I go there often. As a child I was taken to Arlington by my grandfather, I saw the changing of the guard and walked through all the graves, and visited Lee's house. Later I really read the inscriptions and thought about thier meaning and still all these years later, when I go to put flowers on these graves, I think about all these men and women who gave their all so we, the citizens of USA, can be free. There is something, I cannot describe, about Arlington that is the calm, peace and yet a stern reminder that PEACE is not FREE.

    5. Steven Polgar, Walli says:

      Though not directly related to our observance of Memorial Day and the honoring of the sacrifice of the many who have given their lives and the ones who continue to put theirs on the line to preserve our safety and freedoms, the note below was sent in response to one of George Will's comments on yesterday's Sunday ABC talk show:

      From: Steven Polgar

      Date: May 30, 2011 9:55:55 AM

      Subject: Your comments on ABC about Sarah Palin

      To: georgewill@washpost.com

      Dear Mr. Will:

      As one who is old enough to have been an early supporter of Ronald Reagan, I was shocked to hear your statement yesterday about Sarah Palin's qualifications as President of the United States. Saying that she is not to be trusted with the authority to use nuclear weapons is reminiscent of similar statements by left-wing pundits about presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and the attacks on President Reagan when he decided to install medium range missiles in Europe to counter the Soviet build-up of SS 3 and 4 rockets. That move was one of the important causes of the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and its empire.

      That a commentator, touted as conservative, would make such an irresponsible statement about a potential presidential candidate such as Sarah Palin, makes those of us who consider ourselves as the defenders of basic American values as embodied in the Constitution of the Unted States shudder. We shake our heads and wonder what is behind your animosity.

      President Barack Hussein Obama had nowhere near the experience of Sarah Palin, either in domestic governance nor in foreign affairs, and yet he has his finger on the same nuclear weapons release button, which you would not trust to Ms. Palin. As the Romans used to say: Cui prodest scelus, is fecit, the one who derives advantage from a crime is most likely to have committed it. I ask, what advantage were you to gain by making this statement? Whatever your disagreements with Sarah Palin may be, air them honestly and then my friends and I and the millions of people who believe that Barack Hussein Obama is a grave danger to the continued survival of this great Republic and that Ms. Palin may be the best candidate to help restore it will not have to wonder about your ulterior motives.

      Maybe then, we can have an intelligent argument about who is best qualified to lead the country out of the valley of tears, into which Obama and his leftist friends have steered it.

    6. Todd - Virginia says:

      Salute to all of the heroes who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving this great country and helping spread freedom around the world.

      This country will remain great as long as we, its citizens, remember that freedom is not free, the liberties that we enjoy come with a price that must be paid, unfortunately, in blood and tears.

      And we must learn the lessons from both history and the present – are freedoms are not guaranteed. Our freedoms are something that we must watch carefully, and protect with complete focus and great energy. We are living in an era where our own government is trying to limit our freedoms through government mandated programs, out-of-control spending, and complete disregard for the will of the majority of the people.

      “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” — Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

      We do this every two, four and six years, when we vote for our Representatives, President and Senators. This is what makes our country great. We, the citizens, can change the course of our own country through the ballet. One man (or woman) – one vote. But that single vote is as important as any other, and is just as important as the sacrifice that our heroes, who we honor today, gave for this country. The alternative to our system is a higher price in blood and tears.

      Thank you to our heroes, past and present.

      Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired

    7. tom lanava, clemmons says:

      Although your description of Memorial Day was fitting and appropriate, Heading the article with "Happy Memorial Day" is not. There is nothing "Happy" about Memorial Day that I know of. Please be judicious in your choice of words. I commend you for defining what Memorial Day is for the 90% of the population that does not.


      For Ed Feulner, re 5/30 "point of view".

      I take my local paper and the WSJ daily. Your article, which appeared in the Times Union today was one that I have seen practically every day…long on the "big picture" short on details. All the pundits/politicians can perhaps be forgiven because of space/time constraints, but should understand that we need specifics at our basic level.

      Come up with details, specific to people who read the articles. "…redesigning our tax system …flat rate" Give an example of the impact of this change for a middle class family, and demonstrate how those changes would allow those "…Americans to become more fiscally responsible themselves."

      Please remember, that the writings of all of your staff will only be of value to the voters for the 2012 election, if they show their readers how the contestant's positions will impact their daily lives.

      Thanks for your time and for the work of the Heritage Foundation.

      Shannon Heyward

    9. Hal, Columbus, Ohio says:

      It is our duty as a citizen of the USA to morn the fallen who sacrificed their lives to protect this great country.

      But it is the duty of the living who have been elected to represent this nation to do what is right and obey the laws of this country. By asking these men and women of the millitary to lay down their lives for our country is no different than to ask the members who are sent to Washington by the ones who pay the taxes and are asked to obey the laws and protect the Constitution than we ask the brave men and women to risk thie lives for our country everyday for us.

      Why is it that our men and women of the military are judged so harsh for an act that they have preformed wearing the uniform of this great nation. If a soldier losses his rifle he has to replace it and it is taken our of his pay. If congress screws up and passes legislation that requires citizens and employees of financial institutions to take taxpayer money and give it to people who never will be able to pay it back.

      After all said and done we give the heads of Freddie and Fannie bonuses of millions of dollars and when they are sued we pay their legal fees. What risk to they take. None. Natta. Zero. Mr Raines takes his $90 millions dollars in pay and bonuses and goes home to live another day. Did any money get repaid to the Federal Government (the people)? No! Natta!

      Every member of Congress has the trust of the voters they send to serve. A member of Congress and an employee of the USA has to serve the taxpayer as every employee has to serve the company that she works for.

      Our brave men and women spends the rest of their living with the wounds they suffer for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and doing their job. If only our members of Congress would act in a manner consistent with what we expect from our soldiers. I bet our treasurey would be flush and we would have no debt.

      Our last speaker flew around in a military jet from California costing the country Millions and brags about a Health Care Bill that she exempts half the business from having to comply with. Most dems received these exemptions because they new he right people. This bill is a boondoggle and is representative of the type of work Washington turns out, bill after bill. If only they could learn from the military. If the laws they put out were only as good and the soldiers in the military puts out.

      When our boys go to do a mission their own lives depend on it's. When Congress goes to battle our livelihood depend on it. And most of their battles we , as taxpayers, are the ones who pay and lose. (Do you think we care if a snaildarter are in the way or this lizard we a talking about now. We do all we can to protect our men and women in the military. If only the Congress did the same about our country. We spend millions on a weapon that only is needed to save a jobs in a district or state. Ethanol is a prime example of WASTE for jobs. Why would we do this for one corn state and shut down Alaska .

      Do you think that our military leaders would do something so stupid. These guys can build a bridge to across a river in one afternoon. By the time the kickbacks were paid in the priveate sector we would lose the battle, Hell we would lose the war.

      Our Congress goes out of their way to make sure that they are never to blame. It is the taxpayers who make this country run and yes the evil millionnairs. We need them all.

      I am beginning to think that Military Service should be a requirement to be elected to the United States Congress. Maybe it is time to bring the draft back so that we all can serve. Expecially if you want to serve as President, because we need true leaders. WE NEED THEM IN WASHINGTON TOO:


    10. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Happy Memorial Day. The Uniform Holidays Act of 1968 has been a disaster. In most

      of the country, Memorial Day was moved off its traditional date, (except here in New

      Hampshire), where it was kept on the 30th. Nationally, it was on May 26th, or 27th,

      depending on which date was the closest Monday to Memorial Day.

    11. dee, California says:

      Claimed to be "the place to go for correct information", you have really shown your ignorance on this one. HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY?!?!? I would have expected a little more reverance and intellect from Heritage.

    12. Bill, San Antonio says:

      I agree with Neil. the use of the word "Happy" seems wildly inappropriate on this day when we remember those who died to keep us free.

      An Air Force veteran

    13. Ruthie, WA says:

      In remembrance of Donnie and all those who have served our country, living or fallen. God love you Donnie. God Bless the Patriot Guard and God Bless America!

      9 minutes long but very touching!


    14. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      God bless our great men and women who have served and are serving now.

      Freedom is not Free.

      To those that have given their last full measure, godspeed.

    15. Ed Mare, Wausau, WI says:

      Memorial Day is a Day of Remembrance. My personal view is that it is not proper to say "Happy Memorial Day." Have a nice weekend should do it instead.

    16. Alton Drew, Atlanta, says:

      Well said. Thank you for sharing this. This is one holiday that Americans should be reflecting on.

    17. rosemarie douglass says:

      please thank god for ouer jung man and ladys that fougth for ouer friedom


    18. Krista, NH says:

      I cringe when I hear the term "Happy Memorial Day" used. When I think of Memorial Day, I think of those men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I think of the families grieving the loss of their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mother or father, who serve our Great Country.

      It is most certainly not a happy occasion. A happy holiday is Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving. Those are holidays when families gather together to celebrate a special occasion. They are also commercialized holidays.

      Memorial Day is a time for remembering the true heros and honoring their memory. It should never be commercialized and companies using it as a time to promote their goods should be boycotted – that's never what the day was intended to be for – and shame on them!

    19. Tom, Cairo, Egypt says:

      Like most Americans, I have had many relatives who fought in Americas wars, from the Revolutionary War to the present day. This is a most important day to remember them. One phrase startled me: remembering those who are fighting in "…the deserts of…Libya…" Is this the author's mistake? Inside information? A dreadful prediction?

    20. Laurie Hawaii says:

      We must see through the horrific lies of the Career politicians whose goal is nothing more than getting re-elected by promising that our country can actually survive and continue giving you social security checks and free medicare to illegals on borrowed money from China and printed monopoly money. And, oh by the way, we must destroy thousands of jobs of American citizens to save some 3 inch lizard in Texas, thanks to the EPA (friends of our bureaucrats) who are in bed with our enemies to destroy the last free nation on this earth. Oh, dear God, please help the voting public to understand the corruption and lies of these campaigners-in-chief Chicago thugs….let us rescue this country quickly before it is far too late. HELP!!

    21. Lizalu2U says:

      I keep not understanding…not appreciating the "happy" Memorial Day. With some sites, it simply gives the basic recognition Memorial Day. Have never thought of Memorial Day as a happy day, rather a day of recognition all so many who gave some of themselves and those who gave it all up for a belief in all the goodness that is America. With, especially, now, reminders of the supreme cost of much, dear Heritage folks what's the "happy" part?

    22. Dan Dalpes, Colorado says:

      thanks Ed.

      You serve us well.

    23. Jim St Augustine, FL says:

      It would be impossible to overstate my gratitude to the many Americans that have given the ultimate sacrifice. As a vet I think I have some sense of how fortunate we all are to have had such heroes in our Armed Forces.

      On a different note, It was mentioned that some of our soldiers were spending Memorial Day in the deserts of Iraq and Libya. Did I miss something? I did not know we had ground forces in Libya. This is Memorial Day so that is a subject best left to another day.

    24. Mike, Chicago says:


    25. Pingback: El Día de los Caídos 2011 | Heritage Libertad

    26. Jim S. St Augustine, says:

      Regardless of politics, religious beliefs, etc. all Americans should be thankful for the ultimate sacrifices made by members of our Armed Forces.

      On a separate note, I noticed a reference to our soldiers spending Memorial Day in the deserts of Iraq and Libya. Did I miss something recently? It was my understanding that we did NOT have ground forces in Libya.

    27. Linda, Louisiana says:

      Frank's remarks, above, are my sentiments. I thank Jesus Christ for saving our souls and I think our past and present men and women in service for our freedom. I wish everyone appreciated this, too. Some how or other, I do not believe our President realizes what is at stake to preserve our freedom – a Good Defense Program.

    28. Sarah, San Antonio, says:

      Today, at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas (Military Town USA) we attended a memorable Memorial Day Service. The guest speaker was Captain B. C. Frost, U.S. Coast Guard.

      From our family to yours we hope you take the time to show your appreciation to any Military service member you may meet and remember they are protecting the greatest nation on earth – The United States of America. God bless the men and women serving our country and all those that have lost their lives so that we may enjoy our freedom.

      God Bless ya'll ……

    29. Pingback: Opinion-Week of May 30, 2011 |

    30. ramar says:

      One day a year we remember those who have honored themselves… and us. And, this is certainly an important day…for all of us. No doubt about that.

      Why can't we continue to honor those who feel the obligation to fulfill and protect our way of life… and liberty? Honor them every day! Not just one? Not fake it and insult them with our hypocracy?.

      Why can't we get back to a time, and a feeling, where honor was a quality? A way of life? An every day way of life. Where honor came naturally. Where a person was measured on this honor. It had value.

      Today I watched a man with no honor, attempt to honor those fallen servicemen of honor. He made a short speech and again solved the problems of the day in that speech. Until tomorrow that is. He gave us his word… as he always does. Then, nothing solved…again…was on his way. So much for honor! (Ex Airborne Ranger)

    31. Leonard R. Beene, Jr says:

      I want to thank everyone who is grateful for every who has served our nation whether it be in office, community or on foreign soil. You are all appreciated and we continue to remember you past and present for all you have done.

      Leonard R. Beene Jr

    32. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      As a Veteran…Viet Nam era, thank you…100% agree

    33. m smith says:

      I guess I have to watch my words sometimes, because when I said" Happy Memorial Day they responded" Do U know what memorial day is?Well dont we all known? This is the day that we give so much respect to the fallen.I love you all in the past and in future I LOVE YOU ALL. Good Bless the USA.

    34. dee, California says:

      Memorial Day is an observance….not a holiday. This is a day to remember those who died for our freedom. Veteran's Day is for those still living. Happy Memorial Day is the incorrect thing to say. Memorial Day is to be observed with reflection, gratidute and prayer.

    35. Ken, Wisconsin says:

      Here is to remembering all those that have fought for our freedoms!

      Theodore Roosevelt – "Man in the Arena" Speech given April 23, 1910

      - It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

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