Memorial Day, USA

Memorial Day is a UnitedStates federal holiday observed on the last Monday of every May.  Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. soldiers who have died while servingtheir country.  Great men and women whogave their lives so we can live in a country with rights and freedoms manyother countries only dream about. 

Many people observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries andmemorials.   A national moment ofremembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time.  Another tradition is to fly theflag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time, whenit is then raised to the top of the staff where it remains until dusk.  (Every flag should be taken down until thenext morning).

Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site atNational Cemeteries, the most famous being the Gettysburg National Cemetery inPennsylvania and Arlington National Cemetery near Washington. 

But what about the over 100,000 dogs who through many wars haveserved and died for the United States of America?  Numerous canines who gave their last breath tosave their American soldiers.  Dogs who servedas messengers and sentries, carried medical supplies, sniffed out snipers,booby traps and bombs, and even sought out dying men on the battlefield and laybeside them to comfort them. 

I don’t think dogs should be buried in Arlington, or any othermilitary cemetery, but shouldn’t there be some monument to herald their braveryand service?  Maybe something like theViet Nam Wall to list each name?  Beforeyou think I’m being ridiculous let me mention that I was an army brat.  My dad served a year in Viet Nam.  We were blessed that he came home to us aliveand well.  We had many years before we losthim in 2009 and knowing the love he had for his dogs I believe, as an American soldier,he would also approve an honorable monument such as this.

Did you know that dogs in the news receiving a Purple Heart or aSilver Star are not given these honors by the Pentagon or by the Department ofthe Army.  They are given by the men the dogs once served.  Next time you pass a cemetery filled with fallensoldiers, remember too the many fallen soldier dogs who gave their lives somany American soldiers could live.

This Memorial Day we remember the fallen who have served this great country.  We thank God for the men, women and dogs who have given their lives so that we may live.  We pray God’sblessings for the United States of America.

Today is also significant to us because we almostlost Kirby last year on Memorial Day when he was attacked by a large dog.  He received five inches worth of stitches andbarely moved for over a day.  It was atruly frightening experience but today you have to really look to see the scars.