Memorial day: Remembering Those Who Gave Everything

Memorial Day is a US holiday that I struggle with every year as it is a rather emotional one for me. It seems that all too often people lose sight of why we enjoy the day off to BBQ with friends and family among other Memorial Day traditions. We do our best to honor those who served by thanking them for their service and indulging in some of the most American activities that we can. But is that how we should be celebrating?


The 561st escorts SPC. Michael R.  to his flight home.

Today is a somber celebration of the men and women that gave their life in defense of the United States of America. We pay homage to their sacrifice but as a nation forget what Memorial Day is about all too often. Those veterans that you are thanking are spending the day thinking about their buddies that weren’t able to come home because they made the ultimate sacrifice.


Soldiers that were not able to attend the funeral in the United States perform a downrange memorial.

I want to challenge our readers this Memorial Day by having a meaningful one. Reflect on the sacrifice that over 1.3 million service members have made over the United States’ history. Thousands of families like mine are remembering their loved one today and celebrating their heroism, I encourage you to do the same.

From all of us at TFB, enjoy a safe day of remembrance and may we never forget.


SPC. Michael R. lands in Dover where his family welcomes their hero home.

Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and TFBTV Host. He likes guns and has liked shooting guns for as long as he can remember. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • claymore

    Remember these people too most were veterans and died fighting the same fight for freedom.

    • John

      What did the CIA directed Iranian, Guatemalan, Syrian, Brazillian, Chilean coups, Operation Cyclone, the Contras, and anything else the CIA has yet to fess up to have to do with Freedom?

      • claymore

        A bit overwrought are we. If you can’t figure it out by yourself nobody can help you.

        • iksnilol

          I just think you spooks have done more damage than good. So I kinda agree with John.

          Especially when your ops involved destabilizing regions and removing freedoms there. The extremists in the middle east got power because *somebody* thought it was a good idea to remove the Shah of Iran. So yeah, not everybody is fans of you guys.

          • Bill

            The “extremists” in the Middle East are motivated by centuries of conflicts with the West, going back to The Capitulations after the Crusades, the Ottoman Empire and British, French and German colonialism and machinations during the First World War. Blaming the CIA for the entirety of todays’ situation is extremely shortsighted. There is plenty of blame to go around, including a whole bunch for the Islamist radicals themselves.

            Arguably the State Department’s policy of deBathification did more damage in Iraq than the Coalition military or the Intelligence Community.

          • jay

            Plus the darn religion. Convert, be a dhimmi or die. It has nothing to do with our fighting back.

          • Bill

            Yeah, pretty much like that pesky Pope Urban II.

          • jay

            You do know that the muslims were attacking any Christians, their holy sites, and destroying churches, forcing conversion to islam, don’t you? Yes the Crusaders did some horrible things, but it was all started my the muslims.

          • Bill

            “All started by Muslims?” Hardly. The primary motivation for the average Crusader was for the remission of his sins and the capture of Jerusalem. Islam actually expanded farther throughout the Near East, Mid East and rest of the globe AFTER the Crusades. Then as the major powers in Europe decided to colonize those same territories, the results were pretty much to be expected.

          • jay

            Nope. The muzzies started it, the crusaders tried to end it, but it continued to get worse. The muzzies controlled most of the mid east when the crusaders came. The motivations of the crusaders didn’t matter. They were there to push back the muzzies and stop their murdering. Now once they got there, yes, some did horrible things. They didn’t go there to kill, maim and torture. But yes it did happen. On both sides. But absolutely, the muzzies started it.

          • Bill

            Just exactly where are you getting your history from? Please enlighten me, maybe you have better sources than I do and I’ve been mislead. I doubt it, but I have to consider the possibility.

            The motivations of the Crusaders didn’t matter? Push the “muzzies” back from where, their own states? It wasn’t like they were marching on Paris. Well maybe the motivations of the “muzzies” didn’t matter then either.

          • crackedlenses

            To be fair, the Muslims had spent most of their history up to that point expanding territory through conquest; maybe if they had been nicer to European pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land the Pope wouldn’t have taken notice….

          • Bill

            Which is exactly what Europe started to do by trying to colonize the globe and convert the Godless heathens at the same time. “Who started it” is for schoolyard fights. It’s entirely possible that equal blame lays on both sides.

          • Well said—-

          • Bill

            The issue with intelligence is that the failures and errors are obvious and almost immediate while we never hear about the successes, for decades if at all. And I’m not trying to obfuscate like Cheney/Rumsfeld et al, it’s just the nature of the biz.

            Similarly, blaming the intelligence community for the errors of the Executive and Legislative branches can be over-reaching. The spooks are worker bees – they provide products to the decision makers, and carry out their marching orders. There are PLENTY who have quit when confronted with orders or decisions they had moral, professional or ethical issues with.

          • claymore

            Spoken like a true NON-American.

          • iksnilol

            I am not an American. Proud of it too. You guy’s have done a lot of damage. Worst part is you think you do good.

            The fact that your only response is “you’re not American” proves that further.

          • Patrick R.

            I think that is enough now. Keep it civil.

          • Katie A

            That is more than enough. Have some respect, all of you. Patrick created an excellent Memorial Day reminder, and you all are absolutely disrespecting what the day stands for. Take your petty arguments elsewhere, please.

          • Nicks87

            Yeah Katie, because one sided discussions is what America is all about. Thank you for serving by the way.

          • Nicks87

            Thanks for deleting my post. Glad we just get to hear your opinion. How does it feel to have your head buried in the sand?

          • Patrick R.

            I haven’t deleted anything. I will not tolerate any more mud slinging in the comments, you are entitled to your opinion but you will argue the finer points of the CIA’s contributions elsewhere.

          • Nicks87

            I apologize Patrick, it was disqus. It didn’t have anything to do with the CIA. Just me venting. No need to repost.
            TL;DR Flag draped coffins #triggered.

          • Nicks nobody can delete post but me and I didn’t delete your post.

          • Nicks87

            I apologize, it was Disqus. I guess I used a banned word or something. Maybe they just don’t like free speech.

          • And I’m proud to be an American. I think WWII shows the willingness of our countrymen to sacrifice to fight true evil. After it’s over we helped rebuild those former enemies. Berlin Airlift.
            We make mistakes like any other country but when a huge natural disaster happens in another country who shows up first with the most help?

            At least allow us to honor our fallen and not disrespect them and us because they/we were/are Americans.

          • iksnilol

            No, you misunderstood. When I said “you guys” I meant spooks, and other covert operatives. I didn’t mean Americans in general. Cause I like Americans in general, you do a lot of good. It’s just people like the KGB (whatever they call themselves nowadays) and CIA that do the damage.

          • Ok gotcha—-having read your comments for a long time now I was shocked when I read your post. I’m sure glad I misunderstood it.

          • iksnilol

            I’m glad we got it cleared. Don’t want to be on the wrong foot here. This place is cozy… as far as a series of 1’s and 0’s can be cozy. 😛

          • LOL—true and like I said it just didn’t sound like you!

          • Patrick R.

            Claymore, kindly stop feeding the conversation.

      • Mike

        Ah yes… the CIA fight against communism and Soviet control. Something you clearly haven’t actually researched or studied there, John.

        In short? Yes. The CIA has backed rebel groups since it’s start after WW2. The training of rebel groups is nothing new to the history of human civilization to push progression in areas, and to allow influence upon the area population. The use of troops and, later, special operations forces to train these groups is also not new, nor illegal actually. Funded and armed, supported, but not actually led by the US.

        Cyclone came back and bit us in the ass, yes. But Cyclone, for all intents and purposes, was still a successful operation in terms of uprooting Soviet control I’m Afghanistan after 10 years (See 1988 Geneva act, Soviet withdrawal 1987).

        All actions have consequences, and all moves have reasons attached to them. Just because you don’t like them or agree with them, doesn’t mean you have actions clue as to why they were done.

        And whatever these have to do with the American service members whose lives were lost in various conflict, fighting for their country to maintain the freedoms we have, such as you and I even being able to discuss this in an open forum without fear of persecution, I couldn’t tell you why you chose to bring up a mostly unrelated set of events.

        Do not disrespect the fallen… because the fallen died for you, your family, your friends and those beyond your comprehension, sir.

        • John

          Brings up the messes the CIA made when someone else mentions the CIA and you say it’s unrelated. Umm…ok?

          • Mike

            Your sentence makes absolutely no sense. Still, I’ll humor you and shorten the answer…

            Messes happen. People need to clean up Messes when they are made, or else they get worse over time. Our veterans are those who volunteered to clean up said messes when no one else would.

            Do not disrespect those that clean up the messes, because they’re the reason why you don’t have to deal with them yourself. Done.

          • Dan

            Also, the people who died were not the ones to make those “messes”. They carried out their orders for their country.

      • USMC03Vet

        There is always one.

        • John

          What’s that supposed to mean? The CIA has been far more adept at creating enemies of the United States and enemies of freedom than fighting them.

    • Bill

      And the dozen-odd some other agencies that make up the Intelligence Community.

      • claymore

        True enough, I didn’t mean to slight anyone.

  • M.M.D.C.


  • politicsbyothermeans

    Words escape me on Memorial Day. Maybe this will do.

  • David Harmon

    Every day is memorial day.

    • Patrick R.

      For some people that is very true.

  • MrEllis


  • Oldtrader3

    God bless those who gave their all for their country!

  • ElderAmbassador

    In the middle 60’s there were several people picked from our Guard Detachment to go to VN. They had one of several “Critical” MOS ratings. We never saw or heard of them again. Yes, Memorial Day is as sacred to me as December 7th, a date most people these days are ignorant of by useless “indoctrination” in public “schools.”

  • Tassiebush

    My thoughts are with the people of the United States who are our friends and allies on this day.

  • Ed Ward

    I thank God Above for the K’s of Brave Americans both past and present that have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for Country.

    While we all wish the World were at Peace the stark fact is that ‘Radical’ Islam (not sure the ‘radical’ qualifier is needed anymore) has declared War on the West and or East, perhaps more easily simplified by saying any and all Countries/People that have not yet converted over to ‘mandatory’ adoption of all things ‘Allah.’ Rest assured that countless more ultimate sacrifices will be required going forward as the World mobilizes to fight “Jihad” whereby any and all ‘infidels’ shall be targeted…

  • Pete Sheppard

    Well said, Patrick.

  • Blackhawk

    Let us all remember those who died, not in battle, but training for the next battle. They served as well. Of my personally-known dead comrades, only one died in combat. The other three died as a result of training accidents. RIP WO1 Joseph DeNardo, KIA RVN, 1972, CPT Gordie Agnei & CW2 Tim Zeri, killed in an aircraft accident in 1977, and CW4 Tom Miller, killed in an aircraft accident in 1987.


    Great way of giving a tribute to our life savers….. Lucky to have you for our protections. Feels Proud!!!!

  • DL

    I’ll speak for the men I knew and say that each one of them are with us at our cookouts and ordinary lives. That is what I want. I’m sure that each of you would want the same. The mourning and struggling is a personal action. Bob always reminded us to have, “Thanks, for the memories. You’ll lose them soon enough.