Memorial Day: A Solemn Day Of Reflection

Many of us fill our belly with beer and burgers on Memorial Day. Some of you might even go to the range to celebrate freedom by putting some holes in paper, others might head to the lake with friends and family, spend the day running around town with kids in tow, or even loaf around the house and enjoy the day off from work.

Before I get too deep into this emotionally charged post, I want to say that all of us here at TFB are overwhelmingly grateful of those that laid down their life in defense of their country. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid.

But what am I doing to celebrate Memorial Day? Sitting in the backyard, watching my dog Bear play and thinking about the fallen that so bravely made the ultimate sacrifice for those that they loved. I can’t bring myself to visit a national cemetery today, I prefer to visit on days that I am able to reflect on my loved one in solitude.

While I am thankful for the sacrifice that all of our fallen has made for their fellow service members and countrymen, there is one soldier in particular that is the subject of my thoughts, my youngest brother Michael. I ask that instead of offering your sympathies, you reflect on what you are able to enjoy thanks to the sacrifices that men like Michael made.

There are many quotes that you might see on social media today, I have posted some of my favorite ones below. They stir emotions of pride and sadness at the same time for me like many others that are remembering their fallen loved one today. While I may not agree with how some of the men listed below viewed the world, I can look past that to see the wisdom in their words. I ask that you do the same.

“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” – Minot J. Savage

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton

“We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them.” – Francis A. Walker

“Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay, but we can honor their sacrifice.” – President Barack Obama

Over a million Americans have given their life in service to their country. If only one can have such a profound impact on my life, think of the impact that our honored fallen have had on all of our lives.

Sure, it is a bit selfish of me to focus on one man today, but rest assured that I am thinking about people like SPC. Christopher J. Scott, Master SGT. Joshua Wheeler, Staff SGT. Joshua Dean, and many others that gave their life while defending what they love from its enemies.

For those of you wondering, Michael now rests in one of our nation’s many national cemeteries among other heroes that are well deserving of the title. If you are able, take the time to visit them and say thank you.

You can also check out Carry The Load, an organization dedicated to preserving the memories of these great Americans. They are doing a wonderful job of keeping the reason for Memorial Day fresh in our minds.

Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day. May we never forget the fallen and let them live on through memory.





Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Co-Director for TFBTV. He is a verified gun nerd and also podcasts at The Firearms Podcast. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially overly modified plastic handguns, precision rifles, and AR based things. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

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


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  • Greg

    Patrick: I never comment on here, but feel like I’ve grown to know you over time and just wanted to tell you I appreciate what your brother has done for our country. Getting to know you through your videos, though brief, are enough to know your parents raised honorable people and makes your brothers sacrifice that much more impactful. I will be thinking of Michael today.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Thank you Greg, that may be the kindest comment I have ever received. Thank you for thinking of him, he was quite a guy.

  • USMC03Vet

    “all share one title in common and that is the title of hero.”

    – President Donald J. Trump

  • peace

    Dont invade, dont die !

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Please be respectful. If you feel the need to make a comment anonymously, please do it somewhere appropriate. This is not the place.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Service and sacrifice to fight evil.

  • Hinermad

    Thank you, Michael R, for your willingness to serve. And thank you, Patrick, for your and your family’s sacrifice.

  • Renato H M de Oliveira

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
    Mark Twain
    May their memories be blessed.
    May these heroes RIP.
    Brazil was never directly supported by US troops, but this does not mean that your sacrifices didn’t impact us – I salute you!

  • Shameless

    How’s that firearms not politics working out for you?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      be witty somewhere else

  • Rusty S.

    Powerful stuff, Patrick. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you to your family for their service and sacrifice.

  • jonp

    Thank you for your brothers sacrifice. I have served, my wife’s dad and first husband are all retired military, my father served, my step father was Frozen At Chosen, my grandfather was part of the greatest generation and went ashore at Omaha and our daughter is serving now. She did a tour in the Sandbox and came home alive and well. Some did not. This day is for the fallen who proudly served our nation and went where others did not dare through devotion to God, Country and their Brothers In Arms.
    My wife and I found an abandoned cemetery near us that had several Veteran’s Graves forgotten among the trees. Not anymore. We put flags on all of the graves.
    Never forget those that made the ultimate sacrifice. Our nation will never fall as long as men and women like them serve.

  • SP mclaughlin

    “F”

  • Grey Beard

    Thank you for sharing Michael with us today Patrick and know that he and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers. You made me think of the last time I saw one of my cousins just before he left for Vietnam. Resplendent in his Class A uniform going off on a journey that would lead to him being carried home by his brothers. It is in those happy corners of our memories where we celebrate their lives and in one small way keep them alive as long as we can remember and speak their names. Peace be with you and your family.

  • Larry

    If you’re older than 30 and have never served, you’re a disgrace to your country and you should kill yourself. All civilians are cowards and traitors!

    • Ark

      Grandad, take your pills!

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Military service isn’t for every Larry. In fact, I wouldn’t want many of the people that I have met to serve. It takes a special person to be a good soldier.

    • Dan

      Well with that said perhaps you should look up what the founding fathers thought of a professional military.

    • .45

      I agree i am a coward, but I fail to see what courage has to do with joining the military. If I did, I’d just wind up like 99% of the people that do, scrubbing toilets in some base somewhere, a task hardly requiring a large amount of guts. Anyway, this has nothing to do with honoring the fallen, and I’m afraid I won’t be killing myself on the word of some troll online who may not have ever served themselves, sorry.

    • Zapp Brannigan

      Why do you feel being a waiter is so important? There’s more to a restaurant than the wait-staff, they might be the face of a restaurant but it’s a team effort for it to work.

  • Good White men like your brother deserved better than to die in the sand for fedgov and her (((greatest ally))). You have my condolences. My father was lost to the regime, too.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I don’t want theroies or condolences, just that you remember that men greater than you or I gave their life for something they love.

  • Iblis

    Wonderful, moving post. Thank you.

  • Randy

    Thank you Patrick, for sharing this. I am fortunate to have not lost any of my family who served, and therefore Memorial Day can seem abstract sometimes. Your post really helped to drive home the purpose and emotion of Memorial Day.

  • valorius

    To all those who have served and are serving, peace time or war, REMF or tip of the spear alike- thanks for your service.

  • Jason

    Thank you Patrick for sharing what the true meaning of today is about.

  • 22winmag

    A standing army is the bane of liberty.

  • nick

    Patrick, from a man who has served alongside my three own Brothers ( and thankfully, all of us are still here) I can understand the pain and loss you continue to feel. I cant imagine the loss. There were times that we were all serving in different “hot” locations, and I still to this day don’t know how my dear parents held up from the strain of the nightly news.

    Even though I’m from “north of the boarder” and our day of remembrance falls in November, I have served with great pride with our American Cousins in different parts of the world, and think on your countries past and continued sacrifices today.

    I cannot think of a better “comrade in arms” for us to have

    god bless

    Nick
    (back in the day…)
    10 TAG, 401 Squadron Tac Helo

  • William Taylor

    I am a disabled VN vet and adopted a personal Memorial Day tradition that is easy and pleasing, at least to me. That is the annual Memorial Day concert from Washington. Hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantagna, it is a very tasteful 90 minute live presentation done every year the night before Memorial Day. I guess it just isn’t well known as I never hear anything about it. Check it out next year, it is good.

  • RPK

    Yes, absolutely remember the fallen.
    And give respect to those the fallen have left behind who continue to honor their legacy.
    No person ever sets out or intends to be labeled a “hero”.
    Their acts of bravery or heroism do not define them.
    They serve not for the Glory, the decorations or an ideal.
    A “Soldier” serves to protect and defend the brother and/or sister to their left or right.
    Mourn not their loss.
    But celebrate their lives.
    They gave all they could sacrifice.
    They made this sacrifice knowingly.
    Love them, as they have loved each of us…eternally.