SILENCER SATURDAY #330: Memorial Day 2024

by Pete
Wikimedia Commons (U.S. Army)

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the brand new YHM 338 Bad Larry Suppressor. Last week we touched on some basic suppressor metallurgy to understand the correlation between elevated heat and tensile strength. This week we pause our series in observation of Memorial Day 2024 and to remember why this weekend is more than just beer and barbecues.

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SILENCER SATURDAY #330: Memorial Day 2024

Don’t get me wrong, beer, barbecue, and spending time with friends are all important activities. But many of us, myself included, forget that the unofficial start of summer is marked by a holiday to honor the fallen soldiers who gave their lives in the name of freedom. With that, I leave you with a speech from President Reagan on Memorial Day in 1984.

Memorial Day is a day of ceremonies and speeches. Throughout America today, we honor the dead of our wars. We recall their valor and their sacrifices. We remember they gave their lives so that others might live. We are also gathered here for a special event, the national funeral for an unknown soldier who will today join the heroes of three other wars.

When he spoke at a ceremony at Gettysburg in 1863, President Lincoln reminded us that — through their deeds — the dead had spoken more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could, and that we the living could only honor them by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which they so willingly gave a last full measure of devotion.

We Americans have learned to listen to each other and to trust each other again. We have learned that government owes the people an explanation and needs their support for its actions at home and abroad. And we have learned — and I pray this time for good – the most valuable lesson of all: The preciousness of human freedom. It has been a lesson relearned not just by Americans but by all the people of the world.

Yet while the experience of Vietnam has given us a stark lesson that ultimately must move the conscience of the world, we must remember that we cannot today — as much as some might want to — close this chapter in our history.

For the war in Southeast Asia still haunts a small but brave group of Americans, the families of those still missingin the Vietnam conflict. They live day and night with uncertainty, with an emptiness, with a void we cannot fathom. Today, some sit among you; their feelings are a mixture of pride and fear. They are proud of their sons or husbands, fathers or brothers, who bravely and nobly answered the call of their country, but some of them fear that this ceremony writes a final chapter, leaving those they love forgotten.

The unknown soldier who has returned to us today and who we lay to rest is symbolic of all our missing sons. And we will present him the Congressional Medal of honor, the highest military decoration we can bestow. About him, we may well wonder as others have: As a child, did he play on some street in a great American city. Did he work beside his father on a farm in America’s heartland? Did he marry? Did he have children. Did he look expectantly to return to a bride. We will never know the answers to those questions about his life. We do know, though, why he died. He saw the horrors of war but bravely faced them, certan his own cause and country’s cause was a noble one, that he was fighting for human dignity, for free men everywhere. Today, we pause, to embrace him and all who served us so well in a war whose end offered no parades, no flags, and so little thanks. We can be worthy of the values and ideals for which our sons sacrificed, worthy of their courage in the face of a fear that few of us will ever experience by honoring their commitment and devotion to duty and country.

Many veterans of Vietnam still serve in the Armed Forces, work in our offices, on our farms, in our factories. Most have kept their experiences private, but most have been strengthened by their call to duty. A grateful nation opens her heart today in gratitude for their sacrifice, for their courage and their noble service. Let us, if we must, debate the lessons learned at some other time. Today we simply say with pride: Thank you, dear son, and may God cradle you in his loving arms.’

– President Ronald Reagan, May 28, 1984, Arlington National Cemetery

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Thanks for reading. Be safe, have fun, and we’ll see you back here next week for another Silencer Saturday.




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12 of 13 comments
  • TDog TDog on May 26, 2024

    Quoting Ronald Reagan when he was the one who banned machine guns manufactured after 1986. Nice.

    • See 9 previous
    • TDog TDog on May 29, 2024

      @ChierDuChien But I had Reagan for a president and wound up having him shoot me and all of America in the @$$ instead.

  • Uniform223 Uniform223 on May 26, 2024

    To all those who didn't make it back and to those who made it back but the wounds were too deep...

    Dress Blues by Zac Brown Band originally by Jason Isbell