05/25/15 – Memorial Day


Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans — established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.

By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. [Source:  Wikipedia]

So this week’s theme is gratitude (Chapter 31) for the sacrifice these  patriots made on behalf of their country.

My Final Cover


I think all those who served honorably in the military units of any country deserve respect, whether it be 2,000 years ago in a Roman Legion or sometime in the distance future in Star Fleet. 



Since Memorial Day is a day to express our gratitude to fallen warriors that gave their lives, I thought this book would be appropriate.  I have read and reviewed it may times and found it provides helpful instructions on life.


Living and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of Hagakure, a series of texts written by an eighteenth-century samurai, Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It is a window into the samurai mind, illuminating the concept of bushido (the Way of the Warrior), which dictated how samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live, and die. [Source:  Amazon]


I had a very difficult time selecting a movie that both in my mind addressed the Memorial Day holiday and gratitude or lack of gratitude.  I kept coming back to Born on the Fourth of July, but it is such a painful movie to watch. You really may want to skip this recommendation.  It took me a number of tries to get through it and I hope I never watch again.  

Born on the 4th of July

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for. (Source:  IMDB)


War, what is it good for?

Absolutely nothin’!”

Source: Edwin Starr

Check out Edwin Starr’s video “War” on You Tube, there are several versions.  The Motown version does a good job of conveying the meaning of the song.

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An American general, a Russian general and a British general are standing on the deck of a ship watching war exercises.

The topic of discussion turns to human courage, and the Russian general boasts, “Russians are the most courageous people on Earth!”

Upon which the American challenges him.

The Russian says, “Yuri! Jump off the deck (into the freezing
Atlantic) and swim around the ship!”

Yuri marches off without a word, and does as he is told. The Russian turns
around and says: “See, there’s an example of courage!”

The American has to top this, so he calls up one of his sailors and gives
him the order: “Jack, Jump off the main mast into the ocean, and swim around the ship seven times!”

Jack goes off without a murmur, and he too does as he is told. The
American general says: “Now top that for courage!”

So they both turn around to the British general who has been standing around watching these antics silently.

They ask him: “What about your people?”

The British guy calls up one of his people and says: “Trevor, jump off the
mast and swim under the keel of the ship, will you, old chap?”

Trevor stares at his general.
“Let me get this right. You want me to jump off the mast.”


“And swim under the keel”


“You must be daft!”

And so saying, Trevor turns around and saunters off.

Whereupon the British general turns to the other two and says,
“Now there’s an example of TRUE courage!”


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