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Memorial Day

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I, {insert name here}, do solemnly swear, (or affirm), that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

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9 comments to Memorial Day

  • Edward King

    I [swear by Almighty God] [solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm] that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me.

    In the UK, we commemorate this on Armistice Day, November 11th. I personally, as I have US links, have always kept Memorial Day as well. To all those who fell in the cause of freedom, known and unknown, may the earth lay lightly on them and may we prove worthy of their sacrifice.

  • RAB

    My head is bowed
    As I spend a minute
    In silence.
    A tear of loss in one eye
    A tear of pride in the other.

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so.

  • Sunfish

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

  • Ah but Edward, remember also that the oath is not just one way:

    “Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND AND OF HER OTHER REALMS AND TERRITORIES QUEEN, HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH

    To our Trusty and Well Beloved [full name of Officer] Greeting:

    WE, reposing especial Trust and Confidence in your Loyalty, Courage, and good Conduct, do by these Presents Constitute and Appoint you to be an Officer in Our [service/regiment] from the [date]. You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge your Duty as such in the Rank of [usually a relative humble rank: 2Lt or somesuch] or in such other Rank as We may from time to time hereafter be pleased to promote or appoint you to and you are in such manner on on such occasions as may be prescribed by Us to exercise and well discipline in their Duties such Officers, Airmen and Airwomen as may be placed under your orders from time to time and use your best endeavours to keep them in good Order and Discipline. And We do hereby Command them to Obey you as their superior Officer and you to Observe and follow such Orders and Directions as from time to time you shall recieve from Us, or any superior Officer, according to the Rules and Discipline of War, in pursuance of the Trust hereby reposed in you.”

    If the Queen reposes especial trust and confidence in your loyalty, courage and good conduct, you can consider that you’ve got some big friends on your side. HM doesn’t say that to just anyone…

  • Winger

    Edward,
    In the US, commemorating the war dead in April started in 1866 (Link). It was called Decoration Day until post WW1.

    What used to be Armistice Day in the US (11/11) was changed to Veterans’ Day after WW2 and is used to celebrate all vets, living and dead (Link)

    It’s done differently in different countries but really all means the same thing. Thanks for observing it.

  • Winger

    This is a little O/T but after having spent nearly 20 years as a military parachutist, it resonates with me much like Memorial Day. I never made a combat jump and am in awe of the men of WW2.

    Soon it will be the evening of June 5/6. I’ll go out in the backyard or over to the park, in the dark. I’m going to try imagine what the atmosphere was like at departure airfields all over southern England that night in 1944, in the planes as they crossed the Channel, as they stood up and hooked up on approaching the range of German anti-aircraft fire.

    I’ll try to understand what it was like to be on a plane bouncing around because of the nearby detonation of AAA shells with shrapnel hitting your plane; while the pilots are twisting and turning the plane, trying to avoid them. I think no one was bothered about how heavy their gear was then – they just wanted off that effing plane! They wanted to be targeters, not targets. Red light to green light must have seemed like an eternity.

    Think of the choices they could have made when they landed, separated from their unit and mates/buddies, maybe from their equipment and lost, err- disoriented. Fortunately for us, those paratroopers of the British 6th, US 82nd and 101st were some of the finest young men ever. They moved to the sound of the guns and accomplished their missions.

    If I lived near a beach, I’d do the same thing for those fellows who came ashore the hard way.

    Now consider that a great many of these heroes were 19-20 years old with no combat and comparatively little military experience. We owe them a great deal.

    Your Mister Blair (Eric, that is) says it best:

    “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

  • RAB

    My father in law dropped around Caen with 2 Para, Winger.
    Yep they were scattered all around, just like the 101, but like you said marched towards the sound of guns and managed to secure a perimiter around Pegasus bridge.
    Later he got blasted into a basement by a shell from a german tank. Took him 3 days to dig himself out. There were no rescuers. That must have affected him a bit. He had a clause in his will that said “in the event of my death being pronounced sever my main artery, just to make sure”
    Later still he was one of the first troops into Belsen.
    What those guys did and saw on our behalf leaves me in awe.

  • Nick M

    As a kid my GP was a rather elderly eccentric. His surgery was in his high Victorian house and boasted a pipe organ and bottled fetuses. It looked like Frankenstein’s lab. He was noted for giving shock therapy to ease back-pain and he had a machine for this that looked like he’d half-inched it from Nikola Tesla himself. It was all dials and Bakelite. Apparently the screams were audible half-way down the road when he ran his “special evening back clinic”. People came from as far afield as Leeds and Edinburgh in order to ride the lightning…

    He also drove a BMW M3 with a flashing green light like a mentalist well into his 90s. He was a good doctor though sometimes annoying because he’d over-run appointments because he was thorough and had no truck with “15 minutes and you’re out”. Which is why he eventually quit the NHS. After he went private he once treated my Grandfather in exchange for a bottle of whisky!

    He trained just after WWII and he wanted to be a doctor because he’d been a basic combat medic at Arnhem. I don’t even want to imagine what he saw there but I suspect my occasional ear infections must’ve seemed like very small potatoes in comparison.

    Oh, another reason I had to respect this particular doctor was that he had no time for bullshit. I once asked him about his electrifying apparatus. He was apparently quite an authority but he had absolutely no idea how or why it worked and wasn’t ashamed to state that. The treatment seemed to have a positive effect but he and the rest of the medical establishment had no idea why.

    I also had a great uncle who parachuted into Arnhem. Unfortunately he was so “up for it” that he unsheathed his knife on the way down and when he landed rather heavily he almost cut his nose off! A casualty the second he hit continental soil. He had one hell of a scar.