Memorial Day: We Will Not Forget…..or will we?
by Dan Rosecrans
Americans…including our main stream media and the Democratic Party…have forgotten what Memorial Day is about. When I saw the picture from the Democratic Party of President Obama holding an ice cream cone and their statement, “What says Memorial Day weekend more than this”, I was sickened. Have we really sunk so far that we think this holiday as nothing more than ice cream dripping on the hand of our Commander in Chief?
My Grandmother called it Decoration Day all her life. It started that way in 1868, three years after the Civil War. People wanted to remember their loved ones who perished in that war by decorating their graves and spending a few moments reflecting on their lives and their sacrifice.
Memorial Day is THE day to remember the men and women who died while serving this country. Veterans Day is THE day to remember ALL who have served. I believe we have forgotten this distinction.
Dennis McCarthy wrote in the Los Angeles Daily News of Corporal Larry Maxam. He died…thousands of miles from home…on February 2, 1968 in Vietnam. It was a month after his 20th birthday. His story tells the difference between true Memorial Day and the Democrats insidious version.
Quoting McCarthy, “His buddies from Vietnam say he was a friendly, quiet guy who wore his Mormon religion on his sleeve…Other guys would go out, get rowdy whatever, but not him”. Larry Clinesmith shared a foxhole with Maxam and revealed, “He was always quiet, always looking to help the new guys coming into the platoon”.
The night he died he was in charge of a fire team of four men protecting the defensive perimeter set up around the Cam Lo District Marine headquarters. Around midnight the Viet Cong threw everything they had at that perimeter. Maxam spotted a hole in the defense and moved to fill it as the enemy made a full frontal assault. He got in position first, behind an abandoned machine-gun placement and began firing.
He suffered a direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade, knocking him backwards and inflicting severe fragmentation wounds to his face and right eye. Stunned and in immense pain the quiet Corporal got up and kept firing.
Now the North Vietnamese threw hand grenades and directed rifle fire against him, inflicting more wounds. Still, Corporal Maxam kept firing. When he ran out of ammo and was too weak to reload the machine gun, he fell to the ground and continued to fire his rifle. He had to know he was dying, but Corporal Larry Maxam was not going to let the enemy breech the defensive line on his watch, not while he still had breath.
After one and a half hours, during which he was repeatedly hit by fragments from exploding grenades and small arms fire, Corporal Maxam succumbed to his wounds. His Medal of Honor citation reads: “He had successfully defended nearly half of the perimeter single-handedly”.
Corporal Maxam was laid to rest in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Oahu, Hawaii. As Dennis McCarthy wrote, “Back home in Burbank, the news barely made a ripple. It was the same all over the country. Our young men dying in jungles…miles from home were being treated as collateral damage in a war few wanted to recognize any more.
So many Warriors…so many wars….death in so many ways. We remember You. We should never forget You. We breath Free air because you laid down your life for us. But, sadly, today…just as in the days of Vietnam…we are forgetting You.
Does that not make you want to cry. Doesn’t America’s collective amnesia about the sacredness of this Holiday cause tears to run down your face like ice cream down the hand of a care less Commander in Chief?