Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed. More than 12 percent of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War II. That’s down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren’t personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.

With an all-voluntary military, shared sacrifice is largely a thing of the past — even as U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan and Iraq nearly 16 years after 9/11.

“There are a lot of things working against this particular holiday,” said Brian Duffy, commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“It hurts,” Duffy said. For combat veterans and Gold Star families especially, “it hurts that, as a society, we don’t truly understand and appreciate what the true meaning of Memorial Day is.”

Douglas and Rene Kicklighter, Iraq veterans at the cemetery with their 10- and 12-year-old sons, said they believe most people understand what the holiday’s about. But they, too, cringe when they hear: “Happy Memorial Day.”

“It’s not happy,” said Rene Kicklighter, 37, who retired from the Army National Guard. “It’s somber. I try to flip the lens on the conversation a bit and gently remind them what it’s really about.”

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was conceived after the Civil War as a way to honor the Union’s war dead, with Southern states setting aside separate days to honor fallen Confederate soldiers. By the early 20th century, the holiday had evolved to honor all military members who died in service.

ABC News story


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8 Responses to MEMORIAL DAY 2017

  1. Peggy says:

    Grateful nations in Europe honor our fallen heroes.

  2. TruthToPower says:

    Truth is I have not met a citizen who does not honor the veterans and the fallen.

    WHat has changed the way many people see it. The truth about these wars is coming out.

    The men and women are always honored for their willingness and belief that the defense of this nation is worth ones life.

    What will not be honored? The Wars that kill our citizens for the greed and power agenda.

    So do not mistake what goes on. Every family I know has someone somewhere in their clan who has served.

    WHile a certain group of people think using 57% of the budget in offense wars is ok but when it comes to the survival of the Vets and non military citizen is not important? Cutting the safety nets and benefits for a tax cut for the 10%?

    ya think people are not wise?

    People honor the human beings not this Military Agenda

    There is nothing Happy about it.

  3. Harold says:

    Memorial day is a day to remember those who served and serve our country, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice…………… it should be treated as nothing more, or nothing less.

    Honor them today as hero’s and protectors of Freedom and to people like TTP, if nothing else open your heart to their family’s and at the same time, keep your pie hole shut

  4. Pete says:

    We have the best military in the world. I wish we had the best support system for our courageous troops when they return home.

    GI Bill put me through college. Many of my brothers needed more than that. They needed mental, medical, and social support after their service. May God bless those that serve.

  5. Tina says:

    Words can never express the appreciation I have for those in the military. And that appreciation and gratitude runs deep for those who paid the ultimate price. God bless them and their families.

    This year I’d like to recognize the women who served and died in Vietnam.

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