by Elpidio Estioko
They fought for our country – let’s remember them! They’ve fallen, but… with a cause! These are the brave soldiers who risked their lives for us in all the battles America went through. They sacrificed for us!
This year, Memorial Day falls on May 31, 2021, being the last Monday of May. Let’s not forget that the government has set aside this day to remember our fallen soldiers who gave up their lives fighting for our country in the name of freedom.
We are bringing back to life their patriotic and heroic contributions to our beloved country… as we remember and honor them! They deserve to be remembered, in fact, we need to remember them every day!
They did the “ultimate sacrifice” for our country, for us and for freedom. They put our country before their families… what a sacrifice!
President Joe Biden, at the Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle, Delaware, spoke at the Annual Memorial Day Service:
“Me and my family, we’ve tried to participate in this event every year because it’s an important tradition in the Delaware community. Even last year, in those early dark days of the pandemic, Jill and I didn’t want to let Memorial Day pass like every other day. And there was no event here, but we came to lay a wreath at the plaza. It was the first time we did any sort of event since the lockdown had begun in March because we were determined — determined — to honor the fallen, to pay tribute to the women and men who braved every danger, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Because as a nation, we must always remember — always remember. We must remember the price that was paid for our liberties. We must remember the debt we owe those who have paid it, and the families left behind…”
Biden said in closing:
“Thank you for allowing us to grieve together today. I know how much the loss hurts. I know the black hole that it leaves in the middle of your chest, that feels like you may get sucked into it and not come out… Our military community is the solid spine of this country. It’s literally the spine of the nation…”
While most people celebrate Memorial Day with many Americans viewing it as the official beginning of summer, marked by picnics, BBQs, and relaxing with friends and relatives, Memorial Day should be remembered as a very important and meaningful holiday.
It was established to give us time to honor and remember the men and women in the Armed Forces of the United States of America who sacrificed their lives for a big cause!
As I See It, the traditional BBQs and picnics should only serve as icing in the cake, because we can do more important and meaningful activities on Memorial Day by attending or watching the parade; residents decorating the graves of the fallen soldiers; visiting the family of the fallen soldier; and bringing that tradition home decorating our houses and lawns with the stars and stripes. For those who have their flagpoles, they can raise their flags at half-mast from dawn until noon in reverence to our dead heroes.
I would like to share a story when a Facebook friend of mine sent me a photo of Angel Flights on Memorial Day. It was the plane that brings home our fallen, a song in honor of those who have fallen and for those who have served. The message put me in tears.
To all the brothers and sisters who have given the ultimate sacrifice: this song whose lyrics were written by Radney Foster is for you:
“We do what we do because we heard the call. Some gave a little, but he gave it all… Between heaven and earth, you’re never alone on the Angel Flight. Come on brother I’m taking you home. Come on brother I’m taking you home,”
Former President Barack Obama said via Twitter:
“We can never truly repay the debt we owe our fallen heroes. But we can remember them, honor their sacrifice, and affirm in our own lives those enduring ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity for which generations of Americans have given that last full measure of devotion.”
As a general practice, Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day, paused for one minute in an act of national unity. This is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.
I would like to honor and recognize friends and relatives who served and still serving in the military:
Denis Marks (US Army); SSgt. Jonathan Rasay (US Army); John Edward Estioko (EM 7, US Navy); Chief John Aquino (US National Guard); Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran (US National Guard); Jose Corpus (US Navy); Gus Castillo; Eliodoro Calacsan; Jose Cayabyab; Efren Austria; Eddie Sison; David Sumera; and Col. Lino F. Caringal, Jr. (PMA – Philippine Navy); among others.
I would also like to remember and honor relatives who gave their lives for our freedom:
Sgt. Ising Estioko (US Army), Sgt. Jose Estioko (Philippine Army), Gen. Sergio Estioko (PMA – Cubao, Quezon City), Col. Gabriel Estioko (Nueva Ecija), and Col. Isidoro Estioko (Cubao, Q.C.), among others.
They deserve to be remembered! They fell, but they rose in our memories which linger around as we remember them on Memorial Day… every day!
ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.