Marine Reminds Us All What Memorial Day Really Means - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Marine Reminds Us All What Memorial Day Really Means

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SPOKANE, Wash. - It's easy to see why some people, especially veterans can feel that Memorial Day is perhaps the most misunderstood holiday. While many of us are busy planning a camping trip or the menu for our family barbecue, it's important to not let the true meaning of this holiday get lost in our fun.

Alexis White is a marine who grew up in Spokane. She wrote a very touching statement to us on our Facebook page. She makes some very good points and we hope you take the time to read what she wrote so as to get a better perspective of what this day means to the families whose loved ones gave their lives while serving our country and also what it means to the men and women who served along side our fallen heroes.
 
Reminder Of What Memorial Day Means From A Marine
By: Alexis White of Spokane

"I was born and raised in Spokane. I joined the marines when I was 17. I was stationed on the 31st MEU (marine expedition unit) in Okinawa, Japan. We were first responders to the tsunami in Japan. The deviation we saw was of epic proportions. We also traveled around Asia, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Guam the Philippines, all over.

I eventually deployed to Afghanistan with the female engagement team. I served right along side with our grunts, first in action. We endured a lot when we were there; mortars, not showing for weeks, being under fire, and even seeing children die. I lost four close marines there in action, one to suicide. I have had many friends deploy and not come home.

As a fellow marine you feel sick to your gut. Seeing someone you know has a family, a wife, or children dying in front of you, wishing to take their place, or that there is something, anything you can do, but you cannot do anything but be there and watch them slip away. Many of us deal with survivor's guilt, wondering why their brothers and sisters were taken and we were not. We struggle to understand how a random set of events led to the loss of one but the life of another when it could have just as easily been the reverse.

The reason I tell you this back-story is to express the deep bond we feel for each other, the sacrifices that some gave, the families that will always have a hole missing from them.

Memorial Day is perhaps one of the most misunderstood holidays each year. People go around planning cookouts, trips to the beach and perhaps most annoying of all to veterans, saying "Happy Memorial Day!"

It is not a happy day for veterans and the families of the fallen. Today is not the day to acknowledge our veterans. We have our own day in November. Memorial Day is solely for the brave men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice. Our flag does not fly because of the wind but with the last breath of the men and women protecting it. Our freedom isn't free, but is given by the blood of our troops so the rest don't have to.

I hope that when you do your news bit about Memorial Day today, you remember my words, how hard this day can be for some and mostly, do not say, "Happy Memorial Day!" Rather, acknowledge this day as remembrance for our fallen."

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