Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day 2017

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
May 29, 2017 (Memorial Day)


Memorial Day began as a day of honoring and remembering those soldiers that died in the Civil War.  It was practiced beginning in the South in 1866 and the North in 1868.  It was a day in which the graves of those soldiers were decorated with flowers, in honor of their sacrifice, and was called Decoration Day.

Recognition as Memorial Day began as early as 1872, though it wasn’t commonly used until after World War II.  In 1967, it was officially changed to Memorial Day by the government.

It now honors all dead American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen, who died in service to their country, including those who fought for the South.

So, what is a holiday; what does it mean?  Well, we can look at the Ten Commandments and get an idea of just what led our Judeo-Christian values to recognize a special day.  The Fourth Commandment says, “Thou shalt keep the Sabbath Day holy.”  That means that the designated day is above all other consideration, on the day so designated.

Whether you hold Saturday or Sunday as the Sabbath is a choice that each of us makes.  However, we commonly recognize the last Monday in May to be Memorial Day, and on that day we recognize of the sacrifice of those soldiers; it is to be held above all other considerations.

There is little doubt that those in power have moved our country away from the Constitution that created that government.  They have moved the government away from the very reason for those who served, and those who gave their lives for what was intended — and what we fought for.

There are two soldiers that I have particular memories of.  First is William “Billy” Prescott.  We went through nearly our entire schooling together.  Bill was quiet and intelligent, and perhaps the least likely to consider to be a soldier.  I found out about Billy’s death, Killed in Action, on my first and only visit to the Wall in Washington, D. C. One-hundred and twenty-six of us, the “Prodigy Vets”, went to see the Wall, most for the first time, in 1992.  Walking down, along the wall, to the apex, then back up the other side, was probably the most emotional event in my life.  The magnitude of waste of those lives was beyond my comprehension.  Considering that the Vietnam War was nothing that we should have been involved in, rather a consequence of our government gone astray from the principles upon which this country was founded.  However, we were naive, and simply did our Country’s bidding.


When I left Washington, D. C., I began to revisit why I had turned against the War, within about a year of my return.  Many Vietnam Veterans were beginning to see that we should never have fought that War, and that the 58,000 lives lost was a waste, based on a government that had strayed from its purpose.  On the drive back home, I began thinking about what I could do, to hopefully, bring attention to what I began to frame as “the misdeeds of the government”.  Within a few months, in February 1993, I began publishing “Outpost of Freedom.

The other soldier I want to speak of was Ron Rowley.  I had day duty to drive to Bien Hoa from Phu Loi, the day that Ron arrived in country.  Ron was really gung ho, and though he was an airplane mechanic, like me, after I rotated and separated, he managed to be reassigned to perimeter patrol around the Phu Loi airfield.  Within a week, he stepped on a land mine, losing his leg.  He was returned to the States and died a few years later, never having left his hospital bed.

Every year, about this time, memories of those two — and the many others whose names are etched upon the Wall — serve to rekindle my resolve for what I found to be my purpose, at least with regard to the government.

Memorial Day, now a three-day period of remembrance, is a sacred day for those of us who lost friends or family.  In a sense, like the Sabbath, it is a day in which those losses are the most profound in our consideration.  It is the flag that, on those days, does not represent the government, rather, it represents the country and the Constitution; the flag being the final honor bestowed upon those lifeless bodies.

It is my fervent desire that sometime, in our near future, we will include the names of those who have fought, without uniform, as we do the militia of 1776, as deserving of the remembrance that is so significant to our history as a nation of free men, as was intended by the Framers.


  1. Charles says:

    Thank you for your service to our nation as an airman and now as investigative journalist

  2. Paul Niblock says:

    While the principles those men died for are honorable, it is too bad that the government chose to sacrifice their lives for the arguably less honorable intentions of small minded, unpatriotic individuals who have effectively undermined the very nature of that government that your friends, you and many many others served. As time marches on it becomes more difficult to believe that those sacrifices were not in vain, when much of their brethren are content with the subjugation and servitude of todays security state. We are actively bombing somewhere in the vicinity of 16 nations with no manifested concern for those inhabitants, dehumanized as ‘collateral damage’ whom have never attacked Americans. For many, Memorial day is recognized more for the beginning of Summer, rather than a time of reflection on the lives and ultimate price paid for the liberties or freedom being pissed away with the cases of beer consumed. My soul weeps at the shallowness of our society. It does not diminish the gratefulness I feel for those whose lives made it possible for me to speak my mind today, and to challenge the powers that shouldn’t be. I suppose, as to whether or not those sacrifices were in vain or not, depends wholly on how we build upon, and further those principles or if we allow the continued debauching of them. I honor those who gave all for the betterment of their fellow man. Government can be damned.

  3. Paul Niblock says:

    I would correct my earlier comment by stating it was the government “Under” which you and other veterans served. Not the government itself… My apologies,.

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