Memorial Day

Updated: May 25, 2015


By RU Rob

While Memorial Day in the United States often induces thoughts of the beginning of summer, BBQ’s and a long holiday weekend, it is not celebrated as intended. Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being its birthplace but was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Traditional observance of Memorial Day has sadly diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day as well as its importance to many who have lost someone in the service to the country. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected and have fallen into a state of disrepair. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

article-0-1347D3EF000005DC-831_964x629There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend imagesin with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”

As we look back on 10 continuous years of war, the loss of our friends and loved ones, it is important that we now, more than ever, return to the roots of this most sacred celebration. We at The Rhino Den and Ranger Up wish to remember them as well. If you have lost a brother or sister, family member or friend, please leave their name below as a tribute to them and a reminder to all of us that “Freedom isn’t Free.”

Here’s to those that have gone before us and made the ultimate sacrifice. May we never, ever forget.






  1. Rob

    May 24, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Army Sgt. Sean K. Cataudella, died 30 Aug 2003
    Army Sgt. Robert P. Kassin, died 16 July 2006
    Army Master Sgt. Thomas D. Maholic, died 24 June 2006

  2. John Muir

    May 24, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Army SSG James A Sherrill KIA April 3, 2005 OIF III
    Army MSG Clinton W Cubert WIA Sept 11, 2005 died April 16, 2006 from those wounds. OIF III

  3. ET1(SS) Princess

    May 24, 2013 at 8:59 am

    To the 99 Submariners of the USS Scorpion (SSN-589). Presumed lost this week in 1968. Declared lost on June 5. She was struck from the Naval records on 30 June.

    She and her crew are Forever on Eternal Patrol.

    See more about the Scorpion and her crew here: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-s/ssn589-n.htm

  4. Edward Heller

    May 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

    LTC Malcolm Heller, passed on 2012
    Pvt. Silas Gifford, 83rd PA, I Co.
    Pvt. Orson Gifford, 83rd PA, I Co.

  5. kelly

    May 24, 2013 at 9:03 am

    LCpl Brent Beeler, SSgt Daniel Fannin

  6. Kelly

    May 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

    SGT William Patrick Rudd, 75th Ranger Regiment 3rd Battalion, KIA 10/05/2008, Mosul Iraq

  7. JH

    May 24, 2013 at 9:09 am

    CPL Ryan C McGhee D co. 3/75
    SGT Louis R Fastuca D co. 1/503

  8. Jocelyn Mintzlaff

    May 24, 2013 at 9:12 am

    My husband, SSG Brian Mintzlaff, KIA Iraq 12/18/06.


      May 29, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Ms Mintzlaff, as you honor your husband, so do we honor your sacrifice and service. To all who stand and wait still, God’s peace.

  9. Benjamin Rothman

    May 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

    SPC Donald Nichols, 1/133IN, 2BCT, 34th ID, KIA 13 April 2011, Laghman Province, Afghanistan.

  10. Ryan bowman

    May 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Spc. Larry Brown c 1-41 april 5, 2003

  11. Will

    May 24, 2013 at 9:19 am

    SSG Jeremy W. Doyle, KIA Samarra, Iraq, August 18, 2005

  12. Jesse Fuller

    May 24, 2013 at 9:24 am

    PFC Justesen, Anthony T. 73rd CAV
    SGT Gallagher, Matthew R. 9th CAV
    SPC Martinez, Rafael 101 CAV

    and to all the other Troopers over the years, we salute you.

  13. Albert

    May 24, 2013 at 9:25 am

    CPL. Ty J. Johnson
    2/320th FAR, 101st ABN (AASLT)
    KIA 04April2006. Kirkuk, Iraq

  14. Mike Hartley

    May 24, 2013 at 9:28 am

    SSG Vinson Adkinson – Afghanistan
    SGT Rocky Paine – Iraq
    SPC Isaiah Hunt – Iraq
    CPL Donald Fisher – Iraq
    SPC Brad Farmer – PTSD
    SGT Gary Briggle – PTSD

  15. George

    May 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    2LT Michael Girdano KIA 1 AUG 08, Kunar, Afghanistan
    SGT Douglas Bull KIA 8 JUL 08, Kunar, Afghanistan
    SPC William Mulvihill KIA 1 AUG 08, Kunar, Afghanistan
    PFC David Badie KIA 1 AUG 08, Kunar, Afghanistan
    PVT Jair Garcia KIA 1 AUG 08, Kunar, Afghanistan
    All in the Chowkay Valley with STB, 3d BDE, 1ID

  16. Bryan

    May 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Army SSG David Guttierez, 1st Plt Aco 2-1 Inf
    Army PFC Brian Bates, 1st Plt Aco 2-1 Inf

  17. Randall Wirth

    May 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Cpl. Jeremy S Jones D co 1/67 AR 2 BCT 4ID KIA 27 June 2006 Jurf As Sakhr, Iraq

    Cpl. Nelson, Richard F co 2/24 USMC KIA 14 April 2008 Habbiniyah, Iraq

    Lcpl. Opicka, Dean F co 2/24 USMC KIA 14 April 2008 Habbiniyah, Iraq


  18. Joshua Berger

    May 24, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Sgt. Brent W. Dunkleberger December 12th 2006 OIF
    May God bless your wife and kids

  19. Adam

    May 24, 2013 at 10:17 am

    PFC Eric Hario. A Co 1/75 RGR KIA 29 Aug 09 AFG

  20. Johnathan Paxton

    May 24, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Robert E. Tyner, and the 6 marines & 2 Huey pilots shot down over the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam during an air evac.

  21. leftoftheboom

    May 24, 2013 at 10:21 am

    There is a moment of silence between the last sound of battle and the first affirmations of life as we count the cost, morn our losses, and gird ourselves for the battles yet to come. In that moment of perfect stillness lays the pain of those we leave behind. Do not forget them as duty calls. But take a moment, remember that silence, and for that shining moment, they live again in our hearts.

    Rest in Peace 1LT B.

  22. Ghost 7

    May 24, 2013 at 10:27 am

    1LT Brandon Landrum 04 MAY 2013
    SSG Francis Phillips 04 May 2013
    SPC Brandon Prescott 04 May 2013
    SPC Kevin Cardoza 04 May 2013
    SPC Thomas Murach 04 May 2013

    Recon Platoon 1/36 IN

  23. Kg2v

    May 24, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I’m happy to say that a couple of miles from home, they hold the nations biggest Memorial Day parade (Douglastan, Queens, NYC), and I have my choice of at least 4 Memorial Services to go to that are within 2 miles, two of which are in walking distance from home. Went out of my way to get my poppy this week, am wearing a poppy tie today, and have taught both my children the meaning of the day. I can also recite In Flanders Fields by heart, and have, twice, today alone

  24. Kyle

    May 24, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Sgt Alexander Fuller Iraq 2007

  25. Fritz

    May 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Capt. Eugene D. Franklin – 24 June 1965 Republic of Vietnam

  26. Keith Shampaner

    May 24, 2013 at 10:56 am

    SSgt Matt Ingham 3rd Recon Bn USMC KIA Afghanistan January 2010

  27. Whitey

    May 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Sgt. Brian E. Dunlap USMC MTT-6
    KIA 9/24/05 Taqaddum, Iraq

  28. Mark Vincenc

    May 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    SSG Joseph Ray, KIA
    SSG Robert Miller, KIA, MOH

  29. Mike

    May 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Captain Surender Kothakota, USAF, 31 March 2005

  30. Doc Strong

    May 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

    SGT. James Hunter, KIA 23 January 2006, Baghdad, Iraq
    CPL Albert Bitton, KIA 20 February 2008, Baghdad, Iraq
    SPC Micheal “Pokey” Phillips, KIA 24 February 2008, Baghdad, Iraq
    CPL Jessica Ellis, KIA 11 May 2008, Baghdad, Iraq

    You are not forgotten

  31. JoeC

    May 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t know anyone personally who hasn’t made it back, so I’ll go with two vets that I never met. I helped their families raise their flags at one of our local cemeteries a few years ago. I don’t know their branch of service, rank, MOS or where they served.

    Orman K. Woodward
    George A. Green

  32. T. Morris

    May 24, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    SPC Avealalo Milo, E Co 2/2 SCR, USA, KIA 4 October 2007

    I remember.

  33. Cory

    May 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    MASTER SERGEANT Wilberto Sabalu Jr., 36, of Chicago,
    Illinois. Sabalu was killed along with Colonel James W. Harrison at
    Pol-e-Charki, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from small arms fire. Sabalu was assigned to the U.S. Army
    Military Police School, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

    Sabalu was an amazing leader due to the fact that he could lead from the front & have a great time behind the scenes to take care of his soldiers.

    • Isaiah Gomez

      May 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      SSG Steven J.DeLuzio, SGT Tristan H. Southworth
      A Co. 3-172 IN (MTN)
      KIA August 22, 2010
      Paktyia Province, Afghanistan

  34. Isaiah Gomez

    May 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    SSG Steven J.DeLuzio, SGT Tristan H. Southworth
    A Co. 3-172 IN (MTN)
    KIA August 22, 2010
    Paktyia Province, Afghanistan

  35. SFjarhead

    May 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Cpl “not specified”, Just Cause, Panama 1990, KIA

    Friendly fire isnt

    I Remember.

  36. Eric Lopez

    May 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    See you in Valhalla boys:

    Specialist Forbes
    Staff Sergeant Kane
    Specialist Palacios
    Private First Class Parker
    Specialist Norquist
    Staff Sergeant Bradley
    Specialist Stevenson
    Sergeant First Class Smith
    Sergeant First Class Gabrielson

  37. Kelly

    May 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Chief Warrant Mike Slebodnik KIA 11 Sept 2008 OEF. RIP Chief.

  38. Aaron

    May 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    SPC Justin Herbert 173d ABN 1AUG03
    1LT David Bernstein 173d ABN
    SPC David Rice 1st IN DIV

    CPT Dennis E Keaton 1/31IN 16JAN70

  39. The 15P

    May 24, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    CW2 Matthew Ruffner
    CW2 Jarret Yoder
    1st Battalion/104TH Attack Aviation Regiment
    KIA 9 APR 2013

  40. TwoFiveZulu

    May 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Seaman First Class Alexander S. Sawerbrey
    and the entire crew of USS Grayling (SS-209).

    MIA – 12 Sept. 1943 somewhere off Luzon Island, Philippines. Never located.

  41. Andrew

    May 24, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    SGT Tyler Holtz, 2/75 Rangers, KIA 24 September 2011

    SPC Ricardo Cerros Jr., 2/75 Rangers, KIA 8 October, 2011

    SGT 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 2/75 Rangers, KIA 22 October 2011

    PFC Christopher A. Horns, 2/75 Rangers, KIA 22 October 2011

  42. mjr96d

    May 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Army Sergeant Timothy Martin
    KIA 08 FEB 08
    Taji, Iraq


    May 25, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Lt. Col. William F. Buckley, 3JUN85
    Beirut, Lebanon
    Captured by Hezbollah, tortured, and killed while serving as the head of station in Beirut, Lebanon in the Central Intelligence Agency.

    An amazing man, a moral human being, and one of the most honorable officers in the Agency’s history.

  44. Joel

    May 25, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Army SGT Gary Henry, OIF, 4 AUG 2008
    Army SPC Jonathan Menke, OIF, 4 AUG 2008
    Army SPC Arronn Fields (OIF Vet), OEF 21 MAY 2012

  45. BC

    May 25, 2013 at 4:15 am

    31 Jan 91
    Battle of Khafji
    USAF AC-130H (696567) Call sign SPIRIT 03
    Maj Paul J. Weaver
    Capt Clifford Bland, Jr.
    Capt Dixon L. Walters
    Capt Arthur Galvan
    Capt William D. Grimm
    SMSgt Paul G. Buege
    SMSgt James B. May II
    TSgt Robert K. Hodges
    TSgt John L. Oelschlager
    SSgt Timothy R. Harrison
    SSgt John P. Blessinger
    SSgt Mark J. Schmauss
    SSgt Damon J. Kanuha
    Sgt Barry M. Clark

  46. Adam Mehlenbacher

    May 25, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Sgt Heath McMillan
    Spc Mike Williams

    105th MP CO Iraq 2003

  47. Marte Martinez

    May 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

    My Father: SGT Robert Lee Vest, KIA Nov 5, 1966.

  48. Todd

    May 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    SGT Joshua W. Soto KIA 16 JUN 2009

  49. Jim Nance

    May 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Army Major Matthew Worrell, TAMU Class of 1994, died 5/14/2006 in Iraq

  50. Danny

    May 26, 2013 at 12:31 am

    PFC Ryane G. Clark KIA 04 OCT 2010 Wardak, Afghanistan 1/57 Sapper
    SPC Ronnie J. Pallares KIA 23 OCT 2010 Ghazni, Afghanistan 1/57 Sapper

  51. Joe

    May 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    MSG Thomas D. Maholic
    7th Special Forces Group
    KIA 24 June 2006
    Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

  52. Mike Fox

    May 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    my cousin:
    SSgt Edward J. Mertzlufft
    Squad Leader – K Co. 3/302nd Infantry (94th ID)
    KIA January 20, 1945; Nennig, Germany

  53. Melanie

    May 29, 2013 at 8:20 am

    SSG Joseph Camera 01SEP03
    SGT Todd Caldwell 01SEP03
    SPC Mike Andrade 24SEP03

  54. Steve Prince

    May 29, 2013 at 8:58 am

    My college roommate, CPT Sean Grimes, the first Physicians Assistant killed in Iraq.

  55. Peter D

    May 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

    SPC Roy Buckley 22 Apr 2003
    SSG Darren Cunningham 30 Sep 2004
    SGT Jeffrey Reed 02 Mar 2009
    1SG Blue Rowe 26 May 2009
    SSG Shannon Smith 08 Sep 2009
    SPC Brandon Steffey 25 Oct 2009
    SSG James Ide 29 Aug 2010
    SSG Joshua Throckmorton 05 Jul 2011
    SPC Preston Suter 05 Jul 2011
    SPC Jordan Schumann 05 Jul 2011
    SGT Paul Rivera 22 Oct 2011

  56. Brandon

    May 29, 2013 at 9:30 am

    2LT Almar Laron Fitzgerald KIA 21FEB06 OIF
    Mike Co C/o 2004 The Citadel

  57. Robin H

    May 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

    SGT Samuel J. Smith – PTSD 7-30-2011

  58. Christopher Ferris

    May 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Distinguished Service Cross

    2LT Geoffrey C. Ferris: Class 23-42

    The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant (Field Artillery) Geoffrey C. Ferris (ASN: 0-420345), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 6th Battalion, 33d Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 6 May 1943, near Beja, Tunisia. On the morning of 6 May 1943, the 33d Artillery Regiment was given the mission of taking Hill 139 in the vicinity of Beja, Tunisia. Because of the heavy machine gun and mortar fire covering all approaches, it was necessary to attack before daylight. Second Lieutenant Ferris, as artillery forward observer with the assault elements, crawled forward across open terrain swept by withering enemy machine gun fire to a point well beyond our lines. Realizing the danger of his mission, he had ordered his men to remain behind while he advanced with a wire reel and telephone until he was killed. The unselfish heroism and the courage and zeal with which Second Lieutenant Ferris performed this deed exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army. General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army-North African Theater of Operations, General Orders No. 47 (July 6, 1943)

  59. Chip F

    May 29, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Perhaps not my place as only the father to a fellow team mate, but… SGT Jeremy Wright ODA 142 3 JAN 2005 Konar OEF

  60. Leianne Graves

    May 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

    SPC Joseph A Graves
    KIA 25 Jul 06
    Baghdad, Iraq

  61. F15CrewChief

    May 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    SGT Shawna M. Morrison, KIA 5 SEP 2004

  62. C.S.Chapman

    May 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    For my uncle and father-in-law both KIA Republic of Viet Nam….SSG Henry L. Chapman and SFC E. Tim Ross….God grant them and all dead soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines eternal rest….

  63. Craig

    May 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    SFC George Pugliese KIA 28 Sep 05
    Cpl Carrie l French KIA 5 June 05
    Rest in peace soliders

  64. KCB

    May 30, 2013 at 2:51 am

    My friends and fellow soldiers:
    CPT Bill Jacobsen, 25 ID
    CPT Ralph Harting, 11ACR
    CPT Steve Frank, 11ACR
    CPT Josh Byers, 3ACR
    Rest in Peace, brothers.

  65. joshu

    June 11, 2013 at 9:30 am

    KIA BAGHDAD SEPT 10 2006

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