2021 Memorial Day Thoughts

I am sitting here after attending my small town’s Memorial Day Ceremony I reflect on the words spoken by Timothy Zarbo, who served six months in the Gulf War as a member of the United States Air Force.  He stated, “Veterans Day is for those who survived and retired.  Armed Forces Day is for those who are still serving.  Memorial Day is reserved for those who never got to take off their uniform.” [i]

Our American Freedom was paid for by the blood of the patriots who fought and died on the battlefield or from wounds inflicted in that conflict.  We often think about the American Civil War as the first war that pitted brother against brother, father against son, and destroyed families.  In fact, it was the Revolutionary War.  It has been said that about 1/3rd of the population supported the revolution, about 1/3rd opposed it and supported the British (AKA Tories), and about 1/3rd did not take sides but simply wanted to survive the conflict.

More than 1.1 million men and women have died in wartime in our history and nearly half of them were from the Civil War.  They would want us to go on and live and enjoy life and be happy, but they would also want to be remembered.  As today’s guest speaker here in Powder Springs, and numerous folks have said on various programs, “In this world, we die twice; once we when our heart stops beating and the other is when our name is spoken for the very last time.

Let us, as genealogists and family researchers, continue to tell their stories.  Let us commit to never let that second death occur because we have researched and uncovered their stories and tell everyone about them.


Larry W. Thomas

Captain, U. S. Army (Retired)


[i] https://minuteman-militia.com/2021/05/29/veterans-speak-about-memorial-day-its-not-about-us/