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Old 05-25-2014, 11:02 AM   #1
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Memorial Day....and don't forget our War Dogs

At the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military had a force of roughly 2,500 military working dogs. Some have entered the American lexicon as as heroes in their own right: Cairo, a Belgian Malinois hailed for his work with the Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden. And Rex, a shepherd; his handler, Mike Dowling, wrote a book about their harrowing exploits in Iraq, saying, “It was Rex who gave me the strength to get up and to carry on.”

On Memorial Day, the United States will honor all those who died while serving in the country's armed forces. Take a look at the dogs and their handlers who lead the way onto the most dangerous battlefields on Earth.


The Dogs of War
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #2
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Memorial Day order:

General Order
No. 11

Headquarters, Grand Army of the Republic
Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868

I. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude,--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

II. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

III. Department commanders will use every effort to make this order effective.

By command of:
JOHN A. LOGAN,
Commander-in-Chief.

N. P. CHIPMAN,
Adjutant-General.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
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I am more than appreciative of our countrymen and women who have served and do serve our country.

My maternal grandfather served in WWI as General Pershing's interpreter and body guard, my father was a medical corpsman in WWII, two of my sons served during Desert Storm and my husband made it through Viet Nam in one piece.

While living in Washington, DC for 30 years I had the honor and opportunity of visiting Arlington National Cemetery and to be present at the Tomb of the Unknowns during the changing of the guard. Both of those events touched me more than anything I could ever describe. The military honors given my grandfather at his funeral rank up there with both of those times. I have tears in my eyes now as I recall all three occasions.

I have all our veterans to thank for my freedom of openly voicing and posting the above feelings without any repercussions or punishments.

Thank you, thank you, thank you....
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:10 PM   #4
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That's a very interesting piece of history. I'd never read it before. It seems as if the Order isn't obeyed sensu stricto though, since this year it's observed on May 26.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:42 PM   #5
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My Thanks to the Veterans in my life, I thank you for your service.
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:04 PM   #6
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There's also another day to thank veterans---- Nov 11. But there's no such thing as too many thanks.
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:08 PM   #7
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I am aware of the significance of the day, many of the Veterans in my life are no longer with us.
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
I am aware of the significance of the day, many of the Veterans in my life are no longer with us.
" there's no such thing as too many thanks." I'll give thanks on both days, ones that have passed and ones that are alive. And their K9 companions, both dead and alive.
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:23 PM   #9
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Some more info on the origins of Memorial Day from Snopes:

Claim: Former slaves reburied dead Union prisoners of war in May 1865, thus creating the modern observance of Memorial Day.

MIXTURE:
TRUE: In May 1865, free blacks in Charleston reburied dead Union prisoners of war and held a cemetery dedication ceremony.
UNDETERMINED: The event referenced above is the origin of the modern Memorial Day observance.
Read more at snopes.com: Origins of Memorial Day
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cave76 View Post
That's a very interesting piece of history. I'd never read it before. It seems as if the Order isn't obeyed sensu stricto though, since this year it's observed on May 26.
It was set as the last Monday in May in 1967. From Memorial Day: 7 Historical Facts About the Holiday :

Quote:
5. Unofficial holiday

The holiday's Decoration Day moniker lingered until 1882, but the day wasn't an official holiday until 1967. The holiday was held on May 30 until 1971, when Congress fixed the date as the last Monday in May. The holiday was officially renamed Memorial Day in 1967, when President Johnson signed legislation to that effect.
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