The Misguided and Memorial Day

Ask many U.S. citizens about the meaning of the holiday we celebrate on the last Monday of May each year and you will hear an alarming array of ignorance.

They have no clue that we are honoring the 1.2 million Americans that as Abraham Lincoln stated in his Gettysburg Address, gave the last full measure of devotion. They have no sense of the cost of freedom because they have never known their freedom to be endangered and were never taught the lessons of history.

Often attributed to Abraham Lincoln is another quote, “A nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.” I cringe every time I hear the phrase “sports hero.” They are not doing anything heroic. They are playing a damn game, yet they are more revered in today’s society than those who honorably faced death so we may enjoy watching these inconsequential games in safety. Memorial Day honors true heroes, not those genetic anomalies that are incessantly plastered on our TV screens.

How is it that most can recognize the names Stormy Daniels, LeBron James, or even Snooki and can recite lengthy biographical descriptions, but ask them who is Ben Salomon or any Medal of Honor recipient and the response will be a shoulder shrug and a head shake. The media, leading up to Memorial Day, should be awash with the stories of these real heroes, but nothing. This is one of the reasons we have so many who know so little about those who have provided them with so much.

Just so you know at least one story, Ben L. Salomon was commissioned as a dentist during World War II, but because of circumstances, had to replace a field surgeon. Salomon was working a forward aid station when the Japanese overran the position. Salomon ordered the wounded to be evacuated while he covered the retreat, allowing 30 of his comrades to escape to safety. Salomon was found slumped over a machine gun surrounded by 98 dead Japanese soldiers. He had received 76 bullet wounds along with many bayonet wounds.

When you see the generations of “snowflakes,” who have such distain for the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives so that they can live in their world where feelings matter more than principles, doesn’t it make you wonder how American society has fallen so quickly? June 6, 1944, soldiers as young as 17 stormed the beaches of Normandy. With bullets raining down on them they weren’t demanding a safe space, they didn’t expect a participation trophy, and they certainly didn’t self-identify as a gender contrary to their given chromosomes. Now we have morons who refer to our military as murders in a perverse display of virtue signaling.

I’m sure these men and women didn’t give their lives so that millionaire athletes will be able to take a knee during the National Anthem. I’m sure they never dreamed that being offended would be considered a more serious circumstance than facing gunfire in the defense of your country, but for some it has. All of these ingrates have the freedom to exhibit these questionable, if not revolting, characteristics because we have men and women who never had the chance to live to an old age.

Those of us who show so little appreciation for the gifts they have been given by, among others, the 1.2 million brave souls who grace cemeteries around the world, must have submitted to a societal lobotomy to dare disrespect our military. Instead of protesting the very institutions and individuals who have defended their ability to be social justice warriors and cry babies, they should go to their knees before every display of patriotism and give thanks.

The reality is, our liberal-run government education system has eliminated the curriculum that would provide the knowledge to build an appreciation for those who have sacrificed so much. Instead they are told their whole lives about all the things they “deserve.”

Their perspective is askew. Health care became a right while free speech is something that they can apply when convenient. They have lost, or never learned, the concept of inalienable rights and importance of defending them.

Though there is this pervasive sense of entitlement that self-allows some to disregard the meaning of Memorial Day, this should serve as incentive for the rest of us to take time out of our busy holiday schedules and give thanks for all that those being honored have given us.

Area resident Jack Loesch is a longtime teacher at the University of Akron whose columns appear periodically in the Salem News. Read his website at He may be reached at: