This Monday, May 18, is Memorial Day. It was about to slip by me when my I noticed it on the calendar. Yet this holiday, which falls on the last Monday of May each year, should not be forgotten. It commemorates members of the U.S. armed forces who were killed in war.

We might not be sitting here in our comfortable homes with freedom to go where we want, do the things we enjoy, or worship as we please, if it wasn’t for the brave men who fought and died to give us those freedoms.

However, right now we are not feeling so free, are we?  We can’t do a lot of those things at this point in time because the coronavirus has held us prisoner in our homes. We are feeling pretty sorry for ourselves. Freedom-yeah, right.  Poor us.

I am not belittling the seriousness of what has been happening. People are sick. People have died. Our leaders are trying their best to put a lid on this Pandora’s box that China opened on the world. But things could be oh, so worse.

Because of our brave military men, we have never been occupied by a foreign country, except Britain, and that was to overthrow the rule of that foreign power and gain our independence from them.  We have never been ripped from our homes, made to stand in lines for just a morsel of food, put in camps and tortured, been afraid to worship as we wish, or have our families torn from us by any other foreign boots on our soil.

No, it seems our greatest fear has been running out of toilet paper. Think of our guys fighting far from home who had little to eat or the comforts of home. They sat in muddy trenches or in steaming jungles, and I am sure there were many times they did not have toilet paper.  Some paid with their lives or disabling injuries to keep us safe here at home.  

Shame on us wienies now when some of our small freedoms are on hold for the good of everyone. There are those who have lost their jobs or gotten sick or died from the virus. Those of us who haven’t, should pull in our lower lips and quit pouting. There are people who are suffering and they are the casualties of the war on the virus.

The doctors and nurses are the warriors on the front line and they are fighting the good fight to rid us of this threat.  They face the possibility of sickness and death every day, and we need to be thankful they are putting their lives on the line for us.   

Memorial Day has always been a time for remembering those in the military who fought and died to keep us free.  Although that is the main focus of the holiday, perhaps it is also a time to be thankful for all those who sacrifice themselves for the good of us all.


A former longtime Baytown resident, Ginger Stripling now lives in Mont Belvieu. Contact her at, Attention: Ginger Stripling.




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