Today is Memorial Day, and there’s no better time to remember all the American heroes who never made it home from war.
Memorial Day is a very emotional and sad time for a lot of people, but it’s also an opportunity to shine a light on all the men and women who paid the ultimate price in combat on behalf of this great nation.
A lot of people in 2022 don’t seem to recognize just how blessed we are to be Americans. If you woke up today in this country, you’re already better off than the vast majority of people in the world.
Furthermore, a lot of people don’t seem to understand the impossibly high price we paid to form and preserve this country. It didn’t happen by accident.
It was paid for in blood and that blood has been spilled time and time again. No matter the stakes or the costs, America has never back down or been afraid of getting in the fight.
We lost hundreds of thousands of brave men in WWII in order to smash the Nazis and the Japanese. Young men from all over the country picked up Thompson submachine guns, M1 Garands, BARs and other weapons, got on ships, traveled to foreign lands and many never came back.
There are graveyards all over Europe filled with the remains of American heroes who were asked to defeat the world’s most evil dictatorship. We liberated an entire continent and asked for nothing more than space to bury our nation’s sons who laid down their life in a country they didn’t know, understand or speak the language of.
On this day, I think of my uncle Connie who was a highly-decorated pilot during WWII and Korea. He kicked ass against the Axis Powers and went back to war in Korea.
He was shot down over North Korea and never seen again. His Distinguished Flying Crosses, Air Medals and other medals sit in a safe six feet away from my desk and from time to time, I take them out and show them to my friends.
Connie was possibly the smartest man in my family tree, and his life ended in a spot best described as hell on Earth while defending freedom and liberty abroad.
My Uncle Connie earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and four Air Medals during his service in WWII and Korea.
He was shot down in Korea, and never seen again. By all accounts, he was a legit genius and a proud American.
He fought like hell in WWII and is missed. pic.twitter.com/8tYPwBVxCr
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) February 20, 2022
I also often find myself thinking about famous American heroes killed in combat on behalf of this glorious and great nation. I think of Delta Force snipers and Medal of Honor recipients Gary Gordon and Randall Shughart, who were killed while holding off a massive attack force to protect downed pilot Mike Durant during the Battle of Mogadishu.
Those two men knew they were going to die as soon as they hit the ground to defend Durant, but they did it anyway. I can’t imagine having that kind of courage.
Today marks the 27-year anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia.
Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon knowingly sacrificed their lives to save a pilot who was shot down. They both earned the Medal of Honor.
Today, we honor the memories of these American heroes. pic.twitter.com/7knwKTYDvB
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) October 3, 2020
Today, I think about the men of the 101st Airborne, who fought against overwhelming odds to hold the line against the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge.
Young men who should have been working and starting families back home were dying in horrible conditions to overthrow Hitler’s grip on Europe.
Their pure grit, determination and sacrifice will be remembered forever as long as good people refuse to let people forget.
In honor of Memorial Day, let’s take a moment to remember the paratroopers during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII.
Against overwhelming odds, they held the line against the German advance and suffered high casualties along the way. Despite that, they never broke or gave up. pic.twitter.com/Ji6RkjLoEe
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) May 27, 2019
I think about all the guys on D-Day who hit the beaches with virtually no protection as German artillery and machine guns opened up on them.
Be thankful they went so you don’t ever have to.
Some units in the first wave that hit Omaha Beach on D-Day suffered a casualty rate north of 90%. We asked young men with their whole lives ahead of them to pay the ultimate price.
Next time you want to complain about how tough you have it, read a history book. #MemorialDay pic.twitter.com/XxRcfKm0cz
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) May 31, 2021
So, on this Memorial Day, take a moment to remember all the great people who laid it down for America. Today is a great day because we’re reminded of the costs that have been paid on hour behalf. Make sure to drink a few beers for all the ones we’ve lost along the way. Trust me, if they were still here, they’d be doing the same!