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2018 Memorial Day Message

| May 24, 2018

Today is a day to reflect and to remember the sacrifices that a few have made that give us the freedoms we have today.  I suspect that for most of us the meaning of Memorial Day Is not as personal as it was during times past.  Because while we may have been at war for the past 17 years, only a small percentage of us have actually participated in this and an even smaller percentage have lost someone they know.

We are living in a go-go-go society that seems to take all of our energy and leaves us no time to think deep thoughts or to contemplate big ideas.  We see it all around us. We allow ourselves no time for quiet reflection.  Sitting and being seems to be something foreign.

So today, I ask you to take the time to stop and reflect.  Think about the Americans who died doing what our country asked them to do.  Think about the freedoms they died to protect. Remember the sacrifices of the families who gave up a loved one for the greater good of our society.

For that is truly what this day is about. A day of remembrance and a day set aside to honor our fallen heroes.  Those heroes, mostly young men and women of promise, who stepped up and put themselves in harm’s way to ensure the rest of us have the continued freedom to live as we see fit. Today is a day that is sacred.  The sacrifice of these young Americans and young foreigners who served their adopted country, was a truly noble thing.  Each of them could have made a different choice, but in the end they chose to serve.  They chose to allow themselves to be put in harm’s way, knowing fully that the end result might be that they would have to give their lives.  Yet, they did this freely.

I believe that the best way we can honor their sacrifices is threefold:

First, take the time to reflect and contemplate the meaning of the holiday.  Turn off the Television, shut down the computers, set the phones and tablets to airplane mode and just think.  If you do, I suspect the tears will flow at the bravery and patriotism of those who died for us.

Second, if you know someone who has lost a loved one, call them; write them a thank you note or stop in to see them.  Recognize their sacrifice.  Acknowledge their pain and tell them you are humbled that they cared so much for you.

Finally, stand up for our freedoms.  Here in Virginia, as you know, we are entering our political season.  Get involved in civil discourse about the big issues we are facing.  Issues that deal with personal and collective freedoms.  Not issues that in 5, 10 or 50 years will mean nothing.  Get involved and determine how you feel about the rights our fellow citizens died for.  Those rights set forth in our Declaration of Independence and codified and then amended in the Constitution and the subsequent Bill of Rights with all the ratified amendments.

I feel it is our duty as Citizens of this country, to have those hard discussions. Believe what you believe, but respect those who disagree with you.  Civil discourse seems to be turning into a lost art. We can all learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. 

We leave you with the following poem by Tom Hyland, which while written in honor of our nation’s 228th birthday I felt was very appropriate for this holiday. 

Kind Regards, your friends,
Rudy Garcia, SGM US Army Retired and Catherine R Garcia, CSM US Army Retired


Copyright: JULY 4th, 2004

No, my Friends, Freedom Isn’t Free -
There’s a High Cost for Liberty!
Our Founding Fathers, way back in Seventy-Six,
Knew up front that they’d take some "Licks."
To Stand Tall and be Sovereign,
All Nationalities must join as Kin.
A United Front must exist from Sea to Sea,
For a Country to Celebrate Unity.
Common differences must be set Aside,
The "Melting Pot" must be stirred with Pride!
Compromises made, but made with Love.
Prayers must be said, to Our God Above.
Humility must be added, along with Dignity,
For a Nation to Thrive, and Really be Free!
The "Silent Majority" must prepare for Sacrifice,
Risks must be taken, that are not very Nice.
Land and Chattels, Blood and Guts,
Defense is Paramount, no "If’s, And’s, or Buts!"
Hurts and Sorrows, Wounds and Gore,
All to Stop Any Tyrant at Our Door.
Sons and Daughters have given up their Lives,
A Costly Price, more Precious than Tithes.
Yes, "There Are No Bounds in Love or War"
Freedom MUST be Defended - So Know the Score!
America The Beautiful - America The BRAVE -
How has She Lasted? She Gave and She GAVE!
None know the Future - Will She LAST?
Only IF - we Learn from her PAST!
"United We Stand, Divided We Fall"
Love of Americans - must mean ALL!
The Strong and the Weak, the Short and the Tall.
"In God We Trust" MUST be Our CALL!
"Remember The Alamo!" - "Remember The Maine!"
"Remember Nine-One-One!" an Act so INSANE!
"Lick Your Wounds" THEN "Straighten Your Caps"
Never Knuckle Under - Be Prepared for more Scraps!
When the World is against us, America - The U.S.
Stand Straight and Tall, Fight with Finesse!
Truth, Fairness, and Justice may be Our Manner,
But Never Forget Our "Star-Spangled Banner!"
For Two Hundred-Twenty Eight Years Our Nation has Grown,
Most-times with Allies, but sometimes ALONE!
Sometimes we Falter, sometimes we Fall,
But, getting BACK UP must be the Will of ALL!
The Price We Pay, may hurt Our Purses,
And we must Withstand others’ Curses!
Yes, my Friends, Freedom Isn’t Free -
There’s a High Cost for Liberty!
The opening words to an old Anthem just came to mind:
"Give me some Men, who are Stout-hearted Men.
And I’ll soon give you Ten - Thousand more!
Oh, shoulder to shoulder, and bolder and bolder,
they grow as they go, to the Fore!"
Is This Not What We Are About?