Memorial Day: A Look Back

If you are an elected official, then it’s a must that you attend a Memorial Day ceremony in the state you represent. Although most of our elected officials these days did not serve in the military, they have a staffer put together a few lines for a speech, and they talk about a relative who served way back when.

Here in Montana, the place to be for the elected officials was Laurel where the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery was dedicated and renamed the Yellowstone National Cemetery. Congratulations to all those who made the Yellowstone National Cemetery possible.  The Billings Gazette has the story.

Senators Jon Tester, John Walsh, and Congressman Steve Daines all attended the event. I am sure all their speeches were carefully crafted with the next election in mind – with video trackers recording their every moment.

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The Sunday Message

I thank my God every time I remember you.Philippians 1:3 (NIV)

Around Memorial Day each year I always feel a touch of sadness. Memorial Day is when we remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. I am proud to have known some of these people.

I will have my Memorial Day column posted early Monday morning.

I remember as a child being loaded into a car with a bunch of flowers and heading out on “decoration day” which was what my parents called Memorial Day. We would spend the day visiting the graves of relatives – some who served in the military and some who did not. I was amazed that my parents knew where everyone was buried!

I remember seeing a few graves side by side where everyone died in the same year (mother, father, sons and daughters) and my dad said the family had contracted some disease and they all died in short time.

A whole family gone – just like that.

Human life is like grass; we grow like a flower in the field. After the wind blows, the flower is gone, and there is no sign of where it was.Psalm 103:15-16 (NCV)


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Memorial Day & Veterans Day: There’s a Difference

Memorial Day is now past and today (Tuesday) feels like a Monday. Some schools are out for the summer and others are winding down. Personally, I believe public schools should start after Labor Day and end on the Friday before Memorial Day. Maybe that’s a column for another day.

It has always been pretty interesting to me to watch and read what people say and do on Memorial Day, and I’m not talking about what the folks do or say after they have been drinking beer and eating barbecue all day on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day and it was held on May 30 of each year. It was a time set aside for the nation “to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.” Notice they said, “war dead.” According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website, “In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May” (Congress loves three-day weekends).

You can read more about the history of Memorial Day HERE.

When I was a child, my parents would load me and a bunch of flowers (some real flowers and some plastic flowers) in the car and head off for a day of decorating graves across northern Missouri and southern Iowa. Some of the graves were for veterans and others were not. My parents and my grandmother decorated the graves and told story after story about the uncle, aunt, grandparent, or cousin’s life whose grave we were visiting. Looking back, I am amazed that my parents remembered where everyone was buried. It was an all-day trip. Continue reading

The Sunday Message

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of Wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible Swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

-The Battle Hymn of the Republic (Julia Ward Howe)

On this Memorial Day weekend please take a moment to honor those who have died while serving our country in the United States military. God bless them and their families.

Psalm 23 (NKJV):

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

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Caught My Eye…

It’s Friday and, more importantly, it’s a three-day weekend for most. Let’s be safe out there!

This Memorial Day please observe a minute of silence at 3:00 p.m., local time on Monday, and remember that Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor American men and women who died while serving our country. My flag will be flying proudly in honor of these brave people!

It’s now time for another exciting edition of “Caught My Eye!”

Friendly Reminder: This column goes well with a glass of wine or with your favorite microbrew (especially on Friday afternoons).

If you are a first-time visitor, this is my weekly column where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Often I throw in some sarcasm and poke fun at people just to make you smile.

Today I write about Tester and Veterans, Daines and Keystone, Morris and Watters, Walking for the Fallen, KMOV’s Larry Conners, the IRS and Congress, the graduate, birthdays, making Montana proud, and much more! Continue reading

Memorial Day 2011

It’s important to remember that Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor American men and women who died while serving our country.

With compassion, we remember those who have given their lives in defense of our country. We will never forget you. We will always honor you and your sacrifice.


Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar drawing nigh,
Falls the night. Continue reading

Monday Morning Politics

Here’s a look at some of the political news that caught my attention recently. Of course, I offer my commentary…

Public Service Commission:

Last week I wrote about the feud on the Public Service Commission (PSC).  Some more commentary has popped up, this time from former PSC commissioner and Chairman Greg Jergeson (a Democrat).  It is pretty good and you can read it HERE.

Jergeson writes the following about current commissioners Brad Molnar and Bill Gallagher (Republicans):

Brad Molnar has long had a reputation for a shoot-from-the-hip style when it comes to the PSC. He doesn’t do his reading, ignores advice of the PSC’s professional staff, and disregards evidence presented at hearings before the commission. It’s a shame that Bill Gallagher appears to be have allied himself with Molnar’s political antics.

In regards to Republican Commissioner Travis Kavulla, Jergeson writes:

I am more and more impressed with Kavulla’s work ethic and determination to ferret out the facts. He has rapidly established a reputation for decisiveness, integrity and thoughtfulness. Continue reading