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MEMORIAL SPEECHES

VFW Post 239 to Observe Somali Remembrance

Opening Prayer

Somalia-

"Americans consider themselves to be a compassionate people, and the United States military has a long tradition of humanitarian relief operations both within and outside the continental United States. And never has this humanitarian impulse proven more dangerous to follow than in 1992 when the United States intervened to arrest famine in the midst of an ongoing civil war in the East African country of Somalia. Ultimately hundreds of thousands were saved from starvation, but unintended involvement in Somalia’s civil strife cost the lives of thirty American Soldiers, four Marines, and eight Air Force personnel during the years of 1992 to 1994. The American military had established the conditions for peace in midst of a famine and civil war but unlike later in Bosnia, the factions were not exhausted from the fighting and were not yet willing to stop killing each other and anyone caught in the middle. There was no peace to keep and the United States withdrew all military combat troops in March of 1994. The American G.I. had, as always, done their best under difficult circumstances to perform a complex and often confusing mission. But the best military in the world can only lay the foundation for peace; they cannot create peace itself."

 

Place the Somali memorial wreath.

"And this morning we are going to lay our memorial wreath in honor of all those who served. Doing the honors this morning is ____________________,

Flag and Taps.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we are gathered here to commemorate those among Your servants who gave their lives in Somalia.

 

Because of their dedication to duty we still enjoy the freedoms we inherited from our forefathers.

 

Because they served well, we are proud to call them our own.

 

We ask that, following in their footsteps, we may continue in Your service until Your summons comes.

 

Then, in the knowledge that we have striven to observe Your councils and precepts, may be worthy to be united with them and with You forever. Amen

 

 

VFW Post 239 to Observe Kosovo Remembrance

21 years ago, on March 24, 1999 NATO launched an air campaign called Operation Allied Force to halt the humanitarian devastation that was then unfolding in Kosovo.  The decision to intervene followed more than a year of fighting within the province and the failure of international efforts to resolve the conflict by diplomatic means.

NATO announced the suspension of the air campaign on June 10, 1999 once it had concluded a military technical agreement with the federal republic of Yugoslavia. NATO casualties were light, and the alliance suffered no fatalities as a result of combat operations

 

 

Place the Kosovo memorial wreath.

"And this morning we are going to lay our memorial wreath in honor of all those who served. Doing the honors this morning is ____________________,

 

Flag and Taps.

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we are gathered here to commemorate those among Your servants who gave their lives in Kosovo.

 

Because of their dedication to duty we still enjoy the freedoms we inherited from our forefathers.

 

Because they served well, we are proud to call them our own.

 

We ask that, following in their footsteps, we may continue in Your service until Your summons comes.

 

Then, in the knowledge that we have striven to observe Your councils and precepts, may be worthy to be united with them and with You forever. Amen

 

Memorial Day

 

 

        (Greetings)

 

In quiet services across our country today, we come together as a nation to remember those lost in the clash of battle; the thunder of bombs, the roar of tanks, the rumbling of airplanes flying overhead and the scream of artillery shells. This Memorial Day, we come together to appreciate the freedom that we enjoy today as we honor the sacrifices that paid for it.

 

As we enjoy living in the land of the free, and the home of the brave, we must continue to remind Americans that there is no freedom without bravery, and those we honor today were brave when it counted the most.

 

Amid the war-torn decades we’ve endured, we can take great pride in these heroes … these men and women who believe they were just doing their duty. They had strength when the situation demanded it; determination when everything felt lost; and devotion, courage and patriotism when others looked to them for guidance. No one ordered them to practice the most basic of human ideals … they did it because they were Americans and because we live in a nation worth defending.

 

Generation after generation, our nation has been lucky enough to have service members who continue to believe that freedom is worth fighting for and, if necessary, dying for.

 

In cemeteries across America and around the world today, people will pause to spread flowers on the graves of those lost in war. But today … Memorial Day … isn’t about the number killed, it’s not about the sorrow we feel at their loss, and it’s not about mourning; what it is about was best expressed by General George S. Patton back in 1944 at a military cemetery in France. Looking out across a field filled with rows of crosses marking the graves of men who, just days before, had been part of his Army, Patton said, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died … rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

 

And that is what this very special day is all about, to be thankful that such brave men and women have lived, and to pay tribute to those heroic patriots who bravely rose up and fought for something greater than themselves, protecting a home to which they never returned. They sacrificed everything for the noblest of causes, and it is up to you and me to carry their memory forward in an effort to repay a debt that can never truly be repaid.

 

 Flowers, memorials and flags at half-staff, and the sad notes of TAPS, as meaningful as they are, they are not enough. What we really must do to honor their sacrifice is to live what they died for.

 

Live the America they died for …  a country of freedom, equality, opportunity and unlimited promise.

Live filled with hope … hope that what they gave us will last forever, and that freedom and opportunity will find all who seek it.

 

Live to preserve their legacy … educating all who believe Memorial Day is just another holiday, and passing along our knowledge to the next generation so they may do the same. We must ensure that the youth of tomorrow understand the true cost of freedom.

 

In meeting here today, we do more than just carry on a tradition dating back to 1866, when the first formal Memorial Day observances were conducted. In meeting here, we go beyond tradition, beyond remembering and beyond mourning; today, we work together to make this the country they died for – building a better nation each and every day.

 

They gave up their todays for our tomorrows, and now we must carry their message of dedication and determination to the generation in uniform today, and to the generations who will serve tomorrow because there is no greater way to honor the memory of those who have secured it.

 

-VFW-

 

VFW Post 239 to Observe Operation Restore Hope

Opening Prayer

 

The Operation Restore Hope was an operation of the United States and many of our allied countries in Somalia. The operation was protected by the United Nations. The United States was the leader of this operation. Somalia was in civil war and many people were dying from hunger in this country. The goal of this operation was creating suitable conditions and calming down the situation in Somalia for helping the Somali people who needed food in the southern part of the country.

After the killing of several Pakistani peacekeepers, the SomaliaSecurity Council ordered the allied forces by the Resolution 837, that they were allowed to send in humanitarian aid to the Somali people in accordance to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. This operation was considered successful.

 

Place the Somali memorial wreath.

"And this morning we are going to lay our memorial wreath in honor of all those who served. Doing the honors this morning is ____________________,

Flag and Taps.

 

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, we are gathered here to commemorate those among Your servants who gave their lives in Somalia.

 

Because of their dedication to duty we still enjoy the freedoms we inherited from our forefathers.

 

Because they served well, we are proud to call them our own.

 

We ask that, following in their footsteps, we may continue in Your service until Your summons comes.

 

Then, in the knowledge that we have striven to observe Your councils and precepts, may be worthy to be united with them and with You forever. Amen