Memorial Day Story

Some years ago I saw this meme posted on social media on Memorial Day weekend. I didn’t make it, but I wanted to know the story behind it. No one who posted it ever said who James was, or who the woman is, so I researched it.

You’ve seen the meme. Here’s the true story behind it.

Sgt. James John Regan, who was 26 and from Manhasset, N.Y., died February 9, 2007, in northern Iraq. (Photo: John Moore, Getty Images)

Considering the events of this past week, Memorial Day is going to have some special poignancy for many….

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7 Comments on “Memorial Day Story

  1. Thank you for posting. I have seen it before and it needs to be shown every once in awhile. How frequently, I am ashamed to say that I do not know.

    Perhaps every year, since there will always be someone seeing it, and reading the story, for the first time. -rc

  2. I’ve read the story before. Some of us were lucky and our armed forces person came back. Memorial day is never bbq day.

    I think I first posted it in 2013 — on Facebook. I’ve also published it on Medium. Thought it was time to put it on my own site. -rc

  3. This is what I see every year.

    My grandfather’s baby brother, the one he raised, is a permanent resident of Willamette Nat’l Cemetery. He died in 1984 of wounds received in the Battle of the Bulge.

    My wife and I would visit his grave twice a year: Memorial and Veterans’ weekends, sending photos to his surviving siblings. Each year, the endless expanse of headstones, each detailing a life wasted by hate and greed, chokes me up.

    Memorial Day would always bring me to tears. People gather in twos and threes (one under the ground) to discuss their hearts. Sweethearts, spouses, children, buddies ….

    The image that resides in my memory is a woman lying much as this one. Four plots to the north, two rotund bikers share a fifth of wine while they play guitar and harmonica. Several rows back, two small children place flowers on a grave, perhaps a grandparent they never met.

    The magnitude of mistakes is simply staggering.

    That others pay the ultimate price is far worse.

  4. Aw man, I’m crying now.
    War is hell.
    Damn Putin.

    Yes, I know, it wasn’t Putin’s fault this man died. I have friends in Ukraine and they’re having many such people now. And also those Russian cannon fodder that Damn Putin sent to die for his lie.

    Her story isn’t universal, but too close to that to be comfortable, and ongoing. -rc

  5. Thank you for doing the research.

    My wife and I try to go to the local Veteran’s cemetery in Hampton every year on Memorial Day weekend. Someone puts small American flags on almost all of the graves. There are also a number of German soldiers and sailors buried. A U-boat was sunk off the coast in 1942, and there were numerous POW camps in this area. For some reason, there were no flags on the German graves this year, although, the few Italian graves in the same area had them. There are also many Civil War graves.

    I know that we go to say “thank you.”

    Thank YOU for doing it, George. -rc


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