Memorial Day from an Armenian’s point of view; (and some good news)

My mother subscribes me every year to an Armenian community newspaper here in the LA area, The Armenian Observer.  I found this article by an eighty year old Armenian woman, Mary Najarian.  I typed most of it here so we can all remember that some immigrants ‘get it,’ they understand what Memorial Day is all about.  I loved this and hope you do, too: 

The fourth Monday of May, Memorial Day, has been a very special day of remembrance for my entire family, just as April 24th (Z: the Armenian genocide memorial day) has always been.

Sixty years ago, as a young girl of twenty, I came to America after spending my early years in Aleppo, Syria, and then Beirut, Lebanon.  I thank the Lord for having guided me to come to America and for giving me the opportunity to live and raise my wonderful children in this beloved country which I call HOME.

Every year, I look forward to attending the Memorial Day Services.  When my children were young they would march in the parades waving the American flag and we proudly cheered for our country.  I was filled with great joy knowing that my children were learning to respect and appreciate what Memorial Day signified.

Two years ago, I attended two memorial services for soldiers, including two Armenian Americans who were heroes of Vietnam.  Something has been bothering me since I attended those public memorial services.  In Glendale (where a large contingency of Armenian immigrants live) I saw only maybe five other Armenians.   Out of 300 chairs there were over 100 empty chairs.  The main speaker of the day, Major General Mark MacCarley made a comment, “If it were a free movie at the local theater, the place would have been packed.  Where are the people of Glendale?”  I turned and whispered to my husband “Where are the Armenian Americans of Glendale?”  Where are the Scouts? Where are the children?  If 50% of Glendale is Armenian, then why aren’t half the people there Armenians?

Let us show our friends and neighbors that we are proud to be Armenian Americans.  Let us show our community that we are GRATEFUL for the sacrifices the young men and women have made for us. They have given the most precious thing; their lives.  And they did that so you and I could come and live in this wonderful and beloved country we call America.

Would that all immigrants felt this way.  And hurrah for those who do!

THANK YOU to all my readers who’ve served;  thank you to all who gave their lives, and thank you to the American families over these many years who’ve grieved for their own who were lost in battles since our country’s inception.   How can there not be a bigger word than THANK YOU? I wish there were.



This entry was posted in America, Armenia, Films, holiday, Patriotism. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Memorial Day from an Armenian’s point of view; (and some good news)

  1. Mustang says:

    How can there not be a bigger word than THANK YOU?

    Perhaps this: God Bless You All.

    Yes an excellent post Z … and God bless you as well.


  2. bunkerville says:

    Excellent post for the day. Wishing you a good one.


  3. Sadly accurate post, but thanks for sharing.

    If I may plug an organization that I have no affiliation with; there is a severe shortage of qualified bugle players, to perform at the services of fallen service members. A worthy group is trying to rectify that:

    Bugles Across America, NFP was founded in 2000 by Tom Day, when Congress passed legislation stating that Veterans have a right to at least two uniformed military people to fold the flag and play Taps on a CD player. Bugles Across America was founded to take this a step further. In recognition of the service these Veterans have provided to their country, we felt that they each deserve a live rendition of Taps by a real bugler. To this end, we are actively seeking capable volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.

    No veteran should be laid to rest, with Taps playing on a ‘boombox’. Although I prefer Taps on the ‘pipes….every fallen warrior deserves this honor.


  4. Imp says:

    For all our “home” vets here today, Mustang, CI, ED, Bocopro and to those whom I’m unable to remember, thanks for your service. For those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and their families, Thank you… you will never be forgotten.


  5. geeez2014 says:

    Wow, your comments are so touching..
    CI, I got teary-eyed thinking about a funeral without a live taps player…they ALL DESERVE THAT! I didn’t know they don’t.
    And yes, pipes are SO nice. The Christian high school I’m affiliated with has a bagpiper at their Dedication Service when the freshmen start school…he walks the kids into the dedication service…and, four years later, he leads them out. That continuity never fails to make me cry……
    I have to admit I don’t remember what he plays! Amazing Grace? Naa.. I’m not sure! I’m too busy weeping into my Kleenex 🙂

    THANK YOU, everybody. I’m glad you are as moved by this post as I was when I read the Armenian woman’s words.

    IMP/ You, too, served..>THANK YOU! TO ALL of our vets….thanking God for your hearts of service and love of country.


  6. Imp says:

    Hey Sir Bocopro…how about using to rein in your mile wide, long web links? It’s free…and you’ll figure it out. Just a little tip Sir. 🙂


  7. Imp says:

    Thanks Ms.Z. I was so very grateful at my dads military funeral that we had a live bugler. And one Officer and One enlisted to present the flag to my mom, my sister and me. Something that I’ll never forget and would like that honor at mine too.


  8. geeez2014 says:

    Bocopro….the picture of the woman laying on the grave is about all I can take to look at…….oh darn, I just started crying. ……’s just too much to think about the HUUUGE loss , ENORMOUS loss so many have faced…yet WE MUST remember!!! We OWE it to the lost……to weep, to try hard to understand…to APPRECIATE and grieve with those they left behind… TOTALLY changed lives of young wives, small children, loving parents. FOREVER changed.
    and the eagle, watching over them…..
    beautiful. Thanks…


  9. geeez2014 says:

    Imp….that is a very deserved honor and it’s touching that the families are so grateful for it.


  10. Imp says:

    Playing Taps at Arlington right now..I get goose bumps and a little moisture at that.


  11. geeez2014 says:

    UNREAL: I am watching the Arlington ceremony and heard the Chaplain pray…No JESUS mentioned…fine.
    But at the end, he mentioned how we pray to the Prince of PEACE…..I thought :”Wait! That’s what the Bible refers to Jesus as, I THINK!!” So I checked and it’s true.
    I loved that he mentioned Jesus even in that circumspect, legal way……and that he referred to him, on this day particularly, as the Prince of PEACE. Amen.


  12. geeez2014 says:

    Imp; wasn’t that TAPS GORGEOUS.
    It hurts me when presidents talk about the fallen……I KNOW they mean it with such love and respect……..but I think how I’d feel if I were a young wife with her beloved husband and father of her kids feels for words……or the parents of a young, promising kid….

    General Mattis said something wonderful and I hope it hit home with the hurting survivors….”Unite your sorrow with their service.” I loved that.


    Did you see this?

    “General Mattis, what keeps you up at night?” “Nothing, I keep other people awake at night.”

    I LOVED THAT!! I know you do, too!!


  13. Mattis’ bear rug is terrified of him.


  14. geeez2014 says:

    I LOVE Bernard McGuirk! “President Trump could cure cancer and the media headline would be ‘President Trump puts doctors out of business'” 🙂

    We should do a list of those…….I know you guys have some, too.


  15. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, I loved that line…”Mattis has a bear rug in his living room…it’s not dead, it’s just scared to MOVE” 🙂


  16. Mal says:

    Your post again shows the feeling, respect, and appreciation of naturalized American citizens. Oh! that all Americans could experience what this woman and others like her have. There wouldn’t be all the demonstrations, esp. on campuses across our country.


  17. geeez2014 says:

    I think this is the right thing to do……I don’t care WHAT the media thinks about it.
    I’m not sure they have Buddhist or Hannukah or Christmas events at the State Department. Why Islam?


  18. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, I thought so, too….it’s so good to remember there are immigrants extremely grateful to be here..
    Growing up, during the bicentennial celebrations of 1976, my mother made TV Specials like the King Family, etc., look under decorated in comparison to what she did at our HOUSE!. She’s SO grateful to have lived and raised her kids in America…having come here at 18.


  19. geeez2014 says:

    GAD! Trump is a secret service NIGHTMARE walking around the graves visiting with the families….talking to them, hugging them, smiling for pictures, promising to remember “Jimmy,” who told his mother he knew he wouldn’t come back…and didn’t.
    I’ve been reading too many Presidential/killing/secret service mysteries lately! It’s hard for me to watch him walking around out in the open…(do you KNOW how far away a good sniper can SHOOT!?), even with so many Service agents wandering around him, eyes searching EVERYWHERE. Poor guys! But what a great thing for Trump to do. What else CAN he do?


  20. Imp – I’ve been honored to serve on the funereal detail for many fallen service members, though it was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, emotionally [I’ve been on-call, but never had to perform as a Casualty Notification Officer]. For those who don’t know or haven’t been to a military funereal, the Officer or NCO who presents the flag to the next-of-kin, speaks the following words before rendering a solemn hand salute:

    On behalf of the President of the United States, (Army; Marine Corps; Navy; or the United States Air Force), and a grateful Nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.’

    Saying that in the moment, without getting misty, is not an easy feat.

    Z – Arlington National Cemetery is surrounded by Fort Myer and a highway; Trump’s actually pretty safe there.


  21. geeez2014 says:

    Ci, I guess you’ve heard FOX just did a piece on Buglers Across America…a really nice tribute to the group. They’re saying they’re trying to minimize the use of bugles stuffed with a tape inside so the guy’s not really playing. They’ve played at about 200,000 funerals. WOW


  22. geeez2014 says:

    CI…safe? Not after you’ve read some of the sniper stories I’ve been reading! Some pull over ON a highway and shoot…the distance they can shoot precisely is staggering.
    Thankfully, the group there supposedly didn’t know Trump was coming so that’s a plus, at least.


  23. geeez2014 says:

    And Ivanka tweets about making champagne popsicles for Memorial Day.
    WHEN are these folks going to LEARN?


  24. Rest easy, they’ve got the area saturated. Nobody is pulling over along the cemetery without an immediate response.He’s safe there than in downtown D.C.

    Champagne popsicles? Real classy……


  25. geeez2014 says:

    CI, if I learn anything in these novels, it’s how amazingly GOOD the Service IS. Most of them, anyway! Thanks….not worried, but I’d never rest easy.
    and ya…
    Ivanka Trump sounds like Marie Antoinette with “let them eat cake!” (tho Marie never said that!)
    The problem is she ought to be able to tell friends anything she likes…it’s all people who hate her father who are leaking ALL this stuff. And, of course, her twitter account IS public.


  26. If Obama survived 8 yrs without a trained sniper upset at his VA stage four cancer treatment taking him out…


  27. Baysider says:

    Beautiful tribute. Never heard of that movie and sounds terrific! It’s on TCM, which cable subscribers get, but you can rent it on iTunes too.


  28. Imp says:

    CI..”Saying that in the moment, without getting misty, is not an easy feat.”
    Nor is hearing it for the first time as the reality of the moment sets in. Thank you for that speciality of your service too. It was an Army Major and a Spc 4 that served at my Dad’s internment. I remember seeing bystanders standing still and taking their hats off and putting their hands over their hearts out of respect. It was a cold grey day in a November in North Carolina. It added enormously to the solemenity of the occasion. And that 21 gun salute always hits home whenever I hear or see it again. Last year we had a friend die who had been a detective in New York, then moved here to Florida and joined up with the Sherifs department. He was a Marine and it too was a military funeral with full honors and attended by a couple hundred police and sheriffs deputies. They too gave a 21 gun salute. It’s a magnificent way to be sent off with such respect and honor of all those in uniform attending too. Hell of a sight with a procession of a hundred police vehicles that stretched a mile out from the cemetery.

    Oh>>>BTW…since when does alcohol freeze enough to make a “popsicle”?


  29. geeez2014 says:

    Imp; you can put a bottle of wine in the freezer, forget you did it to get it cold, and I believe it’ll freeze? I think so!? But you have a good point.
    That’s quite a sight you describe there for your friend who died….so sorry.

    Ed, it’s astonishing what the Secret Service can do.

    Baysider, it is SOOO GOOD. I will be watching (for about the sixth time) on TMC!


  30. Imp, I had that same experience, once……of taps and the detail at my Grandfathers memorial service [USS Metcalf, WWII]. My entire family thought I had lost all composure when I hustled out of the church [I did], but more importantly, to thank the detail for being there….knowing what it means to those who have done it.

    In the Army at least, funeral detail rotates amongst the units just coming off of combat-ready status. To geek out just a bit, DRB-1, [or Division Ready Brigade 1], is the unit prepared to go wheels up and parachute into a combat zone within 18 hours of notification. DRB-9 is the unit tasked with supporting DRB-1, as well as the Posts [in my case Ft. Bragg, NC] other requirements, such as funeral detail, Casualty Notification Team and Police Call [oddly, cleanup]. Funeral Detail was a support tasking that nobody really looked forward to…..but after the first time, it really sunk in… important it was.

    Second to losing a Brother in battle… burying a comrade. It’s hard to put into words. But the bond between people you don’t even know….but have endured the same travails as you….makes you family. We generally call it ‘allergies’, because we try to keep a stern and manly posture, but the most battle hardened men will turn squishy at the passing of a Brother.

    It’s the great divide that we would never wish upon another, but would hope that ‘civilians’ can appreciate. Sorry to be long winded. I got on a Memorial Day tear…


  31. Imp says:

    CI..”Sorry to be long winded. I got on a Memorial Day tear…”
    Which you weren’t and I appreciated more than my words can describe. Thank You.
    ( Now…if it were any other day…LOL )


  32. Imp says:

    Z..” forget you did it to get it cold, and I believe it’ll freeze?”

    I’m not sure …nor would I try it as it would break the bottle too. Maybe it will, cause it’s a lower alcohol level than a good vodka, which I know will never freeze. Something Mr. Roberts never showed us kids.


  33. geeez2014 says:

    Imp, I used to keep my vodka in the freezer…YEARS ago. UNTIL a cousin who could really hold her liquor came and got more tipsy than I’d ever seen her. I realized that WE NEED ICE because it kind of melts down and lowers the drunk factor! I don’t drink to feel drunk, matter of fact I hate the feeling, but I do like the taste of one drink ….before dinner…or wine with dinner.
    But I do NOT keep booze in the freezer anymore..!!

    CI, I’m glad you shared that….someone once suggested that boot camp kind of builds a camaraderie that you don’t expect because it’s tough and you all go through it. Then when you’re at your level and training more and in danger, etc., that “he’s got my back” works to bring people REALLY close together. I think it’s a beautiful thing…except I can’t imagine seeing a buddy’s body after an IED or something. And to many of our guys DO see that. And then it’s PTSD time, I think…to simplify the process probably too much on my part. I bleed for those guys….inhuman loss and having to witness it sometimes. Or barely escape it them self and wonder WHY ME?


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