While traveling, visiting family, consuming hot dogs, and doing all the other symbolic, purely American things that we do on Memorial Day, let's remember our fallen heroes, and particularly fallen railroaders.
Beginning with the Civil War and in every war thereafter, railroads have played a large part and railroaders have given their lives for the war efforts.
In the American Civil War, both sides had a vision of what they thought the Union should be, and both sides payed a high price fighting for that vision. Railroads became life lines as well as supply lines. The military of both sides first realized the worth of railroads as people movers, and as strategic objectives. The first military batallions were formed. The fact that the North had a better rail infrastructure than the South contributed to victory.
Railroaders have joined up simply to fight, and given their lives in that way. Railroaders have been sent to every overseas theater of war where our Allies had railroads that needed to be run and where our victory meant capture and operation of the enemy rail lines.
On the home front, railroaders have suffered the many casualties resulting from overextended physical plants and the rush to supply men and machines for our overseas operations. Railroaders have served patriotic missions in all crafts associated with the railroad industries.
And remember, too, that today's railroaders go to war, and today's railroads can yet be called on to defend us in war and peace.
Honor those who have fallen to preserve our American way of life. Pray to Almighty God for their immortal souls. And thank that ever-loving God for the blessings of liberty that all of us in the United States of America would not enjoy if not for their sacrifices and His Grace. Amen.
© Memorial Day 2006 - C. A. Turek - firstname.lastname@example.org