Keep Memorial Day Sacred

A Crow’s View wants to remind everyone to take time and remember the fallen heroes who lost their lives to preserve our freedoms! 

For many people Memorial Day Weekend marks the coming of summer. It’s the official weekend toScreen Shot 2015-05-23 at 10.32.21 AM breakout the grill and stock up on gas or charcoal. Retailers of every stripe offer sales galore to encourage summer prepping; however, Memorial Day is about much more than that.

A simple Google search (for privacy concerns A Crow’s View recommends using Start Page) will yield an abundance of facts and information about this special Holiday. A particularly interesting article published in USA Today by Allison Sylte lists 10 historical facts about Memorial Day. The following samples are what A Crow’s View finds the most interesting:

  • It wasn’t always Memorial Day — it used to be known as Decoration Day
  • Originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865)
  • Roughly 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War….About 644,000 Americans have died in all other conflicts combined.
  • Red poppies are known as a symbol of remembrance, and it’s a tradition to wear them to honor those who died in war
  • President Bill Clinton signed the National Moment of Remembrance Act on Dec. 28, 2000, designating 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day as a National Moment of Remembrance

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 10.28.02 AMThe last bullet point is a salient reminder of how simple it is to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. A Crow’s View suggests taking Clinton’s Remembrance Act a step further, by following a simple tradition started by your humble author and his mother.

The first Memorial Day following the September 11, 2001 attacks, my mother and I wanted to do something special for Memorial Day. We struggled on what we could do that would standout from simply taking part in a moment of silence or some other similar event, so we researched ways to honor fallen heroes.

When we finished our research, we came up with an amalgam of different memorial techniques to honor Memorial Day in a simple, inexpensive, and gratifying way. Our plan involved purchasing a dozen roses each and then going to a cemetery to place a flower on a grave of a fallen soldier.

This sounds pretty simple, but cemeteries are filled with veterans and a dilemma shortly came about: a limited number of flowers versus a large number of graves. The desire to honor the most deserving veterans and economics dictated that a few rules were needed, so that the most deserving graves would received a flower.

With this in mind we developed the following rules to ensure honor is correctly bestowed upon the most fitting person .

  1. A flower is placed on a grave of a veteran killed in combat or during service
    1. This rule has supremacy over all rules
    2. If determinable, killed in action and missing in action receives priority over noncombat casualties
    3. If death occurs during war/conflict’s time frame, it is assumed person died from combat
  2. The war’s order or date of service dictates priority
  3. A grave that appears to be forgotten or abandoned can supersede war’s order/date of service
  4. Veterans of the American Revolutionary War and Civil War automatically receives a flower regardless.
    1. Rule four (4) can supersede rule one (1)
    2. Any war/conflict prior to the Twentieth-Century will receive a flower regardless, unless in conflict with rule four (4), if either rule one (1), two (2) or three (3) are present between multiple pre-Twentieth-Century graves, then flower placement will be dictated by comparing rules one (1), two (2), and three (3) accordingly. 
    3. In cases where multiple pre-Twentieth-Century graves are an issue use steps 1-3 to determine priority
  5. If rules one (1) and four (4) are not present follow rules two (2) and three (3) to determine flower placement.

After implementing our first Memorial Day tribute, it became a tradition. It is my hope that this show of respect will inspire others to follow suit. If you are looking for a rewarding way to celebrate Memorial Day, then please give this little tradition a try. It will serve you well and send a great message. Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 10.27.50 AM

Memorial Day Facts

Memorial Day


Loss of Confidence: Power, Scandal, & Corruption

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

The recent rounds of scandals should be a reminder to all Americans how power corrupts. For the most part, I’ve always objected to Baron Acton’s famous quote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

This phrase has always left me perplexed. How does a person changes because of the acquisition of power?

I don’t know how to answer this question because I’ve always believed a decent person that is well grounded will not be corrupted. Instead of blaming power, I blame the person. Power corrupts those who are not ready to possess it. Good people and bad people are separated by their readiness to wield power.

The three scandals we see playing out are evidence of the current administration’s inability to hold authority.

As a journalism student, I’m appalled by the AP wiretap. The natural reaction of a government official or agency is to claim national security. This claim is spurious at best. If that’s the case, then other–more acceptable means–could have been employed. This is a direct assault the press.

In my opinion this should not be allowed to stand. Several people need to be held to account; nothing short of jail time should result from this first amendment assault on the media.

The IRS scandal is troubling on so many fronts. I find it hard to imagine Americans using the awesome power of the IRS against fellow citizens, but that appears to be what happened. The idea that employees of this institution targeted other Americans, for their political beliefs, is bone chilling.

In this instance, I agree with Speaker Boehner who stated, “…who is going to jail over this scandal?” Democrats and Republicans need to come together to make sure that this will never happen again.

I believe this issue is systemic. In order to fix it mass firings and purging of management (at all levels) needs to take place. This scandal is–yet another–example of people in our government wielding power they were not ready to possess.

Finally, the Benghazi attack is an enormously sad event. The assassination of Ambassador Stephens and the killing of three other U.S. citizens is a slap to the administration and our nation, but more than that the assault on our embassy was an act of war.

Mixed reports suggest Stephens was tortured and sodomized before he died. Although this fact hasn’t been incontrovertibly proven, the brutality is factual. If critics are correct that President Obama went to bed without knowing the fate of Ambassador Stephens. It truly would be reprehensible.

A lot of talk is being bantered about regarding emails and who knew what, but I think the issue is much greater than that. Like the other scandals, it appears that Benghazi resulted from either incompetence or corruption from various levels of the administration.

These issues need to be addressed by Congress and the American people. Partisan politics should be set aside.

If top-level officials are at fault in any of these scandals, they need to be removed from office. If it rises to the level of the President, so be it.

Ultimately, President Obama and his appointees are responsible for what goes on in their agencies. The buck stops with those in high office.

It’s sad that this administration wasn’t ready for power.  If it were, we wouldn’t see a firestorm of scandals and corruption.  I hope the President can clean up his administration before Congress or the American people have to do it.

UO Veteran Center Opens


The University of Oregon (UO) announced the opening of the UO Veterans Center Saturday, April 20. This long awaited moment is way over due for our men and women of our armed forces. The fact that a US Senator, Congressman, and the Mayors of Eugene and Springfield were present along with the Student Veterans of America’s Executive Director Michael Dakduk shows the importance of this event.

Mr. Dakduk flew out from Washington D.C. for the ribbon cutting ceremony and to served as the keynote speaker for the grand opening.

In the coming years this facility will serve veterans as they transition from military to civilian life.It was good to see the UO and community supporters step up and bring this center online.

Cheers to those who made this day possible.