Memorial Day

Open Letter to the U.S. Military

Dear United States Military:

On this Memorial Day, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who defend our freedom each day.  I want to express my gratitude to the families and friends of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending our nation.  The service and sacrifice of those who serve in uniform helps to keep America the exceptional country it is.  While you may not always receive the appreciation you deserve, I want you to know that there are millions of Americans, including myself, who think the world of you and wake up proud to be Americans.  You play a significant role in allowing us to enjoy living in the greatest beacon of hope, freedom, and opportunity in the world: America.

In closing, you all are truly superior Americans and heroes and heroines.  I understand that freedom is not free.  Thanks for all you do for America!


Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Happy Memorial Day

Filipino American World War II veteran in Hawaii

Filipino American World War II veteran in Hawaii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


On this Memorial Day, I would like to give a special thanks to the men and women who serve so bravely and honorably in our American military. While great arguments and protests occur between civilians in America about foreign policy matters, the men and women who serve in uniform defend our liberty within our borders and abroad. I am so grateful for their service and sacrifice. The single greatest selfless act of compassion is for one to make the decision to commit himself or herself to defending our country. The purpose of this brief article is to celebrate our troops and veterans on this Memorial Day.


While you are debating about whether or not you support “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and whether or not you support wars being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan, I want you to realize that there are men and women who do not have time to worry about what side you come down on—they have to fight to keep you safe everyday so that you can continue to have these discourses. Our brave troops deserve our deepest support and appreciation. They face great dangers and threats so that we can live in peace in America. Our troops are our greatest treasure—we must value our precious treasure.


I really think that people should make a serious effort to thank our veterans in a meaningful way for their service, and pay homage to those who have given their lives in combat to protect our liberty. On a day like Memorial Day, Americans should united by the great purpose of this holiday. I am proud of what our veterans have done for this country. In the most personal way, they understand the real meaning and importance of freedom. We must never forget the great work of our veterans, and we should never allow a veteran to be homeless and/or to struggle economically. The great work that veterans have performed for freedom’s cause is enough for them to never have to worry about the basic necessities of life—we must make sure that they have these basic necessities too.


Today, I am thankful for all of my relatives and friends who serve and have served in our American military. I would just like to list some of them: Larry Tape, Willie Fred Flowers, Jerome Flowers, Xavier Kimbro, Ebony White, and Nicholas Head. I would also like to thank their family and friends who have to sacrifice so much for their loved ones who service in uniform. Far too often, we forget the sacrifices of the family and friends of people with loved ones in the military and those who have lost family and friends in combat. This is why I highly support First Lady Obama’s commitment to spouses of military families.


Instead of just throwing meat on the grill, make a special effort to show your support to our troops and veterans who allow us to enjoy this holiday. We live in such a great country and we should think deeply about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to enable us to have the great country we have today and those who continue to allow us to enjoy this great nation. I am humbled and honored by all who wear and have worn an American military uniform. Today, I celebrate you and want you to know that you are truly appreciated!


Antonio Maurice Daniels


University of Wisconsin-Madison