The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world. Today being Memorial Day, the CNN Daily Mash-up focuses on those who have served and are serving and defending America with honor.
Memorial Day is the day America sets aside to honor the sacrifices of our armed forces. Many have given their lives; many have given limbs; some have sacrificed any hope of ever living a normal life again.
Karl Marlantes was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps who fought in Vietnam. His haunting reminder to us all:
When the peace treaty is signed, the war isn't over for the veterans or the family. It's just starting.
Rose Mary Sabo Brown's late husband, Leslie Sabo Jr., recently was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in the Vietnam War, as he gave his life to save his comrades. She said:
I've never stopped thinking about him. My heart is filled with pride that you can't even imagine.
Many of our readers have recognized these sacrifices in their comments, none more eloquently than myweekends, who wrote:
A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' Thank you to all our troops, veterans and their families for all the sacrifices they make every day for us. You have my admiration and appreciation.
Yep, men in uniform sure look good. They often sound good, too. Another CNN iReporter, Faith DeCeglia, shot a series of good photos of the Quantico Marine Corps Band performing in New York's Times Square for Fleet Week. "I hope the members of our armed forces enjoyed the events as much as the civilians," she said. "It looked to me as [though] they did."
A deafening parade of motorcycles in our nation's capital is meant to honor military members who were captured by enemy forces, some never to be seen again. These riders make sure they're never forgotten.
The Greatest Spectacle in Racing generates great quantities of trash, CNN affiliate WTHR reports. The quarter of a million people who jam the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500 on the last Sunday in May leave a whole lot of junk behind. So at 8 a.m. Monday, another tradition takes place, as nonprofit groups pull on gloves, pull out the trash bags and pull together to clean the place up. In exchange, the IMS donates money to their causes.
President Barack Obama will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a sizable roster of recipients on Tuesday. The Medal of Freedom is our nation's highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors, according to the White House.
The recipients are: diplomat Madeleine Albright, civil rights lawyer John Doar, singer Bob Dylan, public health pioneer William Foege, astronaut/senator John Glenn, civil rights advocate Gordon Hirabayashi, workers' rights activist Dolores Huerta, Polish resistance hero Jan Karski, Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low, novelist Toni Morrison, Israeli public servant Shimon Peres, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and retired University of Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.
Tuesday birthdays: Actor Anthony Geary, 65; V. Gene Robinson, first openly gay Episcopal bishop, 65; attempted assassin John Hinckley Jr., 57; singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge, 51; basketball player Carmelo Anthony, 28.