May 28th, 2012
05:38 PM ET

CNN Mash-up: Memorial Day

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.

All gave some, some gave all

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.

Teach the children

CNN iReporter Stephan Spilkowitz shot this photo of children at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington on May 15. “The memorial was crowded with tour groups and visitors, yet of all the monuments and historical sites we visited in D.C., the crowd possessed a level of dignity, silence, and respect unmatched by any other monument,” he said.

Salute to troops in Times Square

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."

'Doing what it takes to get them home'

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.

Another Memorial Day tradition: Indy 500 cleanup

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.

On the horizon: Presidential Medal of Freedom

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.

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soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. dom

    "A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check payable to The United States of America, for an unknown amount, but up to, and including, his life..."

    May 29, 2012 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. heyheyhey

    Not all military people are heros just sayin'

    May 29, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cassi

    Memorial Day is for those who have passed...not for Veterans. It is a day to honor those whose gave the ultimate sacrifice. If you don't personally know someone who gave their life for this country, look around the cemetery or go to a National Cemetery and find one. This is their day!! One day a year is set aside to honor them. We need to teach our children what Memorial Day is really about.

    May 29, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Carl Guyer

    Let us not forget that the service men who died in defense of this county did not "give" their lives to protect us. They "lost" their lives serving their country. No one joins the military with the intent to die for their country. Memorial Day should be a day of morning for those unfortunate souls who lost their lives or were gravely injured. I should be a day to remind everyone of the terrible cost of war. Let us not glorify these deaths with speeches about how these soldiers paid the price for our freedoms.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
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