Saturday, June 6, is the date we remember D-Day
This Day of courage must never be pushed into the background while the world looks on at the daily news. Boyer Writes honors all those who bravely faced the possibility of certain death for the cause of freedom
On Omaha Beach alone, 2,400 American lives were lost…as were many thousands more of our allied countries during the war.
Here are some facts about that day when so many were brave!
- The First D-Day Happened in the early 1900’s
The term D-Day is a generic term used by the military since the early 1900s to describe the date a combat operation takes place. Because of the monumental nature of the Allied invasion of Normandy, that day on June 6th 1944 became legendary. Ever since, people have been fascinated by D-Day facts, and the term D-Day for most people now means the date in history when the Allies started to win the war in Europe.
- D-Day Could Have Happened A Day Earlier on June 5th, 1944
D-Day was actually supposed to happen the day before, on June 5th 1944. However, because of bad weather, it was decided that the D-Day invasion would take place the following day, on June 6th.
- D-Day Changed the Landscape and History of Normandy
The D-Day invasion took place in a coastal area of France, known as Normandy. Despite the region’s rich history, it is now most famously remembered as the scene of this bloody invasion
- D-Day Was Code named Neptune by the Allies
The code name for the Normandy Landings was Operation Neptune. Neptune is the Greek god of the sea, and it’s a fitting name, considering the invasion was launched from the sea.
- German Troops Didn’t Leave the Islands Around Normandy until 1945
Although the Allies were successful in their invasion of Normandy, it was nearly a year later, on May 9th 1945, that the entire German occupation of Normandy, including the surrounding islands, was completely ended.
- Operation Bodyguard Was a Fake Allied Operation to Hide D-Day Plans
In order to deceive the Germans, the Allies created a fake operation, Operation Bodyguard. This way, the Germans would not be sure of the exact date and location of the main Allied landings.
- There Were Multiple Fake D-Day Plans
There were actually multiple fake operations designed to deceive the Germans. These included fake operations detailing attacks to the north and south of the actual landing points in Normandy. Some efforts were even made to make the Germans think that the attack would take place in Norway!
- Normandy Was a Tourist and Resort Area Before D-Day
One of the lesser-known D-Day facts is that the beaches of Normandy were a popular destination for visitors to the Atlantic coast before World War II. From the 1800s onwards, Normandy was a popular seaside tourist area. There are still many beautiful towns and resorts on the Normandy coast.
- D-Day Was Planned for a Full Moon To Give Aircraft Better Sight
The Allies wanted a full moon to provide better sight for their aircraft. They also wanted to have one of the highest tides. The invasion was carefully scheduled to land partway between low tide and high tide, with the tide coming in.
- D-Day was the Largest Multi-National Invasion in History
The Normandy Landings known as D-Day were a multinational effort, with many countries involved. The Allied forces invading Normandy included troops from the United States, Britain, Canada, Poland, France, and more countries.
- The Allied Forces Were 5 Years Younger than the Germans on Average
Many D-Day facts focus on the armaments each side had during the invasion. A lesser-known fact is the age of the German and the Allied forces. The German forces, due to heavy losses on the Eastern Front, no longer had a large population of young men to enlist. German soldiers were, on average, more than 5 years older than their Allied counterparts.
- D-Day Began when Troops Gathered on British Soil in June 1944
A lot of D-Day facts focus on Normandy, where the Allies landed. A commonly asked question is “where did the Allies launch their invasion?” The Normandy landings were conducted from across the English Channel, with troops first gathering on British soil before launching the attack on that fateful day in June 1944.
- D-Day was Only the First Part of a Larger Plan to Retake Europe
The D-Day invasion, codenamed Operation Neptune, was part of a larger plan to take the European continent back from the Germans. Operation Overlord was the name assigned to the large-scale plan, and Operation Neptune was the first phase of the plan.
- The Draft of the D-Day Plan was First Accepted in 1943
Planning for the D-Day invasion began long before the event actually took place. Historical D-Day facts reveal that an initial draft of the invasion plan was accepted at a conference in August 1943.
- British General Bernard Montgomery Helped Eisenhower Plan D-Day
While a lot of D-Day facts focus on the numbers of ships, troops and military armaments, one fact that is often overlooked is the number of generals who planned the invasion. There were two generals: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower and British General Bernard Montgomery planned the attack. It should be noted that Eisenhower was the Commander in Chief of Operation Overlord.
- D-Day was the Largest Invasion by the Sea in History
Eisenhower and Montgomery reviewed the initial plans for D-Day and decided that a larger-scale invasion would be necessary. The goal of the Allies was to allow operations to move quickly, and to capture ports that were strategic to the overall plan of retaking the European continent.
- More Than 150,000 Troops Landed on 50 miles of Beach on D-Day
It may be the epic scale of the D-Day invasion that explains just why people are so fascinated by D-Day facts. It was one of the largest single military operations of all time, with more than 150,000 troops landing on five beaches in just a 50-mile stretch of land.
- 7 Days After D-Day More Than 300,000 Troops Had Landed
The first set of troops landing at Normandy signaled only the beginning of the invasion. Within seven days, the beaches where the Allies landed on D-Day were fully under their control. Get ready for some more massive D-Day facts! By that time, more than 300,000 troops, 50,000 vehicles and over 100,000 tons of equipment had been brought through the beaches of Normandy! By the end of June 1944, the Allies had brought over 850,000 troops through the beaches of Normandy and ports that had been opened up as a result of the D-Day invasion.
- Omaha Beach Was 1 of 5 Main Beaches of the D-Day Invasion
The Allies divided the 50 miles of the Normandy coast into five beaches, or sections. The beaches at Normandy were named: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.
- Weather Delayed the D-Day Invasion by 1 Day
Many military historians who are interested in D-Day facts discuss how the weather impacted the D-Day invasion. In addition to delaying the invasion by one day, the weather blew the boats of the Allies east of their planned landing targets. This was especially true for the Utah and Omaha beach landing targets.
- The Terrain of Omaha Beach Caused the High Number of Casualties
Omaha Beach was one of the areas where the Allies suffered the most casualties. The geography of the area played a role in the high number of casualties at Omaha Beach. High cliffs that lined the beach characterized the geography of the Omaha Beach landing target. Many American forces lost their lives because the Germans had gun positions on these high cliffs.
- More than 4,000 Allied Soldiers Died on D-Day
The saddest D-Day facts are the number of people who were injured, and the number of people who died, as a result of the invasion of Normandy. Due to the position of the German forces and the defenses they had built, the Allies suffered over 10,000 casualties, with over 4,000 people confirmed dead.
- Over 2,400 American Soldiers Were Killed on Omaha Beach on D-Day
D-Day facts reveal that over 2,400 Americans were killed or injured on Omaha Beach. This was as a result of the geography of the Omaha Beach landing target, and the weather that had blown the ships off their target. The weather had also led to the sinking of some tanks which were intended to provide support for the troops landing at Omaha Beach. The high number of casualties at Omaha was also in part due to the lack of artillery providing reinforcements for the troops.
- Germans Had Less Casualties on D-Day Due to their Positions
Due to their positions, the Germans suffered fewer casualties than the invading Allied troops at Normandy. However, the Germans had no reinforcements to help them retake positions. Once the Allies had landed at Normandy, they took control of the beaches and continued until all of Europe was free.
The massive scale of the D-Day invasion and its important role in World War II make D-Day facts fascinating, even today. Many people lost their lives fighting on the fateful day of June 6th 1944. The
Normandy landings were the beginning of a larger plan to retake Europe and codenamed Operation Overlord. Had the D-Day invasion failed, the result of World War II may have been very different. Thankfully, despite a heavy loss of life, the Allies were ultimately successful in taking the beaches of Normandy and retaking Europe.
- Facts about D-Day Invasion Summary
D-Day facts continue to fascinate people, even more than 50 years after the D-Day invasion took place. We gathered interesting facts about that fateful day on June 6th 1944, when the large-scale invasion of Normandy, France took place. D-Day marked a turning point in World War II and dictated the course of history.
Military historians are interested in D-Day facts because of the sheer scale of the invasion. The saddest D-Day facts are those relating to the losses the Allies suffered during the course of the invasion. The people who lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy did not do so in vain, as D-Day marked the beginning of the Allies retaking Europe. (taken from Interesting Facts)
75th Remembrance of D-Day in 2019 Slide Presentation (Wait a moment for slide to change)
It will be a different Friday before Easter this year. Perhaps we should prepare our hearts for it more than ever! We, as Christians, always have referred to this special day as GOOD FRIDAY. A reason for saying it is “good” is because it is the beginning of the journey of our Savior to the cross, Who gave Himself for the people of the world. The Friday had to come before the glorious Easter Day of RESURRECTION. So, how do we prepare these few days before Friday…especially if there are some who don’t understand this special day of Christian worship?
For my readers throughout the world who may not be Christian, this may help you understand the Power of the Cross in Christianity. Please read with an open mind. Ask God to speak to you and give you His truth of salvation. May you find, through the power of the Holy Spirit, your trust in the Savior Who came to be punishment for all your sins and mine.
THE PROPHECY OF CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION was given to the Jews within their own Hebrew scriptures. Not only does the New Testament give this account, but parts of the Old Testament give the crucifixion as a prophecy of the events to happen. One of these is in Psalms 21, “My God, my God why have You forsaken me…O my God, I cry out by day and you answer not. I cry out by night and there is no relief for me. All my bones are racked. My heart has become like wax melting away within my chest. My throat is dried up like baked clay, My tongue cleaves to my jaw. They have pierced my hands and my feet…” Psalm 68 “…in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
THE HISTORY of the STATIONS OF THE CROSS:
In many churches and cathedrals around the world, there are pictures of the Stations of the Cross. Having originated in Jerusalem, the pictures are to duplicate Jesus’ trip on the Via Dolorosa before his crucifixion. Jerusalem fell to the forces of Saladin, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria in 1187. Forty years later Saint Francis of Assisi, a Franciscan, came back to Jerusalem and proclaimed certain holy places as places of Christian devotion. During the 15th and 16th centuries, they built outdoor shrines which later were introduced as stations. Faithful Christians read the gospels as they visit these stations to remember the suffering of the Savior…usually on Fridays. There are traditionally 14 pictorial stations mounted on church walls. The resurrection station is sometimes included as the last station because without the resurrection of Christ, there is no gospel.
Pictures of selected Stations of the Cross from around the world:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that Whosoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
In the past, on Good Friday, concerts are given around the world. Often these are requiems of a somber nature. This year, because of the Coronavirus, the depictions throughout Europe and other part of the world will not be reenacted. The great concert halls will be empty. Yet, we must not allow this to change our focus on the great sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We will turn to our TV’s and recordings and bow our heads as we remember the terrible day on the cross. In just a few days after Friday will come the great morning of RESURRECTION. Prepare your hearts now with the beautiful music I’d like to share with you today…Laudate Dominum by Mozart, sung by Aksel Rykkvin
(After the music…come back to see the pages of the Stations of the Cross.)
- TURN UP SOUND and enlarge picture for best viewing.
- 2nd link showing the description of the Stations of the Cross
Click this link below and follow each station by clicking on “next”:
After a trip to Greece this year to follow the “Footsteps of St. Paul”, the inspiration came to share my photography and words of Holy Scripture that St. Paul spoke to the early churches. He and the men and women during the years of spreading the Gospel through missionary journeys suffered greatly the persecution that eventually led to his beheading in Rome. Because of them, we have the writings of the Holy Scriptures today of the good news of the Christian faith.
Follow with me now some of his words to the Jews in the Synagogues, the faithful in the churches and to us, the modern day church. I have included archeological finds and ruins as well as the amazing monasteries of Meteora.
This devotional is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-Book form.
All books written by N.W.Boyer for adults and children (click on each book for more info)
One of my readers sent me an email explaining how he had made a trip to Auschwitz in Poland to find the memory of a particular child who perished there. Having traveled as a teacher with American students to Auschwitz, I understood and remembered the locations where I also walked and saw the horrors of an “orchestrated nightmare” that took place in World War II.
The email that I received from Ralph Davis is in part the following:
Many scholars of the Holocaust have come to believe that when a Holocaust survivor tells a story that sounds too incredible to be true, it may be just that: the truth. Such is the story of Lili Zelmanovic (Lili Jacob Meier) and her photo album.
18-year-old Lili Jacob was deported with her family, and most of the Jews of Hungary, in the spring of 1944. On the ramp at Auschwitz, she was brutally separated from her parents and younger brothers. She never saw any of them again. She was lucky and survived; yet, she was not always convinced of the blessing of having survived totally alone, bereft of family, friends and her world.
Unlike all of the other survivors, she was granted a small miracle. On the day of her liberation, in the Dora concentration camp hundreds of miles from Auschwitz, she found in the deserted SS barracks a photo album. It contained, among others, pictures of her family and friends as they arrived on the ramp and unknowingly awaited their death. It was a unique tie to what once had been, could never return, and could never be rebuilt.
It was also, as we now know, the only photographic evidence of Jews arriving in Auschwitz or any other death camp. After the war, Lili found and married Max Zelmanovic, a prewar acquaintance. Selling glass-plate prints of the album to the Jewish Museum in Prague enabled the couple and their first-born daughter, Esther, to immigrate to the United States. They settled in Miami and raised a family, yet the album continued to be central to their lives.
Survivors spread the word of a unique album in the possession of a waitress in Miami, and they made their way across the country to seek her out, and to hope against hope that their lost family, like hers, might be engraved on its prints. Not a week would go by but Lili would bring home strangers who were not strangers, and they would pour over the pictures and weep. Rarely, someone would identify a family member, and Lili would give them the snapshot. Since most of the Jews had been murdered, leaving no living trace, most of the photos remained unclaimed.
In 1980 Serge Klarsfeld convinced Lilly (pictured below) that the album should be safeguarded at Yad Vashem. She came to Jerusalem, showed it to Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and donated it to Yad Vashem, where it resides to this day and is treasured for the future.
On December 17, 1999, Lilly Zelmanovic passed away. (from Yad Vashem)
I too, like Dave, believe that it is imperative that we continue to share the story of those who died in the concentration camps because at some point there will not be any living survivors to tell their stories. If we do not teach our future generations the truth, it could easily happen again. Thank you, Dave.
The video shared below is long, but worth the watch. Take your time and listen and view parts at a time if it is more convenient. It speaks for itself and it is my prayer that many around the world will make the effort to listen to it….and never forget!
If the video should ask for a password, type DaveDavis
It is interesting how someone can come to the United States and have a completely different perspective on the word “democracy.” We, who live here, become used to how things work in our free society. The thoughts of a foreign visitor, who is used to a much different society, brings a new dimension to the very meaning of the word…democracy. We ask the question then…
“How much does religious freedom play as an encompassing part of democracy?”
A visiting Chinese professor may have great words of wisdom concerning this matter. Clay Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, found friendship with this visitor, who was on a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States, and shares with us his words. Pay close attention to his final statement. It is quite chilling.
Short Video: Please turn up your sound and click the link below:
The Magna Carta is considered the “Cornerstone of Liberty”. It has influenced most of the civilized world, including the foundation of the Constitution of the United States.
Written in 1215, a few of its words in the Magna Carta are as follows:
No free man shall be seized or imprisoned No man shall be stripped of his rights or possessions or outlawed or exiled Nor will we proceed with force against him except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.
How did the Magna Carta come into existence?
It was drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King John and a group of rebel barons – was designed to ensure the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown. On the 19 June 1215 at Runnymede King John signed the Magna Carta. (This means Great Charter.) It was the first formal document stating that a King had to follow the laws of the land and it guaranteed the rights of individuals against the wishes of the King. (from Telegraph)
How unpopular was this English King? Well, according to A. A. Milne’s poem for children, he was most unpopular: “King John’s Christmas”, begins
‘King John was not a good man. He had his little ways… And sometimes no one spoke to him for days and days and days.
Nevertheless, our own government here in the U.S.A is based upon the Magna Carta.
Where is the original Magna Carta? The manuscript at Salisbury Cathedral is the best preserved of four surviving original copies of Magna Carta, which were written up shortly after a beleaguered King John met and agreed to terms with 25 rebellious barons.
The Magna Carta influence was shaped by what eighteenth-century Americans believed Magna Carta to signify. Magna Carta was widely held to be:
- The people’s reassertion of rights against an oppressive ruler
- A legacy that captured American distrust of concentrated political power
- In part because of this tradition, most of the state constitutions included declarations of rights intended to guarantee individual citizens a list of protections and immunities from the state government.
The United States also adopted the Bill of Rights, in part, due to these political convictions. Both the state declarations of rights and the United States Bill of Rights incorporated several guarantees that were understood at the time of their ratification to descend from rights protected by Magna Carta. Among these are freedom from:
- unlawful searches and seizures,
- a right to a speedy trial,
- a right to a jury trial in both a criminal and a civil case,
- and protection from loss of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
Many broader American constitutional principles have their roots in an eighteenth-century understanding of Magna Carta, such as the theory of representative government, the idea of a supreme law, and judicial review.
Perhaps in their next meeting, President Trump should carry a copy of the Bill of Rights to the North Korean leader. It would be a GREAT START to the assurance of human rights for that country.
If you do not live in the United States or you, as an American, are rusty on your knowledge of government and our freedoms, here is a short film that may help you understand why Americans cherish their freedoms….with a little quiz at the end. See how you do.
Crucifixion was one of the most gruesome deaths that a person could endure. Because of this, it is difficult to understand why the Christians remember that day as “GOOD Friday.” Let me explain. It is not the torture of the crucifixion that is considered good…but the message of what this death meant to the people of the world.
1Peter 2:24 tells us, “He Himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By His wounds, you have been healed.”
What exactly is crucifixion? Have we ever really given it sufficient thought? Perhaps this description taken from Wikipedia will help:
Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang for several days until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation… Crucifixion was most often performed to dissuade its witnesses from perpetrating similar (usually particularly heinous) crimes. Victims were sometimes left on display after death as a warning to any other potential criminals. Crucifixion was usually intended to provide a death that was particularly slow, painful, gruesome, humiliating, and public, using whatever means were most expedient for that goal. Crucifixion methods varied considerably with location and time period. The Greek and Latin words corresponding to “crucifixion” applied to many different forms of painful execution, from impaling on a stake to affixing to a tree… Seneca the Younger, a Roman philosopher, wrote: “I see crosses there, not just of one kind but made in many different ways: some have their victims with head down to the ground; some impale their private parts; others stretch out their arms on the gibbet”…In some cases, the condemned was forced to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution. A whole cross would weigh well over 300 lb…Upright posts would presumably be fixed permanently in that place, and the crossbeam, with the condemned person perhaps already nailed to it, would then be attached to the post. The person executed may have been attached to the cross by rope, though nails and other sharp materials are mentioned in a passage by the Judean historian, Josephus, where he states that at the Siege of Jerusalem, “the soldiers out of rage and hatred, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest”…While a crucifixion was an execution, it was also a humiliation, by making the condemned as vulnerable as possible. Although artists have traditionally depicted the figure on a cross with a loin cloth or a covering of the genitals, the person being crucified was usually stripped naked. Writings by Seneca the Younger state some victims suffered a stick forced upwards through their groin. Despite its frequent use by the Romans, the horrors of crucifixion did not escape criticism by some eminent Roman orators. Cicero, for example, described crucifixion as “a most cruel and disgusting punishment”, and suggested that “the very mention of the cross should be far removed not only from a Roman citizen’s body, but from his mind, his eyes, his ears”…Frequently, the legs of the person executed were broken or shattered with an iron club, an act called crurifragium, which was also frequently applied without crucifixion to slaves. This act hastened the death of the person.
From the writings of those who heard the last words of Jesus, He said these sentences as the hours past and He eventually died on the cross:
- “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
- “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 This was said to the thief dying on the cross next to Him.
- “Woman, this is your son.” (Said to his Mother, Mary, who had given Him birth)
- “This is your Mother.” (Said to His disciple John to take care of His mother Mary) John 19:26-27
- “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 (This was after 3 hours of darkness, which was only 3:00 o’clock Judea time in the day.)
- “I thirst.” (This was the expression of his human suffering. He had been scourged, crowned with thorns and was losing blood.)
- “It is finished.” John 19:30
- “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit.” Luke 23:46
It was by His death that we are redeemed. “For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave Himself as ransom for all.” 1Timothy 2:5-6
The Biblical Text of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ taken from Matthew 27:33-56 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull),
they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head, they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now if he desires him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” There were also many women there, looking on from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him; among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
(Turn up sound)
Neighbor friends of mine have said, “I’m not watching it!” Other elected officials from various states have decided to “boycott” the State of the Union address also…even if they have not asked those who elected them whether it was a good idea and did they approve? Some Congress members have already decided that they will not stand or applaud even when what is being said is for the good of all Americans…simply because they are determined to be oppositional. That may be why many Americans see the Congress as a “do nothing” organization.
We ask at Boyer Writes the question: Is the State of the Union Message of any importance to Americans…the rich, the poor, the small business person and economists, the elderly, those who receive government aid, environmentalists, our military, the immigrants…legal and illegal, who may be hoping to be citizens of the USA and all others who would put themselves in any category?
We will address first the meaning of the State of the Union and its history…in case some should not know:
It is a Constitutional Duty.
“Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
- The Address is to be informative to the Congress and to every citizen of the United States…whether listening or not. (Any elected official who does not show up to hear probably should be close to a T.V….just to be “informed”.)
- It is a part of our established history. The President of the US has been giving this message in person to the Congress and the American people for 105 years since 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President. With the advent of TV and the internet, it has been easier to reach the average person. (Some may even ask why the average person should not be able to hear or know the direction of our country…just as the elected officials are informed?)
The Early history: George Washington delivered the first annual address to Congress in 1790. Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice because he felt it was too monarchical, as similar to the “Speech from the Throne”. He wrote it out and sent it to be read by a clerk.
There was controversy in 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson planned to reestablish the speech. (Oh my, “controversy” also has a long history!) There have been only a few exceptions by the U.S. Presidents of delivering the address in person to the Congress and to the American people, with the last being President Jimmy Carter in 1981.
- Important enough to designate a SURVIVOR: Whenever Congress meets together to hear the President speak, there is a designated survivor appointed. What does this mean?
“Since the ’80s, a designated survivor has been selected for the State of the Union. This is a member of the president’s cabinet who does not attend the event, in case a disaster or attack kills the president and everyone in the line of succession. The first designated survivor was Reagan’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, Samuel Pierce. The two cabinet positions most often selected to serve as designated survivor are the secretary of the Agriculture Department and the secretary of the Interior Department; both positions have been selected six times each. The only person to serve in the role more than once was George W. Bush’s Commerce secretary, Donald Evans.” (taken from PBS News)
Does history or tradition mean anything to the American people today? Is it too old-fashioned to spend an hour before our TV sets or online to hear what the President has to say?
Do the personal opinions about the particular person elected to the office of President cloud a more important aspect of being American? We must all remember that we are in it together for at least the 4 years the President will serve. Decisions made by Congress will effect us all…and might be why they should be listening rather than protesting at this point.
Free speech (and opinion) is part of our right guaranteed in the Constitution. The President is following the requirements of the Constitution to make this address. That is why it is my opinion that we lay aside, for one hour, to check out what we may be up against for years to come…for good or bad. Those who say, “I hate him and everything he stands for”… should remember that the State of the Union message is important for this reason. It is not a State of the Union on a Personality, but on our country and the future of our country. If we don’t like the things said or the things proposed to follow in the next year or the next three years, try our other right…your VOTING RIGHT! At least you will be able to say you’re informed.
Yes, We still have elections and the leadership choices are still made at the ballot box and not at the end of a gun as they are in some nations. Thank God! Therefore, in Honor of the office of the Presidency...whether you approve of the sitting President or not…here is HAIL TO THE CHIEF performed by the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”.
Some information is taken from Wikipedia. For more information on the State of the Union
At Christmas time, we read the Holy Scriptures that a Savior was born to save the people of the world. We hardly think of the origin of the scriptures or the ancient ones that are still out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered. It seems that there has been a great discovery in Iraq. Surprises happen when one is least expecting them.
When American soldiers were in Iraq, they may have discovered an old scroll that those who had hidden it hoped that someday…even if it was to be 200 years later…would be found. The people of the world would know that there was a thriving Jewish people who were forced to leave everything behind…including their most sacred objects. These were hidden away in hopes of preserving them.
This is the story behind the find according to a writing by Daniel Estrin for the Associated Press:
“…The scroll is a remnant of Iraq’s 2,500-year-old Jewish community, one of the world’s oldest, which all but disappeared when large numbers of Jews left for Israel following the creation of the Jewish state in 1948. Only a handful of Jews are left in Iraq today, following decades of war and instability.
Like other ancient Jewish texts from Arab lands, the scroll’s path to Israel remains unclear, with Israeli officials offering different theories.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the scroll’s journey from Iraqi intelligence storage to a synagogue in the ministry “represents the fate of the Jews.” Jews have been persecuted, he said, but “in the end they come to Israel.”
Iraqi authorities forbade Jews who left for Israel from taking ritual objects and other property with them. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, American soldiers discovered ancient Iraqi Jewish Torahs and other community documents in the waterlogged basement of Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Baghdad and took the manuscripts to the U.S. for restoration. They have gone on display in the U.S., and American officials have promised to return the items to Iraq.
Foreign Ministry officials say the scroll is Jewish property and belongs in the Jewish state. To celebrate the scroll’s restoration, Lieberman and an Israeli chief rabbi marched with the scroll around the perimeter of the Foreign Ministry building, with some 300 ministry employees, from workers in the diplomatic mailroom to ambassadors, trailing behind them throwing candy, clapping and singing.
The head of storage at Foreign Ministry headquarters in Jerusalem, Amnon Israel, said he stumbled upon the scroll, moldy and torn and without any label marking its origin, in the ministry’s storage room on his first day on the job in late 2013.
He was told that American soldiers took the scroll from Iraqi intelligence storage during the war and handed it to Israeli diplomats in Jordan for restoration in Israel. On the back of the Torah scroll, in a section from the Book of Exodus, is a round black splotch that Israeli foreign ministry officials say is an Iraqi intelligence stamp.
But Israel, the storage head, says he is not sure that’s the real story.
An Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Iraqi Torah’s existence in Israel is a potentially sensitive diplomatic issue, said someone brought the scroll to Israel’s embassy in Jordan around 2007. Security officials at the embassy X-rayed the scroll to make sure it was not booby-trapped before showing it to the Israeli ambassador, the official said.
In 2011, after an Egyptian mob ransacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Israel’s Foreign Ministry ordered diplomats in Jordan to transfer all non-essential items from the embassy in Amman to Israel.
“There was great fear that people in Jordan would hold demonstrations and burst into the embassy in Jordan, and there was an order to take out any object that didn’t necessarily need to be kept at the embassy,” Israel said.
The scroll was brought to the Foreign Ministry in 2012, where it sat undisturbed in the storage room. Only when Israel invited Jerusalem scribe Akiva Garber to inspect the scroll did it become clear the Torah was from Iraq…”
It is interesting that the Holy Scriptures have passed through wars, many countries, and still many years later surface to once again show that God has preserved his Word. He wants the world to know the truth of His love and goodness. At this Christmas time, amid all the hustle and bustle of shopping and parties, take time to be quiet and reflect. God wants our hearts to be calm and at peace with the good news that a child is born Who will be the Savior of the World. God’s Word will not return void. It will speak to you with a message that He wants you to know.
So pick up that Bible that may have a touch of dust and read…asking God to speak to you through His Holy Word.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Video Turn up Sound
Our road to freedom for all has not been an easy one, but it is one that is continually worked on in the United States. Our founding fathers of this nation would not know our country in years past or today as they worked hard to overcome the inequalities of all humans and to build a country where freedom is for all.
They had to work through their own problems of slavery, finally giving freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation. In later years we as a nation had to make things better for native Americans whose lands had been taken and whose sufferings were evident in the Trail of Tears. Men of character stood up to speak for the civil rights of all through demonstrations and civil rights sit ins. Our soldiers have stood duty around the world to guarantee that no nation would take these freedoms away from our homeland. Evil raised it’s head once more and brought the terror of removing our freedoms in our present day. We must all know what what these freedoms mean and vow that they will never be taken away.
The word FREEDOM is defined as :
- the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government orthe state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.Just as anyone who has lost their freedom or in our past history, those who had to fight for their freedoms, FREEDOM has great meaning. Men of good will have seen the wrongs done and have tried to set things right. We know that through new laws and legislation, all can eat in restaurants, have access to education and much more in our country. Sadly, the non-violent approach to protest so cherished by Dr. King has lost its way in many cities, even though many try to stay true to his beliefs. Buildings and businesses have been burned and destroyed bringing no one to a better life or more justice. Freedom, as we desire it, is lost in this type of aggression for those who want change the most.We usually think of someone being imprisoned or taken hostage in deplorable conditions when we think of lost freedoms. It actually is more than that. If a person has been active and suddenly is disabled in someway that they no longer can do the things they once did, this is a loss of freedom. Many are courageous and build upon a new life. As far as the freedoms we enjoy because we have a government and a Constitution that guarantees our liberty and freedom, we may not think of what it would be like to lose it as other nations have.Let us think about that for a moment.What are some of our basic freedoms in this country and other countries world-wide with a democracy?Here in the U.S. we are have the following freedoms guaranteed by the THE BILL OF RIGHTS. If you are an American citizen and do not know your rights, then you should read this carefully. Men and women have died for the protection of these rights for you.(Some history in brief)“In drafting the Constitution, most of the Founding Fathers believed that the safeguards written into it would protect the rights of Americans. But when the Constitution was sent to the states in 1787 for ratification, a great roar of disapproval went up. In Virginia, Patrick Henry protested vigorously against the lack of a specific statement of rights. Other Americans from different states demanded that a Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution. A number of states ratified the Constitution only conditionally. That is, they would approve the Constitution only if it were changed to include these rights. Two years after the new American government went into effect, the Bill of Rights was added as the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Congress discussed nearly 200 proposals for amendments before it presented these ten to the states for approval. The states ratified these amendments, and they became part of the Constitution in 1791:FREEDOM OF RELIGION ...guarantees to all Americans the right to practice any religion they choose, or to practice no religion at all. (Notice it was chosen first.)
Congress is forbidden to establish any religion as our nation’s official religion. Congress cannot favor any one religion over others or tax citizens in order to support any one religion.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH…The right to express your ideas and opinions… Freedom of speech also means the right to listen to the thoughts and opinions of others. This freedom guarantees that Americans are free to express their thoughts and ideas about anything. They may talk freely to their friends and neighbors or speak in public to a group of people. Of course, no one may use his freedom of speech to injure others. If a person knowingly says things that are false about another, he may be sued in court by the person or persons who believe they have been harmed by what he said. Americans are free to express opinions about their government or anything else. They are free to criticize the actions of the government and of government officials. In a dictatorship, where the nation’s government has all the powers, the people have no right to speak like this. They do not dare to criticize the actions of the government. If they do, they may be imprisoned. But all Americans enjoy the freedom of speech, which is guaranteed in the First Amendment.
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS…The freedom to express your ideas and opinions in writing. This freedom is closely related to freedom of speech…This writing may be in newspapers, books, magazines, or any other printed or written form. Americans are also free to read what others write. They may read any newspaper, book or magazine they want. Because they are free to read a variety of facts and opinions, Americans can become better-informed citizens. (Reading does not necessarily mean agreement to what is written.)
FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY …freedom to hold meetings. Americans are free to meet together to discuss problems and to plan their actions. Of course, such meetings must be carried on in a peaceful way.
FREEDOM OF PETITION…The freedom of petition is the right to ask your government to do something or to refrain from doing something… The freedom of petition gives you the right to write to your Congressman and request him to work for the passage of laws you favor. You are free to ask him to change laws that you do not like. The right of petition also helps government officials to know what Americans think and what actions they want the government to take.
THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS…The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. In the early years of our nation, Americans needed weapons in order to serve in the militia, or volunteer armies, that were established to defend our states. The militia provided protection during emergencies, too. Many Americans also believed that without weapons they would be powerless if the government tried to overstep its powers and rule by force.
“NO-QUARTERING” RIGHT…The Third Amendment states, “No soldier shall, in times of peace, be quartered in any house. . . .” Under British rule, the colonists sometimes had to feed and house British soldiers against their will. As a result, Americans wanted this practice forbidden under the Bill of Rights.
THE RIGHT TO EQUAL JUSTICE…The Bill of Rights contains many rights that are guaranteed to persons accused of a crime. Amendments Five, Six, Seven, and Eight are all concerned with these rights. Our nation places great importance on these rights in order to guarantee equal justice for all Americans.
- A person must be indicted, or formally accused of a crime, by a group of citizens called a “grand jury” before he can be brought into court for trial.
- A person accused of a crime is guaranteed the right to know what law he is accused of breaking.
- A person accused of a crime has a right to a prompt public trial by a jury of his fellow citizens.
- An accused person cannot be put into prison and kept there for weeks or months while awaiting a trial. He has the right to leave jail, in most cases, if he can raise a certain sum of money, or bail, as a pledge that he will appear at his trial.
- An accused person has a right to a lawyer to represent him in court.
- All the testimony and evidence against an accused person must be presented publicly in court.
- The accused person has the right to call any witnesses to appear if their testimony will help him.
- The accused person cannot be forced to testify or give evidence against himself.
- If the accused person is found guilty, he cannot be given cruel or unusual punishment. If the accused person is found not guilty of a serious crime, he cannot be tried a second time for this same crime.
THE RIGHT TO OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY…The Fifth Amendment guarantees Americans the right to own private property. No person may take away anything that we own. Nor can the government seize our land, money, or other forms of property without cause, or without paying for it. The right to own private property is one of America’s basic freedoms. Our free economic system is based upon this right.
THE RIGHT TO ENJOY MANY OTHER FREEDOMS…To make doubly sure that Americans should enjoy every right and freedom possible, Amendment Nine was added to the Constitution. This amendment states that the list of rights contained in the Bill of Rights is not complete. There are many other rights that all Americans have and will continue to have even though they are not mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Among them are the following.
- Freedom to work at any job for which we can qualify
- Freedom to marry and raise a family
- Freedom to receive a free education in good public schools
- Freedom to join a political party, a union, and other legal groups
- Freedom to live or travel anywhere in our nation
As a final guarantee of our rights, the Tenth Amendment set aside many powers of government for the states. This Amendment says that all powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution, nor forbidden to the states, are set aside for the states, or for the people. This provision leaves with the states the power to act in many ways to guarantee the rights of their citizens.
Government is the authority or power that people establish to help them run their affairs.
Governments serve many important purposes, but the most important one is that government makes it possible for people to live and work together. Government provides us with rules of conduct we can follow. Government makes it possible for people to live by known laws, and helps provide many services that citizens acting alone could not perform themselves.
Our nation’s government is based on the American Constitution. This Constitution, together with its Bill of Rights and other amendments, provides us with a workable plan of government. The Constitution also guarantees to all Americans many priceless rights and freedoms.
Our nation’s government is based upon the approval, or consent, of the people who are governed. It is a federal system in which certain powers are given to the national government and other powers are left to the states and to the people. Certain powers are shared by both federal and state governments. In both federal and state governments, powers are separated and balanced among three branches of government. (From: Hartley, William H., Vincent, William S.. American Civics. N.Y., 1974, pp. 34ff)
Protesting has its place in our democracy, but the statement below should make us think seriously about the cost of freedom, for it is not free.Video: Our National Anthem: A tribute to all who love our country and our American flag, the symbol of our FREEDOM. (turn on sound)
The subject of immorality is out in the open. Perhaps the first thing we need to do is to identify exactly what we mean by immorality. We are not always talking about sexual immorality. God’s law does say “Thou shall not commit adultery.” That seems clear, but in essence, we are talking about wrong behavior. This could range from evil and wicked acts such as stealing, murder, adultery, lying and corruption in many forms. Any way one looks at it, it is always associated with doing wrong and being offensive. Wrong behavior is a way of living avoided by most people who want to live good, honorable lives and teach it to their children. For those readers who may be unfamiliar with what exactly the 10 Commandments are, this picture gives the list that was given to Moses.
Probably everyone has broken one or more of these Holy Laws at one time or another. We may ask ourselves, however, in modern interpretation…what have we made our Gods? Have we never used God’s name in vain? Do we honor a special day to worship? How many truly honor our Mother or Father and show them that they are honored? We may not have killed, committed adultery, but saying something false or repeating a gossip against someone…or even stretching the truth is probably something we have all done. You get the point.
How is all this relevant to us in this time of electing our next President of the United States? What responsibilities do our candidates have in this matter of immorality or morality? What about the press that labors on the off color or inappropriate comments because that is what they think we, the people, want to hear?.. or do we?
Let’s come straight to the point… disgusting and inappropriate words and behaviors are being aired into our homes day and night. Most of us allow it. Our children are watching and hearing our reactions to whatever we are seeing. We have friends who limit T.V. or do not have TV at all in their homes. The reason? They are protecting their children. Children, at early ages, hear and have to deal with the obscene statements made on T.V. Unfortunately, they are often made by political candidates and others. Sometimes they are hearing their own family saying things that are offensive. They watch women who are willing to go on T.V. and give in the most descriptive, detailed way inappropriate sexual behavior toward them. The young are most observant and hear more than we think. They wonder what is the meaning of words like racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic…or may ask who is “deplorable” or what does “irredeemable” mean? It is too much…too young…too depressing. Could we even say it is immoral to poison the minds of the innocent? In this world of cell phones, computers, TV, video games and movies, is it any wonder that young people are often suicidal? We worry about mental health and instability in our society. How much are we contributing to this? Children need to have a child’s life because adulthood will come soon enough. Giving them freedom to watch and see everything and anything is not responsible parenting. Hats off to those parents who place boundaries. Maybe it is time for adults to do the same for themselves.
This is not saying that everyone should have their heads in the sand about what is going on in the world or in the political world, but as the young grow up, there will be time for discussions on topics they don’t understand. How much poison are we bringing into society because most are glued to their T.V. sets. Is our nation going down a slippery slope with no way to return to the normal and the decent? Even many adults have had enough. Yes, God knows our hearts and what is happening to our nation. There is need for transformation, just as there is a need for protecting our young. We, as adults, need to take control of our lives or we may be dragged down into the muck and the mire.
The highest honor in America is to be the President of a free country…following Lincoln and other great leaders. In recent years, the people of our nation seem to ignore immoral ways. People who believe in being moral and following the commandments for living are criticized and branded as “old fashioned” or “out of touch.”
One may be interested in how “out of touch” our founding fathers were when they wrote the Constitution and our great Washington monuments were built with inscriptions that announced the beliefs of out nation. Do you know the following?
- Walking up the steps to the U.S. Capitol Building, which houses the Supreme Court, set into the top of the building is a row of the world’s law givers who are facing Moses and the Ten Commandments.
- As one enters the Supreme Court, the two large oak doors also have the Ten Commandments engraved on the lower part of the door. Inside the courtroom is another display of the Commandments where the judges are seated.
- There are Bible verses etched in stone over the Federal Buildings and are displayed in state capitals.
- James Madison, our 4th President and Father of our Constitution said: “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
- Patrick Henry, a Founding Father and patriot said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians…not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
- Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher…whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.
Were these men backward and out of touch? After reading these facts about men who worked to build our nation, one may ask how far away from morality have we come? Many in our country do not seem to trust what any member of Congress or the President has to say. Truth and trustworthiness is at its lowest ebb. Political correctness and their next election are in the forefront. Cooperation between parties in order to get things done for the benefit of all seems non-existent.
It does not appear to matter, in modern days, that a President was impeached for his immoral ways and then reelected. Those who have the option of leading this country into a better, higher, and more moral way also demean those who teach that immorality is not acceptable, whether one is in office or simply a citizen.
This came to light when a leaked email called the Catholic faith “severely backward” and hoped that Catholics would “demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship.” (article by Eric Scheener) It is assumed that those writing the emails are aware that the Christian faith, whether Catholic or Protestant, takes their so called “backward” views from the commandments of the Bible. Concerning these emails, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York said, “Were it any other religion…Jewish or Muslim faiths…there would be an apology…”
Apologies may not be the answer for no one seems to take apologies seriously. The hearts of the people and the country’s leaders need to be changed according to the Reverend Billy Graham. Now in his 90’s, Reverend Graham has been teaching what the Holy Scriptures has to say about being moral or immoral for over 60 years. It is estimated that Reverend Graham has given God’s message of forgiveness and salvation to about 2.2 billion people in 185 countries on 6 continents. This is what he had to say just a few years ago, still holding the same view today. Some would say he has not “evolved” enough. Others would say that he is being true to the principles of morality within the Christian faith and is a voice of warning to our nation.
“Our early fathers led our nation according to biblical principles. ‘Hope and change’ has become a cliche in our nation, and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed. Our country is turning away from what has made it so great. But far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought. He knows our hearts need transformation.” Dr.Graham
To be transformed is to be changed in our spirits and souls. Psalms 139:2 and 26:2; Isaiah 64:8
“The man with a conscience fights a lonely battle against the overwhelming forces of inescapable situations which demand decisions. . . . Some who seek to escape from taking a stand publicly find a place of refuge in private virtuousness. Such a man does not steal. He does not commit murder. He does not commit adultery. Within the limits of his powers he does good. He must be blind and deaf to the wrongs which surround him. It is only at the price of an act of self-deception that he can safeguard his private blamelessness against contamination through responsible action in the world. Whatever he may do, that which he omits to do will give him no peace. Either this disquiet will destroy him or he will become the most hypocritical of Pharisees.” Derrick Bonhoeffer
At times, I have studied Bible prophecy. Usually I have come away thinking to myself that this is something in the distant future….and who knows anyway what these veiled predictions mean? All the language of the Holy Scriptures, especially in Ezekiel or Revelation are even more difficult to understand. One of my college courses was Bible Geography and I remember the old words of “Gog and Magog” being described as the land now known today as Russia, but maybe not Russia.
Yet, the Scriptures says that God was against Gog….and we ask who Gog is…and where does God come from? What relevance does this have to our modern, not Biblical world? (“Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. Thus says the Lord, God Behold I am against you…” Ezekiel 38:3,4) The man of evil is what it is referring to in the prophecies.
As we look at our world’s situation and learn of the brainwashing of the children (by Hamas) and the call to the young…even Americans…to join ISIS, it may be time to time to look at prophecy a little closer…and how close is this man of evil.
There are two videos that I would like to share.
Video 1: The first part shows the beautiful part of Syria and Damascus as it used to be and now what it is today from all the bombing and violence. Don’t think our beautiful cities and buildings could not look like this some day if we allow evil to come to our shores. I also show this video to let the reader see the sad indoctrination of the children of Palestine through television and cartoon characters. I think we, in the West, will be amazed that such is actually being taught to the young and impressionable.
The video 2 below explains that Gog and Magog may actually be Turkey. As we know Turkey is now the hotbed of extremism and training of terrorists. (Whichever video you choose to watch, click back to watch the next…for all have valuable, up-to-date information.)
What about our own U.S.A? It appears that there is a goal on the part of some to promote Subversion in our country if you have watched the news lately. We need to wake up as a nation and think about what is happening here as well as other parts of the world. Gog and Magog may have more relevance to us and our children than we think.
Subversion has at least three stages:
- Demoralization of the Nation
- and then a take over of private citizen’s rights which will be considered Normalization
Remember that God has told us something very important in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Video 1 Turn on sound
The question is have you read it? In this world of learning, libraries and book stores are filled with more than anyone could read in a life time. Yet, we as Americans have probably never read one of the most important documents in history. Yes, I’m talking about the Constitution of the United States.
Recently, we heard a convention speaker ask if a candidate had “ever read the Constitution of the United States?” This was a very good question, especially coming from someone who was not born in this country but immigrated here.
My question is have you read any part of The Constitution? If you are not a citizen of the U.S, you probably have not. You are not alone because The Constitution, which is our most precious document, is rarely taught or discussed in our schools and what parent is going to encourage their child to read it? Probably very few.
I thought the challenge was a good one because I have not read the entire document even though I was a teacher for many years. Bravo to those of you who have. My students discussed it in the context of studying history, but we never read it in class.
Nevertheless, I think it is important to know some facts concerning it. Therefore, I found (on history.com) some excellent questions and the answers, that might be of interest to my readers. If you read carefully the answers you do not know, you will be smarter than you were before reading. Perhaps you can even pass this along to some young person who would like to show some real intelligence in the classroom should the subject of The Constitution ever arise. (Just for fun…close your eyes after reading the question and see if you can answer it.)
- What is the Constitution of the United States of America?
The U.S. Constitution established America’s national government and fundamental laws, and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens. It was signed on September 17, 1787, by delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, presided over by George Washington.
- How many amendments to the Constitution are there?
- Which amendment to the Constitution was to lower the voting age from age 21 to 18 and who was President at the time?
It was the 26th amendment and Richard Nixon was President in 1971 when the amendment was passed.
- Which document begins with the words “We the people of the United States…”?
- What is the preamble to the Constitution?
- Did George Washington sign The Constitution. If not, why?
He did not sign The Constitution because in July 1776 he was in New York preparing to defend Manhattan against the British.
- How many states had signers of The Constitution. Was your state representative one of them? (After checking this out, be sure to return for the video below, which is on the lighter side but great to know.)
All Americans should take pride in one of the most treasured and excellent documents in the world. Perhaps you may take the challenge to read more…or all of it. Americans should also remember that during the Continental Congress, the leaders were not afraid to pray about their decisions.
Here is a quote of interest concerning this: “In the Continental Congress somebody wanted to know which one was General George Washington. He was sitting up in the gallery. And a friend said, ‘Well, if you want to see which one Washington is, when Congress goes to prayer, he’ll be the tall man who gets on his knees.’
You may be interested also in James Madison, who wrote most of The Constitution, but he rose above many disadvantages in life and accomplished much! He also wrote our Bill of Rights. He should be an inspiration to all of us.
For the Queen’s 90th birthday, she poses with her Great Grandchildren: Charlotte, George; Zara and Mike Tindall; James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise, Savannah and Isla Phillips (photo by Annie Leibowitz)
Boyer Writes would like to wish Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, a very happy 90th birthday. She has much to be proud of for she has outlived other monarchs whose portraits are hanging upon the majestic, great walls of her castles. I’v often wondered how one would feel looking at the faces…of the famous and infamous gone before. One bet she has talked to a few in the dark hours of the night when things were not going well. As in any family, there are heartaches.The Queen has seen her share with her own children and the death of a daughter in law, who will always be the favored memory of those who followed her every move.
One sees our children grow up and wish that they will always be successful in love and career, happy in all they do, appreciate us as parents and much more. When they first came into this world as innocent, lovely babies they have no idea the world they will be facing as they grow. Few families, the greatly honored and the unknown, live life without some major disappointments. That is why one must look at all the blessings that comes with the unexpected. We may be certain that Queen Elizabeth looks with pleasure on this picture of her and her newest Great Grand Daughter and George, who may be England’s king one day long after Elizabeth is no longer alive. Even as she did not expect to be the Queen, who knows if there will be a Queen Charlotte. Life is strange in its twists and turns.
Speaking of strange twists and turns, if you are a history buff and want to spend some time (or maybe a shorter skip-through), seeing the video of the life of Elizabeth II below, it will be worth it. So much of the world history is featured in this review of her early life and her reign as Queen. She will be remembered as a young person for standing with her royal family and her country through World War II when there was so much sadness. From the bombings of England, millions of homes were damaged or destroyed. The courage of her parents and their influence on her during this terrible time had made her who she is today.
For someone who has known few private moments in her life, compared to her duties with the public which she has taken as her life work, I would like to say that I am thankful that I am only the “queen” of my household. No trumpets have sounded for me nor will they at my funeral. There is no mass fortune in my heritage, nor are there servants to cater to my every need. I have no drivers to take me here and there, unless my husband drives. I would not change a thing. I like climbing into my truck, going wherever I please, without interruption. I would like to live as long as Elizabeth has and be able to walk about the way she does without help.
God bless the Queen and may she see only more birthdays as long as her life has meaning.
Throughout history and in more modern history, there is a lesson of rising above rejection. Let’s look at the meaning of rejection and how it affects our lives.
Rejection: The noun rejection can refer to the actual act of rejecting something or to the feeling one has after being rejected. In other words, you might have feelings of rejection after experiencing the rejection of others.
When we are finding love in our lives, we may have experienced rejection when someone turned us down for a date…or even a marriage proposal. Rejection is also felt when a person may ask for a divorce. It could even mean when family members decide not to be part of the family unit. These are all hard experiences. Many people experience; feel terrible about it and then decide that life must go on and rise above it.
In history, we read about the lives of very famous people who have experienced rejection in the public arena and made amazing comebacks. Here are a few to consider:
Abraham Lincoln is one of our most famous Presidents. His heart-aches, illnesses, and rejections should encourage anyone to keep trying. This list is long, but worth reading:
- 1832 Lost job Elected company captain of Illinois militia in Black Hawk War
- 1833 Failed in business
- 1834 Elected to Illinois State Legislature
- 1835 Sweetheart died
- 1836 Had a nervous breakdown
- 1842 A jealous man challenged him to a duel. Abraham Lincoln traveled to Alton to meet James Shields in a duel. Friends of both opponents negotiated a truce, and the duel was averted.
- Reelected to Illinois Legislature and received license to practice law
- 1837 Led Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield. He became law partner of John T. Stuart
- 1838 Defeated for Speaker, but was nominated for Illinois House Speaker by Whig caucus Re-elected to Illinois House (running first in his district)
Served as Whig floor leader
- 1839 Chosen presidential elector by first Whig convention and admitted to practice law in U.S. Circuit Court
- 1840 Argues first case before Illinois Supreme Court
Re-elected to Illinois state legislature
- 1842 Admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court
- 1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress
- 1844 Established own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner
- 1846 Elected to Congress
- 1848 Lost nomination (Chose not to run for Congress, abiding by rule of rotation among Whigs.)
- 1849 Rejected for Land Officer Admitted to practice law in U.S. Supreme Court
Declined appointment as secretary and then as governor of Oregon Territory
- 1854 Defeated for U.S. Senate
- 1856 Defeated for nomination for Vice President
- 1858 Again defeated for U.S. Senate
- 1860 ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A few other modern-day Presidents had their setbacks before winning the Presidency.
Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan ran for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination. Incumbent President Gerald Ford beat him in the crucial New Hampshire and Florida primaries. Though Reagan was able to win some of the later contests that year, Ford edged him out at the convention.
In his first race for office, Bill Clinton narrowly lost to incumbent Republican House member John Paul Hammerschmidt of Arkansas. He later became attorney general and then governor. But he lost his first gubernatorial reelection race in 1980.
George W. Bush also entered political life by challenging an incumbent House member. In 1978, he ran against Texas Democrat Kent Hance, who mocked the Yale graduate as a clueless preppy from Connecticut. Hance won.
Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library
- Barack Obama ran in an Illinois Democratic primary against Representative Bobby Rush. Like George W. Bush, he found that an Ivy League education was not necessarily an advantage. Representative Rush exploited Obama’s Harvard law degree to suggest that he was out of touch with the district. Rush smashed him by a two-to-one margin.
To all aspiring writers, take hope from some of the best and most successful.
Rejection Letters from publishers:
JK Rowlings got 12 rejections before making a billion dollars on Harry Potter.
Dr. Seuss’s rejection said “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”
William Golding wrote The Lord of the Flies, selling 15 million copies. His rejection letter said, “An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull”
As all can see, perseverance is always the best policy if we believe we have something to give to this world. I write because I enjoy it and it’s challenging. I may never have a great book published that the world will remember or make a fortune. That is not my goal, but joy in what I do is worth all the effort. In fact, my mind is completely absorbed, when I am writing, from the disappointments that could bring me down.
Rising above your rejections, whatever they may be, will bring renewed life and hope into your world. Never give up!
Feeling a little beaten up? Things aren’t going right at all? In fact, you think things are just rotten!
Maybe your holidays were good, but not as good as they could have been. How often we think of “only what if”! Some of you may even be saying that there were just too many people at my house at Christmas; someone I love did not show up…or even call; there was just not enough time to do what I wanted to do; or worried about what 2015 will hold for you…so on and so on.
You think your days are rotten and you’d like to just go down to the local bar and forget it all like Hemingway. Unfortunately, we remember how his life ended.
Well, sister or brother…you probably don’t have anything to complain about. I thought I’d show you some rare photographs sent to me by a friend. Let’s take a journey to the past when rotten was really rotten!
Cheer up…yes, there is terrorism in the world. Terrible things happen but do not forget the brave of the past who can encourage us with their lives. In the time of trouble, people used their talents and showed us the way! They stepped up to the plate…did not feel sorry for themselves…but moved on for what was best for themselves, fellow citizens, and their country.
Go outside…feel the sun…pick a flower…tell someone you love them. Your day does not have to be rotten. Keep things in perspective and “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Post note: After this post, a reader wrote me this comment after she, a music teacher in a rural school, had received some unhappy news from her employer.
In the last few weeks, we have seen a head of a country send troops into a sovereign nation to “protect” the people from the opinions of others. Mr. Putin listened to the voice of basically one man, Sergiy Aksyonov, in the Crimea area of Ukraine and Putin massed his Russian troops. He also listened to and supported the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, who fled from the people’s voice of decent. No constitution was adhered to in any of these decisions. Now more troops are being brought into Ukraine; a ship has been destroyed in the waterway so the Ukrainian Navy cannot leave. We have all seen the story and it is a continuing saga.
These point have been brought up because we in the United States of America have a Constitution that our leaders are to abide by and protect….it is the foundation of the laws of the land. No President of our country has a right to do anything but to abide by and defend this document, The Constitution, regardless of the President’s party. He took an oath to do this. He also must uphold the laws that have been passed.
Below is a message given to the House of Representatives by Senator Gowdy of South Carolina. He makes points to why the Constitution does matter…and that our present President needs to be certain that he is not acting in any way like Mr. Putin of Russia now or in the future.
From July 1 to July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was the site of one of the deadliest, largest battles of the American Civil War (1861-1865). It was also considered the one battle that made the American South (Confederates) close to winning. Historians are still dissecting and debating what actually happened there.
SOME HISTORICAL FACTS:
- Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S., was serving his first term in office.
- The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under command of Gen. Robert E. Lee, fought the Union Army of the Potomac, under newly appointed commander Maj. Gen. George Meade.
- After the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, fell to Union troops, Lee was driving his men north in search of a much-needed victory on Northern soil when the two armies clashed at Gettysburg.
- The Union won the battle–considered the turning point of the war by most historians–but the human costs were high for both sides, with about 51,000 total casualties. Lee and his army retreated south across the Potomac River after the battle, and the war continued for almost two more years
LITTLE KNOWN FACTS:
- During the war, many of the soldiers fighting for the Confederacy did not have shoes, as most of the shoe factories were in the North. Some confederate troops found out there was a shoe factory in Gettysburg, but on arrival to get supplies for their men…they e n countered thousands of Northern soldiers there.
- The oldest person who fought in the Battle at Gettysburg was John L. Burns, a resident of Gettysburg, was 70 years old when the battle started. Hearing the sounds of war, and being a former soldier, he grabbed an eighteenth century flintlock rifle and ran out to take part . On the way to the battle, he found a wounded soldier and traded his gun up. After volunteering his services, he was sent to the front line. Three bullets struck his arms during the battle, and he was abandoned as the Northern soldiers abandoned the position. Southerners found him, and he lied to them, claiming non-combatant status so he could receive medical attention instead of being shot. Yes, shot; in keeping with the rules of war at the time, any soldier not in uniform was technically a spy and could be killed on the spot. He outlived the battle by seven years, even though it was unusual in his day to live as long as he had when the battle started
AFTER THE BATTLE at GETTYSBURG
“A ceremony was scheduled to dedicate the Soldiers National Cemetery, where Union dead were being gathered. It was to be held about four and a half months after the battle on November 19, 1863.
The main speaker was noted orator Edward Everett. He delivered a two-hour speech, very normal for the time when an oration was an entertainment event. A hymn was sung as musical interlude, then Lincoln rose to give “a few remarks.” They were very few – ten sentences taking only about two minutes. No photographs show Lincoln speaking, as photographers were surprised by his quick finish. Reports speak of no, or very thin and scattered, applause.
But the ten sentences quickly came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, providing guidance for a nation redefining itself in the middle of a war that threatened its very existence.”
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America….”
A Democracy will only be as good as its LEADERSHIP. This was true in the beginning of our country and is true today.
After the War for Independence was over, the very thing that had held the confederation together was now struggling to endure. This new United States….this Union was in terrible danger. They had to prove that this step that had been taken was correct. The world needed to also see that this was true.
AN OVERVIEW OF CHALLENGES TO THE LEADERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- TIME-FRAME There were several committees appointed: One to draft the Declaration of Independence and the other to form a confederation. There was back and forth discussion in congress for over a year. They prepared a plan…and then amended it, sending it to the states for ratification This took three years to get the approval needed.
- A UNIFORM POLICY: Whether it was a matter of commerce; raising funds to run a government or other matters, it was most difficult to get all states involved to see things in the same light. Selfishness abound from every angle. “A uniform policy was necessary, and while a pretense was made of acting in unison to achieve a much desired end, it is evident that selfish motives frequently dictated what was to be done.” (Max Farrand)
Example: If a state happened to be a coastal state with ports of entry such as North and South Carolina and Virginia…taxation or not of other states who used their ports would be a way of cutting off their life-blood. There could not be an interference with the “arteries of commerce. “Virginia and Maryland had come to a working agreement regarding the navigation of Chesapeake Bay….requesting the cooperation of Pennsylvania and Delaware.” Sounds good? Hold your horses! The Article of Confederation specified that Congress must first consent. This had not been done.
Having given this small example of only this many states and only a problem within commerce to build a nation, one can see how this type of problem multiplied by many such matters could cause a great deal of grief; confusion and even a stalemate. Public opinion was to be added into the equation. A French representative put it this way in a letter he wrote home about this young, fledgling country and those who governed: “….there is no expectation and no intention that anything should be done by the convention beyond preparing the way for another meeting and the report has been hurried through before sufficient states could be represented…”
It is amazing to us in the 21st Century, 2013…looking back at the 1780’s…that anything was accomplished at all. Yet, the men who stepped forth to lead….and I emphasize the word LEAD… were up to the task. They had to call a meeting…with a fixed time to meet in Philadelphia. With the approval of congress, it was set for the second Monday of May, 1787.
- WHO WERE SOME OF THE MEN WHO LED THIS YOUNG NATION?
The men shown below are not all the leaders or signers of the Constitution, but are a few, interesting men who were not afraid to be leaders. As we look at their lives, we may be surprised that they would not fit into political correctness today….as some were holders of slaves…fought duels…and met with other problems. For some, their personal lives and problems could have been a detriment to their willingness to help forge a nation. Not so. They were TOUGH…DEDICATED..PATRIOT LEADERS.
Alexander Hamilton born 1757 , on the island of Nevis, British West Indies. In 1777, Hamilton became General George Washington’s assistant. In 1788, he convinced New Yorkers to agree to ratify the U.S Constitution. He then served as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, from 1789 to 1795.
Personal facts: Hamilton died of a gunshot wound that he sustained during a duel with Aaron Burr.
George Washington was a soldier and presided over the convention that drafted the Constitution, which replaced the Articles of Confederation and established the position of President. He became the first President of the United States (1789-1797). Washington had a vision of a great and powerful nation that would be built on republican lines using federal power. He sought to use the national government to preserve liberty, improve infrastructure, open the western lands, promote commerce, found a permanent capital, reduce regional tensions and promote a spirit of American nationalism. Of him was said, “…first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
Personal facts: Mount Vernon was Washington’s home and he freed all his slaves in his final will.
Patrick Henry was an attorney, plantation farmer and politician who became known as an orator during the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. He served as the post-colonial Governor of Virginia from 1776 to 1779 and from 1784 to 1786. Henry led the opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765 and is remembered for his “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” speech.
Personal Facts: In 1771 Henry and his wife Sarah moved into their Scotchtown plantation in Virginia, along with their children. Sarah developed a mental illness and deteriorated rapidly, becoming dangerous to herself and others, she was clothed in a ‘Quaker shirt,’ an early form of strait jacket.”
It was recommended that she be moved to the public hospital in Williamsburg. After inspecting the facilities, Henry “saw that if he agreed, his wife would be locked into a windowless brick cell containing only a filthy mattress on the floor and a chamber pot. There she would be chained to the wall with a leg iron. Appalled by what he saw, he instead prepared a private, two-room apartment for her in the basement of Scotchtown. Each room had a window, providing light, air circulation, and a pleasant view of the grounds. The apartment also had a fireplace, which provided good heat in the winter, and a comfortable bed to sleep in.” She died in the 1775. “Because of her illness (then thought to have been caused by being ‘possessed by the devil’ ) she was denied a religious funeral service or a Christian burial. Henry buried her thirty feet from the home they shared and planted a lilac tree next to her grave to remember her. The tree still stands there, a few steps from the door to her basement.”
When Patrick Henry refused to attend the Philadelphia Convention, Virginia’s legislature selected Dr. McClurg as a delegate. Dr. McClurg thus became one of three physicians involved in crafting the U.S.Constitution. McClurg advocated increased executive powers while at the Convention, but returned to Virginia in early August. He never returned, worried that his “vote would only operate to produce a division, & so destroy the vote of the state.” He never returned, and thus did not sign the final draft of the Constitution. President Washington later considered nominating him as Secretary of State, after [Thomas Jefferson] resigned.
Dr. McClurg was one of the most distinguished physicians in the colonies, educated (and later professor) at the College of William and Mary; studying also at the University of Edinburgh and in London and Paris. His Experiments upon the Human Bile and Reflections on the Biliary Secretions (London: 1772), was translated into several languages. He was appointed professor of anatomy and medicine at his alma mater in 1779, and also served as a surgeon in the state navy. Dr. McClurg achieved renown in Richmond for his efforts to stop various epidemics, including the yellow fever in 1798. He had some set-backs in his career when he received criticism in connection with the botched toxicological work in the celebrated trial concerning the murder of Judge George Wythe, whom he initially thought suffered from cholera, not arsenic poisoning
John Blair’s greatest contribution as a Founding Father came as a judge on the Virginia court of appeals and on the U.S. Supreme Court, where he influenced the interpretation of the Constitution in a number of important decisions. On September 24, 1789, Blair was nominated by President George Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States.(for information on today’s Supreme Court justices.)
Personal Facts: Contemporaries praised Blair for such personal strengths as gentleness and benevolence, and for his ability to penetrate immediately to the heart of a legal question.
James Madison…student of history; scholar in politics and hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and a key author of the Bill of Rights. He became the 4th President of the United States; was a slave holder who inherited his plantation known as Montpelier, and owned hundreds of slaves during his lifetime to cultivate tobacco and other crops. Madison supported the three-fifths compromise that allowed three-fifths of the enumerated population of slaves to be counted for representation.
These two writings on the Constitution only give a taste of what was involved in producing this great document. A suggestion would be to do your own study and research on a great work that is often taken for granted; thought of little and those men without whose courage and dedication to carefully think-through, pray-through and give this Constitution to us…we may not be the United States of America today. Other great tests were to follow: The Civil War being one, which Boyer Writes will address at a different time.