15 March 2018
A close friend of mine sent me the writing below and ask that I pass it on. Just before we celebrate the 4th of July, our great Independence Day, I am happy to do so. They are definitely “tough words.”
As we look back at what it cost to free ourselves, as a nation, from England, in order to gain independence….our American flag stands for all the freedoms we enjoy and all that it has cost since then. This includes the freedom of speech…for those who speak out for or against a certain action.
The following are not my words, but I believe they speak the feelings of many Americans who love their sports and the players, but not some of their actions or attitudes. You be the judge.
“TO THE NFL (NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE) and ITS PLAYERS:
If I have brain cancer, I don’t ask my dentist what I should do. If my car has a problem, I don’t seek help from a plumber! Why do you think the public cares what a football player thinks about politics? If we want to know about football, then depending on the information we seek, we might consult with you, but even a quarterback doesn’t seek advice on playing his position from a defensive tackle!
You seem to have this over inflated view of yourselves, thinking because you enjoy working on such a large scale stage, that somehow your opinion about everything matters. The NFL realizes the importance of its “image” so it has rules that specify the clothes and insignia you can wear, the language you use, and your “antics” after a touchdown or other “great” play. But somehow you and your employer don’t seem to care that you disgrace the entire nation and its 320 million people in the eyes of the world by publicly disrespecting this country, its flag, and its anthem! The taxpaying citizens of this country subsidize your plush work environments, yet you choose to use those venues to openly offend those very citizens.
Do you even understand what the flag of this country means to so many of its citizens before you choose to “take a knee” in protest of this “country” during our national anthem?
You may think because you are paid so much that your job is tough, but you are clueless when it comes to tough. Let me show you those whose job is really tough.
You are spoiled babies who stand around and have staff squirt GatorAid in your mouths, sit in front of misting cooling fans when it’s warm, and sit on heated benches when it’s cold. That’s not “tough” that’s pampered.
You think that you deserve to be paid excessively high salaries, because you play a “dangerous” game where you can incur career ending injuries. Let me show you career ending injuries!
You think you that you deserve immediate medical attention and the best medical facilities and doctors when injured. Let me show you what it’s like for those who really need and deserve medical attention.
You think you have the right to disrespect the flag of the United States, the one our veterans fought for, risked limbs and mental stability to defend, in many cases died for. Let me show you what our flag means to them, their families, and their friends.
You believe you are our heroes, when in reality you are nothing but overpaid entertainers, who exist solely for our enjoyment! Well, your current antics are neither entertaining nor enjoyable, but rather a disgrace to this country, its citizens, all our veterans and their families, and the sacrifices they have made to ensure this country remains free. You choose to openly disgrace this country in the eyes of the rest of the world, yet with all your money, still choose to live here rather than in any other country. People with even the slightest amount of “Class” will stand and respect our flag. Where does that put you? You want to see heroes… here are this countries heroes!
You can protest policies, the current government, or anything else you choose, that is your right. But when you “protest” our flag and anthem, you are insulting the nation we all live in and love, and all those who have served, been injured, or died to keep it free. There is nothing you can do or say that can make your actions anything more than the arrogance of classless people, who care about themselves more than our country or the freedoms for which our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much, to ensure you have the “right” to speak freely. Our country is far from perfect, but if you can point to any other country where your freedom and opportunities are better than they are here, then you just might want to go there and show respect for their flag!”
VIDEO “GOD BLESS AMERICA” Turn up sound
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)
REMEMBERING THOSE WHO GAVE SO MUCH!
Boyer Writes salutes all who serve.
Music Video: Turn up sound and for best viewing, enlarge screen.
If you missed the last blog about the 75th Liberation of Auschwitz, I would highly recommend that you go back and view it. Link: https://boyerwrites.com/2020/01/28/75-years-since-liberation-are-we-turning-our-backs/
In this blog, I am writing about the non-Jews that knew the risks they were taking when defying the Nazi Regime. We honor them and the”righteous gentiles” who risked everything to hide the Jewish families during World War II. One of the men who stood up again Hitler was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Christian pastor.
Few twentieth century theologians have had a bigger impact on theology than Bonhoeffer, a man who lived his faith and died at the hands of the Nazis. For Bonhoeffer, the theological was the personal, life and faith deeply intertwined—and to this day the world is inspired by that witness. (Google Books by Diane Reynolds)
…Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship,, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews….Bonhoeffer’s efforts for the underground seminaries included securing necessary funds… By August 1937, Himmler decreed the education and examination of Confessing Church ministry candidates illegal. In September 1937, the Gestapo closed the seminary at Finkenwalde, and by November arrested 27 pastors and former students.
It was around this time that Bonhoeffer published his best-known book, The Cost of Discipleship, a study on the Sermon on the Mount, in which he not only attacked “cheap grace” as a cover for ethical laxity, but also preached “costly grace.” He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later, he was transferred to Flossenburg Concentration Camp. (Flossenburg concentration camp, located outside Weiden, Germany, close to the Czech border, was established in 1938, mainly for political prisoners. Once the war began, however, other prisoners and Jews were housed there as well.Apr 11, 2008)
After being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler,he was quickly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then hanged on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing. 21 days later Adolf Hitler committed suicide. (Wikipedia)
Quotes by Bonhoeffer:
Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him.
On the cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers.
For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God.
So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes.
We must finally stop appealing to theology to justify our reserved silence about what the state is doing
for that is nothing but fear. ‘Open your mouth for the one who is voiceless
for who in the church today still remembers that that is the least of the Bible’s demands in times such as these.
The U.S. LIBERATION OF FLOSSENBURG:
…At approximately 10:30 hours on April 23, 1945, the first U.S. troops of the 90th Infantry Division arrived at Flossenburg KZ,. They were horrified at the sight of some 2,000 weak and extremely ill prisoners remaining in the camp and of the SS still forcibly evacuating those fit to endure the trek south. Elements of the 90th Division spotted those ragged columns of prisoners and their SS guards. The guards panicked and opened fire on many of the prisoners, killing about 200, in a desperate attempt to effect a road block of human bodies. American tanks opened fire on the Germans as they fled into the woods, reportedly killing over 100 SS troops.
Additionally, elements of the 97th Infantry Division participated in the liberation. As the 97th prepared to enter Czechoslovakia, Flossenburg concentration camp was discovered in the division’s sector of the Bavarian Forest. Brigadier General Milton B. Halsey, the commanding general of the 97th Division, inspected the camp on April 30, as did his divisional artillery commander, Brigadier General Sherman V. Hasbrouck. Hasbrouck, who spoke fluent German, directed a local German official to have all able-bodied German men and boys from that area help bury the dead. The 97th Division performed many duties at the camp upon its liberation. They assisted the sick and dying, buried the dead, interviewed former prisoners and helped gather evidence against former camp officers and guards for the upcoming war crimes trials.
One eyewitness U.S. Soldier, Sgt. Harold C. Brandt, a veteran of the 11th Armored Division, who was on hand for the liberation of not just one but three of the camps, Flossenburg, Mauthausen, and Gusen, when queried many years after the war on his part in liberating them, stated that “it was just as bad or worse than depicted in the movies and stories about the Holocaust. . . . I can not describe it adequately. It was sickening. How can other men treat other men like this’” (portion of an article By Colonel John R. Dabrowski, US Army Heritage and Education Center)
REMEMBER THE LIBERATION AND DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Video of the Remembrance of the U.S. Army Liberation of Flossenburg concentration camp where Bonhoeffer was executed. (filmed in 2019)
Turn up sound:
The survivors of the concentration camp, Auschwitz, were liberated by the Soviet Army on January 27, 1945. What they found shocked the world and yet, even today, the Jews of the world are still being persecuted. Why? The horror of these and many other photographs only tell part of the story. Does the world want to endure such atrocities again?
A Liberator Remembers:
MOSCOW (AFP) — It was the silence, the smell of ashes and the boundless surrounding expanse that struck Soviet soldier Ivan Martynushkin when his unit arrived in January 1945 to liberate the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.
As they entered the camp for the first time, the full horror of the Nazis’ crimes there were yet to emerge.
“Only the highest-ranking officers of the General Staff had perhaps heard of the camp,” recalled Martynushkin of his arrival to the site where at least 1.1 million people were killed between 1940 and 1945 — nearly 90 percent of them Jews. “We knew nothing.” But Martynushkin and his comrades soon learned.
After scouring the camp in search of a potential Nazi ambush, Martynushkin and his fellow soldiers “noticed people behind barbed wire. ‘It was hard to watch them. I remember their faces, especially their eyes which betrayed their ordeal,’ he said. The unit found roughly 7,000 prisoners left behind in Auschwitz by fleeing Nazis — those too weak or sick to walk. They also discovered about 600 corpses. Ten days earlier, the Nazis had evacuated 58,000 Auschwitz inmates in sub-zero conditions over hundreds of kilometers towards Loslau (now Wodzislaw Slaski in Poland). Survivors later remembered the “death march” as even worse than what they had endured in the camp.
Prior to that retreat, Nazi units had blown up parts of the camp, but failed to destroy evidence of their genocidal work. Among items discovered by Martynushkin and other Soviet troops were 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’s garments, and 7.7 tons of human hair, according to Sybille Steinbacher, a history professor at the University of Vienna.
January 27, 1945 — now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day — had begun as a normal day for the 21-year-old Martynushkin and his company, until the order was given to move towards the Polish town of Oswiecim, where Nazis had set up a network of concentration camps.
That led to the machine gun commander and his peers taking Auschwitz, liberating its survivors and discovering the nightmarish crimes that had been committed in the camp. (Moscow AFP)
OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) — On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland. The Germans had already fled westward, leaving behind the bodies of prisoners who had been shot and thousands of sick and starving survivors. The Soviet troops also found gas chambers and crematoria that the Germans had blown up before fleeing in an attempt to hide evidence of their mass killings. But the genocide was too massive to hide. Today, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau endures as the leading symbol of the terror of the Holocaust. Its iconic status is such that every year it registers a record number of visitors — 2.3 million last year alone.
Auschwitz today is many things at once: an emblem of evil, a site of historical remembrance and a vast cemetery. It is a place where Jews make pilgrimages to pay tribute to ancestors whose ashes and bones remain part of the earth.
AP Pictures of Auschwitz 75 years later:
Has the world not learned the lessons of history? Is it repeating history by “turning it’s back” on the Jews or any other group of people enduring hate and torment?” If so, this is a warning that should not be ignored. Charges have been made that modern-day Iran is the “most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.”
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Holocaust survivors and world leaders that the world turned its back on Jews during the Holocaust, teaching the Jewish people that under threat they can only rely on themselves.
Speaking at the World Holocaust Forum’s memorial to commemorate the 75th liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp at Yad Vashem, Netanyahu said the world was similarly failing to unify against Iran, which he charged was the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.
‘Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice, there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,’ Netanyahu said.” (article by Raoul Wootliff and Toi Staff Jan.2020)
Over and over, we hear “NEVER AGAIN”…Yet in one form or another, genocide is part of many cultures and places around the world. We must not forget…and we must not turn our backs on any place where the people are helpless victims to the evils of their leaders.
“It was my privilege to take American high school students to Auschwitz and because we went to see this place of evil, their lives will never be the same…and neither is mine.” N. Boyer of Boyer Writes
VIDEO OF THE 75th YEAR SINCE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ from the location at AUSCHWITZ in Poland
(This video is full length. It is worth watching even if it can only be watched in short intervals.) Turn up sound:
Being a country girl from North Carolina, I sometimes go back to my roots…shed the classical music that I love…and listen to the songs or Southern words of a “Good Old Boy…or Man.”
Here is one for you with the salute to the many States of the United States and the freedom that we enjoy. It is no wonder that so many from so far want to be a part of the “Land of the Free.”
Are we perfect?…by no means, but what we don’t like we can say so without the threat of being locked up to suffer alone with no way out.
Are we always “united” in all ways?…no, but we still are the United States of America…with all the diversity that can be in one land.
Our thanks to our forefathers who came from countries around the world to search for a new way of life…away from dictators to their lives and from persecution for their faith. Our thanks to our brave men and women who stand ready to defend this country against all foes. For those Americans who have given everything in foreign lands to maintain freedom for all, we give them our heart’s gratitude and our prayers.
Today I give you, the reader, a tribute and a pledge to MY BEAUTIFUL AMERICA by Charlie Daniels.
Boyer Writes honors all Veterans
THANK YOU for your service to our country!
While living part-time in Virginia, my husband and I were honored to interview a number of veterans of the Blue Ridge Mountain area. Many had never been interviewed about their service and were happy to finally tell their stories. This led to the writing of our book entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.
Their stories were amazing. We were honored to meet Sharon Plichta and her husband who served in Vietnam. Sharon was a military nurse who earned the Bronze Star for her bravery caring for the wounded under fire.
The veteran that I’d like to share with you from this book is Myron Cardward Harold of M.C., as he was called. He served in Korea with the U.S. Army’s 40th Division, 22nd Regiment. He was 21 years old as he fought across Heartbreak Ridge.
Here is a part of the chapter featuring this soldier of Valor in Korea:
Myron C. Harold, better known as “MC” has an amazing story of bravery when he served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was a Staff Sergeant who almost lost both his legs. The fighting had been so terrible in the middle of winter on what is known as Heartbreak Ridge and they were walking and fighting at night through the mountains. His legs were beginning to freeze and he was picked up in a truck and taken to a field hospital at the Yalu River.
When he arrived at a medic station, the soles of his shoes were worn out and flapping. By this time, both legs had frozen. The surgeons said, “We must take these legs off now. It can’t wait. We must do it now.” MC was prepared to face whatever he had to in order to live.
He says he does not remember getting to the medics. Now they were about to remove his legs and send him back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they had large fruit orchards that his father had started years before.
The surgeon that day in Korea wanted to help MC stand on his legs one more time before performing the operation. When he did, MC recalls with tears in his eyes, “It felt like a shot had gone all through my body.” Immediately the surgeon recognized that the blood had started flowing throughout MC’s legs. Removing the legs would not be necessary. “That was my miracle,” MC said with tears in his eyes.
After returning from Korea, MC and his son grew many acres of apples in the Blue Ridge. Today, as an elderly man, he is a resident at the V.A. hospital in Virginia. He had survived to tell his story of God’s miracle in a land far away.
Other veterans of the Blue Ridge interviewed served in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. They stand proud with all their comrades in arms who have faithfully served.
- Rob Redus ( In submarines…Vietnam)
- Dr. Tom Whartenby (Vietnam)
- Clinton Moles (World War II)
- Leonard Marshall (Survived the sinking of the USS Gambier by the Japanese)
- Troy Davis (World War II and recently passed away in Spain)
- Elmo McAlexander as an Army Medic during the Cold War
- Frank and Sharan Plichta (Vietnam)
- Paul Childress (World War II under Patton and guarded Dachau prisoner)
- Tommy Ellis (Served in the Marines and regularly is in an Honor Guard for those veterans who pass away.) Roy McAlexander also has served hundreds of the fallen at funerals.
To those who may be interested in the many stories of honor and courage in Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge Click here
Video below: God Bless the USA
Not enough credit is given to our Law Enforcers, Military and especially our Coast Guard. They are trying their best to keep harmful drug runs and smugglers away from our shores. Their apprehensions of these criminals keep thousands more Americans from dying from these dangerous drugs. The Coast Guard is truly a group of dedicated heroes.
The greed and delivery by those who market these drugs to our people come in the most unusual forms. See below a video of a brave Coast Guard member trying to get a specially made boat to surface. He is yelling over and over a command, that in English means, “Raise your boat now!!!” At his own peril, the Coast Guardsman jumped on the top of the vessel to make the arrests of five smugglers. Below is the Coast Guard report:
“The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro stopped the alleged smugglers in the eastern Pacific Ocean on June 18, according to a press release. Five people were detained and an estimated 17,000 pounds of cocaine were seized in the operation. The sub, which the Coast Guard characterized as “a purpose build smuggling vessel,” was “designed to hold large quantities of contraband while evading detection by law enforcement authorities,” the Coast Guard said. Coast Guard officials on Thursday offloaded some $569 million worth of drugs, including 39 tons of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana — at San Diego’s Naval Air Station North Island that had been seized from 14 vessels off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America since May. (Lee Moran of Huffpost)
The next time you say your prayers, remember those who serve in such a dangerous way and prevent another assault on our citizens through illegal drugs.
Video below (U.S. Coast Guard) Click twice
We, at Boyer Writes, wish all the lovers of FREEDOM and those who have served to give us lasting freedom, a very HAPPY 4TH of JULY!
Enjoy Music by: Jenny Oaks Baker is a Grammy-nominated American violinist and pianist, Condoleezza Rice who served as the 66th U.S. Secretary of State. Rice was the first female African-American to serve in this position. She also was the second female to serve as the National Security Advisor, after Madeleine Albright. (Wikipedia)
Some of our elderly veterans are heading to Normandy one last time. We are told that over 400 per day are passing away. If the young people in your family do not know about or don’t understand that our freedoms today are due to these brave men, give them a history lesson. It is extremely important to do so as we are told after World War II was over, and we went to liberate the death camps of the Holocaust… that “those who do not remember will live it over again.”
Blessings to all veterans on this June 6…D DAY.
Below is footage that will help us remember exactly what brave men did to keep Europe free. We must never forget.
Rare Old D-Day video: Turn up sound:
In 2016, I wrote my first historical novel. This was available online as a blog and then published as a paperback. More recently, I renewed this book called The Seeds and the updated version is now available on Amazon.
What is this book about? A brief summary is below:
After World War II, a number of high-ranking officers fled to places like Argentina. This question seemed to be of great interest to my blog readers. Some readers wrote emails that they knew where General Kammler had lived. One even said the General was an uncle who was elderly and had escaped prosecution.
General Kammler, as portrayed in this book, is entirely fiction. However, the accounts of him, are based on historical facts. From 1944, General Kammler was head of advanced weapons development in Nazi Germany, including the Me-262 jets, the V-2 rockets and perhaps even the exotic Bell Project. The enormous interest in General Kammler led me to explore the thoughts of where he might be hiding and exciting portrayal of him in The Seeds novel evolved.
Locations as described in this novel, such as the World Seed Vault in Norway…sometimes referred to as the “Doomsday Seed Vault”… are actual places that are active today. For many readers, other locations, people and culture of the Middle East are generally not understood by people around the world. The story involvement in the Middle East only increases the mystery behind the writing of this historical fiction. Link to The Seeds
In 2015, I posted this tribute to those who serve. I think it is good for another year and maybe many more to come….for we must not forget.
On this MEMORIAL DAY, Boyer Writes honors all those who responded to the call of duty to country and all freedom stands for….especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
After viewing the slide presentation, you may want to look at the different wars throughout history where and when the United States has sent troops to fight. We are just one country. Multiply this country and all wars of all countries in the world ….to make us one big, warring globe.
There are reasons, of course. Some fight for their independence. Others fight to maintain their freedom. Many fight to rule over the weak, sick, and impoverished.
There are those who fight and murder in the name of God…religious wars. Read your history and you will not be surprised for it happened when Muslims fought Christians; Christians fought in the Crusades; nations have tried to rid the world of Jews.
The Holy Scriptures tell us that we will call for “Peace…Peace….but there is no peace…” Those who make predictions believe that before the coming of Christ to the earth a second time, there will be the greatest of all wars….in the Middle East. This is not something for optimism. Nevertheless, we are also told to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”….and the world. We cannot control governments, groups, or individuals who hate and destroy…but pray we can do.
” I pray that an Omnipotent Providence will summon all persons of goodwill to the realization of the utter futility of war. We have known the bitterness of defeat, the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned that there is no turning back. We must preserve in peace, what we won in war. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery has in fact now reached a point that revises the traditional concept of war. War, the most malignant scourge, and greatest sin of mankind, can no longer be controlled, only ABOLISHED! We are in a new era. If we do not devise some greater and more equitable means of settling disputes between nations, Armageddon will be at our door…”
A MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE
( Click on arrow; turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing. Music by St. Olaf Choir) Warning: disturbing scenes of war wounded)
Choose and click on a war listed to read information.
- 2.1 Colonial wars (1620–1774)
- 2.2 War of Independence (1775–1783)
- 2.3 Early national period (1783–1812)
- 2.4 War of 1812
- 2.5 War with Mexico (1846–48)
- 2.6 American Civil War (1861–1865)
- 2.7 Post-Civil War era (1865–1917)
- 2.8 Modernization
- 2.9 Banana Wars (1898–1935)
- 2.10 Moro Rebellion (1899–1913)
- 2.11 Mexico (1910–1919)
- 2.12 World War I (1917–1918)
- 2.13 Russian Revolution
- 2.14 1920s: Naval disarmament
- 2.15 1930s: Neutrality Acts
- 2.16 World War II (1941–1945)
- 2.17 Cold War era (1945–1991)
- 2.18 Post–Cold War era (1991–2001)
- 2.19 War on Terrorism (2001–present)
- 2.20 Iraq
- 2.21 Libyan intervention
- The on-going war on terrorism The War on Terror (also known as the Global War on Terrorism) is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign which started as a result of the Sept 11,2001 terrorist attack on the United States. This resulted in an international military campaign to eliminate al-Qaeda; other militant organizations and jihadi groups. The United Kingdom and many other NATO and non-NATO nations participate in the conflict.
This Christmas we will be having a guest who works here in Florida as a Safety Engineer at Universal Studios. She is Japanese and a friend and business acquaintance of our son. We are happy that she will be a part of our Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. Who would have believed that Japan, after being such an enemy with the attack on our troops and ships at Pearl Harbor would rebuild and become a world power with our help? Who would believe that the next generations would be our friends?
Several years ago, I was invited to Japan as an American educator from Florida by the Japanese government. The first meeting that the Americans had with a Japanese diplomat surprisingly was a speech of apology for the war. We were given a warm welcome to stay in the country, visit schools and have home stays with a Japanese family. It was the country’s way of thanking Americans, after so many years, for helping rebuild the country after World War II. It was a wonderful experience to be emersed in the Japanese culture.
Today is December 7th when we remember Pearl Harbor and the price that was paid by so many in this attack…resulting in the thousands who died in battles with the Japanese and Germans. Many ended up in prison camps after the United States Congress voted to enter the war. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan ended the war, but the horrors were profound.
The rebuilding process began and today Japan is a wonderful place to visit. My husband and I went to Mt. Fuji during autumn and enjoyed the beautiful Japanese maples. We hope to visit Washington, D.C. when the Japanese cherry blossoms are in bloom. While we were in Japan, we went to the Memorial of the USS Arizona. To know that the sailors who perished there are still entombed in their sunken ship was an emotional experience.
Recently I found a video that was interesting as it gave some of the details of the attack on Pearl Harbor of which some may not be aware.
Video (Turn up sound)
In Honor of President George H.W. Bush
From Retired Navy Chaplain, William J. Boyer, and his wife, Nancy of Boyer Writes
The Christian service of President Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (Turn up sound)
This post is in honor of all veterans and their families who have given so much for the country they love, the United States of American. God Bless You!
VIDEO: Passengers on an airline witness the bringing home one of our bravest and finest. Thank you to all USA Veterans, for your service.
IN HONOR OF Green Beret WO1 Shawn Thomas
Are most people frightened to some extent about “diversity”? If someone looks different from ourselves…speaks a language we don’t understand or in some way doesn’t fit our own mold…yes, there is fear. The actual definition is “the inclusion of different types of people, such as people of different races or cultures.” During War Time…or in peacetime when people of different cultures and languages storm our borders (or threaten an invasion which may result in large camping tents and holding places), the lessons of history flash in our minds and brings us back to another day and time…Japanese internment camps.
There was mistrust throughout the U.S. of anyone Japanese or looked Japanese. Eventually, internment camps began to grow as Americans became unsure of whom they could trust. Fear was definitely in the air.
“After World War II was over, it took until 1988 for Congress to attempt to apologize for the action by awarding each surviving intern $20,000 when President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act. While the American concentration camps never reached the levels of Nazi death camps as far as atrocities are concerned, they remain a dark mark on the nation’s record of respecting civil liberties and cultural differences.” (Wikipedia)
Let’s take a look at what diversity among people was able to do during those bleak years. Perhaps it can give us some hope for the loyalty of diverse peoples who may seek citizenship in the future.
You may never have heard of Kazuo Yamane or even the word, Nisei. However, the diversity that he represents in our society is of greatest importance.
( The word Nisei means a native-born citizen of the United States or Canada whose parents were Japanese immigrants.)
Had it not been for Kazuo Yamane and thousands of Japanese Americans nisei like him, from Hawaii, we would have had a difficult time winning World War II. An award-winning film, Proof of Loyalty, has been made about his struggle as an educated Japanese to overcome the divisions that also separate us and ultimately to use his own native language talents as a trusted interpreter for the American military during some of the worst days of the war.
Where did it all begin for Kazuo Yamane?
From the PROOF OF LOYALTY film:
“Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii tells the story of a Japanese American who played a crucial strategic role in World War II. He and his fellow Nisei from Hawaii combatted prejudice and discrimination to loyally serve their country. Their extraordinary service, mostly untold, ultimately changed the course of U.S. history.
Kazuo Yamane’s father, Uichi, came to Hawaii in the late 19th century with nothing and built a successful family business. His eldest son, Kazuo, first educated in the discriminatory school system in Hawaii, eventually graduated from Waseda University, the Harvard of Japan, and returned to Hawaii just before the Pearl Harbor attack. Drafted just before the war he became part of what would be the War Department’s most successful social experiment, taking Nisei troops from Hawaii and forming the 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit made up of a group entirely related to a country we were at war with. Their success was spectacular, but Kazuo was plucked from their ranks for his exceptional knowledge of Japanese, which would lead him to the Pentagon, to a secret facility in northern Maryland, and finally to serving under Eisenhower in Europe. Most importantly, he would identify a secret document which would help to shorten the war in the Pacific.
The absolute loyalty of the Nisei to America in World War II, despite discrimination and incarceration, provides an insight for us today. These American citizens used whatever skills they had to protect their beloved country, even while many Americans suspected them of being the enemy. The War Department trusted them and through them gained both a military advantage by strength and sacrifice on the battlefield to important intelligence behind the lines. Diversity powers America, but also keeps us safe — one only has to look at the Nisei to provide ample proof.
The story of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii is a unique one, and as with any unique story, it is difficult to tell in a way that is both comprehensive and personal. But PROOF OF LOYALTY manages to do just that, using the inspiring story of World War II hero Kazuo Yamane as a window into the Japanese-American experience in Hawaii.
During World War II, the United States interned over 100,000 Japanese-Americans in camps. But of the over 150,000 Japanese-Americans in Hawaii, less than 2,000 were interned. In fact, a select group of a few hundred Japanese-American men in Hawaii were recruited to translate Japanese for the American Army. These troops, known as the 100th Infantry Battalion, were seen as an experiment that would prove whether any Japanese-Americans could truly be trusted to be loyal to the United States.
These men proved not only to be loyal, but also instrumental to winning the war.
Men like Kazuo Yamane are a reminder of what truly makes America great. Japanese-Americans had no obligation to love the United States during World War II. The discrimination they faced is a stain on American history, revealing the darkest, ugliest impulses of American society. Yet the brave Japanese-American soldiers we see in PROOF OF LOYALTY risked everything for their country and ended up saving countless lives through their translation work. They prove that America’s strength comes not from military might, but from diversity. This film may be about men from decades past, but it couldn’t be more relevant.
(quoted from the Asian American International Film Festival)
There is one very interesting point brought out in the film. The thousands of Nisei received military training while in Hawaii. They were ready to fight. One day a ship arrived. The men were told to meet the ship, remove their weapons, and board. They did. When they found out that they were headed to the U.S. mainland, they feared the worse. Perhaps they were going to be placed in the internment camps. However, that was not the plan. The men were to form their own units to fight with the other Americans. The 442 Regimental Combat Team, which was composed primarily of Japanese Americans, served with uncommon distinction. Many of these U.S. soldiers serving in the unit had families who were held in the internment camps in the United States while they fought abroad. They fought with bravery and many died…as the Americans they were.
PROOF OF LOYALTY short trailer video Turn up sound
IN HONOR OF HIS MEMORY and SERVICE
Thank you for your service to the United States of America, Senator McCain
In case you missed the ceremony in Arizona, one of the speakers told a story about an incident in the Senator’s 5-year imprisonment in Vietnam: “At one point, John McCain was being tortured for hours with his hands tied tightly behind his back. Left there to linger, a guard walked in late in the evening and loosened the ropes. At about 4 am, the same guard returned and tightened them again. Most likely so that it would not be known what he had done earlier. Later, McCain saw the same man and recognized him. This guard walked over to the sand…and with his foot drew a cross for McCain to see. He smoothed over the sand and walked away.”
God never leaves us even in the worst of places.
This is the third and last in my series on the American veterans who fought and died. Today we think about the men and women who served in Vietnam. The bravery, discouragement, and aftermath of the war is related in some of the stories in my new book shown at right.
Some facts about the Americans who were sent to this war:
- The Vietnam War was a long, costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies, known as the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The purpose was to stop communist aggression. It started on or about November 1, 1955 and lasted until April 30, 1975, which is roughly 20 years.
- This divisive war, increasingly unpopular at home, ended with the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973 and the unification of Vietnam under Communist control two years later.
- More than 3 million people, including 58,000 Americans, were killed in the war. (credit History.com)
Many Vietnam vets are still living on our American streets today suffering from the mental anguish of the war. Others have lingering diseases from agent-orange that was used in battles.
Some Americans left for Canada to escape going to Vietnam and they too must live with that decision. The rejection many felt as they finally returned home to the U.S. after the war was a cause of great discouragement. Others fought with honor, whether in the medical corp or flying the helicopters to rescue the injured. The ground troops crawled into holes to find the Viet Cong and often carried their fellow soldiers and marines through the hot jungles. It was a brutal and long 20 years.
The Day Saigon fell to the Communists: There was the final day when the last American helicopter left Vietnam. My doctor was fortunate enough to leave as a child, but the desperation of those Vietnamese left behind was a terrible thing.
“The North Vietnamese Communists closed in on the South Vietnamese city of Saigon. The U.S. desperately evacuated the last remaining Americans on April 29, 1975. But the city fell to the North Vietnamese on this Day, 41 years ago, April 30, 1975…The people were to wait for the code signal, which was the playing of the song “White Christmas.” On the morning of April 29, the strains of the Bing Crosby classic signaled that those leaving had to get to designated landing zones…President Ford ordered an immediate evacuation of American civilians and Vietnamese refugees as the NVA closed in. US Marines and Air Force conducted an airlift of more than 1,000 Americans and over 7,000 refugees over an 18 hour period. They called it Operation Frequent Wind…Thousands upon thousands of South Vietnamese people tried to get on the helicopters as they left. Many had to be pushed down in order to take off. Fear and panic had gripped the people, who knew full well what would happen as the Communist NVA took over the country. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese people stormed the gates of the US Embassy, desperately crying out for help…Vietnamese veterans, many of whom have terrifying memories of the war, remember another airlift called Operation Babylift.” (The first plane crashed. Out of the more than 300 people on board, the death toll included 78 children and about 50 adults, including Air Force personnel. More than 170 survived…..Read this amazing story from this link: Operation Babylift. )
The pictures shown on the video below may be a family member. A Vietnam veteran may recognize himself. If so, he will certainly remember his blood, sweat and tears. Some pictures are not easy to see and the hardship for all is undeniable. Read carefully the words under each picture as they represent men and women of great valor.
This is the second in our series on the wars that our American veterans fought. Today we remember the veterans who fought in Korea. It was my privilege to hear the stories of those who bravely fought. I have included these veterans in my recent book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, seen opposite right.
This blog gives the facts that led up to the American involvement in the war and the results that last even to this day. Today, July 27, 2018, was an important day for those families that never had the opportunity to bury their brave men, as North Korea finally began the return of the remains promised. We know there are many more, around 3,500, and POWs who may still be in N. Korea.
Below is a video that explains the Korean war. Again, I would suggest that you forward this blog to a young person in the family that may have little understanding of this part of history. History needs to be remembered.
VIDEO (by Andrew Hein) Turn up sound.
Having just finished writing and publishing a book on veterans who fought against tyranny around the world, I began to wonder if our recent generations truly understand what these wars were all about. If you have a teen in your house or an appreciator of history, this is the time to share this blog.
My book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, not only gives the stories of World War II veterans, but of those in the Korean and Vietnam wars. (Click on book at far right for more information)
Therefore, as difficult and as unentertaining as it may be….for it seems the world only wants entertainment, I plan to run a series of three blogs introducing the reasons for each war mentioned and the results of great battles and great loss of life on both sides of the wars.
History is to be learned from…or we will live it again…with even worse consequences. Here is a quote worth pondering:
“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein.
There were several versions of his quote: Supposedly, Professor Albert Einstein was asked by friends at a dinner party what new weapons might be employed in World War III. Appalled at the implications, he shook his head. After several minutes of meditation, he said. “I don’t know what weapons might be used in World War III. But there isn’t any doubt what weapons will be used in World War IV.” “And what are those?” a guest asked. “Stone spears,” said Einstein.
This quote (or at least a version of it) dates back to the 1940s when the first nuclear weapons were being developed. Although Albert Einstein didn’t actually develop the atom bomb, his work did make such a device possible. Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible. (Snopes Fact Checking)
Anyone who turns on a TV today is worried that some person or government will go too far and trigger the next great war. Life as we know it could come to a screeching halt from a computer hacker based anywhere in the world. Every phase of our lives, from our energy and water supplies, banking, grocery stores, hospitals, fire and police, cell phones, nuclear plants and much more are controlled by the electronics of today. Einstein was a genius, but even he may not have seen that nuclear devastation may not be the only end of life as we know it. Regardless, the wars that we have fought with our allies in the past were for one purpose…to keep the world free from tyranny and to give us “peace on earth.”
Yes, PEACE…what a wonderful word. The Holy Scriptures tell us… “Peace, Peace and there is no peace.” (Ezekial 13:10) and yet we are told not to lose hope for Christ said… “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14.27
Yet, so often we are afraid…afraid of what the future may hold. We cannot forget the sacrifices of those who believed that FREEDOM was worth dying for. We, or the next generations, must not forget their stories and what they represented to us who are left to lead and to guide our nations. We have freedom of choice because of them.
Below is the first in a historical series to come: World War II…Korea, and Vietnam
VIDEO with narration. Turn up sound
Today is a good day! I am looking forward to a new book to hold in my hands and share with others. Over a year ago, my husband, a retired Navy Chaplain, and I started interviewing our American veterans in the Blue Ridge mountains for a new book called, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge. This week I sent it to the publishers. We are excited to share this news with our readers. Stay tuned for a special availability announcement of the book hopefully in the next couple weeks on Amazon.
We think the people whose stories were shared with us will be a real inspiration…and their stories needed to be told. Some are in their 90’s and are in nursing homes. We are losing our American World War II veterans and those of our allies at an alarming rate. Hopefully, there will be many books that share their stories. During the terrible battles to keep freedom alive, hope often seemed dim as the bombs dropped and men and women died. There were many prayers for miracles. Our book covers other men and women who served in Korea and Vietnam. It gives honor to those serving their country in the fight against terrorism in more recent battles.
Below is a video of some beautiful children singing in honor of all World War II veterans as they walk on the very ground where furious battles were fought.
One Voice Children’s Choir, under the direction of Masa Fukuda, performs “When You Believe.” Filmed on-location at Omaha Beach and Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France. Performed in English, Hebrew and French. This song is dedicated to all the soldiers who fought in World War II, including those who fought at Normandy’s Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches in the D-Day Invasion; and to the millions of Jewish victims who lost their lives during the Nazi Holocaust. (video credit)
We add our appreciation and honor for American and Allied veterans in all wars since WWII.
VIDEO (Turn on sound)
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia are small towns with people who will never forget those brave men and women who left their farms and home places to fight for our country and freedom in the world. Throughout the rolling countryside and along the blue colored ridges of the mountains… filled with cattle, fields, and beautiful wildflowers, one will find small family graves with an American flag. This will always indicate that the person buried there served in an American war.
On this Memorial Day, the young Military Science students and the older men and women of this Blue Ridge area remember the Fallen of all wars and pray prayers for the many POW-MIA’s who are still missing. (Slide show below)
As my husband and I joined in this day of Remembrance, I’m in the midst of writing a new book about American military veterans, entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, which should be on Amazon by July, 2018.
My interviews with those who went to serve during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been eye-opening. These are people of great courage and fortitude. Millions did not return, but for those here in the Blue Ridge, these men forged new lives and continued to make our FREE America an even better place.
One chapter in my book will feature the Childress family in the Blue Ridge who had four men in the military at once during World War II. Paul (upper right picture and with wife and baby) served in Patton’s Command in France.
The women of the Blue Ridge served as well, including Francis Childress, a cousin to Paul. Other chapters will take notice of a female military nurse who was awarded the Bronze Star. The Bronze Star Medal is a decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, valor, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.
As I read memoirs and listened, I learned that fighting on Heart Break Ridge in Korea with legs frozen, slipping out of camp at night in France during World War II to find food for hungry soldiers, spending weeks in the confines of a submarine, fighting off boredom and jungle heat in Vietnam or losing limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq were difficult and in most cases horrible experiences. It was their part of life that they were willing to share with me and I am grateful because I will never look at a veteran again in the same way.
This is why I write this blog to encourage you to take an hour or so on Memorial Day from your interest in sports events, picnics or other activities to give our military the honor they so deserve. Your freedom today is what they did to keep us free. It is important that our children and grandchildren are taught history and the meaning of our national Memorial Day. I was amazed to see that since the last Memorial Day ceremony of 2017, in the small town of Galax, VA. that 90+ people had died who were veterans in this part of the Blue Ridge. We are rapidly losing those who fought in World War II and their stories should be told.
To those whose lives and deaths were the ultimate sacrifice….there is not enough thanks in heaven or earth to give to you…but we will try.
To the gravely wounded warriors who have come home and forged new lives, we give you honor. We have contacted this brave warrior for an interview that will shed light on all those who have suffered so much.
Thank you to all veterans…men and women. We give tribute to all the wives and families that were left behind to faithfully live and wait for their loved ones to return home.
VIDEO Turn up sound (Credit “American Soldier” by Toby Keith)
As the world becomes extremely tense and upset over the situation in Syria, the average person probably wonders what this is all about. The horrors of it, with chemical attacks on little children and civilians, make it a matter of total world concern. What is happening in Syria could happen in any country.
The best explanation with charts and statistics that I have seen so far is the following article posted by the BBC (British Broadcasting Company). At the end of this article is the question….”Will this war ever end?” That question is a hard one and is probably on everyone’s mind.
BBC ARTICLE BELOW:
Why is there a war in Syria?
A peaceful uprising against the president of Syria seven years ago has turned into a full-scale civil war. The conflict has left more than 350,000 people dead, devastated cities and drawn in other countries.
How did the Syrian war start?
Even before the conflict began, many Syrians were complaining about high unemployment, corruption and a lack of political freedom under President Bashar al-Assad, who succeeded his late father Hafez in 2000.
In March 2011, pro-democracy demonstrations erupted in the southern city of Deraa, inspired by the “Arab Spring” in neighboring countries.
When the government used deadly force to crush the dissent, protests demanding the president’s resignation erupted nationwide.
The unrest spread and the crackdown intensified. Opposition supporters took up arms, first to defend themselves and later to rid their areas of security forces. Mr Assad vowed to crush what he called “foreign-backed terrorism”.
The violence rapidly escalated and the country descended into civil war.
How many people have died?
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group with a network of sources on the ground, had documented the deaths of 353,900 people by March 2018, including 106,000 civilians.
The figure did not include 56,900 people who it said were missing and presumed dead. The group also estimated 100,000 deaths had not been documented.
Meanwhile, the Violations Documentation Center, which relies on activists inside Syria, has recorded what it considers violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, including attacks on civilians.
It had documented 185,980 battle-related deaths, including 119,200 civilians, by February 2018.
What is the war about?
It is now more than a battle between those for or against Mr. Assad.
Many groups and countries – each with their own agendas – are involved, making the situation far more complex and prolonging the fighting.
Such divisions have led both sides to commit atrocities, torn communities apart and dimmed hopes of peace.
They have also allowed the jihadist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda to flourish.
Syria’s Kurds, who want the right of self-government but have not fought Mr Assad’s forces, have added another dimension to the conflict.
The government’s key supporters are Russia and Iran, while the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia back the rebels.
Russia – which already had military bases in Syria – launched an air campaign in support of Mr. Assad in 2015 that has been crucial in turning the tide of the war in the government’s favor.
The Russian military says its strikes only target “terrorists” but activists say they regularly kill mainstream rebels and civilians.
Iran is believed to have deployed hundreds of troops and spent billions of dollars to help Mr. Assad.
Thousands of Shia Muslim militiamen armed, trained and financed by Iran – mostly from Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, but also Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen – have also fought alongside the Syrian army.
The US, UK, France and other Western countries have provided varying degrees of support for what they consider “moderate” rebels.
A global coalition they lead has also carried out air strikes on IS militants in Syria since 2014 and helped an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) capture territory from the jihadists.
Turkey has long supported the rebels but it has focused on using them to contain the Kurdish militia that dominates the SDF, accusing it of being an extension of a banned Kurdish rebel group in Turkey.
Saudi Arabia, which is keen to counter Iranian influence, has also armed and financed the rebels.
Israel, meanwhile, has been so concerned by shipments of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah in Syria that it has conducted air strikes in an attempt to thwart them.
How has the country been affected?
As well as causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, the war has left 1.5 million people with permanent disabilities, including 86,000 who have lost limbs.
At least 6.1 million Syrians are internally displaced, while another 5.6 million have fled abroad.
Neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, where 92% of them now live, have struggled to cope with one of the largest refugee exoduses in recent history.
The warring parties have made the problems worse by refusing aid agencies access to many of those in need. Almost 3 million people live in besieged or hard-to-reach areas.
Syrians also have limited access to healthcare.
Physicians for Human Rights had documented 492 attacks on 330 medical facilities by the end of December 2017, resulting in the deaths of 847 medical personnel.
Much of Syria’s rich cultural heritage has also been destroyed. All six of the country’s six Unesco World Heritage sites have been damaged significantly.
Entire neighborhoods have been leveled across the country.
INTERACTIVE See how Jobar, Eastern Ghouta, has been destroyed
How is the country divided?
The government has regained control of Syria’s biggest cities but large parts of the country are still held by rebel groups and the Kurdish-led SDF alliance.
The largest opposition stronghold is the north-western province of Idlib, home to more than 2.6 million people.
Despite being designated a “de-escalation zone”, Idlib is the target of an offensive by the government, which says it is targeting jihadists linked to al-Qaeda.
A ground assault is also underway in the Eastern Ghouta. Its 393,000 residents have been under siege by the government since 2013, and are facing intense bombardment as well as severe shortages of food and medical supplies.
The SDF meanwhile controls most territory east of the River Euphrates, including the city of Raqqa. Until 2017, it was the de facto capital of the “caliphate” proclaimed by IS, which now controls only a few pockets across Syria.
Will the war ever end?
It does not look like it will any time soon but everyone agrees a political solution is required.
But nine rounds of UN-mediated peace talks – known as the Geneva II process – since 2014 have shown little progress.
President Assad has appeared increasingly unwilling to negotiate with the opposition. The rebels still insist he must step down as part of any settlement.
Meanwhile, Western powers have accused Russia of undermining the peace talks by setting up a parallel political process.
The so-called Astana process saw Russia host a “Congress of National Dialogue” in January 2018. However, most opposition representatives refused to attend.
Put down your phones…and give this some thought. This post is especially for the young people of our country.
When you look at older people in a restaurant or some other place, what do you see? Would it occur to you, as a young person, that this person may have made it possible for you to sit there playing with your phone? Yes, I know all the Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (and more) founders are young. However, I’m not talking about them. I am talking about those who didn’t become rich, but gave their all for us and liberty.
What do I mean? I’m going to tell you because it is possible that you have missed knowing some of the greatest people in the world because you have not learned the art of asking questions. What kind of questions? Something like….”What did you do when you were my age and didn’t have cell phones?” That person with the grey hair and a limp may have something very interesting to share with you. In fact, it could change your life more than anything you might see or learn on social media.
Another thought ran through my mind as I began to write this post. A neighbor’s husband had passed away. She had a set of encyclopedias that belonged to a distant relative who would have experienced World War II. They were written in German. When asked about them, I heard a story of a family who emigrated to America after the horrors of that war. She said that none of her children wanted any of the things that were part of their history.
I have been hearing this statement many time recently…that the young families don’t want anything that belonged to Grandma or Grandpa…or even their own parents. Why? It is “old stuff.” Is family history not as important to our youth and their parents as their cell phones?
You will notice that I have mentioned electronics several times. This is because more often than not families who have gone out to spend time together are rarely doing so. The children are playing their games or texting. The parents are checking emails or answering their phones. Little time is actually spent talking to one another. Don’t get me wrong. Cell phones have their place, but I would encourage you to put them down for a while and experience life around you. If you know an older person, ask a few questions that will give you special insight into life. They are often the brave who left everything to keep us a free nation.
When I took students to Auschwitz in Poland, the one thing they learned was this…“Those who do not remember history will live it over again.” Too much was sacrificed to let that happen. Young people, there have been many sacrifices for you. I hope you are asking right now…what do you mean?
- Men and women fought and died to prevent aggression into our country. They are still doing that.
- Men, such as Dr. Martin L. King Jr., fought to give all people civil rights.
- Mothers and fathers have worked hard to give you the things of life that you need. That may include your cell phone…but food and a warm bed are more important. Remember that you are not entitled, but blessed.
By the way, if you see a person wearing a uniform or a hat that reads where they served, don’t be shy. Go right up to them and say, “Thank you for your service.” That will make their day…especially coming from a young person. This also includes policemen, medics and fire fighters.
In the video below, you are going to hear a song about an Old Army Hat. There may be one in your house or it could be an American flag neatly folded and displayed in a wooden box. Ask about it. There is a story there. Then, if you must, use your phone and tell someone about what you have learned…or better still, tell them face to face. That way they can see you smile and point to something important to you and your family history. If your family member with the grey hair is still living, let fly the questions. I bet you’ll get amazing answers that could change your life.
VIDEO (turn up sound)