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)
On Valentine’s Day, when the world was hearing about the terrible tragedy in a Florida school, a ceremony and a Missing Man Formation fly over was happening for a hero at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C. The ashes of a brave military veteran were being laid to rest.
Sometimes we have to stop and think of those who have been extraordinarily brave as they paid a price for FREEDOM. This is why I want to write about Col. Leo K. Thorsness, a recipient of the Medal of Honor in the U.S.A.
The Medal of Honor is presented by the President of the United States for valor in service to his country. Col. Leo K. Thorsness received that honor and what made it extremely special to him was that he was nominated for the honor by his peers.
This is his story as a patriot and POW (Prisoner of War) who spent years of torture and abuse at the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War. Because he understood personally what a POW goes through, he spoke out that President Trump owed all prisoners of war an apology when the President said, concerning Senator John McCain, that he “liked those who weren’t captured.”
COL. LEO K. THORSNESS
“Col. Thorsness joined the Air Force in 1952 and was sent to Vietnam in 1966 as a member of a squadron known as the Wild Weasels, whose mission was to destroy surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) based in North Vietnam. On April 19, 1967, Col. Thorsness was the lead pilot in a strike force of four U.S. F-105 fighter-bombers attacking SAM positions near Hanoi. He and his electronic warfare officer, Harold Johnson, knocked out one site with a missile and scored a direct hit on another with bombs. But they soon realized that one plane in their group had been hit, and the crew members had ejected. While flying in circles over the parachuting airmen, Col Thorsness spotted an enemy MiG-17 fighter jet and shot it down. As U.S. rescue helicopters approached, Col Thorsness heard through his radio that another MiG formation was nearby. Despite being low on fuel and ammunition, he flew through anti-aircraft fire and single-handedly engaged four MiGs in aerial combat for 50 minutes. Col Thorsness pursued one MiG, “flying right up his tailpipe,” he said later, and damaged it with cannon fire. Flying as low as 50 feet above the ground and as fast as 900 MPH, he chased the other MiGs from the area. As he returned to his base, he was about to refuel from an airborne tanker when he learned that another F-105 in his group was in even greater need of fuel. Col. Thorsness let the other plane go to the tanker, hoping he could glide back to safety on fumes. When he touched down, his fuel tanks were empty.
Major Thorsness and Captain Johnson flew this Republic F-105F-1-RE Thunderchief, 63-8301, on 19 April 1967. It was one of 61 F-105Fs that were upgraded to the F-105G Wild Weasel III configuration beginning in late 1967. It survived the Vietnam War, but was destroyed 20 December 1974 when, assigned to the 35th TFW at George AFB, California, it crashed at the Cuddeback Lake Gunnery Range after an engine failure. (U.S. Air Force)
Eleven days later, on April 30,1967, Col Thorsness was shot down over North Vietnam on this 93rd mission. Ejecting from his plane at 600 mph, he suffered serious leg injuries before he and Johnson were taken prisoner. For the first year, Col Thorsness was held in solitary confinement and tortured almost every day. His back was broken in four places. Another Air Force pilot, Fred V. Cherry, was tortured for teaching Col. Thorsness and other POWs a system of communication by tapping on walls. While at the Hanoi Hilton, Col Thorsness shared a tiny cell with John McCain and two other men. “Other than when they took you out to beat you or interrogate you, you were together 24 hours a day,” Col. Thorsness told the Huntsville Times in Alabama in 2008. “You get to know each other so well, talking about your families, failures, weaknesses, hopes and dreams, everything.” He and McCain were released in 1973. Later that year, Col Thorsness received the Medal of Honor from President Richard M. Nixon; he then retired from the military…While at the Hanoi Hilton, Col. Thorsness and other prisoners measured their cell, calculating that one mile equaled 225 laps around the cell’s 23-foot circumference. By walking 60 miles a week, Col Thorsness figured that he could cover the distance to the United States – 10,000 miles – in about three years. “All of a sudden it became 100% real to us,” he said in 1992. “If we could walk home in our cell, we knew whatever had to happen in the world would happen, and we really would get home.” Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Leo K. Thorsness died May 2, 2017. He was 85. Survivors include his wife since 1953, the former Gayle Anderson; a daughter; and two grandchildren. (taken in part from a comment on video shown below)
VIDEO INTERVIEW OF COL. LEO K. THORSNESS (turn up sound)
What is a Missing Man Formation?
The missing man formation (sometimes instead flyby or flypast) is an aerial salute performed as part of a flypast of aircraft at a funeral or memorial event, typically in memory of a fallen pilot, a well-known military service member or veteran, or a well-known political figure. Several variants of the formation are seen. The formation most commonly used in the United States is based on the”finger-four” aircraft combat formation composed of two pairs of aircraft. The aircraft fly in a V-shape with the flight leader at the point and his wingman on his left. The second element leader and his wingman fly to his right. The formation flies over the ceremony low enough to be clearly seen and the second element leader abruptly pulls up out of the formation while the rest of the formation continues in level flight until all aircraft are out of sight. In an older variant, the formation is flown with the second element leader position conspicuously empty. In another variation, the flight approaches from the south, preferably near sundown, and one of the aircraft will suddenly split off to the west, flying into the sunset. In all cases, the aircraft performing the pull-up, split off, or missing from the formation, is honoring the person (or persons) who has died, and it represents their departure. (from Wikipedia)
We agree with Col. Thorsness that our most precious commodity in this country is FREEDOM.
Below is a video example of the Missing Man Fly Over at Arlington Cemetery
In case you missed it…or didn’t plan to watch it…or for any other reason, you decided to turn the channel…here is one of the most beautiful songs for patriotic Americans and some history of the Heritage Foundation and the great pilots who did the Super Bowl Fly-Over.
The Fly-Over 2018:
“The Fly-Over this year was an interesting mix of aircraft flying over U.S. Bank Stadium. There were four planes representing three generations of aircraft for the flyover: F-16, A-10 and P-51. They were flying in a diamond formation with the P-51 out in front, the A-10s even with each other on the side and the F-16 bringing up the rear.” It was the United States Air Force effort to preserve and present planes of the past.
The Heritage Foundation: ” Founded in 2010, it’s a nonprofit that brings together historic aircraft with contemporary fighters for public displays. Its charitable mission to make those planes available for events like this one. The flights are a living memorial to those who have served and are still serving.” (click on link to learn more about the Foundation)
The picture above is a representation of the aircraft in the actual Fly-Over.
“It’s a really unique formation to take a look at, because you never really get to see those vintage aircraft flying with modern fighters.”
“The heritage formation is unique. It’s usually just four modern day fighters that are all similar operating at similar speeds and used to doing a flyover together,” Maj. John Waters, the F-16 pilot, said.
“It’s a sign of strength and unity and the sacrifices that have been made… ” (from SBNation by Ryan Van Bibber)
In honor of all branches of the military, we present:
The Military Honor Guard and THE NATIONAL ANTHEM (turn up your sound…way up! If blocked, click on YouTube link given.)
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
The couple you are going to meet has decided to meet life head-on. They have faith that could have been shattered, but they didn’t allow it to happen. Serving his country, the unthinkable happened. He would be blind for the rest of his life. Hear his story and the words of his beautiful wife. Be inspired and realize that at times the joy we receive in life has to be worked for. This is how they are finding their joy.
CLICK THIS LINK FOR A VIDEO OF INSPIRATION
(Detroit Free Press)
Perhaps we should all take a deep breath and listen to the real words of our President. What a wonderful family this is, who has lost so much. Natasha De Alencar’s husband of 15 years, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, was killed in Afghanistan in April during a firefight with jihadis from the Islamic State. He was a member of the 7th Special Forces Group. She felt it was important to release this phone call.
Respectful words from both sides of the phone…as it should be. GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY and THEIR WIVES and CHILDREN.
CLICK ON THIS LINK and THEN ON THE PICTURE
HURRICANE IRMA HITS FLORIDA …SEPTEMBER 2017
Help is pouring into Florida from many states around the country. Not only are they the National Guard but also Power Companies that have staged hundreds of trucks ready to move. As of 9-16, there are still people in Florida without power, but they are continuing work diligently on it. This must be very hard for many after this many days since Irma went through the state.
Thank you! Thank you for all the help.
Here are a few pictures of the devastation and suffering of the people who have lost so much when Hurrican Irma hit Florida and moved further up the Eastern U.S. Some reports feel that the loss of life and property was not as severe as it could have been. Nevertheless, those who lived through it and have little left are getting help as quickly as possible thanks to the quick response around the nation. It is greatly appreciated
POWER COMPANIES TRYING TO RESTORE POWER
STAGING IN GEORGIA READY TO GO TO FLORIDA WHEN STORM PASSES
WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD LEAVES TO HELP FLORIDA
Examples of the National Guard’s readiness and movement toward Florida is shown on the video below. The Guard came from many areas.
Again, we thank all the FIRST RESPONDERS and VOLUNTEERS from the state of Florida and every state that has come to bring help. There is so much to be done to recover.
by Staff Sargeant Alex Blaum CLICK VIDEO
A new book by former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, has just come out. She is making her speeches, giving interviews and signing her autograph concerning it. The one thing that is probably not in the book (since I have not read it as of yet) is the fact that “cutting back” on security was only a part of the problem as well as the top leadership decisions that resulted in the death of four Americans. For Mrs. Clinton to write or mention Benghazi as a likely reason for her political decline or failure to become the first woman President of the United States is appalling. It is no wonder that their family members are upset because the terrible loss of these men’s lives is not about her career as a politician.
This blog is written just after we have remembered 9-11 and all the victims. Today, we honor the four men who lost their lives in Benghazi. They too must never be forgotten.
U.S Consulate in Benghazi
Burned out U.S. Consulate
Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, were the men interviewed recently about the circumstances of how they were called upon too late to clean up the security mess at Benghazi. The fact of “silencing” them at the time should be a real concern to all Americans. Below is the full article on the events of Benghazi and the plea for security which came too late for the four men who are pictured above.
Author’s Note: This is a reprint of the full article by Catherine Herridge, Pamela Brown and Cyd Upson on Sept. 2017. (If you are unable to read with an unbiased opinion because you do not agree with Fox News, just read the words of these men interviewed who were professionals called upon by our government at the last minute. They say they were silenced until now. )
Contractors: ‘We were pressured to keep quiet on Benghazi’
EXCLUSIVE: Security at the State Department’s Benghazi compound was so dire that another contractor was brought in to clean up the mess just two weeks before the 2012 terror attack – and was later pressured to keep quiet by a government bureaucrat under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to two men from the American security company.
Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.
They spoke exclusively with Fox News for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” revealing new information that undermines the State Department’s account of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, where Islamic militants launched a 13-hour assault from Sept. 11-12 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.
Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions provides security for U.S. Embassy and consulate personnel around the world in some of the most dangerous locations spanning Africa, the Middle East and South America, according to the firm.
Jerry Torres remains haunted by the fact that specific bureaucrats and policies remain in the State Department after the Benghazi attack despite the change in administrations. “A U.S. ambassador is dead and nobody is held accountable for it. And three guys … all died trying to defend him,” said Torres, the company’s CEO and a former Green Beret.
Asked if there was a specific effort by a senior State Department contracting officer to silence them, Torres said, “Absolutely, absolutely.”
Owens, a former Army intelligence officer, echoed his colleague, saying those “who made the poor choices that actually, I would say, were more responsible for the Benghazi attacks than anyone else, they’re still in the same positions, making security choices for our embassies overseas now.”
In 2012, Owens was the American company’s point man in Libya with extensive experience in the region. After the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in the fall of 2011, Owens stressed to Fox News it was well-known that Islamic radicals including Al Qaeda-tied militias were pouring into the region and security “had deteriorated considerably.”
Based on documents reviewed by Fox News, Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions bid on the Benghazi compound security contract in the spring of 2012. But the State Department awarded the deal to a U.K.-based operation called The Blue Mountain Group.
Owens, who had personally visited the Benghazi compound to assess security, was shocked. “Blue Mountain U.K. is a teeny, tiny, little security company registered in Wales that had never had a diplomatic security contract, had never done any high threat contracts anywhere else in the world that we’ve been able to find, much less in high threat areas for the U.S. government. They had a few guys on the ground,” he said.
According to Torres, the Blue Mountain Group came in 4 percent lower than their bid – and they challenged the decision, claiming the American company should have been preferred over the foreign one.
Torres said State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer responded that the State Department had the “latitude to apply” that preference or not.
And there was more: The Blue Mountain Group hired guards through another company who were not armed.
Problems soon arose. One month before the attack — in August 2012, with The Blue Mountain Group still in charge of compound security — Ambassador Stevens and his team alerted the State Department via diplomatic cable that radical Islamic groups were everywhere and that the temporary mission compound could not withstand a “coordinated attack.” The classified cable was first reported by Fox News.
By Aug. 31, 2012, the situation had deteriorated to the point that Owens and Torres said the State Department asked them to intervene – as Owens put it, an “admission of the mistake of choosing the wrong company.”
“They came back to us and said, ‘Can you guys come in and take over security?’ Owens said. “So we were ready.”
But Torres emphasized that time was against them, saying it would have taken two-to-three weeks to get set up.
Twelve days later, the ambassador was killed. Torres learned of the attacks by watching television. He called the circumstances leading up to the tragedy “bad decision-making from top to bottom.”
“There was nothing we could’ve done about it. If we’d had one month warning … who knows what might’ve happened,” Owens said.
In the chaotic days following that attack, the Obama White House blamed the attacks on an anti-Islam video and demonstration which was not accurate. As a former Green Beret, Torres was stunned: “Coming from a military background, I would expect the administration to tell the truth. So I bought into it for a minute. But I didn’t believe it in the back of my mind.” He said they later figured out the video was not the culprit. The attack was a coordinated terrorist assault which included a precision mortar strike on the CIA post in Benghazi.
But as the Obama administration and Clinton’s team struggled to answer questions about the attacks, Visintainer apparently took it one step further — summoning Jerry Torres from overseas to attend a meeting at her government office in Rosslyn, Va., in early 2013.
Torres took Fox News back to the Virginia office building where he recalled that day’s events.
“[Visintainer] said that I and people from Torres should not speak to the media, should not speak to any officials with respect to the Benghazi program,” he said.
Torres said he was afraid for his company – and hasn’t spoken publicly until now.
“We had about 8,000 employees at the time. You know, we just didn’t need that level of damage because these guys, their livelihood relies on the company,” he said. “I trust that our U.S. government is going to follow chain of command, follow procedures, follow protocols and do the right thing.”
Another part of that conversation stuck out to Torres. He said Visintainer told him “in her opinion, that guards should not be armed at U.S. embassies. She just made that blanket statement. … And she said that they weren’t required in Benghazi. So I was kind of confused about that. And she said that she would like my support in saying that if that came up. And I looked at her. I just didn’t respond.”
The State Department declined Fox News’ request to make Visintainer available for an interview, or have her answer written email questions.
The Blue Mountain Group did not immediately respond to questions from Fox News.
Torres and Owens said repercussions against their company continue to this day – and that of the 20 security force contracts they’ve bid on since that conversation, they’ve lost 18.
Torres and Owens are concerned another attack like the one in Benghazi could happen again because the same State Department employees responsible for the Benghazi contract remain in place and the contracting rules are outdated.
“In 1990, Congress passed a law that required contracts of this nature to go to the lowest bidder that’s technically acceptable,” Owens explained. “Now, what that has created is a race to the bottom, is what we call it. So basically, every company tries to cut every corner they can for these contracts.”
The men say they are hopeful that changes will come with the Trump administration’s promise to “drain the swamp.”
“Let’s just say there’s been a change at management at Department of State,” Owens said. “I feel now that, given that the politics has been taken out of the Benghazi situation, now that there’s no longer a candidate or anything related to it, a change of administrations, that actually, we have an opportunity here to fix the problems that made it happen.”
On the fifth anniversary, Torres said he thinks about the four families who lost a father, a brother or a son in the 2012 attack, and feels sorry “for not bringing this up earlier. For not actually being there, on the ground and taking care of these guys.”
John Williams composed the Hymn to the Fallen. The video below shows only a few memorials of those whose lives were cut short by a war. Today we hear threats and concerns about the possibilities of war. In many parts of our world, a war is a reality. The people, who suffer under these circumstances, know every day what war is about. They bury their dead. They cradle children in their arms who are dead or dying.
Today we hear threats and concerns about the possibilities of war. In many parts of our world, a war is a reality. The people, who suffer under these circumstances, know every day what war is about. They bury their dead. They cradle children in their arms who are dead or dying.
Man carries child in Syria Photo by Reuters
War is the hell it always was. No new war will ever make the pain or tragedy any less. We must remember this. Our leaders must remember this. Those who would announce that they intend to harm a country that is living peacefully must remember this.
Even though we have memorials around the world for the Americans who died in past wars, we should not forget all the Americans who have lost their lives in more recent years: according to the Military Times: Listed below are the most current statistics according to their database. (*These statistics may not reflect exact figures.) Pictures of the fallen are shown by clicking on the blue words.
Do you know where our American heroes are buried? Yes, some were brought back to the United States. Others lie in graves by the thousands in places far from home. Take a moment to reflect on exactly where they are.
VIDEO: For your Sunday meditation and prayers: Hymn of the Fallen
Happy 4th of July from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
There was nothing HAPPY for the 56 men who signed the American Declaration of Independence at the birth of our nation. Do you know what happened to some of them?
It was brought to my attention today in our church service that there was a price for freedom that these men paid. Some suffered right away when they were captured by British troops and others suffered later through loss of fortune or brutal acts against them. They may have known that they were risking their lives to take such a public stand. Counting the cost is difficult to do before one acts. Regardless of how their contributions in becoming signers of the Constitution effected them and their families, we know from history that their lives were not a bed of roses.
Standing up for freedom and democracy is not popular, even today, with those who would be against it and wish to destroy it. The following gives us an account of a few of these men who made the choice to stand up and be counted:
- Five signers were captured by the British as traitors They were considered prisoners of war while actively engaged in military operations against the British. George Walton was captured after being wounded while commanding militia at the Battle of Savannah in December 1778, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge (three of the four Declaration of Independence signers from South Carolina) were taken prisoner at the Siege of Charleston in May in 1780. Richard Stockton of New Jersey was the only signer taken prisoner specifically because of his status as a signatory to the Declaration, “dragged from his bed by night” by local Tories after he had evacuated his family from New Jersey, and imprisoned in New York City’s infamous Provost Jail like a common criminal.
- Twelve of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had their homes ransacked and burned. Their property was subject to seizure when it fell along the path of a war being waged on the North American continent.
- Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Abraham Clark of New Jersey saw two of his sons captured by the British and incarcerated on the prison ship Jersey. John Witherspoon, also of New Jersey, saw his eldest son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown in October 1777.
- Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts.
- Properties of William Ellery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Thomas Heyward, Edward Rutledge, and Middleton were looted. The British needed supplies and these stately homes were a good source. Little concern during war time is given to the family that dwells therein.
Home of Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Heyward, in Charleston, S.C.
- Some homes of the signers, such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Benjamin Rush and Robert Morris were occupied by the British during the war. They also were unfortunate victims whose property fell in the path of an armed conflict being waged on American soil.
- Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died of poor health. Francis Lewis represented New York in the Continental Congress, and shortly after he signed the Declaration of Independence his Long Island estate was raided by the British. While Lewis was in Philadelphia attending to congressional matters, his wife was taken prisoner by the British.
- John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children, who were adults at the time, fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead. John Hart of New Jersey, had been Speaker of the Assembly.
Morris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Lewis Morris saw his Westchester County, New York, home taken over in 1776 and used as a barracks for soldiers, and the horses and livestock from his farm commandeered by military personnel of the Continental Army. Shortly afterwards his property was appropriated, looted, and burned by the British when they occupied New York. Morris and his wife were eventually able to reclaim their property and restore their home after the war. Philip Livingston lost several properties to the British occupation of New York and sold off others to support the war effort, and he did not recover them because he died suddenly in 1778, before the end of the war.
For your further knowledge: FIFTY FACTS ABOUT THE SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE and the listing of all the signers by states.
All of our country celebrates today the wonderful independence that we have as a nation. It is by God’s grace that we can enjoy all that is part of our United States today. We must never forget the founding fathers who risk everything to make it happen and those who have come afterwards to fight for and preserve that independence and freedom.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY from BOYER WRITES to ALL OUR READERS
Remember to fly your flag!
VIDEO Turn on sound:
Take out your flag and raise it high for all to see, for today is Armed Forces Day.
“ARMED FORCES DAY. … On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.”
We must never forget those who serve and the price they and their families pay.
Shawn was married and the father of 4 small children. He was killed in Niger.
VIDEO: Passengers witness bringing home one of our bravest and finest.
IN HONOR OF Green Beret WO1 Shawn Thomas
The Angels for Armed Forces® program provides free flights to military personnel and veterans, who need to access medical care. It also provides flights for military family members who need to travel to visit injured service members and whose financial resources do not permit them to travel by commercial airlines.
These flights are conducted by AFNE volunteer pilots, many being veterans themselves, who share not only a love of flying, but also have a deep commitment to helping others. They donate their time, their airplanes, all expenses of the flight, and mostly, their hearts to serve their community and those in need.
Angel Flight NE entered into a memorandum of understanding with the USO in 2010 to mutually promote the Angels for Armed Forces® program.
Lit menorah, Israel
To Those Christians who Serve in our Armed Forces for a strong America, we honor you this Christmas season as we remember the birth of the Savior, Jesus.
To those Jewish military who celebrate Hanukkah, thank you for your service. ( Hanukkah is the Jewish festival, lasting eight days from the 25th day of Kislev (in December) and commemorating the re-dedication of the Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. It is marked by the successive kindling of eight lights.)
To all veterans everywhere, we honor you for your service to our country.
Video 1: The U.S.Air Force Band Holiday Flash at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center)
They are brave…bold…courageous…and sometimes just for fun to show love of country and patriotism to a very big audience. Want to try this in the New Year? Thanks to the U.S. Navy Seals (Leap Frogs) who train for everything to be ready on sea and in the air! America Strong!
Video 2 Members of the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, jump into Neyland Stadium to kick off the Orange vs. White UT Vols Spring Scrimmage football game as part of Knoxville Navy Week, April 16, 2016
Today is December 7 when we remember the surprise attack on our military at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. We honor the thousands who perished in that terrible time. My husband and I had a privilege of going to the memorials at Pearl Harbor.
Below are some of the historical pictures, as well as the modern-day memorial that stands over the USS Arizona where so many have a watery grave. It is a touching and sacred place.
WE MUST NEVER FORGET THOSE WHO SERVED OUR COUNTRY…then and now.
1897 Recessional by Rudyard Kipling
“God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!..”
FLY YOUR FLAG
Click: A modern-day story of a disabled vet and his dog. One company making a difference to our vets. They also must not be forgotten.
The Election of 2016 is over. Instead of burning the American flag or beating up people because they chose to vote differently, those involved should think seriously about those who have fought to make America free. The American flag represents that freedom.
We must never forget history and the bravery of those who fought for our rights…even the rights to peacefully protest. Most of all, we must not forget those who bravely fought to bring the battles to an end. We continue to honor those who are still in harm’s way throughout the world.
World War I….was to be the War that ended all wars. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Some of the great battles of World War II: The Battle of the Atlantic, The Battle of Britain, The siege of Leningrad, Pearl Harbor, The Battle of Stalin grad, The Invasion of Normandy, The Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Okinawa, The Battle of Berlin
What was victory like for those who fought?
Victory Day, also known as VJ Day, marks the anniversary the Allies’ victory over Japan during World War II.
VJ Day in Honolulu Video….the real thing. Compliments of Richard Sullivan’s father who was there on August 14, 1945 and shot this film.
Names to Remember: Iwo Jima, Saipan, Midway…Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Omaha Beach…and others we have not mentioned. Thank you, Veterans, for your dedication.
Omaha Beach invasion was when the Germans killed about 5,000 men. They were so young and lives cut short. Truly, WAR IS HELL.
America was built by the courageous who wanted freedom. It has been continued by the courageous who have shed their blood and lives to maintain freedom. Americans must decide on being courageous if freedom will last. Don’t forget from where we have come and remember that the future depends on the now.
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
This speaks for itself
U.S. Gymnastics Team in Rio
Surely he was just daydreaming! Do you think?
What does it mean to stand or place our hand over the heart, with respect, when our National Anthem is played or sung? Perhaps Coach Buzz Williams said it best to his team at Virginia Tech, especially in the light that some, who have been blessed in this country, have chosen not to do so.
HONOR RESPECT SACRIFICE
Coach Buzz Williams talks to his Virginia Tech team: View Video Turn up sound.
On the week of the 4th of July…2016, we thank God for our freedoms. We celebrate our Independence Day…fought and won from one of our present day strongest allies, the United Kingdom. We honor the men who had the vision for a place to live, worship, and govern as we wanted ..and for those through the years who have died to keep that freedom.
So how did it exactly happen? When were we first able to criticize our government? Perhaps this video gives us a little understanding of the history of our Declaration of Independence and the cost to make this a country of freedoms.
Whether you are an American or live elsewhere, we at Boyer Writes wish a HAPPY 4TH TO ALL OUR READERS! Long live freedom!
What is a WASP one may ask? It stands for the Women Airforce Service Pilots — or WASP for short. There were over one thousand women who volunteered to learn how to fly military aircraft, including the B-26 and B-29 bombers. Unfortunately they were not given the recognition for the service that they provided in the war…or the risks that were theirs in performing such tasks. Many were killed, but were not allowed until recently to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Their official recognition has taken 65 years, far too long and late. Women, who bravely flew for our freedom, now can be given the highest civilian honor by the U.S. Congress, the Congressional Gold Medal.
To learn more about these patriotic women, we would like to introduce you to a World War II WASP who is now 95 years old. She does not have “can’t” in her vocabulary. Bernice Haydu should be an example and inspiration to all of us.
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What do Gold Stars represent to a military family? We can trace this special emblem back to World War I. If a military member of a family died, a flag that had been flown with a blue star was replaced with a gold one. This allowed the world to know the price that this family had paid for the freedom we enjoy today.
The observance of the Gold Star Mothers Day began in 1936 on the last Sunday of September. It was not until World War II that the Gold Star Wives was formed. Wives could then wear a Gold Star Lapel Button. All members of the family can be recognized today as a Gold Star Family. This is why the Army believes that no one has given more to our country than those who have lost a loved one to war.
In 1954, an American Gold Star Mothers Headquarters was purchased in Washington, D.C. near the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials, containing the records of all deceased soldiers from World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam War and now the Iraq War.
On June 12, 1984, The American Gold Star Mothers received their charter which reads:
- Keep alive and develop the spirit that promoted world services
- Maintain the ties of fellowship born of that service, and to assist and further all patriotic work
- Inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, State, and Nation
- Assist veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and other strategic areas and their dependents in the presentation of claims to the Veterans’ Administration, and to aid in any way in their power the men and women who served and died or were wounded or incapacitated during hostilities.
- Perpetuate the memory of those whose lives were sacrificed in our wars
- Maintain true allegiance to the United States of America
- Inculcate lessons of patriotism and love of country in the communities in which we live
- Inspire respect for the Stars and Stripes in the youth of America
- Extend needful assistance to all Gold Star Mothers and, when possible, to their descendants
- To promote peace and good will for the United States and all other Nations.
More recently, 2008, the Gold Star Children, a non-profit organization, was founded to raise awareness about children whose mothers or fathers were killed or died while serving in the United States military. We would like to introduce you to one of these American children… Miles Eckerd and his gift to Lt. Colonel Frank Daily, who experienced a “new direction in life” from this small child…a Gold Star Kid.
The video below, shown on CBS News, will help all of us to understand the loss and grief that happens when just one soldier dies and leaves their family behind. Blessings to them all.
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