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
REMEMBERING THOSE WHO GAVE SO MUCH!
Boyer Writes salutes all who serve.
Music Video: Turn up sound and for best viewing, enlarge screen.
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
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)
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
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)
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.
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.)
Neighbor friends of mine have said, “I’m not watching it!” Other elected officials from various states have decided to “boycott” the State of the Union address also…even if they have not asked those who elected them whether it was a good idea and did they approve? Some Congress members have already decided that they will not stand or applaud even when what is being said is for the good of all Americans…simply because they are determined to be oppositional. That may be why many Americans see the Congress as a “do nothing” organization.
We ask at Boyer Writes the question: Is the State of the Union Message of any importance to Americans…the rich, the poor, the small business person and economists, the elderly, those who receive government aid, environmentalists, our military, the immigrants…legal and illegal, who may be hoping to be citizens of the USA and all others who would put themselves in any category?
We will address first the meaning of the State of the Union and its history…in case some should not know:
It is a Constitutional Duty.
“Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
- The Address is to be informative to the Congress and to every citizen of the United States…whether listening or not. (Any elected official who does not show up to hear probably should be close to a T.V….just to be “informed”.)
- It is a part of our established history. The President of the US has been giving this message in person to the Congress and the American people for 105 years since 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President. With the advent of TV and the internet, it has been easier to reach the average person. (Some may even ask why the average person should not be able to hear or know the direction of our country…just as the elected officials are informed?)
The Early history: George Washington delivered the first annual address to Congress in 1790. Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice because he felt it was too monarchical, as similar to the “Speech from the Throne”. He wrote it out and sent it to be read by a clerk.
There was controversy in 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson planned to reestablish the speech. (Oh my, “controversy” also has a long history!) There have been only a few exceptions by the U.S. Presidents of delivering the address in person to the Congress and to the American people, with the last being President Jimmy Carter in 1981.
- Important enough to designate a SURVIVOR: Whenever Congress meets together to hear the President speak, there is a designated survivor appointed. What does this mean?
“Since the ’80s, a designated survivor has been selected for the State of the Union. This is a member of the president’s cabinet who does not attend the event, in case a disaster or attack kills the president and everyone in the line of succession. The first designated survivor was Reagan’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, Samuel Pierce. The two cabinet positions most often selected to serve as designated survivor are the secretary of the Agriculture Department and the secretary of the Interior Department; both positions have been selected six times each. The only person to serve in the role more than once was George W. Bush’s Commerce secretary, Donald Evans.” (taken from PBS News)
Does history or tradition mean anything to the American people today? Is it too old-fashioned to spend an hour before our TV sets or online to hear what the President has to say?
Do the personal opinions about the particular person elected to the office of President cloud a more important aspect of being American? We must all remember that we are in it together for at least the 4 years the President will serve. Decisions made by Congress will effect us all…and might be why they should be listening rather than protesting at this point.
Free speech (and opinion) is part of our right guaranteed in the Constitution. The President is following the requirements of the Constitution to make this address. That is why it is my opinion that we lay aside, for one hour, to check out what we may be up against for years to come…for good or bad. Those who say, “I hate him and everything he stands for”… should remember that the State of the Union message is important for this reason. It is not a State of the Union on a Personality, but on our country and the future of our country. If we don’t like the things said or the things proposed to follow in the next year or the next three years, try our other right…your VOTING RIGHT! At least you will be able to say you’re informed.
Yes, We still have elections and the leadership choices are still made at the ballot box and not at the end of a gun as they are in some nations. Thank God! Therefore, in Honor of the office of the Presidency...whether you approve of the sitting President or not…here is HAIL TO THE CHIEF performed by the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”.
Some information is taken from Wikipedia. For more information on the State of the Union
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.
- 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
VIDEO Turn on sound:
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.
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.
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.
About two weeks ago, I sent out this blog, Is there another choice?, on the fact that there could be a chance that another person could derail both political parties in his bid for President as an Independent. The readers who responded said, “It is too late. There is no chance.”
It seems that this candidate, Evan McMullin, is banking on a strategy that has not been successful since 1824…but could it be a possibility considering the dislike of many people for both of the other choices?
Do you know how the House of Representatives plays into this stategy? Here are the facts:
John Quincy Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825. The election was the only one in history to be decided by the House of Representatives under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution after no candidate secured a majority of the electoral vote.
Look at this link which explains the pros and cons on Mr. McMullin’s run and the hope that history could repeat its self. (See Strategy )
Below is the content of the first post with a video of Mr. McMullin, in case you missed it: “Almost everyone that I have talked to since the Democratic and Republican conventions, have said that they are “holding their nose” as they go to the voting polls this November. We know that huge amounts of money have been spent, as well as billions of words uttered, to promote two choices, but is there another choice? ”
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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Every President has been part of the ceremonial duties of honoring the men and women who have served. I looked carefully at the pictures of the most recent military recognition of those honored and visited by our Heads of State.
There have been a number of Medal of Honor recipients in the last few years, but some of the most warmly human interaction that I could find would have to be the pictures of Pres. George Bush.
I believe that on this Veteran’s Day, it would be good to see a few of these pictures between a Commander in Chief and those who served…often giving so much sacrificially.
To all those in all wars that served and gave the ultimate sacrifice…we HONOR you today.
Few here in the U.S.A. have flown their flags today as it is not the 4th of July or Veterans Day. It is V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) that should be recognized everywhere in the USA, in Europe and even the world. As we know, the war in Europe had to be won and the Nazi aggression stopped. There were plans, however, that many people do not know about concerning Japan. The free world and especially the democratic Japan, that we know today, would look totally different if the war efforts against Japan had been changed even slightly. Victory in Europe was not enough since Japan had entered the war and had their own plans and goals against us. Below is an article written about the secret documents that are now declassified…and we know now what could have happened, but did not. Millions more could have died had World War II not been completely won on every front.
When I was privileged, as an educator, to go to Japan at the invitation of the present Japanese government, I was taken to one of the many caves used by the military and civilians during the war. This invitation was given to select American teachers as a “thank you” for the reconstruction of Japan after the war ended.
Boyer Writes would like to share this article about the top-secret documents, written by Colonel Buz Kimenis:
Deep in the recesses of the National Archives in Washington , D.C. , hidden for nearly four decades lie thousands of pages of yellowing and dusty documents stamped “Top Secret”. These documents, now declassified, are the plans for Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan during World War II. Only a few Americans in 1945 were aware of these elaborate plans that had been prepared for the Allied Invasion of the Japanese home islands. Even fewer today are aware of the defenses the Japanese had prepared to counter the invasion had it been launched. Operation Downfall was finalized during the spring and summer of 1945. It called for two massive military undertakings to be carried out in succession and aimed at the heart of the Japanese Empire. In the first invasion – code named “Operation Olympic“- American combat troops would land on Japan by amphibious assault during the early morning hours of November 1, 1945 – 61 years ago.
Fourteen combat divisions of soldiers and Marines would land on heavily fortified and defended Kyushu, the southernmost of the Japanese home islands, after an unprecedented naval and aerial bombardment. The second invasion on March 1, 1946 – code named “Operation Coronet”- would send at least 22 divisions against 1 million Japanese defenders on the main island of Honshu and the Tokyo Plain. Its goal: the unconditional surrender of Japan. With the exception of a part of the British Pacific Fleet, Operation Downfall was to be a strictly American operation. It called for using the entire Marine Corps, the entire Pacific Navy, elements of the 7th Army Air Force, the 8th Air Force (recently redeployed from Europe ), 10th Air Force and the American Far Eastern Air Force. More than 1.5 million combat soldiers, with 3 million more in support or more than 40% of all servicemen still in uniform in 1945 – would be directly involved in the two amphibious assaults. Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy.
Admiral William Leahy estimated that there would be more than 250,000 Americans killed or wounded on Kyushu alone. General Charles Willoughby, chief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific, estimated American casualties would be one million men by the fall of 1946. Willoughby ‘s own intelligence staff considered this to be a conservative estimate. During the summer of 1945, America had little time to prepare for such an endeavor, but top military leaders were in almost unanimous agreement that an invasion was necessary. While naval blockade and strategic bombing of Japan was considered to be useful, General MacArthur, for instance, did not believe a blockade would bring about an unconditional surrender. The advocates for invasion agreed that while a naval blockade chokes, it does not kill; and though strategic bombing might destroy cities, it leaves whole armies intact. So on May 25, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after extensive deliberation, issued to General MacArthur, Admiral Chester Nimitz, and Army Air Force General Henry Arnold, the top-secret directive to proceed with the invasion of Kyushu. The target date was after the typhoon season.
President Truman approved the plans for the invasions July 24. Two days later, the United Nations issued the Potsdam Proclamation, which called upon Japan to surrender unconditionally or face total destruction. Three days later, the Japanese governmental news agency broadcast to the world that Japan would ignore the proclamation and would refuse to surrender. During this same period it was learned — via monitoring Japanese radio broadcasts — that Japan had closed all schools and mobilized its school children, was arming its civilian population and was fortifying caves and building underground defenses. Operation Olympic called for a four pronged assault on Kyushu . Its purpose was to seize and control the southern one-third of that island and establish naval and air bases, to tighten the naval blockade of the home islands, to destroy units of the main Japanese army and to support the later invasion of the Tokyo Plain. The preliminary invasion would begin October 27 when the 40th Infantry Division would land on a series of small islands west and southwest of Kyushu . At the same time, the 158th Regimental Combat Team would invade and occupy a small island 28 miles south of Kyushu. On these islands, seaplane bases would be established and radar would be set up to provide advance air warning for the invasion fleet, to serve as fighter direction centers for the carrier-based aircraft and to provide an emergency anchorage for the invasion fleet, should things not go well on the day of the invasion. As the invasion grew imminent, the massive firepower of the Navy – the Third and Fifth Fleets — would approach Japan.
The Third Fleet, under Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, with its big guns and naval aircraft, would provide strategic support for the operation against Honshu and Hokkaido. Halsey’s fleet would be composed of battleships, heavy cruisers, destroyers, dozens of support ships and three fast carrier task groups. From these carriers, hundreds of Navy fighters, dive bombers and torpedo planes would hit targets all over the island of Honshu. The 3,000 ship Fifth Fleet, under Admiral Raymond Spruance, would carry the invasion troops. Several days before the invasion, the battleships, heavy cruisers and destroyers would pour thousands of tons of high explosives into the target areas. They would not cease the bombardment until after the land forces had been launched. During the early morning hours of November 1, the invasion would begin. Thousands of soldiers and Marines would pour ashore on beaches all along the eastern, southeastern, southern and western coasts of Kyushu . Waves of Helldivers, Dauntless dive bombers, Avengers, Corsairs, and Hellcats from 66 aircraft carriers would bomb, rocket and strafe enemy defenses, gun emplacements and troop concentrations along the beaches. The Eastern Assault Force consisting of the 25th, 33rd, and 41st Infantry Divisions, would land near Miyaski, at beaches called Austin, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and Ford, and move inland to attempt to capture the city and its nearby airfield.
The Southern Assault Force, consisting of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 43rd Division and Americal Division would land inside Ariake Bay at beaches labeled DeSoto, Dusenberg, Essex, Ford, and Franklin and attempt to capture Shibushi and the city of Kanoya and its airfield. On the western shore of Kyushu, at beaches Pontiac, Reo, Rolls Royce, Saxon, Star, Studebaker, Stutz, Winston and Zephyr, the V Amphibious Corps would land the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Marine Divisions, sending half of its force inland to Sendai and the other half to the port city of Kagoshima. On November 4, the Reserve Force, consisting of the 81st and 98th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Airborne Division, after feigning an attack on the island of Shikoku, would be landed — if not needed elsewhere – near Kaimondake, near the southernmost tip of Kagoshima Bay, at the beaches designated Locomobile, Lincoln, LaSalle, Hupmobile, Moon, Mercedes, Maxwell, Overland, Oldsmobile, Packard, and Plymouth. Olympic was not just a plan for invasion, but for conquest and occupation as well. It was expected to take four months to achieve its objective, with the three fresh American divisions per month to be landed in support of that operation if needed. If all went well with Olympic, Coronet would be launched March 1, 1946. Coronet would be twice the size of Olympic, with as many as 28 divisions landing on Honshu.
All along the coast east of Tokyo , the American 1st Army would land the 5th, 7th, 27th, 44th, 86th, and 96th Infantry Divisions, along with the 4th and 6th Marine Divisions. At Sagami Bay, just south of Tokyo, the entire 8th and 10th Armies would strike north and east to clear the long western shore of Tokyo Bay and attempt to go as far as Yokohama. The assault troops landing south of Tokyo would be the 4th, 6th, 8th, 24th, 31st, 37th, 38th, and 8th Infantry Divisions, along with the 13th and 20th Armored Divisions. Following the initial assault, eight more divisions – the 2nd, 28th, 35th, 91st, 95th, 97th, and 104th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Airborne Division — would be landed. If additional troops were needed, as expected, other divisions redeployed from Europe and undergoing training in the United States would be shipped to Japan in what was hoped to be the final push.
Captured Japanese documents and post war interrogations of Japanese military leaders disclose that information concerning the number of Japanese planes available for the defense of the home islands was dangerously in error. During the sea battle at Okinawa alone, Japanese Kamikaze aircraft sank 32 Allied ships and damaged more than 400 others. But during the summer of 1945, American top brass concluded that the Japanese had spent their air force since American bombers and fighters daily flew unmolested over Japan. What the military leaders did not know was that by the end of July the Japanese had been saving all aircraft, fuel, and pilots in reserve, and had been feverishly building new planes for the decisive battle for their homeland. As part of Ketsu-Go, the name for the plan to defend Japan — the Japanese were building 20 suicide takeoff strips in southern Kyushu with underground hangars. They also had 35 camouflaged airfields and nine seaplane bases. On the night before the expected invasion, 50 Japanese seaplane bombers, 100 former carrier aircraft and 50 land based army planes were to be launched in a suicide attack on the fleet. The Japanese had 58 more airfields in Korea, western Honshu and Shikoku, which also were to be used for massive suicide attacks. Allied intelligence had established that the Japanese had no more than 2,500 aircraft of which they guessed 300 would be deployed in suicide attacks. In August 1945, however, unknown to Allied intelligence, the Japanese still had 5,651 army and 7,074 navy aircraft, for a total of 12,725 planes of all types.
Every village had some type of aircraft manufacturing activity hidden in mines, railway tunnels, under viaducts and in basements of department stores, work was being done to construct new planes. Additionally, the Japanese were building newer and more effective models of the Okka, a rocket-propelled bomb much like the German V-1, but flown by a suicide pilot. When the invasion became imminent, Ketsu-Go called for a four-fold aerial plan of attack to destroy up to 800 Allied ships. While Allied ships were approaching Japan, but still in the open seas, an initial force of 2,000 army and navy fighters were to fight to the death to control the skies over Kyushu. A second force of 330 navy combat pilots was to attack the main body of the task force to keep it from using its fire support and air cover to protect the troop carrying transports. While these two forces were engaged, a third force of 825 suicide planes was to hit the American transports. As the invasion convoys approached their anchorages, another 2,000 suicide planes were to be launched in waves of 200 to 300, to be used in hour by hour attacks.
By mid-morning of the first day of the invasion, most of the American land-based aircraft would be forced to return to their bases, leaving the defense against the suicide planes to the carrier pilots and the shipboard gunners. Carrier pilots crippled by fatigue would have to land time and time again to rearm and refuel. Guns would malfunction from the heat of continuous firing and ammunition would become scarce. Gun crews would be exhausted by nightfall, but still the waves of kamikaze would continue. With the fleet hovering off the beaches, all remaining Japanese aircraft would be committed to nonstop suicide attacks, which the Japanese hoped could be sustained for 10 days. The Japanese planned to coordinate their air strikes with attacks from the 40 remaining submarines from the Imperial Navy – some armed with Long Lance torpedoes with a range of 20 miles — when the invasion fleet was 180 miles off Kyushu. The Imperial Navy had 23 destroyers and two cruisers which were operational. These ships were to be used to counterattack the American invasion. A number of the destroyers were to be beached at the last-minute to be used as anti-invasion gun platforms.
Once offshore, the invasion fleet would be forced to defend not only against the attacks from the air, but would also be confronted with suicide attacks from sea. Japan had established a suicide naval attack unit of midget submarines, human torpedoes and exploding motorboats. The goal of the Japanese was to shatter the invasion before the landing. The Japanese were convinced the Americans would back off or become so demoralized that they would then accept a less-than-unconditional surrender and a more honorable and face-saving end for the Japanese. But as horrible as the battle of Japan would be off the beaches, it would be on Japanese soil that the American forces would face the most rugged and fanatical defense encountered during the war. Throughout the island-hopping Pacific campaign, Allied troops had always outnumbered the Japanese by 2 to 1 and sometimes 3 to 1. In Japan it would be different. By virtue of a combination of cunning, guesswork, and brilliant military reasoning, a number of Japan ‘s top military leaders were able to deduce, not only when, but where, the United States would land its first invasion forces. Facing the 14 American divisions landing at Kyushu would be 14 Japanese divisions, 7 independent mixed brigades, 3 tank brigades and thousands of naval troops. On Kyushu the odds would be 3 to 2 in favor of the Japanese, with 790,000 enemy defenders against 550,000 Americans.
This time the bulk of the Japanese defenders would not be the poorly trained and ill-equipped labor battalions that the Americans had faced in the earlier campaigns. The Japanese defenders would be the hard core of the home army . These troops were well-fed and well equipped. They were familiar with the terrain,had stockpiles of arms and ammunition, and had developed an effective system of transportation and supply almost invisible from the air. Many of these Japanese troops were the elite of the army, and they were swollen with a fanatical fighting spirit. Japan’s network of beach defenses consisted of offshore mines, thousands of suicide scuba divers attacking landing craft, and mines planted on the beaches. Coming ashore, the American Eastern amphibious assault forces at Miyazaki would face three Japanese divisions, and two others poised for counterattack.
Awaiting the Southeastern attack force at Ariake Bay was an entire division and at least one mixed infantry brigade. On the western shores of Kyushu, the Marines would face the most brutal opposition. Along the invasion beaches would be the three Japanese divisions, a tank brigade, a mixed infantry brigade and an artillery command. Components of two divisions would also be poised to launch counterattacks. If not needed to reinforce the primary landing beaches, the American Reserve Force would be landed at the base of Kagoshima Bay November 4, where they would be confronted by two mixed infantry brigades, parts of two infantry divisions and thousands of naval troops.
All along the invasion beaches, American troops would face coastal batteries, anti-landing obstacles and a network of heavily fortified pillboxes, bunkers, and underground fortresses. As Americans waded ashore, they would face intense artillery and mortar fire as they worked their way through concrete rubble and barbed-wire entanglements arranged to funnel them into the muzzles of these Japanese guns. On the beaches and beyond would be hundreds of Japanese machine gun positions, beach mines, booby traps, trip-wire mines and sniper units.
Suicide units concealed in “spider holes” would engage the troops as they passed nearby. In the heat of battle, Japanese infiltration units would be sent to reap havoc in the American lines by cutting phone and communication lines. Some of the Japanese troops would be in American uniform; English-speaking Japanese officers were assigned to break in on American radio traffic to call off artillery fire, to order retreats and to further confuse troops. Other infiltration with demolition charges strapped on their chests or backs would attempt to blow up American tanks, artillery pieces and ammunition stores as they were unloaded ashore. Beyond the beaches were large artillery pieces situated to bring down a curtain of fire on the beach. Some of these large guns were mounted on railroad tracks running in and out of caves protected by concrete and steel.
The battle for Japan would be won by what Simon Bolivar Buckner, a lieutenant general in the Confederate army during the Civil War, had called “Prairie Dog Warfare.” This type of fighting was almost unknown to the ground troops in Europe and the Mediterranean . It was peculiar only to the soldiers and Marines who fought the Japanese on islands all over the Pacific — at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Prairie Dog Warfare was a battle for yards, feet and sometimes inches. It was brutal, deadly and dangerous form of combat aimed at an underground, heavily fortified, non-retreating enemy. In the mountains behind the Japanese beaches were underground networks of caves, bunkers, command posts and hospitals connected by miles of tunnels with dozens of entrances and exits. Some of these complexes could hold up to 1,000 troops.
In addition to the use of poison gas and bacteriological warfare (which the Japanese had experimented with), Japan mobilized its citizenry. Had Olympic come about, the Japanese civilian population, inflamed by a national slogan – “One Hundred Million Will Die for the Emperor and Nation” – were prepared to fight to the death. Twenty Eight Million Japanese had become a part of the National Volunteer Combat Force. They were armed with ancient rifles, lunge mines, satchel charges, Molotov cocktails and one-shot black powder mortars. Others were armed with swords, long bows, axes and bamboo spears. The civilian units were to be used in nighttime attacks, hit and run maneuvers, delaying actions and massive suicide charges at the weaker American positions. At the early stage of the invasion, 1,000 Japanese and American soldiers would be dying every hour. The invasion of Japan never became a reality because on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was exploded over Hiroshima.
Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Within days the war with Japan was at a close. Had these bombs not been dropped and had the invasion been launched as scheduled, combat casualties in Japan would have been at a minimum of the tens of thousands. Every foot of Japanese soil would have been paid for by Japanese and American lives. One can only guess at how many civilians would have committed suicide in their homes or in futile mass military attacks. In retrospect, the 1 million American men who were to be the casualties of the invasion were instead lucky enough to survive the war. Intelligence studies and military estimates made 50 years ago, and not latter-day speculation, clearly indicate that the battle for Japan might well have resulted in the biggest blood-bath in the history of modern warfare.
Far worse would be what might have happened to Japan as a nation and as a culture. When the invasion came, it would have come after several months of fire bombing all of the remaining Japanese cities. The cost in human life that resulted from the two atomic blasts would be small in comparison to the total number of Japanese lives that would have been lost by this aerial devastation.
With American forces locked in combat in the south of Japan , little could have prevented the Soviet Union from marching into the northern half of the Japanese home islands. Japan today could be divided much like Korea and Germany. The world was spared the cost of Operation Downfall, however, because Japan formally surrendered to the United Nations September 2, 1945, and World War II was over. The aircraft carriers, cruisers and transport ships scheduled to carry the invasion troops to Japan , ferried home American troops in a gigantic operation called Magic Carpet. In the fall of 1945, in the aftermath of the war, few people concerned themselves with the invasion plans.
Following the surrender, the classified documents, maps, diagrams and appendices for Operation Downfall were packed away in boxes and eventually stored at the National Archives. These plans that called for the invasion of Japan paint a vivid description of what might have been one of the most horrible campaigns in the history of man. The fact that the story of the invasion of Japan is locked up in the National Archives and is not told in our history books is something for which all Americans can be thankful…”
If we asked ten people what is meant by the word, “Hope”, we would probably get ten answers. It seems illusive….something that we can’t get a handle on…but we still hope. Norman Fried writes about hope and concludes, ” Through hope we discover faith and the pursuit of redemption. Hope sets us on a path toward attaining our goals; it helps us determine strategies for living and it transforms our will into action. And when all hope seems lost, faith asks us to look inward and to think differently. Faith teaches us to look for new ways to live in a life filled with pain. It guides us to develop new pursuits; to achieve new victories. And through our pursuits, we encounter God’s ways and we are challenged to unite with Him; only to find ourselves cleaving to both. In the end, we learn that religion is the confluence of two parallel forces; man’s wish to create a livable world, replete with the hope of grace and dignity, and man’s need to honor and accept what is unlivable through sacrifice, faith and love.” Some words that he uses stand out to me.
- “…pursuit of redemption” In the long run, we all want to be redeemed. We look for an eternity of bliss with an eternally loving God. Redemption, however, is the moment we put our trust in the Savior. Redemption does not just start in the future, but is a daily existence. God sent His only Son to redeem the world.
- “…determine strategies for living” Hope is all important to the very way we live. None of us want to come to the end and be filled with regrets.
- “…challenged to unite with Him” Many things are important to us: family career, dreams and goals. Perhaps the most important thing that we can hope for is to feel His presence with us moment by moment. In this season of Lent, we ask God for that presence and to be united with Him.
- “what is unlivable through sacrifice, faith and love.” We look at the tragedies of the world, past and present, and wonder how people did live through the unlivable. Truly it was the ability to hope even through harsh struggles.
Job spent hours listening to his friends who brought no comfort. I wonder at this patience! (Through most of the Book of Job) Yet, this man of faith continued to believe in the one strength he had and the hope that he knew to be God’s gift to him during a terrible time of his life Even in more modern times, history tells stories of hope under the worst conditions. One such battle of WWII would appear that there was no hope. “The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest battle on the Eastern Front and was marked by brutality and disregard for military and civilian casualties. It was among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare, with the higher estimates of combined casualties amounting to nearly two million. The heavy losses inflicted on the German army made it a turning point in the war. After the Battle of Stalingrad, German forces never recovered their earlier strength, and attained no further strategic victories in the East.” The film, Enemy at the Gates, has some dialog between Nikita Khrushchevand Danilov, the soldier who believed that if they published fliers for the Russian people to read about heros of the motherland, it would bring hope. In particular, he wrote of the Russian marksman, Vassili Zaitsev, who became the center of the writings. Danilov told Khrushchev the following: “Here, the men’s only choice is between German bullets and ours. But there’s another way. The way of courage. The way of love of the Motherland. We must publish the army newspaper again. We must tell magnificent stories, stories that extol sacrifice, bravery. We must make them believe in the victory. We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight.” Without hope, men have little for which to live. Regardless of the country from which one comes, the politics of the time, or the belief system that they hold, the human race must have hope. It is not enough to use the word, but to actually believe in a hope that is greater than our understanding. The video below is in honor of all who had hope where there appeared to be no hope. Omer Meir Wellber and Russian National Orchestra. Pietro Mascagni – Intermezzo from “Cavalleria Rusticana”. ( A response from my friend, Mark. Thanks. Romans 12:12 from the Holy Scriptures: “Rejoice in HOPE, be patient in AFFLICTION and faithful in PRAYER.”)
December 6 is the day that my Mother, Alta Ellis Bishop, would have been 96. It is a day to remember exactly how much my mother meant to me and her family. She was 93 when she passed from this life, but her life was one of courage, determination and making the most of all her talents. She left home at age 16 to work her way through life; built a career in hair design and took time to be a patriot, working at a munitions factory, when W.W.II was being fought. Her dedication reminded me of the brave men and women who have given so much and why my mother’s generation was called “The Greatest Generation”. Thank you, Mother, for your generosity and love.
Once again we take a look at the era in which my mother was a young woman and mother.
We start with Winston Churchill. His famous speech echos through the years. (I paraphrase) “WE SHALL FIGHT....in the fields, on the sea, in the streets, on the land….and where we cannot…the new world will take up the fight….”
It is not easy to be a leader when the world is falling in around you. Neither is it easy to inspire an entire nation…but inspire he did. When bombs were daily pounding, one can imagine what the economy was like. Just living from day-to-day was an effort for all of Europe. It was not only a battle to secure land, but a battle for the very existence of mankind as millions were being murdered in concentration camps.
The movie, The Longest Day, shows the thousands of men, ships, and planes that came to the aid of France, giving great detail of what it was like for the people living in France on the coast of Normandy and those who braved the assault to free them.
There are two videos below: The first of Alta Bishop…The second one reminds us that the United States and the free people of Europe were not going to be in bondage. It is worth a journey back in time because our own nation must have this same fighting spirit if we are to survive today.
Churchill would not have guessed that the “new world”, as he called it would face a 9-11 or that his own beloved land would see suicide bombers. He would not have known about “cyber threats”, but had he been in a different time and place, one CAN BE ASSURED that he would step up to the challenge. He would warn against apathy and talk about pulling together.
It may seem strange to link a family member to a great man of history. Yet, the determination and sacrifice they shared for the lands they loved links them and all of us together. Freedom is all we have and as my mother and so many were willing to give of their efforts and their lives….so should we. I love you, Mother, and always will. Happy Birthday, even though you are unable to blow out the candles with us. We will go to your grave site and put a red poinsettia there to remember the many years that we celebrated your birthday and Christmas together. Christmas was one of your favorite times and we will miss you. We are certain that the stars and planets are so bright where you are as the hosts of heaven sing praises to the “New Born King”.
The Men of the war Years….Always brave!
It is a sworn oath that the military make to bring the fallen home…and according to a passenger,John E. DiScala on Delta flight 2255, they did just this. What a solemn moment this must have been for all those who were part of the escort. This is some of what Mr. DiScala had to say about the experience:
“This transcontinental flight turned out to be everything but ordinary. We later learned, when the captain got on the PA system about 45 minutes prior to landing, that we were transporting a fallen soldier. The plane went quiet as he explained that there was a military escort on-board and asked that everyone remain seated for a couple of minutes so the soldiers could get off first. He also warned us not to be alarmed if we see fire trucks since Los Angeles greets their fallen military with a water cannon salute….
I was on the left side of the plane and later realized that the family could be seen off to the right, standing with the United States Army Honor Guard. According to Wikipedia, each military branch has its own honor guard, usually military in nature, and is composed of volunteers who are carefully screened. One of the primary roles for honor guards is to provide funeral honors for fallen comrades….
It only got more emotional when I deplaned. There was a large number of passengers, who are normally in a hurry to get home or make a connection, standing by the window to witness something truly moving. To see the Honor Guard and family waiting patiently, while LAX baggage handlers and a military loadmaster removed the flag covered casket first from the cargo hold, was humbling to say the least. I’m not sure if it was the fallen soldier’s mother or wife who I watched slowly walk up to the coffin while a few other family members, wrapped in blankets, stood near with a dozen or so of the Honor Guards standing in salute. As soon as I saw her reach out to put her hand on her baby’s casket, I walked away.”
2 Videos below:
- The announcement about fallen soldier: (turn on sound) “When the jet door opened, another military officer addressed the escort who was standing at attention. He then stepped on the plane and told us passengers “I just addressed the escort. It is a sworn oath to bring home, to the family, the fallen.” He paused and then said, “Today you all did that, you are all escorts, escorts of the heart.” And then thanked us for our time and walked off the plane.”
- The moving video of a tribute to Marine 2nd Lieutenant James Cathey, just one of the many fallen. Perhaps this more perfectly explains what the oath means to the families of the fallen.
Bringing them HOME: