N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

TRAGIC STORIES

The White Rose

There are many examples, leading up to and during World War II, of resistance movements. Usually it was a group outside Germany within countries that had been taken over by Hitler’s armies. The French are well known, as well as others, who risk everything for FREEDOM and eventual peace.

It may not be as familiar with some of my readers that there were Germans who also resisted. In fact, there were several movement who paid a great price for their heroic deeds. One was known as the White Rose. Perhaps three of the most famous were a brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were students in the University of Munich. Christoph Probst, a married father of three, was also part of the White Rose movement. They believed that the German people had suffered greatly under Adolph Hitler and the crimes he was committing against humanity was totally against their conscience and Christian beliefs.

White Rose Resistance at University of Munich

Exactly what was the White Rose?

The White Rose ( Weiße Rose) was a non-violent, intellectual, resistance group in the Third Reich led by a group of students. The group conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign that called for active opposition to the Nazi regime. Their activities started on 27 June 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on 18 February 1943. The Scholls, as well as others, carried on distributing the pamphlets, faced show trials  by the Nazi People’s Court  (Volksgerichtshof), and many of them were sentenced to death or imprisonment.

Hans, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst were executed by guillotine four days after their arrest, on February 22nd, 1943. During the trial, Sophie interrupted the judge multiple times. No defendants were given any opportunity to speak.

The Final Days Presentation of Sophie Scholl on trial.

The group wrote, printed and initially distributed their pamphlets in the greater Munich region. Later on, secret carriers brought copies to other cities, mostly in the southern parts of Germany. In total, the White Rose authored six leaflets, which were multiplied and spread, in a total of about 15,000 copies. They denounced the Nazi regime’s crimes and oppression, and called for resistance.

In their second leaflet, they openly denounced the persecution and mass murder of the Jews.  By the time of their arrest, the members of the White Rose were just about to establish contacts with other German resistance groups like the Kreisau Circle or the Schulze-Boysen/Harnack group of the Red Orchestra. Today, the White Rose is well known both within Germany and worldwide. (Wikipedia)

A surviving member of the White Rose gave this description of life in Germany at that time:

“The government—or rather, the party—controlled everything: the news media, arms, police, the armed forces, the judiciary system, communications, travel, all levels of education from kindergarten to universities, all cultural and religious institutions. Political indoctrination started at a very early age, and continued by means of the Hitler Youth with the ultimate goal of complete mind control. Children were exhorted in school to denounce even their own parents for derogatory remarks about Hitler or Nazi ideology.”— George J. Wittenstein, M.D., “Memories of the White Rose” (Wikipedia)

Should this not be a history lesson for all of us today, who have the democratic privilege to vote for our officials…or see that our own society’s voice may be slipping away with more and more government control?

What motivated Hans and Sophie Scholl to stand strong under such oppression?

Sophie’s own words tell of her CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE. This was the great motivator to do something important in the midst of evil. Here are some of her quotes:

Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone.”

“An end in terror is preferable to terror without end.”

“How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?”

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. “

I will cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even when my numb hands can no longer feel it.”

(quotes from article by Bill Muehlenberg)

On the back of Sophie’s indictment, she wrote FREEDOM (from Institute fuer Zeitgeschichte.)

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HONORS in recent history for Sophie and Hans Scholl by the German people

The Geschwister-Scholl-Institut (“Scholl Siblings Institute”) for Political Science at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) is named in honour of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans. The institute is home to the university’s political science and communication departments, and is housed in the former Radio Free Europe building close to the city’s Englischer Garten. (Wikipedia)

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OPPRESSION CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE

Will you or I be willing to speak up against it?

VIDEO Turn up your sound. Scenes from the movie The Final Days based on the true story of the White Rose Resistance. (The full movie is on You Tube)


FREEDOM…FEAR…FAITH

Most people are familiar with World War II Holocaust where millions of Jews died terrible deaths, but may not be aware that there have been a number of other genocides in modern history. One man, whose family immigrated to America, learned it all too well in recent years. His name is Daniel Yessian. He is trying, through his music, to ‘SPEAK FOR A LOST GENERATION.”

Daniel Yessian

A shy young boy, born here in America, found a love for music through the encouragement of an older musician. As he grew, music would take him to places that he never dreamed of to find again his heritage…in Armenia.

Daniel had a natural ear for music, often imitating what he heard a teacher play. As time went on, he found a love for jazz and formed his own small band. Then something happened that would eventually change his life. He was asked to write music for commercials, which he found exciting and gave some pocket change that seemed like a God sent. He married, had children, and continued playing.

His family members were baptized into the Armenian Christian Church and it was through their priest that he was asked to compose some music that would be played for the Commemoration of the tragedy endured by the Armenian people in 1915.

A Short History:

The Armenian genocide was the systematic killing and deportation of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. In 1915, during World War I, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians. By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. Today, most historians call this event a genocide: a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. 

The Armenian people have made their home in the Caucasus region of Eurasia for some 3,000 years. For some of that time, the kingdom of Armenia was an independent entity: At the beginning of the 4th century A.D., for instance, it became the first nation in the world to make Christianity, its official religion.

But for the most part, control of the region shifted from one empire to another. During the 15th century, Armenia was absorbed into the mighty Ottoman Empire.  The Ottoman rulers, like most of their subjects, were Muslim. They permitted religious minorities like the Armenians to maintain some autonomy, but they also subjected Armenians, who they viewed as “infidels,” to unequal and unjust treatment. Christians had to pay higher taxes than Muslims, for example, and they had very few political and legal rights.

In spite of these obstacles, the Armenian community thrived under Ottoman rule. They tended to be better educated and wealthier than their Turkish neighbors, who in turn grew to resent their success.

This resentment was compounded by suspicions that the Christian Armenians would be more loyal to Christian governments (that of the Russians, for example, who shared an unstable border with Turkey) than they were to the Ottoman caliphate. (note: Russia also had as a primary religion…Christianity through the Russian Orthodox Church and not Muslim.)

These suspicions grew more acute as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. At the end of the 19th century, the despotic Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II – obsessed with loyalty above all, and infuriated by the nascent Armenian campaign to win basic civil rights – declared that he would solve the “Armenian question” once and for all.

“I will soon settle those Armenians,” he told a reporter in 1890. “I will give them a box on the ear which will make them…relinquish their revolutionary ambitions.” (History.com)

Footnote: Today, Turkey refuses to admit that anything happened to the Armenian people even though there are skeletons to prove it and some 100 year old survivors, who remember this terrible history as children. Turkey calls it “relocation.” The truth being that they moved the Armenians out before they murdered them because they didn’t want the bodies to be in their territory. Only a few escaped to tell the story.

Daniel Yessian believed he would honor his ancestors and those who died in the Armenian genocide if he could compose a musical trilogy with photography of the history of the Armenians. He had never traveled to Armenia, but found it a wonderful experience of getting to know the land and people who suffered so much…but survived to this day. This Trilogy was based on FREEDOM…FEAR…and FAITH.

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If you would like to watch a remarkable film with the complete story of Mr. Yessian’s journey to bring his composition to the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra. It is available on Amazon Prime…An Armenian Trilogy. It is worth your time to look it up and watch.

AN IMPORTANT THOUGHT

In this film, Mr. Yessian wonders if there will be more genocides to come. This is a very important thought for all of us to contemplate. How much do we know or remember about the genocides in more recent history? How much are our young people learning today about past history that must not be repeated? Even today, in various places in the world, there is great persecution going on that may not make the national news.

REFRESHING OUR MEMORY OF HISTORY AND GENOCIDES

These pictures represent only a very few of the atrocities during the 19th and 20th centuries. It is, however, important to remember what people have endured and pray that there will be no more. Where one group of people stand against another, it is entirely possible that it will happen again. Mr. Yessian also says, “We are nothing without each other.”

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Video: A trailer, ARMENIAN TRILOGY, concerning the music composed in commemoration of the Armenian people who perished.

by Daniel Yessian.


Trapped in the Midst of Wealth

Do we have any idea what is happening in the concrete jungles of the world? Hardly! We only hear the names of big cities…Paris, London, Moscow, New York….and more. What is actually happening in these great metropolises is anybody’s guess. They are only names…without real understanding of the hard working people in their midst.

In these great cities of steel and stone are real people who are trapped in a cycle of over-population, rising costs, air pollution and the rush for investors to take every inch of land in order to build…and build. These great towers rise high and gleam in the sky…the symbol of wealth and prosperity….or DOES IT?

Take a look at our large cities and you might get an answer if you have something to compare the life of those living there and the lives of others around the world. It could make us decide that life in many American towns, even with the great improvements that need to be made, is good and should be appreciated. We must not forget that for most our blessings are great! Perhaps this blog will help us put things into perspective.

You are going to have the opportunity to follow the lives of some select people in a towering city of gigantic, concrete high rises and see what things are really like….HONG KONG. This story can be played out in any large city in the world as desire for more and more constitutes the creed in the world.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is by far the largest source of foreign direct investment in China, totaling U.S.$76 billion by the end of 1995. Mainland money is also pouring into Hong Kong, with Chinese companies investing as much as U.S.$60 billion in the territory in recent years. (Rand)

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM…IN ALL THIS PROSPERITY?

“In glitzy and prosperous Hong Kong, thousands live in conditions deemed an “insult to human dignity”. Low-income residents who can’t keep up with soaring property prices have no choice but to cram into homes barely bigger than a coffin or wire cage. More than 200,000 Hongkongers survive in the cramped and squalid conditions of so-called coffin houses and cage homes. “(RT documentaries)

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF HONG KONG and ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

Starting out as a farming fishing village and salt production site, it became an important free port and eventually a major international financial centre. The Qing dynasty ceded Hong Kong to the British Empire in 1842 through the treaty of Nanjing, ending the First Opium War. (Wikipedia)

The treaty of Nanking in 1842 ceded Hong Kong to the British. Their big ships and military might meant China had little choice at the end of the first opium war. It was given to them in perpetuity. … It was this, the New Territories, that in 1898 the British pledged to give back in 1997 (Newsweek)

Hong Kong exists as a Special Administrative Region controlled by The People’s Republic of China and enjoys its own limited autonomy as defined by the Basic Law. (Investipedia)

The cause of the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests was the proposed legislation of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill…and demands for democratic reform…and the fear of losing a “high degree of autonomy” in general. (Wikipedia)

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong has one of the world’s most thriving economies and is a hub for international trade and investment. A cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong weaves Western and Asian influence into a world-class center of business, culture, and trade. (Hong Kong Atlanta)

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One would think that the power and influential of Hong Kong would have economic problems figured out for the workers of this vast empire. However, the desire for wealth doesn’t mean that the average, working citizen can live with any dignity. The economy of any nation is extremely important, but the workers who are the steam behind the engine must not be overlooked.

I’ve asked why most of the workers in our country and others are the poorest of the poor…the most vulnerable to disease that spreads to others? Why are they mostly the only ones willing to work? Why, even during the pandemic in the U.S., did many of these workers, mostly Spanish or Asian, continue working in the slaughter houses while others collected unemployment, refusing to return to work as long as the government paid out?

The answer is simple…they did not want to lose a job that was their only life line. This is also the reason for the workers interviewed in the video below. We must not forget that Hong Kong is still under the thumb of communistic China. You will see in one episode where the men refused to be photographed in fear of losing the only thing they had…a job and a tiny place to live, not much bigger than your average large dog cage in the USA. Fear is a great motivator in survival.

Governments and companies should look seriously at the Holy Scripture and its promises to the worker in Psalm 128:2. The worker is promised something from God if the bosses over them do not interfere.

“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”

 God rewards those who work hard. They deserve to be rewarded and blessed with a good and decent life. Authoritarian powers often cancel out God’s purposes. The world will suffer and men’s actions and greed will eventually be held accountable…not only in the East…but the West.

New York City

“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin. Deuteronomy 24:14,15

This video, Trapped inside Hong Kong’s cage houses” proves what over-crowing and rising costs leads to completely being trapped for these Hong Kong’s workers. When watching this, keep in mind that the same thing can happen in any large city in the world today.

Turn on your sound.


Life Histories…Will We LEARN?

“THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT.”

  Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 1948

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This famous quote is one to strongly consider as we think about our nation and the world today.  We thought we had conquered most of the world’s diseases, then the Coronavirus moved around the world. 

We thought we had crossed through the problems of discrimination after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther, Jr…then came more deaths for many people of all colors. We are faced with problems today that could be disastrous for us all. There are those who simply want their voices heard, justice done and then there are the anarchists among us who want to destroy peace and accomplishments of many. What we thought had been attained through new laws of the land against racism and civil rights for all can be destroyed within an instance if lawlessness is allowed to continue. We ask ourselves, “What is next and what has happened to the democratic way of life? Where is law and order?” 

There are forces at work to disrupt anything peaceful.  Some are outsiders, who mean no good will. These forces will take advantage of every tragic event to move our civilization toward something even more tragic. What would that be is not fully known, but the loss of lawfulness, the democratic way and the sanctity of all men and women could be only a starter.

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What exactly is “sanctity?”  It has to do with being sacred or morally upright and correct.”  Is nothing sacred anymore?  Does the hard work of people building businesses, which support our communities…for all races…make it right to “smash…grab…and run”… while laughing about it?!

The values that were taught in most families…about stealing or destroying seems to mean nothing to many who have been given so much by the previous generation? There were marches in Selma; men and women of all colors who went off to war to fight for world freedom.  Do they understand the sacrifices of history? If not, do we blame ourselves for not teaching it more in schools or in the home?  Will these young adults who believe they are changing the world teach their own children the meaning of sacrifice and sanctity? Do they “care less” when it comes to destroying and looting?

broken glass2

A man records the broken glass during protests

Yes, there are voices that need to be heard, but all people, through our Constitution and laws, have been given a right to freedom of speech when voicing complaints…and should and can be heard without destroying the center of their own universe.  (“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress…”) There is no right given to plunder, steal or take the property of another.

We have also seen how situations can turn from bad to worse when people are singled out because of who they are…minorities…police…the calling of disparaging names because of one’s belief on a particular subject. The victims of violence should be able to mourn their dead. The victim’s memories should be honored, not exploited.

While government officials argue about what to do in this crisis, the “rape” of hard-working American men and women’s businesses goes on…destroying the lives of many.

Jueenhan Moon Reuters Photo credit

BREAK, GRAB, STEAL during protests Photo credit Jueenhan Moon Reuters

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Do not forget history.  It teaches us everything…to do and not to do. It tells us how fragile governments can be when those who believe their ideas are the only ideas, regardless of who they hurt, begs the possibility of raising up leaders to push the world into a brink of despair and even war. We have seen it in our best teacher…HISTORY.

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 Let’s take a look back.

There were good people in Germany before World War II who saw that the path on which their country was heading would lead Germany and other countries into chaos.  Even within the high-ranking military and Christian churches, there were dissidents who stood against Hitler. There were actually six attempts to do away with Hitler, but each failed.

1944 Plot:  …”At the center of this plot was Claus von Stauffenberg, a dashing colonel who had lost an eye and one of his hands during combat in North Africa. He and his co-conspirators—who included Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Ludwig Beck—planned to kill the Führer with a hidden bomb concealed in a briefcase and then use the German Reserve Army to topple the Nazi high command. If their coup was successful, the rebels would then immediately seek a negotiated peace with the Allies. ( Full story of 6 plots  History.com)

 When the bomb exploded, more than 20 people were injured and three officers were killed, but Hitler escaped one more time.  Because of this attempt, more than 7,000 people were arrested and 4,980 people were executed by the Gestapo.” (History Collection)

picture of Hitler and Strassenberg who attemted to kill Hitler

At Rastenburg on 15 July 1944. Stauffenberg at left, Hitler center, Keitel on right. The person shaking hands with Hitler is General Karl Bodenschatz, who was seriously wounded five days later by Stauffenberg’s bomb. Wikipedia

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Anarchy is raising an ugly head in today’s modern world.  The very word, from the Latin word, anarchia, and the Greek, anarchos, has the meaning of “no rule.”  (Wikipedia)

We, as a nation of people, have a choice to stand for what is right and honorable…or loss control. Don’t forget “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass)  when storefronts belonging to the Jews were shattered. Glass littered the streets and vandalism occurred. Sound familiar?

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I leave you with a compelling life of a survivor of one of history’s darkest hours.  At first it began slowly and then the blaming of an entire group of people began.  The innocent were accused…and the rest is “history.”  We pray that this part of our present day history will not be another dark hour.

Hannah Pick Goslar
Life of Hannah Elizabeth Goslar Pick:
  • Born in 1928 in Berlin. Hannah’s father was Head of the Prussian Press Bureau and adviser to the Minister of Interior of Brandenburg, Germany. In 1933, with the rise of the Nazis to power, Hannah’s family fled to Amsterdam.
  • There, at school, Hannah met Anna Frank, also a refugee from Germany. 
  • In October 1942, while giving birth, both the baby and Hannah’s mother died.
  • On June 20, 1943, Hannah, her younger sister, Gabi, her father and grandparents were sent to the Westerbork transit camp.
  • Hannah and Gabi were separated from their father and sent to the orphanage in the camp. There, she worked cleaning the toilets 
  • In 1944, Hannah, her father and sister were transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she had to do forced labor.
  • When she was told that Anna Frank was also imprisoned there she managed to establish contact with her and even tried to give her a package of food and clothing, which someone else stole.

    Hannah Goslar and Ann Frank

    Ann Frank and Hannah were friends in Amsterdam

  • Hanna’s Father and Grandparents were murdered in Bergen-Belsen.
  • On April 11, 1945, the camp inmates were evacuated. Hannah had contracted typhus.
  • In June, the Soviets handed Hannah and her sister to the Americans and they were returned to Amsterdam.
  • Hannah went to Israel in 1947 and lived in Kfar Hasidim. She worked as a nurse in a pediatric ward at the ‘Bikkur Holim’ Hospital in Jerusalem.  (from Yad Vashem)

    Young Hannah Pick Goslar

    Young adult Hannah Pick Goslar

In Hannah’s own words:

Video  Turn up your sound.

 


A History of Pandemics

All of us understand that we are in the midst of a world-wide pandemic, which has caused great grief around the world.  Yet, we might not be familiar with the other Pandemics that have been endured throughout history.

In every pandemic, the world, with great loss of life, has moved through them.  In all their horror, people come out on the other side to live again.  We will live again…perhaps not exactly as before…but life will go on.  They WILL find it.We also may want to educate ourselves on other times in history that sickness and disease have ravished the earth.  it (The following information is taken from MPH Online, which is an independent online resource for public health information.)

  • ANTONINE PLAGUE (165 AD)

Death Toll: 5 million
Cause: Unknown
Also known as the Plague of Galen, the Antonine Plague was an ancient pandemic that affected Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and Italy and is thought to have been either Smallpox or Measles, though the true cause is still unknown. This unknown disease was brought back to Rome by soldiers returning from Mesopotamia around 165AD; unknowingly, they had spread a disease which would end up killing over 5 million people and decimating the Roman army.

painting-of-antonine-plague

Painting of the Antonine Plague in Rome

  • Plague of Justinian (541-542)

Death Toll: 25 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague
Thought to have killed perhaps half the population of Europe, the Plague of Justinian was an outbreak of the bubonic plague that afflicted the Byzantine Empire and Mediterranean port cities, killing up to 25 million people in its year long reign of terror. Generally regarded as the first recorded incident of the Bubonic Plague, the Plague of Justinian left its mark on the world, killing up to a quarter of the population of the Eastern Mediterranean and devastating the city of Constantinople, where at its height it was killing an estimated 5,000 people per day and eventually resulting in the deaths of 40% of the city’s population.

Justinian Plague

Painting depicting the Justinian Plague

  • The Black Death (1346-1353)

Death Toll: 75 – 200 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague
From 1346 to 1353 an outbreak of the Plague ravaged Europe, Africa, and Asia, with an estimated death toll between 75 and 200 million people. Thought to have originated in Asia, the Plague most likely jumped continents via the fleas living on the rats that so frequently lived aboard merchant ships. Ports being major urban centers at the time, were the perfect breeding ground for the rats and fleas, and thus the insidious bacterium flourished, devastating three continents in its wake.flea

  • Third Cholera Pandemic (1852-1860)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Cholera
Generally considered the most deadly of the seven cholera pandemics, the third major outbreak of Cholera in the 19th century lasted from 1852 to 1860. Like the first and second pandemics, the Third Cholera Pandemic originated in India, spreading from the Ganges River Delta before tearing through Asia, Europe, North America and Africa and ending the lives of over a million people. British physician John Snow, while working in a poor area of London, tracked cases of cholera and eventually succeeded in identifying contaminated water as the means of transmission for the disease. Unfortunately the same year as his discovery (1854) went down as the worst year of the pandemic, in which 23,000 people died in Great Britain.

  •  FLU PANDEMIC (1889-1890)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza
Originally the “Asiatic Flu” or “Russian Flu” as it was called, this strain was thought to be an outbreak of the Influenza A virus subtype H2N2, though recent discoveries have instead found the cause to be the Influenza A virus subtype H3N8. The first cases were observed in May 1889 in three separate and distant locations, Bukhara in Central Asia (Turkestan), Athabasca in northwestern Canada, and Greenland. Rapid population growth of the 19th century, specifically in urban areas, only helped the flu spread, and before long the outbreak had spread across the globe. Though it was the first true epidemic in the era of bacteriology and much was learned from it. In the end, the 1889-1890 Flu Pandemic claimed the lives of over a million individuals.

  • Sixth cholera pandemic (1910-1911)

Death Toll: 800,000+
Cause: Cholera
Like its five previous incarnations, the Sixth Cholera Pandemic originated in India where it killed over 800,000, before spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. The Sixth Cholera Pandemic was also the source of the last American outbreak of Cholera (1910–1911). American health authorities, having learned from the past, quickly sought to isolate the infected, and in the end only 11 deaths occurred in the U.S. By 1923 Cholera cases had been cut down dramatically, although it was still a constant in India.cholera

1911 cholera

1911 Cholera Pandemic

 

Map. Cholera spread during the seventh pandemic.

  • FLU PANDEMIC (1918)

Death Toll: 20 -50 million
Cause: Influenza
Between 1918 and 1920 a disturbingly deadly outbreak of influenza tore across the globe, infecting over a third of the world’s population and ending the lives of 20 – 50 million people. Of the 500 million people infected in the 1918 pandemic, the mortality rate was estimated at 10% to 20%, with up to 25 million deaths in the first 25 weeks alone. What separated the 1918 flu pandemic from other influenza outbreaks was the victims; where influenza had always previously only killed juveniles and the elderly or already weakened patients, it had begun striking down hardy and completely healthy young adults, while leaving children and those with weaker immune systems still alive.

1918 flu in Kansas

FLU PANDEMIC 1918 in Kansas

  • ASIAN FLU (1956-1958)

Death Toll: 2 million
Cause: Influenza
Asian Flu was a pandemic outbreak of Influenza A of the H2N2 subtype, that originated in China in 1956 and lasted until 1958. In its two-year spree, Asian Flu traveled from the Chinese province of Guizhou to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. Estimates for the death toll of the Asian Flu vary depending on the source, but the World Health Organization places the final tally at approximately 2 million deaths, 69,800 of those in the US alone.

Red Guard in China 1967 flu

Red Guard in China wear masks during 1967 Influenza

  • FLU PANDEMIC (1968)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza
A category 2 Flu pandemic sometimes referred to as “the Hong Kong Flu,” the 1968 flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the Influenza A virus, a genetic offshoot of the H2N2 subtype. From the first reported case on July 13, 1968 in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before outbreaks of the virus were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months had spread to The Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States. While the 1968 pandemic had a comparatively low mortality rate (.5%) it still resulted in the deaths of more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong, approximately 15% of its population at the time.

  • SARS Coronavirus (2003)

    An acronym for severe acute respiratory syndrome, the SARS coronavirus is a viral respiratory disease that caused 774 deaths across 17 countries, the majority of which were in mainland China and Hong Kong.

    The outbreak occurred in Guangdong, China, in late 2002, but the Chinese government tried to cover it up by discouraging press coverage, delaying reporting of the outbreak to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and reporting false numbers—all of which resulted in international criticism. As a result, neighboring nations did not get sufficient warning to prepare for a possible health crisis.

    At the end of January, a fishmonger checked into the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital in Guangdong, where he infected 30 medical staff. From there, the virus spread to nearby hospitals. A doctor named Liu from the hospital in Guangdong then traveled to Hong Kong in February; he proved to be the super-spreader who would go on to infect much of the city. Apart from seeing various family members, he also stayed in the Metropol Hotel. 23 other guests of the hotel developed SARS, while Liu’s brother-in-law eventually died of the disease. Liu checked himself into the Kwong Wah Hospital and later died in the Intensive Care Unit.

    A large proportion of those infected were either medical staff or family members of those who were ill. Reportedly, at least 99 medical staff were infected while treating a single patient who had visited a guest at the Metropole Hotel. A global health alert was issued by WHO about the new infectious disease in March 2003.

    The following months were a dark period for Hongkongers. Schools were all cancelled indefinitely, the streets were largely empty, and people could only watch as infected numbers increased daily. Among the residential estates, Amoy Gardens was hit particularly heavily: in just Block E of the estate there was an outbreak of over 200 cases. Residents were transferred to quarantine camps, and it was later found that the virus spread through droplets from the drainage pipes because the apartments shared a sewage system.

    The symptoms of SARS are similar to flu and may include fever, muscle pain, lethargy, cough, and sore throat. The only common symptom that all patients had was running a fever above 38 degrees Celsius. Its average incubation period is four to six days, and patients are most infectious during the second week of illness, so if detection was early and the carrier was quarantined by day five of their illness they rarely infected others.

    It wasn’t until June that Hong Kong was removed from WHO’s list of affected areas. There is still no vaccine for SARS; clinical isolation and maintaining personal hygiene remains the most effective means to stop it spreading.   (from History.com)

 

pandemics-hong-kong-sars-2003

SARS pandemic 2003 Hong Kong

  • HIV/AIDS PANDEMIC (AT ITS PEAK, 2005-2012)

Death Toll: 36 million
Cause: HIV/AIDS
First identified in Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, HIV/AIDS has truly proven itself as a global pandemic, killing more than 36 million people since 1981. Currently there are between 31 and 35 million people living with HIV, the vast majority of those are in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 5% of the population is infected, roughly 21 million people. As awareness has grown, new treatments have been developed that make HIV far more manageable, and many of those infected go on to lead productive lives. Between 2005 and 2012 the annual global deaths from HIV/AIDS dropped from 2.2 million to 1.6 million.

HIV AIDS PANDEMIC timeline quilt

HIV AIDS PANDEMIC “TIMELINE QUILT”

 

HongKong wholesale market H7N9 bird flu virus 2013

Bird Flu N7N9 2013 Hong Kong Wholesale Market destroy bird carriers.

  • COVID-19 ( CORONAVIRUS)

Beginning in December 2019, in the region of Wuhan, China, a new (“novel”) coronavirus began appearing in human beings. It has been named Covid-19, a shortened form of “coronavirus disease of 2019.” This new virus spreads incredibly quickly between people, due to its newness – no one on earth has an immunity to Covid-19, because no one had Covid-19 until 2019. While it was initially seen to be an epidemic in China, the virus spread worldwide within months. The WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March, and by the end of that month, the world saw more than a half-million people infected and nearly 30,000 deaths. The infection rate in the US and other nations was still spiking.

With the coronavirus pandemic, people all over the world have become more aware of the best practices during a pandemic, from careful hand-washing to social distancing. Countries across the world declared mandatory stay-at-home measures, closing schools, businesses, and public places. Dozens of companies and many more independent researchers began working on tests, treatments, and vaccines. The push for the human race to survive the pandemic became the primary concern in the world.

The outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic is impossible to predict, at the time of this writing. But we can learn from pandemics in history to determine our best courses. These are our teachers – the Spanish flu, the AIDS pandemic, and more.”

Hospital worker in US

Heroic hospital workers in the U.S. and world-wide

_______________________

Every pandemic originated somewhere. The lack of scientific knowledge and communication problems contributed to the wide-spread of the diseases around the world in our past history.  Perhaps we will never know the complete truth about how the Coronavirus of 2020 started. With all our technology, there should have been only moments before we, on the other side of the world, should have known and been told.  Fingers will be pointed and the truth or lack of it will most likely be denied.

However, It can not be stressed enough that in our century the responsibility  ALL COUNTRIES have when a serious health problem arises, to quickly warn the world! No knowledge must be withheld if we are to save lives and be victorious over the next pandemic…and there will be a “next one.” 

I have chosen to include this VIDEO  from the EPOCH TIMES,  “Documentary: Tracking Down the Origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus”   by the seasoned, investigative reporter, Joshua Philipp. Because of the controversy about the actual origin of the pandemic in China, it is worth listening to those who have information not available to the general public. You can choose for yourself if it has merit.

All countries have a need to protect their citizens.  Give yourself an hour to concentrate on the words spoken here by members of the scientific community, intelligence officers and ask God to show you the truth for your future and that of the world.  Pray for the Leaders in all countries who shoulder a great burden for all of us. 

Turn up your sound.


75 Years Since Liberation…Are we turning our backs?

The survivors of the concentration camp, Auschwitz, were liberated by the Soviet Army on January 27, 1945. What they found shocked the world and yet, even today, the Jews of the world are still being persecuted. Why?  The horror of these and many other photographs only tell part of the story.  Does the world want to endure such atrocities again?

It is difficult to look at this picture, but it is included in this particular blog because we must NEVER FORGET the tragedy forced upon the millions of Jews and non-Jews during this period.

A Liberator Remembers:

MOSCOW (AFP) — It was the silence, the smell of ashes and the boundless surrounding expanse that struck Soviet soldier Ivan Martynushkin when his unit arrived in January 1945 to liberate the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

As they entered the camp for the first time, the full horror of the Nazis’ crimes there were yet to emerge.

“Only the highest-ranking officers of the General Staff had perhaps heard of the camp,” recalled Martynushkin of his arrival to the site where at least 1.1 million people were killed between 1940 and 1945 — nearly 90 percent of them Jews. “We knew nothing.” But Martynushkin and his comrades soon learned.

After scouring the camp in search of a potential Nazi ambush, Martynushkin and his fellow soldiers “noticed people behind barbed wire. ‘It was hard to watch them. I remember their faces, especially their eyes which betrayed their ordeal,’ he said. The unit found roughly 7,000 prisoners left behind in Auschwitz by fleeing Nazis — those too weak or sick to walk. They also discovered about 600 corpses. Ten days earlier, the Nazis had evacuated 58,000 Auschwitz inmates in sub-zero conditions over hundreds of kilometers towards Loslau (now Wodzislaw Slaski in Poland). Survivors later remembered the “death march” as even worse than what they had endured in the camp. 

Prior to that retreat, Nazi units had blown up parts of the camp, but failed to destroy evidence of their genocidal work. Among items discovered by Martynushkin and other Soviet troops were 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’s garments, and 7.7 tons of human hair, according to Sybille Steinbacher, a history professor at the University of Vienna.

January 27, 1945 — now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day — had begun as a normal day for the 21-year-old Martynushkin and his company, until the order was given to move towards the Polish town of Oswiecim, where Nazis had set up a network of concentration camps.

That led to the machine gun commander and his peers taking Auschwitz, liberating its survivors and discovering the nightmarish crimes that had been committed in the camp.  (Moscow AFP)

OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) — On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland. The Germans had already fled westward, leaving behind the bodies of prisoners who had been shot and thousands of sick and starving survivors. The Soviet troops also found gas chambers and crematoria that the Germans had blown up before fleeing in an attempt to hide evidence of their mass killings. But the genocide was too massive to hide. Today, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau endures as the leading symbol of the terror of the Holocaust. Its iconic status is such that every year it registers a record number of visitors — 2.3 million last year alone.

Auschwitz today is many things at once: an emblem of evil, a site of historical remembrance and a vast cemetery. It is a place where Jews make pilgrimages to pay tribute to ancestors whose ashes and bones remain part of the earth.

AP Pictures of Auschwitz 75 years later: 

Pictures show places where prisoners were crowded into tight spaces, wired prison and crematorium where they were gassed and burned.

Has the world not learned the lessons of history? Is it repeating history by “turning it’s back” on the Jews or any other group of people enduring hate and torment?” If so, this is a warning that should not be ignored. Charges have been made that modern-day Iran is the “most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.”

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Holocaust survivors and world leaders that the world turned its back on Jews during the Holocaust, teaching the Jewish people that under threat they can only rely on themselves.

Speaking at the World Holocaust Forum’s memorial to commemorate the 75th liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp at Yad Vashem, Netanyahu said the world was similarly failing to unify against Iran, which he charged was the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.

‘Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice, there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,’ Netanyahu said.”   (article by Raoul Wootliff and Toi Staff Jan.2020)

Over and over, we hear “NEVER AGAIN”…Yet in one form or another, genocide is part of many cultures and places around the world. We must not forget…and we must not turn our backs on any place where the people are helpless victims to the evils of their leaders.

“It was my privilege to take American high school students to Auschwitz and because we went to see this place of evil, their lives will never be the same…and neither is mine.”  N. Boyer of Boyer Writes

VIDEO OF THE 75th YEAR SINCE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ from the location at AUSCHWITZ in Poland

(This video is full length. It is worth watching even if it can only be watched in short intervals.)  Turn up sound:


Dog Heros of 9-11

The heroes of 9-11 were many.  They were not only first responders, people with amazing courage and compassion for fellow citizens, but the many dogs that worked tirelessly at Ground Zero.

A friend sent me this article written by

“Search and rescue dogs are some of the unsung heroes of 9/11… However, these determined animals were indispensable to the rescue efforts and saved countless lives. What’s more, they brought back a sliver of hope to a nation under attack and reeling from the horror. One Twitter user gave canines the attention they deserve in an incredibly profound and viral thread that once and for all proves that dogs really are our best friends”rescue dog of 9-11 Riley (2)

 

9-1 dog Bretagne

“Some of these heroic dogs were awarded The Dickin Medal which, according to BBC Radio 4, is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. One of the dogs who received the medal was the aforementioned New York Police Department dog Appollo; the award was meant to recognize the dutiful efforts made by all SAR dogs during 9/11…

Two guide dogs were also awarded the medal for leading their owners more than 70 floors out of the World Trade Center immediately after the attacks in New York. Since 1943, over 60 animals have been awarded The Dickin Medal, including pigeons, horses and a cat (not just dogs). They were recognized for their services which led to people’s lives being saved during wartime.”

Boyer Writes gives honor to all the Hero Dogs of 9-11

The video below is the story of Michael Hingson, a survivor on 9-11 and his dog, Roselle. (Turn up sound)

 


Where EVIL lurked…9-11 Revisited

 

9-11 towers burning (2)One never knows where evil lurks!  The terrorists of 9-11 most likely walked or rode bikes by our home in Venice, Florida. This was the beginning of their journey to murder as many people as possible and to die.

Venice is a peaceful, quiet place situated on the Gulf of Mexico in the U.S.A.  Families enjoy the beautiful beaches that are quiet and serene, especially as the sun begins to set in the West. Yet, evil was among them.

Venice, FL USA Terrorist train in flight (2)

Venice Beach in Florida, USA

Late one evening, my husband and I walked down to take a look at the sunset.  A group of young people from Italy were there.  As we listened to them speak in Italian, we asked them if they were tourists.  They replied, “No, we are training at the Venice Airport.”   It was not uncommon to have people from around the world, who in good faith wanted to learn to fly in the U.S

.Venice, FL USA Terrorist train in flight2

Yet, no one would have dreamed that evil was lurking there behind the controls of the small aircraft. The pilot trainee was learning to fly in order to murder not only Americans, but thousands from different countries… even people from their own country, who were simply doing business here.  On leaving Venice, they planned to go on to other airports in Florida to learn to fly large aircraft.  Coming to the U.S. through Hamburg, Germany, they blended in and were like many other foreigners who had trained in Venice.

We were told that the employees at the airport were kind to the foreigners and even offered for two of them to stay in their home until they could find a place of their own during training.  Because they were so rude to the employee’s wife, they were asked to leave.

Venice, FL USA airport Terrorist train in flight2 (2)

Venice Airport

A Christian friend of ours was a flight instructor at the Venice Airport.  Unfortunately, he had been given the assignment to train these men. After much frustration with them, he decided to complain to the airport managers. The men wanted to learn to fly, but oddly did not want to take instruction on landing.   Another instructor took over.  Neither the Venice Airport or local authorities in the area had been warned by federal agents about the men’s possible connection to the terrorist group Al Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden.   Yet, here they were in the small town of Venice, ready and willing to learn, take their time and then strike like great, poisonous snakes for their Jihadist cause.

Do we remember their names?  No…a thousand times NO!  Their names are not worth remembering!

We do remember, however, the honorable, decent human beings who were the first responders, volunteers, and people from around the world who cared about humanity.

St Paul Chapel3 inside survived 9-11frist responders praying

A Fireman rests while others pray

9-11 police memorial

Honoring the fallen

We remember and pray for those men and women who are still sick from exposure at the 9-11 sites and the families of those who will forever grieve here and around the world.

9-11 Father and children remember

We must never let our children forget.

We give HONOR to the victims of 9-11. (Slide presentation)

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Are the Values of Family, Friendship and Faith lost?

     A reader and friend sent me this blog concerning terrible events that have happened just this week.  It is worth a read.   For the most part, what he says makes sense because many of our young adults, who commit mass murders, have lost the emphasis on family, friendship and faith…if they were ever taught such by their parents or guardians. Yes, there will be the mentally ill that have lost all sense of values, but there has to be a start toward teaching and expecting that our young adults will grow up with any understanding of right and wrong in society and toward other human beings.
Below is the blog sent to me written by

“The recent rash of mass shootings has left the nation stunned but, sadly, not speechless. The usual media and political suspects are saying the usual things, using the bodies of the innocent as a sickening ideological soapbox.

We’re not going to do that here. These gruesome murders are not about, nor caused by, politics. Rather, they are the unavoidable and perhaps unstoppable product of a deeply diseased culture. A culture which has become the perfect growth medium for psychopathy.

“Loners” are no longer alone when in their online worlds. They can communicate without actual human contact. They can find reinforcement for their darkest and most twisted thoughts and fantasies. They can give the worst demons of their psyches an artificial, external life in cyberspace… free to express hatred and anger anonymously and without consequence. And on the Internet, madness can hide in plain sight. 

After all, who’s going to notice or care about garden variety insanity in a world which routinely describes everyone as murderous: baby killers on one side, Earth-destroying Nazis on the other. The stakes are absolute, the “other” is the enemy, and words are just words…until they become actions.

The social mechanisms which formerly prevented these massacres have crumbled the bonds of family, friendship, and faith…a shared sense of community, optimism about the future, moral certainty and personal responsibility.

Instead, we now live in a crowded world of communal loners, all staring at their phones instead of the world and people around them. Politicians and media figures preach an unsubtle and dangerously divisive message of absolutes: you are either on this side or that, either all good or all evil. There is no middle ground – only calls for action. Calls that the wrong people are hearing.

We live in a culture in which too many feel they have no meaning or importance, but believe that one spectacular act of madness can give them the instant celebrity which defines success in a sick society. And so they kill to feel alive…to experience an illusion of power at the expense of the powerless. And even knowing the likelihood that they will be killed during their heinous act, they believe they will live eternally in the electronic ether, washed in the blood of the sacrificed.

Gun control can not and will not change any of this. The phenomena of mass shootings is, in fact, unstoppable absent a wholesale change in our culture, our way of life, and our society’s unhealthy obsession with an inhuman and inhumane electronic world.

The good news is that the vast majority of people still retain values strong enough to keep them morally centered in our crumbling culture. The bad news is that unless those values can regain cultural dominance, and unless we can replace combativeness and angry confrontation with honest conversation, mass murder will continue to be our inescapable new normal.”

Boyer Writes’ footnote:
As to most things I read, I don’t always agree with every sentence.
Mr. Jarlsberg says “Gun control will not fix any of this.”  I believe only the military needs a machine gun and that should be on a battlefield.  Furthermore, no one needs guns with the ability to shoot hundreds of rounds rapid-fire as have been used in these terrible incidents.
Anyone who enjoys being a hunter knows it only takes a shot or two to bring down the hunted. I personally could never kill a bird or any animal…but that is me.  Some special type guns are not needed by society, but their ability to have a weapon for self-defense is a right, if they feel a need for it.  Children don’t need to be near any of these weapons because daddy is not going to send them out to hunt for their next meal like in the old days on the frontier.
So what do we do to instill in our children, who will be the next generation of young adults the value of family, faith and friendship?  It may seem silly to some, but parents might want to think about reading the 10 Commandments before a meal or bedtime so that children understand God’s formula for doing the right thing, which leads to a happy life and a respect for others. Of course, the parent will need to explain what is meant by God’s laws of conduct.   This might be, however, a start to re-introducing faith into our homes, even if they are not churchgoers.  Most every religion would adhere to these teachings. In case you can’t recite them all without looking them up, here they are:
  1. You shall have no other Gods but Me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  4. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Respect your father and mother.
  6. You must not commit murder.
  7. You must not commit adultery.
  8. You must not steal.
  9. You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.
  10. You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.

We have to begin somewhere to heal our society.  It’s bigger than any law or any revision of laws…for it has to start in the heart.  It will take all Americans working together for a peaceful life for us and our children.

 

For all those who have suffered great loss, we, at Boyer Writes, dedicate this video. Turn up your sound and quietly listen to the words.


The Cross…A Symbol of HOPE

It has been some time ago that the world, through their TV channels, watched the spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris fall into the blazing fire and smoke below.  Yet, a cross that hung in the cathedral survived.

It may be time now to think about the power of the cross as a symbol of hope.  The cross is not a symbol of hope fo everyone. Yet it is powerful, whether they think so or not.  There may have been some who rejoiced as the cathedral burned because they wished any symbol of Christianity to be destroyed. Just as terrorists wanted the World Trade Towers to no longer be the symbol of economic power, their evil minds set out to destroy them.  Symbols, in themselves, do have power to renew our minds and thoughts to something that can become even greater. That is true of the two symbols that are written about in this blog post.  The cross being our greatest hope…not wealth, but faith.

A Cross was erected from the rubble of 9-11

In place of those fallen towers, where thousands died…Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and many others with faiths… as well as atheists and agnostics, a great new tower was built. A grand memorial to all who died and suffered that terrible day now stands deep in the belly of the new, grand building.

We remember also over 2,000 First Responders who have died or sick years afterward from illnesses that came upon them trying to reach the victims. This has led President Trump to sign the 9-11 Victims’ Fund to those still suffering.

Tragedies often bring about in the human spirit a desire to rebuild, to remember and to fight against such atrocities and those who propose them.

First Responders in front of St Paul Chapel

St. Paul Chapel became a resting place and prayer for first responders.  (Associated Press)

Instead of shocking, deliberate attacks, such as those on the World Trade Center, Pentagon or the intended attack on the White House, a few are accidental as the burning of the great Cathedral of Notre Dame.  The world was dismayed for another reason as we recognized the value of a great work of architecture that had stood for over 850 years, having taken 200 years to build. It was a prize of history, being one of the most famous Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages. This church was not only a symbol of Christianity but of the culture and the magnificent antiquities of France.

 

In the Cathedral of Notre Dame hung a cross, which was only exposed after the fires were put out.  Miraculously, it still hung as did some of the magnificent stained glass windows.  The French are determined to rebuild this great church and in doing so, we also can believe that it will be a revival of a great symbol of renewal, endurance, and hope.  The world needs symbols of hope and none is more powerful than the cross and the great buildings in which a cross is lovingly placed.

Recently, I saw a video of a church standing on an island in Japan. Inside was a great cross, stained glass and though the island is now almost deserted, the church still survives in an unlikely place.  Someone build it years ago and it is a symbol of their faith.

Fire ruins of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris

For all Christians, the real symbol of hope was never burned in that terrible fire in Paris…the great cross of Christ.  That cross, shining bright, amid the ruins of the cathedral, sent the message around the world that the cross of Christ is the true symbol of hope for the world.

Yes, the cathedral will be rebuilt eventually, but the message of Christ in the cross will still shine after the burned rubble is cleared away.   The message it brings is forgiveness, a renewed life, and the promise of life eternal through Christ, the Son of God.

The message in the clearing away of the rubble of the Twin Towers in New York City is that out of the ashes rises the great Phoenix of hope, freedom, democracy and renewal. Even in that terrible attack, St. Paul’s Chapel next door to the towers was not destroyed even though the debris fell all around it.  The 1st President of the United States, George Washington, worshiped in this church.

It was not the first time, however, that this Christian church had escaped being destroyed.  In the first days of the American Revolution, the invasion of British troops sparked the Great Fire of 1776, which destroyed 432 structures in New York. The fire spread to St. Paul’s Chapel and very nearly overwhelmed it, but a bucket brigade managed to squelch the fire.  It is now named as the oldest surviving church in Manhattan.

Symbols are important in our lives.  Some are international, national, or even personal, but they are often a message of joy, inspiration or hope.

(ABC News tour video)  Important:  In order to hear sound on the video, you will have to unclick sound symbol.

https://abcn.ws/2VYew0o

 


WW II Musicians…and the Holocaust…”Just Live!”

We have just remembered the brave men and women of WWII and witnessed the great flyover in Normandy. It seems only fitting that we should also remember those who spent much of the war in concentration camps as well as the brave people who tried to save the Jews and the Jewish children.

We will start with the fact that some of the Jews survived because they were accomplished musicians…and the Nazis liked music. They liked being entertained.  Perhaps for some of the German soldiers, who were caught up in this terrible time of German history, it was the only thing that helped them keep their sanity…especially when they knew what was going on in the death camps.

Music and musicians had a distinct place in the death camp of Auschwitz and other concentration camps.   Not as much is written about the musicians who often had to play as people were executed.

inmate orchestra Mauthausen concen camp Austria Hansbonarewitz to execution photo from Mauthausen Memorial Archive

An inmate orchestra at Mauthausen concentration camp, in Austria, “accompanied” the recaptured inmate Hans Bonarewitz on his way to execution. (SS photo from the Mauthausen Memorial Photo Archive)

The following is an account of some of the musicians in the concentration camps where millions of people were killed and more than ninety percent of whom were Jewish.  When I took students through Auschwitz, we saw crosses scratched into the walls of the torture areas.  Christians and those who opposed politically were also part of the camps. Catholic nuns and other non-Jewish families hid the Jewish children as long as they could, giving them different identities and birthdates.

nazi-concentration-camp-music-orchestra-high

“In addition to the orchestra, there was a variety of other SS-sponsored music at Auschwitz.  Some SS officers employed individual ‘musical slaves’, who were required to play or sing whenever commanded to.  One such prisoner was the Italian tenor Emilio Jani, whose memoirs are titled ‘My Voice Saved Me’.  Another was Coco Schumann, who recalled years later that

“the music could save you: if not your life, then at least the day.  The images that I saw every day were impossible to live with, and yet we held on.  We played music to them, for our basic survival.  We made music in hell.”

(Taken from Music and the Holocaust)

david-russell UNC plays violin belonged to Auschwitz Men's Corchestra Rose of WFAE

UNC Charlotte music professor David Russell plays the violin that belonged to a member of the Auschwitz Men’s Orchestra. Julie Rose/WFAE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Zhanna Dawson pianist Holocaust survivor

 

 

 

Let me introduce you to a woman named Zhanna Arshanskaya Dawson, who played the piano to survive.

Anna’s story:    “The day after Christmas, the Jews were ordered to prepare for transportation.”

Dawson says her father knew they were all going to die when he saw the trucks go north. There was nothing to the north. It was a road to Dobritsky Yar, a road to the unthinkable.  Dobritsky Yar had two giant pits like the ones at Babi Yar near the city of Kiev, where the Nazis killed 34,000 Jews in two days, most machine-gunned in the back.

Dimitri Arshansky, Anna’s father, pulled out his gold pocket watch and flashed it in front of a young Ukrainian guard. He told the guard his family wasn’t Jewish; to please let his little girl go.  Dawson says her father realized that he could not save both his girls — two of them running would be too much commotion. He knew Zhanna, or Anna, the adventurous, free-spirited one named after Joan of Arc, had a chance to survive. As the guard took the bribe and looked away, she fell out of line and ran like the wind.

“I don’t care what you do,” her father told her. “Just live.”

A few days later Dawson found her sister. With the help of friends, the two girls made it to an orphanage and were able to obtain fake, non-Jewish identities. For the rest of the war, they were no longer their father’s daughters. She had to repeat the following as her new identity:  “My name is Anna Morozova. I am from Kharkov. My sister Marina and I are orphans. Our father was an officer on the Red Army and was killed in action. Our mother died in the bombing of Kharkov.”  Dawson said it so many times during the rest of the war that it echoed endlessly in her head.”

Holocaust survivor Zhana and Frina sisters

Zhana (Anna) and her sister Frina

A piano tuner at the orphanage heard her play one day and offered her and Frina jobs with a musical troupe that entertained the Germans. It was a frightening prospect, but Anna kept thinking of her father’s last words — just live…JUST LIVE!

They played for Nazi generals and in front of German audiences in the city of Kremenchug: Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Brahms, Chopin.

Years later people asked her how she could have done what she did. Was it not like the musicians who played as Jews walked into gas chambers in the concentration camps?

“I was playing for the memory of my parents,” she says. “I was playing to survive.”

And her music, she says, was the only spot of beauty in that bleak atmosphere. Music provided a psychological cocoon. Without it, her spirits might have broken…  “We were a precious commodity for the Germans,” she said. “We were more valuable alive than dead.” Anna Dawson pianist2

When the Germans began retreating, they took the musical troupe with them, back to Berlin. There, the Jewish Arshanskaya girls walked past Gestapo headquarters and even Adolf Hitler’s bunker after the Allied bombing began…When the war finally ended in 1945, they were taken to a displaced persons camp…” ( Mona Basu CNN )

Turn up the sound.  Video made by her son after Zhanna made it to America. You will hear her playing the piano in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Memorial Day Words by Gen. MacArthur…Relevant Today

In 2015, I posted this tribute to those who serve. I think it is good for another year and maybe many more to come….for we must not forget.

On this MEMORIAL DAY,  Boyer Writes honors all those who responded to the call of duty to country and all freedom stands for….especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

After viewing the slide presentation, you may want to look at the different wars throughout history where and when the United States has sent troops to fight.   We are just one country.  Multiply this country and all wars of all countries in the world ….to make us one big, warring globe.

There are reasons, of course.  Some fight for their independence.  Others fight to maintain their freedom.  Many fight to rule over the weak, sick, and impoverished.

There are those who fight and murder in the name of God…religious wars.   Read your history and you will not be surprised for it happened when Muslims fought Christians; Christians fought in the Crusades; nations have tried to rid the world of Jews.

The Holy Scriptures tell us that we will call for “Peace…Peace….but there is no peace…”    Those who make predictions believe that before the coming of Christ to the earth a second time, there will be the greatest of all wars….in the Middle East.   This is not something for optimism.   Nevertheless, we are also told to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”….and the world.   We cannot control governments, groups, or individuals who hate and destroy…but pray we can do.

General MacArthur, the great general of World War II made this statement about war.  

” I pray that an Omnipotent Providence will summon all persons of goodwill to the realization of the utter futility of war. We have known the bitterness of defeat, the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned that there is no turning back. We must preserve in peace, what we won in war. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery has in fact now reached a point that revises the traditional concept of war. War, the most malignant scourge, and greatest sin of mankind, can no longer be controlled, only ABOLISHED! We are in a new era. If we do not devise some greater and more equitable means of settling disputes between nations, Armageddon will be at our door…” 

 

 

A MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE   

( Click on arrow; turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing.  Music by St. Olaf Choir) Warning: disturbing scenes of war wounded)

_______________________________

 Choose and click on a war listed to read information.

unknown soldier


Orchestrated Nightmare

One of my readers sent me an email explaining how he had made a trip to Auschwitz in Poland to find the memory of a particular child who perished there.  Having traveled as a teacher with American students to Auschwitz, I understood and remembered the locations where I also walked and saw the horrors of an “orchestrated nightmare” that took place in World War II.

w-buchenwald concentration camp

The email that I received from Ralph Davis is in part the following:

“Ms. Boyer,
My name is Ralph Davis (Dave) and I was good friends with Lili Jacob Meier who found the AUSCHWITZ ALBUM.
The short version is I am Catholic but Lili and I became close friends and she was like a second Mother to me.
 
Below is a way for you to watch an incredible video of Lili donating the Auschwitz Album to the Yad Vashem and then returning to Auschwitz for the first time since she was a victim there.  It is quite a moving video that I thought you would like to have.   This video Lili gave me is a great educational tool to help people understand the Holocaust and you are welcome to use it on your web site…” 
Who was Lili Jacob Meier?

Many scholars of the Holocaust have come to believe that when a Holocaust survivor tells a story that sounds too incredible to be true, it may be just that: the truth. Such is the story of Lili Zelmanovic (Lili Jacob Meier) and her photo album.

18-year-old Lili Jacob was deported with her family, and most of the Jews of Hungary, in the spring of 1944. On the ramp at Auschwitz, she was brutally separated from her parents and younger brothers.  She never saw any of them again. She was lucky and survived; yet, she was not always convinced of the blessing of having survived totally alone, bereft of family, friends and her world.

Unlike all of the other survivors, she was granted a small miracle. On the day of her liberation, in the Dora concentration camp hundreds of miles from Auschwitz, she found in the deserted SS barracks a photo album. It contained, among others, pictures of her family and friends as they arrived on the ramp and unknowingly awaited their death. It was a unique tie to what once had been, could never return, and could never be rebuilt.

It was also, as we now know, the only photographic evidence of Jews arriving in Auschwitz or any other death camp. After the war, Lili found and married Max Zelmanovic, a prewar acquaintance. Selling glass-plate prints of the album to the Jewish Museum in Prague enabled the couple and their first-born daughter, Esther, to immigrate to the United States. They settled in Miami and raised a family, yet the album continued to be central to their lives.

Survivors spread the word of a unique album in the possession of a waitress in Miami, and they made their way across the country to seek her out, and to hope against hope that their lost family, like hers, might be engraved on its prints. Not a week would go by but Lili would bring home strangers who were not strangers, and they would pour over the pictures and weep. Rarely, someone would identify a family member, and Lili would give them the snapshot. Since most of the Jews had been murdered, leaving no living trace, most of the photos remained unclaimed.

In 1980 Serge Klarsfeld convinced Lilly (pictured below) that the album should be safeguarded at Yad Vashem. She came to Jerusalem, showed it to Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and donated it to Yad Vashem, where it resides to this day and is treasured for the future.

On December 17, 1999, Lilly Zelmanovic passed away. (from Yad Vashem)

lilly jacob presents photo album

Dave goes on to tell me about his running a marathon for Pro-Life in Europe and then going to visit Auschwitz where he found the picture of the little child named “Judith” he had gone to pray for at that death camp.   The picture below shows Judith and her family, along with a Catholic nun shown holding the baby. All perished.
auschwitz judith and family
Dave also has Lily’s number on his own arm to remember her and the sufferings of those in the camps.
lili meir auschwitz numberon the arm of mr. davis

 

I too, like Dave, believe that it is imperative that we continue to share the story of those who died in the concentration camps because at some point there will not be any living survivors to tell their stories. If we do not teach our future generations the truth, it could easily happen again.  Thank you, Dave.

The video shared below is long, but worth the watch. Take your time and listen and view parts at a time if it is more convenient.  It speaks for itself and it is my prayer that many around the world will make the effort to listen to it….and never forget!  

liberation of death camps

Liberation of a death camp by the allies

 

If the video should ask for a password, type  DaveDavis

 click this link for video


Remembering Pearl Harbor

This Christmas we will be having a guest who works here in Florida as a Safety Engineer at Universal Studios.   She is Japanese and a friend and business acquaintance of our son. We are happy that she will be a part of our Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Who would have believed that Japan, after being such an enemy with the attack on our troops and ships at Pearl Harbor would rebuild and become a world power with our help?   Who would believe that the next generations would be our friends?

Several years ago, I was invited to Japan as an American educator from Florida by the Japanese government.  The first meeting that the Americans had with a Japanese diplomat surprisingly was a speech of apology for the war.  We were given a warm welcome to stay in the country, visit schools and have home stays with a Japanese family.   It was the country’s way of thanking Americans, after so many years, for helping rebuild the country after World War II.   It was a wonderful experience to be emersed in the Japanese culture.  Nancy and Bill with Japanese Counselate General in Miami

Today is December 7th when we remember Pearl Harbor and the price that was paid by so many in this attack…resulting in the thousands who died in battles with the Japanese and Germans. Many ended up in prison camps after the United States Congress voted to enter the war.   The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan ended the war, but the horrors were profound.

The rebuilding process began and today Japan is a wonderful place to visit.  My husband and I went to Mt. Fuji during autumn and enjoyed the beautiful Japanese maples.  We hope to visit Washington, D.C. when the Japanese cherry blossoms are in bloom.Japanese Maple favorite for nancy and bill While we were in Japan, we went to the Memorial of the USS Arizona.  To know that the sailors who perished there are still entombed in their sunken ship was an emotional experience.

040120-N-0879R-009

The names of those on the USS Arizona are read by Bill Johnson at the Memorial at Pearl Harbor

 

Recently I found a video that was interesting as it gave some of the details of the attack on Pearl Harbor of which some may not be aware.

Video  (Turn up sound)


A House of Cards…Worldwide Intelligence

During World War II, the underground movement in various countries was an integral part of winning the war.  Many people lost their lives passing on information to the Allies.  How would their overt operations been different if they had the technology of today?   Those who now lay their lives on the line to fight for what they think is right may very well be playing roulette with a system in which they have no control…the world wide web.

Recently on my research into various topics, I ran into a fascinating article written by Zach Dorfman and Jenna McLaughlin, with a beginning title that caught my eye… “The CIA’s Communications Suffered a Catastrophic Compromise…”

Yes, it was a long…very long article…but I waded through it, finding out some horrific things that happened in recent years.

“From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaireddespite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials…”

infomant source

photo credit Osie Greenway

We have read about “sources” that we have depended upon for information on the ground where we are fighting terrorism, but most people do not think of the fact that these very “human sources” are now lingering in prison or were executed because of their help in the fight.  In some cases, because we have not tried to have them released and brought here for protection, they are a throw-away.   How very sad…and yet we still rely upon these men (and women) to risk their lives.  Sometimes, the article I just referred to, stated they are promised help that never was acted upon.

Some informants, who work with our military, simply take the danger because of the love of their family and country.   One man (Agent 40) who helped fight ISIS realized the danger but continued regardless. The informant is on the ground and knows firsthand what is happening.

” Coalition spokesman Col. John Dorrian confirmed the international alliance receives its target lists from civilian informants, among other sources…  Islamic State fighters in  Iraq conducted a surprise inspection of Agent 40’s house and found his wife using a forbidden phone. They waited for him to return and then promptly arrested him, beat him, and shoved him in a cell with seven other men. After they went through the phone and saw the videos he took, they sentenced him to execution. As he sat there waiting to die, the building quaked, and one of the walls exploded into pieces from an airstrike on an adjacent building. Through the smoke, Agent 40 saw four Islamic State bodies sprawled on the ground. He and six fellow prisoners made their escape through the hole caused by the airstrike — he believes the eighth prisoner was killed…The informant fled Mosul to Qayyarah, and then to Shirqat, where he was eventually reunited with his family. To this day, he doesn’t know whether the airstrike was accidental or a deliberate attempt to free him. Still, Agent 40 was happy that the most absurd parts of the experience were over. He said he had found it ever more difficult to keep a straight face while attending mosque on Fridays, which the Islamic State mandated. When the militants called on God to defeat their enemies, Agent 40 made a different prayer. They told us to pray, ‘Please, God, destroy the Americans and the Peshmerga,’ he said. ‘I prayed: ‘Please, my God, don’t listen to them.’   (taken from FP News Igor Kossov)

Civilians walk on a street in al-Dawwasah district, in soutwest Mosul.

Airstrike in Mosul credit Time

 

Dorfman and McLaughlin continue about crippling intelligence failures :

“You establish these networks that are obviously critical to our ability to really understand what our adversaries are up to — there’s a pride in that — and when something that valuable starts to fall apart, the concern is, ‘Are we developing a house of cards?’” said one former senior official. “A lot of bells went off” during this time, said this person, because “whatever methods and procedures we were using were in jeopardy because of what the Chinese and Iranians had determined. You find that you’re blind.”

One of the people mentioned in the article was John Reidy:

“In 2008 — well before the Iranians had arrested any agents — a defense contractor named John Reidy, whose job it was to identify, contact and manage human sources for the CIA in Iran, had already sounded an alarm about a “massive intelligence failure” having to do with “communications” with sources… The “U.S. communications infrastructure was under siege,” he wrote. Reidy warned that the problem wasn’t limited to a single country — it extended to everywhere the CIA operates. Close to 70 percent of operations at the time were potentially compromised, he noted. In other words, an entire class of CIA agents — those using some iteration of the online system — was in danger. “CIA is aware of this,” he wrote. “The design and maintenance of the system is flawed.”… Reidy’s complaint wasn’t fully addressed for many years. But when the wide-scale arrest of sources in Iran happened, the CIA eventually launched an investigation. The deaths in China sent investigators into overdrive. Teams from the CIA, the FBI and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence scrambled to try to figure out what had happened — and how to stem the damage.”

For much more information, I highly recommend that you take some time to read all of this article.  Whistleblowers who are not taken seriously will leave huge gaps in our intelligence. Each day or hour that ticks by will be an invitation for discovery and death for our agents and sources throughout the world.   The internet has become the new technology from which to wage war…although it is done silently.  One thing leads to another with global speed while the House of Cards is built higher.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE 


Never Forget…Suffering

Not too many years ago, I was privileged to take a group of senior high students to Eastern Europe.  While in Poland, we went to Auschwitz Concentration camp. It was an experience never to be forgotten.  I had one Jewish student with our group.  He found a flower vendor and I watched as he gently laid the flowers before the wall within the camp where so many were executed.  He wore his Bermuda shorts, but carefully dressed in a sports jacket and tie.  I could see that his effort was to show honor and respect for those who lost their lives there.  I also took him to the spot where the Munich massacre took place at the 1972 Summer Olympics. This was when a Palestinian terrorist group took eleven Israeli Olympic team members hostage and killed them along with a West German police officer.  Most people want to forget such atrocities. Yet history replays itself over and over again as we lose our compassion for one another.

 

1972 Munich Israel Team murdered at Olympics

Terrorist and Israeli Team at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics

The Israeli Olympic team members’ families tried unsuccessfully to convince the International Olympic Committee to mark the 40th anniversary of the killings by holding a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.  The Committee refused.  Often people are reluctant to lay the blame where it belongs. Each isolated case of human suffering has its opposing views, but the insanity of it is that the world never seems to learn.

suffering person

Human suffering comes in many forms. In our present day, we see it all over the world.  It is often brought upon people by the corruption of governments and political struggles.  More recently, as we watch the long lines of people who are walking hundreds of miles toward the USA border, we know that each has their own story. Some for the search for a better life and some for evil and disruption. A mob gives no indication of what the intentions may be.  Many are walking in flip-flops or carrying children.  There are motives that most of us here will never know.   Regardless of what the reasons may be, our borders must be secured and laws must be reformed to encourage a proper way to emigrate to a better life. The road to legal emigration is often a long one and those taking the proper path should be recognized.    Desperation colliding with law and order is, unfortunately, a reality of our times.Caravans of people coming into Mexico for USAjpg

If the situation in their countries is so terrifying that they are trying to find a safer place, it is understandable.  However, they probably do not want to go to Chicago or to some other parts of our country for we have problems of our own.

If it is work that the people seek, there are ways to find this particular path.  During our time in Virginia, we got to know some of the farmers and growers.  Each year large groups of workers are brought to our country legally.  It was explained to us that the Virginia growers take care of all the legal paperwork, provide transportation to the farm from whatever country they come from, provide a place to live (usually a small trailer), a truck or car to use with a temporary license on the weekends and much more. Multiply this by all the growers in California and Florida.  We, in the US, employ large numbers of people…all legally.  Are there undocumented workers here?  Of course, but their employers should be held accountable to the laws of the land.

When the harvest season is over, the workers return to their country with pay for the family left behind.   It is a proper and legal way of doing things.   It was our observation that these workers are excellent at their jobs and work long hours.  We watched the trucks they loaded with pumpkins, apples, broccoli, cabbages and other products. In fact, I took the picture of the men shown below. Even though we did not speak their language, they often smiled as we came by.   After dark, the trucks rolled to the processing plants. It is not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination.  The farm and orchard owners told us that without the migrant help their farming business would fold.   Yes, we need the emigrants and the temporary, migrant workers…but we need all involved to follow the laws…including the farm and business owners.

Picking Cabbage

Virginia migrant workers load cabbage

Countries of Europe have opened their borders to the suffering around the world.  In the beginning, it was a noble thing to do, but the problems have been severe as many refused to assimilate into the culture of the country they had chosen. Often the local police would not go into the areas because they had their own laws of living.  On a vacation to England, we were told that people who had lived in an area all their lives were basically forced out by the influx. No one wanted to buy their homes, so the emigrants moved in.  The worry in the USA is that mass influx will bring on similar situations.

There are many legitimate questions: Where will they live?  Who will feed them?  What will the drain on our overall economy be with welfare and medical issues?  If the border is not secured, when will the next wave come….and the next and the next?   There is no easy answer.

Does securing our borders mean that Americans do not have compassion?  Of course not.  We are probably the most generous people in the world to help out…and to give out needed supplies and support when emergencies arise. We give millions, if not billions, of foreign aid.   Just as it is not up to one family to support all families, this country can not support all countries.  Neither can our military fight all battles even as they try hard to fight terrorism and the forces of evil in far away places.  Now, we are thinking that it may be necessary to use military strength at our own borders?!  How bizarre can things get?   Probably more than we know.

The emigrants of the past, particularly from all parts of Europe, helped build this country.   We have not forgotten our history.  Neither should we forget the sins of the past when people were brought here as slaves to work the soil.  It is likely that the “sins of the fathers” will always stay with the sons…as the racial unrest continues to this day.  Generations to come will feel what we did then and what we do now.  Yes, suffering is a very sad thing no matter when it has occurred and to whom.

Our parents who lived through World War II finally saw the sufferings that human beings went through when death camps were opened and surviving prisoners were set free.  The millions who did not make it died there and as we think of the problems of today and in the future, we must never forget the history that led up to these terrible atrocities.  Suffering has no boundaries.

God must weep in heaven when men harden their hearts to the suffering of others.  Yet, He does not treat us like robots.  He gives us free will to decide right and wrong.  In making tough decisions, our leaders and citizens must never forget what history has taught us about suffering…or we shall live it again.  That is an international promise.

Shindler’s List is probably one of the most moving films ever made.  The video that you will see took place in 2017 in Budapest at one of the largest synagogues in Europe.  It is a concert where Csongor Korossy plays the violin of the music from that film. I believe that John Williams, who composed this piece of music was truly inspired.   Notice the faces of the people in the audience… especially the elderly who are most likely remembering someone that they lost.  The youth have heard the stories from their families.  Those tragic histories must not be lost in our memories.  Neither can the fact of how quickly people, of all faiths and heritages, can be tortured or abused for who they are, where they come from or what they believe.  Even in our news this week is the tragedy of those killed in their own synagogue of worship while dedicating the names of their little children.

Until God comes with the angels in heaven and with His Son to rid the world of evil and wipe away all tears, there will be suffering. However, we are not left without hope.  We have a promise of good things to come.

______________________

…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away. And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.”…   (Berea Study Bible…Revelation 21:4)

__________________________

 

Video  A Concert…not the movie  (Turn up your sound)

Dedicated to the victims at  Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.


History: Identity Control…Have We Learned?

Tomorrow is the beginning of “Early Voting” in my state, USA.  Many people think it is important who is in government control (local or national) and others could care less.  We better care if we have learned anything from history.

I write about this not to promote one candidate or another, but reflect on what history may teach us on government and control… if we pay attention.  The problem is that we rarely connect past history with the potential present or future history and what it may look like.  Therefore, we will take a look at past history and hope that our skin does not crawl…but it will.

Did you know that one of the most famous names in our USA Supreme Court was responsible for the cutting off many individual rights during the early 20th century?  Here’s his picture…Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Oliver_Wendell_Holmes_Jr_circa_1930 Supreme Crt Judge

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1930, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Why was this esteemed man important?  He had a great deal to do with the philosophy of Eugenics.  Here is what he said on the matter of a court case from Virginia entitled Buck v Bell in which he voted  Yes to enforce the following:

Buck v. Bell

(from Wikipedia) “In 1927, Holmes wrote the 8–1 majority opinion in Buck v. Bell case that upheld the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924 and the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck who was claimed to be mentally defective. Although later scholarship has shown the suit was collusive and Carrie Buck was probably of normal intelligence. The record before the Supreme Court showed only that she had received a proper hearing in which she was represented by a competent guardian, and was able to press her suit in the federal courts. She apparently had received the procedures required by due process of law in ample measure. The argument made on her behalf was principally that the statute requiring sterilization of institutionalized persons was unconstitutional, itself a violation of what today is called “substantive due process”. Holmes repeated familiar arguments that statutes would not be struck down if they appeared on their face to have a reasonable basis. In support of his argument that the interest of “public welfare” outweighs the interest of individuals in their bodily integrity, he argued:

(Quote by Judge Holmes) “We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes … Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

Although the opinion and eugenics remain controversial, the decision in the case still stands. Sterilization rates under eugenics laws in the United States climbed from 1927 until Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942). While Skinner v. Oklahoma did not specifically overturn Buck v. Bell, it created enough of a legal quandary to discourage many sterilizations…”

“A historical marker was erected on May 2, 2002 in Charlottesville, Virginia where Carrie Buck was born.  Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner offered the “Commonwealth’s sincere apology for Virginia’s participation in eugenics,” noting that “the eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved.”  (Paul A Lombardo U of V School of Medicine)

We are hearing words that will make the hair stand on the back of the neck:  FORCED STERILIZATION… THE INCOMPETENT or the first use of the word “Moron” (feeble-minded or perhaps mentally ill)

This was what Eugenics was all about…getting rid of the undesirables.  It came in the form of our first emigration policies and restrictions, the mental institutions where many ended up whether they were actually insane or not. It also had to do with racism.   Even the histories of citizens were stored in locked vaults by the government.  These could explain inherited traits and pinpoint those who would be considered “unacceptable”.

Perhaps we should think twice before we give over to any organization our DNA to do with as they like.  Any authority may decide to act upon this greatest of our identity. Genetics Take for instance the controversy of  23andMe, a DNA test group.  

” …23andMe’s Personal Genome Service is much more than a medical device; it is a one-way portal into a world where corporations have access to the innermost contents of your cells and where insurers and pharmaceutical firms and marketers might know more about your body than you know yourself. And as 23andMe warns on its website, “Genetic Information that you share with others could be used against your interests. You should be careful about sharing your Genetic Information with others.”  (Charles Siefe in Scientific America)

One may ask, what about the good parts of having DNA used by the police investigators to find killers or rapists who may have been Cold Cases for years?  Of course, this technology today can be celebrated for bringing the guilty to justice as we heard about recently on 60 Minutes.  However, we must not forget that there are few standards set in the use of DNA and someone who is calling themselves DNA professionals could also make mistakes or prove to be using the knowledge for less than good to an individual…criminal or not. Could these same people be brought in to court as a witness with authority?   Caution may be the best word. How important is your lineage to you?

Under President Wilson, the belief in Eugenics for the nation flourished.  Some of the terms used are everyday words to us today because of the government efforts in years past to make lawful things that we might question today.  The public can be coerced and made from advertisements to think that the government knows best.  That is precisely why we should look at the people we put into office very, very carefully.  Is individual liberty a priority to a candidate…or does he or she thinks that government knows best and can be the solver of all problems?  When would they think, you, the citizen is the problem…for whatever reason.

Shown here is President Wilson, a eugenics sign, and a family that was found to have good lineage…having won a contest as “the best”.

We could go on with many eugenics topics in history: immigration restrictions, unfit individuals, compulsory sterilization, euthanasia programs, fit baby contests and family fitness under eugenics, planned parenthood promotions and how we as a nation promoted racial superiority as did Germany during WWII.

What a nation can do in plain sight can be terrifying if we are looking away or turn a blind eye.  (More information on Eugenics)

Yes, it matters who is in power in your local, state, or national setting. Do your homework. Your human rights are at stake…as in past years and in the future.   See how they have voted in the past that effects your life and more importantly your freedoms.

 Click link:  A video worth watching

“The Eugenics Crusade”   The American Experience  PBS

 


A Tragedy… She says…He says

Ford-sits-before-Senate-Judiciary-CommitteeKavanaugh-sworn-before-testifying

Dr. Christine Ford-sworn-before-testifying-committee

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing of Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford on misconduct and the Supreme Court Appointment  (Getty photos)

Are you ready to regurgitate yet?  (a fancy word for “throw up”)  If you watched any of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings with Dr. Ford and Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, you may have felt a little queasy….and in the end decide that it all comes down to  “He said, she said…or She said, he said.”    Nothing was gained except to know there will never be real proof to who is telling the straight facts of an alleged crime over 30 years ago.

One thing is for certain, both lives will never recover from the scandal…nor will their families’.   Death threats on both side…horrendous stress and the need for security in a safe place has taken over their lives. It is definitely a tragedy.

So what makes most people sick while watching this parade of senators asking questions after hearing the statements of both Kavanaugh and Ford?   It is the way that the politicians lined up on both sides to do the most damage possible.  Yes, it was obvious that most were not truly seeking the truth, but showing to those back home just who they were lining up for or against.  Why?  Many senators have elections coming up and the people back home are going to hold them accountable.

It is no wonder most people can’t stand politicians. How refreshing it would be to not know before someone speaks…or asks questions…which side of the aisle (Democrat or Republican) they represent.  The lines of division are clear and vivid even to the casual observer.

After all was said and done, it still was the “He says…she says” drama.  People on the committee and at home were then to sit in judgment to something no one can prove at this late date. We have definitely sunk to a new low, with graphic details being spoken in the committee chamber and over every news media.   Whatever happened to the burden of proof being placed on the accuser to prove?  Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?

It is not the first time in American history that the reputations of those seeking office have been hung out to dry.  Privacy and common decency are definitely out the window.  Perhaps two of the saddest things brought out in the hearings was that the Kavanaugh’s daughter had to have an explanation about what was going on with her father. She wanted to pray for Dr. Ford, which he called “Quite mature for a 10-year-old.” The look on his wife’s face was one of great sadness.

I am a great believer that women who are abused or experience traumatic assault need to have every opportunity to bring the perpetrator to justice.  Dr. Ford has had to hire security and move to a safe location!  No woman should have to have this kind of abuse because they say they are following their conscience to speak out about what they consider a terrible crime against themselves.  Dr. Ford will be a face to remember for those who have suffered sexual assault…and we know there are many.   Reputations are permanently out the window for both of these people who have spent years building careers. There are NO WINNERS here regardless of what happens in the Senate vote.

Here are a few “moments in history” to ponder:

  • John C Fremont was a presidential candidate in 1856. He was a target because he was Catholic and there were those who were suspicious of Catholics. ( My, how far we have come!)
  • Ralph Nader, in 1966, was smeared because he campaigned for car safety. General Motors went after him to find damaging or embarrassing incidents. His phone was tapped and prostitutes were hired to trap him.  Nader went to court and used the proceeds from the lawsuit to start the pro-consumer Center for Study of Responsive Law.  (Maybe something good can come out of the despicable.)
  • In 1988, Gary Hart ran for president. After an embarrassing extramarital affair, Hart withdrew from the race in May 1987. In the meantime, the New York Post wrote in BIG, BOLD letters, “Gary, I’m no womanizer.” (from Wikipedia)

(This may be a lesson to all men and women that their lives will come back to haunt them…especially when they are parading it openly on FaceBook and other media.)

The attempt to discredit is not only personal, but companies and countries are at fault also.  In 2011, China launched a smear campaign against Apple. The campaign failed.  I’m sure that we could find many more examples.

teens drinkingMuch was said in the Kavanaugh/Ford hearings about the abuse of alcohol…and how it may have contributed to the alleged assault Dr. Ford described. We know that young people start drinking early and the college-aged youth seem to think there is no fun without liquor being a part of the equation.
It is not only the young.  Many older people find themselves a prisoner of alcoholism, wishing that they could change the fact.  The example we set for our youth is important for their future and ours.  How many parents have a talk with young men about their responsibility to girls and women?  Acting like a gentleman can have great advantages…and keeping hands where they should be and their pants zipped is a part of character development.
Excessive drinking clouds the mind with what is right or wrong.   Perhaps this old chart from 1800’s says it like it is:
Called The Drunkard’s Progress
   Step 1. A glass with a friend. Step 2. A glass to keep the cold out. Step 3. A glass too much. Step 4. Drunk and riotous. Step 5. The summit attained. Jolly companions. A confirmed drunkard. Step 6. Poverty and disease. Step 7. Forsaken by Friends. Step 8. Desperation and crime. Step 9. Possible Death.
1280px-The_Drunkard's_Progress_1846
As sickening as many politicians can be, one way or another, the committees in our government will go on…thinking they are doing their job, speaking for and protecting our laws…but little do they know that they are looking like someone the average person would never want to be….a blind-sighted politician who will do anything for a vote. They play games with peoples’ lives and often withhold information until it is the most appropriate time to bring down the sword upon one’s head…hoping the damage will be done.  Unfortunately, it often is.

 

 


EVIL….We Must Not Forget

COM 2015 ANNIVERSARY

New York City remembers those lost in the 9-11 terrorist attacks

September 11, 2001 is a date that we must NEVER forget.   The world has known evil during World War II and the Holocaust and many other times when the innocent have been destroyed.   The attack on the World Trade Centers in New York City is also one of those times.

These are the devastating facts:

  • A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
  • At the World Trade Center (WTC) site in Lower Manhattan, 2,753 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were intentionally crashed into the north and south towers, or as a result of the crashes.
  • Of those who perished during the initial attacks and the subsequent collapses of the towers, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers and 37 were officers at the Port Authority.
  • The victims ranged in age from two to 85 years. Approximately 75-80% of the victims were men.
  • At the Pentagon in Washington, 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building.
  • Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 died when the plane crashed into a field. It is believed that the hijackers crashed the plane in that location, rather than their unknown target after the passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the flight deck.
  • Because of illness since the attack, a number of the rescue and first responders have also died.   Others, including the canine helpers, lived on but with some continued illness.

9-11 firefighters

Brooklyn Memorial to the First Responders

9-11 Bretagne and Denise Corliss

Bretagne, the last known 9/11 rescue dog, is pictured with owner Denise Corliss

A Personal Note:  The men who flew the planes into the towers probably walked or biked by our house many times as they trained at a small airport in Venice, Florida.   A young pilot attending our church was in charge of training one of the men.  He could not understand why the student did not want to pay attention when he tried to teach the landing techniques of flying.  Finally, having enough of the attitude, he asked to be released from his duties as an instructor.   The student was given to someone else.  Later, the terrorists who had learned the basics in small aircraft went on to south Florida to learn more about flying large, commercial planes.   Had our U.S. government officials been sharing information on persons of interest with the local police force, these men who trained here to do their horrible deed would have been caught.  How tragic.

Just before 9-11, my husband and I went to New York to celebrate our anniversary. We took in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Sitting near us was a group of young firefighters, having a great time.  Little did they know that evil was going to take some of their lives within days.

We rode the bullet elevator to the top of the twin tower to get a spectacular view of the city.  It was a beautiful day and at around 9:00 am.   We were the only ones up on the top except for a woman who offered to take our pictures.  It was only from June until September that we could only imagine that there was probably another tourist standing where we stood to also enjoy the view….when the plane came in for the crash.  How tragic and how evil.

There were a number of planes up in the air at the same time on 9-11. Two went into the towers and one into the Pentagon.  Little did the terrorists flying over Pensylvania know that they had strong, American men on their airplane who loved American freedom and their lives. They were going to do anything to stop their plane from going into any other buildings where innocent people were living their everyday lives.     We’ll never forget the bravery when the words “Let’s Roll” were shouted and the plane was brought down in Pennsylvania instead of their planned destination.   Their bravery is beyond what we can say here.  To the families of all those who lost loved ones that terrible day, we promise that they will never be forgotten…not this year or any year to come.

9-11 shanksville Pennsylvania Jeff Swensen

9-11 Memorial at Shanksville, Pennsylvania

9-11 national memorial. at the Pentagonjpg

Evening 9-11 Memorial at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA

In 2017, my husband and I went back to New York City to once again walk around the memorial and read the thousands of names etched in marble.  With the sound of the water and flowers laid next to names with a birthday that day, it is beautiful. We also went to St. Paul’s Chapel which is situated next to where the twin towers stood.  Amazingly, with all the buildings falling and debris everywhere, it was not destroyed.  Even the steeple on the church remained.  St. Paul’s Chapel took care of the first responders through their long hours of working in the rubble.

9-11 St Paul's Chapel near One World Trade Center

St. Paul’s Chapel with the new One World tower behind

 

9-11 St Paul's chapel sign

The victims of 9-11 WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.    We would urge all Americans and anyone making a trip to the USA to make this holy place a definite destination.

9-11 photos of victims9-11 national memorial.4jpg9-11 Never Forget

Men and women from many countries, nationalities and religious faiths were working in the buildings destroyed or riding on the planes on 9-11.  With that in mind, it was also an attack on the people of the world.   Those who might be tempted to turn a blind eye to what are the goals of terrorists should take a look at the video here as a reminder.

Video 1st video only from 60 minutes Over-time…”rare footage from Ground 0″   (turn on sound and give it a second or two to load)  1st video only   Click link below:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/rare-video-from-ground-zero-on-911/


VIETNAM WAR…Brutal and Rejected

This is the third and last in my series on the American veterans who fought and died. Today we think about the men and women who served in Vietnam.  The bravery, discouragement, and aftermath of the war is related in some of the stories in my new book shown at right.

Some facts about the Americans who were sent to this war:

  • The Vietnam War was a long, costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies, known as the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States.  The purpose was to stop communist aggression.  It started on or about November 1, 1955 and lasted until April 30, 1975, which is roughly 20 years.
  • This divisive war, increasingly unpopular at home, ended with the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973 and the unification of Vietnam under Communist control two years later.
  • More than 3 million people, including 58,000 Americans, were killed in the war. (credit History.com)

soldiers-pray-with-army-chaplain-P

Army chaplain prays with the troops

Many Vietnam vets are still living on our American streets today suffering from the mental anguish of the war.   Others have lingering diseases from agent-orange that was used in battles.

spraying-agent-orange-P

The spraying of agent-orange to defoliate the jungle vegetation where the enemy hid.

Some Americans left for Canada to escape going to Vietnam and they too must live with that decision. The rejection many felt as they finally returned home to the U.S. after the war was a cause of great discouragement.   Others fought with honor, whether in the medical corp or flying the helicopters to rescue the injured. The ground troops crawled into holes to find the Viet Cong and often carried their fellow soldiers and marines through the hot jungles.  It was a brutal and long 20 years.

The Day Saigon fell to the Communists:  There was the final day when the last American helicopter left Vietnam.  My doctor was fortunate enough to leave as a child, but the desperation of those Vietnamese left behind was a terrible thing.

“The North Vietnamese Communists closed in on the South Vietnamese city of Saigon. The U.S. desperately evacuated the last remaining Americans on April 29, 1975. But the city fell to the North Vietnamese on this Day, 41 years ago, April 30, 1975…The people were to wait for the code signal, which was the playing of the song “White Christmas.” On the morning of April 29, the strains of the Bing Crosby classic signaled that those leaving had to get to designated landing zones…President Ford ordered an immediate evacuation of American civilians and Vietnamese refugees as the NVA closed in. US Marines and Air Force conducted an airlift of more than 1,000 Americans and over 7,000 refugees over an 18 hour period. They called it Operation Frequent Wind…Thousands upon thousands of South Vietnamese people tried to get on the helicopters as they left. Many had to be pushed down in order to take off. Fear and panic had gripped the people, who knew full well what would happen as the Communist NVA took over the country. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese people stormed the gates of the US Embassy, desperately crying out for help…Vietnamese veterans, many of whom have terrifying memories of the war, remember another airlift called Operation Babylift.”  (The first plane crashed. Out of the more than 300 people on board, the death toll included 78 children and about 50 adults, including Air Force personnel. More than 170 survived…..Read this amazing story from this link: Operation Babylift.  

 

The pictures shown on the video below may be a family member.  A Vietnam veteran may recognize himself.   If so, he will certainly remember his blood, sweat and tears.  Some pictures are not easy to see and the hardship for all is undeniable.   Read carefully the words under each picture as they represent men and women of great valor.

CLICK VIDEO


Korean War…American Remains Return

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.

Americans captured during Korean War

Americans captured by North Korea (credit Rare Photos)

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE NEWS CONCERNING THE FIRST REMAINS RETURNED.

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.


World War II…Unforgettable

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)

Men and Women of Valor Book Front revised

 

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.

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.”   Men and Women of Valor Back FINALrevised

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


Remembering Our Children

 

More of our children have been lost to a mentally ill teen when he opened fire in another of our American schools.   The sadness and loss of beautiful people with great talents is hard to comprehend.

We dedicate this blog to them…from the smallest child in elementary school to our teens and young adults in high schools and colleges and the teachers/adults… along with their grieving families and friends. 

Consider these statistics and it does not include mass shootings at social clubs or other locations such as theaters, restaurants, businesses, health facilities, homes, streets or churches.   Some who read this may not want to be reminded, but it is an extremely sad truth about the state of mental health in our nation.

COLLEGES AND HIGH SCHOOLS:

  • 10 Killed – May 18, 2018 – Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.
  • 17 killed – February 14, 2018 -Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
  • 9 killed – October 1, 2015 Umpoqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon
  • 32 killed – April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA
  • 9 killed – March 21,2005 – Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota. 
  • 13 killed – April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

  • 27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  20 children, ages six and seven, and six adults, school staff

(There could be more that we did not find listed.)   credit to CNN

TOTAL  117 young people and faculty in just a few years. Too many gone…who had so much to give to the world, but didn’t have a chance to grow up.

 

VIDEO:   This performance is by talented young people. (credit: Web Family Music)

Turn up sound.

IN MEMORY OF ALL THOSE LOST IN OUR SCHOOL’S CLASSROOMS. 


History’s Strong Lessons about American “Duchesses”

British and American flags    Extremely rich Americans, in days past, have played a roll in saving British families and their palaces from ruin and bankruptcy.   American families, on the other hand,  wanting the titles that went with the union between themselves and the British noblemen, flocked to the parties in England to find their “prince” charming.  The parents sent their young women into a lion’s den of British customs that they were unused to in their lives in America.   In many cases, the history of the lives of those who took this road was filled with heartbreak and sadness.

We here in the United States and around the world will glue ourselves to the TV to witness another formal bonding of a member of the Royal family and an American.  Most will wonder why anyone would want to give up their freedoms to enter into a press world of paparazzi or a life when one’s every move is scrutinized….is beyond belief!  Life in a castle could not be that great…and outside would probably be worse.  It may be hard to just go out for a burger and an ice cream! Though the circumstances may be different from those American heiresses in the video below, one wonders what this life-style will bring to those willing to take the chance.   Years from now, the memoirs of those who take this gigantic step in becoming a “duchess” or some other title will perhaps reveal the true story.  Yes, history has strong lessons, that most will not learn.

 

 

 

In this blog and on this occasion of modern-day Royal wedding, we present a historical look at American women who have married men of the British elite.  In particular, we learn about the daughter of the American Vanderbilt family, Consuelo, (shown above) and the British Duke of Blenheim Castle.

 

 

 

We definitely hope for a better outcome for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they wed and perhaps take that title.

VIDEO  (Turn up sound and click on YouTube if instructed)   Credit Smithsonian Channel