Saturday, June 6, is the date we remember D-Day
This Day of courage must never be pushed into the background while the world looks on at the daily news. Boyer Writes honors all those who bravely faced the possibility of certain death for the cause of freedom
On Omaha Beach alone, 2,400 American lives were lost…as were many thousands more of our allied countries during the war.
Here are some facts about that day when so many were brave!
- The First D-Day Happened in the early 1900’s
The term D-Day is a generic term used by the military since the early 1900s to describe the date a combat operation takes place. Because of the monumental nature of the Allied invasion of Normandy, that day on June 6th 1944 became legendary. Ever since, people have been fascinated by D-Day facts, and the term D-Day for most people now means the date in history when the Allies started to win the war in Europe.
- D-Day Could Have Happened A Day Earlier on June 5th, 1944
D-Day was actually supposed to happen the day before, on June 5th 1944. However, because of bad weather, it was decided that the D-Day invasion would take place the following day, on June 6th.
- D-Day Changed the Landscape and History of Normandy
The D-Day invasion took place in a coastal area of France, known as Normandy. Despite the region’s rich history, it is now most famously remembered as the scene of this bloody invasion
- D-Day Was Code named Neptune by the Allies
The code name for the Normandy Landings was Operation Neptune. Neptune is the Greek god of the sea, and it’s a fitting name, considering the invasion was launched from the sea.
- German Troops Didn’t Leave the Islands Around Normandy until 1945
Although the Allies were successful in their invasion of Normandy, it was nearly a year later, on May 9th 1945, that the entire German occupation of Normandy, including the surrounding islands, was completely ended.
- Operation Bodyguard Was a Fake Allied Operation to Hide D-Day Plans
In order to deceive the Germans, the Allies created a fake operation, Operation Bodyguard. This way, the Germans would not be sure of the exact date and location of the main Allied landings.
- There Were Multiple Fake D-Day Plans
There were actually multiple fake operations designed to deceive the Germans. These included fake operations detailing attacks to the north and south of the actual landing points in Normandy. Some efforts were even made to make the Germans think that the attack would take place in Norway!
- Normandy Was a Tourist and Resort Area Before D-Day
One of the lesser-known D-Day facts is that the beaches of Normandy were a popular destination for visitors to the Atlantic coast before World War II. From the 1800s onwards, Normandy was a popular seaside tourist area. There are still many beautiful towns and resorts on the Normandy coast.
- D-Day Was Planned for a Full Moon To Give Aircraft Better Sight
The Allies wanted a full moon to provide better sight for their aircraft. They also wanted to have one of the highest tides. The invasion was carefully scheduled to land partway between low tide and high tide, with the tide coming in.
- D-Day was the Largest Multi-National Invasion in History
The Normandy Landings known as D-Day were a multinational effort, with many countries involved. The Allied forces invading Normandy included troops from the United States, Britain, Canada, Poland, France, and more countries.
- The Allied Forces Were 5 Years Younger than the Germans on Average
Many D-Day facts focus on the armaments each side had during the invasion. A lesser-known fact is the age of the German and the Allied forces. The German forces, due to heavy losses on the Eastern Front, no longer had a large population of young men to enlist. German soldiers were, on average, more than 5 years older than their Allied counterparts.
- D-Day Began when Troops Gathered on British Soil in June 1944
A lot of D-Day facts focus on Normandy, where the Allies landed. A commonly asked question is “where did the Allies launch their invasion?” The Normandy landings were conducted from across the English Channel, with troops first gathering on British soil before launching the attack on that fateful day in June 1944.
- D-Day was Only the First Part of a Larger Plan to Retake Europe
The D-Day invasion, codenamed Operation Neptune, was part of a larger plan to take the European continent back from the Germans. Operation Overlord was the name assigned to the large-scale plan, and Operation Neptune was the first phase of the plan.
- The Draft of the D-Day Plan was First Accepted in 1943
Planning for the D-Day invasion began long before the event actually took place. Historical D-Day facts reveal that an initial draft of the invasion plan was accepted at a conference in August 1943.
- British General Bernard Montgomery Helped Eisenhower Plan D-Day
While a lot of D-Day facts focus on the numbers of ships, troops and military armaments, one fact that is often overlooked is the number of generals who planned the invasion. There were two generals: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower and British General Bernard Montgomery planned the attack. It should be noted that Eisenhower was the Commander in Chief of Operation Overlord.
- D-Day was the Largest Invasion by the Sea in History
Eisenhower and Montgomery reviewed the initial plans for D-Day and decided that a larger-scale invasion would be necessary. The goal of the Allies was to allow operations to move quickly, and to capture ports that were strategic to the overall plan of retaking the European continent.
- More Than 150,000 Troops Landed on 50 miles of Beach on D-Day
It may be the epic scale of the D-Day invasion that explains just why people are so fascinated by D-Day facts. It was one of the largest single military operations of all time, with more than 150,000 troops landing on five beaches in just a 50-mile stretch of land.
- 7 Days After D-Day More Than 300,000 Troops Had Landed
The first set of troops landing at Normandy signaled only the beginning of the invasion. Within seven days, the beaches where the Allies landed on D-Day were fully under their control. Get ready for some more massive D-Day facts! By that time, more than 300,000 troops, 50,000 vehicles and over 100,000 tons of equipment had been brought through the beaches of Normandy! By the end of June 1944, the Allies had brought over 850,000 troops through the beaches of Normandy and ports that had been opened up as a result of the D-Day invasion.
- Omaha Beach Was 1 of 5 Main Beaches of the D-Day Invasion
The Allies divided the 50 miles of the Normandy coast into five beaches, or sections. The beaches at Normandy were named: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.
- Weather Delayed the D-Day Invasion by 1 Day
Many military historians who are interested in D-Day facts discuss how the weather impacted the D-Day invasion. In addition to delaying the invasion by one day, the weather blew the boats of the Allies east of their planned landing targets. This was especially true for the Utah and Omaha beach landing targets.
- The Terrain of Omaha Beach Caused the High Number of Casualties
Omaha Beach was one of the areas where the Allies suffered the most casualties. The geography of the area played a role in the high number of casualties at Omaha Beach. High cliffs that lined the beach characterized the geography of the Omaha Beach landing target. Many American forces lost their lives because the Germans had gun positions on these high cliffs.
- More than 4,000 Allied Soldiers Died on D-Day
The saddest D-Day facts are the number of people who were injured, and the number of people who died, as a result of the invasion of Normandy. Due to the position of the German forces and the defenses they had built, the Allies suffered over 10,000 casualties, with over 4,000 people confirmed dead.
- Over 2,400 American Soldiers Were Killed on Omaha Beach on D-Day
D-Day facts reveal that over 2,400 Americans were killed or injured on Omaha Beach. This was as a result of the geography of the Omaha Beach landing target, and the weather that had blown the ships off their target. The weather had also led to the sinking of some tanks which were intended to provide support for the troops landing at Omaha Beach. The high number of casualties at Omaha was also in part due to the lack of artillery providing reinforcements for the troops.
- Germans Had Less Casualties on D-Day Due to their Positions
Due to their positions, the Germans suffered fewer casualties than the invading Allied troops at Normandy. However, the Germans had no reinforcements to help them retake positions. Once the Allies had landed at Normandy, they took control of the beaches and continued until all of Europe was free.
The massive scale of the D-Day invasion and its important role in World War II make D-Day facts fascinating, even today. Many people lost their lives fighting on the fateful day of June 6th 1944. The
Normandy landings were the beginning of a larger plan to retake Europe and codenamed Operation Overlord. Had the D-Day invasion failed, the result of World War II may have been very different. Thankfully, despite a heavy loss of life, the Allies were ultimately successful in taking the beaches of Normandy and retaking Europe.
- Facts about D-Day Invasion Summary
D-Day facts continue to fascinate people, even more than 50 years after the D-Day invasion took place. We gathered interesting facts about that fateful day on June 6th 1944, when the large-scale invasion of Normandy, France took place. D-Day marked a turning point in World War II and dictated the course of history.
Military historians are interested in D-Day facts because of the sheer scale of the invasion. The saddest D-Day facts are those relating to the losses the Allies suffered during the course of the invasion. The people who lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy did not do so in vain, as D-Day marked the beginning of the Allies retaking Europe. (taken from Interesting Facts)
75th Remembrance of D-Day in 2019 Slide Presentation (Wait a moment for slide to change)
If you missed the last blog about the 75th Liberation of Auschwitz, I would highly recommend that you go back and view it. Link: https://boyerwrites.com/2020/01/28/75-years-since-liberation-are-we-turning-our-backs/
In this blog, I am writing about the non-Jews that knew the risks they were taking when defying the Nazi Regime. We honor them and the”righteous gentiles” who risked everything to hide the Jewish families during World War II. One of the men who stood up again Hitler was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Christian pastor.
Few twentieth century theologians have had a bigger impact on theology than Bonhoeffer, a man who lived his faith and died at the hands of the Nazis. For Bonhoeffer, the theological was the personal, life and faith deeply intertwined—and to this day the world is inspired by that witness. (Google Books by Diane Reynolds)
…Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship,, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews….Bonhoeffer’s efforts for the underground seminaries included securing necessary funds… By August 1937, Himmler decreed the education and examination of Confessing Church ministry candidates illegal. In September 1937, the Gestapo closed the seminary at Finkenwalde, and by November arrested 27 pastors and former students.
It was around this time that Bonhoeffer published his best-known book, The Cost of Discipleship, a study on the Sermon on the Mount, in which he not only attacked “cheap grace” as a cover for ethical laxity, but also preached “costly grace.” He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later, he was transferred to Flossenburg Concentration Camp. (Flossenburg concentration camp, located outside Weiden, Germany, close to the Czech border, was established in 1938, mainly for political prisoners. Once the war began, however, other prisoners and Jews were housed there as well.Apr 11, 2008)
After being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler,he was quickly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then hanged on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing. 21 days later Adolf Hitler committed suicide. (Wikipedia)
Quotes by Bonhoeffer:
Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him.
On the cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers.
For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God.
So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes.
We must finally stop appealing to theology to justify our reserved silence about what the state is doing
for that is nothing but fear. ‘Open your mouth for the one who is voiceless
for who in the church today still remembers that that is the least of the Bible’s demands in times such as these.
The U.S. LIBERATION OF FLOSSENBURG:
…At approximately 10:30 hours on April 23, 1945, the first U.S. troops of the 90th Infantry Division arrived at Flossenburg KZ,. They were horrified at the sight of some 2,000 weak and extremely ill prisoners remaining in the camp and of the SS still forcibly evacuating those fit to endure the trek south. Elements of the 90th Division spotted those ragged columns of prisoners and their SS guards. The guards panicked and opened fire on many of the prisoners, killing about 200, in a desperate attempt to effect a road block of human bodies. American tanks opened fire on the Germans as they fled into the woods, reportedly killing over 100 SS troops.
Additionally, elements of the 97th Infantry Division participated in the liberation. As the 97th prepared to enter Czechoslovakia, Flossenburg concentration camp was discovered in the division’s sector of the Bavarian Forest. Brigadier General Milton B. Halsey, the commanding general of the 97th Division, inspected the camp on April 30, as did his divisional artillery commander, Brigadier General Sherman V. Hasbrouck. Hasbrouck, who spoke fluent German, directed a local German official to have all able-bodied German men and boys from that area help bury the dead. The 97th Division performed many duties at the camp upon its liberation. They assisted the sick and dying, buried the dead, interviewed former prisoners and helped gather evidence against former camp officers and guards for the upcoming war crimes trials.
One eyewitness U.S. Soldier, Sgt. Harold C. Brandt, a veteran of the 11th Armored Division, who was on hand for the liberation of not just one but three of the camps, Flossenburg, Mauthausen, and Gusen, when queried many years after the war on his part in liberating them, stated that “it was just as bad or worse than depicted in the movies and stories about the Holocaust. . . . I can not describe it adequately. It was sickening. How can other men treat other men like this’” (portion of an article By Colonel John R. Dabrowski, US Army Heritage and Education Center)
REMEMBER THE LIBERATION AND DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Video of the Remembrance of the U.S. Army Liberation of Flossenburg concentration camp where Bonhoeffer was executed. (filmed in 2019)
Turn up sound:
As we approach the Christmas season, the frenzy of shopping…Black Friday after Thanksgiving… and all that happens at this time of year, it is easy to forget December 7th when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and awakened the United States, now known as “the sleeping giant.”
As we placed the American flags in the yard this morning, it may have brought a question from some neighbors passing our house to retrieve their mail from the local mailbox. “Why are they flying the flags…isn’t it Christmas?”
Yes, it is a busy time of year, but we must never forget the thousands who died on this dreadful day in Pearl Harbor.
It would have been understandable that after the attack and the counter-attack of the first atomic bombs to be dropped on any nation, to let the Japanese fend for themselves. Yet, the American way is to help rebuild and in doing so helped Japan to become the great nation they are today.
Having spent time in modern Japan with other American educators, as guests of the government, it would be appropriate to write of Emperor Hirohito who gave the people of Japan the possibility of a new life when he gave his speech of surrender.
“…In 1945, one week after atomic bombs had obliterated the cities of Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, radios across Japan crackled with another shocking announcement, one that would come to change the course of Japanese history perhaps as much as did the atomic bombs “Little Boy and Fat Man”. At noon, Emperor Hirohito spoke directly to his subjects for the first time in his reign. His announcement would shock Japan, but it would also transform it, altering in a few short minutes the entire mission of the Japanese nation in ways that it, and the world, still feel today.” (The Atlantic)
Yes, the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was many years ago and this attack brought great suffering to all those involved, as war always does. The death toll was massive. Not much is said about this date of December 7, 1941, that according to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy.” We would expect that every present-day high school student was made aware of its importance on this day of remembrance.
The sleeping giant had surely been awakened. As with any deliberate attack, such as this and even more recently, 9-11, the American people will always rise to the occasion. Not only did the attack bring the United States into the war of World War II, but it gave the whole of Europe the help that it desperately needed to defeat the Nazi threat of world domination.
The video below is on the attack with historical pictures:
Boyer Writes honors all Veterans
THANK YOU for your service to our country!
While living part-time in Virginia, my husband and I were honored to interview a number of veterans of the Blue Ridge Mountain area. Many had never been interviewed about their service and were happy to finally tell their stories. This led to the writing of our book entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.
Their stories were amazing. We were honored to meet Sharon Plichta and her husband who served in Vietnam. Sharon was a military nurse who earned the Bronze Star for her bravery caring for the wounded under fire.
The veteran that I’d like to share with you from this book is Myron Cardward Harold of M.C., as he was called. He served in Korea with the U.S. Army’s 40th Division, 22nd Regiment. He was 21 years old as he fought across Heartbreak Ridge.
Here is a part of the chapter featuring this soldier of Valor in Korea:
Myron C. Harold, better known as “MC” has an amazing story of bravery when he served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was a Staff Sergeant who almost lost both his legs. The fighting had been so terrible in the middle of winter on what is known as Heartbreak Ridge and they were walking and fighting at night through the mountains. His legs were beginning to freeze and he was picked up in a truck and taken to a field hospital at the Yalu River.
When he arrived at a medic station, the soles of his shoes were worn out and flapping. By this time, both legs had frozen. The surgeons said, “We must take these legs off now. It can’t wait. We must do it now.” MC was prepared to face whatever he had to in order to live.
He says he does not remember getting to the medics. Now they were about to remove his legs and send him back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they had large fruit orchards that his father had started years before.
The surgeon that day in Korea wanted to help MC stand on his legs one more time before performing the operation. When he did, MC recalls with tears in his eyes, “It felt like a shot had gone all through my body.” Immediately the surgeon recognized that the blood had started flowing throughout MC’s legs. Removing the legs would not be necessary. “That was my miracle,” MC said with tears in his eyes.
After returning from Korea, MC and his son grew many acres of apples in the Blue Ridge. Today, as an elderly man, he is a resident at the V.A. hospital in Virginia. He had survived to tell his story of God’s miracle in a land far away.
Other veterans of the Blue Ridge interviewed served in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. They stand proud with all their comrades in arms who have faithfully served.
- Rob Redus ( In submarines…Vietnam)
- Dr. Tom Whartenby (Vietnam)
- Clinton Moles (World War II)
- Leonard Marshall (Survived the sinking of the USS Gambier by the Japanese)
- Troy Davis (World War II and recently passed away in Spain)
- Elmo McAlexander as an Army Medic during the Cold War
- Frank and Sharan Plichta (Vietnam)
- Paul Childress (World War II under Patton and guarded Dachau prisoner)
- Tommy Ellis (Served in the Marines and regularly is in an Honor Guard for those veterans who pass away.) Roy McAlexander also has served hundreds of the fallen at funerals.
To those who may be interested in the many stories of honor and courage in Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge Click here
Video below: God Bless the USA
Some of our elderly veterans are heading to Normandy one last time. We are told that over 400 per day are passing away. If the young people in your family do not know about or don’t understand that our freedoms today are due to these brave men, give them a history lesson. It is extremely important to do so as we are told after World War II was over, and we went to liberate the death camps of the Holocaust… that “those who do not remember will live it over again.”
Blessings to all veterans on this June 6…D DAY.
Below is footage that will help us remember exactly what brave men did to keep Europe free. We must never forget.
Rare Old D-Day video: Turn up sound:
In 2016, I wrote my first historical novel. This was available online as a blog and then published as a paperback. More recently, I renewed this book called The Seeds and the updated version is now available on Amazon.
What is this book about? A brief summary is below:
After World War II, a number of high-ranking officers fled to places like Argentina. This question seemed to be of great interest to my blog readers. Some readers wrote emails that they knew where General Kammler had lived. One even said the General was an uncle who was elderly and had escaped prosecution.
General Kammler, as portrayed in this book, is entirely fiction. However, the accounts of him, are based on historical facts. From 1944, General Kammler was head of advanced weapons development in Nazi Germany, including the Me-262 jets, the V-2 rockets and perhaps even the exotic Bell Project. The enormous interest in General Kammler led me to explore the thoughts of where he might be hiding and exciting portrayal of him in The Seeds novel evolved.
Locations as described in this novel, such as the World Seed Vault in Norway…sometimes referred to as the “Doomsday Seed Vault”… are actual places that are active today. For many readers, other locations, people and culture of the Middle East are generally not understood by people around the world. The story involvement in the Middle East only increases the mystery behind the writing of this historical fiction. Link to The Seeds
In 2015, I posted this tribute to those who serve. I think it is good for another year and maybe many more to come….for we must not forget.
On this MEMORIAL DAY, Boyer Writes honors all those who responded to the call of duty to country and all freedom stands for….especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
After viewing the slide presentation, you may want to look at the different wars throughout history where and when the United States has sent troops to fight. We are just one country. Multiply this country and all wars of all countries in the world ….to make us one big, warring globe.
There are reasons, of course. Some fight for their independence. Others fight to maintain their freedom. Many fight to rule over the weak, sick, and impoverished.
There are those who fight and murder in the name of God…religious wars. Read your history and you will not be surprised for it happened when Muslims fought Christians; Christians fought in the Crusades; nations have tried to rid the world of Jews.
The Holy Scriptures tell us that we will call for “Peace…Peace….but there is no peace…” Those who make predictions believe that before the coming of Christ to the earth a second time, there will be the greatest of all wars….in the Middle East. This is not something for optimism. Nevertheless, we are also told to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”….and the world. We cannot control governments, groups, or individuals who hate and destroy…but pray we can do.
” I pray that an Omnipotent Providence will summon all persons of goodwill to the realization of the utter futility of war. We have known the bitterness of defeat, the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned that there is no turning back. We must preserve in peace, what we won in war. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery has in fact now reached a point that revises the traditional concept of war. War, the most malignant scourge, and greatest sin of mankind, can no longer be controlled, only ABOLISHED! We are in a new era. If we do not devise some greater and more equitable means of settling disputes between nations, Armageddon will be at our door…”
A MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE
( Click on arrow; turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing. Music by St. Olaf Choir) Warning: disturbing scenes of war wounded)
Choose and click on a war listed to read information.
- 2.1 Colonial wars (1620–1774)
- 2.2 War of Independence (1775–1783)
- 2.3 Early national period (1783–1812)
- 2.4 War of 1812
- 2.5 War with Mexico (1846–48)
- 2.6 American Civil War (1861–1865)
- 2.7 Post-Civil War era (1865–1917)
- 2.8 Modernization
- 2.9 Banana Wars (1898–1935)
- 2.10 Moro Rebellion (1899–1913)
- 2.11 Mexico (1910–1919)
- 2.12 World War I (1917–1918)
- 2.13 Russian Revolution
- 2.14 1920s: Naval disarmament
- 2.15 1930s: Neutrality Acts
- 2.16 World War II (1941–1945)
- 2.17 Cold War era (1945–1991)
- 2.18 Post–Cold War era (1991–2001)
- 2.19 War on Terrorism (2001–present)
- 2.20 Iraq
- 2.21 Libyan intervention
- The on-going war on terrorism The War on Terror (also known as the Global War on Terrorism) is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign which started as a result of the Sept 11,2001 terrorist attack on the United States. This resulted in an international military campaign to eliminate al-Qaeda; other militant organizations and jihadi groups. The United Kingdom and many other NATO and non-NATO nations participate in the conflict.
One of my readers sent me an email explaining how he had made a trip to Auschwitz in Poland to find the memory of a particular child who perished there. Having traveled as a teacher with American students to Auschwitz, I understood and remembered the locations where I also walked and saw the horrors of an “orchestrated nightmare” that took place in World War II.
The email that I received from Ralph Davis is in part the following:
Many scholars of the Holocaust have come to believe that when a Holocaust survivor tells a story that sounds too incredible to be true, it may be just that: the truth. Such is the story of Lili Zelmanovic (Lili Jacob Meier) and her photo album.
18-year-old Lili Jacob was deported with her family, and most of the Jews of Hungary, in the spring of 1944. On the ramp at Auschwitz, she was brutally separated from her parents and younger brothers. She never saw any of them again. She was lucky and survived; yet, she was not always convinced of the blessing of having survived totally alone, bereft of family, friends and her world.
Unlike all of the other survivors, she was granted a small miracle. On the day of her liberation, in the Dora concentration camp hundreds of miles from Auschwitz, she found in the deserted SS barracks a photo album. It contained, among others, pictures of her family and friends as they arrived on the ramp and unknowingly awaited their death. It was a unique tie to what once had been, could never return, and could never be rebuilt.
It was also, as we now know, the only photographic evidence of Jews arriving in Auschwitz or any other death camp. After the war, Lili found and married Max Zelmanovic, a prewar acquaintance. Selling glass-plate prints of the album to the Jewish Museum in Prague enabled the couple and their first-born daughter, Esther, to immigrate to the United States. They settled in Miami and raised a family, yet the album continued to be central to their lives.
Survivors spread the word of a unique album in the possession of a waitress in Miami, and they made their way across the country to seek her out, and to hope against hope that their lost family, like hers, might be engraved on its prints. Not a week would go by but Lili would bring home strangers who were not strangers, and they would pour over the pictures and weep. Rarely, someone would identify a family member, and Lili would give them the snapshot. Since most of the Jews had been murdered, leaving no living trace, most of the photos remained unclaimed.
In 1980 Serge Klarsfeld convinced Lilly (pictured below) that the album should be safeguarded at Yad Vashem. She came to Jerusalem, showed it to Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and donated it to Yad Vashem, where it resides to this day and is treasured for the future.
On December 17, 1999, Lilly Zelmanovic passed away. (from Yad Vashem)
I too, like Dave, believe that it is imperative that we continue to share the story of those who died in the concentration camps because at some point there will not be any living survivors to tell their stories. If we do not teach our future generations the truth, it could easily happen again. Thank you, Dave.
The video shared below is long, but worth the watch. Take your time and listen and view parts at a time if it is more convenient. It speaks for itself and it is my prayer that many around the world will make the effort to listen to it….and never forget!
If the video should ask for a password, type DaveDavis
This Christmas we will be having a guest who works here in Florida as a Safety Engineer at Universal Studios. She is Japanese and a friend and business acquaintance of our son. We are happy that she will be a part of our Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. Who would have believed that Japan, after being such an enemy with the attack on our troops and ships at Pearl Harbor would rebuild and become a world power with our help? Who would believe that the next generations would be our friends?
Several years ago, I was invited to Japan as an American educator from Florida by the Japanese government. The first meeting that the Americans had with a Japanese diplomat surprisingly was a speech of apology for the war. We were given a warm welcome to stay in the country, visit schools and have home stays with a Japanese family. It was the country’s way of thanking Americans, after so many years, for helping rebuild the country after World War II. It was a wonderful experience to be emersed in the Japanese culture.
Today is December 7th when we remember Pearl Harbor and the price that was paid by so many in this attack…resulting in the thousands who died in battles with the Japanese and Germans. Many ended up in prison camps after the United States Congress voted to enter the war. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan ended the war, but the horrors were profound.
The rebuilding process began and today Japan is a wonderful place to visit. My husband and I went to Mt. Fuji during autumn and enjoyed the beautiful Japanese maples. We hope to visit Washington, D.C. when the Japanese cherry blossoms are in bloom. While we were in Japan, we went to the Memorial of the USS Arizona. To know that the sailors who perished there are still entombed in their sunken ship was an emotional experience.
Recently I found a video that was interesting as it gave some of the details of the attack on Pearl Harbor of which some may not be aware.
Video (Turn up sound)
This post is in honor of all veterans and their families who have given so much for the country they love, the United States of American. God Bless You!
VIDEO: Passengers on an airline witness the bringing home one of our bravest and finest. Thank you to all USA Veterans, for your service.
IN HONOR OF Green Beret WO1 Shawn Thomas
Are most people frightened to some extent about “diversity”? If someone looks different from ourselves…speaks a language we don’t understand or in some way doesn’t fit our own mold…yes, there is fear. The actual definition is “the inclusion of different types of people, such as people of different races or cultures.” During War Time…or in peacetime when people of different cultures and languages storm our borders (or threaten an invasion which may result in large camping tents and holding places), the lessons of history flash in our minds and brings us back to another day and time…Japanese internment camps.
There was mistrust throughout the U.S. of anyone Japanese or looked Japanese. Eventually, internment camps began to grow as Americans became unsure of whom they could trust. Fear was definitely in the air.
“After World War II was over, it took until 1988 for Congress to attempt to apologize for the action by awarding each surviving intern $20,000 when President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act. While the American concentration camps never reached the levels of Nazi death camps as far as atrocities are concerned, they remain a dark mark on the nation’s record of respecting civil liberties and cultural differences.” (Wikipedia)
Let’s take a look at what diversity among people was able to do during those bleak years. Perhaps it can give us some hope for the loyalty of diverse peoples who may seek citizenship in the future.
You may never have heard of Kazuo Yamane or even the word, Nisei. However, the diversity that he represents in our society is of greatest importance.
( The word Nisei means a native-born citizen of the United States or Canada whose parents were Japanese immigrants.)
Had it not been for Kazuo Yamane and thousands of Japanese Americans nisei like him, from Hawaii, we would have had a difficult time winning World War II. An award-winning film, Proof of Loyalty, has been made about his struggle as an educated Japanese to overcome the divisions that also separate us and ultimately to use his own native language talents as a trusted interpreter for the American military during some of the worst days of the war.
Where did it all begin for Kazuo Yamane?
From the PROOF OF LOYALTY film:
“Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii tells the story of a Japanese American who played a crucial strategic role in World War II. He and his fellow Nisei from Hawaii combatted prejudice and discrimination to loyally serve their country. Their extraordinary service, mostly untold, ultimately changed the course of U.S. history.
Kazuo Yamane’s father, Uichi, came to Hawaii in the late 19th century with nothing and built a successful family business. His eldest son, Kazuo, first educated in the discriminatory school system in Hawaii, eventually graduated from Waseda University, the Harvard of Japan, and returned to Hawaii just before the Pearl Harbor attack. Drafted just before the war he became part of what would be the War Department’s most successful social experiment, taking Nisei troops from Hawaii and forming the 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit made up of a group entirely related to a country we were at war with. Their success was spectacular, but Kazuo was plucked from their ranks for his exceptional knowledge of Japanese, which would lead him to the Pentagon, to a secret facility in northern Maryland, and finally to serving under Eisenhower in Europe. Most importantly, he would identify a secret document which would help to shorten the war in the Pacific.
The absolute loyalty of the Nisei to America in World War II, despite discrimination and incarceration, provides an insight for us today. These American citizens used whatever skills they had to protect their beloved country, even while many Americans suspected them of being the enemy. The War Department trusted them and through them gained both a military advantage by strength and sacrifice on the battlefield to important intelligence behind the lines. Diversity powers America, but also keeps us safe — one only has to look at the Nisei to provide ample proof.
The story of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii is a unique one, and as with any unique story, it is difficult to tell in a way that is both comprehensive and personal. But PROOF OF LOYALTY manages to do just that, using the inspiring story of World War II hero Kazuo Yamane as a window into the Japanese-American experience in Hawaii.
During World War II, the United States interned over 100,000 Japanese-Americans in camps. But of the over 150,000 Japanese-Americans in Hawaii, less than 2,000 were interned. In fact, a select group of a few hundred Japanese-American men in Hawaii were recruited to translate Japanese for the American Army. These troops, known as the 100th Infantry Battalion, were seen as an experiment that would prove whether any Japanese-Americans could truly be trusted to be loyal to the United States.
These men proved not only to be loyal, but also instrumental to winning the war.
Men like Kazuo Yamane are a reminder of what truly makes America great. Japanese-Americans had no obligation to love the United States during World War II. The discrimination they faced is a stain on American history, revealing the darkest, ugliest impulses of American society. Yet the brave Japanese-American soldiers we see in PROOF OF LOYALTY risked everything for their country and ended up saving countless lives through their translation work. They prove that America’s strength comes not from military might, but from diversity. This film may be about men from decades past, but it couldn’t be more relevant.
(quoted from the Asian American International Film Festival)
There is one very interesting point brought out in the film. The thousands of Nisei received military training while in Hawaii. They were ready to fight. One day a ship arrived. The men were told to meet the ship, remove their weapons, and board. They did. When they found out that they were headed to the U.S. mainland, they feared the worse. Perhaps they were going to be placed in the internment camps. However, that was not the plan. The men were to form their own units to fight with the other Americans. The 442 Regimental Combat Team, which was composed primarily of Japanese Americans, served with uncommon distinction. Many of these U.S. soldiers serving in the unit had families who were held in the internment camps in the United States while they fought abroad. They fought with bravery and many died…as the Americans they were.
PROOF OF LOYALTY short trailer video Turn up sound
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 unrepaired — despite 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…”
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)
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.
This is the second in our series on the wars that our American veterans fought. Today we remember the veterans who fought in Korea. It was my privilege to hear the stories of those who bravely fought. I have included these veterans in my recent book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, seen opposite right.
This blog gives the facts that led up to the American involvement in the war and the results that last even to this day. Today, July 27, 2018, was an important day for those families that never had the opportunity to bury their brave men, as North Korea finally began the return of the remains promised. We know there are many more, around 3,500, and POWs who may still be in N. Korea.
Below is a video that explains the Korean war. Again, I would suggest that you forward this blog to a young person in the family that may have little understanding of this part of history. History needs to be remembered.
VIDEO (by Andrew Hein) Turn up sound.
Having just finished writing and publishing a book on veterans who fought against tyranny around the world, I began to wonder if our recent generations truly understand what these wars were all about. If you have a teen in your house or an appreciator of history, this is the time to share this blog.
My book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, not only gives the stories of World War II veterans, but of those in the Korean and Vietnam wars. (Click on book at far right for more information)
Therefore, as difficult and as unentertaining as it may be….for it seems the world only wants entertainment, I plan to run a series of three blogs introducing the reasons for each war mentioned and the results of great battles and great loss of life on both sides of the wars.
History is to be learned from…or we will live it again…with even worse consequences. Here is a quote worth pondering:
“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein.
There were several versions of his quote: Supposedly, Professor Albert Einstein was asked by friends at a dinner party what new weapons might be employed in World War III. Appalled at the implications, he shook his head. After several minutes of meditation, he said. “I don’t know what weapons might be used in World War III. But there isn’t any doubt what weapons will be used in World War IV.” “And what are those?” a guest asked. “Stone spears,” said Einstein.
This quote (or at least a version of it) dates back to the 1940s when the first nuclear weapons were being developed. Although Albert Einstein didn’t actually develop the atom bomb, his work did make such a device possible. Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible. (Snopes Fact Checking)
Anyone who turns on a TV today is worried that some person or government will go too far and trigger the next great war. Life as we know it could come to a screeching halt from a computer hacker based anywhere in the world. Every phase of our lives, from our energy and water supplies, banking, grocery stores, hospitals, fire and police, cell phones, nuclear plants and much more are controlled by the electronics of today. Einstein was a genius, but even he may not have seen that nuclear devastation may not be the only end of life as we know it. Regardless, the wars that we have fought with our allies in the past were for one purpose…to keep the world free from tyranny and to give us “peace on earth.”
Yes, PEACE…what a wonderful word. The Holy Scriptures tell us… “Peace, Peace and there is no peace.” (Ezekial 13:10) and yet we are told not to lose hope for Christ said… “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14.27
Yet, so often we are afraid…afraid of what the future may hold. We cannot forget the sacrifices of those who believed that FREEDOM was worth dying for. We, or the next generations, must not forget their stories and what they represented to us who are left to lead and to guide our nations. We have freedom of choice because of them.
Below is the first in a historical series to come: World War II…Korea, and Vietnam
VIDEO with narration. Turn up sound
Today is a good day! I am looking forward to a new book to hold in my hands and share with others. Over a year ago, my husband, a retired Navy Chaplain, and I started interviewing our American veterans in the Blue Ridge mountains for a new book called, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge. This week I sent it to the publishers. We are excited to share this news with our readers. Stay tuned for a special availability announcement of the book hopefully in the next couple weeks on Amazon.
We think the people whose stories were shared with us will be a real inspiration…and their stories needed to be told. Some are in their 90’s and are in nursing homes. We are losing our American World War II veterans and those of our allies at an alarming rate. Hopefully, there will be many books that share their stories. During the terrible battles to keep freedom alive, hope often seemed dim as the bombs dropped and men and women died. There were many prayers for miracles. Our book covers other men and women who served in Korea and Vietnam. It gives honor to those serving their country in the fight against terrorism in more recent battles.
Below is a video of some beautiful children singing in honor of all World War II veterans as they walk on the very ground where furious battles were fought.
One Voice Children’s Choir, under the direction of Masa Fukuda, performs “When You Believe.” Filmed on-location at Omaha Beach and Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France. Performed in English, Hebrew and French. This song is dedicated to all the soldiers who fought in World War II, including those who fought at Normandy’s Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches in the D-Day Invasion; and to the millions of Jewish victims who lost their lives during the Nazi Holocaust. (video credit)
We add our appreciation and honor for American and Allied veterans in all wars since WWII.
VIDEO (Turn on sound)
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia are small towns with people who will never forget those brave men and women who left their farms and home places to fight for our country and freedom in the world. Throughout the rolling countryside and along the blue colored ridges of the mountains… filled with cattle, fields, and beautiful wildflowers, one will find small family graves with an American flag. This will always indicate that the person buried there served in an American war.
On this Memorial Day, the young Military Science students and the older men and women of this Blue Ridge area remember the Fallen of all wars and pray prayers for the many POW-MIA’s who are still missing. (Slide show below)
As my husband and I joined in this day of Remembrance, I’m in the midst of writing a new book about American military veterans, entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, which should be on Amazon by July, 2018.
My interviews with those who went to serve during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been eye-opening. These are people of great courage and fortitude. Millions did not return, but for those here in the Blue Ridge, these men forged new lives and continued to make our FREE America an even better place.
One chapter in my book will feature the Childress family in the Blue Ridge who had four men in the military at once during World War II. Paul (upper right picture and with wife and baby) served in Patton’s Command in France.
The women of the Blue Ridge served as well, including Francis Childress, a cousin to Paul. Other chapters will take notice of a female military nurse who was awarded the Bronze Star. The Bronze Star Medal is a decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, valor, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.
As I read memoirs and listened, I learned that fighting on Heart Break Ridge in Korea with legs frozen, slipping out of camp at night in France during World War II to find food for hungry soldiers, spending weeks in the confines of a submarine, fighting off boredom and jungle heat in Vietnam or losing limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq were difficult and in most cases horrible experiences. It was their part of life that they were willing to share with me and I am grateful because I will never look at a veteran again in the same way.
This is why I write this blog to encourage you to take an hour or so on Memorial Day from your interest in sports events, picnics or other activities to give our military the honor they so deserve. Your freedom today is what they did to keep us free. It is important that our children and grandchildren are taught history and the meaning of our national Memorial Day. I was amazed to see that since the last Memorial Day ceremony of 2017, in the small town of Galax, VA. that 90+ people had died who were veterans in this part of the Blue Ridge. We are rapidly losing those who fought in World War II and their stories should be told.
To those whose lives and deaths were the ultimate sacrifice….there is not enough thanks in heaven or earth to give to you…but we will try.
To the gravely wounded warriors who have come home and forged new lives, we give you honor. We have contacted this brave warrior for an interview that will shed light on all those who have suffered so much.
Thank you to all veterans…men and women. We give tribute to all the wives and families that were left behind to faithfully live and wait for their loved ones to return home.
VIDEO Turn up sound (Credit “American Soldier” by Toby Keith)
Put down your phones…and give this some thought. This post is especially for the young people of our country.
When you look at older people in a restaurant or some other place, what do you see? Would it occur to you, as a young person, that this person may have made it possible for you to sit there playing with your phone? Yes, I know all the Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin (and more) founders are young. However, I’m not talking about them. I am talking about those who didn’t become rich, but gave their all for us and liberty.
What do I mean? I’m going to tell you because it is possible that you have missed knowing some of the greatest people in the world because you have not learned the art of asking questions. What kind of questions? Something like….”What did you do when you were my age and didn’t have cell phones?” That person with the grey hair and a limp may have something very interesting to share with you. In fact, it could change your life more than anything you might see or learn on social media.
Another thought ran through my mind as I began to write this post. A neighbor’s husband had passed away. She had a set of encyclopedias that belonged to a distant relative who would have experienced World War II. They were written in German. When asked about them, I heard a story of a family who emigrated to America after the horrors of that war. She said that none of her children wanted any of the things that were part of their history.
I have been hearing this statement many time recently…that the young families don’t want anything that belonged to Grandma or Grandpa…or even their own parents. Why? It is “old stuff.” Is family history not as important to our youth and their parents as their cell phones?
You will notice that I have mentioned electronics several times. This is because more often than not families who have gone out to spend time together are rarely doing so. The children are playing their games or texting. The parents are checking emails or answering their phones. Little time is actually spent talking to one another. Don’t get me wrong. Cell phones have their place, but I would encourage you to put them down for a while and experience life around you. If you know an older person, ask a few questions that will give you special insight into life. They are often the brave who left everything to keep us a free nation.
When I took students to Auschwitz in Poland, the one thing they learned was this…“Those who do not remember history will live it over again.” Too much was sacrificed to let that happen. Young people, there have been many sacrifices for you. I hope you are asking right now…what do you mean?
- Men and women fought and died to prevent aggression into our country. They are still doing that.
- Men, such as Dr. Martin L. King Jr., fought to give all people civil rights.
- Mothers and fathers have worked hard to give you the things of life that you need. That may include your cell phone…but food and a warm bed are more important. Remember that you are not entitled, but blessed.
By the way, if you see a person wearing a uniform or a hat that reads where they served, don’t be shy. Go right up to them and say, “Thank you for your service.” That will make their day…especially coming from a young person. This also includes policemen, medics and fire fighters.
In the video below, you are going to hear a song about an Old Army Hat. There may be one in your house or it could be an American flag neatly folded and displayed in a wooden box. Ask about it. There is a story there. Then, if you must, use your phone and tell someone about what you have learned…or better still, tell them face to face. That way they can see you smile and point to something important to you and your family history. If your family member with the grey hair is still living, let fly the questions. I bet you’ll get amazing answers that could change your life.
VIDEO (turn up sound)
The Election of 2016 is over. Instead of burning the American flag or beating up people because they chose to vote differently, those involved should think seriously about those who have fought to make America free. The American flag represents that freedom.
We must never forget history and the bravery of those who fought for our rights…even the rights to peacefully protest. Most of all, we must not forget those who bravely fought to bring the battles to an end. We continue to honor those who are still in harm’s way throughout the world.
World War I….was to be the War that ended all wars. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Some of the great battles of World War II: The Battle of the Atlantic, The Battle of Britain, The siege of Leningrad, Pearl Harbor, The Battle of Stalin grad, The Invasion of Normandy, The Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Okinawa, The Battle of Berlin
What was victory like for those who fought?
Victory Day, also known as VJ Day, marks the anniversary the Allies’ victory over Japan during World War II.
VJ Day in Honolulu Video….the real thing. Compliments of Richard Sullivan’s father who was there on August 14, 1945 and shot this film.
Names to Remember: Iwo Jima, Saipan, Midway…Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Omaha Beach…and others we have not mentioned. Thank you, Veterans, for your dedication.
Omaha Beach invasion was when the Germans killed about 5,000 men. They were so young and lives cut short. Truly, WAR IS HELL.
My writing has taken me into a new series called, The Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a collection of books that celebrate the life and work of the people who live in and around the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway of Virginia and North Carolina. In researching my stories of the books, it has been my privilege to interview a number of people whose roots go back generations. Many small, family grave plots can be seen in the hills. Some have a small flag or stone that reads that the person was a Civil War member of the Confederacy dating back into the 1800’s. They are proud of their history and do not think of their confederate flag as a symbol of racism or bigotry, but of the bravery of the men who fought against those who had invaded their land and homes.
Hearing their stories has brought to mind how tied the people are to their mountains and their history. The “Yankee” troops that marched through these valleys and hills during the Civil War, marched on afterward to return to their northern states.
The people of the South pulled themselves up to endure rebuilding and hardship, becoming a strong part of “one nation under God”. Slavery was no more. The long road to equality began far after the ships arrived with its human cargo from Africa.
As an retired educator, I know the emphasis that I put on history in the classroom, but it has almost become, in recent years, politically incorrect to talk about slavery…even the Emancipation Proclamation which freed them. It appears that the climate of the country is to bury our heads about the past. Remembering it no more must be the road to the future. I think that this way of thinking is wrong for we should learn from our past. In all fairness, the nation must have believed that they had passed racial tensions and elected an African American President twice to follow in the footsteps of Presidents like Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. When we see violence in our streets and children who can’t walk to school in our large cities without the fear of being shot, one wonders if we have learned anything from the strife of the past.
We have a fabric in America that is woven from many different threads and backgrounds. Most school children today probably do not know that there are descendants of Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence, who meet each year to celebrate who they are and to tell their stories. Many are highly educated because education was placed as a priority. (See video at end)
Who exactly was Thomas Jefferson? He certainly was a man of great contradictions. A graduate in law from the College of William and Mary, he at times defended slaves seeking freedom, but owned a large number of slaves himself. He represented Virginia in the Continental Congress…drafting the law for religious freedom…served as a governor and became the U.S. Minister to France…served as Secretary of State under President George Washington. He penned “all men are created equal.” and had a strong belief in states rights.
Jefferson also became the 3rd President of the United States. There were many issues to deal with, as there are today, for this nation. Jefferson’s were concerning trade and pirates. He doubled the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase. Not only was there controversy with slavery, but he began the removal of Indian tribes to the newly organized Louisiana Territory….but signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. (Yes, a difficult, but talented man to understand in the midst of a growing, new nation. ) Jefferson’s talents were in mathematics, surveying, horticulture and mechanics.
He was a Christian well versed in linguistics and spoke several languages.”Baptized in his youth, Jefferson became a governing member of his local Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA. Influenced by Deist authors during his college years Jefferson abandoned “orthodox” Christianity. In 1803 he asserted, ‘I am Christian, in the only sense in which Jesus wished any one to be.’ Jefferson later defined being a Christian as one who followed the simple teachings of Jesus.”
He was the founder of the University of Virginia after leaving public office.
(Story behind picture of Lucy Cottrell was the daughter of Dorothea (Dolly) Cottrell, a house servant at Monticello who, after 1826, became the property of George Blaetterman, a professor at the University of Virginia. About 1850 Dolly and Lucy Cottrell went to Maysville, Kentucky, with the professor’s widow, who freed them five years later. In this daguerreotype Lucy Cottrell is holding Charlotte, daughter of Blaetterman’s foster son.)
Jefferson must have taken it literally that all of his hundreds of slaves belonged to him to do with as he liked. After the death of his wife in 1782, he had a relationship with Sally Hemings and fathered at least one of her children. This may have been the beginning of those who now have Jefferson as part of their heritage. Nevertheless, despite the events in his life that makes him controversial, he is consistently ranked as one of the countries “Greatest Presidents”. Presidents are often making decisions to foster their own legacy. History will play out whether the time in office points to greatness or the lack thereof.
Video. Turn on sound and enlarge for best viewing.
Whatever happened to SS. General Hans Kammler?
This is the question that many history readers are asking and will enjoy THE SEEDS novel that attempts to answer it.
THE SEEDS, a historical fiction novel by N.W.Boyer
THE SEEDS originated from a blog that I have written for a number of years called Boyer Writes. One post on World War II and the Nazis, who fled to Argentina and other places, seemed to be of great interest to my readers. I was amazed that one particular post called What Happened to General Hans Kammler? received hits every day for years. Some readers wrote me that they knew where General Kammler had lived or that he was an uncle who was elderly and had escaped prosecution. Readers even started to make comments back and forth to one another because they were certain that they knew the answer to the question of the General’s whereabouts.
Who was General Hans Kammler?
General Kammler, as portrayed in this book is entirely fiction. The accounts of him, based on historical facts is that Kammler, from 1944, was head of advanced weapons development in Nazi Germany, including the Me-262 jets, the V-2 rockets and perhaps even the exotic Bell Project.
This fascination about General Kammler also led me to explore the thoughts of where he might be hiding and thus, this novel evolved.
First, I gave it birth online with the help of pictures and videos found on the web. Many of the places described in the novel, as the World Seed Vault in Norway, sometimes referred to as the “Doomsday Seed Vault” or the people, places and cultures of the Middle East, are generally not known or understood by other parts of the world. This only increased the mystery behind the writing.
I hope you will follow or return often to this blog site to see what other books I have written. Thank you for reading.
See further information on THE SEEDS: Available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.
What do Gold Stars represent to a military family? We can trace this special emblem back to World War I. If a military member of a family died, a flag that had been flown with a blue star was replaced with a gold one. This allowed the world to know the price that this family had paid for the freedom we enjoy today.
The observance of the Gold Star Mothers Day began in 1936 on the last Sunday of September. It was not until World War II that the Gold Star Wives was formed. Wives could then wear a Gold Star Lapel Button. All members of the family can be recognized today as a Gold Star Family. This is why the Army believes that no one has given more to our country than those who have lost a loved one to war.
In 1954, an American Gold Star Mothers Headquarters was purchased in Washington, D.C. near the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials, containing the records of all deceased soldiers from World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam War and now the Iraq War.
On June 12, 1984, The American Gold Star Mothers received their charter which reads:
- Keep alive and develop the spirit that promoted world services
- Maintain the ties of fellowship born of that service, and to assist and further all patriotic work
- Inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, State, and Nation
- Assist veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and other strategic areas and their dependents in the presentation of claims to the Veterans’ Administration, and to aid in any way in their power the men and women who served and died or were wounded or incapacitated during hostilities.
- Perpetuate the memory of those whose lives were sacrificed in our wars
- Maintain true allegiance to the United States of America
- Inculcate lessons of patriotism and love of country in the communities in which we live
- Inspire respect for the Stars and Stripes in the youth of America
- Extend needful assistance to all Gold Star Mothers and, when possible, to their descendants
- To promote peace and good will for the United States and all other Nations.
More recently, 2008, the Gold Star Children, a non-profit organization, was founded to raise awareness about children whose mothers or fathers were killed or died while serving in the United States military. We would like to introduce you to one of these American children… Miles Eckerd and his gift to Lt. Colonel Frank Daily, who experienced a “new direction in life” from this small child…a Gold Star Kid.
The video below, shown on CBS News, will help all of us to understand the loss and grief that happens when just one soldier dies and leaves their family behind. Blessings to them all.
Turn on sound.
For the Queen’s 90th birthday, she poses with her Great Grandchildren: Charlotte, George; Zara and Mike Tindall; James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise, Savannah and Isla Phillips (photo by Annie Leibowitz)
Boyer Writes would like to wish Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, a very happy 90th birthday. She has much to be proud of for she has outlived other monarchs whose portraits are hanging upon the majestic, great walls of her castles. I’v often wondered how one would feel looking at the faces…of the famous and infamous gone before. One bet she has talked to a few in the dark hours of the night when things were not going well. As in any family, there are heartaches.The Queen has seen her share with her own children and the death of a daughter in law, who will always be the favored memory of those who followed her every move.
One sees our children grow up and wish that they will always be successful in love and career, happy in all they do, appreciate us as parents and much more. When they first came into this world as innocent, lovely babies they have no idea the world they will be facing as they grow. Few families, the greatly honored and the unknown, live life without some major disappointments. That is why one must look at all the blessings that comes with the unexpected. We may be certain that Queen Elizabeth looks with pleasure on this picture of her and her newest Great Grand Daughter and George, who may be England’s king one day long after Elizabeth is no longer alive. Even as she did not expect to be the Queen, who knows if there will be a Queen Charlotte. Life is strange in its twists and turns.
Speaking of strange twists and turns, if you are a history buff and want to spend some time (or maybe a shorter skip-through), seeing the video of the life of Elizabeth II below, it will be worth it. So much of the world history is featured in this review of her early life and her reign as Queen. She will be remembered as a young person for standing with her royal family and her country through World War II when there was so much sadness. From the bombings of England, millions of homes were damaged or destroyed. The courage of her parents and their influence on her during this terrible time had made her who she is today.
For someone who has known few private moments in her life, compared to her duties with the public which she has taken as her life work, I would like to say that I am thankful that I am only the “queen” of my household. No trumpets have sounded for me nor will they at my funeral. There is no mass fortune in my heritage, nor are there servants to cater to my every need. I have no drivers to take me here and there, unless my husband drives. I would not change a thing. I like climbing into my truck, going wherever I please, without interruption. I would like to live as long as Elizabeth has and be able to walk about the way she does without help.
God bless the Queen and may she see only more birthdays as long as her life has meaning.
As I walked through the gates of Auschwitz with my students a few years ago, I was reminded of the famous saying that one must remember history or relive it. This is particularly true today with the evil plots to destroy one’s neighbor from within or without. My fellow blogger, Stephen Liddell in England, reminded his countrymen that there is at least one great reason to get out and vote in their General Election. This picture tells that reason. We here in America should be taking as seriously our own future elections.
Voters, here in America and those abroad, were not living during WWI and many were not living during WWII, but that does not mean we can not take our lessons from history. The battles may be different, but they are battles just the same. Complacency may be the road to slavery or death. No one likes to think of it, but it is the truth just the same. A strong nation will defend itself. A strong people will not turn a blind eye to the past…especially when one is threatened with evil and destruction.
I would say to our friends in America and worldwide, teach history to your young people. When surveyed, they seem to not know even basic facts of the sacrifices of their grandparents during times of crisis. They are the future voters and the inheritance of whom we choose now as leaders in the world.
I am writing this on May 7. How many people would know some of the events of history that happened on this one day alone…May 7th? These events changed history and the lives of people, but are they remembered? Multiply this one day by all the days of the calendar year.
- 1727 – Jews are expelled from Ukraine by Empress Catherine I of Russia
- 1862 – Battle of West Point, VA (Eltham’s Landing, Barnhamsville)
- 1913 – British House of Commons rejects women’s right to vote
- 1915 – SS Lusitania sunk by German submarine; 1198 lives lost
- 1939 – Germany & Italy announced an alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis
- 1942 – Nazi decree orders all Jewish pregnant women of Kovno Ghetto executed
- 1943 – Dutch men 18-35 obliged to report to labor camps
- 1945 – WWII: unconditional German surrender to the Allies signed by General Alfred Jodl at Rheims
- 1947 – General MacArthur approves Japanese constitution
- 1954 – French surrender to Vietminh after 55-day siege at Dien Bien Phu
- 1960 – USSR announces Francis Gary Powers confessed to being a CIA spy
- 1975 – Pres Ford declares an end to “Vietnam Era”
- 1980 – Iraq bombs a Tehran oil refiner
- 1982 – US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
- 1999 – Kosovo War: In Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, three Chinese citizens are killed and 20 wounded when a NATO aircraft bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
- 2013 – 55 people are killed by a Boko Haram attack in Nigeria
Then there was September 11, 2001. President Bush and the brave first responders… men and women of N.Y. City step forward as in Washington and Pennsylvania. Leadership was everything!
The importance of leadership cannot be over-estimated. What would England have done without Sir Winston Churchill during the crisis of WWII? Leaders have to have vision larger than themselves and their political careers. They must have a vision for what is right and what cannot be tolerated. Thank you, Stephen, for reminding us of the importance of never forgetting when making choices.
Not on May 7th, but in 1962 was the Cuban Missile Crisis. Leaders could not stand by for they had been elected to protect us …and they acted. Regardless of what party Americans belong, Democrat or Republican, the leadership of a President and the elected leaders makes a difference. Perhaps these thoughts are best said by one of our former Presidents who met his last days by an evil act. History is a warning.as well as a time of encouragement …heed it!