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.”
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.
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.”
Video: A trailer, ARMENIAN TRILOGY, concerning the music composed in commemoration of the Armenian people who perished.
by Daniel Yessian.
We are at a critical time in our country. This is a pure understatement! Nevertheless, most of the Americans that I know believe that we are ALL extremely blessed to be citizens of this country. Ask any person who has lived under tyranny or in a communist state, how many rights and privileges they could call their own.
We are a DIVERSE people. Some of our ancestors came here because they wanted to come. They left everything to be part of a free country… a part of the “New World.”
Other of our American citizen’s ancestors were brought here in chains. This was tragic and it has been a long struggle for them over generations. Our Native Americans also suffered great loss. The generations of today have much to be grateful for as they pursue an even better life. The greatest country…with the greatest privileges must be protected, not destroyed.
We are a FAMILY of Americans and we never should forget this. Just like in many families, there will be those who disappoint us with their lack of caring, rebellion, selfish actions toward the family. Our American children are going to emulate what they learn from us…of all races and all creeds…hopefully for the better… unless they choose otherwise.
Here in America, there are more rights for all Americans than anywhere around the world. Why do we see the eagerness to cross our borders? Because we stand for LIBERTY and opportunity given here for a better life is the answer. It is for all of us to build on these rights and NEVER allow them to slip away.
Yes, we are as diverse as our country itself is diverse. As we spread from sea to sea, the beauty and bounty of this land must not be underappreciated by any of us.
Charlie Daniels shows it best in his video. “My Beautiful America.” May he rest in peace…as he passed away on July 7, 2020.
GOD BLESS AMERICA and heal her wounds.
Turn on your sound:
What does the word ANARCHIST mean? According to the dictionary, it is “One who uses violent means to overthrow the established order.” (Merriam Webster)
No one I know wants to see the “established order” overthrown. It is horrifying to see businesses burned to the ground when we can only imagine how hard the people worked to finally hang a sign “OPEN” on their doors!
To even consider that people can run loose in our American neighborhoods shooting at little children, as happens in Chicago and some other places, is beyond what the average person can hardly believe is happening. Yet, over 100 people were killed in that city over one night. Call it gang violence or anything else…it is a form of “anarchy” when law and order is allowed by those in charge to disappear and call it a “new normal.” That indicates that we “just have to put up with it.”
Police are now being told by some local governments to “stay out of it.” Some places have designated zones where the police are off bounds. When a man was shot and another was critical, the police tried to go to their aid, but was attacked by the mob and they never reached the victims. In these cases, there is no control at all. No peace-loving person is safe…nor is any child.
Even if there are people who believe that protesting is their right, which it is as long as it is peaceful, those anarchists who use that protest to strike at the very heart of our country should be called out for what they really are.
200 year old, historic, St. John’s Church, known as the “Church of the Presidents,” was damaged as D.C. Firefighters found a fire in the basement of the church. A large fire also burned outside the church. Unfortunately, the people who set these fires call themselves “Protesters,” but in truth once they become violent to property or persons, they have become anarchists. Every president since James Madison has attended a service at St. John’s. It is a historic site to be protected as is any other American piece of history.
Because Boyer Writes is a Christian blog, I most often would not post a video that some would feel is centered on a political position. However, regardless of who my readers think should be the next President of the United States, I believe it is time to speak out about whoever is elected to the highest office in our land, MUST restore law and order. We cannot have domestic terrorism in America any more than we can have the terrorists from other countries.
I think that every American has the privilege to vote for the person whom they believe to be best qualified to not tolerate the anarchists who would destroy our country. Will that person be perfect in all decisions? Of course not.
However, it will be his or her job, Democrat or Republican, to see that our country is safe from this kind of violence. Voting our beliefs is still one of our greatest freedoms. Let’s pray that it will be the right choice in November. Our future lives depend on it!
So why speak out about anarchists through this blog?
I could not sit with hands folded when I saw the anarchists had spray painted on the beautiful Christian cathedral in Washington, D.C. or were tearing down Christian statues.
In San Francisco, at the Golden Gate Park, the statue of the Christian missionary, St. Junipero Serra was torn down. During the 1800’s there were instances of mistreatment of Native Americans, which gave the anarchists their reasoning for tearing down the statue. We should be learning from the history that we abhor, not destroying it.
Archbishop Gomez of LA had this statement about the priest:
“He preached God’s compassion, fought for the dignity of women and the rights of America’s native peoples, and he was probably the first person in the Americas to make a moral case against capital punishment.”
At the risk of being accused of something I don’t intend, I believe it is my duty to share with you, the reader, one of the most precise, well-thought through videos on this subject. As I write or as you watch your TV to the unfolding of events, the anarchists are planning their next move.
You may not agree to all that is said in this video and that is your privilege and mine. Thank God for free speech in America…while we still have it.
VIDEO: Turn up your sound and click this link: (please note, if you are not commercial free …give it a minute to move passed the commercials..as it will soon load.)
Our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and in various churches, this Sunday, May 17, 2020, will be honoring our brave military who have served faithfully for our freedom and democracy. We must remember that there was great cost.
What exactly is FREEDOM and its COST to us today?
This might be the time to ask ourselves some hard questions, as we have been told recently that we must forfeit many of our freedoms for the “good of all.” We have to ask ourselves what will be the great cost to our democracy and freedom, as we see many private decisions slowly drifting…or rapidly falling into someone else’s hands to make choices for us….such as when we can work, run our businesses, shop, go to school etc. etc. ?
We, as citizens, appreciate warnings to potential danger and given a heads-up to prepare individually and within our community…just as we do when a devastating hurricane is approaching Florida or any part of our country.
I can never remember our local news saying “You are mandated to board up your house and stay inside because you could die from this approaching storm!!”
They just inform us and expect that as responsible people we will prepare and do what is right for us and the neighbors around us. Is EVERYONE always responsible? NEVER...not in the past and not in the future. Some houses blow away and people are sometimes killed, but we then try to help as much as possible to rebuild lives. One thing is certain, people are generous, helpful and outright heroic in many situations. Most do not expect government handouts unless they are in dire need. Faith based organizations hand out food with these disasters and as they are doing now.
This is DEMOCRACY…and personal responsibility. This is what our military men and women have bravely fought to maintain.
No governments… local, national, or international are able to have perfect answers when they begin dictating to the masses. State and community rules/regulations that help our society are expected, when they don’t interfere with with our Constitutional rights that will be discussed later. The individual is the patriot, the guy next door…like all of our military.
Our honored military have sacrificed so much for their country’s freedom. Do you think they were afraid? Of course they were, but they knew without freedom we would have nothing to live for. They went…They served…and they are loved for it! Are people afraid today? Yes, for certain, if they are about to lose everything they have worked hard for over the years or if they have elderly parents who are facing things alone. Wars were fought to keep our independence, starting with the Revolutionary War.
- WHY did the U.S. and other freedom loving countries get involved in the wars listed below? There is a simple answer….
TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM TO MAKE OUR OWN WAY OF LIFE AND DECISIONS WITHOUT INTERVENTION FROM A DICTATORSHIP...whatever the name may be.
- Why should we be concerned today? I’m certain you are pondering your answer.
- There is also another question that we should be asking ourselves:
How do countries slowly, or not so slowly, lose their independence and freedom of choice?
“Although regimes vary widely, most dictators have at least a few things in common. They don’t come to power through free, constitutional elections. They often take control during coups d’etats, revolutions or…
states of emergency.
Once they have control, they have absolute, sole power.” (Encyclopedia Britannica)
- What about deaths brought on by men who cared nothing about freedom for their citizens…only about their own power?
(Deaths caused by three of the worst dictators: Joseph Stalin 43,000,000 Mao Zedong 38,000,000+ Adolf Hitler 21,000,000)
- What about the dictators of today’s communist countries to whom we are giving much of our allegiance…wealth and intellectual property?
At the present time, we know there are gulags around the world where thousands are languishing and dying because they have no voice and are arrested with no recourse for protesting or speaking out about their government’s activities. (The term, gulag, is a prison camp where conditions are extremely bad and the prisoners are forced to work very hard. The name gulag comes from the prison camps in the former Soviet Union.) Collins dictionary
Military conflict has taken place during every year of the 20th Century. There were only short periods of time that the world was free of war. The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher. (from Imperial War Museums)
20th and 21st Century’s major wars:
- The First World War 1914–1918
- The Second World War 1939–1945
- The Korean War 1950–1953
Slide presentation: (Give each picture a moment to change)
- The Vietnam War, 1955-75
- The Gulf War, 1990–1991
- The War in Afghanistan 2001–2014
- The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011
- The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–present
Our freedom today in America and around the world is due to those who were willing to stand up and go into harms way to defend freedom. This is why we honor them today in our churches, who still have church services…via the internet and TV broadcasts. Because most churches place the physical health of their congregations as a priority, it was only the wise thing to do until they were able to assemble together again. How to do this was up to the church to decide what was best to continue giving people the opportunity to worship. Faith is alive and well, even if it is a family gathering around the TV at home. Underground churches have had to find creative ways to worship God in the past and present throughout the world.
A minister was arrested in Florida for not closing his church, which caused infection to spread from those not knowing they were carrying the Coronavirus. This act of defiance by the pastor, which was totally unwise at the time, lead the Governor of Florida to make this statement as the right to worship was being challenged by the local authority:
“I don’t know that [governments] would have the authority, quite frankly, to close a religious institution.” Governor DeSantis said in deciding not to shutter churches in Florida. “The Constitution doesn’t get suspended here.”
- What does our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee us?
Our Constitution, through Amendment 1, guarantees FREEDOM of RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY and petition of grievances. Many young men and women have been willing to die for this freedom. Many have!
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
To all our military…from all wars…we THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR DEDICATION TO FREEDOM!
My husband ,who is a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain, will be presenting the sermon from St. James Episcopal Church in Florida. This will be taped ahead of time to be aired on Sunday, May 17. If interested in watching, it can be viewed on YouTube any time on or after May 17. (Go to YouTube and type St. James Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Florida to view and choose the service for May 17.)
The TV has been buzzing with the news that the city of Jacksonville, Florida, USA and others have opened their beaches for certain hours after the complete shut-down due to the Coronavirus. People were asked to “social distance” and to “not group together.” After weeks of confinement and lost jobs and businesses, people took to the beaches like they had been caged animals. This could tell us something about the need to socialize…the need for fresh air and the beauty of nature. It could also tell us that we Americans really don’t like to be told what to do…even if it is for our own good.
This was evident, when groups of people went out in different cities to protest the “stay at home” mandate. Their main goal was to get America back up and running again so they could go back to work and feed their families, pay their mortgage or car payments. Nevertheless, most didn’t adhere to wearing a mask in public, as asked to do. They crowded together while they shouted their demands with little concern for their own health or welfare of others. They were willing to “take a chance.”
Americans like their freedom of speech and nothing is being said against that, but one would hope that there would be, along with the speech, common sense, dedicated carefulness, and a little less selfishness toward others. Nonetheless, “taking a chance” is part of the indiscriminate, so-called invincible young. “What could possibly hurt us?” they may be thinking. “Doesn’t that apply to the elderly or those sick? Hey, we work out! Even during the stay at home rule, we jogged miles each day. So, we’ll take our chances.”
Let’s just say, it is the American way…for life, sickness or death. The roots go back to the American Revolution, when we fought for independence and government control from England. Just as the people of Hong Kong are standing their ground against Communist dictatorship and oppression, Americans don’t sit still too long…for good or for bad. It is of great concern when a mayor or governor begins to tell the people to watch out for their neighbor and “report” any violation of the coronavirus mandates set up for general guidelines. Would we sit still for that kind of instruction?
It reminds me of the time I visited a place in Poland. I had taken American students to Europe under President Eisenhower’s program, Student Ambassadors. As we entered this large house that had been divided up into small apartments when the Communist took over, an older woman was peering out a small window in her door. I asked about this to our guide. She said, “Oh she is a left-over from the old Communist days when her duty was to report who was coming or going! She still thinks she has to keep watch.” Are we slowly moving in that direction in our country…or our world? This is certainly a chilling thought.
Unlike the protester holding the sign above, we know the Coronavirus is real and not imagined. That is most evident by the sickened and deaths. Life, however, is full of taking risks. The protester is taking his own risks. We make decisions everyday that will turn out for the good or the bad in our lives. This is what personal freedom is all about. Whether our government gives advice for personal protection, or family, friend or neighbor weighs in, it is still up to us to govern our activities. Some things will kill us. Our decisions might be made out of fear, which may kill us mentally and emotionally. Most people are like herds of sheep. They follow what others may be doing instead of thinking what is best for themselves or their family members not old enough to make decisions on their own.
What to do? Pray…be rational…act carefully…be considerate of others and yourself may be a few suggestions. As I contemplate on the famous words of President Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself,” I believe he was right to warn the American people of this dilemma…FEAR.
The Holy Scriptures tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
Power is a word that we don’t often associate with ourselves. We think of powerful people in business or industry…or in the political realm. You are powerful over more things than you may imagine…your health, finances, professional choices, love relationships and more. This verse says God has given you power.
We have been told recently that many people are dying from the coronavirus because of their underlying health reasons. These may have been related to overweight, diabetes, heart-disease, drug addiction etc. which have put them in a weaken state. In many of these cases, it was personal choices to not care for their health which they could have had power to correct. In other cases, it was lack of proper nutrition.
Have you ever heard people say that God is punishing us with disease and our lives as a world or nation? I really cringe when I hear these comments because God is a God of love and concern for His creation…including men and women. He will not interfere in our own decisions , whether it is from lack of knowledge or carelessness.
Our world has a natural science…in our environment and our personal lives. If we eat too much, we get fat. If we ignore safety rules, we have accidents. Behind the obesity comes the health problems. We also learned about our own power through other tragedies, such as the Great Dust Bowl of 1930’s. Men had power to do the right thing for the land, but did not understand science or did not look into the consequences of their actions. In either case, the results were financial ruin and the spread of disease.
The Dust Bowl was not only one of the worst droughts in United States history, but is generally thought of as the worst and most prolonged disaster in American history…The prolonged drought was made much worse by a fundamental misunderstanding of high plains environment, and the utilization of methods which called for a thin layer of dust to be purposefully exposed on the surface for large parts of the summer. Dust transmits influenza virus and measles and combined with the economic depression, the Dust Bowl period brought a significant increase in the number of measles cases, respiratory disorders and increased infant and overall mortality in the plains. 11
God has given us love..from Himself and for each other. When difficulty comes, we find out what we are made of because we strike back at fear. The medical teams and first responders who move around the sick and dying are showing God’s love whether they realize it or not. Some may say, “It is my job.” Even here, a person could decide that taking the risk of their own lives is not for them and walk away from the challenge. They could turn their backs on the years they had put into preparing for their profession because of fear. Most do not.
The neighbor who reaches out to those needing help during the crisis is showing, not fear, but love…God’s love. We know that we are His Hands…and we are His Face of encouragement.
To have a sound mind is also to have self-control, which has its origin from a Greek word:
The Greek word for self-control is sōphronismos, which means “saving the mind” or “moderation”. Since the word SELF-CONTROL contains the word “self”, I am quick to interpret this to mean something I have to do. However, within the context of verse 7 of Timothy, we see that “God gave us a spirit of…self-control.” 12
We, then can depend upon God to give us these three things instead of fear, Power, Love, and a Sound Mind. It is His promise to you and me when we trust Him now and in the future. It is more than “Taking a Chance,” it is FAITH and good sense.
(This writing was taken from the book, Faith and the Pandemic by N.W. Boyer to be released soon by Amazon.)
FDR’s 1st Inauguration Address…A Voice from the Past, after the Great Depression… A message appropriate for TODAY. (From HistoryMatters.com The full text and a 3 minute portion of the speech. Roosevelt’s Speech
Being a country girl from North Carolina, I sometimes go back to my roots…shed the classical music that I love…and listen to the songs or Southern words of a “Good Old Boy…or Man.”
Here is one for you with the salute to the many States of the United States and the freedom that we enjoy. It is no wonder that so many from so far want to be a part of the “Land of the Free.”
Are we perfect?…by no means, but what we don’t like we can say so without the threat of being locked up to suffer alone with no way out.
Are we always “united” in all ways?…no, but we still are the United States of America…with all the diversity that can be in one land.
Our thanks to our forefathers who came from countries around the world to search for a new way of life…away from dictators to their lives and from persecution for their faith. Our thanks to our brave men and women who stand ready to defend this country against all foes. For those Americans who have given everything in foreign lands to maintain freedom for all, we give them our heart’s gratitude and our prayers.
Today I give you, the reader, a tribute and a pledge to MY BEAUTIFUL AMERICA by Charlie Daniels.
We, at Boyer Writes, wish all the lovers of FREEDOM and those who have served to give us lasting freedom, a very HAPPY 4TH of JULY!
Enjoy Music by: Jenny Oaks Baker is a Grammy-nominated American violinist and pianist, Condoleezza Rice who served as the 66th U.S. Secretary of State. Rice was the first female African-American to serve in this position. She also was the second female to serve as the National Security Advisor, after Madeleine Albright. (Wikipedia)
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
In January 2018, I wrote about Ellis Island where so many of our Immigrants saw the new land of hope and promise for the first time. I thought it might be a good thing to look at them again and their struggle. I highly suggest that if you have not seen The Emigrants featured on PBS, that you settle in for a long, but fascinating presentation. If you are a descendant of one of those immigrants, you will never think of them the same.
TO ELLIS ISLAND: The trip was terrible in most cases as the ships came into the New York harbor. Isolated on an Island called Ellis was a building of hope for freedom from about every imaginable circumstance. Yes, this was my relative and possibly yours unless your relatives were brought by force on a slave ship.
The following pictures are from the New York Public Library, photographed by A. Sherman.
Herded off the ships and onto Ellis Island, where they had to answer questions and be examined for diseases, the people were part way to a new life.
What exactly is the history of Ellis Island? (Taken from History by Evan Andrews)
“On November 12, 1954, the once bustling immigration inspection port at Ellis Island was shut down after more than 62 years in operation. Opened in 1892, the small island in New York Harbor served as the processing center and point of entry for more than 12 million new arrivals to the United States. The island has since become a storied and often controversial symbol of the plight of the immigrant, and it is estimated that more than one-third of all Americans can trace their lineage to someone who passed through its doors.”
Even after arriving and allowed to enter the city and the country, living conditions were harsh. Many died. Others faced persecution from others who did not understand them, their language or their culture. For those who managed to adjust to a new way of life, generations would follow them.
A Couple facts of interest about Ellis Island:
- Used for Hangings: Long before it became a way station for people looking for a new beginning, Ellis Island—named for its last private owner, Samuel Ellis—was known as a place where condemned prisoners met their end. For most of the early 19th century, the island was used to hang convicted pirates, criminals and mutinous sailors, and New Yorkers eventually took to calling it “Gibbet Island” after the wooden post, or gibbet, where the bodies of the deceased were displayed. It reverted to the name “Ellis Island” in the years after the last hanging in 1839, and later served as a Navy munitions depot before being repurposed as a federal immigration station.
- Three unaccompanied children were the first immigrants: Ellis Island accepted its first new arrivals on New Year’s Day 1892, when the steamship Nevada arrived with 124 passengers from Europe. The first would-be immigrant to set foot on the island was Annie Moore, a teenager from County Cork, Ireland who had crossed the Atlantic with her 11 and 7-year-old brothers en route to reuniting with family in New York. A U.S. Treasury Department official and a Catholic chaplain were on hand to welcome Moore, and Ellis Island’s commissioner awarded her a $10 gold piece to mark the occasion. Today, a statue of Moore and her brothers is kept on display at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Moore became the public face of the immigrants who had passed through Ellis Island, but it turned out that the face put forward was a case of mistaken identity.
For years it was thought that Moore had married a descendant of the Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell, moved to New Mexico and met a tragic end in a 1923 streetcar accident in Fort Worth, Texas, that left her five children orphaned. For years, the woman’s descendants were invited to ceremonies at both Ellis Island and Ireland. (from History)
Take a look at these pictures and the faces of those who came from all over the globe:
Today we live with concern over illegal immigrants who have not come here legally. We worry that they have a belief that they should overthrow the very country that welcomes them or destroy the American belief of freedom of choice. It is a difficult decision on how and where to limit those who come. It probably was also difficult in the early 1900’s when so many fled persecution, famine, and no future.
Those who first came had to prove themselves that they truly wanted to be Americans and live by the laws of this country. Nothing was perfect in receiving these previous immigrants. Some slipped through and did not contribute to society. Even today we are being forced to make difficult choices concerning the future of many.
Those in charge of immigration during the early years took a chance. Our country and the people of Europe in modern times have taken a chance with some difficult results. It sometimes takes years for people to assimilate into the American way of life and our society. They have to want to do so. It can be done, however, if those who come want to truly be American and give their best efforts and talents to being a part of a free nation even with all its blemishes. Had there not been those in charge of receiving the first immigrants…our ancestors.. and taking a chance on them, we would probably not be living here today.
The American values are not often the values of people of other countries. We may ask ourselves many questions with mostly unknown answers.
- Do the immigrants of today look at the Statue of Liberty or the meaning of Ellis Island the same as those who first came?
- Does it truly stand for Liberty for All?
- Will they be willing to immigrate legally and follow those who do so?
- Will they be grateful for a land of opportunity and contribute to society?
- How do we protect our borders from drug dealers and criminals?
Probably the hardest question of all for us today is: What about the children born here or brought here by illegal means? What to do about the young people who have known no other life but living in America and were taken by the hand to cross the border by an adult who knew they were breaking our laws?
Difficult… most difficult decisions will be coming to our nation. Prayers are needed for our government leaders to have wisdom as we struggle with these issues here in the United States and abroad. Is the Immigrant struggle today different from those of the past?
Click on this link: Tells of the making of the film, The Emigrants
Happy 4th of July from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia
There was nothing HAPPY for the 56 men who signed the American Declaration of Independence at the birth of our nation. Do you know what happened to some of them?
It was brought to my attention today in our church service that there was a price for freedom that these men paid. Some suffered right away when they were captured by British troops and others suffered later through loss of fortune or brutal acts against them. They may have known that they were risking their lives to take such a public stand. Counting the cost is difficult to do before one acts. Regardless of how their contributions in becoming signers of the Constitution effected them and their families, we know from history that their lives were not a bed of roses.
Standing up for freedom and democracy is not popular, even today, with those who would be against it and wish to destroy it. The following gives us an account of a few of these men who made the choice to stand up and be counted:
- Five signers were captured by the British as traitors They were considered prisoners of war while actively engaged in military operations against the British. George Walton was captured after being wounded while commanding militia at the Battle of Savannah in December 1778, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge (three of the four Declaration of Independence signers from South Carolina) were taken prisoner at the Siege of Charleston in May in 1780. Richard Stockton of New Jersey was the only signer taken prisoner specifically because of his status as a signatory to the Declaration, “dragged from his bed by night” by local Tories after he had evacuated his family from New Jersey, and imprisoned in New York City’s infamous Provost Jail like a common criminal.
- Twelve of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had their homes ransacked and burned. Their property was subject to seizure when it fell along the path of a war being waged on the North American continent.
- Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Abraham Clark of New Jersey saw two of his sons captured by the British and incarcerated on the prison ship Jersey. John Witherspoon, also of New Jersey, saw his eldest son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown in October 1777.
- Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts.
- Properties of William Ellery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Thomas Heyward, Edward Rutledge, and Middleton were looted. The British needed supplies and these stately homes were a good source. Little concern during war time is given to the family that dwells therein.
- Some homes of the signers, such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Benjamin Rush and Robert Morris were occupied by the British during the war. They also were unfortunate victims whose property fell in the path of an armed conflict being waged on American soil.
- Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died of poor health. Francis Lewis represented New York in the Continental Congress, and shortly after he signed the Declaration of Independence his Long Island estate was raided by the British. While Lewis was in Philadelphia attending to congressional matters, his wife was taken prisoner by the British.
- John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children, who were adults at the time, fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead. John Hart of New Jersey, had been Speaker of the Assembly.
Morris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Lewis Morris saw his Westchester County, New York, home taken over in 1776 and used as a barracks for soldiers, and the horses and livestock from his farm commandeered by military personnel of the Continental Army. Shortly afterwards his property was appropriated, looted, and burned by the British when they occupied New York. Morris and his wife were eventually able to reclaim their property and restore their home after the war. Philip Livingston lost several properties to the British occupation of New York and sold off others to support the war effort, and he did not recover them because he died suddenly in 1778, before the end of the war.
For your further knowledge: FIFTY FACTS ABOUT THE SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE and the listing of all the signers by states.
All of our country celebrates today the wonderful independence that we have as a nation. It is by God’s grace that we can enjoy all that is part of our United States today. We must never forget the founding fathers who risk everything to make it happen and those who have come afterwards to fight for and preserve that independence and freedom.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY from BOYER WRITES to ALL OUR READERS
VIDEO Turn on sound:
America was built by the courageous who wanted freedom. It has been continued by the courageous who have shed their blood and lives to maintain freedom. Americans must decide on being courageous if freedom will last. Don’t forget from where we have come and remember that the future depends on the now.
On the week of the 4th of July…2016, we thank God for our freedoms. We celebrate our Independence Day…fought and won from one of our present day strongest allies, the United Kingdom. We honor the men who had the vision for a place to live, worship, and govern as we wanted ..and for those through the years who have died to keep that freedom.
So how did it exactly happen? When were we first able to criticize our government? Perhaps this video gives us a little understanding of the history of our Declaration of Independence and the cost to make this a country of freedoms.
Whether you are an American or live elsewhere, we at Boyer Writes wish a HAPPY 4TH TO ALL OUR READERS! Long live freedom!
Sometimes we are surprised in life with things that give us comfort… unifying the human race with the only lasting thing in life...love. It really does not matter what language we speak or sing. This morning I read the words to the wonderful song in The Phantom of the Opera.
“No more talk of darkness, forget these wide-eyed fears. I’m here, nothing can harm you. My words will warm and calm you. Let me be your freedom, let daylight dry your tears. I’m here with you, beside you to guard you and to guide you. Say you love me every waking moment…turn my head with talk of summer time. Say you need me with you now and always . Promise me that all you say is true…that’s all I ask of you. Let me be your shelter; let me be our light. You’re safe..no one will find you …your fears are far behind you. All I want is freedom…a world with no more night and you always beside me……”
These words were those Raoul sang to Christine in the Phantom, but they are also words that everyone needs to speak one to the other. The world, throughout history, has been one of light, love, courage mixed with too much evil and hate….too much suffering.
In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote that we have a “last inner freedom” (our attitude that no one can destroy). He writes that in his darkest hours within different concentration camps during WWII, he escaped within his mind to the wife he loved with the greatest of love. Thinking of her brought him an inner freedom. She died in the camps at age 24. He writes about his sufferings and those of his fellow prisoners.
“…I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death, bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost. ….There is a purpose in life which is almost barren of enjoyment and which admits of one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man’s attitude to his existence; an existence restricted by external forces… The way a man accepts his fate and all the suffering entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity, even under the most difficult circumstances, to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish..or in the bitter fight for self-preservation, he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him….”
What we do with our inner-self is our own choice. We have an opportunity to make the most of our thoughts….which are entirely ours. We have the opportunity to show compassion, love, and kindness.
As the music plays on in the Phantom, Christine and Raoul sing together…but it could almost be a prayer to God from all of us.
” Share each day with me…each night…each morning. Anywhere you go, let me go too. Love me…that is all I ask of you.”
The words and instrumental of ALL I ASK OF YOU from the Phantom of the Opera Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lyrics by Charles Hart
Video: Turn on sound
AMERICANS AND THOSE WHO HONOR THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED ON 9-11 FROM COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.
DON’T FORGET TO FLY YOUR FLAG THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
Who were the Doolittle Raiders? Many young people today will not be able to tell you.
Take a good look at these men. This was their last reunion picture taken as all are now in their 90’s.
Here is their story of courage and determination. What we want to remember about these men from World War II is that the Doolittle Raiders sent a message from the United States and the Free World to its enemies:
We will fight. No matter what it takes, we will win.
DURING THE WAR
It was December 7, 1941. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in a sneak attack. It took 132 days of planning since that attack, but on April 18, 1942 the Doolittle raid took place. There were 80 Raiders when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation’s history. Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery.
The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.
After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around.
Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised. Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. This had never been tried — sending such big, heavy bombers from a carrier.
But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety. The men went anyway.
THE RESULTS OF THE RAID
They bombed Tokyo, and then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed. Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew made it to Russia, where they were imprisoned.
Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.
Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness. In the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac which was the year Jimmy Doolittle was born.
There has always been a reunion plan. When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.
As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96. Bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.
(A side note about Tom Griffin and his character is also of interest. According to the Cincinnati Inquirer: “When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes. At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning. He did that for three years until her death in 2005.” )
Sometime in 2014, the remaining Doolittle Raiders will get together informally and in privacy.
They will open the bottle of brandy and toast their fellow-Raiders once again for a job well done and for their sacrifices and determination over 72 years ago.
All free men and women must remember these men of valor who suffered and died for the cause of freedom. In our troubled world of aggression and brutality, it would be good for those who would want to destroy the free world to take a lesson from American fighting men as well as those in all free countries who gave so much.
DETERMINATION was then and DETERMINATION to stay free is now.
Why We Fight is a series of seven documentary films commissioned by the United States government during World War II whose purpose was to show American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American involvement in the World War II . Most of the films were directed by Frank Capra…
For those interested in history….and would like to know more about the early history of the people of the United States, this film is for you. It also shows why the American people, who came as immigrants from all over the world, were determined that freedom would be the most important thing to our people. It was true during WWII, as we remember today the attack on Pearl Harbor and all the brave men and women who died in this war. The true spirit of the American people will stand for what is right and defend those who are attacked and cannot defend themselves. This documentary tells in a most effective way…why we fight. Recommend it to some young person you know before this history is no longer known.
Turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing.
On the eve of 9-11, 2011, I reached back in the archives of Boyer Writes and found a video that I had used to honor our beautiful Bald Eagle. The song that went with this seemed so appropriate to remember those who would die within the year after this video was made.
Little did those on the ball field and in the bleachers know what was coming to our nation as they marveled over this wonderful bird. The eagle’s handlers did not know that this magnificent creature would also become a symbol, in an even more heart-felt way, to the America that we love and cherish.
“Freedom is not free”. It was paid for by all those who willingly took up arms and fought for her. It was paid for by those who simply went to work; to do their everyday job the best they could, never to return home. They too represent FREEDOM at its best. What the men who flew the planes into the towers, the pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania did not understand is that the American people always put their independence and freedom first, regardless of the enemy or the cost. It is the foundation this nation was built upon. Freedom will not be taken from us because we, the American people, will not allow that to happen. We truly can say with the song writer that we are a land …”that God has blessed.” We are also humbled by this thought.
They came to these shores from around the world. They came for a better life. They bled and died for freedom. Every nationality…every color of skin… now all Americans. They work and pray for the children to follow them. We are Americans. Freedom and equality are our most precious resources.
at what we have, even in the tough times! So many around the world would give all for this freedom….to speak out…to rally….to vote….and to pass along this hope. Many die around the world, as they take to the streets, to have what we have that others paid for with their blood. We must not become complacent.