On the week of the 4th of July…2016, we thank God for our freedoms. We celebrate our Independence Day…fought and won from one of our present day strongest allies, the United Kingdom. We honor the men who had the vision for a place to live, worship, and govern as we wanted ..and for those through the years who have died to keep that freedom.
So how did it exactly happen? When were we first able to criticize our government? Perhaps this video gives us a little understanding of the history of our Declaration of Independence and the cost to make this a country of freedoms.
Whether you are an American or live elsewhere, we at Boyer Writes wish a HAPPY 4TH TO ALL OUR READERS! Long live freedom!
What is a WASP one may ask? It stands for the Women Airforce Service Pilots — or WASP for short. There were over one thousand women who volunteered to learn how to fly military aircraft, including the B-26 and B-29 bombers. Unfortunately they were not given the recognition for the service that they provided in the war…or the risks that were theirs in performing such tasks. Many were killed, but were not allowed until recently to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Their official recognition has taken 65 years, far too long and late. Women, who bravely flew for our freedom, now can be given the highest civilian honor by the U.S. Congress, the Congressional Gold Medal.
To learn more about these patriotic women, we would like to introduce you to a World War II WASP who is now 95 years old. She does not have “can’t” in her vocabulary. Bernice Haydu should be an example and inspiration to all of us.
Click and turn up sound
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.
To those who gave it all for the sake of freedom…You and the heaviness of your commitment is what we honor today. To those who have been laid to rest…to those who are trying to recover in body and mind…we give you honor. You, the Veterans, are your brother’s keepers. Thank you.
Video: Turn on volume
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.
Everyone agrees…the new low in electing a president of the United States is upon us in 2016. What would George Washington or Abraham Lincoln think? Thank God they are not around to see the decline of their office, The Presidency. Many men have run for the office of the President of the United States. Some succeeded and others failed. None…NONE…sunk so low in their speeches and their personal presentation to the American people as what we have seen in debates and rallies around the country. Ronald Reagan gave a speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964. Goldwater did not win. However, the speech given by Ronald Reagan may be a genuine trophy compared to what we are exposed to by politicians seeking this highest of all offices.
All anyone can say, after a dose of ridiculousness and insult to our intelligence is “You have got to be kidding!” People I know have turned off the T.V. and refuse to listen. We have put on more music and less gab. One person’s analysis of the latest debates was “I feel sick.” When the political writers can only talk about a speck on a candidate’s lip or the candidates can sink to speaking of the anatomy, it is time to turn to a true era of what choosing a candidate for President is all about. Take the time to listen to the video below. It is worth it.
VIDEO (turn on sound)
THE SEEDS is a historical fiction novel based on “What ever happened to SS General Hans Kammler” a blog that I wrote in 2010. Almost everyday, there are people reading this post with a number of comments including one reader who said Gen. Kammler was his uncle. This may tell us how interested readers are in World War II.
The novel, The Seeds, speculates on those who may have evaded capture and punishment for terrible war crimes or who may have been assimilated into the West as engineers and scientists to further space exploration. 2010 blog on Gen Hans Kammler
In the case of SS General Kammler, the mystery novel, The Seeds, brings the reader to modern times where Gen. Kammler may be located. It also makes the reader face the problems of war, terrorism, and misery that we are in this modern world. Characters in the story plot to change the world and its leadership as we know it.
Because of the great abilities we have when blogging through WordPress, this novel is intermixed with pictures and videos that add to the drama. Careful research has gone into the writing, with some writer privilege throw into the mix.
Eventually this book will go to print, but not in the same way that it can be shared online. Chapter by chapter, The Seeds unfolds. If one misses a chapter, he is a click away from catching up, as each previous chapter is shown next to the latest writing.
You have an opportunity to send in your email and be notified with each blog press. Just having posted chapter 22, here is the link to THE SEEDS.
A few pictures from the chapters:
Throughout history and in more modern history, there is a lesson of rising above rejection. Let’s look at the meaning of rejection and how it affects our lives.
Rejection: The noun rejection can refer to the actual act of rejecting something or to the feeling one has after being rejected. In other words, you might have feelings of rejection after experiencing the rejection of others.
When we are finding love in our lives, we may have experienced rejection when someone turned us down for a date…or even a marriage proposal. Rejection is also felt when a person may ask for a divorce. It could even mean when family members decide not to be part of the family unit. These are all hard experiences. Many people experience; feel terrible about it and then decide that life must go on and rise above it.
In history, we read about the lives of very famous people who have experienced rejection in the public arena and made amazing comebacks. Here are a few to consider:
Abraham Lincoln is one of our most famous Presidents. His heart-aches, illnesses, and rejections should encourage anyone to keep trying. This list is long, but worth reading:
- 1832 Lost job Elected company captain of Illinois militia in Black Hawk War
- 1833 Failed in business
- 1834 Elected to Illinois State Legislature
- 1835 Sweetheart died
- 1836 Had a nervous breakdown
- 1842 A jealous man challenged him to a duel. Abraham Lincoln traveled to Alton to meet James Shields in a duel. Friends of both opponents negotiated a truce, and the duel was averted.
- Reelected to Illinois Legislature and received license to practice law
- 1837 Led Whig delegation in moving Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield. He became law partner of John T. Stuart
- 1838 Defeated for Speaker, but was nominated for Illinois House Speaker by Whig caucus Re-elected to Illinois House (running first in his district)
Served as Whig floor leader
- 1839 Chosen presidential elector by first Whig convention and admitted to practice law in U.S. Circuit Court
- 1840 Argues first case before Illinois Supreme Court
Re-elected to Illinois state legislature
- 1842 Admitted to practice law in U.S. District Court
- 1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress
- 1844 Established own law practice with William H. Herndon as junior partner
- 1846 Elected to Congress
- 1848 Lost nomination (Chose not to run for Congress, abiding by rule of rotation among Whigs.)
- 1849 Rejected for Land Officer Admitted to practice law in U.S. Supreme Court
Declined appointment as secretary and then as governor of Oregon Territory
- 1854 Defeated for U.S. Senate
- 1856 Defeated for nomination for Vice President
- 1858 Again defeated for U.S. Senate
- 1860 ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A few other modern-day Presidents had their setbacks before winning the Presidency.
Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan ran for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination. Incumbent President Gerald Ford beat him in the crucial New Hampshire and Florida primaries. Though Reagan was able to win some of the later contests that year, Ford edged him out at the convention.
In his first race for office, Bill Clinton narrowly lost to incumbent Republican House member John Paul Hammerschmidt of Arkansas. He later became attorney general and then governor. But he lost his first gubernatorial reelection race in 1980.
George W. Bush also entered political life by challenging an incumbent House member. In 1978, he ran against Texas Democrat Kent Hance, who mocked the Yale graduate as a clueless preppy from Connecticut. Hance won.
Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library
- Barack Obama ran in an Illinois Democratic primary against Representative Bobby Rush. Like George W. Bush, he found that an Ivy League education was not necessarily an advantage. Representative Rush exploited Obama’s Harvard law degree to suggest that he was out of touch with the district. Rush smashed him by a two-to-one margin.
To all aspiring writers, take hope from some of the best and most successful.
Rejection Letters from publishers:
JK Rowlings got 12 rejections before making a billion dollars on Harry Potter.
Dr. Seuss’s rejection said “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling.”
William Golding wrote The Lord of the Flies, selling 15 million copies. His rejection letter said, “An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull”
As all can see, perseverance is always the best policy if we believe we have something to give to this world. I write because I enjoy it and it’s challenging. I may never have a great book published that the world will remember or make a fortune. That is not my goal, but joy in what I do is worth all the effort. In fact, my mind is completely absorbed, when I am writing, from the disappointments that could bring me down.
Rising above your rejections, whatever they may be, will bring renewed life and hope into your world. Never give up!
What does it take to love someone so much that one will leave one’s own country and family to follow that person to a people unknown even if it means being homeless and not certain when one will eat the next meal?
We have an example of this in a love story that makes one think that there may have a purpose in some twist in the road that we know not of. We, in the modern world, may even learn a few things from their experience.
I’d like to introduce you to two people.They will be familiar to some…and perhaps not know to other readers. This saga started when the men of the family died, leaving two women, Ruth and Naomi, alone and destitute. Today it would be like a family having no money in the bank; no one to pay the mortgage and not even food stamps would make things the way they used to be. I’m certain at this moment someone is thinking, “I know that feeling for I’ve been there. I even had children that I had to support. “
It may have been a different time in history and these women may not look like you or dress like you, but suffering is the same regardless. The feeling of hopelessness,however, did not mean that there was not faith. Faith was one thing that was abundant in their lives. It is the stepping out on that faith that is the hard part. It is somewhat like wandering in the dark, but believing that there is a Hand that guides.
Decisions had to be made. These two women had a special relationship. Naomi accepted the fact that Ruth had a loyalty and love for her that began when Ruth married her son. They lived in a culture that expected the men of a relative to stand in the gap for the women in their lives. There was no such thing as “women’s lib”. If a brother died, often another brother would take her to be his wife. It was a matter of keeping the family together and the name to continue. The women were dependent upon this custom, which may have led Naomi to take Ruth and return to her own homeland. No one had told Naomi that they would care for her. Ruth also knew that her decision was a difficult one to go with Naomi, but because of her love she was willing to make this choice. Being a foreigner, Ruth could be subjected to all types of prejudice. In essence, she and her mother in law were homeless.
(The lesson…we often have to make decisions even when we do not know what those decisions will lead us into.)
Being a wise women, Naomi, told Ruth to go to the local fields and glean what she could so that they could take the grain and have something to eat. It was a custom when the field owner was harvesting to leave a certain amount of grain standing for the poor. Today we would call it a giving of a 10% or helping out our local food bank for those who need help feeding the family. Naomi did not ask her to stand on the road side with a sign about being homeless and needing help. She only ask her to work and warned her to stay close to other women and to be careful of those who might have bad intentions to her. This she did.
(The lesson: We can pray and hope, but sometimes we have to simply get out there and work…maybe not the work we want…but do what is necessary at the time. )
Because Naomi had come back to the land where she grew up, some of the people knew her and the word soon was out that Naomi was back with her daughter in law. This was news to a distant relative, Boaz, who owned the land where Ruth went to glean. He was curious about the young woman. He instructed his workers to leave her the best portions.
(Lesson: Sometimes God opens a door and makes events happen using people to bless us in a greater way than we expect.)
Even though it is not mentioned, it appears that Ruth and Boaz may have gotten to know one another in the field, for Boaz actually took the matter to a council to see if some man would want her for a wife. Courting and love relations, as we know it today, were not the usual route toward marriages. They were arranged as families united often for economic purposes. None of the men were in favor of the offer, so Boaz, Naomi’s relative, now has his own decision to make.
Ruth goes to Boaz and lays at the end of his bed. Nothing more is told about the relationship, but Boaz decides that Ruth will be his own wife.
The story does not end there for Ruth and Boaz had a son named Obed, who was the grandfather of the future great King David. Naomi also became the baby’s nanny.
So often the readers of the Holy Scriptures are turned off by the long line of genealogies, but they are actually important. I must admit that I have skipped many of them. This one was especially important because Jesus became part of this lineage. (See complete lineage)
(Lesson: As we put our lives in God’s hand, we do not know what wondrous things He is working out.)
One must remember that God is not a respecter of persons. His eye even knows when a sparrow falls. If you are in the middle of a troubling situation, do not give up. There is much life to live and many bends around the corner of which you are now not aware. As you reach out to Him, God will be in control.
“All very interesting, but that was a different country; different race and different religion than I am. How can this story apply to my life?”
We are all God’s creation and He even knows when the sparrow falls from the trees…as the deep voice of Sam Gary sings for us in HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW.
When I started writing my blog in 2009, I decided that this was the place for me to express myself in so many ways and there was a world out there to find me if they wished to do so.
It was shortly after this that I decided that I could not tie myself down with other forms of media. Facebook, as popular as it is with many, was not for me. Who really wanted to know my every move of the day: what I ate; where I went; my latest photos…and so much more. A daily catalog of everything short of more personal and private moments was not for me. ( To each his/her own. This may be because I get bored quickly.)
This leads me to the reason for this post. I want to thank so many people who have followed my blog..or have found Boyer Writes at least once. It never ceases to amaze me that people in so many parts of the world are now connected by the internet. Most of my readers are from the U.S., United Kingdom and many parts of Europe. Nevertheless, it is wonderful to see that someone has found my writings in places like Vietnam, Belarus, Jordan, Mongolia or Madagascar.
I especially thank WordPress for the daily and yearly update on where around the world someone has found Boyer Writes online: 2015 was a good year…at least for me. I don’t expect to be in the millions of views, but everyone is important.
9,580 visitors to the site
57 posts written and published
(Overall grand totals since 2009: 521 posts, 95,643 vies , 30,567 visitors with 173 followers. )
This is also to encourage other writers to venture out and make your thoughts known to the world that is out there waiting.
I’m looking forward to a New Year. There’s much to explore. One of my goals is to start blogging my novel. The title is THE SEED. If you are a follower, be looking for this. It actually was conceived by one of my blogs that has had the most hits throughout the years. WHAT HAPPENED TO SS. GENERAL HANS KAMMLER? Because there was so much interest, I believed it would make a great novel…now in the making.
Again, thank you and Happy New Year to all.
The world has become a small place. Each person…each country…is intertwined with the other. As we face a new year, we are concerned about where the world may be headed. No one wants to hear “gloom and doom”. Most would like for the good things of life to continue…yes, continue….on and on without much thought to what we, the human race, may be bringing upon ourselves. Is this a reality to what we have become…even with all our advantages and inventions?
The video that I am sharing on this blog faces serious questions that all must consider. Several men, with varied backgrounds of expertise, met to discuss the threats to societies around the world…and our own American life in particular.
A thoughtful debate and discussion was on these subjects:
*Water and oil depletion
*Hostile Technology such as AI (Artificial intelligence)
The world may be in our hands more than we know.
DON’T BE PUT OFF BY THE TITLE ON THIS VIDEO. I personally think it is miss-titled, because by the end of the video each man believes that we can make changes that will help save the future. It is also my belief that my readers, who take the time to watch and listen carefully, will find these men, who are experts in their respective fields, of great interest. If nothing more, they present us with great food for thought.
When revolution came to Russia and people were displaced from their homes and the life of which they were familiar, revolutionaries believed that the private life was dead. Only what the Communistic State dictated would be the real life.
If you have not seen recently the movie, Dr. Zhivago, it may be a good time to watch it again and remember what life was truly like in that period of history. Russia was in turmoil; families devastated; mob rule and anarchy prevailed; starvation came to many. All were a part of this brutal time.
The signs of pending disaster were there, but most paid no attention until it was too late. Hatred for those with affluence and the ruling family of Russia ran deep. Czar Nicolas II was the last Czar of Russia when he and his family were executed by the Russian Bolsheviks.
Not until this “workers paradise” fell apart did the world see what this false world view had produced. It was easy to be deceived.
Today North Korea, which adopted the Communist and Socialist philosophy, can hardly feed its people. When viewed at night from space, their country looks almost dark compared to S. Korea. Electricity is a luxury.
Proponents of Communist thought, the Cuban revolutionaries and dictators brought oppression to its people. This has kept them in poverty and want for decades. Hundreds risked their lives in boats to flee to the United States. Only now, with the hope of something better, do the Cubans believe that their “private lives may not be dead.” The N. Koreans have less hope.
Dr. Zhivago is not only about two people thrown together by war, but one of historic relevance. Freedom is a word used liberally, but the truth of freedom of choice is not fully understood until it is no longer a part of one’s life. Under democracy, leaders can be voted in or out. How this effects your private life is more important than can be imagined.
No, our freedoms nor our private lives are not dead. We must not let them die. In every society, there are those whose goals are to take them away. History has proven that Russia and Germany did not heed this warning. We should be keeping this in mind for the New Year, 2016.
If he were alive today, would he change his message? Probably not for his focus was not only about the Spirit of America…love of country…but the true meaning of Christmas. He was not politically correct…afraid to offend someone because he was talking about Christmas…but straight to the point. Recorded from the Oval Office in the 1980’s, we are now celebrating Christmas in 2015. We have a need to hear this message from the past more than ever.
Blessings to all my readers. Merry Christmas!
“….trusting in God’s help, we have never lost our way…” President Ronald Reagan
What exactly is Nihilism? The article written by by Luca Volontè explains what has been happening in Europe for some time. We ask the question, “Is this now spreading to America or is it already here?” and “How dangerous is it to the values in our society…especially if one values his or her faith and culture?”
Read and you decide. Article by Mr. Volonte
If the terrorists of the world think that the WORLD will sit by and not have its say…think again. The pictures shown below and throughout our media show that throughout the world, people not only mourn for the innocent victims…but are calling EVIL what it is. If the extreme ideology of those religious fanatics is to take over the world…also think again. Surely, the free people of the world will say “enough is enough” and remember the past and the evils of WWII. “Those who do not remember the past, will live it over again.” All people must stand together. The leaders of each free nation must put into action …not just in talk…a deciding moment to do something about such a scourge on the earth.
We should not fear, but act….for fear is the paralyzing result hoped for by every terrorist. If the countries together do not act, one can expect that this will be become a way of life, taking away the freedom so enjoyed and appreciated by those of us who know it and live it.
Exactly what do the Jihadist want to accomplish? I recently read an article on this very question, which I feel needs repeating here. Perhaps it will shed some light on the subject and waken those who have given it little thought.
Article written by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY February 7, 2015 (before the attack on Paris)
(Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute.)
“There is a method to their barbarism. The Islamic State’s barbaric murder of Lieutenant Mouath al-Kasaebeh, the Jordanian air-force pilot the jihadists captured late last year, has naturally given rise to questions about the group’s objectives. Charles Krauthammer argues that the Islamic State is trying to draw Jordan into a land war in Syria. It is no doubt correct that the terrorist group would like to destabilize Jordan — indeed, it is destabilizing Jordan.
Its immediate aim, however, is more modest and attainable. The Islamic State wants to break up President Obama’s much trumpeted Islamic-American coalition. As the administration proudly announced back in September, Jordan joined the U.S. coalition, along with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. The only potential value of the coalition is symbolic: It has enabled the president to claim that Muslim countries were lining up with us against the Islamic State. Militarily, the coalition is of little use. These countries cannot defeat the Islamic State. Moreover, even the symbolism is insignificant. Symbolism, after all, cuts both ways. As I pointed out when the administration breathlessly announced the coalition, our five Islamic partners have only been willing to conduct (extremely limited) aerial operations against the Islamic State. They would not attack al-Qaeda targets — i.e., the strongholds of al-Nusra (the local al-Qaeda franchise) and “Khorasan” (an al-Qaeda advisory council that operates within al-Nusra in Syria). Obviously, if the relevance of the five Islamic countries’ willingness to fight the Islamic State is the implication that the Islamic State is not really Islamic, then their unwillingness to fight al-Qaeda equally implies their assessment that al-Qaeda is representative of Islam. The latter implication no doubt explains why the Saudis, Qatar, and the UAE have given so much funding over the years to al-Qaeda . . . the terror network from which the Islamic State originates and with which the Islamic State shares its sharia-supremacist ideology. I’ll give the Saudis this: They don’t burn their prisoners alive in a cage. As previously recounted here, though, they routinely behead their prisoners.
In fact, here’s another report from the British press just three weeks ago: Authorities in Saudi Arabia have publicly beheaded a woman in Islam’s holy city of Mecca. . . . Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, a Burmese woman who resided in Saudi Arabia, was executed by sword on Monday after being dragged through the street and held down by four police officers. She was convicted of the sexual abuse and murder of her seven-year-old step-daughter. A video showed how it took three blows to complete the execution, while the woman screamed “I did not kill. I did not kill.” It has now been removed by YouTube as part of its policy on “shocking and disgusting content”. There are two ways to behead people according to Mohammed al-Saeedi, a human rights activist: “One way is to inject the prisoner with painkillers to numb the pain and the other is without the painkiller. . . . This woman was beheaded without painkillers — they wanted to make the pain more powerful for her.” The Saudi Ministry of the Interior said in a statement that it believed the sentence was warranted due to the severity of the crime.
The beheading is part of an alarming trend, which has seen the kingdom execute seven people in the first two weeks of this year. In 2014 the number of executions rose to 87, from 78 in 2013. Would that the president of the United States were more worried about the security of the United States than about how people in such repulsive countries perceive the United States. In any event, the Islamic State is simply trying to blow up the coalition, which would be a useful propaganda victory. And the strategy is working. It appears at this point that only Jordan is participating in the airstrikes. While all eyes were on Jordan this week for a reaction to Lieutenant al-Kasaebeh’s immolation, the administration has quietly conceded that the UAE suspended its participation in bombing missions when the pilot was captured in December. The explanation for this is obvious: The Islamic countries in the coalition know they can’t stop the Islamic State unless the United States joins the fight in earnest, and they know this president is not serious.
The White House says the coalition has carried out a total of about 1,000 airstrikes in the last five months. In Desert Storm, we did 1,100 a day. Seven strikes a day is not going to accomplish anything, especially with no troops on the ground, and thus no search-and-rescue capability in the event planes go down, as Lieutenant al-Kasaebeh’s did. With no prospect of winning, and with a high potential of losing pilots and agitating the rambunctious Islamists in their own populations, why would these countries continue to participate? The Islamic State knows there is intense opposition to King Abdullah’s decision to join in the coalition. While the Islamic State’s sadistic method of killing the pilot has the king and his supporters talking tough about retaliation, millions of Jordanians are Islamist in orientation and thousands have crossed into Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. There will continue to be pressure on Jordan to withdraw. Without a real American commitment to the fight, this pressure will get harder for Abdullah to resist. Jordan has no intention of getting into a land war the king knows he cannot win without U.S. forces leading the way. But the Islamic State does not need to lure Jordan into a land war in order to destabilize the country — it is already doing plenty of that by intensifying the Syrian refugee crisis, sending Jordanians back home from Syria as trained jihadists, and trying to assassinate Abdullah.
I will close by repeating the larger point I’ve argued several times before. We know from experience that when jihadists have safe havens, they attack the United States. They now have more safe havens than they’ve ever had before — not just because of what the Islamic State has accomplished in what used to be Syria and Iraq (the map of the Middle East needs updating) but because of what al-Qaeda has done there and in North Africa, what the Taliban and al-Qaeda are doing in Afghanistan, and so on. If we understand, as we by now should, what these safe havens portend, then we must grasp that the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and the global jihad constitute a threat to American national security. That they also (and more immediately) threaten Arab Islamic countries is true, but it is not close to being our top concern. Ensuring our security is a concern that could not be responsibly delegated to other countries even if they had formidable armed forces — which the “coalition” countries do not. The Islamic State and al-Qaeda are OUR problem.”
It will not be enough to shine beautiful lights on our monuments and buildings…if we allow the lights of civilization to go out.
Everyone wants peace, but the Holy Scriptures tells us “…Peace, Peace…but there is no peace.” It warns us to turn away from evil. It also warns us about the way we live and judgments to come for people and nations.
(2nd Timothy, Chapter 3:1-5 New Testament) “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.... For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
Yet, we still hope and believe. (Isaiah 2:4 Old Testament “He shall judge between nations and shall decide disputes for many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”) The present is the present and what we do with it during these perilous times may be a long, dangerous road before the final judgment.
So much has happened to our veterans since this post in 2009 when vets were waiting eagerly to visit the Washington memorials. Many have died..or continued to linger in hospitals. Others perished, not on the battle field, but while waiting to see a doctor stateside. Nevertheless, this is the day that we remember them…their courage, their fortitude and much more. They are the young and the old among us who should never be forgotten.
(from a previous post) Probably He had a twinkle in his eye as he waited outside the restroom in our plane. As I opened the door, he said “I’ve cleared the decks for you!” Laughing, I said “Well, I want to thank you for your service to our country.” He responded that his job had been to bury thousands and thousands of men who died on foreign shores. “This was my job.” I looked into those bright, blue eyes of a man in his eighties and knew he had seen the horrors of war. He had been the last to look on the torn and battered bodies of those young men who had never made it home.
These veterans on our plane were being sent free of charge by Southwest Airlines to Washington, D.C to see the memorial for these brave men. Honor Flight Network ( www.honorflight.org ) was their sponsor. They raise funds to transport and house veterans to the D.C. area to view the WWII memorial. Many of them had never seen the memorial and knew their chances were getting shorter and some could not afford to go on their own. Their decision was to go to D.C. and to share with other WWII veterans their stories and their lives. The media was there to talk with them, as we waited for our flight. We had a short service in the terminal where American flags were given out and a young man sang the National Anthem. I noticed several things about the reactions of the people, which I hoped these veterans did not observe. A young man sitting across the aisle laughed at the singing of the anthem. Many, however, gave an applause as the veterans entered in wheelchairs and with canes. Most regretful of all was once we were on our plane, one woman, perhaps in her 50’s, was complaining to everyone that she had to sit behind the group. She made a statement “We have paid for our flight.” My statement to her is that these men paid much more in suffering, years away from home, and the sadness they had endured in war. I liked what one of the volunteers had on the back of her t-shirt. “If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank a veteran.”
While I was teaching 5th graders in Florida schools, one of my projects was to have veterans and Holocaust survivors come to the classroom and talk one on one with my students. They heard their stories and then shared them with the rest of the class. One of my fifth graders was wise enough to say, “My generation may be the last to speak in person to these men and women.”
We must not forget the women who contributed so much during the war, either on the front or at home in the plants making munitions and other necessities for the war. My mother, who is now 92, worked in one of these plants. A newspaper clipping is special to us, showing her listening to the radio and hearing that “Japan Surrenders”.
There used to be 16 million U.S. veterans of World War II . Now they are dying at a rate of more than 1,000 a day and number about 2.5 million according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. My husband, Bill, is a retired Navy Chaplain who is called on to speak at many of these burials. Recently, he presided at a funeral for a WWII veteran who was a POW (Prisoner of War) and had never received his Purple Heart. Unfortunately, he died two days before receiving it officially.
Yes, we are grateful for all they did. We are glad they could see a memorial meant for them and those who died in World War II. We will honor them always. They are the ones called the “Greatest Generation“. We must not forget them. We also must not forget that there are very young men and women who have given so much of their lives on recent war fronts.
Yes, this WWII vet had a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face, as we talked on the plane. May he always keep this wonderful joy for living. He is a special person.
Our brave men and women are still on the fighting front…even though we are told they are not taking a “combat” position. We know the truth is that once you are facing danger from a foe, the enemy does not stop to ask “Are you in combat or just advising?”. The American people are smart enough to see through the semantics. These active duty young people are in harms way and deserve our respect and prayers…as do all veterans.
More recently I wrote about The Mountain Way of Virginia and North Carolina. The history is fascinating and the people hardy, but the mountains are a marvelous beauty! This week I spent driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway and visiting some of the small towns, like Floyd, VA. The towns vary, but all have the Mom and Pop restaurants with home cooking: grits, country ham, fluffy biscuits with or without a rich, brown gravy.
It seems that “outsiders” have found the mountains, as I have run into a Greek restaurant owner; a Colorado sign maker, and Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd has invited musicians from the Czech Republic and a pianist from Russia. Yes, Blue grass music is widely played, but it is not all that is part of the mountains.
Rich in history; proud of their past…one will see memorials to the Civil War dead and those who fought the elements to live in this beautiful place…like Ed and Lizzie Mabry who built their Mill…now preserved for all to enjoy on the Parkway.
Today, you are going to have a visual experience. As you look, thank God for all He has created and share it with friends and family that may not have a mountain experience.
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!
A prayer from Syrian Clementine Liturgy
O God, the unsearchable abyss of peace, the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessing and the bestower of affection, Who sends peace to those who receive it, open to us this day the sea of Your love and water us with plenteous streams from the riches of Your grace and from the most sweet springs of Your benignity (kindness or tolerance toward others.). Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace. Enkindle in us the fire of your love ; sow in us Your fear; strengthen our weakness by your power; bind us closely to You and to each other in one firm and indissoluble bond of unity.
Exactly what would you do, if your community was on fire and destroyed from an invasion? What would you do if the young people were not there to help you as an older person? What about your grandmother or grandfather living some distance from you whose home is also in the middle of a war? What about your lovely pets? If you had no food, would you turn them out because there was nothing to feed them? Terrible questions to consider. Now, consider some of these pictures about the people of Ukraine, who had their own country separated from Russia after the collapse of the former Soviet Union:
Having spent time teaching in Donetsk, Ukraine, I am regularly updated with the REAL story of what is happening to the people who are enduring the Russian separatists and living with what continues to go on there
So many elderly, sick and homeless have so much pain. Even the college where I taught has been taken over by the soldiers. This was a lovely campus….thriving and vibrant. Over the years, the curriculum had been made relevant to the people. Oxford University in England, had some influence to the development. I was there to teach English to a number of eager students. No longer do college students have a place to learn. Faculty, staff and families no longer have a place to live and work for the good of Ukrainian youth. Even former faculty children’s elementary classrooms has become a place for target practice as some of the Separatists posted on You Tube recently.
Ukrainian Emigrants to the U.S.A: Those of us who had the opportunity to travel in Russia and Eastern Europe, after the cold war was over, believed that things were changing for the better. Some people from Russia and the Ukraine may have seen the handwriting on the wall. Here in the USA, many Ukrainians have immigrated and settled off the Gulf Coast of south Florida. They have built beautiful traditional Russian style churches and they are thriving. Even the public schools in that area look for teacher who may be bi-lingual in the Russian or Ukrainian languages. This Ukrainian community are hard-working people who have brought many skills with them to this country. Many are strong in their Christian faith.
A little history: After the collapse of the old Soviet Union, many Russians around the Moscow area became rich people. There was a dark side to these new ways because the old ways never really went away. This can be confirmed by the “little man” or average person whose businesses were often under the threat of “mafia like tactics”. This type of influence also came over the border into independent Ukraine. Tactics of poisoning, assassination attempts or burning down the businesses of people who may speak out or are seen as the opposition has long been a part of the Russian history. ( A most publicized and controversial example was the 2004 poisoning attempt on Ukraine Presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko )
What does the future hold? Will Russia continue the march to the south and into other countries, like Ukraine, that once were part of the old Soviet empire? Is this the ultimate goal of the Russian Leaders? Either the people of Russia today will see that their own freedoms are at risk and will rise up….or they will succumb to the old ways. The Ukrainians are not the only ones in danger. Even this week, the thousands of people pouring out on the streets of Moscow in protest of the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, may be thinking that they have had enough of war with Ukraine, intimidation and strong-arm tactics as well as assassinations from whatever source.
The war in Ukraine has not only devastated the lives of the Ukrainians, but hundreds of others throughout the world. When Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine,10 Britons 192 Dutch, 28 Australians, 44 Malaysians and 1 U.S. citizen died…including children.
Regardless of all that is going on, the people are suffering…whether in Ukraine or other parts of the world. (We must not forget the religious cleansing of Christians going on in the middle east.) Perhaps the world is mad!
The letter below was sent to me from Ukraine. The names have been removed for the security of the person writing. THIS IS THE REAL STORY of the people left behind and their need for care as well as a way to get away from the fighting. I remember the beautiful, little town of Donetsk. The town square, as it used to be, is no more with men playing chess and artists selling their paintings. Donetsk now has a ruined airport, collapsed buildings and devastated homes.
LETTER FROM FIRST-HAND WITNESS IN UKRAINE:
Greetings. First of all, thank you very much for your prayerful support.Our evacuation mission was blessed and finished successfully. XXXX,his grand-mother and mother are in safe place in our home town, XXXX. The trip was a bit more than 2000 km back and forth, to a town not far from the war zone. Two volunteers agreed to bring [XXXX’S family] to XXXX through XXXX, which was under non-systematic shelling. The Lord kept them all the way and provided so that they were allowed through several block posts. The day before, hundreds of people were [sent] back to Donetsk and other cities by Ukrainian soldiers with no explanation. But the Lord had mercy on this poor family. My father and I came back very impressed and sick from what we saw and heard…Hundreds of thousands… Can you imagine? Hundreds and hundreds of thousands feel that they have no past and no future, because they lost their houses, jobs,belongings, many lost their relatives who were either killed, or died because of hunger or diseases in air-raid shelters… So much pain and suffering… Many dogs were [cast out] by their owners because of a lack of food. They are slowly dying [from] hunger as well–hardly [able to walk] or [stand] on their feet. Some people still try to share their food with them…After we returned from XXXX [Region], I could not concentrate on my work for two days… I felt awful and sick that I cannot help all these many people. And that so many people feel indifferent in Ukraine towards refugees… Yes, I know all these theological dogmas that we should be driven by calling, and not by the needs of people…But when you look in the eyes of dozens of people, which reflect hopelessness and despair, you feel sick… you get sick… because you [can only] take one family and leave… With the help of some of you this mission became possible. This family is now safe. However it will take months before they recover physically, emotionally, spiritually. They react very nervously [at] every loud sound, which reminds them of shelling. I witnessed this yesterday and today when XXXX and I came to visit them and brought them some food. But this is just one family. One of hundreds of thousands… And at such moments I realize deeper and deeper the consequences of what had happened in the Garden of Eden – the consequence of the right to define yourself–the essence of what is good and what is evil for you personally and [for] your neighbor….
1) Pray for peace and an end to the fighting.
2) Remember all those left behind and those traumatized by warfare.
3) Pray for all Ukrainians who bring aid (food, medicine, financial help) to
people suffering in the war zone.
4) Pray that people will be open because of this crisis to seek God in their