In 2015, I posted this tribute to those who serve. I think it is good for another year and maybe many more to come….for we must not forget.
On this MEMORIAL DAY, Boyer Writes honors all those who responded to the call of duty to country and all freedom stands for….especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
After viewing the slide presentation, you may want to look at the different wars throughout history where and when the United States has sent troops to fight. We are just one country. Multiply this country and all wars of all countries in the world ….to make us one big, warring globe.
There are reasons, of course. Some fight for their independence. Others fight to maintain their freedom. Many fight to rule over the weak, sick, and impoverished.
There are those who fight and murder in the name of God…religious wars. Read your history and you will not be surprised for it happened when Muslims fought Christians; Christians fought in the Crusades; nations have tried to rid the world of Jews.
The Holy Scriptures tell us that we will call for “Peace…Peace….but there is no peace…” Those who make predictions believe that before the coming of Christ to the earth a second time, there will be the greatest of all wars….in the Middle East. This is not something for optimism. Nevertheless, we are also told to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”….and the world. We cannot control governments, groups, or individuals who hate and destroy…but pray we can do.
” I pray that an Omnipotent Providence will summon all persons of goodwill to the realization of the utter futility of war. We have known the bitterness of defeat, the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned that there is no turning back. We must preserve in peace, what we won in war. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery has in fact now reached a point that revises the traditional concept of war. War, the most malignant scourge, and greatest sin of mankind, can no longer be controlled, only ABOLISHED! We are in a new era. If we do not devise some greater and more equitable means of settling disputes between nations, Armageddon will be at our door…”
A MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE
( Click on arrow; turn on sound and enlarge picture for best viewing. Music by St. Olaf Choir) Warning: disturbing scenes of war wounded)
Choose and click on a war listed to read information.
- 2.1 Colonial wars (1620–1774)
- 2.2 War of Independence (1775–1783)
- 2.3 Early national period (1783–1812)
- 2.4 War of 1812
- 2.5 War with Mexico (1846–48)
- 2.6 American Civil War (1861–1865)
- 2.7 Post-Civil War era (1865–1917)
- 2.8 Modernization
- 2.9 Banana Wars (1898–1935)
- 2.10 Moro Rebellion (1899–1913)
- 2.11 Mexico (1910–1919)
- 2.12 World War I (1917–1918)
- 2.13 Russian Revolution
- 2.14 1920s: Naval disarmament
- 2.15 1930s: Neutrality Acts
- 2.16 World War II (1941–1945)
- 2.17 Cold War era (1945–1991)
- 2.18 Post–Cold War era (1991–2001)
- 2.19 War on Terrorism (2001–present)
- 2.20 Iraq
- 2.21 Libyan intervention
- The on-going war on terrorism The War on Terror (also known as the Global War on Terrorism) is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign which started as a result of the Sept 11,2001 terrorist attack on the United States. This resulted in an international military campaign to eliminate al-Qaeda; other militant organizations and jihadi groups. The United Kingdom and many other NATO and non-NATO nations participate in the conflict.
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia are small towns with people who will never forget those brave men and women who left their farms and home places to fight for our country and freedom in the world. Throughout the rolling countryside and along the blue colored ridges of the mountains… filled with cattle, fields, and beautiful wildflowers, one will find small family graves with an American flag. This will always indicate that the person buried there served in an American war.
On this Memorial Day, the young Military Science students and the older men and women of this Blue Ridge area remember the Fallen of all wars and pray prayers for the many POW-MIA’s who are still missing. (Slide show below)
As my husband and I joined in this day of Remembrance, I’m in the midst of writing a new book about American military veterans, entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, which should be on Amazon by July, 2018.
My interviews with those who went to serve during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been eye-opening. These are people of great courage and fortitude. Millions did not return, but for those here in the Blue Ridge, these men forged new lives and continued to make our FREE America an even better place.
One chapter in my book will feature the Childress family in the Blue Ridge who had four men in the military at once during World War II. Paul (upper right picture and with wife and baby) served in Patton’s Command in France.
The women of the Blue Ridge served as well, including Francis Childress, a cousin to Paul. Other chapters will take notice of a female military nurse who was awarded the Bronze Star. The Bronze Star Medal is a decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, valor, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.
As I read memoirs and listened, I learned that fighting on Heart Break Ridge in Korea with legs frozen, slipping out of camp at night in France during World War II to find food for hungry soldiers, spending weeks in the confines of a submarine, fighting off boredom and jungle heat in Vietnam or losing limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq were difficult and in most cases horrible experiences. It was their part of life that they were willing to share with me and I am grateful because I will never look at a veteran again in the same way.
This is why I write this blog to encourage you to take an hour or so on Memorial Day from your interest in sports events, picnics or other activities to give our military the honor they so deserve. Your freedom today is what they did to keep us free. It is important that our children and grandchildren are taught history and the meaning of our national Memorial Day. I was amazed to see that since the last Memorial Day ceremony of 2017, in the small town of Galax, VA. that 90+ people had died who were veterans in this part of the Blue Ridge. We are rapidly losing those who fought in World War II and their stories should be told.
To those whose lives and deaths were the ultimate sacrifice….there is not enough thanks in heaven or earth to give to you…but we will try.
To the gravely wounded warriors who have come home and forged new lives, we give you honor. We have contacted this brave warrior for an interview that will shed light on all those who have suffered so much.
Thank you to all veterans…men and women. We give tribute to all the wives and families that were left behind to faithfully live and wait for their loved ones to return home.
VIDEO Turn up sound (Credit “American Soldier” by Toby Keith)
At Christmas time, we read the Holy Scriptures that a Savior was born to save the people of the world. We hardly think of the origin of the scriptures or the ancient ones that are still out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered. It seems that there has been a great discovery in Iraq. Surprises happen when one is least expecting them.
When American soldiers were in Iraq, they may have discovered an old scroll that those who had hidden it hoped that someday…even if it was to be 200 years later…would be found. The people of the world would know that there was a thriving Jewish people who were forced to leave everything behind…including their most sacred objects. These were hidden away in hopes of preserving them.
This is the story behind the find according to a writing by Daniel Estrin for the Associated Press:
“…The scroll is a remnant of Iraq’s 2,500-year-old Jewish community, one of the world’s oldest, which all but disappeared when large numbers of Jews left for Israel following the creation of the Jewish state in 1948. Only a handful of Jews are left in Iraq today, following decades of war and instability.
Like other ancient Jewish texts from Arab lands, the scroll’s path to Israel remains unclear, with Israeli officials offering different theories.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the scroll’s journey from Iraqi intelligence storage to a synagogue in the ministry “represents the fate of the Jews.” Jews have been persecuted, he said, but “in the end they come to Israel.”
Iraqi authorities forbade Jews who left for Israel from taking ritual objects and other property with them. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, American soldiers discovered ancient Iraqi Jewish Torahs and other community documents in the waterlogged basement of Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Baghdad and took the manuscripts to the U.S. for restoration. They have gone on display in the U.S., and American officials have promised to return the items to Iraq.
Foreign Ministry officials say the scroll is Jewish property and belongs in the Jewish state. To celebrate the scroll’s restoration, Lieberman and an Israeli chief rabbi marched with the scroll around the perimeter of the Foreign Ministry building, with some 300 ministry employees, from workers in the diplomatic mailroom to ambassadors, trailing behind them throwing candy, clapping and singing.
The head of storage at Foreign Ministry headquarters in Jerusalem, Amnon Israel, said he stumbled upon the scroll, moldy and torn and without any label marking its origin, in the ministry’s storage room on his first day on the job in late 2013.
He was told that American soldiers took the scroll from Iraqi intelligence storage during the war and handed it to Israeli diplomats in Jordan for restoration in Israel. On the back of the Torah scroll, in a section from the Book of Exodus, is a round black splotch that Israeli foreign ministry officials say is an Iraqi intelligence stamp.
But Israel, the storage head, says he is not sure that’s the real story.
An Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Iraqi Torah’s existence in Israel is a potentially sensitive diplomatic issue, said someone brought the scroll to Israel’s embassy in Jordan around 2007. Security officials at the embassy X-rayed the scroll to make sure it was not booby-trapped before showing it to the Israeli ambassador, the official said.
In 2011, after an Egyptian mob ransacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo, Israel’s Foreign Ministry ordered diplomats in Jordan to transfer all non-essential items from the embassy in Amman to Israel.
“There was great fear that people in Jordan would hold demonstrations and burst into the embassy in Jordan, and there was an order to take out any object that didn’t necessarily need to be kept at the embassy,” Israel said.
The scroll was brought to the Foreign Ministry in 2012, where it sat undisturbed in the storage room. Only when Israel invited Jerusalem scribe Akiva Garber to inspect the scroll did it become clear the Torah was from Iraq…”
It is interesting that the Holy Scriptures have passed through wars, many countries, and still many years later surface to once again show that God has preserved his Word. He wants the world to know the truth of His love and goodness. At this Christmas time, amid all the hustle and bustle of shopping and parties, take time to be quiet and reflect. God wants our hearts to be calm and at peace with the good news that a child is born Who will be the Savior of the World. God’s Word will not return void. It will speak to you with a message that He wants you to know.
So pick up that Bible that may have a touch of dust and read…asking God to speak to you through His Holy Word.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Video Turn up Sound
Throughout history, there has been religious groups spreading their mayhem into lands where innocent people have been brutalized. One only needs to read the Holy Scriptures to find what happened when the Jews took revenge on their enemies. The Muslims invaded territory after territory with slaughter. The Christians were also brutal during The Crusades. On and on it goes if we look into Genghis Khan and tribal warfare around the world.
Christians were burned at the stake during the Inquisition. Today, in the Middle East, they are being murdered for their faith. Jews were murdered by the millions in World War II.
There has never been a peaceful world since sin and evil began. Will there ever be peace or will the fury remain? We’ll attempt to answer this at the end of this blog.
Great anxiety is happening as nations in our modern day time deal with the potential of nuclear warfare and even the possibility of space warfare as more deadly inventions are developed. Should people be more than a little anxious…you bet they should be! Who then is responsible for the fright that people feel? Is it the actions of a new administration which swears to protect the people? Is it our own imaginations and thoughts that pity the people who try to flee to a safer place regardless of their religious beliefs and actions of tyrants?
An article was written recently that had a number of responses from readers. A reader challenged the author with the following words about the raw nerves and anxiety of people concerning extreme vetting of refugees who may or may not be Muslim because the entire world is worried about terrorism in all forms. He wrote the following, giving specific examples of why extreme vetting may be the only answer to finding out the motives of people who come to a country other than their own:
“…the US isn’t responsible for anxiety about Muslim refugees. Who is actually responsible? People such as Somali Muslim migrant Mohammad Barry, who in February 2016 stabbed multiple patrons at a restaurant owned by an Arab Christian; Ahmad Khan Rahami, an Afghan Muslim migrant who in September 2016 set off bombs in New York City and New Jersey; Arcan Cetin, a Turkish Muslim migrant who in September 2016 murdered five people in a mall in Burlington, Washington; Dahir Adan, another Somali Muslim migrant who in October 2016 stabbed mall shoppers in St. Cloud while screaming ‘Allahu akbar’; and Abdul Razak Artan, yet another Somali Muslim migrant who in November 2016 injured nine people with car and knife attacks at Ohio State University. What’s more, all of the Islamists who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees. In February 2015, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 Muslim refugees. The Lebanese Education Minister said in September 2015 that there were 20,000 jihadists among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all. So why are they claiming to be Syrian and streaming into Europe, and now the U.S. as well? An Islamic State operative gave the answer when he boasted in September 2015, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadists had already entered Europe. He explained their purpose: ‘It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.’ These Muslims were going to Europe in the service of that caliphate: ‘They are going like refugees,’ he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European Crusader streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, ‘Just wait.’ On May 10, 2016, Patrick Calvar, the head of France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency, said that the Islamic State was using migrant routes through the Balkans to get jihadists into Europe…”
Most people that I know have a great deal of empathy for those people caught in war and are persecuted for their beliefs. They are not against people for their religious beliefs as long as they are ones of peace and tolerance. Unless the reasons for coming to America or any other country are for these reasons, people neither want to be enslaved to another religion or murdered for their beliefs. We are all responsible to not allow that to happen. Unfortunately, it will be hard for us to know exactly who those with evil in their thoughts really are unless we actually hear or observe someone spouting these thoughts and goals. We’ve been told “See something…say something.” Otherwise, we are at the mercy of those professionals in our countries who watch out for us.
Courtesy of Phil Schmidt
So is there any hope? Will there be peace on earth? It begins with us for certain and every individual. The Holy Scriptures tell us some disheartening news:
“And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.” Matthew 24
“Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.” Proverbs 12:20
The Election of 2016 is over. Instead of burning the American flag or beating up people because they chose to vote differently, those involved should think seriously about those who have fought to make America free. The American flag represents that freedom.
We must never forget history and the bravery of those who fought for our rights…even the rights to peacefully protest. Most of all, we must not forget those who bravely fought to bring the battles to an end. We continue to honor those who are still in harm’s way throughout the world.
World War I….was to be the War that ended all wars. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Some of the great battles of World War II: The Battle of the Atlantic, The Battle of Britain, The siege of Leningrad, Pearl Harbor, The Battle of Stalin grad, The Invasion of Normandy, The Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Okinawa, The Battle of Berlin
What was victory like for those who fought?
Victory Day, also known as VJ Day, marks the anniversary the Allies’ victory over Japan during World War II.
VJ Day in Honolulu Video….the real thing. Compliments of Richard Sullivan’s father who was there on August 14, 1945 and shot this film.
Names to Remember: Iwo Jima, Saipan, Midway…Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Omaha Beach…and others we have not mentioned. Thank you, Veterans, for your dedication.
Omaha Beach invasion was when the Germans killed about 5,000 men. They were so young and lives cut short. Truly, WAR IS HELL.
Occasionally, I look back in the archives of my writings and find something that touches me all over again. “Rising above Adversity” was written in 2011. Today it has the same message for it is hardly possible to turn on the TV or listen to the news without hearing situations of adverse circumstances. Some join the crowds and do nothing to make someone’s life better. Others take the adversity and bring out the best that life has to offer, regardless of the cause. They don’t burn down hard-earned businesses, but look for ways to improve life. It is often a tough choice between what is right and what is wrong. Perhaps we need to take a second look at some instances of this.
Emanuel Kelly and his brother had deformities at birth from gas poisoning in Iraq. They were abandoned by their birth parents in a box and were was found by a Christian Nun who took them to an orphanage. A woman who was an aid worker from Australia reached out to save their lives. Mrs. Kelly decided to adopt the boys and give them a home. Both boys had major deformities and were missing arms. Growing up, Emanuel just wanted to sing and as he did so, he was encouraged to enter musical competition.
How do people rise above great adversity? Sometimes it is a mystery. There is something in the human soul that says, “I may be different…or life may not be fair….but I have something special. I want to be the person that I was meant to be.”
Intervention is also important. There were many factors that lay before these two boys. The nun who found them could have tried to find someone in the village of Iraq to take them, rather than caring for them in an overcrowded orphanage, especially with such disabilities.
Mrs. Kelly saw two boys that needed her decisive action. She took them to Australia for medical care, but most of all she showered them with love and acceptance. It took intervention for the young men to rise above their own adversity. Emanuel did not know how old he was because there had been no paper work left in the box. He also found the he was more than a deformed person. He found that he had great ability and worth. This leads me to say that perhaps what the society or a person thinks of his own worth is probably the most crucial factor in overcoming adversity.
Noted for his singing ability and song writing, Emanuel did not win the X-Factor Australia competition, but he continues to use his talents today.
Adversity is everywhere in varying degrees. We may be faced with it today or tomorrow…or have been in the past. Nevertheless, rising above whatever comes or has been is the only way to make meaning of life.
INTERVIEW WITH EMANUEL
Ahmed Kelly, Emanuel’s brother, at London Para-Olympics Finals…. swimming the breaststroke
August 31, 2010, the President of the United States will speak on the official ending of the Iraq war.
No matter what he has to say or what he will predict about Iraq’s future …or the continuing war in Afghanistan, he can not capture in a speech the suffering that has taken place.
Starting with the tears shed by those who lost loved ones on the USS Cole and in the towers on 9-11, the tears continue. Each day families in Iraq lose loved ones . Every week our finest young men and women are brought home to a waiting honor guard. Thousands are still in harm’s way.
I have decided to share some of the pictures that we have seen throughout the war. It may help us remember that this war, as are all others, is definitely a hell.
There is no way to speak to the grief that has been and will continue to be suffered. We are free Americans because of the bravery of soldiers throughout the world who fought in the World Wars. That freedom is in jeopardy by those who would try to take it away; setting up their own brand of enslavement.
God’s blessings to a world that is trying to find its way.
After being away from family and friends for any length of time, there is nothing like coming home. Having spent time in foreign countries, I remember the exhilarated feeling I experienced as the airline landed in my country, my state, my city… home! While away, there had been good times, trying times, tiring times but nothing to compare with what our fighting men and women have experienced in Iraq and in Afghanistan. While teaching, my fifth grade class had one- on- one discussions with American veterans and Holocaust survivors. Each told his story. The students listened with great interest; leading one student to say, “ We may be the last generation to see and know these brave WWII veterans.”
In our present day, we have a new set of veterans who will share their stories with their children and grandchildren. Many of them left experiences behind that they wish not to remember. Some lost their buddies. They are now packed up and ready to come home. What do they face stateside? Each will be different, but it could be one of these:
- A new baby
- A change of a different career
- Someone they have decided to marry will get an engagement ring
- The spouse that did not wait.
- The spouse who faithfully waited.
- A big steak, pizza, or American hotdog.
- A ballgame with friends in front of the TV
- A picnic with family
So much to come home to and so much to leave. All the questions:
- What did our time here mean to the people of Iraq?
- How will they do without us?
- Will the government change….will life change once we are gone?
- Will the people left behind have the courage to maintain some of the freedoms they have found?
Our young men deserve our love and attention. Thankfully, there are those who meet them at the airport; thank them for their service; and help them re-connect to the life waiting for them. It is devastating, however, for those who must meet the remains of their loved one, draped in the American flag. They, most of all, need our love and appreciation.
The video below sends our warmest “Welcome Home” to our troops.
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