N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “patriotic

World War II…Unforgettable

Having just finished writing and publishing a book on veterans who fought against tyranny around the world, I began to wonder if our recent generations truly understand what these wars were all about.  If you have a teen in your house or an appreciator of history, this is the time to share this blog.

My book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, not only gives the stories of World War II veterans, but of those in the Korean and Vietnam wars. (Click on book at far right for more information)

Men and Women of Valor Book Front revised


Therefore, as difficult and as unentertaining as it may be….for it seems the world only wants entertainment, I plan to run a series of three blogs introducing the reasons for each war mentioned and the results of great battles and great loss of life on both sides of the wars.

History is to be learned from…or we will live it again…with even worse consequences.  Here is a quote worth pondering:

“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein

There were several versions of his quote:   Supposedly, Professor Albert Einstein was asked by friends at a dinner party what new weapons might be employed in World War III. Appalled at the implications, he shook his head. After several minutes of meditation, he said. “I don’t know what weapons might be used in World War III. But there isn’t any doubt what weapons will be used in World War IV.” “And what are those?” a guest asked. “Stone spears,” said Einstein. 

This quote (or at least a version of it) dates back to the 1940s when the first nuclear weapons were being developed. Although Albert Einstein didn’t actually develop the atom bomb, his work did make such a device possible. Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible.  (Snopes Fact Checking)

Anyone who turns on a TV today is worried that some person or government will go too far and trigger the next great war.  Life as we know it could come to a screeching halt from a computer hacker based anywhere in the world.  Every phase of our lives, from our energy and water supplies, banking, grocery stores, hospitals, fire and police, cell phones, nuclear plants and much more are controlled by the electronics of today.  Einstein was a genius, but even he may not have seen that nuclear devastation may not be the only end of life as we know it.   Regardless, the wars that we have fought with our allies in the past were for one purpose…to keep the world free from tyranny and to give us “peace on earth.”   Men and Women of Valor Back FINALrevised

Yes, PEACE…what a wonderful word.   The Holy Scriptures tell us… “Peace, Peace and there is no peace.”  (Ezekial 13:10)  and yet we are told not to lose hope for Christ said… “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14.27

Yet, so often we are afraid…afraid of what the future may hold.  We cannot forget the sacrifices of those who believed that FREEDOM was worth dying for.  We, or the next generations, must not forget their stories and what they represented to us who are left to lead and to guide our nations. We have freedom of choice because of them.

Below is the first in a historical series to come: World War II…Korea, and Vietnam

VIDEO with narration. Turn up sound



New One World Trade Center NYC

The years tick by like the clocks on our walls.  At this time we often look back to the joys or sadness that may have come our way.  Of course, this is not the approach that is best psychologically, but we all do it.   We have hopes and dreams which are part of the human spirit.  In order to reach for new goals, we may have to reflect on some of the things that have worked for us and those that have not.

In this blog, I reach out in my thoughts to those whose past year has brought great pain and need to know that they can be encouraged by those in their countries that stand beside them and behind them.  People are made by God for great endurance.

Throughout the Middle East, the Christians went to their place of worship in fear that they would be attacked and many were.  Yet they went.  Throughout the rest of the world,  Christians sang joyfully their songs of worship and praise for the birth of the Savior, Who is Christ the Lord.  Others mourned at the empty place at the table where their loved ones used to sit.  Many ran for their lives throughout the world when struck by Evil: ( Here is an interactive map that gives locations and stories behind the attacks.)

Recently I watched a moving account of the Boatmen in the New York area who responded when called by the United States Coast Guard for help at the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center.  I share this with my readers for a word of encouragement for the next NEW YEAR.

The video is also a message to any enemy of the people of the United States of America.  Be warned… the people WILL rise to defend and rescue as is so clearly shown in this presentation.  These were the STURDY NEW YORKERS…and you haven’t seen the MEN and WOMEN of the U.S. Mountains.  They have a strength all their own.  I know, for I was born in the mountains and have lived among them.  They are quick to action and try to never look back and say “I should have…”

May your New Year be one of JOY….ENCOURAGEMENT…and a true PEACEFULNESS.

VIDEO   (Turn up sound)

The POWER of the FLAG


The Flag…what does it mean to us?   It represents everything that our nation stands for..FREEDOM.   They can rip it…burn it…hang it up side down, but it will still have the power to stand for all that men and women have died to protect…FREEDOM. 


Here is the story of why Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner…our National Anthem.  If the young people in your family cannot tell you why Francis Scott Key wrote this song, send this blog to them.  Perhaps as they grow up, they will cherish it as millions do.  The future adults of  America  should never be in  doubt whether the flag “…still waves over the land of the free or the home of the brave.”

Video   Turn up sound

From Sea to Sea…the Courageous

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.

The WASPS…very late recognition

WASP women flyers in WWII

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

Gold Stars

Gold Star

What do Gold Stars represent to a military family?    We can trace this special emblem back to World War I.  If a military member of a family died,  a flag that had been flown with a blue star was replaced with a gold one.  This allowed the world to know the price that this family had paid for the freedom we enjoy today.

The observance of the Gold Star Mothers Day began in 1936 on the last Sunday of September.  It was not until World War II that the Gold Star Wives was formed. Wives could then wear a Gold Star Lapel Button.   All members of the family can be recognized today as a Gold Star Family.   This  is why the Army believes that no one has given more to our country than those who have lost a loved one to war.

In 1954, an American Gold Star Mothers Headquarters was purchased in Washington, D.C. near the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials, containing the records of all deceased soldiers from  World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam War and now the Iraq War.

On June 12, 1984, The American Gold Star Mothers received their charter which reads:

  •   Keep alive and develop the spirit that promoted world services   
  •  Maintain the ties of fellowship born of that service, and to assist and further all patriotic work 
  •   Inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, State, and Nation
  •   Assist veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and other strategic areas  and their dependents in the presentation of claims to the Veterans’ Administration, and to aid in any way in their power the men and women who served and died or were wounded or incapacitated during hostilities.
  •  Perpetuate the memory of those whose lives were sacrificed in our wars
  •   Maintain true allegiance to the United States of America
  •   Inculcate lessons of patriotism and love of country in the communities in which we live
  •   Inspire respect for the Stars and Stripes in the youth of America
  •  Extend needful assistance to all Gold Star Mothers and, when possible, to their descendants
  •   To promote peace and good will for the United States and all other Nations.

More recently, 2008, the Gold Star Children, a non-profit organization, was founded to raise awareness about  children whose mothers or fathers were killed or died while serving in the United States military.  We would like to introduce you to one of these American children… Miles Eckerd and his gift to Lt. Colonel Frank Daily, who experienced a “new direction in life” from this small child…a Gold Star Kid.

The video below, shown on CBS News, will help all of us to understand the loss and grief that happens when just one soldier dies and leaves their family behind.  Blessings to them all.

Turn on sound.

For Lent: “Hope…when there appears to be no Hope”

If we asked ten people what is meant by the word, “Hope”, we would probably get ten answers.  It seems illusive….something that we can’t get a handle on…but we still hope. Norman Fried writes about hope and concludes, ” Through hope we discover faith and the pursuit of redemption. Hope sets us on a path toward attaining our goals; it helps us determine strategies for living and it transforms our will into action. And when all hope seems lost, faith asks us to look inward and to think differently. Faith teaches us to look for new ways to live in a life filled with pain. It guides us to develop new pursuits; to achieve new victories. And through our pursuits, we encounter God’s ways and we are challenged to unite with Him; only to find ourselves cleaving to both. In the end, we learn that religion is the confluence of two parallel forces; man’s wish to create a livable world, replete with the hope of grace and dignity, and man’s need to honor and accept what is unlivable through sacrifice, faith and love.” Some words that he uses stand out to me.

  • “…pursuit of redemption”    In the long run, we all want to be redeemed.  We look for an eternity of bliss with an eternally loving God.  Redemption, however, is the moment we put our trust in the Savior.  Redemption does not just start in the future, but is a daily existence.  God sent His only Son to redeem the world.
  • “…determine strategies for living”    Hope is all important to the very way we live. None of us want to come to the end and be filled with regrets.
  • “…challenged to unite with Him”     Many things are important to us: family career, dreams and goals.   Perhaps the most important thing that we can hope for is to feel His presence with us moment by moment.  In this season of Lent, we ask God for that presence and to be united with Him.
  • what is unlivable through sacrifice, faith and love.”    We look at the tragedies of the world, past and present, and wonder how people did live through the unlivable.  Truly it was the ability to hope even through harsh struggles.

Job spent hours listening to his friends who brought no comfort.   I wonder at this patience!    (Through most of the Book of Job)     Yet, this man of faith continued to believe in the one strength he had and the hope that he knew to be God’s gift to him during a terrible time of his life Even in more modern times, history tells stories of hope under the worst conditions. One such battle of WWII would appear that there was no hope.  “The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest battle on the Eastern Front and was marked by brutality and disregard for military and civilian casualties. It was among the bloodiest battles in the history of warfare,  with the higher estimates of combined casualties amounting to nearly two million. The heavy losses inflicted on the German army made it a turning point in the war. After the Battle of Stalingrad, German forces never recovered their earlier strength, and attained no further strategic victories in the East.” The film, Enemy at the Gates, has some dialog between Nikita Khrushchevand Danilov, the soldier who believed that if they published fliers for the Russian people to read about  heros of the motherland, it would bring hope. In particular, he wrote of the Russian marksman, Vassili Zaitsev, who became the center of the writings.   Danilov told Khrushchev the following: Here, the men’s only choice is between German bullets and ours. But there’s another way. The way of courage. The way of love of the Motherland. We must publish the army newspaper again. We must tell magnificent stories, stories that extol sacrifice, bravery. We must make them believe in the victory. We must give them hope, pride, a desire to fight.” Without hope, men have little for which to live.  Regardless of the country from which one comes, the politics of the time, or the belief system that they hold, the human race must have hope.    It is not enough to use the word, but to actually believe in a hope that is greater than our understanding.   The video below is  in honor of all who had hope where there appeared to be no hope. Omer Meir Wellber and Russian National Orchestra. Pietro Mascagni – Intermezzo from “Cavalleria Rusticana”. ( A response from my friend, Mark.   Thanks.   Romans 12:12 from the Holy Scriptures: “Rejoice in HOPE, be patient in AFFLICTION and faithful in PRAYER.”)

In HONOR of my Mother, Alta Bishop

December 6  is the day that my Mother, Alta Ellis Bishop, would have been 96.  It is a day to remember exactly how much my mother meant to me and her family.   She was 93 when she passed from this life, but her life was one of courage, determination and making the most of all her talents.  She left home at age 16 to work her way through life; built a career in hair design and took time to be a patriot, working at a munitions factory, when W.W.II was being fought.  Her dedication reminded me of the brave men and women who have given so much and why my mother’s generation was called “The Greatest Generation”.  Thank you, Mother,  for your generosity and love.

Once again we take a look at the era in which my mother was a young woman and mother.

Alta Ellis Bishop  At her funeral, a tribute was made of her patriotism.     Alta  stepped forth to do what is right and for the freedom and men  she loved.


We start with Winston Churchill.          His famous speech echos through the years.    (I paraphrase)  “WE SHALL FIGHT....in the fields, on the sea, in the streets, on the land….and  where we cannot…the new world will take up the fight….”

It is not easy to be a leader when the world is falling in around you.  Neither is it easy to inspire an entire nation…but inspire he did. When bombs were daily pounding, one can imagine what the economy was like.  Just living from day-to-day was an effort for all of Europe. It was not only a battle to secure land, but a battle for the very existence of mankind as millions were being murdered in concentration camps.

The movie, The Longest Day, shows the thousands of men, ships, and planes that came to the aid of France, giving  great detail of what it was like for the people living in France on the coast of Normandy and those who braved the assault to free them.

There are two videos below:  The first of Alta Bishop…The second one reminds us that the United States  and the free people of Europe were not going to be in bondage.  It is worth a journey back in time because our own nation must have this same fighting spirit if we are to survive today.

Churchill would not have guessed that the “new world”, as he called it would face a 9-11 or that his own beloved land would see suicide bombers.  He would not have known about “cyber threats”, but had he been in a different time and place, one CAN BE ASSURED  that he would step up to the challenge.   He would warn against apathy and talk about pulling together.

It may seem strange to link a family member to a great man of history. Yet, the determination and sacrifice they shared for the lands they loved links them and all of us together. Freedom is all we have and as my mother and so many were willing to give of their  efforts and their lives….so should we.    I love you, Mother, and always will.  Happy Birthday, even though you are unable to blow out the candles with us.  We will go to your grave site and put a red poinsettia there to remember the many years that we celebrated your birthday and Christmas together.   Christmas was one of your favorite times and we will miss you.   We are certain that the stars and planets are so bright where you are as the hosts of heaven sing praises to the “New Born King”.


The Men of the war Years….Always brave!

Remembering The Battle at Gettysburg 150 Years Ago


From July 1 to July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was the site of one of the deadliest, largest battles of the American Civil War (1861-1865). It was also considered the one battle that made the American South (Confederates) close to winning.    Historians are still dissecting and debating what actually happened there.


  • Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S., was serving his first term in office.
  • The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under command of Gen. Robert E. Lee, fought the Union Army of the Potomac, under newly appointed commander Maj. Gen. George Meade.
  • After the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, fell to Union troops, Lee was driving his men north in search of a much-needed victory on Northern soil when the two armies clashed at Gettysburg.
  • The Union won the battle–considered the turning point of the war by most historians–but the human costs were high for both sides, with about 51,000 total casualties. Lee and his army retreated south across the Potomac River after the battle, and the war continued for almost two more years



  • During the war, many of the soldiers fighting for the Confederacy did not have shoes, as most of the shoe factories were in the North. Some confederate troops found out there was a shoe factory in Gettysburg, but on arrival to get supplies for their men…they e n     countered thousands of Northern soldiers there.
  • The oldest person who fought in the Battle at Gettysburg was John L. Burns, a resident of Gettysburg, was 70 years old when the battle started.   Hearing the sounds of war, and being a former soldier, he grabbed an eighteenth century flintlock rifle and ran out to take part . On the way to the battle, he found a wounded soldier and traded his gun up.  After volunteering his services, he was sent to the front line.  Three bullets struck his arms during the battle, and he was abandoned as the Northern soldiers abandoned the position.  Southerners found him, and he lied to them, claiming non-combatant status so he could receive medical attention instead of being shot.  Yes, shot; in keeping with the rules of war at the time, any soldier not in uniform was technically a spy and could be killed on the spot.  He outlived the battle by seven years, even though it was unusual in his day to live as long as he had when the battle started
People attending the dedication ceremony of the national cemetery at Gettysburg Battlefield, outside Gettysburg, Pa., in November 1863. Abraham Lincoln, hatless, is seated left of centre.
Credit: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.


GettysburgLincoln“A ceremony was scheduled to dedicate the Soldiers National Cemetery, where Union dead were being gathered. It was to be held about four and a half months after the battle on November 19, 1863.

The main speaker was noted orator Edward Everett. He delivered a two-hour speech, very normal for the time when an oration was an entertainment event. A hymn was sung as musical interlude, then Lincoln rose to give “a few remarks.” They were very few – ten sentences taking only about two minutes. No photographs show Lincoln speaking, as photographers were surprised by his quick finish. Reports speak of no, or very thin and scattered, applause.

But the ten sentences quickly came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history, providing guidance for a nation redefining itself in the middle of a war that threatened its very existence.”

HAPPY 4TH OF JULYflying flags

Armed Forces Day in the United States

A Thank you to our Armed Service 

In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May.

First observed on 20 May 1950, the day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches under the Department of Defense.

  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S Marine Corps
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Coast Guard

folding flag

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. In 1962,President John. F. Kennedy  established Armed Forces Day as an official holiday. The United States’ longest running city-sponsored Armed Forces Day Parade is held in Bremerton, Washington.  They will celebration 65 years this year.  

Fly your flag this weekend and remember to thank our service men and women wherever they have served.   They have given so much…time away from families….their health and their limbs and in many cases the ultimate sacrifice.      They are the ones who are called upon when our country’s freedom is threatened.   They are our Armed Forces.    There are not enough words to thank them.

flying flags



REGARDLESS OF YOUR POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE, take a good look at this picture and those participating in this memorial  service.

It was a memorial  for the  American fallen soldiers murdered  at Ft. Hood by a fellow soldier and Muslim extremist.  This service, as in all memorial services,  was a time to show respect and honor. Our symbols and customs  of honor and respect for the fallen, our country, and our flag or national anthem is shown by a salute or a hand over the heart.   Boyer Writes can only say, “Mr. President, we believe you could have done better than this. You were these young  men’s Commander-in-Chief.  Your every move is noticed. The men and families, as well as your country,  deserve your full respect. “

Mourning their loss

Fascinating Places: “England” and “I Vow to Thee, My Country”

From the White Cliffs of Dover to the Cotswolds, England is a beautiful country. History that is fascinating in that it was one of conquest and Kings of many creeds and diverse morals. Some upheld honor; others took honor away.   In a fast changing world, one must look at the diligence in which the people of England stood  firm in the midst of bombs and destruction. It would have seemed only reasonable that King Albert and his Queen would flee to safety during World War II terrible times.  Yet they stayed and saw it through with their people.  ( Another writing will feature Sir Winston Churchill and The Queen Mum)

The famous writers from this country have had their say about their homeland:

There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England.”Winston Churchill

“Heaven take thy soul, and England keep my bones!”William Shakespeare

“I traveled among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea:
Nor England! Did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.”
– William Wordsworth

Below is a video of beautiful England with the lyrics taken from a poem by Cecil Spring-Rice, written in 1908.   At the time, he was with the British Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.   At first the poem was called Urbs Dei (The Two Fatherlands).   It says that the Christian owes two loyalties, both to her homeland and to the Kingdom of Heaven.   How strongly he must have felt about the place of his birth to write of this.  Filled with a patriotic spirit which many people seem to have lost for their homeland around the world, we may learn something from this pointed poem.

While serving as the British Ambassador to the United States, Rice tried to persuade President Woodrow Wilson to give up on neutrality and join Britain in the war against Germany.   Finally the USA entered the war and there were huge losses to the British during this time.  Rice then changed  the title of the poem…I Vow to Thee, My Country.

The first verse reminds the listener of those who died for freedom in the First World War.  The second verse says, “And there’s another country...” which is referring to being with God. Taken from Proverbs 3:17, it reads, “Her ways are of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace…”

Music was later written by Gustav Holst in 1921.  It was first performed in 1925 and has become a standard music when honoring those fallen in battle for England.  Z. Randall Stroope made the choir arrangement  and added two more verses to the music in honor of his father who marched in the Bataan Death March.

Lyrics to I Vow To Thee, My Country is found below the video.  (Turn on sound)

I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.

And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

For Those Who Stand Watch Advent Sunday Dec 12

This is Advent, no matter where you are.  For some of the Christian believers, it is holding a  rifle, living in the dust, and being away from those they love most.  The Chaplains, who serve those Christians, move along the lines beside them.  My husband, who  served  as a Navy Chaplain in Desert Storm, and his  dearest friends who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, know this loneliness.   Today, Boyer Writes honors those who stand watch as the Marines laid 24, 000 wreaths on the graves of Arlington yesterday.     God’s blessing to each of you.

PRAYER: “Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our Armed Forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be ; through Jesus Christ Our lord. Amen” (The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, p. 823)

My thanks to Margie who shared this special poem.



Bald Eagle on Little Lake Harris Florida

Walking along Little Lake Harris the other day, I heard a commotion in the tall cyprus trees.  Looking up, I saw two bald eagles, their white heads gleaming in the sun. The respect and awe that we feel for these beautiful birds is extremely emotional. Taking the picture, above, I wanted them to stay so I could enjoy them just a few more minutes. Off one flew! He rose high into the air, never looking back. He was free…strong…and aloft. It is wonderful to have a bird such as this as a national emblem.

As Christians we sing the song, “On Eagles Wings…”    To soar in faith…to not look back…to lift up to God in confidence….just as the mighty, great eagle.  

Click here for a look at a beautiful trained Bald Eagle

In Flanders Fields and Those Who Serve

Boyer Writes presents In Flanders Fields in honor of all veterans in all wars. Take up the torch….and pass it on.
Click to hear.

  IN FLANDERS FIELDS   (The Poem read)      

To Whose Who Serve


Joy of Coming Home

American Troops Head Home


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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A Tough Job Dealing with the Crooks and the Kooks


God bless the police.   They give so much and in many cases their lives.

Honor Guard for a fallen policeman




Police from around the world look at things in different ways.  They have duties that are often little appreciated.  We expect them to be there when we need them.  We expect this 24-7. What do they feel?   What is life like on the beat?  What makes them weep?   What makes them laugh?   What do they talk about?    That uniform with all the badges and that impressive weapon on the hip, do we really know these guys?  




 We salute not only our American policemen, but law enforcement around the world.  Wherever we travel,  we see the local police.  They sometimes seem and look different to us.

German Police

  While we were traveling to Israel, they stood guard over our jet.  Some are heavily armed, as this Israeli force, and some simply carry their sticks.  They mix with the neighborhoods; perhaps riding their horses, and walking the beat.  

 Wherever they are, they are out there everyday with all the kooks, trying to keep things running smoothly and safely  for the rest of us.  Oh, yes, they have some bad eggs who want to be overly rough.  Some years ago when I was teaching at a community college in the evenings,  the “police class”  was always the loudest and most rambunctious !   However, I’m glad it’s them, and not me, when they pull over a car that may have a gun poked in their faces  or ready to drag them down the street on the get  away.     





Police in Pakistan


  Here in the USA,   I see the policemen and the under-cover agents ( who are not so under-cover) having that cup of coffee and  sinfully sweet  donuts.  Those laughs I hear must be about the stupid public. They have to laugh to stay sane.    Here are a few stories they may be sharing.  

  • Marijuana Arrest           45 year old Amy Brasher was arrested in Texas after a mechanic reported to police that 18 packages of marijuana were packed in the engine compartment of the car which she had brought to the mechanic for an oil change.  According to the police, Brasher later said that she didn’t realize that the mechanic would have to raise the hood to change the oil. 


  • The Gasoline Thief        A man was attempting to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked in Seattle.  When the police arrived, they found that he had gotten much more than he bargained for.  They found him curled up next to the motor home where he had plugged his hose into the sewer tank by mistake.   Ugh!


  • Not So Bright Bank Robber       (As a teacher, I love this one.)   A man walked into the Bank of America and on the back of a deposit slip wrote, “ghis ix a stikkup. Put all your muny in a bag.”   While waiting for the teller to read the note, he worried that she may be calling the police.  He took his note and walked across the street to Wells Fargo.  After reading it, the teller thought maybe he was a few sandwiches short of a picnic…so she told him that because it was written on a Bank of America slip, that he would have to go back there to collect.  He left the bank; the teller called the police, and they found him at the Bank of America waiting patiently in  line.  

So thanks again to our policemen.  No one said that crooks were geniuses.  It’s a tough job, but we’re glad that sometimes you get a good laugh.  You may even have to share your donuts with some of those cute guys that you arrest!   

Police share donuts with arrested protester



Police in the UK


Police of the Victorian era


I am certain that the police  have seen it all.   Our tribute to the American police force and their canine units.  Get those bad guys and those not so bright!   We count on you!   

American Policeman and his K9




There’s Nothing Like a Homecoming!

No words can say what a picture can!  


Xiong Yan..from Chinese Prison to U.S. Army Chaplain

XiongYan with Chai Ling

Our American Memorial Day has passed.  There are others who have died for freedom around the world.   We must not forget these who were brave and gave so much.   

Tiananmen Square   

The people shown in the picture are still on the Most Wanted list in China for their participation in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations.   

U. S. Army Chaplain Xiong Yan

Who is Xiong Yan?  Xiong Yan was born in China and He received his B.A. in Political Science in 1986. He attended Beijing University Law School as a graduate student from 1986-1989. In 1989 he was one of the student leaders who initiated the 1989 Tiananmen Democratic Movement. In the Massacre of 1989, his name was on the list of the 21 Most Wanted Student Leaders by the Chinese Communist Government; he was arrested and held at the Qin Cheng Prison for 19 months. In 1992, Xiong immigrated to the Unites States as a political refugee. That year, Xiong Yan committed his life to Christ. He joined the U.S. Army in 1994, and after 19 months on Active duty, he transferred to Army Reserve.   From 1995 to 1998, Xiong earned another B.A. degree in English Literature. In 1998, he began studying at the Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He received his M.A. in 2001. The next year (2002), he received his M.A.R. from the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. From there, he began studying Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary. Following 2002, he began studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, with breaks for his years of military service, and received his Doctor of Ministry degree in May 2009.  Xiong Yan was ordained with the Evangelical Church Alliance in December 2002. He became a U.S. Army Chaplain in 2003, and was then deployed to Iraq from 2004-2005. He served as Battalion Chaplain in 1st Calvary Division at Fort Hood, TX, then in as the Battalion Chaplain of the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, WA, before spending one year deployed in South Korea. He is currently serving at the Warrant Officer Career College at Fort Rucker in Alabama.  Capt. Xiong Yan continues to humbly serve the Lord as a Chaplain in U.S. Army.  Remember the Tank Man activist?
 Many were killed.  Others were imprisoned.  Some, like Xiong Yan, found their way to other parts of the world after being released from prison…to the freedom they so desired.   In the following video, thousands of people are in Tiananmen Square.  They appears to be attending a celebration of a communist leader, but it turns into a massacre of those who want democracy and freedom.  The day I walked on Tiananmen Square some years ago, there were only a few families, flying kites with their children.   A sharp contrast to what you will see in this video .  Click on   VIDEO   For best viewing, enlarge screen and turn on sound

Tribute to American fallen and Those who serve


 Along with the dead of many wars, our soldiers are lovingly placed in the graves of their homeland, the United States of America.   The story of how Memorial Day began may not be  known to everyone.  Below is a short history: 

Ceremony At Columbus , Mississippi Inspired Memorial Day 

America has remembered its war dead since 1776. But the remembrance did not take official form until after the Civil War. 

 ( For our international readers:   The War between the North and South in the USA. The North were the Union troops, the Blue and the South, the Grey, were the Confederates.)    

And the event which most historians credit as the first step toward national observance occurred before the guns were silenced in a Confederate cemetery holding the fallen of both North and South. 

It came suddenly in two furious days of bloodshed at Shiloh Church, just across the border in Tennessee. 

Then it passed on, leaving behind its legacy of death. 

Some of the dead were taken to Columbus, Mississippi  to be buried amid the rolling, magnolia-scented hills on an 18-acre plot once used by the Odd Fellows Lodge as a recreation ground. 

Now it was April 1863. The agony of Shiloh was a year in the past. But it remained fresh in the minds of a small group of Southern women who moved quietly among the graves in the hastily prepared cemetery. 

Ladies of the South

Led by Miss Matt Morton, they scattered spring flowers on the graves of the Southern soldiers who had died in their defense. 

Then someone found two Union graves. The women placed flowers on them, too, and quietly they went away. 

The simple act by the women of Columbus, transcending wartime bitterness, grew until it became a ceremony honoring all the American dead of all wars. 

It was first called Decoration Day, but later became known as  Memorial Day. 

This weekend many will gather to hear a tribute to our soldiers who died in all wars.  There will be music, speeches, prayers and salutes to give them the honor they deserve.  Without them, we would not be the free and united country that we are today.  Thank you to all the military, their families, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice…their lives. 

See the video tribute shown previously, but worth viewing again.

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Washington Making a Difference

News  about celebrities, which is often not news at all, rarely includes   the famous  that reach out and help those who serve.  Today I want to show you a picture of one of those reaching out to our military.

First you need to know about Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas (BAMC).   This facility is where the soldiers who have been  hospitalized  in Germany come to continue their treatment in the U.S.   Many of these are burn victims.   The buildings on the base, called Fisher Houses,  are hotels  where soldiers’ famiies can stay, at no charge, while their relative is in the hospital.


Brook Army Medical Center had a celebrity guest not too long ago…Denzel Washington. 


After a tour of the facility, Denzel asked how much it cost to build one of the Fisher Houses.   When told, he quickly wrote a check for the entire amount and gave it to the facility.   The men and women who serve at the base were so grateful;  wanting  everyone  to know about Denzel’s generosity and  those who care about the wounded soldiers, as well as those who serve them.    Yes, he had the money to do this, but instead of a new car or another fancy house, he chose to reach out and make a difference.   We salute those who are generous for “to whom much is given…much is required.”   Thanks, Denzel!

Dnzel Washington with Brooke Medical Staff

All Americans


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. 

  Without freedom to choose,  we will not have an America.   We need to be born anew as Americans…..to look

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.


                   See slide TRIBUTE TO OUR MILITARY below

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