N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “World War II

The White Rose

There are many examples, leading up to and during World War II, of resistance movements. Usually it was a group outside Germany within countries that had been taken over by Hitler’s armies. The French are well known, as well as others, who risk everything for FREEDOM and eventual peace.

It may not be as familiar with some of my readers that there were Germans who also resisted. In fact, there were several movement who paid a great price for their heroic deeds. One was known as the White Rose. Perhaps three of the most famous were a brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were students in the University of Munich. Christoph Probst, a married father of three, was also part of the White Rose movement. They believed that the German people had suffered greatly under Adolph Hitler and the crimes he was committing against humanity was totally against their conscience and Christian beliefs.

White Rose Resistance at University of Munich

Exactly what was the White Rose?

The White Rose ( Weiße Rose) was a non-violent, intellectual, resistance group in the Third Reich led by a group of students. The group conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign that called for active opposition to the Nazi regime. Their activities started on 27 June 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on 18 February 1943. The Scholls, as well as others, carried on distributing the pamphlets, faced show trials  by the Nazi People’s Court  (Volksgerichtshof), and many of them were sentenced to death or imprisonment.

Hans, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst were executed by guillotine four days after their arrest, on February 22nd, 1943. During the trial, Sophie interrupted the judge multiple times. No defendants were given any opportunity to speak.

The Final Days Presentation of Sophie Scholl on trial.

The group wrote, printed and initially distributed their pamphlets in the greater Munich region. Later on, secret carriers brought copies to other cities, mostly in the southern parts of Germany. In total, the White Rose authored six leaflets, which were multiplied and spread, in a total of about 15,000 copies. They denounced the Nazi regime’s crimes and oppression, and called for resistance.

In their second leaflet, they openly denounced the persecution and mass murder of the Jews.  By the time of their arrest, the members of the White Rose were just about to establish contacts with other German resistance groups like the Kreisau Circle or the Schulze-Boysen/Harnack group of the Red Orchestra. Today, the White Rose is well known both within Germany and worldwide. (Wikipedia)

A surviving member of the White Rose gave this description of life in Germany at that time:

“The government—or rather, the party—controlled everything: the news media, arms, police, the armed forces, the judiciary system, communications, travel, all levels of education from kindergarten to universities, all cultural and religious institutions. Political indoctrination started at a very early age, and continued by means of the Hitler Youth with the ultimate goal of complete mind control. Children were exhorted in school to denounce even their own parents for derogatory remarks about Hitler or Nazi ideology.”— George J. Wittenstein, M.D., “Memories of the White Rose” (Wikipedia)

Should this not be a history lesson for all of us today, who have the democratic privilege to vote for our officials…or see that our own society’s voice may be slipping away with more and more government control?

What motivated Hans and Sophie Scholl to stand strong under such oppression?

Sophie’s own words tell of her CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE. This was the great motivator to do something important in the midst of evil. Here are some of her quotes:

Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone.”

“An end in terror is preferable to terror without end.”

“How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?”

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. “

I will cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even when my numb hands can no longer feel it.”

(quotes from article by Bill Muehlenberg)

On the back of Sophie’s indictment, she wrote FREEDOM (from Institute fuer Zeitgeschichte.)

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HONORS in recent history for Sophie and Hans Scholl by the German people

The Geschwister-Scholl-Institut (“Scholl Siblings Institute”) for Political Science at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) is named in honour of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans. The institute is home to the university’s political science and communication departments, and is housed in the former Radio Free Europe building close to the city’s Englischer Garten. (Wikipedia)

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OPPRESSION CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE

Will you or I be willing to speak up against it?

VIDEO Turn up your sound. Scenes from the movie The Final Days based on the true story of the White Rose Resistance. (The full movie is on You Tube)


Life Histories…Will We LEARN?

“THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT.”

  Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 1948

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This famous quote is one to strongly consider as we think about our nation and the world today.  We thought we had conquered most of the world’s diseases, then the Coronavirus moved around the world. 

We thought we had crossed through the problems of discrimination after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther, Jr…then came more deaths for many people of all colors. We are faced with problems today that could be disastrous for us all. There are those who simply want their voices heard, justice done and then there are the anarchists among us who want to destroy peace and accomplishments of many. What we thought had been attained through new laws of the land against racism and civil rights for all can be destroyed within an instance if lawlessness is allowed to continue. We ask ourselves, “What is next and what has happened to the democratic way of life? Where is law and order?” 

There are forces at work to disrupt anything peaceful.  Some are outsiders, who mean no good will. These forces will take advantage of every tragic event to move our civilization toward something even more tragic. What would that be is not fully known, but the loss of lawfulness, the democratic way and the sanctity of all men and women could be only a starter.

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What exactly is “sanctity?”  It has to do with being sacred or morally upright and correct.”  Is nothing sacred anymore?  Does the hard work of people building businesses, which support our communities…for all races…make it right to “smash…grab…and run”… while laughing about it?!

The values that were taught in most families…about stealing or destroying seems to mean nothing to many who have been given so much by the previous generation? There were marches in Selma; men and women of all colors who went off to war to fight for world freedom.  Do they understand the sacrifices of history? If not, do we blame ourselves for not teaching it more in schools or in the home?  Will these young adults who believe they are changing the world teach their own children the meaning of sacrifice and sanctity? Do they “care less” when it comes to destroying and looting?

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A man records the broken glass during protests

Yes, there are voices that need to be heard, but all people, through our Constitution and laws, have been given a right to freedom of speech when voicing complaints…and should and can be heard without destroying the center of their own universe.  (“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress…”) There is no right given to plunder, steal or take the property of another.

We have also seen how situations can turn from bad to worse when people are singled out because of who they are…minorities…police…the calling of disparaging names because of one’s belief on a particular subject. The victims of violence should be able to mourn their dead. The victim’s memories should be honored, not exploited.

While government officials argue about what to do in this crisis, the “rape” of hard-working American men and women’s businesses goes on…destroying the lives of many.

Jueenhan Moon Reuters Photo credit

BREAK, GRAB, STEAL during protests Photo credit Jueenhan Moon Reuters

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Do not forget history.  It teaches us everything…to do and not to do. It tells us how fragile governments can be when those who believe their ideas are the only ideas, regardless of who they hurt, begs the possibility of raising up leaders to push the world into a brink of despair and even war. We have seen it in our best teacher…HISTORY.

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 Let’s take a look back.

There were good people in Germany before World War II who saw that the path on which their country was heading would lead Germany and other countries into chaos.  Even within the high-ranking military and Christian churches, there were dissidents who stood against Hitler. There were actually six attempts to do away with Hitler, but each failed.

1944 Plot:  …”At the center of this plot was Claus von Stauffenberg, a dashing colonel who had lost an eye and one of his hands during combat in North Africa. He and his co-conspirators—who included Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Ludwig Beck—planned to kill the Führer with a hidden bomb concealed in a briefcase and then use the German Reserve Army to topple the Nazi high command. If their coup was successful, the rebels would then immediately seek a negotiated peace with the Allies. ( Full story of 6 plots  History.com)

 When the bomb exploded, more than 20 people were injured and three officers were killed, but Hitler escaped one more time.  Because of this attempt, more than 7,000 people were arrested and 4,980 people were executed by the Gestapo.” (History Collection)

picture of Hitler and Strassenberg who attemted to kill Hitler

At Rastenburg on 15 July 1944. Stauffenberg at left, Hitler center, Keitel on right. The person shaking hands with Hitler is General Karl Bodenschatz, who was seriously wounded five days later by Stauffenberg’s bomb. Wikipedia

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Anarchy is raising an ugly head in today’s modern world.  The very word, from the Latin word, anarchia, and the Greek, anarchos, has the meaning of “no rule.”  (Wikipedia)

We, as a nation of people, have a choice to stand for what is right and honorable…or loss control. Don’t forget “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass)  when storefronts belonging to the Jews were shattered. Glass littered the streets and vandalism occurred. Sound familiar?

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I leave you with a compelling life of a survivor of one of history’s darkest hours.  At first it began slowly and then the blaming of an entire group of people began.  The innocent were accused…and the rest is “history.”  We pray that this part of our present day history will not be another dark hour.

Hannah Pick Goslar
Life of Hannah Elizabeth Goslar Pick:
  • Born in 1928 in Berlin. Hannah’s father was Head of the Prussian Press Bureau and adviser to the Minister of Interior of Brandenburg, Germany. In 1933, with the rise of the Nazis to power, Hannah’s family fled to Amsterdam.
  • There, at school, Hannah met Anna Frank, also a refugee from Germany. 
  • In October 1942, while giving birth, both the baby and Hannah’s mother died.
  • On June 20, 1943, Hannah, her younger sister, Gabi, her father and grandparents were sent to the Westerbork transit camp.
  • Hannah and Gabi were separated from their father and sent to the orphanage in the camp. There, she worked cleaning the toilets 
  • In 1944, Hannah, her father and sister were transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she had to do forced labor.
  • When she was told that Anna Frank was also imprisoned there she managed to establish contact with her and even tried to give her a package of food and clothing, which someone else stole.

    Hannah Goslar and Ann Frank

    Ann Frank and Hannah were friends in Amsterdam

  • Hanna’s Father and Grandparents were murdered in Bergen-Belsen.
  • On April 11, 1945, the camp inmates were evacuated. Hannah had contracted typhus.
  • In June, the Soviets handed Hannah and her sister to the Americans and they were returned to Amsterdam.
  • Hannah went to Israel in 1947 and lived in Kfar Hasidim. She worked as a nurse in a pediatric ward at the ‘Bikkur Holim’ Hospital in Jerusalem.  (from Yad Vashem)

    Young Hannah Pick Goslar

    Young adult Hannah Pick Goslar

In Hannah’s own words:

Video  Turn up your sound.

 


Americans Liberate Flossenburg Concentration Camp…the site of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Execution

If you missed the last blog about the 75th Liberation of Auschwitz, I would highly recommend that you go back and view it.    Link: https://boyerwrites.com/2020/01/28/75-years-since-liberation-are-we-turning-our-backs/

 

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In this blog, I am writing about the non-Jews that knew the risks they were taking when defying the Nazi Regime. We honor them and the”righteous gentiles” who risked everything to hide the Jewish families during World War II.  One of the men who stood up again Hitler was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a  German Christian pastor.

 

 Few twentieth century theologians have had a bigger impact on theology than Bonhoeffer, a man who lived his faith and died at the hands of the Nazis. For Bonhoeffer, the theological was the personal, life and faith deeply intertwined—and to this day the world is inspired by that witness.  (Google Books by Diane Reynolds)

…Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi dictatorship,, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia  program and genocidal persecution of the Jews….Bonhoeffer’s efforts for the underground seminaries included securing necessary funds… By August 1937, Himmler decreed the education and examination of Confessing Church ministry candidates illegal. In September 1937, the Gestapo closed the seminary at Finkenwalde, and by November arrested 27 pastors and former students.

It was around this time that Bonhoeffer published his best-known book, The Cost of Discipleship, a study on the Sermon on the Mount, in which he not only attacked “cheap grace” as a cover for ethical laxity, but also preached “costly grace.” He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later, he was transferred to Flossenburg Concentration Camp.  (Flossenburg concentration camp, located outside Weiden, Germany, close to the Czech border, was established in 1938, mainly for political prisoners. Once the war began, however, other prisoners and Jews were housed there as well.Apr 11, 2008)

After being accused of being associated with the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler,he was quickly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then hanged on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing.   21 days later Adolf Hitler committed suicide.  (Wikipedia)

Quotes by Bonhoeffer:

 

Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him.

On the cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers.

For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God.

So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes.

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We must finally stop appealing to theology to justify our reserved silence about what the state is doing

for that is nothing but fear. ‘Open your mouth for the one who is voiceless

for who in the church today still remembers that that is the least of the Bible’s demands in times such as these.

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The U.S. LIBERATION OF FLOSSENBURG:

At approximately 10:30 hours on April 23, 1945, the first U.S. troops of the 90th Infantry Division arrived at Flossenburg KZ,. They were horrified at the sight of some 2,000 weak and extremely ill prisoners remaining in the camp and of the SS still forcibly evacuating those fit to endure the trek south. Elements of the 90th Division spotted those ragged columns of prisoners and their SS guards. The guards panicked and opened fire on many of the prisoners, killing about 200, in a desperate attempt to effect a road block of human bodies. American tanks opened fire on the Germans as they fled into the woods, reportedly killing over 100 SS troops.

Additionally, elements of the 97th Infantry Division participated in the liberation. As the 97th prepared to enter Czechoslovakia, Flossenburg concentration camp was discovered in the division’s sector of the Bavarian Forest. Brigadier General Milton B. Halsey, the commanding general of the 97th Division, inspected the camp on April 30, as did his divisional artillery commander, Brigadier General Sherman V. Hasbrouck. Hasbrouck, who spoke fluent German, directed a local German official to have all able-bodied German men and boys from that area help bury the dead. The 97th Division performed many duties at the camp upon its liberation. They assisted the sick and dying, buried the dead, interviewed former prisoners and helped gather evidence against former camp officers and guards for the upcoming war crimes trials.

One eyewitness U.S. Soldier, Sgt. Harold C. Brandt, a veteran of the 11th Armored Division, who was on hand for the liberation of not just one but three of the camps, Flossenburg, Mauthausen, and Gusen, when queried many years after the war on his part in liberating them, stated that “it was just as bad or worse than depicted in the movies and stories about the Holocaust. . . . I can not describe it adequately. It was sickening. How can other men treat other men like this’”   (portion of an article By Colonel John R. Dabrowski, US Army Heritage and Education Center)

Piles of Shoes: As US forces approached the camp, in mid-April 1945, the SS began the forced evacuation of prisoners, except those unable to walk, from the Flossenbürg camp. Between April 15 and April 20, the SS moved most of the remaining 9,300 prisoners in the main camp (among them approximately 1,700 Jews), reinforced by about 7,000 prisoners who had arrived in Flossenbürg from Buchenwald, in the direction of Dachau both on foot and by train. Perhaps 7,000 of these prisoners died en route, either from exhaustion or starvation, or because SS guards shot them when they could no longer keep up the pace. Thousands of others escaped, were liberated by advancing US troops, or found themselves free when their SS guards deserted during the night. Fewer than 3,000 of those who left Flossenbürg main camp arrived in Dachau, where they joined some 3,800 prisoners from the Flossenbürg sub-camps. When members of the 358th and 359th US Infantry Regiments (90th US Infantry Division) liberated Flossenbürg on April 23, 1945, just over 1,500 prisoners remained in the camp. As many as 200 of them died after liberation. ( U.S Holocaust Memorial)

 

 

REMEMBER THE LIBERATION AND DIETRICH BONHOEFFER 

Ambassador Grenell lays a wreath at the Dietrich Bonhoeffer memorial in Flossenbürg Concentration Camp

 

Video of the Remembrance of the U.S. Army Liberation of Flossenburg concentration camp where Bonhoeffer was executed. (filmed in 2019)

Turn up sound:

 

 


75 Years Since Liberation…Are we turning our backs?

The survivors of the concentration camp, Auschwitz, were liberated by the Soviet Army on January 27, 1945. What they found shocked the world and yet, even today, the Jews of the world are still being persecuted. Why?  The horror of these and many other photographs only tell part of the story.  Does the world want to endure such atrocities again?

It is difficult to look at this picture, but it is included in this particular blog because we must NEVER FORGET the tragedy forced upon the millions of Jews and non-Jews during this period.

A Liberator Remembers:

MOSCOW (AFP) — It was the silence, the smell of ashes and the boundless surrounding expanse that struck Soviet soldier Ivan Martynushkin when his unit arrived in January 1945 to liberate the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

As they entered the camp for the first time, the full horror of the Nazis’ crimes there were yet to emerge.

“Only the highest-ranking officers of the General Staff had perhaps heard of the camp,” recalled Martynushkin of his arrival to the site where at least 1.1 million people were killed between 1940 and 1945 — nearly 90 percent of them Jews. “We knew nothing.” But Martynushkin and his comrades soon learned.

After scouring the camp in search of a potential Nazi ambush, Martynushkin and his fellow soldiers “noticed people behind barbed wire. ‘It was hard to watch them. I remember their faces, especially their eyes which betrayed their ordeal,’ he said. The unit found roughly 7,000 prisoners left behind in Auschwitz by fleeing Nazis — those too weak or sick to walk. They also discovered about 600 corpses. Ten days earlier, the Nazis had evacuated 58,000 Auschwitz inmates in sub-zero conditions over hundreds of kilometers towards Loslau (now Wodzislaw Slaski in Poland). Survivors later remembered the “death march” as even worse than what they had endured in the camp. 

Prior to that retreat, Nazi units had blown up parts of the camp, but failed to destroy evidence of their genocidal work. Among items discovered by Martynushkin and other Soviet troops were 370,000 men’s suits, 837,000 women’s garments, and 7.7 tons of human hair, according to Sybille Steinbacher, a history professor at the University of Vienna.

January 27, 1945 — now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day — had begun as a normal day for the 21-year-old Martynushkin and his company, until the order was given to move towards the Polish town of Oswiecim, where Nazis had set up a network of concentration camps.

That led to the machine gun commander and his peers taking Auschwitz, liberating its survivors and discovering the nightmarish crimes that had been committed in the camp.  (Moscow AFP)

OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) — On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland. The Germans had already fled westward, leaving behind the bodies of prisoners who had been shot and thousands of sick and starving survivors. The Soviet troops also found gas chambers and crematoria that the Germans had blown up before fleeing in an attempt to hide evidence of their mass killings. But the genocide was too massive to hide. Today, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau endures as the leading symbol of the terror of the Holocaust. Its iconic status is such that every year it registers a record number of visitors — 2.3 million last year alone.

Auschwitz today is many things at once: an emblem of evil, a site of historical remembrance and a vast cemetery. It is a place where Jews make pilgrimages to pay tribute to ancestors whose ashes and bones remain part of the earth.

AP Pictures of Auschwitz 75 years later: 

Pictures show places where prisoners were crowded into tight spaces, wired prison and crematorium where they were gassed and burned.

Has the world not learned the lessons of history? Is it repeating history by “turning it’s back” on the Jews or any other group of people enduring hate and torment?” If so, this is a warning that should not be ignored. Charges have been made that modern-day Iran is the “most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.”

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Holocaust survivors and world leaders that the world turned its back on Jews during the Holocaust, teaching the Jewish people that under threat they can only rely on themselves.

Speaking at the World Holocaust Forum’s memorial to commemorate the 75th liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp at Yad Vashem, Netanyahu said the world was similarly failing to unify against Iran, which he charged was the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet.

‘Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice, there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,’ Netanyahu said.”   (article by Raoul Wootliff and Toi Staff Jan.2020)

Over and over, we hear “NEVER AGAIN”…Yet in one form or another, genocide is part of many cultures and places around the world. We must not forget…and we must not turn our backs on any place where the people are helpless victims to the evils of their leaders.

“It was my privilege to take American high school students to Auschwitz and because we went to see this place of evil, their lives will never be the same…and neither is mine.”  N. Boyer of Boyer Writes

VIDEO OF THE 75th YEAR SINCE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ from the location at AUSCHWITZ in Poland

(This video is full length. It is worth watching even if it can only be watched in short intervals.)  Turn up sound:


Frozen Legs Miracle…A Veteran’s Story

9-11 flags (2)Boyer Writes honors all Veterans

THANK YOU for your service to our country!

  While living part-time in Virginia, my husband and I were honored to interview a number of veterans of the Blue Ridge Mountain area.  Many had never been interviewed about their service and were happy to finally tell their stories. This led to the writing of our book entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.

Their stories were amazing.  We were honored to meet Sharon Plichta and her husband who served in Vietnam. Sharon was a military nurse who earned the Bronze Star for her bravery caring for the wounded under fire.

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Sharon receives Bronze Star

The veteran that I’d like to share with you from this book is Myron Cardward Harold of M.C., as he was called.  He served in Korea with the U.S. Army’s 40th Division, 22nd Regiment.  He was 21 years old as he fought across Heartbreak Ridge.MCYOUN~1

Here is a part of the chapter featuring this soldier of Valor in Korea:

Myron C. Harold, better known as “MC” has an amazing story of bravery when he served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was a Staff Sergeant who almost lost both his legs. The fighting had been so terrible in the middle of winter on what is known as Heartbreak Ridge and they were walking and fighting at night through the mountains. His legs were beginning to freeze and he was picked up in a truck and taken to a field hospital at the Yalu River.
When he arrived at a medic station, the soles of his shoes were worn out and flapping. By this time, both legs had frozen. The surgeons said, “We must take these legs off now. It can’t wait. We must do it now.” MC was prepared to face whatever he had to in order to live.
He says he does not remember getting to the medics. Now they were about to remove his legs and send him back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they had large fruit orchards that his father had started years before.
The surgeon that day in Korea wanted to help MC stand on his legs one more time before performing the operation. When he did, MC recalls with tears in his eyes, “It felt like a shot had gone all through my body.”   Immediately the surgeon recognized that the blood had started flowing throughout MC’s legs. Removing the legs would not be necessary. “That was my miracle,” MC said with tears in his eyes.

After returning from Korea, MC and his son grew many acres of apples in the Blue Ridge. Today, as an elderly man, he is a resident at the V.A. hospital in Virginia.  He had survived to tell his story of God’s miracle in a land far away. MCANDS~1

Other veterans of the Blue Ridge interviewed served in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II.   They stand proud with all their comrades in arms who have faithfully served.

They are:

  • Rob Redus ( In submarines…Vietnam)
  • Dr. Tom Whartenby (Vietnam)
  • Clinton Moles (World War II)
  • Leonard Marshall (Survived the sinking of the USS Gambier  by the Japanese)
  • Troy Davis (World War II and recently passed away in Spain)
  • Elmo McAlexander as an Army Medic during the Cold War
  • Frank and Sharan Plichta (Vietnam)
  • Paul Childress (World War II under Patton and guarded Dachau prisoner)
  • Tommy Ellis  (Served in the Marines and regularly is in an Honor Guard for those veterans who pass away.)   Roy McAlexander also has served hundreds of the fallen at funerals.

Men and Women of Valor (3)To those who may be interested in the many stories of honor and courage in Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge Click here           

 

 

Video below:  God Bless the USA


Memorial Day Words by Gen. MacArthur…Relevant Today

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.

General MacArthur, the great general of World War II made this statement about war.  

” 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)

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 Choose and click on a war listed to read information.

unknown soldier


Remembering Pearl Harbor

This Christmas we will be having a guest who works here in Florida as a Safety Engineer at Universal Studios.   She is Japanese and a friend and business acquaintance of our son. We are happy that she will be a part of our Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Who would have believed that Japan, after being such an enemy with the attack on our troops and ships at Pearl Harbor would rebuild and become a world power with our help?   Who would believe that the next generations would be our friends?

Several years ago, I was invited to Japan as an American educator from Florida by the Japanese government.  The first meeting that the Americans had with a Japanese diplomat surprisingly was a speech of apology for the war.  We were given a warm welcome to stay in the country, visit schools and have home stays with a Japanese family.   It was the country’s way of thanking Americans, after so many years, for helping rebuild the country after World War II.   It was a wonderful experience to be emersed in the Japanese culture.  Nancy and Bill with Japanese Counselate General in Miami

Today is December 7th when we remember Pearl Harbor and the price that was paid by so many in this attack…resulting in the thousands who died in battles with the Japanese and Germans. Many ended up in prison camps after the United States Congress voted to enter the war.   The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan ended the war, but the horrors were profound.

The rebuilding process began and today Japan is a wonderful place to visit.  My husband and I went to Mt. Fuji during autumn and enjoyed the beautiful Japanese maples.  We hope to visit Washington, D.C. when the Japanese cherry blossoms are in bloom.Japanese Maple favorite for nancy and bill While we were in Japan, we went to the Memorial of the USS Arizona.  To know that the sailors who perished there are still entombed in their sunken ship was an emotional experience.

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The names of those on the USS Arizona are read by Bill Johnson at the Memorial at Pearl Harbor

 

Recently I found a video that was interesting as it gave some of the details of the attack on Pearl Harbor of which some may not be aware.

Video  (Turn up sound)


Never Forget…Suffering

Not too many years ago, I was privileged to take a group of senior high students to Eastern Europe.  While in Poland, we went to Auschwitz Concentration camp. It was an experience never to be forgotten.  I had one Jewish student with our group.  He found a flower vendor and I watched as he gently laid the flowers before the wall within the camp where so many were executed.  He wore his Bermuda shorts, but carefully dressed in a sports jacket and tie.  I could see that his effort was to show honor and respect for those who lost their lives there.  I also took him to the spot where the Munich massacre took place at the 1972 Summer Olympics. This was when a Palestinian terrorist group took eleven Israeli Olympic team members hostage and killed them along with a West German police officer.  Most people want to forget such atrocities. Yet history replays itself over and over again as we lose our compassion for one another.

 

1972 Munich Israel Team murdered at Olympics

Terrorist and Israeli Team at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics

The Israeli Olympic team members’ families tried unsuccessfully to convince the International Olympic Committee to mark the 40th anniversary of the killings by holding a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.  The Committee refused.  Often people are reluctant to lay the blame where it belongs. Each isolated case of human suffering has its opposing views, but the insanity of it is that the world never seems to learn.

suffering person

Human suffering comes in many forms. In our present day, we see it all over the world.  It is often brought upon people by the corruption of governments and political struggles.  More recently, as we watch the long lines of people who are walking hundreds of miles toward the USA border, we know that each has their own story. Some for the search for a better life and some for evil and disruption. A mob gives no indication of what the intentions may be.  Many are walking in flip-flops or carrying children.  There are motives that most of us here will never know.   Regardless of what the reasons may be, our borders must be secured and laws must be reformed to encourage a proper way to emigrate to a better life. The road to legal emigration is often a long one and those taking the proper path should be recognized.    Desperation colliding with law and order is, unfortunately, a reality of our times.Caravans of people coming into Mexico for USAjpg

If the situation in their countries is so terrifying that they are trying to find a safer place, it is understandable.  However, they probably do not want to go to Chicago or to some other parts of our country for we have problems of our own.

If it is work that the people seek, there are ways to find this particular path.  During our time in Virginia, we got to know some of the farmers and growers.  Each year large groups of workers are brought to our country legally.  It was explained to us that the Virginia growers take care of all the legal paperwork, provide transportation to the farm from whatever country they come from, provide a place to live (usually a small trailer), a truck or car to use with a temporary license on the weekends and much more. Multiply this by all the growers in California and Florida.  We, in the US, employ large numbers of people…all legally.  Are there undocumented workers here?  Of course, but their employers should be held accountable to the laws of the land.

When the harvest season is over, the workers return to their country with pay for the family left behind.   It is a proper and legal way of doing things.   It was our observation that these workers are excellent at their jobs and work long hours.  We watched the trucks they loaded with pumpkins, apples, broccoli, cabbages and other products. In fact, I took the picture of the men shown below. Even though we did not speak their language, they often smiled as we came by.   After dark, the trucks rolled to the processing plants. It is not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination.  The farm and orchard owners told us that without the migrant help their farming business would fold.   Yes, we need the emigrants and the temporary, migrant workers…but we need all involved to follow the laws…including the farm and business owners.

Picking Cabbage

Virginia migrant workers load cabbage

Countries of Europe have opened their borders to the suffering around the world.  In the beginning, it was a noble thing to do, but the problems have been severe as many refused to assimilate into the culture of the country they had chosen. Often the local police would not go into the areas because they had their own laws of living.  On a vacation to England, we were told that people who had lived in an area all their lives were basically forced out by the influx. No one wanted to buy their homes, so the emigrants moved in.  The worry in the USA is that mass influx will bring on similar situations.

There are many legitimate questions: Where will they live?  Who will feed them?  What will the drain on our overall economy be with welfare and medical issues?  If the border is not secured, when will the next wave come….and the next and the next?   There is no easy answer.

Does securing our borders mean that Americans do not have compassion?  Of course not.  We are probably the most generous people in the world to help out…and to give out needed supplies and support when emergencies arise. We give millions, if not billions, of foreign aid.   Just as it is not up to one family to support all families, this country can not support all countries.  Neither can our military fight all battles even as they try hard to fight terrorism and the forces of evil in far away places.  Now, we are thinking that it may be necessary to use military strength at our own borders?!  How bizarre can things get?   Probably more than we know.

The emigrants of the past, particularly from all parts of Europe, helped build this country.   We have not forgotten our history.  Neither should we forget the sins of the past when people were brought here as slaves to work the soil.  It is likely that the “sins of the fathers” will always stay with the sons…as the racial unrest continues to this day.  Generations to come will feel what we did then and what we do now.  Yes, suffering is a very sad thing no matter when it has occurred and to whom.

Our parents who lived through World War II finally saw the sufferings that human beings went through when death camps were opened and surviving prisoners were set free.  The millions who did not make it died there and as we think of the problems of today and in the future, we must never forget the history that led up to these terrible atrocities.  Suffering has no boundaries.

God must weep in heaven when men harden their hearts to the suffering of others.  Yet, He does not treat us like robots.  He gives us free will to decide right and wrong.  In making tough decisions, our leaders and citizens must never forget what history has taught us about suffering…or we shall live it again.  That is an international promise.

Shindler’s List is probably one of the most moving films ever made.  The video that you will see took place in 2017 in Budapest at one of the largest synagogues in Europe.  It is a concert where Csongor Korossy plays the violin of the music from that film. I believe that John Williams, who composed this piece of music was truly inspired.   Notice the faces of the people in the audience… especially the elderly who are most likely remembering someone that they lost.  The youth have heard the stories from their families.  Those tragic histories must not be lost in our memories.  Neither can the fact of how quickly people, of all faiths and heritages, can be tortured or abused for who they are, where they come from or what they believe.  Even in our news this week is the tragedy of those killed in their own synagogue of worship while dedicating the names of their little children.

Until God comes with the angels in heaven and with His Son to rid the world of evil and wipe away all tears, there will be suffering. However, we are not left without hope.  We have a promise of good things to come.

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…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away. And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.”…   (Berea Study Bible…Revelation 21:4)

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Video  A Concert…not the movie  (Turn up your sound)

Dedicated to the victims at  Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.


N.W. BOYER looks forward to a NEW BOOK

Today is a good day!  I am looking forward to a new book to hold in my hands and share with others.  Over a year ago, my husband, a retired Navy Chaplain, and I started interviewing our American veterans in the Blue Ridge mountains for a new book called,  Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.  This week I sent it to the publishers.  We are excited to share this news with our readers. Stay tuned for a special availability announcement of the book hopefully in the next couple weeks on Amazon.Men and Women of Valor Book Front revised

We think the people whose stories were shared with us will be a real inspiration…and their stories needed to be told.  Some are in their 90’s and are in nursing homes.   We are losing our American World War II veterans and those of our allies at an alarming rate. Hopefully, there will be many books that share their stories.  During the terrible battles to keep freedom alive,  hope often seemed dim as the bombs dropped and men and women died. There were many prayers for miracles.  Our book covers other men and women who served in Korea and Vietnam.  It gives honor to those serving their country in the fight against terrorism in more recent battles.

Below is a video of some beautiful children singing in honor of all World War II veterans as they walk on the very ground where furious battles were fought.

One Voice Children’s Choir, under the direction of Masa Fukuda, performs “When You Believe.” Filmed on-location at Omaha Beach and Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France. Performed in English, Hebrew and French. This song is dedicated to all the soldiers who fought in World War II, including those who fought at Normandy’s Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches in the D-Day Invasion; and to the millions of Jewish victims who lost their lives during the Nazi Holocaust.  (video credit)

We add our appreciation and honor for American and Allied veterans in all wars since WWII.

Men and Women of Valor Back FINALrevised

 VIDEO  (Turn on sound)

 

 

 


Small Towns Remember MEMORIAL DAY

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.

Military Memorial at Galax, Virginia

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)

 

 

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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.

Men and Women of Valor Book Front copy

  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.

 

Francis Childress

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.

On April 7, 2011, J. B. Kerns, a combat engineer, and fellow Marines moved into the notoriously dangerous Ladar Bazaar in Afghanistan to attempt to clear it of improvised explosive devices. A soldier near Kerns stepped on a pressure plate and triggered an IED. (Credit to Roanoke Times full story)

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)


Honoring our Veterans

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?

3 Videos:

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. 


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.

SONY DSC

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


Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday

 

queen Elizabeth and great grandchildren

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.

 


A Lesson from History on DETERMINATION of the Free World!

AMERICANS AND THOSE WHO HONOR THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED ON 9-11 FROM COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.

DON’T FORGET TO FLY YOUR FLAG THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11   

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Who were the Doolittle Raiders?   Many young people today will not be able to tell you.

Take a good look at these men. This was their last reunion picture taken as all are now in their 90’s.

As of 2014, the remaining four Doolittle Raiders

As of 2013, the remaining four Doolittle Raiders

Here is their story of courage and determination.   What we want to remember about these men from World War II is that the Doolittle Raiders sent a message from the United States and the Free World  to its enemies:

We will fight.  No matter what it takes, we will win. 

 

DURING THE WAR

It was December 7, 1941.  Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in a sneak attack. It took 132 days of planning since that attack, but on  April 18, 1942 the Doolittle raid took place.  There were 80 Raiders when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation’s history. Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war.  They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery.

Raiders as young men

Raiders as young men

The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier.  They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.

 

After Japan’s  attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around.

Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised.  Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier.  This had never been tried — sending such big, heavy bombers from a carrier.On USSrnet april 1942

 

 

But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan.  The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on.  They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety. The men went anyway.

planes of Raiders

THE RESULTS OF THE RAID

They bombed Tokyo, and then flew as far as they could.  Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed.  Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp.  One crew made it to Russia, where they were imprisoned.

Captured by Jananese AFTER WWII

Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission.  The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets.  Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.              1946 Reunion of Raiders

Raider in front of plane

Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city.  Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness.  In the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac which was the year  Jimmy Doolittle was born.

There has always been a reunion plan.  When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.Gobblets turned upside down as Raiders pass away

As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96.  Bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died.  When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions.  He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.

(A side note about Tom Griffin and his character is also of interest. According to the Cincinnati Inquirer:  “When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day.  He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes.  At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning.  He did that for three years until her death in 2005.” )

 

Raider David ThatcherOf the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle’s co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor and David Thatcher.  As mentioned, all are in their 90s.
The reunion at Fort Walton Beach, Florida marked an end to public reunions.   Florida’s nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. The Raiders  have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue.

Last official reunion

Last official reunion

Sometime in 2014, the remaining Doolittle Raiders will get together informally and in privacy.

 They will open the bottle of brandy and toast their fellow-Raiders once again for a job well done and for their sacrifices and determination over 72 years ago.

 

All free men and women must remember these men of valor who suffered and died for the cause of freedom.   In our troubled world of aggression and brutality, it would be good for those who would want to destroy the free world  to take a lesson from  American fighting men as well as those in all free countries who gave so much.

DETERMINATION was then and DETERMINATION to stay free is now.

 

 


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!


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.


Sick of Debating? A Perspective

One may think enough is enough….whether our political leanings are Democrat or Republican…conservative or liberal.   We are tired of hearing the “party line”…the talking points.   One may be ready to toss it out the window and look for something new.  If this is our thinking during this sometimes tiring hash and rehash bombardment of our senses, then we better rethink what freedom is all about.

It is our right to choose.

It is our privilege to decide.

It is our obligation to vote….less we forget what living without would be all about.   It has not been too many years ago that oppression was a stark reality.   If you are sick of it all….get over it.  It could be much worse.