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Memorial Day: All Enemies Foreign & Domestic

Thank you to all the living military veterans for having provided us Americans with the national security to carry on our stable domestic affairs as if there is not a care in the world.

Your service abroad to our nation makes the whole national enterprise possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Recent horrendous revelations about the Obama Administration’s domestic spying reveal that not all of America’s enemies are abroad, however. We have plenty of them here, on our own soil, doing their best efforts to destroy America from within.

Every serviceman and servicewoman takes the same oath and pledge of office that our elected officials take: To defend America from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

While we know the general temper of most veterans, the question arises about the intentions and abilities of our active duty troops.

Are they ready to defend America against our domestic enemies?

That list would include much of the Democrat Party leadership and most of its elected officials, all of whom have openly launched war against the American citizen, the American taxpayer, America’s domestic and foreign security, and against our Constitution.

The last time the Democrat Party did this, America fought a civil war. And the Democrat Party lost that war. The military heroes did not die abroad in that one, they died right here on their own soil.

One cannot help but wonder what Memorial Day will come to mean in twenty or thirty years…and what kind of military service and sacrifice we will be remembering at that time.

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Post script: A long time ago I was a member of the Democrat Party, some readers might be surprised to learn. As I grew up very rural, my beliefs were pro-gun, pro-life Democrat Party. Back then the only difference between Democrats and Republicans in Centre County was that the Democrats worked in the coal mines, and the Republicans owned or managed the coal mines. Otherwise we were all bound together by patriotic love of country, love of liberty, an appreciation for America’s bounties, as reflected by the Fords, Chevys, and International Harvester pickup trucks we drove, all of which had an American flag and a NRA sticker. Today we would identify Democrats like that as “Blue Dogs,” an animal that is pretty much extinct now. Starting thirty-some years ago, the Democrat Party started to go way off the rails. During the Reagan Administration they were cheering the Soviet Union against America, supporting Cuban tyranny against freedom and liberty, supporting the oppressive, socialist Nicaraguan Sandinistas against the capitalist Contras, and so on. Wherever in the world there was left-wing oppression and tyranny, there was the Democrat Party. At the age of 22, I had enough and changed to Independent, and then a few years later I changed to Republican out of necessity. Today the Democrat Party has become officially anti-America and anti-West and it bears no resemblance to the America-first party of my youth. And to be fair, neither does the Republican Party, the preponderance of its elected officials being committed to becoming wealthy through government above all other things. And if the GOPe folks are unprincipled, self-serving hogs, the Democrats have largely become sworn enemies of everything America. There is a huge difference and it needs to be explained. I am not a partisan person, never was, never will be. And I calls em as I sees em.

Memorialization Day

Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” in 1868, as a way to remember the fallen military fighters of both the South and the North, the “Great Rebellion.”

Later it became Memorial Day to remember ALL fallen military service members, who gave their lives so we might live in ease here at home, especially those who fell in the “Great War” of World War One.

Perhaps you are surprised it wasn’t really started in 1968 to sell cheap mattresses and cars at exciting prices? Or perhaps slightly better, a weekend spent with family and friends around a campfire, drinking beer and eating hotdogs. Because that is what it has come to mean for so many of our fellow Americans.

To memorialize something is to “do or create something that causes people to remember (a person, thing, or event),” according to Merriam-Webster dictionary.

My son and his fellow Boy Scout troop members make annual pilgrimages to local Harrisburg cemeteries, and arrange flags on the graves of Veterans. The boys tidy up the graves, make sure the bronze emblems are correctly shown, and then they move on to the next.

This activity causes the boys who do this, and those who see the patriotic results, to actually memorialize the fallen heroes. And to me, every service woman and service man is a hero. Whether you see combat or not, whether the armed services gave you the step up you needed in life, or if the armed services were actually a digression for you, it makes no difference. Everyone who puts on an American armed services uniform is a hero, a patriot, and deserves to be memorialized.

Now and later.

The question that keeps rolling around in my head this week is “What will I do to mark this special holiday weekend?”

No, drinking beer won’t do it. Neither will eating hotdogs.

I will figure out something, and it may be as simple as leading our family in the Pledge of Allegiance to our great flag, which flies over our porch. But by God, I will remember, because if there is one thing I cannot do, it is take all this opportunity and wonder for granted.

If not for our armed services, America would not exist.

Thank you, women, and men, for your service.

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HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

1. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from hishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

2. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

3. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

By order of

JOHN A. LOGAN,
Commander-in-Chief

N.P. CHIPMAN,
Adjutant General

Official:
WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

 

Memorial Day, aka Thank You Day

How Americans came to take their success and security for granted is a mystery. It is also dangerous, because much was lost to gain what we now are giving away for free, as if it is ours to give away at all.

Our security belongs to future citizens.

Are so many of our citizens really eyeballs deep in TV entertainment, to the point where they ignore the real problems around us?

All of the happiness, wealth, success, security we enjoy are attributable to mostly men who risked and sacrificed their lives and limbs that the rest of us can BBQ in the back yard in peace.

Obama’s apology to Japan for the US winning the brutal war that Japan started is representative of the weak and shallow thinking dominant in America today. It passes for “thoughtful,” but it is disrespectful to our servicemen who sacrificed for us.

On Monday, Americans officially remember the many men, and a few women, who gave everything so that our daily lives can be enjoyed peacefully. I thank you, each and every one of you, for what you did for me and my family.

This weekend is devoted to those departed and wounded servicemen.

In their honor, fly the flag, or salute it, or have your family say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag as part of our collective remembrance and thanks. These are tokens of respect and appreciation.

Thank you, dear departed

Memorial Day is a big deal in a Republic like America. Without the sacrifices and daily risks of our armed service personnel, America wouldn’t exist. Our daily freedoms and liberties would be replaced by fear of an all-encompassing government.

Thank you, dear departed.

Veterans’ memorials are often the most beautiful workmanship

–Josh First

Some societies place plain wooden markers to mark their dead.

Most American Indian groups built death platforms lifting the deceased closer to Heaven.  After a couple of years, they collapsed, their wooden skeletal remains reminiscent of the human skeletal remains once upon them.  Such visual starkness says ‘Hallowed Ground’ more powerfully than most grave sites.

Like the European Celts and Picts, some Indians built small to incredibly large burial mounds, and we have two small ones on our hunting property.  Small or huge, they are still just plain piles of dirt.  Seven large mounds in a neat row line a remote hillside on northcentral State Forest Land I hunt, an evocative but peaceful reminder of who hunted there before me.  Yes, it is clearly a cemetery, but I feel very comfortable there.

Most European countries, and America, place great emphasis on ornate mausoleums, statuary, and finely detailed headstones marking the deceased.  Chiseled of hard granite, these are testimonies to either lots of money or lots of love among those left behind, but a big sign of respect, nonetheless.

In a nod to the less-is-more aesthetic, the United States military places simple marble crosses and Jewish stars on the headstones of fallen warriors.  While these appear plain, plain, plain to the careless eye, more scrutiny reveals careful craftsmanship; beveled edges, hollow grinds, stippling, and more.  Attention to refined details elevate these markers to the level of real workmanship, but avoiding ostentation.

And that is the fitting and well-thought-out purpose to our military cemeteries: Quiet, humble valor that even in death commands respect and appreciation.  Subtle statements that go beyond the initial visual “grab.” In their austerity, reminders of sacrifice and loss, and in their subtle details, the best, most careful workmanship for the best of our citizens.

Memorializing these fallen citizens requires us to do more than salute the Flag, eat a hotdog, or buy a new mattress at a low price, although these days saluting the Flag is a pretty bold statement (surely someone will call you a ‘racist’ for doing it).  Instead, go by a public cemetery and find the veterans markers, sit down at one or two head stones, and do an internet search (on your smart phone etc.) of the occupant in front and center of you.  See if anything can be learned about this person.  Or, if you lack a smart device, have a chat with the inhabitant, and thank them for their service.  Without their service, none of us would have the smart phones and hot dogs we now take for granted.

This is truly memorializing someone.  That is a worthy Memorial Day.

Happy Memorial Day – and a big Thank You to our service members

Memorial Day is supposed to be about remembering those who served and died for our freedoms.

We all take our American freedoms for granted. I do it, you do it, it’s such a good lifestyle that it is impossible not to enjoy it casually. But we enjoy it because of the sacrifices of those who picked up a weapon to protect us.

Thank you to those who died, and those who continue to serve in harm’s way. We appreciate all you do.