Memorial Day 2021: Liberty is Freedom With Responsibility

memorial-day-true-meaning-ftr (2)

Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it. – Pete Hegseth

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Last night, as I sat down to write today’s post, I tried to think about something pithy to write. Then, I realized that today is not a day for witticisms and sarcasm.

I thought about all of the American lives, all of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives out of love and devotion for our Sovereign Nation and their fellow Americans, both their comrades and their families back home.

The unselfish devotion shown by these brave Americans is made fun of and remains the source of derision by many devotees of the anti-American political philosophy who consider themselves to be the “smartest people in the room”.

These same “enlightened” individuals consider “patriotism” to be a bad word.

They have replaced it words like “nationalism” and “jingoism”.

The devotees of this political philosophy do not believe in American Exceptionalism.

They believe that America is “just another country”, certainly not worthy of sacrificing their lives for.

These people just don’t get it.

Freedom is not free.

That is why brave men and women of the past and the present age have fought and died while wearing the uniforms of our Armed Forces.

When they went into battle, they did not just represent their hometowns…they represented all of us.

From the germ of an idea to the greatest country on the face of God’s green Earth, this country has stood strong because of resolute men and women who were willing to “pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to protect “The Shining City Upon a Hill”.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13-17 

May God bless and comfort the families of our Fallen Heroes and may their memories and our American Freedom endure.

Until He Comes,

KJ

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VP Harris’ Memorial Day Tweet? “Enjoy the Long Weekend”…Talk About Intentionally Missing the Point!

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FoxNews.com reports that

Vice President Kamala Harris came under fire Saturday for tweeting about Memorial Day, but without mentioning the significance of the weekend.

“Enjoy the long weekend,” Harris wrote, above a candid photo of herself smiling.

Social media users condemned Harris’ lack of tact reminding the vice president of the sacrifices the “long weekend” is meant to honor.

“Don’t forget why we have a long weekend,” Tony Lederer wrote in a tweet paired with a picture of the Vietnam Memorial.

“It is Memorial Day weekend – [not] for enjoying – but for memorializing our fallen,” wrote another. “Our brothers and sisters, who ‘gave the last full measure of devotion. Please try to respect that.”

The tweet was shared with an image of a woman lying on a blanket in front of a tombstone at the Arlington National Cemetery with an infant.

“While we get the long weekend to ‘enjoy,’ let us all please take a solemn moment to remember those courageous men and women who sacrificed *everything,” Peter Francis wrote.

Memorial Day is celebrated the last Monday of May each year to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military.

The tradition began as Decoration Day during the spring in the years following the end of the Civil War, eventually becoming a federal holiday in 1971.

A 2019 study by Bloomberg BNA found that 97 percent of employees designated Memorial Day a paid day off, but roughly 40 percent of companies require some employees to still work.

Other social media users reminded the vice president that not all Americans are allotted a long weekend with Mondays off, particularly as the service industry has reopened following the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris addressed the pandemic in a speech at a commencement ceremony for graduates at the U.S. Naval Academy Friday.

“It has forever impacted our world,” she said. “It has forever influenced our perspective, and if we weren’t clear before, we know now: Our world is interconnected. Our world is interdependent, and our world is fragile.”

“This, midshipmen, is the era we are in, and it is unlike any era that came before,” Harris added.

But Harris turned heads when she made a joke about Naval electrical engineers creating green energy during her speech Friday.

“Just ask any Marine today, would she rather carry 20 pounds of batteries or a rolled-up solar panel, and I am positive she will tell you a solar panel, and so would he,” she said, before laughing.

The White House declined to comment on the tweet that garnered negative attention.

I am certain that they did.

America’s President and Vice-President are supposed to be America’s biggest advocates…not our biggest detractors.

I have never heard one word from Joe Biden or Kamala Harris about how wonderful America is and how much they appreciate our men and women of the Armed Forces and the sacrifices which those before us have made to secure our American Freedom.

Everything word that comes out of their mouths is either about how great they are or about what a backwards, bigoted nation with a long way to go America is.

For Kamala Harris to be so tone deaf, while appalling, is not surprising.

She is so awful that only 1% of the Democrats backed her in the Democratic Presidential Primaries.

She jump-started her political career by becoming 60-yeear old Willie Brown’s paramour.

Since she has been Biden’s Vice-President and presumed successor when his Handlers cannot hide his dementia from the American public anymore, Kamala hasn’t done squat.

When Biden announced that he was putting his VP in charge of the “situation” at the Southern Border, I am sure that all of the Mexican Cartels breathed a sigh of relief.

That was over 50 days ago and she still has not visited our southern border, yet.

But, I digress…

Just like the Clintons and the Obamas before them, the Biden-Harris Administration have absolutely no respect for our Armed Forces.

Flag-draped coffins and grieving families do not move them at all.

To them, our Armed Forces are simply another vehicle by which to advance their mission to spread “Wokeness” (Cultural Marxist ) throughout our Sovereign Nation in order to usher in “Democratic Socialism”.

And, in order to do that, the current Administration is in the process of purging our Armed Forces of “extremists”, because those in their ranks who believe in Traditional American Faith and Values would resist fighting for a political ideology that is the exact opposite of what their ancestors fought and died in battle to preserve.

So, when Kamala Harris disrespected our Brightest and Best who died while serving our country by not acknowledging the reason for a three-day weeked…it was intentional.

To do so would be against what she believes in.

Until He Comes,

KJ

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Memorial Day 2020: Ungrateful New York Times Claims Military “Celebrates White Supremacy”

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FoxNews.com reports that

As Americans reeling from coronavirus stay-at-home orders struggle to celebrate the nation’s heroes on Memorial Day, The New York Times published an editorial over the weekend that claims the U.S. military celebrates white supremacy.

On Sunday, The New York Times Editorial Board published the piece titled “Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?” The editorial made the argument that it’s time to rename military bases after “American heroes, not racist traitors.”

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman tweeted Sunday night in response: “On a solemn day for remembering those that have given their lives for our country fighting against tyranny and subjugation, the NYT has more than a million possible stories of the ultimate sacrifice by American patriots that they could tell. But they don’t.”

He followed up, in a statement: “The Department of Defense is the most diverse meritocracy in the country and the most powerful force for good in world history. We have many stories of valor still waiting to be told this Memorial Day weekend.”

The New York Times editorial board wrote that “the federal government embraced pillars of the white supremacist movement when it named military bases in the South.”

The editorial listed Fort Benning, Ga., as an example, noting that the military base honored Henry Lewis Benning, a Confederate general “who devoted himself to the premise that African-Americans were not really human and could never be trusted with full citizenship.”

The editorial pointed to Benning’s “now-famous speech in 1861” during which “he told secession conventioneers in Virginia that his native state of Georgia had left the union for one reason — to ‘prevent the abolition of her slavery.’”

The editorial board noted that Benning’s statements “strongly resemble that of present-day white supremacists — and reference the race war theme put forward by the young racist who murdered nine African-Americans in Charleston five years ago.”

In 2017, Dylann Roof was formally sentenced to death for the church massacre in Charleston, S.C., two years before.

The editorial also pointed to another Georgia base named after a Confederate general, John Brown Gordon, writing that by naming the base after him, “the federal government venerated a man who was a leader of the Georgia Ku Klux Klan after the Civil War and who may have taken on a broader role in the terrorist organization when its first national leader — a former Confederate general, Nathan Bedford Forrest — suffered declining health.”

The New York Times editorial board referenced comments made by an Army spokesman who told TIME in 2015 there was no need to remove Confederate base names because the “historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies.”

The editorial board then laid out the “problems” with that argument, writing that “these men were traitors” and that “the names represent not only oppression before and during the Civil War, but also state-sponsored bigotry after it.”

“Bases named for men who sought to destroy the Union in the name of racial injustice are an insult to the ideals servicemen and women are sworn to uphold — and an embarrassing artifact of the time when the military itself embraced anti-American values,” the editorial continued. “It is long past time for those bases to be renamed.”

Back around 2013 or so, Liberal Democrats started pushing to removing everything concerning the Confederate Stats of America from both the history books and the landscape of our country.

When a psychopath murdered several black Americans in a church service in Charleston, South Carolina, that horrible tragedy gave the Democrats the excuse to start removing the “Stars and Bars” from public view and changing the names of streets in American towns and cities which may or may not have been named after a historic figure who was a member of the Confederacy.

The Confederate Purge has been carried out by Liberal Democrats in the name of “Political Correctness” since then.

However, that was not enough censorship nor cultural cleansing for them.

Now, they want to rename Military Bases because they are offended by history.

Since before the 2016 President Election, I have referred to those who want to be known as “The Resistance”, as “The New Bolsheviks” because of the striking similarity of their actions to the ruthless aggression displayed by those who followed Vladimir Lenin in the Russian Revolution of 1918.

However, there is another group that these “brave new radicals” remind me of: the barbarians of Islamic State, or ISIS.

When they would take over a city in the Middle East, for example Palmyra, one of the first things that they would do would be to tear down the area’s historical sites, destroying any artifacts and antiquities which they did not like, in order to establish that their culture was supreme, just as Lenin’s Bolsheviks did.

“The Resistance” or protestors, if you will, who are bringing down the historical statues which I just mentioned, who are now wanting to rename military bases, also proclaim their self-serving self-righteousness through their actions.

As an American, I see nothing different from their actions than those of the Bolsheviks and the Radical Islamists of ISIS.

The subjects of all of this censorship were Americans. In the case of the Confederate Generals, most of them were West Point Graduates who proudly served their country before the War Between the States.

The Civil War was a seminal moment in American History.

If you find that time in our nation’s history to be offensive, then that is your prerogative as an American. However, your hurt feelings do not give you the right to attempt to erase history by pulling down a statue which is not your property or claiming that our Brightest and Best celebrate “White Supremacy”.

Attacking the U.S. Military on the weekend before Memorial Day, the day when we honor those brave men and women of all ethnicities who fought and died to preserve our freedom, shows just how far down the ol’ porcelain receptacle the once mighty New York Times has traveled.

It’s time for The New York Times to get flushed.

May we, as a nation, always remember the brave men and women who sacrificed all so that we might remain free.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Memorial Day 2019: Liberty is Freedom With Responsibility

memorial-day-true-meaning-ftr (2)

Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it. – Pete Hegseth

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Last night, as I sat down to write today’s post, I tried to think about something pithy to write. Then, I realized that today is not a day for witticisms and sarcasm.

I thought about all of the American lives, all of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives out of love and devotion for our Sovereign Nation and their fellow Americans, both their comrades and their families back home.

The unselfish devotion shown by these brave Americans is made fun of and remains the source of derision by many devotees of the anti-American political philosophy who consider themselves to be the “smartest people in the room”.

These same “enlightened” individuals consider “patriotism” to be a bad word.

They have replaced it words like “nationalism” and “jingoism”.

The devotees of this political philosophy do not believe in American Exceptionalism.

They believe that America is “just another country”, certainly not worthy of sacrificing their lives for.

These people just don’t get it.

Freedom is not free.

That is why brave men and women of the past and the present age have fought and died while wearing the uniforms of our Armed Forces.

When they went into battle, they did not just represent their hometowns…they represented all of us.

From the germ of an idea to the greatest country on the face of God’s green Earth, this country has stood strong because of resolute men and women who were willing to “pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to protect “The Shining City Upon a Hill”.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13-17 

May God bless and comfort the families of our Fallen Heroes and may their memories and our American Freedom endure.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day 2018: “Freedom Is Not Free”

memorial-day-cemetery

Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it. – Pete Hegseth

D-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 74 years later, it still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas. Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned. One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life. While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

This Day of Remembrance, honoring the sacrifices of our Brightest and Best is very personal to me.

On a night in 1966, a 7 year old was laying on his family’s den couch in Memphis, TN, watching his favorite TV Series “Batman” with a fever of 105, brought about by a severe bronchial infection. Tending to that sick child were 3 veterans of World War II: his Daddy, a Master Sergeant with the Army Engineers, his Uncle “R” (Robert), US Air Force, and his Uncle Perriman, a full-blooded Indian from Albuquerque, who was an Army Corpsman.

Those three veterans, now all gone, took turns putting cold washcloths under the child’s arms and on his forehead, until his fever finally broke, sometime during the night.

That child was me.

Growing up during the Vietnam War, I was privileged to have a brother-in-law who served in the Navy. I also knew a fella who served in the Army, a friend of my older sister’s, who stayed on our couch during high school often, after fighting with his family. And, I had a cousin who served then, as well.

Recently, in America, our Brightest and Best are being callously mistreated by an incompetent authoritarian centralized bureaucracy. One whose cavalier attitude toward them as being simply pawns, to be used to give their lives for a failed Foreign Policy and the morale-weakening Social Experimentation of Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive Minions, led to our veterans dying, while they waited for the Medical Treatment, which they had been promised and so richly deserved.

For all of his photo ops and posing for the cameras, United States President Barack Hussein Obama viewed our armed forces as beneath him… assets to use when he needed to, in order to backup his failed foreign policy, and an ancillary service to trim, when it was time to cut the budget.

Obama’s actions were in stark contrast to our previous president, George W Bush, who, every year at Thanksgiving, would go and serve Turkey to troops stationed around the world, during secret trips that Main Stream Media would not even know about until the president landed at the base.

And, when Bush wasn’t doing that, he was secretly visiting our wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, again, out of the limelight of the cameras.

Even though Bush is no longer president, he is still showing his respect for our wounded warriors. He has held picnics in their honor, visiting with them and dancing with our brave young ladies who were wounded in the service of their country.

But, I digress…

The actions of Obama and his Administration were not how a nation is supposed its wounded warriors.

I thank God that we have an American President, once again, who respects and honors our Fighting Men and Women.

These men and women are OUR FAMILY. They are not just numbers on some Federal Government Profit & Loss Database.

President Trump must fulfill his campaign promises to clean up the Department of Veterans Affairs and the malfeasance and abuses found within its hospitals.

Those who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve no less.

I was privileged to be raised by members of the Greatest Generation. The legacy that they gave to me of love of God, Family, and Country is a heritage that I hold very dear.

It is today that we pause to remember their sacrifices at home and abroad. Not only theirs, but the sacrifices made by our Brightest and Best, and their families, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13

May God bless them all and may He hold them in the hollow of His hand.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Memorial Day 2017: “Greater Love Hath No Man Than This…”

memorial-day-true-meaning-ftr

D-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 70 years later, it  still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas.  Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned.  One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life.  While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

This Day of Remembrance, honoring the sacrifices of our Brightest and Best and the current mistreatment of America’s Veterans is very personal to me.

On a night in 1966, a 7 year old was laying on his family’s den couch in Memphis, TN, watching his favorite TV Series “Batman” with a fever of 105, brought about by a severe bronchial infection. Tending to that sick child were 3 veterans of World War II: his Daddy, a Master Sergeant with the Army Engineers, his Uncle “R” (Robert), US Air Force, and his Uncle Perriman, a full-blooded Indian from Albuquerque, who was an Army Corpsman.

Those three veterans, now all gone, took turns putting cold washcloths under the child’s arms and on his forehead, until his fever finally broke, sometime during the night.

That child was me.

Growing up during the Vietnam War, I was privileged to have a brother-in-law who served in the Navy. I also knew a fella who served in the Army, a friend of my older sister’s, who stayed on our couch during high school often, after fighting with his family. And, I had a cousin who served then, as well.

Today, in America, our Brightest and Best are being callously mistreated by an incompetent authoritarian centralized bureaucracy. One whose cavalier attitude toward them as being simply pawns, to be used to give their lives for a failed Foreign Policy and the morale-weakening Social Experimentation of Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive Minions, lead to our veterans dying, while they waited for the Medical Treatment, which they had been promised and so richly deserve.

For all of his photo ops and posing for the cameras, United States President Barack Hussein Obama viewed our armed forces as beneath him… assets to use when he needed to, in order to backup his failed foreign policy, and an ancillary service to trim, when it was time to cut the budget.

Obama’s actions were in stark contrast to our previous president, George W Bush, who, every year at Thanksgiving, would go and serve Turkey to troops stationed around the world, during secret trips that Main Stream Media would not even know about until the president landed at the base.

And, when Bush wasn’t doing that, he was secretly visiting our wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, again,  out of the limelight of the cameras.

Even though Bush is no longer president, he is still showing his respect for our wounded warriors. He has held picnics in their honor, visiting with them and dancing with our brave young ladies who were wounded in the service of their country.

But, I digress…

The actions of Obama and his Administration were not how a nation is supposed its wounded warriors.

I thank God that we have an American President, once again, who respects and honors our Fighting Men and Women.

These men and women are OUR FAMILY. They are not just numbers on some Federal Government Profit & Loss Database.

President Trump must fulfill his campaign promises to clean up the Department of Veterans Affairs and the malfeasance and abuses found within its hospitals.

Those who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve no less.

I was privileged to be raised by members of the Greatest Generation. The legacy that they gave to me of love of God, Family, and Country is a heritage that I hold very dear.

It is today that we pause to remember their sacrifices at home and abroad.  Not only theirs, but the sacrifices made by our Brightest and Best, and their families, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13

May God bless them all and may He hold them in the hollow of His hand.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Memorial Day 2016: All Gave Some. Some Gave All.

11181888_951956908181692_5591918853436467361_nD-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 70 years later, it  still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas.  Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned.  One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life.  While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

This Day of Remembrance, honoring the sacrifices of our Brightest and Best and the current mistreatment of America’s Veterans is very personal to me.

On a night in 1966, a 7 year old was laying on his family’s den couch in Memphis, TN, watching his favorite TV Series “Batman” with a fever of 105, brought about by a severe bronchial infection. Tending to that sick child were 3 veterans of World War II: his Daddy, a Master Sergeant with the Army Engineers, his Uncle “R” (Robert), US Air Force, and his Uncle Perriman, a full-blooded Indian from Albuquerque, who was an Army Corpsman.

Those three veterans, now all gone, took turns putting cold washcloths under the child’s arms and on his forehead, until his fever finally broke, sometime during the night.

That child was me.

Growing up during the Vietnam War, I was privileged to have a brother-in-law who served in the Navy. I also knew a fella who served in the Army, a friend of my older sister’s, who stayed on our couch during high school often, after fighting with his family. And, I had a cousin who served then, as well.

Today, in America, our Brightest and Best are being callously mistreated by an incompetent authoritarian centralized bureaucracy. One whose cavalier attitude toward them as being simply pawns, to be used to give their lives for a failed Foreign Policy and the morale-weakening Social Experimentation of Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive Minions, has lead to our veterans dying, while they wait for the Medical Treatment, which they have been promised and so richly deserve.

For all of his photo ops and posing for the cameras, United States President Barack Hussein Obama views our armed forces as beneath him… assets to use what he needs to, in order to backup his failed foreign policy, and an ancillary service to trim, when it’s time to cut the budget.

Obama’s actions are in stark contrast to our previous president, George W Bush, who, every year at Thanksgiving, would go and serve Turkey to troops stationed around the world, during secret trips that Main Stream Media would not even know about until the president landed at the base.

And, when Bush wasn’t doing that, he was secretly visiting our wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC, again,  out of the limelight of the cameras.

Even though Bush is no longer president, he is still showing his respect for our wounded warriors. He has held picnics in their honor, visiting with them and dancing with our brave young ladies who were wounded in the service of their country.

But, I digress…

The actions of Obama and his Administration are not how a nation honors its wounded warriors. The previous Administration certainly did not treat our heroes in this manner.

The men and women are OUR FAMILY. They are not just numbers on some Federal Government Profit & Loss Database.

This barbarism lies solely at the feet of President Barack Hussein Obama. He is the Commander-in-Chief. HE MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.

Those who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve no less.

I was privileged to be raised by members of the Greatest Generation. The legacy that they gave to me of love of God, Family, and Country is a heritage that I hold very dear.

It is today that we pause to remember their sacrifices at home and abroad.  Not only theirs, but the sacrifices made by our Brightest and Best, and their families, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

May God bless them all and may He hold them in the hollow of His hand.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Disrespecting the Dead: The House Votes to Ban Confederate Flags…at National Cemeteries.

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CNN.com recently reported that

Washington (CNN)American public opinion on the Confederate flag remains about where it was 15 years ago, with most describing the flag as a symbol of Southern pride more than one of racism, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. And questions about how far to go to remove references to the Confederacy from public life prompt broad racial divides.

The poll shows that 57% of Americans see the flag more as a symbol of Southern pride than as a symbol of racism, about the same as in 2000 when 59% said they viewed it as a symbol of pride.

On the wall beside my computer desk, hangs my family crest, which I shipped to my Daddy (Southern Colloquialism for male parental unit) in the summer of 1978, from the York Insignia Shoppe in England.

This same family crest also hangs in the home of Jefferson Davis, distinguished Graduate of West Point Academy, and the President of the Confederate States of America.

 I am a proud Southerner.

As a Christian American, I attend church on Sunday mornings with my brothers and sisters in Christ, both black and white.

American Progressives, both Democrat and Republican, have taken advantage of the horrible church massacre in Charleston, SC, to accomplish something that they have been trying to do for years: minimize the South’s political clout and erase our uniqueness as a region, through the taking away of a symbol of our heritage, and, any traces of the historical aspects of the Confederate Side of the Civil War, as exemplified by the current mission of Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and his minions on the City Council to dig up Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife, and move their bodies and a statue of the general, which all currently “reside” in a downtown park in the Medical Center.

And now, that same cowardly, revisionist history has reared its ugly head on Capitol Hill.

As they say (instead of “Once Upon a Time”) in Southern Fairy tales,

Y’all ain’t gonna believe this s@#t…

WTOP.com reports that

The low-profile move came Tuesday evening after a brief debate on a measure funding the National Park Service, which maintains 14 national cemeteries, most of which contain graves of Civil War soldiers.

The proposal by Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., added language to block the Park Service from allowing private groups to decorate the graves of southern soldiers with Confederate flags in states that commemorate Confederate Memorial Day. The cemeteries affected are the Andersonville and Vicksburg cemeteries in Georgia and Mississippi.

“The American Civil War was fought, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, to ‘save the last best hope of Earth,’” Huffman said in a debate in which he was the only speaker. “We can honor that history without celebrating the Confederate flag and all of the dreadful things that it symbolizes.”

The flag ban was adopted by a voice vote. The Park Service funding bill is scheduled for a vote on Thursday.

Pressure has mounted to ban display of the flag on state and federal property in the wake of last month’s tragic murders at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The accused killer, Dylann Roof, posed with the Confederate flag in online photos and reportedly has told authorities that he wanted to start a race war.

Following the lead of GOP Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Senate has voted to remove the flag from the Capitol grounds and the state House was taking up the measure Wednesday.

But House leaders have deferred action on a plan by Bennie Thompson, a black Democrat from Mississippi, to ban Confederate images such as that contained in the Mississippi flag from being displayed in the House complex. Numerous statues of Confederate figures such as Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States, are also on display in the Capitol.

A little over an hour away from where I sit, lies a very special place, where brother fought against brother, and are buried together, along with succeeding generations of family members.

The Shiloh National Cemetery at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., is situated on the west bank of the Tennessee River, just below the landing, and on the bluff immediately overlooking it. It contains ten acres of ground, and is enclosed by a rough stone wall of the most substantial character. A convenient lodge has been erected, and a permanent keeper is stationed at the Cemetery. A flag-staff has been erected on the bluff overlooking the river, from which the Union flag is kept constantly floating. The grounds are laid off into sections and groups by avenues and walks, neatly graded and graveled.

The number of interments in this Cemetery is 3,584, of which 2,359 are at present unknown. They represent 203 regiments from thirteen different States, besides colored troops and employees. The graves are all designated by head-boards numbered to correspond with the printed Roll of Honor.

These remains have been collected with great care from their scattered graves through that wild and desolate country, and on the line of the Tennessee River from Fort Henry to the foot of the shoals; and from no less than 565 separate localities.

The most interesting feature of this Cemetery will be found in the numerous Regimental Groups, of which there are no less than twenty-nine. These were originally buried upon the battle-field by their comrades, and great care has been taken to preserve the original arrangement. Occasionally the addition of a few scattered graves has been made to the original group.

On no other battlefield through the entire South and Southwest, does there seem to have been so great care and pains taken in the burial of the dead and in providing for their future identification. In the case of some of the regiments, even after the lapse of five years and the exposure of the head-boards to the annual ravages of fire, every grave has been identified.

Several years ago, I bore witness to the annual reenactment, which is held every Memorial Day on the Civil War Battlefield of Shiloh.

Cannons are fired, guns discharge, men feign falling in battle.

All that day, “Decoration Day” was observed, as family members laid flowers on the graves of those who had been laid to rest at  Historic Shiloh Cemetery.

This yearly event is a solemn occasion, a chance to teach young Americans about the sacrifices of those who came before them.

And now, a bunch of spineless jellyfish, far removed from that historic battleground in Middle Tennessee, are attempting to take away a solemn heritage and birthright, from the very people who gave them their cushy jobs, while they genuflect to the altar of Political Correctness and the philosophy of “going along to get along”, led by their High Priest John Boehner.

Spineless, Vichy Republicans and Hive-Mind liberal Democrats.

The dead can not fight back.

This is beyond disgraceful.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

Memorial Day 2015: All Gave Some. Some Gave All.

11181888_951956908181692_5591918853436467361_nD-Day, also called the Battle of Normandy, was fought on June 6, 1944, between the Allied nations and German forces occupying Western Europe. To this day, 70 years later, it  still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history. Almost three million troops crossed the English Channel from England to Normandy to be used as human cannon fodder in an invasion of occupied France.

Among the young men who stepped off those boats, in a hail of gunfire, was a fellow named Edward, whom everyone called Ned, from the small town of Helena, Arkansas.  Already in his young life, Ned had been forced to drop out of school in the sixth grade, in order to work at the local movie theatre to help support his mother, brother, and sister, faced with the ravages of the Great Depression.

He was a gentle man who loved to laugh and sing, having recorded several 78 rpm records in the do-it-yourself booths of the day. And now, he found himself, a Master Sergeant in an Army Engineering Unit, stepping off a boat into the unknown, watching his comrades being mercilessly gunned down around him.

Ned, along with the rest of his unit who survived the initial assault, would go on to assist in the cleaning out of the Concentration Camps, bearing witness to man’s inhumanity to man.

The horrors he saw had a profound effect on Ned.  One which he would keep to himself for the remainder of his life.  While his children knew that he served with an Engineering Unit in World War II, they did not know the full extent of his service, until they found his medal, honoring his participation in the Invasion of Normandy, going through his belongings, after he passed away on December 29, 1997.

Today is a day of solemn remembrance, during which we honor our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

Today, in America, our Brightest and Best are being callously mistreated by an incompetent authoritarian centralized bureaucracy.

One whose cavalier attitude toward them as being simply pawns, to be used to give their lives for a failed Foreign Policy and the morale-weakening Social Experimentation of Barack Hussein Obama and his Progressive Minions, has lead to our veterans dying, while they wait for the Medical Treatment, which they have been promised and so richly deserve.

This Day of Remembrance and the mistreatment of our Brightest and Best is very personal to me.

On a night in 1966, a 7 year old was laying on his family’s den couch in Memphis, TN, watching his favorite TV Series “Batman” with a fever of 105, brought about by a severe bronchial infection. Tending to that sick child were 3 veterans of World War II: his Daddy, a Master Sergeant with the Army Engineers, his Uncle “R” (Robert), US Air Force, and his Uncle Perriman, a full-blooded Indian from Albuquerque, who was an Army Corpsman.

Those three veterans, now all gone, took turns putting cold washcloths under the child’s arms and on his forehead, until his fever finally broke, sometime during the night.

That child was me.

This is not how a nation honors its wounded warriors. The previous Administration certainly did not.

The men and women are OUR FAMILY.They are not just numbers on some Federal Government Profit & Loss Database.

This barbarism lies solely at the feet of President Barack Hussein Obama. He is the Commander-in-Chief. HE MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.

Those who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve no less.

This matter is very personal to me.

 

I was privileged to be raised by members of the Greatest Generation. The legacy that they gave to me of love of God, Family, and Country is a heritage that I hold very dear.

It is today that we pause to remember their sacrifices at home and abroad.  Not only theirs, but the sacrifices made by our Brightest and Best, and their families, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

May God bless them all and may He hold them in the hollow of His hand.

Memorial Day Weekend: The President Who Still Remembers

veteranflagand wheelchairWhen I decided to write about the subject of this blog, on this Memorial Day Weekend, I knew that I would catch a lot of flack.

Former United States President George Walker Bush remains a polarizing figure.

The Bush Derangement Syndrome from the Liberal Side of the Political Aisle is a given. They, following the lead of their president, are still desperately attempting to blame Obama’s failures, in both his Domestic and Foreign Policies, on BOOOSH!, 6 1/2 years into the Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

On my side of the aisle, the consensus among Conservatives is that he spent too much.

However, that are three things that Conservatives, and all those with any common sense whatsoever, agree upon:

1. Former President George W. Bush loves our country.

2. Former President George W. Bush loves and honors America’s Brightest and Best, our Fighting Men and Women of our Armed Forces.

3. Thank God, George W. Bush was the President of the United States of America on September 11, 2001…and not Barack Hussein Obama. (mm mmm mmmm)

But, I digress…

bush-soldierThe following is an excerpt from Fox News anchor and political analyst Dana Perino’s new book, “And the Good News Is… Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side”…

The president was scheduled to see 25 patients at Walter Reed. Many of them had traumatic brain injuries and were in very serious, sometimes critical, condition. Despite getting the best treatment available in the world, we knew that some would not survive.

We started in the intensive care unit. The chief of naval operations (CNO) briefed the president on our way into the hospital about the first patient we’d see. He was a young Marine who had been injured when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb. After his rescue, he was flown to Landstuhl U.S. Air Force Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany. At his bedside were his parents, wife, and five-year-old son.

“What’s his prognosis?” the president asked.

“Well, we don’t know sir, because he’s not opened his eyes since he arrived, so we haven’t been able to communicate with him. But no matter what, Mr. President, he has a long road ahead of him,” said the CNO.

We had to wear masks because of the risk of infection to the patient. I watched carefully to see how the family would react to President Bush, and I was worried that they might be mad at him and blame him for their loved one’s situation. But I was wrong.

The family was so excited the president had come. They gave him big hugs and thanked him over and over. Then they wanted to get a photo. So he gathered them all in front of Eric Draper, the White House photographer.

President Bush asked, “Is everybody smiling?” But they all had ICU masks on. A light chuckle ran through the room as everyone got the joke.

The Marine was intubated. The president talked quietly with the family at the foot of the patient’s bed. I looked up at the ceiling so that I could hold back tears.

After he visited with them for a bit, the president turned to the military aide and said, “Okay, let’s do the presentation.” The wounded warrior was being awarded the Purple Heart, given to troops that suffer wounds in combat.

Everyone stood silently while the military aide in a low and steady voice presented the award. At the end of it, the Marine’s young child tugged on the president’s jacket and asked, “What’s a Purple Heart?”

The president got down on one knee and pulled the little boy closer to him. He said, “It’s an award for your dad, because he is very brave and courageous, and because he loves his country so much. And I hope you know how much he loves you and your mom, too.”

As they hugged, there was a commotion from the medical staff as they moved toward the bed.

The Marine had just opened his eyes. I could see him from where I stood.

The CNO held the medical team back and said, “Hold on, guys. I think he wants the president.”

The president jumped up and rushed over to the side of the bed. He cupped the Marine’s face in his hands. They locked eyes, and after a couple of moments the president, without breaking eye contact, said to the military aide, “Read it again.”

So we stood silently as the military aide presented the Marine with the award for a second time. The president had tears dripping from his eyes onto the Marine’s face. As the presentation ended, the president rested his forehead on the wounded warrior’s for a moment.

Now everyone was crying, and for so many reasons: the sacrifice; the pain and suffering; the love of country; the belief in the mission; and the witnessing of a relationship between a soldier and his Commander in Chief that the rest of us could never fully grasp. (In writing this book, I contacted several military aides who helped me track down the name of the Marine. I hoped for news that he had survived. He did not. He died during surgery six days after the president’s visit. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery and is survived by his wife and their three children.

I remember my ex-brother-in-law, Dave. My late step-sister met him at the USO in Memphis during the Vietnam War. David was a Polish Catholic from outside of Detroit, a Navy guy who received his training in the computers of the day, while in service to our country. When he got out, they got married and moved to Dearborn (now Dearbornistan), Michigan, where he got a job with Burroughs. I remember Dave, because he was always good to me, even though I was just a runt kid, 15 years younger than him. I remember him cleaning his service rifle, sitting on the living room floor of our house, and, making sure it was empty, allowing me to to hold it. At the time,I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever done.

I also remember John. John was a friend of my sister’s, who stayed with us, because of problems at home. As I have related before, my folks were the ones whom all my sister’s friends would talk to when they had trouble at home. John was great guy, as well, who wound up enlisting and serving in that “crazy Asian War”, as Kenny Rogers and Mel Tillis once referred to it in song.

I have related before about my own Daddy and my Uncles, and their service in World War II. I have also had friends that served over the years, and one who is still serving in the Air National Guard.

All of these men were/are Patriots. They enlisted out of duty to God and Country.

Our Brightest and Best, who wear the uniform today, are no less dedicated. They deserve to be treated with respect, not as pawns in a game of political expediency, whose rules including social experimentation, political correctness, and blatant disrespect by the Commander-in-Chief…

Instead ,as his fellow Democratic Presidents before him, Barack Hussein Obama uses our Best and Brightest as political tools, following the tradition of previous Liberal occupiers of the White House, such as the Clintons, who used them as banquet staff at White House Events, having Marines in dress blues carry trays of munchies.

Our sons and daughters in uniform, both our heroic veterans and those serving and protecting our country today, both deserve and command our respect.

They are not just “Ancillary Staff”, as seems to be the prevailing opinion in the Administration.

The greatest American President in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan, once said,

Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.

Reagan was a realist. He realized that, as President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt once advised, the best way to keep America safe, is to “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

Unfortunately for us, we are presently suffering through a president who speaks like a wuss and carries a feather pillow, a Mexican Flag, and a prayer rug.

Until He Comes,

KJ