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Thursday, July 4, 2019

#FourthofJuly


            If this flag offends you and you support Colin Kaepernick, then you have no business staying the United States America. Betsy Ross did an amazing job depicting the thirteen colonies that stood up to the most powerful and oppressive empire at the time-Great Britain. It was true that the sun never set on the empire for they conquered and enslaved millions over the globe. And then those pesky colonials said, “Enough is enough” and took a stand. They sacrificed everything when they singed the Declaration of Independence. They knew their signature put a rope around their neck if caught and their fortunes would be seized. The colonist defeated the British and new country was born. But it didn’t stop there. The British tried again in 1812 to break us up and failed again. One hundred and four years later we came to the aid of our arch rival and helped them and France stop the Huns from the quest to dominate Europe. Twenty-three short years later, once again we answered the call and came to the aid of our wavering ally. The Rising Sun and Swastika were on the verge of splitting the world in two and conquering and enslaving the globe. The United States again rose to the call and when it was over, became a super power that defeated Imperialism and National Socialism. Still offended by her flag? Too bad

            If it were not for These United States, there would be no free world. We would not enjoy the liberties those brave, forty men put on paper so many years ago.  Instead we’d be ruled by oppressive regimes that cared nothing for “We the People.” They only pandered to their own selfless interests and the wealth of those who they ruled. Still offended by the flag? Again, too bad!

            And where are we today? In a time where liberal, socialist and communists are doing everything in their power to apologize and degrade this great country. No longer are the police or teachers revered. Law and order is no longer the law of the land, it makes excuses for criminals and villainizes those who try and uphold the laws of our nation. Our news agency have been infected with the disease and keep spewing out their biased and skewed ideas of the greatness of socialism and the evils of conservatism. They have no knowledge of our history and are doing their best to eliminate our hard-fought independence. They say we are offending people when he say the “Pledge of Allegiance” place our hand over our heart when singing the ‘Star Spangled Banner” or flying our flag to show our patriotism. TOO bad. For those who believe this drivel they need to read the true accounts of our “Greatest Generation” when they watched our flag go up over Iwo Jima Saipan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. Or when the flags were raised on the California, Tennessee, West Virginia and Maryland. And let us not forget when “Old Glory” was raised over the ruins of the World Trade Center attack and still flew proudly at Fort McHenry. Remember that? Still offended. Too bad.

            Let’s also no forget why we paid homage to December 7th and June 6th. They were watershed moments in our history that propelled us into the most horrific war of the twentieth century. Why is it we remember these dates so vividly and yet 9-11 is being swept under the rug? That’s right, we might offend someone. Too bad.

            Today is July4th, Independence Day for the These United States. This should be a day Democrat, Republican and Independents should stand together and appreciate and honor all of those who sacrificed their lives so we can celebrate our day of Independence and yes, that means honoring the Stars and Stripes from Betsy Ross to today. Still offended? Move.

Friday, May 24, 2019

#MemorialDay #Veterans


Salute

The streets are lined again.
The crowd bustles about.
A few stores are open for patrons.
Children pull at their parents pants.
He takes it all in with grim determination,
the past enough far behind.

The assembly area is full of activity.
Organizers scurry about with a purpose.
For some it is there first,
for him, it is a lifetime of honor.

The clock approaches 10:00am.
The crowd becomes restless as children squirm.
Some stand by the curb for a good view.
Others are hoisted to shoulders.
Some sit on lawn chairs wondering why they came.
His eyes never waver from the street.

A gunshot is heard,
It marks the beginning of the festivities.
The shot makes him shudder.
He thinks back of youth lost,
He remembers the deep snow,
the hot tropics,
the smell of cordite.
He forces a tear back.

A cadence booms far away.
Is it the sound of gunfire,
or is it a lost memory?
His eyes strain to see the coming spectacle.

One by one, the lead cars slowly pass by.
He politely waves with acknowledging eyes.
The children jostle for the bits of candy tossed.
Moms and dads tousle with the little ones.
He pays them no mind,
for they are only children.
What do they know of the cost?

His hands gently move over his brass buttons,
making sure no wrinkles show.
His medals, all highly polished,
the Eagle shines brightly from his cover,
again, he fights a tear.

He knows why he came,
He knows the pain and the cost,
he was there.
He held men in pain,
he saw lives extinguished in a blink.
He fights back the memories,
the cries of help, the cries of sorrow,
the sounds of battle.
The memories are a heavy weight.

A toddler accidentally bumps into a wheel.
The chair wobbles just a bit.
He places a kind smile to the tot.
The child retreats to his parents.

There. There they are.
The sight of the banners fills him with pride.
He knows what it still stands for,
he knows the price of letting it blow.

The closer they approach,
the past creeps in with each perfect step.
St. Mere Eglise, Caen, Falaise, and Bastogne.
Was it only yesterday Joe fell, or was it Billy?
It matters not, for many followed them at:
Saigon, Khe Sanh, Hue, and TET.

He remembers the letters to parents of those who fell,
but never met: Tarawa, Tinian, Peleliue, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
He wears the pains of many with the medals.
They performed when called.
They shirked nothing, yet sacrificed all.

The memories almost overwhelm him with pride and grief.
A weathered hand gently pats his right hand.
“Sammy, are you ready?”
The voice is strong, yet comforting.
“Yes Martha.”

They are closer now.
He pushes the locks on the chair,
braces his hands and prepares to rise,
to pay tribute for those before and to come.
A tear slides down his weathered face.
A young voice is barely audible
as the banner becomes brighter and closer.
“Look mommy, that man is crying. Why?'
Her face turns a light scarlet.

They are ten meters and closing,
he summons the strength to stand.
He struggles to rise.
He must rise, he must pay tribute!
They are all his brothers.
He can no longer raise a rifle for safety,
he can only stand in honor for those fallen.
The effort becomes more difficult each passing year.

His strength fails when he needs it most.
He curses softly as his body fails.
They are only five meters away.
He must rise and stand!

Two young strong hands appear from the crowd.
Without a word, they lift him up,
ever standing vigil for balance.
He looks neither left or right,
but straight into the past.

The colors of the Armed Forces are now two meters away.
He straightens a crooked back,
adjusts his cover,
and with the forgotten strength of youth,
raises his right hand and salutes the colors.

The young men stop and return the salute.
The crowd stares in awed silence,
for the commander has stopped the parade.
They stand as straight as a pillar,
neither looking left or right.
The commander barks an order.
The men take one step forward,
and lower the colors.
They stand one meter from the old soldier.

The parade has stopped.
Organizers frantically run about,
the cause is unknown.
Then they see it.
It wasn't in the program,
but they feel something in the air.
Is it electricity or something more?

The commander barks another order.
The group returns a solid salute.
They salute the man and what he wears,
a small blue ribbon attached to a five point medal.

The young commander approaches his brother.
The street is hushed in silence as the words flow;
“Thank you, from a very grateful nation, General.”

He fights back the tears and the memories.
He fights for balance, yet the strong hands assist,
his weakened, aged limbs.
“No” comes a choked response.
“Thank you for remembering us.”
The tears pour freely.
The emotions of fallen comrades erupt as he weeps, never wavering
with his salute.
For an instant, life has become an eternity,
like a giant force, the crowd faces the men,
and without any prompting or fanfare,
apply and return the salute to the men.

The General slides back into the chair.
The squad returns to the street,
each deep in thought as their tears also fall.
Without a word, they proceed forward.
The parade resumes, but with a new force,
a force of arms, a force of purpose,
a force displaying pride and freedom.

It is Memorial Day for the fallen.
“Martha, till next year?”