4th of July

Most of you readers here know that I’m a Vietnam Veteran.  Our daughter Morgan served in the Army.  Our son Doug retired from the Army every inch a soldier, having served in Kosovo, Iraq and Pakistan.  Each of them are certainly Veterans and this post today honors them and all those that have fought for our Freedom.  It is NOT FREE.

I received the following via email from my wife Margaret and added a few of my own experiences and comments:

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I hope there isn’t anyone on my list of friends and acquaintances that won’t at least acknowledge (to themselves):

Happy 4th of July

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I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG, OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO THE REPUBLIC, FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!

 

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KEEP IT LIT!!!          KEEP IT LIT!!!

For all of our military personnel, where ever they may be.


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Please support all of the troops defending our country.  God bless our military personnel who are protecting our country for our freedom.  Thanks to them and their brothers-in-arms from all the proceeding conflicts and wars of the past, we can celebrate the 4th of July.

 

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We must never forget who gets the credit for the freedoms we have and for which we can be eternally grateful.

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I have watched others, including a young Marine, salute the flag and then stand at ease.  I looked at them in uniform – so young, so tall and so proud.  With his hair cut square and eyes alert; he’d stand out in any crowd.

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As a parent I wondered how man men and women like him had fallen through the years.  How many died on foreign soil; how many Mothers’ tears?

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How many pilots’ planes were shot down?  How many died at sea?  How many foxholes became soldiers’ graves?  How many are still missing from every conflict and war?

Clearly, FREEDOM ISN’T FREE

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Many of us have laid in our bunks listening to the sound of Taps in the night.  Everything is still.  I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill.  I and many others before me have wondered just how many times the sound of Taps had meant “Amen”, when a flag had draped over yet another coffin of a brother, sister, mother, father or friend.

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I’ve thought about the graveyard at the bottom of the sea and the unmarked graves in Arlington.  This past week I visited a National Cemetary and saw this:

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Enjoy your Freedom and God Bless Our Troops.

Feel free to share  comment or thought about someone you’ve lost or someone that has served.  They will all be posted.

Happy Freedom – the 4th of July.

 

How we honor soldiers from the past and present.

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I was feeling badly because I didn’t have anything to add above and beyond what I’ve previously said about Memorial Day . . . until now.  A friend of mine, Brady Mazola (on Facebook and in real life) has a passion for helping returning Vets become active through sports. He brought this graphic to my attention. Thanks for posting this on your timeline Brady.

Some would say, NO, when you’re no longer in uniform, you’re no longer a soldier.  However, I would argue that what our young men and women endue during and after they leave the military makes the caption correct.

It’s not unlike the less combative experience of attending a college and possibly an organization while in college or being a Mason (as I am).  In this case I am a Veteran, Mason and a college graduate.  In each case, the experience means something important in my life and those that have shared that experience know what I’m talking about.

There is also the idea (held by me and perhaps you . . . now) that once we’re soldiers we better understand what it takes to defend FREEDOM.  A line from a song says:  “all gave some and some gave all.”  When you leave the military it simply means you no longer wear  a uniform.  Instead, you become cloaked in your own idealism that defines what you believe in and certainly who you are.  Are you a defender of FREEDOM?  Do you believe in what we have as a way of life?  Are the principles and values that this great nation were founded upon mean something to you?  Will you freely verbally defend these same principles and values?  If so, then my friend, you ARE a soldier in the cause of FREEDOM.

Yesterday was the day we remember those that have fought for FREEDOM.  In truth, EVERYDAY we should we give thanks and prayers for those who currently serve and have served and/or given their full measure of life . . .  for us.  Many of fore fathers and yes mothers have given some or all to defend FREEDOM and to insure that we have it [today].  We still have men and women trying to insure that we maintain the quality of our life.  That we have what our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights proclaim that as a Nation we believe that these truths ARE self evident. Do you believe we still stand for these things as a nation?  If you don’t, then perhaps you should join the ARMY of people who’ve dedicated their lives to insure that what we have and that what we believe in will always live on.  Consider this YOUR personal call to action.  What will you do?

Here’s a quick and easy thing to do:  Register and Vote

Exercise your right as a citizen to elect those that you think will do the best job of insuring the principles and values we say we want.  Do that, VOTE.  Every vote cast honors those that have fought for FREEDOM.  Do that, VOTE.

Everyday is a challenge, however anything worth having has always been a challenge.

God bless us all and God bless America!

Veterans, support one, be one become one

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, 2013.  We will celebrate our Independence Day.  Still, most of us forget that freedom is not free.  Everyday in America and abroad someone gives all in defense of our communities, cities, states and our country.

Here’s a short video worth your time:

[Read more…]

Liberty, Freedom and Tweets?

Statue of Liberty - SmallThe events of this past week are still freshly resounding in my ears.  Do you feel threatened?  Do you feel challenged?

Whenever I think about the challenges that lay ahead and think of all that must be done in our country, I’m reminded of the sacrifices made by those that have gone before us.  The previous post (on this blog) was a very small attempt to bring your attention to those who have made sacrifices.  Those that have gone before us.  The Statue of Liberty has been the symbol of freedom as much as any other in the world.  Liberty, freedom, a new start, the opportunity of a life time.

A couple of years ago I created the Seal of Liberty Society.  It’s purpose was to help others share their principles and values.  The liberty is the freedom to express them.  One cannot be held accountable for principles and values that aren’t stated.  The Seal of Liberty Society is a place where you can not only take upon you the principles and values as established and agreed upon by all those who are members, but you can also share additional principles and values.  Here’s mine. [Read more…]