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Archive for May, 2010

The Totally Nasty Beck

May 31st, 2010 33 comments

From Beck’s radio show.  Note, he has apologized and said he broke his own rule about attacking people’s children.  Too little too late.  Totally nasty, in my opinion. This almost makes me sick to listen.

Beck and his sidekick make fun of President Obama’s daughter for asking about plugging the oil spill. They leave no stone unturned in the nasty and degrading department. There are some things you just can’t apologize for. the hateful laughing in the background pushed his behavior into the no redemption department.

Is this even funny to anyone? Is there any nadir to which Fox News will not sink?

Categories: Fox News, General, Right Wing Tags:

Memorial Day Tribute From Captain George S. Harris, U. S. Navy (Retired)

May 31st, 2010 33 comments

ARLINGTON CEMETERY

Today’s Memorial Day Tribute comes from our dear friend Captain George Harris.  He was kind enough to write the Memorial Day  thread for today as a special favor for Elena and me.   I know it was not an easy task.   I would like our readers to know a bit about George before you read his tribute:

Captain George S. Harris, U.S. Navy (Retired) served in the Navy from August 1951 to July 1990.  He rose from Seaman Recruit to the rank of Captain.  During his career he served as a Senior Company Corpsman in a Marine rifle company in Korea, and several tours as a medical company commander in the First and Third Marine Corps Medical Battalions.  As the commanding officer of B Company, First Medical Battalion, he served in Vietnam in 1966-67.  Unlike many officers in his field he had “hands on” experience in treating wounded Marines in Vietnam.

 His military decorations include Legion of Merit with Two Gold Stars, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Korean Service Medal with Marine Corps Device, Vietnam Service Medal with Two Bronze Stars and Marine Corps Device, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Navy Expert Pistol Ribbon. 

 

 

 Here are my thoughts this Memorial Day–  

Memorial Day is here once again.  It is not to be confused with Veterans’ Day, which used to be called Armistice Day but few remember what happened at the “eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. 1918” when the armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany in a railroad car in France and all was quiet on the Western Front. 

 Memorial Day  is when we, as a Nation, are supposed to stop and remember all those brave men and women who gave the last full measure, laying down their life for their countrymen.  At our National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia the sixty-year old ceremony known as “Flags In” was completed a few days ago when more than 350,000 small American flags were carefully placed one foot in front of each tombstone and on “The Day” a wreath will be placed in front of the Tomb of the Unknowns.  People will gather in cemeteries around the nation to honor our military dead. 

 Just who is it exactly that we’re remembering?  From our very beginning at the Battle of Concord when citizen soldiers stood,

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled;

Here once the embattled farmers stood;

And fired the shot heard round the world.”   

                                                                    Concord Hymn

                                                                    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1837)

 

until today, almost 42 million Americans have answered our Nation’s call to arms.  Some 1.2 million have been killed or died in the service of their country and another 1.4 million have been woundedIn our most recent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 5,300 have been killed and nearly 37,000 have suffered what are now known as life altering injuries.  You know who they are—they’re the ones with missing arms, legs, eyes and assorted chunks of flesh and those whose minds that have been forever stained with the memories of war. 

 In Vietnam, I held young men and watched as the light left their eyes and my strongest memory of that terrible time is still the smell of blood.  I have stood by that “rude bridge” in Concord and if you listen very closely you can hear the sound of musketry and the cries of the wounded and dying.  I have walked through Arlington National Cemetery where some 30 funerals a day take place.  I am always awed at the sight of all those gravestones lined up so precisely.  I have attended the funerals of many friends there and listened to the beat of the muffled drums and the clip-clop of the horses drawing the caisson. 

 Not all died a “hero’s death” on the battlefield. Some, like me, served their nation and long after the smoke of battle has cleared they join that band brothers lying beneath gravestones scattered around the world.  One last crackle of rifle fire and the mournful sound of Taps echoes across the land as they are laid to rest. 

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
All is well, safely rest;
God is nigh

Duke/Lady Terps Wins Lacrosse National Championships

May 31st, 2010 Comments off

Duke has come from the lowest of lows in 2006 to a 6-5 win over Notre Dame today in an overtime win this afternoon. 

Duke was at a low when some of their players were falsely accused of raping a stripper.  It turned out that she lied and had a history of lying.  The district attorney is no longer in office and the lacrosse coach lost his job.  Young men lost their reputations.  The Duke lacrosse team was suspended for a year. 

Today Duke can celebrate.  In addition to their awesome win over Notre Dame, the team has a 3.2 GPA and has played Lacrosse overseas.  Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski has brought to Duke lacrosse program a long ways.  He has been an excellent coach, father figure, and mentor.

 

 

Congratulations are also in order for the Lady Terps who won the Womens National Lacross Championship yesterday! The Maryland women’s lacrosse team defeated No. 2 Northwestern, 13-11, for its first NCAA Championship since 2001  in front of a record-breaking crowd of 9,782 Sunday at Unitas Stadium.

Fear the turtle!

Categories: General, Sports Tags:

Manassas Battlefield to Commemorate Memorial Day

May 30th, 2010 2 comments

From the News and Messenger:

Manassas National Battlefield Park will be marking Memorial Day with a commemorative ceremony on Monday.

The event will begin at noon at Groveton Confederate Cemetery and New York Avenue and will feature Union and Confederate flags, state flowers and wreaths of spring blooms decorating the battlefield in memory of the fallen of the two Civil War battles of Manassas in 1861 and 1862, and in commemoration of the nation’s war dead through history.

Members of the 42nd Virginia Infantry and 14th Brooklyn Militia reenactment groups will represent Con-federate and Union troops in conducting funeral musketry salutes at the cemetery and at the 14th Brooklyn Monument.

The park’s artillery detachment will fire a salute from a 10-pounder Parrott gun in honor of the war dead, and members of the 42nd Virginia will perform guard duty at the cemetery through the afternoon.

The ceremony will begin with the raising of flags to the peak of the cemetery flagstaff at noon. Musketry and artillery salutes will follow at the cemetery and a final musketry salute will be fired at the 14th Brook-lyn Monument at about 1 p.m.

The Groveton Cemetery is located on U.S. 29 about one mile west of Va.234. Parking for the cemetery is located immediately to the west of the site, off U.S. 29.

The 14th Brooklyn Monument is across U.S. 29 from the cemetery, with public access and parking located on New York Avenue, a park tour road.

Hopefully these brave soldiers will continue to be honored in this way, regardless of time.   Many of those young men are buried far from their homes.  Their families didn’t have the comfort of visting their graves.  Virginia is full of civil war graveyards.  My favorite one is a Union cemetery over on route 250, just east of Staunton.  My father always tipped his hat when we drove by on the way to visit my grandparents and said ‘hello buddies.’  He did that every time he passed a military cemetery.

A Salute to Mt. Jackson and to Southern Heritage

May 30th, 2010 15 comments
To All Confederates

"To All Confederates"

Over in the Valley and down I 81 lies the hamlet of Mt. Jackson. All of us have seen the exit. My dear friends Jane and Bob live there. They returned home after many years out of the area to settle into retirement with family and friends. Bob served in the Coast Guard and Jane served in the school systems in Tidewater and Prince William County. It is difficult to catch up with either of them because they are so busy. But I digress….

I recently spoke with Bob about his membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I wanted to know more. Many people think of the Sons of Confederate Veterans as a bunch of moonshine drinking, beer bellied, hell raising, flag waving bearded old grizzlies who continually shout “Forgit? Hell no!” every other word while they pet their 10 coon hounds yapping at their heels. Not Bob and not many others.

Bob is one of the most genteel, educated, Virginia gentlemen I know. He does not fit the image painted above. In speaking to Bob, I almost got a mystical sense of a desire to stay connected to his past and his roots–not just stay connected but to honor that past and those roots. He and Jane both have a strong sense of history. There was an unmistakable message that we do not allow our collective regional heritage to be distorted and conveniently swept under the rug in favor of a more politically correct image of what we were not.

I share much of Bob and Jane’s heritage and I think it is important for all sons and daughters of the South to admit, like all Americans, those chapters of our history that are ugly and we certainly have some. But all of our heritage is not ugly. Much of it is good, gracious, and a great source of pride. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. Honoring this past honors your family; those people who, in most cases, were just ordinary people trying to go about their everyday lives doing what they had to do to get along in the world they knew.

One of the first Decoration Days was held in Mt. Jackson at their local Confederate Cemetery. Soldiers from 11 different Confederate states are buried there. Very few families could travel to honor their dead. Many wars later, as we commemorate Memorial Day 2010, let’s go back some 144 years ago to a little place in the Valley:

From Virginia.org

Our Soldiers Cemetery was established in 1861 on land obtained from Col. Levi Rinker. The cemetery, containing about 400 graves, was first dedicated on 10 May 1866 by a memorial association. The entire community, including the nearby town of New Market and Edinburg, participated in the dedication of the cemetery. A wreath of flowers was placed on each of the graves. The ceremonies included addresses in the church by Maj. H.K. Douglas (an aide of gen. Stonewall Jackson) and others.

Because of the efforts of Raymond Watkins of Falls Church, VA, and others, the list of Confederate soldiers buried here is complete and there are no longer any unknowns. There are soldiers from eleven southern states buried here: AL, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, and VA.

Decoration Day in Virginia

Decoration Day in Virginia

Inscription:

“The Mount Jackson Confederate Hospital’s Cemetery, now called Our Soldiers Cemetery, was dedicated on May 10, 1866 the third anniversary of Stonewall Jackson’s death. The “Memorial and Decoration Day” organized by the local ladies was one of the first such observances in the South. The service began with an address in the church by Major Henry Kyd Douglas, the youngest of Jackson’s staff officers. Afterward, a participant wrote that “ladies, gentlemen and children as well as many ex-Confederates, all carrying wreaths prepared the day before, marched to the cemetery ¾ of a mile north of town to place those wreaths on each of the 400 graves.”

The Third and final Confederate National Flag waves over the dead

The Third and final Confederate National Flag waves over the dead

Much honor and thanks to my mother, Betty, who taught her kids to have pride in their heritage during times when frankly, it wasn’t the easiest thing to do.

Resource: The Historical Marker Database

Rolling Thunder Roars — Memorial Day 2010

May 30th, 2010 10 comments

I love Rolling Thunder! They evolved out of the Vietnam War. As they came back from Vietnam, often bewildered, it was like time had stood still. Did they quietly accept that they had fought in an unpopular war and to suck it up and move on? Oh hell no.

According to the Rolling Thunder website:

Rolling Thunder began in 1987 as a demonstration to bring awareness to the plight of prisoners of war (POW) and to those missing in action (MIA). Rolling Thunder originated when four Vietnam Veterans, exercising the First Amendment “Right to Petition and Assemble”, organized the first group of 2500 motorcycles to ride through the streets of Washington, DC. This first Rolling Thunder run was made in an attempt to petition the government to take responsibility for the soldiers that were abandoned after the Vietnam War ended.

My generation is a scrappy bunch. They are loud and proud. No parade? No ticker tape? No recognition other than brats demonstating? They made their own damn parade. My generation yells at you to convince you of their opinion. After you agree (even if it is to shut us up) then we yell at you some more just to make the point. Oliver Stone shouts the boomer point of view. Rolling Thunder roars it.

Now as those who served in the Persian Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan join them, the roar will be even louder. They won’t let us forget. They have come to honor their dead and their missing, the P.O.W.s who never came home.

Official Rolling Thunder Website

Enjoy the roar

And from another perspective…ride along with them.

Rolling Thunder 2009 – Ride of the Patriots – Fairfax to Arlington

Preparing Arlington National Cemetery

May 29th, 2010 1 comment

The former home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is now the final resting place for more than 300,000 people.  Memorial DayArlington National Cemetery.  President Herbert Hoover conducted   the first national Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on May 30, 1929. 

Before every Memorial Day, soldiers put a flag at each grave.  This tradition creates a beautiful scene.

A Gift From the CargoSquid

May 29th, 2010 6 comments

He says he would have joined up sooner had he known…

Cargo you rock! Thanks for getting us off to a rocking start for the Memorial Day Weekend.

Categories: General Tags:

All Gave Some, Some Gave All

May 28th, 2010 21 comments

Same song, different video. The video below is of our American troops who have lost their lives. It puts faces to our national loss. Very touching. I hope you have time to view both.

 

 

All of us know at least one person who has given his or her life for our country.  This thread  is dedicated to those we knew.  Please post about someone you knew.  If you don’t know someone, please remember a stranger or someone who touched your heart in some way. 

My stranger would be Lori Piestewa, the Hopi woman who was killed in the early days of the Iraq War.

My people I knew would be my classmate Charlie Milton-Vietnam War and Corporal Brian Medina, United States Marine Corps, class of 2002 Gar-Field HS (Iraq);

Categories: National Events, Veterans, War/Military Tags:

Open Thread 5/28/10

May 28th, 2010 63 comments

Our open thread is late this week. There is just need for some tidbit room today.

First off, did anyone catch the hearings regarding the oil leak? The families who spoke of the 11 who were killed on the was just heart breaking. Those 11 lives lost have been overshadowed because of the magnitude of the ecological disaster. Meanwhile these families and friends mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Speaking of rolling thunder, that storm last night was horrific. I got wind, lightning, and lots of hail. I thought the hail was going to break the windows.

There is a superior interactive section about those who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afganistan at CCN. Please check it out. Very worthwhile. I found the soldiers from Prince William County there also.

Categories: General Tags: