Monday, May 29, 2017

Fw: TheList 4466


The List 4466
To All,
I hope you all have a great Memorial  Day.
Thanks to Dutch
Thanks to Carl
The Meaning of Memorial Day, From the Civil War On
The Meaning of Memorial Day, From the Civil War On
Lee Edwards / May 26, 2017
As we pause this Memorial Day to honor those who died so that we might enjoy the blessings of liberty, here are some facts to remember about the day and some inspiring words from a great president.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, set aside to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers.
On the first Decoration Day in 1868, Gen. James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery where some 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were buried. Garfield said they "summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtue of men and citizens."
Red poppies are often worn on Memorial Day as a symbol of remembrance and to honor those who died in war.
Since the late 1950s, soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, have placed small American flags at each of the over 260,000 gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, a practice that continues to this day.
For those who have flags at home, remember this Memorial Day custom: The American flag should be hung at half-staff until noon, and then raised to the top of the staff.
Presidents have long honored Memorial Day with speeches, and President Ronald Reagan did so in 1982 while visiting Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
After placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Reagan spoke briefly about sacrifice and obligation, saying:
If words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and final sacrifice.
Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way—be willing to give of ourselves.
How, then, will we respond to the challenge of this Memorial Day 2017?
Will we accept the burden of preserving the freedom for which so many died? Will we sacrifice ourselves for those who will come after us? Will we keep faith with those who gave their all for us?
Thanks to GM and Dutch
Monday I will NOT be celebrating Memorial Day, I will be observing it. And I will drink the toast "To those who no longer drink with us".
It is not our day. Our celebration will come in five and a half months.
Memorial Day Mayhem – Americans Just Don't Get It
By Ray Starmann
Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching and with it the usual consumer chaos that surrounds the holiday more than its true meaning; to honor those who have died in our nation's wars.
Last Memorial Day, I was inside the grocery store here in sunny Southern California. I stood in an aisle watching the mayhem all around me. Shoppers were over-running the place as they threw cases of beer, steaks and bags of chips into their carts. As I looked on, I saw an older gentleman standing next to me. He was a tall figure who wore a WWII Veteran ball cap. He seemed to notice my 7th Cavalry ball cap as well.
"They just don't get it." I said to him.
"They never will." The WWII vet said to me. We talked for a while as we looked on at the madness around us. He told me he had been a B-17 pilot and had flown missions over Nazi Germany. I told him about my service with the 7th Cavalry in the Gulf War.
Even though he was at least 40 years older than me, I had more in common with him at that moment than I would have had with any of the maniacal shoppers racing through the aisles.
Today, I was back in the same grocery store. When I was checking out, the cashier told me excitedly that she had Memorial Day off and couldn't wait to party.
What did Jesus say on the cross? Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.
The attitude of the people in the store last year, the callous and quite clueless attitude of the young girl checking me out today is symptomatic of how the whole nation now looks upon Memorial Day in 2016.
With the majority of Americans never having served in the military in peacetime or war, we now have a whole nation oblivious about the true meaning of the holiday.
It is not now, nor has it ever been just a day for barbecues, boating, beer drinking and softball games.
It seems that veterans are the only ones who understand and treasure the true meaning of Memorial Day. Many vets have not only seen the horrors of war, but have lost friends in war. To a vet, Memorial Day can never just be a day at the beach with hot dogs and Frisbees.
The number of Americans killed in action in US wars since and including the American Revolution equals 664,000 combat deaths and including non-combat deaths, 1.3 million, plus 1.5 million US service personnel wounded in battle.
Even vets from other countries seem to understand more about Memorial Day than our own citizens. Twenty-five years ago, I was riding in a taxi at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The driver, a German, had a red poppy attached to the steering wheel. When I enquired why he was displaying the poppy on an American holiday, he remarked, "We are all Kamaraden. We are all comrades."
He went on to tell me that he had served in U Boats in WWII.  Considering that three fourths of the U Boat crews went to their deaths, he was not only a respectful man, but a lucky one as well. Yep, even the guys trying to blow our heads off 70 years back, have more reverence for the holiday than many Americans.
"We are all comrades."
We are indeed.
The true sadness of Memorial Day is remembering the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who died in the prime of their lives. They never had the chance to stand in the booze aisle and decide whether to buy a case of Budweiser or Corona. They never had a chance to return home and have a cheeseburger. They never had a chance to fulfill their individual dreams. They never had another chance to "party."
It seems hard or nearly impossible for the narcissistic, shallow, callous, America of 2016 to contemplate supreme sacrifice and true patriotism.  Americans are too caught up in taking another selfie or liking some banal video on Facebook, to focus on the battlefield deaths of WWII, or even the most recent casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is up to veterans to continue the Memorial Day traditions of wreath laying and parades and to try and impart the real meaning of the day to especially young Americans.
Perhaps General MacArthur said it the most eloquently in his speech at West Point in 1962, when he described the eternal sacrifices of American service personnel:
My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world's noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.
His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man.
But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism.
From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.
I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.
And twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.
Their resolute and determined defense, their swift and sure attack, their indomitable purpose, their complete and decisive victory – always victory, always through the bloody haze of their last reverberating shot, the vision of gaunt, ghastly men, reverently following your password of Duty, Honor, Country.
Somehow, in the last decades, Duty, Honor and Country has metastasized into This Bud's For You.
Those who gave their lives for this nation deserve the respect of this nation.
He was buried today here at the new National Cemetery at Miramar.
Thanks to Dick
interview request -- returned MIA Navy RF-8A pilot, LCDR Crosby
From: Steele, Jeanette []
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 7:51 AM
To: Richard Cavicke <>
Subject: RE: interview request -- returned MIA Navy RF-8A pilot, LCDR Crosby
Thought you might like to see the finished story. Many thanks for your help!
Jeanette Steele | staff writer
600 B Street, Suite 1201, San Diego, CA 92101
Thanks to Len who sent it to the Crusader drivers but it is applicable to us all
Dear F-8 Crusader Leaders,
(A modification of Rachel Firth's original)
Springtime flowers were blooming.  Together to the appointed place in San Diego, the old Crusader Warriors came.
Pilgrims, drifting across the land they fought to preserve. French friends were missing.
Where they meet is not important anymore.  They meet and that's enough for now.
Greetings echo across a lobby.
Hands reach out and arms draw buddies close.  Embraces, that as young men they were too uncomfortable to give, too shy to accept so lovingly.
But deep within these beautiful spring days, they have reached a greater
understanding of life and love.
The shells holding their souls are weaker now, but hearts and minds grow
vigorous, remembering.
On a table someone spreads old photographs, a test of recollection.
And friendly laughter echoes at shocks of hair gone gray or white, or
merely gone.  The rugged slender bodies lost forever.
Yet they no longer need to prove their strength.
Some are now sustained by one of "medicine's miracles," and even in this
fact, they manage to find humor.  The women, all those that waited, all those who loved them, have watched the changes take place.
Now, they observe and listen, and smile at each other; as glad to be
together as the men.
Talk turns to war and Crusader Fighter planes and foreign lands.  Stories are told and told again, reweaving the threadbare fabricate of the past.
Mending one more time the banner of their youth.  They hear the vibrations, feel the shudder of jet engines whine and whirl, and planes come to life.
Those beautiful birds with folding wings can be seen beyond the mist of clouds,
and they are in the air again, chasing the wind, feeling the exhilaration of flight close to the heavens.  Dead comrades, hearing their names spoken, wanting to share in this time, if only in spirit, move silently among them.
Their presence is felt and smiles appear beneath misty eyes.
Each, in his own way may wonder who will be absent in another year.
The room grows quite for a time. 
Suddenly an ember flames to life.  Another memory burns.
The talk may turn to other wars and other men, and of futility.
So, this is how it goes.  The past is so much present.  In their ceremonies, the allegiances, the speeches and the prayers, one cannot help but hear the deep eternal love of country they will forever share.
Finally, it is time to leave.  Much too soon to set aside this little piece of yesterday, but the past cannot be held too long, for it is fragile.
They say "Farewell" . . .  "See you another year, God willing."
Each keeps a little of the others with him forever.
Check six!
(Author: Unknown to me)
God bless you all.
And, Special Thanks to all you Leaders who made it happen.
Len  VF-84, VF-174, VF-301 CJ
Nobel Peace Prize Nominations 2003, 2014 & 2017
Help Make it a Better World.
Thanks to Robert and others
So appropriate on the Memorial Day Weekend.
I don't know who wrote "THE FINAL INSPECTION",  but PLEASE keep this going!
I hope this circles the globe.
If it were not for the United States military, there'd be NO United States of America.

The Soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
'Step forward now, Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?'

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'no, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you Soldier, 
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
~Author Unknown~
It's the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

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