Americans

THE 16th ANNIVERSARY of 9/11 (NEVER FORGET!)

Many Americans remember exactly where they were when first learning of  JFK’s death on November 22nd, 1963 in Dallas Texas, however; just one moment before 8:46 AM on September 11th 2001 in NYC, many more of us have the additional memory of the horrific events of “9/11” as well.   Today~  my generation remembers the frightening events of 9/11 to add to our memories of knowing exactly where we were when we first learned of the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, NY, the Pentagon in Washington DC & the Flight 93 plane crash in Shanksville, PA.  

Here is a look at a brief timeline courtesy of the History Channel. ~ JGT

• 9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building

• 8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.

• 9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.

• 9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

• 10:07 am – After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.

• 10:28 am – The World Trade Center’s North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today is a difficult day. The memories are painful and some of the wounds I fear may never heal. Yet I pray you will help me to go on living for truth, firm in my hope of your salvation. May I live for you, Lord, and by doing so, be an example to my friends and family. I pray, just like Jesus, I may learn obedience through these things that I have suffered. Help me not to question why, yet even if I do, give me courage to continue to trust you. Help me take the comfort and strength you’ve poured into my life and use it to comfort and strengthen others who need hope.

I pray I might become a better person and help make the world a better place because of this terrible event. Thank you for the heroes that gave so sacrificially on September 11. Help me to remember their courage and learn from them. I want my life to be worthy of you Lord, so make of it what you desire, and use me to fulfill your purposes. May the evil of that day cause me and my family to work harder to do good on this earth and to bring your light into the dark places. Help me to never stop believing in you and living my life for you.

Lord, heal all those who were crushed and broken on that day. May they come to experience your presence and know your peace.

Amen.

 

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THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The Pledge of Allegiance was originally written in August 1892 by a Socialist Minister, Francis Bellamy (1855-1931) from New York. He originally wrote it to promote Socialism & eventually the rise of Nazism in Europe and the United States.  Originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892, Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

In its original form, it read:  “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923, a National Flag Conference, presided over by the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, ordained that “my flag” should be changed to “the flag of the United States,” lest immigrant children be unclear just which flag they were saluting. The following year, the Flag Conference refined the phrase further, adding “of America.”  In 1942, the pledge’s 50th anniversary, Congress adopted it as part of a national flag code. By then, the salute had already acquired a powerful institutional role, with some state legislatures obligating public school students to recite it each school day.
A decade later, following a lobbying campaign by the Knights of Columbus—a Catholic fraternal organization—and others, Congress approved the addition of the words “under God” within the phrase “one nation,  indivisible.” On June 14, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill into law making it the same 31-word “Pledge” we recite today.
Section 4 of the United States Flag Code states:  “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.”

The Pledge should be observed by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute. ~JGT

 

 

HISTORY & OBSERVATION OF “FLAG DAY” IN THE UNITED STATES

360px-US_Flag_Day_poster_1917Flag Day is a celebration of the adoption of the American flag by Continental Congress in the First Flag Resolution of June 14, 1777. Although the 200-year anniversary of this date was celebrated by flying flags on public buildings and holding remembrances in several cities, Flag Day wasn’t officially recognized until President Harry Truman signed it into law in 1949.  The week of June 14 is designated as “National Flag Week.” During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all Government buildings. Some organizations hold parades and events in celebration of our national flag and everything it represents. It’s also a time to remember and honor military men and women who defend our flag and our country. ~ JGT

HISTORY

The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America’s birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as ‘Flag Birthday’. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as ‘Flag Birthday’, or ‘Flag Day’.

On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.

Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as ‘Flag Day’, and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.

Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.

In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children’s celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.

Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”

Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.  Courtesy of  USFlag.org:- The History Of Flag Day.

This Jersey Girl couldn’t let this article be complete without including a tidbit of New Jersey  history. ~JGT

1913, City of Paterson, New Jersey

During the 1913 Paterson silk strike, IWW leader “Big” Bill Haywood asserted that someday all of the world’s flags would be red, “the color of the working man’s blood.” In response, the city’s leaders (who opposed the strike) declared March 17 to be “Flag Day,” and saw to it that each of the city’s textile mills flew an American flag. This attempt by Paterson’s leaders to portray the strikers as un-American backfired when the strikers marched through the city with American flags of their own, along with a banner that stated:

WE WEAVE THE FLAG

WE LIVE UNDER THE FLAG

WE DIE UNDER THE FLAG

BUT DAM’D IF WE’LL STARVE UNDER THE FLAG.

 

 

THE HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY

 THE HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY ~ by Dorian F. Howard© (Jersey Girl & U.S. Navy Veteran)

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the thDG2GUUZ6Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. It started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War and was declared that Decoration Day should be observed yearly on May 30th. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The current name for this day, Memorial Day, did not come into use until after World War II. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery,** across the Potomac from Washington DC.  The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

NOTE**Arlington was for many years the estate of Colonel Robert E. Lee. At the onset of the Civil War, after first refusing the command of all Union forces, he volunteered his services to the Confederate Army. During the course of the war, his former estate was seized by the Union Army, which made it a headquarters. In 1864, with Union dead piling up throughout the Washington area, the search for a suitable site for a military cemetery resulted in a recommendation that Lee’s former estate be converted to a burial ground. Out of the death and destruction of the Civil War, was born Arlington National Cemetery.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities. It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May. However, it took a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.

To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

thXTV02NDRThe National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.  As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

“Changing the date of Memorial Day merely to create a 3 day weekend has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt this has greatly contributed to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.” ~ VFW 2002 Memorial Day Address.

Memorial Day has become less of an occasion of remembrance. Many people choose to hold picnics, sports events and family gatherings on this weekend. This day is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season for cultural events. For the fashion conscious, it is seen as acceptable to wear white clothing, particularly shoes from Memorial Day until Labor Day. However, fewer and fewer people follow this rule and many wear white clothing throughout the year.

It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day used to be a solemn day of mourning, a sacred day of remembrance to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. Businesses closed for the day. Towns held parades honoring the fallen, the parade routes often times ending at a local cemetery, where Memorial Day speeches were given and prayers offered up. People took the time that day to clean and decorate with flowers and flags the graves of those the fell in service to their country. We need to remember with sincere respect those who paid the price for our freedoms; we need to keep in sacred remembrance those who died serving their country. We need to never let them be forgotten. However, over the years the original meaning and spirit of Memorial Day has faded from the public consciousness. I consider it to be a national day of mourning. Do you?

On Memorial Day we need to stop and pay with sincere conviction our respects for those who died protecting and preserving the freedoms we enjoy, for we owe those honored dead more than we can ever repay. How many graves of our fallen do we in America leave dishonored by leaving their resting places forgotten and neglected? Unfortunately, when Congress made Memorial day into a mandatory three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363), it made it all the easier for us to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day.

However, during their 2010 legislative session, the State of New Jersey passed legislation urging congress to Restore Memorial Day to its original observance day of May 30th.   Their bill is SR17. Thank you New Jersey. You make this Jersey Girl and U.S. Navy Veteran very proud! ~ JGT

In my opinion as well as those of others; in order to keep the number of three day Federal Holidays the same, Armed Forces day, the third weekend of every May, could easily become a three-day holiday. On that holiday we can celebrate our freedoms won and maintained by our Armed Forces – a three-day holiday to focus on our active duty men and women in uniform and to expressively show them our love and support.

thV7HD2Y5M

IN FLANDERS FIELDS

~ By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (18721918)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields….
 

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium

 

 

 

 

A SAILOR’S CHRISTMAS AT SEA

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

The sea is cold, the night is dark… the blowing wind is crisp,
I stare across the ship’s huge deck… I did not get my wish.
I wanted so, to be at home… this year on Christmas Eve,
But this will be the year that I… did not get Christmas leave.

I stand and think about my family… gathered by the tree,
I know that one will say my name… and then they’ll think of me.
I am not there to share their joy… my country needs me here,
But I am not the only one… who won’t get home this year.

I miss my family but I am… on guard for my country,
Protecting those who can have Christmas… is my first duty.
Many men have given all… for us to have that right,
And I feel honored just to sacrifice… a Christmas night.

But still I’m feeling so alone… as many of us are,
As I just stand here on the deck… and watch a Christmas star.
I guess it is a Christmas star… it shines for all it’s worth,
And I think back to when a star… foretold His peace on earth.’

If only people felt this calm… as on this Christmas Eve,
And not create hostilities… that make their brothers grieve.
Then we could have a peaceful world… as it was meant to be,
But until then we must stand guard… and this night it is me.

Once again my thoughts turn home… my family safe and sound,
Because this ship and other men… are ready to stand ground.
The Navy and the other branches… keep us safe and strong,
So those at home can celebrate… and sing their Christmas song.

But knowing that I must do this… I can’t hold back a tear,
Wishing I was home this Christmas… sharing in the cheer.
Seeing all my families faces… lights and Christmas trim,
Now the night is getting darker… as I think of them.

Trying now to fight this feeling… of such loneliness,
Softly speaking to myself… a lonely Christmas wish.
Actually my Christmas wish… is now a Christmas prayer,
Thank you for the men who serve… our country everywhere.

Thank you for our families… who enjoy this Christmas free,
Thank you for the other men… who serve this ship with me.
Thank you for allowing me… to make this sacrifice,
A joyous Christmas for our families… makes it worth the price.

May there be peace within you today.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our
Wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

~Author Unknown~

This former “WIN” (Such was the PC term for ‘Women in the Navy’ during the over 11 years I served on active duty) salutes ALL of my brothers & sisters currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps. Air Force, Army & Coast Guard throughout the World Today~ Yesterday & Tomorrow! I salute ALL U.S. Military Veterans who have or ever have taken the following oath & most especially, those that have Given Their Last Full Measure of Devotion to the Citizens & People of the United States of America.

 ‘I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.’ 

Who am I? I am a Christian! I am an American! I am a U.S. Navy Veteran. I am a Woman & Proud Wife of a Retired U.S. Navy Chief. We are so much more than this but we owe our lives to our God & the Country we each served for over 32 years combined. To that end, I’d like to wish you ALL a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR! And~ God Bless Us~ Every One! -JGT

FRAUD! Michelle Obama’s Mom Will Receive HUGE Taxpayer Funded Pension FOREVER Just For Doing What Americans Do For Free EVERY DAY!!!

I haven’t fact-checked this story yet but if it is true~ I believe it really is time for a second American Revolution! The very idea that anyone who babysits for their own grandchildren for 8 years while their parents lived at tax-payer expense~ in the White House should receive a government  pension at the additional expense of American Taxpayers is appalling! Who the hell came up with the figure of $160,000? Who the hell decided that this was to be paid for by the American People? Granny Robinson should be paid a pension by HER daughter, Michelle & son-in-law, Barack! NOT THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER!  In my opinion, it is long past time for ‘legal’ Americans to do whatever tit takes to help drain the swamp of corrupt Washington DC & all corrupt Politicians!  ~JGT

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-1_20_57-pmWho could’ve imagined when Barack Hussein Obama, took to the podium and spoke so eloquently those immortal lines; “we are 5-days from fundamentally “transforming America,” did we envision the implication hidden within those words.   Most ignored the fact that standing before us at the podium was a young and inexperienced individual with no executive experience, and with a few worrisome skeletons hidden within his closet, and most (I didn’t’), overlooked the apparent inconsistencies and his ties to leftist and violent radicals, most felt it was time for a change, regardless of those implications…we were making history and showing the world how morally advanced we were as a nation in voting for the “FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENT.”

Now 8-years later we see what “Transforming America” has inflicted upon our Republic, and aside from our continued journey into the abyss, the Obama’s are making sure to take care of their own before leaving the White House, by pillaging, looting, robbing, ransacking, and stripping the American taxpayer once again.
This time with the help of congress who’ve apparently worked out another deal behind closed doors, this one allows Marian Robinson, 79, dubbed “First Grandma” to receive a lifetime 160K GOVERNMENT PENSION…get this, for taking care of her own grandchildren.

The scam was uncovered by documents obtained through the “Freedom of Information Act.”
The pension scam was for “services rendered as full-time/in-home caregiver” for taking care of her granddaughters.
Moreover there’s little doubt that this two-bit “Chicago hustler” has indeed “transformed” his own net worth, at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Do you think Michelle Obama’s mother should get $160,000 a year for the rest of her life for baby sitting her own grand daughters?

Original Article courtesy of US Herald 

What do you think? Feel free to let me know. ~ JGT

me-and-mom-march-1980-001

 

Me & Mom after I graduated from US Navy Boot Camp 1979

I AM AN AMERICAN SAILOR

NAVY PIC20110824162357901I Am An American Sailor!th5D0OF9UM

Hear my voice, America!  Though I speak through the mist of 200 years, my shout for freedom will echo through liberty’s halls for many centuries to come. Hear me speak, for my words are of truth and justice, and the rights of man. For those ideals I have spilled my blood upon the world’s troubled waters. Listen well, for my time is eternal -yours is but a moment. I am the spirit of heroes past and future! 

I am the American Sailor. I was born upon the icy shores at Plymouth, rocked upon the waves of the Atlantic, and nursed in the wilderness of Virginia. I cut my teeth on New England codfish, and I was clothed in southern cotton. I built muscle at the halyards of New Bedford whalers, and I gained my sea legs high atop mizzen of Yankee clipper ships.

Yes, I am the American Sailor, one of the greatest seamen the world has ever known. The sea is my home and my words are tempered by the sound of paddle wheels on the Mississippi and the song of whales off Greenland’s barren shore. My eyes have grown dim from the glare of sunshine on blue water, and my heart is full of star-strewn nights under the Southern Cross. My hands are raw from winter storms while sailing down round the Horn, and they are blistered from the heat of cannon broadside while defending our nation.  I am the American Sailor, and I have seen the sunset of a thousand distant, lonely lands.

 bonhomme_richardI am the American Sailor. It was I who stood tall beside John Paul Jones as he shouted, “I have not yet begun to fight!”  I fought upon the Lake Erie with Perry, and I rode with Stephen Decatur into Tripoli harbor to burn Philadelphia.  I met Guerriere aboard Constitution, and I was lashed to the mast with Admiral Farragut at Mobile Bay. I have heard the clang of Confederate shot against the sides of Monitor. I have suffered the cold with Peary at the North Pole, and I responded when Dewy said, “You may fire when ready Gridley,” at Manila Bay.  It was I who transported supplies through submarine infested waters when our soldiers were called “over there.”  I was there as Admiral Byrd crossed the South Pole.  It was I who went down with the Arizona at Pearl Harbor, who supported our troops at Inchon, and patrolled dark deadly waters of the Mekong Delta. 

 thI6IANB6VI am the American Sailor and I wear many faces. I am a pilot soaring across God’s blue canopy and I am a Seabee atop a navy-seal3dusty bulldozer in the South Pacific. I am a corpsman nursing the wounded in the jungle, and I am a Torpedoman in the Nautilus deep beneath the North Pole. I am hard and I am strong. But it was my eyes that filled with tears when my brother went down with the Thresher, and it was my heart that rejoiced when Commander Shepherd rocketed into orbit above the earth. It was I who languished in a Viet Cong prison camp, and it was I who walked upon the moon. It was I who saved the Stark and the Samuel B. Roberts in the mine infested waters of the Persian Gulf.  It was I who pulled my brothers from the smoke filled compartments of the Bonefish and wept when my shipmates died on the Iowa and White Plains. When called again, I was there, on the tip of the spear for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

 I am the American Sailor.  I am woman, I am man, I am white and black, yellow, red and brown. I am Jew, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist. I am Irish, Filipino, African, French, Chinese, and Indian.  And my standard is the outstretched hand of Liberty. Today, I serve around the world; on land, in air, on and under the sea. I serve proudly, at peace once again, but with the fervent prayer that I need not be called again. Tell your children of me. Tell them of my sacrifice, and how my spirit soars above their country. I have spread the mantle of my nation over the ocean, and I will guard her forever.  I am her heritage and yours. ~ I am the American Sailor.   ~MUCM J. Wallace, USN

 

Now inside the Chopper (HS7) NAS Jacksonville Florida Summer 1983 (2)

 

 

 

PN1 Dorian F. Howard, US Navy 8/79 – 2/90 (I Am An American Sailor!)

 

 

GETTYSBURG (July 1 – July 3, 1863)

civilwarcrossstitchBrief Reasons & Events leading up to Gettysburg:

Prior to 1861, the United States of America had always been considered as separate states wherein they created most of their own rules and regulations. A long-lasting debate argued whether to have each state, or a singular central government, decide issues such as taxation, commerce of products and, in particular; the issue of slavery. While the northern states opposed slavery, the southern states (whose economy depended on it) supported slave labor.

By 1861, after realizing that debating the issue could no longer resolve the argument between the northern and southern states, the southern states seceded from the United States and formed their own Confederacy of States. Jefferson Davis, (who graduated 28 out of 34 in his West Point class) was elected as their president. President Abraham Lincoln, who was then president of the United States, believed that, “A house divided cannot stand.” and therefore, a Civil War between the northern and southern states, (the Union vs. the Confederacy) broke out to decide once and for all, whether the United States would remain one country or split be into two individual countries.

In 1861 and 1862, Confederate armies achieved several victories over their Northern counterparts but by the summer of 1863, when General Robert E. Lee was put in command of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Lee decided upon an invasion of the north, which he thought would pull both armies out of war-torn northern Virginia, where most of the fighting had previously been. He thought that by invading the north and in particular, possibly winning a victory in the north, it might cause embittered northerners to put pressure on the Lincoln Administration in Washington, to seek a settlement toward peace and thus bring an end to the war.

Lee’s fateful decision, eventually brought the war to the doorsteps of a small, rural south central Pennsylvania town called Gettysburg!

General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was 75,000 strong & was traveling north into central Pennsylvania. He felt confident. However; on June 30, Lee learned that 95,000 soldiers of the Union Army of the Potomac, led by Major General George G. Meade, were following closely behind.

Here’s the Timeline:

WEDNESDAY, July 1, 1863

battle-of-gettysburg-oak-ridge-july-1General Lee ordered several brigades to travel east to check their location and to forage for supplies for his troops. Northwest of the town of Gettysburg they met. A skirmish ensued and as the battle heated, word was sent back to both commanders that the enemy was found and reinforcement troops proceeded to the area. Over the next 2 days Lee’s army converged onto Gettysburg from the west and north while Meade’s army arrived from the south and southeast. Thus a battle never planned, occurred simply by circumstance.

As Lee’s southern forces continued a persistent attack against the entrenched Union troops, additional arriving Confederate forces launched an all-out offensive which eventually drove the Union forces through the streets of Gettysburg and to a defensive line just south of town. By the end of the first day of battle (July 1st, 1863) a five-mile Confederate line covered the area stretching from Seminary Ridge on the west side of Gettysburg, through the town and on eastward toward the area called Culp’s Hill. As additional Northern reinforcements arrived on the field, they occupied a two-mile defensive position commonly referred to as a fishhook formation along Cemetery Ridge and Culp’s Hill. 

Commanding General Meade & his entourage arrived just after midnight.

THURSDAY,  JULY 2, 1863

gettysburg-devilsden-and Little Round TopThe second day of battle began as a series of disorganized and disjointed Confederate attacks on the Union defensive position south of the town. Though simultaneous attacks were supposed to have occurred on Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Ridge, the attacks took place at least six hours apart and ended with consistent retreats. Union forces held onto Culp’s Hill but the Confederate forces eventually drove back the Union troops in the areas referred to as Peach Orchard, Wheatfield, Valley of Death and Devils Den. Each one and each side, had a stunning amount of casualties. The Confederate troops advance of the Union right flank had initially succeeded but was finally stopped by the heroic efforts of the Union forces and most especially~ in an area known as Little Round Top.

“In this writer’s opinion, the defense of Little Round Top is a pivotal win for the Union Forces during the three-day battle at Gettysburg. Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Commanding Officer of the 20th Maine Regiment~ was one of the most instrumental leaders during the battle at Gettysburg.” Historic account of the battle at Little Round Top may be read here.

Feeling successful after two days of battle with the Union army, General Robert E. Lee, believing his army was invincible and undefeatable, decided to attack, what he thought to be the weakest position of the Union line the next morning. Unfortunately for Lee, Union General George Gordon Meade, had already held a council of war with his Corps commanders early that morning & had decided to remain in a defensive position for the battle anticipated the next day (July 3rd). Meade finally decided, that very evening, after listening to the advice of each of these Commanding Generals, as to which of their commanders would lead their individual armies into, which would become, one of the most famous days & battles of the American Civil War.

gettysburg-pickettsFRIDAY, JULY 3, 1863

The third day of battle of Gettysburg began with another unsuccessful attempt by the Confederates to take over and occupy Culp’s Hill. Meanwhile, a mile east of Gettysburg a Confederate Cavalry of 6,000 troops held orders to attack the Union rear but the Union cavalry with a strength of over 5,000, managed to confront them in a firefight that contained and forced the Confederates to retreat. General Jeb Stuart led the southern forces and among the Union leadership was General George Armstrong Custer. (Appointed Brigadier General in the Union Army at the age of 23.) Read about General George Armstrong’s contributions to the Battle of Gettysburg here. 

Robert E. Lee never explained Stuart’s actions that day. And Stuart, who was killed later in the war, also never wrote any explanation of what he was doing three miles from Gettysburg that day. Interesting!

At 1:00 PM, the largest cannonade that ever occurred on the North American continent thus far, assembled ahead of the planned rebel charge. Unknown to Lieutenant General James Longstreet, the cannon fire, which was to decimate the Union center overshot their target and only destroyed the farm fields far behind the Union troops. Once the cannon fire ceased, 12,000 Confederate soldiers marched in formation from Seminary Ridge to launch a famous, heroic attack upon the Union center. This would be forever after immortalized in history as the failed, Pickett’s Charge.

The Confederates hoped to reach a small clump of trees over one mile, away across an open field. Once the smoke from the cannonade had cleared the field, Union forces, though admiring the determination and desperate dedication of the men before them, began firing their own cannons once the Confederate soldiers were in range. The Union artillery hit and mowed down the columns of men like blades of grass. Only a small number of Confederate forces managed to reach the small clump of trees.  Once there, Union forces engulfed them from three sides. General George Pickett’s division and other elements in the attack were virtually destroyed.

Retreating back to Seminary Ridge, General Lee waited for General Pickett. Once he understood that a defeat had occurred, Lee ordered Pickett to reform his division in the event of a Union counterattack. Pickett’s response to Lee was, “General Lee, I have no division.”

And that was that. After three days of devastating carnage, the battle at Gettysburg has ended with the Confederates being defeated and retreating back to Virginia the next day. Unfortunately, the horrors of the Civil War would continue for another two long, bloody years.

Coincidentally, the next day happened to be July 4th. It was on July 4th, 1776 that the first 13 colony states formally broke away from Great Britain and formed a new nation called the United States of America. Indeed, also coincidentally, that the United States should be one country, this same day (July 4th 1863), the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, MS surrendered to a Union general, who two years later, would accept the surrender of General Lee and Confederate forces at Appomattox, VA.

That General was Ulysses S. Grant.

The American Civil War lasted 4 long years and resulted in over 600,000 deaths and 3,000,000 casualties of both northern and southern young men. However; our nation was reborn as one in 1865 at the end of the war.

From that time on, the United States would always be referred to with a singular verb: The United States IS one country!

GETTYSBURG (July 1 – July 3, 1863)  by D. F. Howard @July 2016

 

gettysburg-address

Click here to view all Civil War Photos

 

A PERSONAL NOTE TO MY DADDY ON FATHER’S DAY

Our fathers carry half of our genetic makeup and our relationship with our fathers play such a huge part of who we will become as adults. In many segments of society, people grow up without ever knowing their fathers. This is unfortunate because all fathers should play as important a role in raising their children as do their mothers. A father is the model of a man for his daughter~ and because of that, he is the ideal that she will model her future relationships after in her search for her future mate. She will inevitably choose a man who is very much like her father. A father is also the model for his son as well. However, since I was a “daddy’s little girl”, I’ll let my brother come up with his own opinion. This one is mine.

Despite many unforeseen circumstances and in spite of his being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease just before I was born, my father never complained about his progressing and incurable disability. Indeed, in many ways I believe it made him stronger.

As a child and young teenager, my father taught me about movies, baseball, carpentry and cars. He taught me how to fry bacon and eggs, how to throw a baseball & hit one out of the park. He watched closely while he instructed me in changing out electrical outlets, the proper use his power tools as well as how to miter wood & swing a hammer. By the mid-late 1960’s I knew how to do all the ‘male-dominated’ chores around the house including cutting the grass. And~ until this day, I can tell you the make and model year of any car built between 1930 – 1985! Through the years, the lessons I learned from my father gave me the courage to eventually serve in the military and courageously stand up for myself against life’s challenges and any adversity I faced.  Thank you, Daddy. I miss you very much. Happy Father’s Day! Love Always~ your little ‘Mooch’

He wasn’t a hero~

Known by the world.

But a hero he was~

To his little girl.

~by D. F. Howard © 2015, Revised © 2016

Poem YOU NEVER

FATHER’S DAY TRIVIA

In the year 1910 on July 19, it was said that the Governor of Washington state declared the first ‘Father’s Day’. The day of celebration for fathers did not meet the same height of enthusiasm as mother’s day because supposedly a father did not have an equal amount of sentimental value. It was not until July 5, 1908 in a West Virginia church that the very first celebrated, sponsored event for fathers took place. The sermon that very day was held and centered on the 362 fallen men that lost their lives in explosions that took place in the Fairmount Coal Company mines. This event, however, was only a one day thing and not the annual holiday that many know of today.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF FATHER’S DAY: A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd had her place in the history of father’s day. As one of six children raised by a widow, she tried to create a day that would be an official day just like mother’s day for the counterparts to female parents. She wished to create this day in honor of her farther. It was said that Dodd went all over to places such as churches and the YMCA to gather some type of support for this thought. She was met with success as Washington then celebrated Father’s Day as a national holiday. However, despite Dodd’s effort and success of obtaining the male version of Mother’s Day, many men were seen to not partake in such a thing as they felt it somehow toned down their manliness with gift giving. In fact, most men back in that time scoffed at the very existence of the holiday.

Father’s Day took its place in history in 1966. President Lyndon Johnson made Father’s Day into the national holiday that is now as popular as Mother’s Day. Today, the holiday is met with an equal amount of love and affection, gift-giving, and bonding as seen on Mother’s Day. This day is the one of the largest card sending days of the year where about 87 million cards are given. Most of these cards come from the wives and daughters of the families. Sons are sometimes seen fishing with their fathers on this day. Other activities involve barbecues and family bonding.

The importance of Father’s Day from back in history to the present day is to help bring acknowledgement to the roles that father’s play within society and in families. The celebration, much like Mother’s Day, also gives children the opportunity to show just how much they love and respect their fathers. This is said to assist with strengthening the initial bond shared by father and child. Father’s Day is just around the corner now. The celebration and the honoring of those dads still here or that have passed away will be felt by many around the globe.

By Isis E. Stevens

Read more at http://guardianlv.com/2014/06/fathers-day-a-history/#C66vsPb4EeWSPEXv.99

 

COMMON SENSE By Thomas Paine (Published 1776)

DutyPublished in 1776, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain.

OF THE ORIGIN AND DESIGN OF GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL, WITH CONSISE REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION.

     SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

     Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

     In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest; they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto; the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him to quit his work, and every different want would call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune, would be death; for, though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

     Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but Heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

     Some convenient tree will afford them a State House, under the branches of which the whole Colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of Regulations and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first parliament every man by natural right will have a seat.

     But as the Colony encreases, the public concerns will encrease likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue encreasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number: and that the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the ELECTED might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the ELECTORS in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this, (not on the unmeaning name of king,) depends the STRENGTH OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE HAPPINESS OF THE GOVERNED.

     Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. Freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and reason will say, ’tis right.

     I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered; and with this maxim in view I offer a few remarks on the so much boasted constitution of England. That it was noble for the dark and slavish times in which it was erected, is granted. When the world was overrun with tyranny the least remove therefrom was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise is easily demonstrated.

     Absolute governments, (tho’ the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs; know likewise the remedy; and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies; some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine.

     I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices, yet if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the English Constitution, we shall find them to be the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new Republican materials.

First. — The remains of Monarchical tyranny in the person of the King.

Secondly. — The remains of Aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the Peers.

Thirdly. — The new Republican materials, in the persons of the Commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England.

     The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the People; wherefore in a CONSTITUTIONAL SENSE they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the State.

     To say that the constitution of England is an UNION of three powers, reciprocally CHECKING each other, is farcical; either the words have no meaning, or they are flat contradictions.

First. — That the King it not to be trusted without being looked after; or in other words, that a thirst for absolute power is the natural disease of monarchy.

Secondly. — That the Commons, by being appointed for that purpose, are either wiser or more worthy of confidence than the Crown.

     But as the same constitution which gives the Commons a power to check the King by withholding the supplies, gives afterwards the King a power to check the Commons, by empowering him to reject their other bills; it again supposes that the King is wiser than those whom it has already supposed to be wiser than him. A mere absurdity!

     There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of Monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the World, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless.

     Some writers have explained the English constitution thus: the King, say they, is one, the people another; the Peers are a house in behalf of the King, the commons in behalf of the people; but this hath all the distinctions of a house divided against itself; and though the expressions be pleasantly arranged, yet when examined they appear idle and ambiguous; and it will always happen, that the nicest construction that words are capable of, when applied to the description of something which either cannot exist, or is too incomprehensible to be within the compass of description, will be words of sound only, and though they may amuse the ear, they cannot inform the mind: for this explanation includes a previous question, viz. HOW CAME THE KING BY A POWER WHICH THE PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO TRUST, AND ALWAYS OBLIGED TO CHECK? Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, WHICH NEEDS CHECKING, be from God; yet the provision which the constitution makes supposes such a power to exist.

     But the provision is unequal to the task; the means either cannot or will not accomplish the end, and the whole affair is a Felo de se: for as the greater weight will always carry up the less, and as all the wheels of a machine are put in motion by one, it only remains to know which power in the constitution has the most weight, for that will govern: and tho’ the others, or a part of them, may clog, or, as the phrase is, check the rapidity of its motion, yet so long as they cannot stop it, their endeavours will be ineffectual: The first moving power will at last have its way, and what it wants in speed is supplied by time.

     That the crown is this overbearing part in the English constitution needs not be mentioned, and that it derives its whole consequence merely from being the giver of places and pensions is self-evident; wherefore, though we have been wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute Monarchy, we at the same time have been foolish enough to put the Crown in possession of the key.

     The prejudice of Englishmen, in favour of their own government, by King, Lords and Commons, arises as much or more from national pride than reason. Individuals are undoubtedly safer in England than in some other countries: but the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the formidable shape of an act of parliament. For the fate of Charles the First hath only made kings more subtle — not more just.

     Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice in favour of modes and forms, the plain truth is that IT IS WHOLLY OWING TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PEOPLE, AND NOT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE GOVERNMENT that the crown is not as oppressive in England as in Turkey.

     An inquiry into the CONSTITUTIONAL ERRORS in the English form of government, is at this time highly necessary; for as we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others, while we continue under the influence of some leading partiality, so neither are we capable of doing it to ourselves while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice. And as a man who is attached to a prostitute is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.