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Saturday, May 25, 2019

For Memorial Day 2019

[With thanks to Warren, who called my attention to the cited essay below]

[about "Flags In" at Arlington National Cemetery]

Some appropriate reading for Memorial Day and worth pondering....

From Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery by Tom Cotton, published in Hillsdale College's Imprimis (April/May, 2019):
Every headstone at Arlington tells a story. These are tales of heroes, I thought, as I placed the toe of my combat boot against the white marble. I pulled a miniature American flag out of my assault pack and pushed it three inches into the ground at my heel. I stepped aside to inspect it, making sure it met the standard that we had briefed to our troops: “vertical and perpendicular to the headstone.” Satisfied, I moved to the next headstone to keep up with my soldiers. Having started this row, I had to complete it. One soldier per row was the rule; otherwise, different boot sizes might disrupt the perfect symmetry of the headstones and flags. I planted flag after flag, as did the soldiers on the rows around me.

Bending over to plant the flags brought me eye-level with the lettering on those marble stones. The stories continued with each one. Distinguished Service Cross. Silver Star. Bronze Star. Purple Heart. America’s wars marched by. Iraq. Afghanistan. Vietnam. Korea. World War II. World War I. Some soldiers died in very old age; others were teenagers. Crosses, Stars of David, Crescents and Stars. Every religion, every race, every age, every region of America is represented in these fields of stone.

I came upon the gravesite of a Medal of Honor recipient. I paused, came to attention, and saluted. The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest decoration for battlefield valor. By military custom, all soldiers salute Medal of Honor recipients irrespective of their rank, in life and in death. We had reminded our soldiers of this courtesy; hundreds of grave sites would receive salutes that afternoon. I planted this hero’s flag and kept moving.

On some headstones sat a small memento: a rank or unit patch, a military coin, a seashell, sometimes just a penny or a rock. Each was a sign that someone—maybe family or friends, or perhaps a battle buddy who lived because of his friend’s ultimate sacrifice—had visited, honored, and mourned. For those of us who had been downrange, the sight was equally comforting and jarring—a sign that we would be remembered in death, but also a reminder of just how close some of us had come to resting here ourselves. We left those mementos undisturbed.

After a while, my hand began to hurt from pushing on the pointed, gold tips of the flags. There had been no rain that week, so the ground was hard. I asked my soldiers how they were moving so fast and seemingly pain-free. They asked if I was using a bottle cap, and I said no. Several shook their heads in disbelief; forgetting a bottle cap was apparently a mistake on par with forgetting one’s rifle or night-vision goggles on patrol in Iraq. Those kinds of little tricks and techniques were not briefed in the day’s written orders, but rather got passed down from seasoned soldiers. These details often make the difference between mission success or failure in the Army, whether in combat or stateside. After some good-natured ribbing at my expense, a young private squared me away with a spare cap.

We finished up our last section and got word over the radio to go place flags in the Columbarium, where open-air buildings contain thousands of urns. Walking down Arlington’s leafy avenues, we passed Section 60, where soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan were laid to rest if their families chose Arlington as their eternal home. Unlike in the sections we had just completed, several visitors and mourners were present. Some had settled in for a while on blankets or lawn chairs. Others walked among the headstones. Even from a respectful distance, we could see the sense of loss and grief on their faces.

Once we finished in the Columbarium, “mission complete” came over the radio and we began the long walk up Arlington’s hills and back to Fort Myer. In just a few hours, we had placed a flag at every grave site in this sacred ground, more than two hundred thousand of them. From President John F. Kennedy to the Unknown Soldiers to the youngest privates from our oldest wars, every hero of Arlington had a few moments that day with a soldier who, in this simple act of remembrance, delivered a powerful message to the dead and the living alike: you are not forgotten.


The Thursday before Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery is known as “Flags In.” The soldiers who place the flags belong to the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, better known as The Old Guard. My turn at Flags In came in 2007, when I served with The Old Guard between my tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Old Guard is literally the old guard, the oldest active-duty infantry regiment in the Army, dating back to 1784, three years older even than our Constitution....


No one summed up better what The Old Guard of Arlington means for our nation than Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey. He shared a story with me about taking a foreign military leader through Arlington to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Sergeant Major Dailey said, “I was explaining what The Old Guard does and he was looking out the window at all those headstones. After a long pause, still looking at the headstones, he said, ‘Now I know why your soldiers fight so hard. You take better care of your dead than we do our living.’”
Read the entire essay HERE.

Memorial Day is not really about store sales and cookouts. 

Rather, Memorial Day is a solemn commemoration of our fallen military across the centuries. 

Pause, remember, reflect.


  1. It's worth noting as well, that the 3rd Infantry Regiment [The Old Guard] not only has it's fill time ceremonial and honor guard duties, but is also required to maintain combat readiness, just as with any other Infantry unit. Company sized elements also deploy to the Middle East with some regularity.

    A great honor for those Soldiers to do the first, while maintaining the second.

  2. Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May.
    It's a day to remember those who didn't make it home.
    I wanted to point that out because I am sure many perhaps even most of the younger generation....aka millenials have no idea what it is all about.....to them just another opportunity to party.

    Anyhow.....let us remember those who have fallen in our defense...let us pause if just for a moment to give thanks for their service.

    Far too many do not realize just how much so many have sacrificed

    1. They don't know, Frankie, because Honor, Respect, Love for Country and those who've fought to establish and defend her, along with a good basic knowedge of our history have not been TAUGHT in several decades.

      Pstriotism doesn't grow naturally like weeds in a field. It must be INCULCATED in the very young, and taught with REVERENCE.

      Unfortunately, "PATRIOTISM" today has been equated with CHAUVINISM by the MarXian TERMITES who long ago established a beach-head here BY CLEVERLY using a perverted, legalistic, argumentative understanding of the FIRST AMENDMENT, and thus infiltrated all of our "systems," and managed to pervert and subvert them cunningly with Sophistry and Guile.

      The Bible tells us to "beware of woves in sheep's clothing." Sadly we've been so miseducated for several generations now that most cannot tell the difference between a ravening wolf and a nice, friendly old sheepdog.

      And so today our Brightest andBest would vehently insist that ALL forms of IDEOLOGY are of EQUAL VALUE, and ALL deserve EQUAL RESPECT.

      I can hear Satan chuckling with gleeful menace at that, can't you?

      If you CAN'T, you must consider yourself BRAINWASHED by the Left.

  3. Memorial Day is about a celebration of Freedom... which is why I post this video currently being soft-banned by YouTube and media search engines.

    The lessons of THIS Memorial Day, "We must either exercise our freedoms, or we will most certainly lose them."

  4. We celebrate Armed Forces Day on behalf of those who are wearing the uniform; Veterans Day for those who wore the uniform; Memorial Day for those who never took off their uniform.

  5. _______ Hail Columbia _______

    Hail Columbia, happy land!
    Hail, ye heroes, heaven-born band,
    Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
    Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
    And when the storm of war was gone
    Enjoy'd the peace your valor won.
    Let independence be our boast,
    Ever mindful what it cost;
    Ever grateful for the prize,
    Let its altar reach the skies.

    Firm, united let us be,
    Rallying round our liberty,
    As a band of brothers joined,
    Peace and safety we shall find.

    Immortal patriots, rise once more,
    Defend your rights, defend your shore!
    Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
    Let no rude foe, with impious hand,
    Invade the shrine where sacred lies
    Of toil and blood, the well-earned prize,
    While offering peace, sincere and just,
    In Heaven's we place a manly trust,
    That truth and justice will prevail,
    And every scheme of bondage fail.

    Firm, united let us be,
    Rallying round our liberty,
    As a band of brothers joined,
    Peace and safety we shall find.

    Behold the chief who now commands,
    Once more to serve his country stands.
    The rock on which the storm will break,
    The rock on which the storm will break,
    But armed in virtue, firm, and true,
    His hopes are fixed on Heav'n and you.
    When hope was sinking in dismay,
    When glooms obscured Columbia's day,
    His steady mind, from changes free,
    Resolved on death or liberty.

    Firm, united let us be,
    Rallying round our liberty,
    As a band of brothers joined,
    Peace and safety we shall find.

    Sound, sound the trump of fame,
    Let Washington's great fame
    Ring through the world with loud applause,
    Ring through the world with loud applause,
    Let every clime to freedom dear,
    Listen with a joyful ear,
    With equal skill, with God-like power
    He governs in the fearful hour
    Of horrid war, or guides with ease
    The happier time of honest peace.

    Firm, united let us be,
    Rallying round our liberty,
    As a band of brothers joined,
    Peace and safety we shall find.

    ~ Words by Joseph Hopkinson (1770-1842)
    Music by Philip Phile (1734-1793)

  6. Which is why I never go to sales or give into the hype that it's a day of celebration. Memorial Day is a day of remembering our fallen heroes. They gave up everything for our freedom.

    1. It may sound like splitting hairs, but phrases like "they gave up all" and they gave their lives" to my mind sort of miss the point. They did not give their lives. They put the safety of their nation ahead of their own, they put their lives at risk in defense of what mattered, but their lives were taken from them, not given. They lost their lives, they did not give them up.

      Kenneth Roberts said it, in "A Rabble In Arms."

      "They go to war," he said, "not to die for their country, but to place themselves, their precious lives, between their home and the forces which would destroy it."

    2. Yes, sure, but I prefer what General Patton is supposed to have said on the subject when talking to his men:

      "You're not here to die for your country, you're here to make sure some other poor son-of-a-bitch dies for his."

      If that is not an exact quotation, it is certainly close enough to the spirit of General Patton's unequivocal, straight-from-the-shoulder advice.

      To imagine that war ishould be about ethical considerations and finelly nuanced moral distinctions makes no sense at all.. War is –– or certainly should be –– about WINNING –– no matter what it takes.

      As Lord Acton said, "MODErATIIN IN WAR IS IMBECILItY."

      The pompous, priggish, latter-day limp-wrested piffle about fighting a "FAIR war," a "DECENT war," s "CONSIDERATE war," an "EThICAL war, etc. gravely endangers the lives of OUR men at arms, as it undermines what-should be the purpose of any military mission which, of course ought to be VICTORY for OUR side, and UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER by the ENEMY.

    3. Freedom isn't free. It has a cost. This day reminds us of what the cost has been, and that we should never take freedom for granted... that we owe it to those who have gone before us, to do our part, and pass it on...

    4. When you sign up, you relinquish your right to life and many of your freedoms, the ones you are protecting for others.
      You give your life. It is not taken.
      Often, you get it back.

  7. It's just all too sad........especially with where America is today. God bless all those who fought, or are fighting, or lost their lives, and their families.

  8. felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
    And Mourners to and fro
    Kept treading –– treading –– till it seemed
    That Sense was breaking through -

    And when they all were seated,
    A Service, like a Drum ––
    Kept beating –– beating –– till I thought
    My mind was going numb––

    And then I heard them lift a Box
    And creak across my Soul
    With those same Boots of Lead, again,
    Then Space –– began to toll,

    As all the Heavens were a Bell,
    And Being, but an Ear,
    And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
    Wrecked, solitary, here ––

    And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
    And I dropped down, and down ––
    And hit a World, at every plunge,
    And Finished knowing –– then ––

    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)


  9. Let us now praise famous men

    and our fathers that begat us

    such as did bear rule
in their kingdoms

    men renowned for their power
leaders of the people
by their counsel
and by their knowledge
such as found out

    musical tunes and
recited verses in writing

    All these were honoured
in their generation

    and for the glory of our times

    but some there be
    which have no memorial
    who have perished as though
    they have never been
    Their bodies are
    buried in peace
    but their name liveth

    for evermore.

    ~ Ralph Vaughan Williams

  10. It's a complex day.
    Both a day to honor those who were true to their oath and a day to remember not to rush to judgement and send them on fabricated missions.

    1. Also well said. Memorial Day honors those who died in uniform defending the freedom of this Republic. But sadly, also those who died in causes that had nothing to do with the defense of the same.

    2. Dead is DEAD no matter how you slice it. Even the NAZIS killed in WWII deserve to be remembered by THEIR loved ones with AFFECTION, RESPECT, and even HONOR simply for doing their DUTY, as they understood it.

      Most of tHEM couldn't possibly have been aware of how desperately wicked, and inestimably vile their LEADERSHIP was.

      That's why I believe that once a war is over, the VICTORS should formally FORGIVE the VANQUISHED, and then do their best to help those defeated to bind up ther wounds, and REBUILD their lives –– as WE did with the AXIS POWers after we'd won a decisive victory for the Allies in WWII.

      Rubbing the Enemys face in the mess he made, treating him with contempt, and continuing to punish him, –– as we did with Germanyafter WWI ––, was not only WRONG, it made the even-worse horrors of WWII INEVITABLE.

    3. That doesn't refute my point, but I agree nonetheless. Especially the linked domino effect from WWI to present.

    4. I wasn't attempting to REFUTE your point –– or even Canardo's ––. I merely sought to AMPLIFY what both of you said.

    5. ala Quackery:

      How all occasions do inform against me,
      And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
      If his chief good and market of his time
      Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
      Sure, he that made us with such large discourse,
      Looking before and after, gave us not
      That capability and god-like reason
      To fust in us unused. Now, whether it be
      Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
      Of thinking too precisely on the event,
      A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
      And ever three parts coward, I do not know
      Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do;'
      Sith I have cause and will and strength and means
      To do't. Examples gross as earth exhort me:
      Witness this army of such mass and charge
      Led by a delicate and tender prince,
      Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd
      Makes mouths at the invisible event,
      Exposing what is mortal and unsure
      To all that fortune, death and danger dare,
      Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
      Is not to stir without great argument,
      But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
      When honour's at the stake.

      -Shakespeare, "Hamlet" (Act IV, Sc iv)

  11. ––––––– WHY MEMORIAL DAY?–––––––



Do you remember the parades? The high school marching bands, the Boy Scouts, the Cub Scouts, and the Brownies all neatly dressed in their uniforms and marching along, sometimes shyly, sometimes proudly, but more often just plain doggedly?


Do you remember the excitement getting ready for The Big Event? Everyone rushing around in the early A.M., mother making sure that everyone got breakfast –– you can’t march on an empty stomach, you know. Dad hanging out the flag on the front porch or from an upper storey window, slightly embarrassed, but privately grateful when Junior points out that it’s hung upside down. There’s just time to put it right before everyone has to be at the starting grounds for the big parade.


Little sister, too young to march, gets the best view, because she’s privileged to sit on Daddy’s shoulder. Later, she’ll shriek with wild delight to to the wry amusement of all the parade goers, when she spots her big brother, the Eagle Scout, bearing the standard in front of the whole troop. He’ll turn beet red with self-consciousness when he hears her, but pretend not to notice, and secretly be pleased.


The veterans of two World Wars will march too. They are the real reason for this exciting event. The ancient ones from the First World War, some hobbling on crutches or walking stiffly with canes, wouldn’t miss the chance to march no matter how much effort it might be for them. Uniforms, which no longer fit very well, some even partially eaten by moths, have been dragged out of attics and basements once again to have their brass buttons polished in honor of the day. And there’s always an octogenarian or two who is so proud that his uniform still fits as well as it did in 1916. He will march with his still-handsome head held high, and with an energy that will put all the younger ones to shame.


Most of the dads are from the World War Two vintage. They have grown comfortably into middle age, grateful to be here in this land-of-the-free. The horrors of the war they studiously avoid discussing, or even thinking much about, except when an occasional nightmare disturbs their rest, or during those rare, quiet get-togethers with foxhole buddies who actually went through the same experience. At the VFW meetings they pretty much try to concentrate on having good times, and doing good works for the community.


If they seem a little too hearty and laugh a little too loudly, don’t let it bother you. The gave more than those of us left safely at home could possibly imagine –– much more than most of them could possibly even tell you about.



–––––––– WHY MEMORIAL DAY? ––––––––

      PART TWO

And so, thy marched with pride, with gratitude, and with hope that future generations would not be called upon to make similar sacrifices, so that their families could continue to grow their gardens in peace, and march in future parades and enjoy picnicking with both gratitude and joy.


Later, after the parade, mothers, sisters and aunts would put on the most splendid outdoor feasts. Do you remember the huge bowls of luscious homemade potato salad redolent of onions, peppers, hard boiled eggs, Aunt Mary’s very special homemade mustard, and Hellmann’s Mayonnaise?
      Sometimes, they added bacon. Surely you must remember the hot dogs and hamburgers, or maybe some ribs and chicken all lovingly and exquisitely marinated with secret spices Dad used before cooking them over white hot charcoal? And all the things to fill it out like Aunt Vera’s carrot raisin slaw and Cousin Jane’s extra special good cucumber salad that even the kids loved to eat, and Mother’s homemade cheesebread –– to say nothing of all the cakes and pies and brownies and stuff.


One year Mother made a spectacular sheet cake that used blueberries and the brightest red strawberries strategically placed on her best white icing to represent the American Flag! The trouble was it didn’t taste near as good as it looked, so we never had it again.


As a famous song says, “These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our lives.”


No one talked about Uncle Bob, who died in a Japanese prison camp less than a month before the war was over, or Cousin Eddie, who walks with a painful limp, because there was no way the surgeons could get all the shrapnel out of his knee.


No one talked about these sacrifices as we put on our innocent and prideful displays, thrilled at the realization that summer vacation was now in sight, and romped and teased and loved each other, –– but we knew.


Somehow, we were aware that all this was not happening just for “fun.” In those long ago days we were taught to be grateful. We were made aware that everything we do has consequences, and that everything –– good and bad –– must be paid for. There were no “free rides,” and no “free lunches,” either. 

Sometimes, terrible things happen –– like Uncle Bob’s dying in that prison camp. [We found out later from two of his surviving buddies that they’d inserted slivers of bamboo under his fingernails and set them on fire –– among other things.]


But we didn’t dwell on stuff like that.


Uncle Bob had been a sweet-natured, happy-go-lucky man. He was the first to come pick you up and fetch the mercurochrome, if you fell off your bicycle, and he adored animals. He was always bringing home a little lost kitten or stray puppy much to Mother’s indulgent dismay.


Oh, we still miss Uncle Bob, even though he’s been gone for more than sixty years now, but we’ve always felt that he wanted us to be happy. That’s why he went over there and got himself tortured and killed. So we have been happy, but we’ve kept Uncle Bob alive in the love we store in our memories of him, and our gratitude for his courage and sacrifice, and for the swell guy he was whom we were so lucky ever to have known at all.


Should we do less for all those other “Uncle Bobs” who gave their lives so that we might continue to enjoy our picnics?


~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper - Spring, 1996

  12. I'll be seeing you
    ___ in all the old familiar places
    that this heart of mine embraces
    ___ all day through

    In a small cafe,
    ___ the park across the way
    The children' carousel,
    ___ the chestnut trees, the wishing well.

    I'll be seeing you
    ___ in every lovely summer's day
    In everything that's light and gay
    I'll always thnk of you that way.

    I'll find you in the mornung sun
    And when the night is new
    I'll be looking at the moon,
    ___ but I'll be seeing you.

    ~ Irving Kahal (1938)


  13. __________THE END _________

    Not every man knows
    ––– what he shall sing at the end,
    Watching the pier
    ––– as the ship sails away,
    _____ ___ or what it will seem like
    When he’s held
    ___ by the sea’s roar, motionless,
    ________ there at the end,
    Or what he shall hope for
    ___ once it is clear
    ________ that he’ll never go back.

    When the time has passed
    ___ to prune the rose
    ________ or caress the cat,
    When the sunset torching the lawn
    ___ and the full moon
    ________ icing it down
    No longer appear,
    ___ not every man knows
    ________ what he’ll discover instead.
    When the weight of the past
    ___ leans against nothing,
    ________ and the sky

    Is no more than remembered light,
    _____ and the stories of cirrus
    And cumulus come to a close,
    ___ and all the birds
    ________ are suspended in flight,
    Not every man knows
    ___ what is waiting for him,
    ________ or what he shall sing
    When the ship he is on
    ___ slips into darkness,
    ________ there at the end.

    ~ Mark Strand (1934-2014)

  14. Thanks for the post. I Enjoyed reading about this.

  15. Some good reading for this Memorial Day 2019:

    Carl Mann stormed Omaha Beach; he'll be buried at Arlington on the D-Day anniversary.

    A few paragraphs from the above:

    Sgt. Carl Mann was a hero living among us for 96 years until his death March 30. He was awarded three Purple Hearts and seven Bronze Stars for his service in the 5th Infantry Division of Gen. George S. Patton’s 3rd Army. He was involved in all five major battles of the European Theater – from storming Omaha Beach on D-Day to being Patton’s eyes and ears during the Battle of the Bulge


    Because Mann was at the front of the offensive line, he also was the first to reach the large, iron gates of two concentration camps. Germans who occupied them knew they were under siege and fled upon opening the gates.

    The helpless, malnourished prisoners inside came flooding out. Some collapsed to the ground and laid prostrate with their face in the dirt while grabbing Mann’s ankles to tell him, "Thank you.”

    They were free. Those moments were the manifestation of why Mann and millions of others enlisted.


    The thought arises once again:
    That our brave men have died in vain
    If in our now-degraded state
    We see no more why they were great,––
    And rattle on belligerently ––
    Rejecting Thought that made us free ––
    Embracing now with loud insistence ––
    Malice threatening our existence ––
    Tearing at each other's throats ––
    While a leering Satan gloats ––
    A sorry spectacle that wrenches
    My heart thinking of the trenches
    Filled with anguish, fear and dread
    As bullets whizzed above each head,
    And buried in the mud the mines
    Lurked to shatter limbs and spines,
    While in the distance cannons boomed
    Inspiring fear that all were doomed.
    Then to see a body shattered ––
    One a buddy –– now parts scattered ––
    In the mud with corpses strewn ––
    Gruesome lit by sun or moon ––
    More pitiful the wounded lie
    In agony praying to die.
    And all around the smell of blood
    Vomit, –– urine, –– faces, –– crud
    Defined the hellish atmosphere
    But few if any shed a tear.
    They knew they had a job to do ––
    Protecting our land –– and you ––
    From Tyranny, –– Brutality ––
    Poverty –– and Slavery ––
    Their Sacrifice –– Our Legacy –
    Now relegated to the Fire ––
    Ever the Enemy’s Desire ––
    Because their precious Victory
    Was neutralized by Sophistry
    That promised Peace eternally
    By ceding our Sovereignty
    As a dumb ovine assembly
    Always led too easily
    To the abattoir where brutally
    They end up slaughtered ruthlessly.
    And so the Enemy has won ––
    Not by bayonet, bomb, or gun ––
    But by an ideology
    Seductive, to those lazily
    Imagining there’s an Easy Way
    To stop becoming Satan’s Prey.
    Thus lulled into a stupor we
    Now feel a false Security.
    Forgetting the we owe a debt
    To those brave men who fought to get
    Continued Opportunity
    To cherish their fine legacy.
    Because the Left runs Education
    We’ve lost our great Emancipation ––
    Betrayed great men through dissipation
    Made worse by bitter argumentation.

    ~ FreeThinke

  17. Calpurnia Dragonheart said

    Proof exists that any attempt to rise above commonness is bound to be met with silence bordering on contempt. This is where we are today, adulation for the ordinary, derision for the distinguished. Tragic!

  18. __________ MY BUDDY __________

    Nights are long since you went away
    I think about you all through the day
    My buddy, my buddy, no buddy quite so true
    Miss your voice, the touch of your hand
    Just long to know that you understand
    My buddy, my buddy, your buddy misses you

    Miss your voice, the touch of your hand
    Just long to know that you understand
    My buddy, my buddy, your buddy misses you

    ~ Gus Kahn (1922)

  19. From Instapundit:

    "If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for."


  20. Photos: ‘Rolling Thunder’ Rides Through D.C. as Trump Pledges to Protect Memorial Day Tradition

    Agence France-Press,

    by Staff

    Washington – More than 100,000 flag-bearing bikers, many of them Vietnam veterans, throttled their engines Sunday for the annual “Rolling Thunder” ride through the capital as President Donald Trump vowed to keep the Memorial Day spectacle alive. Spectators lined the route from the Pentagon to the National Mall to watch the growling parade of choppers, a leather-clad, red-white-and-blue tribute to American soldiers missing in the Vietnam War. “The Great Patriots of Rolling Thunder WILL be coming back to Washington, D.C. next year, & hopefully for many years to come. It is where they . . .

  21. __________ REMEMBER _________

    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

    Remember me when no more, day by day,
    You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.

    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.

    ~ Christina Rossetti (1836-1894)


  22. Pardons for Memorial Day?

    New York Sun

    by Editorial

    So much hogwash has been written about the President’s pardon power that it’s hard to know where to start. One place, though, would be the New York Times’ editorial on President Trump’s use of pardons in military cases. It ran last week under a headline suggesting Mr. Trump’s general approach to pardons “may be lawful, but it is in no way normal.” In other words — blam! — before the Times even gets down to business it runs off the rails. That’s because there is no “normal” way to pardon. If the Framers had wanted to specify norms for using the pardon, they were perfectly capable of doing so . . .

  23. Watch: 96-Year-Old WWII Vet Goes Viral For Stirring National Anthem on His Harmonica at Soccer Match


    by Joe DePaolo

    On Sunday, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ was filled to capacity — with 26,332 fans on hand to watch an exhibition soccer match between the U.S. women’s national team and Mexico. And prior to the start of the contest, each and every one of those fans was rapt listening to a harmonica player.Of course, Pete Dupre isn’t just any harmonica player. The 96-year-old who brought the house down at Red Bull Arena Sunday is a veteran of World War II.According to the U.S. women’s national team (via NJ.com), “During WWII, DuPre served as a medic in the 114th General Hospital Unit in Kidderminster, England. At age 17, . . .

  24. Vice President Pence gave a magnificent speech today at Arlington National Cemetery. Hand salute; ready, to.


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