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I counld't find anywhere to post this so:

Below are some thoughts and ideas I have found while killing some time today at work YES, all my work was done!

Realize The Blessings We Have...

Most Americans do not realize the blessings they have. So many in this world envy our freedom, and many of us do not know what we have.

Colonel Jeff Douglass, USMC was waiting for a flight from Sarajevo to Vienna. He found himself in a conversation with a gentleman named Peter who was departing Sarajevo after gathering research for a book he was writing. Peter pointed to the United States passport, and said: "Do you know what that is worth?" "I'm afraid I don't understand," Douglass replied. "Of course, Peter said, forgive me, I forgot. You Americans do not realize the blessings you have. So many in this world envy you...and you do not know what you have. You see, freedom is what these people cherish. It is such a dream for many. Here, as is the case in many countries, families are willing to send their young away to freedom, in spite of the pain. You Americans are a lighthouse beacon for freedom, and I wonder if you realize this."

What does freedom mean? Were the sacrifices by those who died as a result of service to our nation forgotten? Who would step forward to carry on the responsibility of protecting freedom?

In the face of today's splurge of multi-million dollar buyouts, contracts, endorsements, and signing bonuses, there are those who still go quietly and diligently to serve the People.

It is important that this Memorial Day represents more than the mere opening date of the neighborhood swimming pool. It signifies all the valor, consequence, and memory of the sacrifices made by countless men and women who have served our nation and gave everything they could. It is a focal point for Americans to recall and re-commit to the enduring values of service to the community, whether that community is local, national, or even global.

On Monday, Memorial Day, wouldn't it be fitting and appropriate if Americans all around the world stopped for one minute at 3:00 p.m. local time in order to reflect on the sacrifices made by others for our nation? And wouldn't it be something if we could each consider what we can do for our community and for families around the world? The world is looking for our lighthouse beacon—we must not let the light of freedom die and we must not forget those who have given so much to make it glow.



In the fall of 1864, President Lincoln was informed that a Boston widow, Lydia Bixby, had lost five sons in the Civil War. These are the words of the beautiful letter President Lincoln wrote to the woman:

Executive Mansion
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864

To Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Mass.
Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.

Yours very sincerely and respectfully
A. Lincoln


A Soldier's Own Obituary

Major John Alexander Hottell III wrote his own obituary while serving in Vietnam. He was killed in a helicopter crash on July 7, 1970.

"I am writing my own obituary for several reasons, and I hope none of them are too trite. First, I would like to spare my friends, who may happen to read this, the usual clichés about being a good soldier. They were all kind enough to me, and I not enough to them. Second, I would not want to be a party to perpetuation of an image that is harmful and inaccurate: "glory" is the most meaningless of concepts, and I feel that in some cases it is doubly damaging. And third, I am quite simply the last authority on my own death.

I loved the Army: it reared me, it nurtured me, and it gave me the most satisfying years of my life. Thanks to it I have lived an entire lifetime in 26 years. It is only fitting that I should die in its service. We all have but one death to spend, and insofar as it can have any meaning, it finds it in the service of comrades in arms.

And yet, I deny that I died FOR anything—not my country, not my Army, not my fellow man, none of these things. I LIVED for these things, and the manner in which I chose to do it involved the very real chance that I would die in the execution of my duties. I knew this, and accepted it, but my love for West Point and the Army was great enough—and the promise that I would some day be able to serve all the ideals that meant anything to me through it was great enough for me to accept this possibility as a part of a price which must be paid for all things of great value. If there is nothing worth dying for—in this sense—there is nothing worth living for.

I have known what it is like to be married to a fine and wonderful woman and to love her beyond bearing with the sure knowledge that she loves me; I have commanded a company and been a father priest, income-tax adviser, confessor, and judge for 200 men at one time; I have played college football and rugby, won the British national diving championship two years in a row, boxed for Oxford against Cambridge only to be knocked out in the first round, and played handball to distraction—and all of these sports I loved, I learned at West Point. They gave me hours of intense happiness.

I have experienced all these things because I was in the Army and because I was an Army brat. The Army is my life, it is such a part of what I was that what happened is the logical outcome of the life I loved. I never knew what it is to fail, I never knew what it is to be too old or too tired to do anything. I lived a full life in the Army, and it has exacted the price. It is only just."

—Major John Alexander Hottell III

http://www.remember.gov/portals/0/moment/Last Monday in May.mp3

http://www.remember.gov/portals/0/moment/final poster.bmp


God Bless America and God Bless our Troops.

Bill Speer
US Army Signal Center GWOT Historian
Phone: (706) 364-9100
 
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Coach, first off, do not ever apologizing for going off topic. Fishing and our fighting men and women go hand in hand, and if it wasn't for their sacrifices, we might not share the freedoms that we have today.

You are very right.........Americans to not realize just how great of a country that we live in. We take for granted the very things that make this country the best in the world, and we take for granted the people that died to make this country what it is.

The work that you just put on here is the truth, down to the very last word. I am one of the most patriotic men you will meet, and even when I hear of another soldier that has lost their life in defense of our nation and her beliefs, I cry. On Memorial Day, July 4th, and on September 11th, you will find my truck blaring 3 songs over and over. The first is by Toby Keith and is called "The Angry American", the second is by Darryl Worley and is called "Have You Forgotten?" and lastly, but certainly not leastly, there is a song by Alan Jackson which is called "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning".

My family was one of the few lucky families. My cousin, PFC Michael Brown, was an Army Sharpshooter. He was a sniper rifle shooter, and he was in Iraq before our President decided to think of going to war with Iraq. He was able to come home, no worse for the wear. I thank God each and every day that he set foot back on United States soil, and that he is able to live his life the best way he sees fit.

I had another friend, Cody McArther, who was also in tha Army, and he's back home as well, for good. I think God each and every day that my "Jokester" is back home. He was like a younger brother to me in HS, and I taught him how to play chess. And yes, the student learned to smack the teacher around on the chess board.

I am going to take the things that you wrote in this message, and I am going to send it to all of my friends and family, so that they know just was the US stands for.

Thanks for that. :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa: :usa:
 
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