Army

Wall Of Honor Video Tribute To Virginia's War Dead

Our Memorial Day tribute, courtesy of TimesDispatch.com: Here are some highlights from the annual, and touching, tribute at the state capitol Thursday honoring Virginia's heroes — those who gave their full measure and made the supreme sacrifice in defense of our country during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The ceremony commemorates the 206 men and women on Virginia's Wall of Honor, proudly displayed in the Office of the Attorney General, and which contains the pictures of each member of the military who have died in defense of freedom since the U.S.S. Cole attack in 2000. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli led the ceremony at which there were several speakers, including military officers; Governor Bob McDonnell, who started the tribute during his term as attorney general; Lt. Governor Bill Bolling; and Kim Felts, widow of Army Col. Thomas Felts, the 100th Virginian to die in the War on Terrorism. After her speech, a flyover and a gun salute by an Air Force honor guard, each of the 206 names were read aloud. We pray no more will be added this year.

"There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." - John 15:13

We can never thank them enough, that we may all live free and secure.

A Special Veterans Day Video Tribute

I love going to patriotic music concerts. The best part is when the band breaks into the the military service branch songs medley and the band leader asks members of the audience to stand when their song is played. The rythmic clapping and singing, punctuated by loud applause as each groups stands is always a touching moment as reluctant, but proud, heroes accept the undying gratitude of their countrymen. A grateful commonwealth and country appreciates Virginia's and America's veterans!

Armed Forces Medley Performed by the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldier's Chorus 

Video produced by DoctorXProducer

(Navy) Anchor's aweigh, my boys, anchor's aweigh, Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day Through our last night on shore, Drink to the foam until we meet once more, here's wishing you a happy voyage home!

(Air Force) Off we go into the wild blue yonder, Climbing high into the sun; Here they come zooming to meet our thunder, At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun! Down we dive, spouting our flame from under, Off with one helluva roar! We live in fame or die in flame Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force

(Marines) From the Halls of Montezuma To the shores of Tripoli, We fight our country's battles in the air, on land, and sea! First to fight for right and freedom, And to keep our honor clean, We are proud to claim the title Of United States Marine.

(Coast Guard) So here's the Coast Guard marching song, We sing on land or sea. Through surf and storm and howling gale, High shall our purpose be. "Semper Paratus" is our guide, Our fame, our glory too. To fight to save or fight to die, Aye! Coast Guard, we are for you!

(Army) First to fight for the right, And to build the Nation's might, And The Army Goes Rolling Along Proud of all we have done, Fighting till the battles won, And the Army Goes Rolling Along Then it's Hi! Hi! Hey! The Army's on its way. Count off the cadence loud and strong For where e'er we go, You will always know That The Army Goes Rolling Along.

Happy Veterans Day!

The retired Army Lt. Colonel who was the commandant at the military high school I attended would tell us that the purpose of giving people off from work and school on holidays was so we would remember the significance of the day and perpetuate it. So, remember, dear readers, today is Veterans Day, not Memorial Day. Too often the days are considered synonymous (see Military.com). While we should always keep in our prayers, especially after recent events, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and their families and friends who bare an unthinkable emptiness in their lives, let's remember today is the day to thank all those who served and returned. For many, however, coming home didn't mean instant joy. Whether through an unspeakable stress, severe physical injury or a prejudice of an ungrateful people, our veterans have carried a burden beyond the battlefield. Let's be sure to thank them today, and all days, for their selflessness, while still keeping those who committed the ultimate sacrifice in our prayers. Then, maybe, we'll learn to keep certain holidays for the intentions of which they were meant.

So, Happy Veterans Day to all those who proudly wore the uniform of our great nation. To those who bravely served, and still bravely serve, their fellow Americans in defense of our country and freedom around the world, we proudly offer you our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt and sincerest thanks. To those who served or still serve as Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Air Men, Reservists, and in the Coast Guard and National Guard, we offer a salute to your heroism and service to our country and freedoms.

Click here for a slide show tribute to our vets.

Click here to learn more about the holiday and how we can thank them.

We Stood For Freedom Roger J. Robicheau Former U.S. Army Specialist Fifth Class

We stood for freedom just like you And loved the flag you cherish too Our uniforms felt great to wear You know the feel, and how you care.

In step we marched, the cadence way The same is true with you today Oh how we tried to do our best As you do now, from test to test How young we were and proud to be Defenders of true liberty.

So many thoughts bind soldiers well The facts may change, not how we jell Each soldier past, and you now here Do share what will not disappear One thought now comes, straight from my heart For soldiers home, who've done their part.

I'm honored to have served with you May Godly peace, help get you through And now I'll end with a request Do ponder this, while home at rest America, respect our day Each veteran, helped freedom stay.

©2002 Roger J. Robicheau/TheHolidayZone.com 

Campaign Special Quote Of The Day

Our Quote of the Day normally is reserved for General Assembly session (during which there are too many to post). But tonight at Richmond International Airport, at the GOP ticket's second-to-last stop on its final fly through tour, attorney general candidate Ken Cuccinelli again stole the show, earning himself yet more ink.

You know the Democrats are desperate for help when they even fly Tim Kaine into Virginia to campaign for them!

Fun aside, and there was much of it, the event was serious, with exhortations to not let up over the next 24 hours. Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling joined Senator Cuccinelli in asking the crowd of about 300 to do the blocking for them, to be the boots on the ground, to continue calling and e-mailing and Facebooking and Twittering friends, family, neighbors and colleagues; to man the polls tomorrow and give people rides to vote; to knock on doors and volunteer. Still lots to be done was the message. Taking nothing for granted, these men, not after eight years in the desert.

There were two surprises: Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester) emceed the event and Jeanine McDonnell, the Republican's eldest daughter and Iraq War vet (Army Lt., platoon leader), who first starred in the campaign as the his designated introducer and later in a campaign ad, sang the national anthem. What a great voice! Tomorrow night, she and the McDonnell family hope to be singing another song.  

Virginia News Stand: September 21, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Almost All Virginia Edition

This monster edition of the News Stand is almost all Virginia. Except for a very interesting piece about the beginning of the dismantling of campaign finance reform free speech restrictions by the D.C Court of Appeals, it's all about the campaign. Most of it is about the race for governor, but we have several pieces on House races and one on the AG campaign, along with analysis and commentary by John Fund, Fred Barnes and others (this must be important if the national types are peering in).

There are a few articles to point out, including a blog post at the Post. With all the talk of Democrat Creigh Deeds closing in on Republican Bob McDonnell, as two polls last week (including Rasmussen) indicated Deeds was within two points, three polls have emerged to show it's not quite that close. The Post's own poll has McDonnell up by four and still over the 50 percent  threshold, while the Clarus Poll has him up by five and the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll has him up by seven. (Interestingly, the Post's Anita Kumar writes that she doesn't trust polls but says this one is one she "doesn't mind telling you about." Why? Because the Kos is ultra hard leftist or because it shows McDonnell up by a larger margin than her paper's poll? Hmmm.) 

Elsewhere of note, the Post has two articles on A) Deeds' union ties and B) that business in Virginia is suspicious of him. So much for that Mark Warner legacy.

Of course, it wouldn't be campaign season without the Mainstream Media hit pieces on conservatives, and the lil' ol' Loudon Insider got into the act with Hollywood tabloid-style "reporting." It brought up a charge filed years ago against a Republican House candidate when he was in the Army — even though the Army's investigation found that he wasn't even at the place where the witness claimed he was. The case was dismissed. Then there's the ongoing dishonesty of Democrat Tom Shields running in the 73rd House district.

The Post can't resist, either, and asks about perceptions of "McDonnell's alma mater." Other than Charlie Weis on the hot seat, what's wrong Notre Dame? Perhaps this? Of course, not!

Finally, you know it's been a rough week for Senator Deeds when even the Post's liberal columnist Robert McCartney blasts him for his poor debate and post-debate performances

News:

McDonnell 50, Deeds 43 (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Deeds Shows Big Gains In Va. Poll (Washington Post)

Deeds narrows contest, poll finds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Republican loses some ground in poll (Northern Virginia Daily)

Unions Investing Heavily In Deeds (Washington Post)

Businesses Taking a Hard Look At Deeds (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell split over environmental policy (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Wilder: Va. race a referendum on Obama (Washington Times)

McDonnell and Deeds couldn't escape lingering questions at Roanoke meeting (Roanoke Times)

Issues of Perception Try McDonnell's Alma Mater (Washington Post)

Gloves come off in Va. governor's debate (Washington Times)

Gubernatorial debate turns contentious in N.Va. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds, McDonnell clash in gubernatorial debate (The Daily Press)

Deeds, McDonnell throw sharp jabs in debate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Deeds, McDonnell square off in debate (Roanoke Times)

Thrust and Parry Over Va.'s Future (Washington Post)

Cuccinelli wants to shift consumer watchdog into attorney general's office (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Greason Rebukes 1994 Charges (Loudon Insider)

Del. O'Bannon says Shields' charges are false (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Marrow Promotes Nurse Practitioners (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Will Hamilton lose appropriations seat? (The Daily Press Shad Plank Blog)

Audit: Little evidence of work by Del. Hamilton at ODU (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

ODU cites 'mistakes' with Del. Hamilton (The Daily Press)

Audit: 'Little documentation' of services by Hamilton to ODU (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Democrats get financial boost in House races (Roanoke Times)

Analysis:

Virginia Moves Back to the Right (Fred Barnes/Wall Street Journal)

Deeds in a Bit of a Bind on Taxes, Transportation (Washington Post)

Word and Deed (John Fund/Wall Street Journal)

Commentary:

Plain and Simple, Deeds Stumbles In N.Va. Debate (Robert McCartney/Washington Post)

National News:

Court Strikes Down Regulations Limiting Nonprofits' Campaign Funds (Washington Post)

Memorial Day

Nothing irks me more than our cultural illiteracy — and of all of our massive misunderstandings of American culture, nothing has come to be more misunderstood in recent years as Memorial Day. It's almost understandable since most people get their education from the media, most of whom could not be more unqualified. Every year, for the last several years, this weekend no exception, it's the same mantra. I can't tell you how many times this weekend already I've heard or read on the radio, television or in print: "Thank the troops this weekend, thank a vet."

Yes, we should always thank our soldiers, seamen, Marines and airmen; and members of the Coast Guard, National Guard and reserve units; and veterans of all the service branches. Our police and firemen as well. But that's not the meaning of Memorial Day.

From the American Heritage College Dictionary:

me•mo•ri•aln. Something, as a holiday, intended to celebrate or honor the memory of a person or event.

Me•mo•ri•al Dayn. May 30, observed in the United States to commemorate members of the armed forces killed in war, officially observed on the last Monday in May.

The point being: We should always thank our vets and active duty military; they are with us now and are constant reminders of the sacrifice and diligence needed to protect our country and preserve our freedom. Plus, they have their own days: Veterans Day (November 11) and Armed Forces Day (May 17). But Memorial Day, as those very same vets will tell you, is to honor those no longer with us, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of America. Those who birthed our freedom and left us with it intact, and a society in which we can be so carefree as to picnic, sunbathe and vacation on what is such a solemn day. From the Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan.

We can't thank them in person. The least we can do, one day a year, is to honor them and pray for them, as well as for the families of service men and women recently departed. We should do it more often than once a year. But at least one day. Today. Memorial Day.

MEMORIAL DAY by C. W. Johnson

We walked among the crosses Where our fallen soldiers lay. And listened to the bugle As TAPS began to play. The Chaplain led a prayer We stood with heads bowed low. And I thought of fallen comrades I had known so long ago. They came from every city Across this fertile land. That we might live in freedom. They lie here 'neath the sand. I felt a little guilty My sacrifice was small. I only lost a little time But these men lost their all. Now the services are over For this Memorial Day. To the names upon these crosses I just want to say, Thanks for what you've given No one could ask for more. May you rest with God in Heaven From now through evermore.

All In The (Liberal) Family

When liberal Hollywood producer Norman Lear, of People for the American Way fame, created the hit 1970s show "All In The Family," he admitted part of his motivation was to caricature conservatives through stereotype. The main character, Archie Bunker, was a bigoted, Second Amendment loving, homophobic, chauvinistic, xenophobic, jingoistic, racist ignoramus. Part of actor Carrol O'Connor's portrayal involved Archie's vicious stereotyping of anyone and everyone different from him — Poles ("Pollacks"), Jews ("Hebes"), Middle Easterners ("A-Rabs") and blacks to name a few. While certainly there are racists in every culture, there is no country where minorities of any type — racial, religious, ethnic — can succeed as in America. Where are these bigots that Lear tried to portray as everyday Americans trying to stunt the progress of our country? There is no country that, when they do raise their disgraceful voices, they are shunned as they are here. Nowhere in America do they hold real power.

The show got huge ratings, some calling it the best sitcom of all time. But Lear discovered the show actually backfired. Despite the buffoonish nature of Archie, what was exposed was the condescension and elitism of its liberal characters and the show's philosophical bent.

For years this has been the case in real life. Now, perhaps thinking the country's culture has moved comfortably toward their leftist view, liberal politicians and elitists are saying publicly what they think and work toward. In the fall of 2006, John Kerry — who wanted to be the Commander-In-Chief — said the military was the option of last resort for the dumb. During the last several months, front-running Democrat candidate for president Barack Obama has said that racism is "typical" in white people and that working-class folks in small town America "cling" to their religion and guns out of fear and nonacceptance of others.

Now, liberal horror novelist Stephen King, as with Kerry, has piled on the military. Speaking at the Library of Congress to a school group (nothing like indoctrinating students), King said:

"The fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that."

King, a major donor to liberal candidates and causes, and an Obama supporter, thought he could he get away with his comments, just as Obama thought he could when trashing mid-America in San Francisco. But he forgot about the blogosphere. NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard brought King's belittling comments about the military to light. (Click here.) What's sadly ironic is that it is our military, who handle weapons and implement planning and logistics more complex than King could ever comprehend, secure his right to write his lunatic plots and say his imbecilic comments. (Click here for Sheppard's reply to King's feeble response.)

Ironies tend to come full circle. In this case, what further adds to it is that Archie Bunker was a God-believing, high school drop-out, working class, proud union man; a socio-economic class today described as "Reagan Democrats." (In one episode, years before he was elected, Archie admitted that he wrote-in Ronald Reagan's name for president.) Now, just who is it the Democrats are so desperate to attract? The same people they mock.