Formed from amateur troops of volunteer soldiers defending colonies against British tyranny, the oldest military force in the United States began before the U.S. formerly existed. Their forces consisted of mostly inexperienced militiamen commanded by independent colonial armies. According to battlefields.org, there were never more than 48,000 Continental soldiers at one time. Today, the United States Army consists of over one million active duty service members and an additional 800,000 National Guard and Reserves members. The enduring history of the U.S. Army means they have been integral to many of the United State’s military, peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts. Continue reading “Happy Birthday to Our Army”
“I’m not coming home for a dumb parade to see Dad in a musty old uniform and carrying a flag that means nothing. I’m riding to D.C. for Memorial Day.”
“He fought for that flag.”
Weeks later. “I went to Bike Week in Lake George, NY, after I went to Rolling Thunder. I saw lots of bikes, boobs, and drunks. Not a good scene. On the other hand, only in D.C can 400,000 roaring bikes, lots of flags and tons of veterans be a reverent sight. I now understand Dad’s loyalty to the flag. I’ll be home next year.” Continue reading “Learning Respect for the Flag”
According to the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency there are still 82,468 military members listed as missing in action from as far back as WWII through current day. Think about that a minute. That’s a lot of families that don’t know what happened to a loved one and are still wondering if they are alive or dead. It’s the not knowing that can eat at your soul. Continue reading “Freedom Isn’t Free”
If you were old enough to understand what was happening on September 11, 2001, you will never forget the day the World Trade Towers in New York City were destroyed by terrorists. You will also never forget the plane that was hijacked and went down in Pennsylvania or the strike on the Pentagon. We lost nearly 3000 people that day, and some have died since from health complications. Patriot Day was established to give tribute to those lives. A few years later the title of National Day of Service and Remembrance was added so the first responders and good Samaritans that helped in the rescue would also be recognized. Continue reading “Never Forget”
The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of the United States and appears on its Seal. If you think about it, there is often a decorative “head” on your American flag holder that is in the shape of a Bald Eagle. For me, the bird and the flag bring on the same emotion of patriotism whenever I see them.
I have had the good fortune to live in Washington state and New York state near where Bald Eagles live. I have seen the huge bird swooping the lake to grab a fish and it is a sight like no other. It makes you wonder how such a big bird can do such minute movements.
The name “Bald Eagle” derives from an older meaning of “white headed” as the bird is actually not bald. The adult eagle is mainly brown with a white head and tail. Their nests are the largest nests of any North American bird and the largest tree nests for any animal species. The biggest recorded eagle’s nest was found in St. Petersburg, Florida. It measured 9.5 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep. It weighed in at nearly 3 tons. (That’s a lot of sticks and mud. I wonder how they weighed it.)
At one time the Bald Eagle was on the endangered species list, but is no longer due to conservation and their ability to adapt to loss of natural habitat.
If you haven’t, I hope you get the chance to personally see a Bald Eagle fly over a lake. It’s one of those things that to be seen in nature is so much more impressive than seeing it on television. The size of the wing span will take your breath away.
On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation deeming June 14 as Flag Day. President Wilson stated, “It is the anniversary of the day upon which the flag of the United States was adopted by the Congress as the emblem of the Union.” He also wrote, “On that day rededicate ourselves to the nation, ‘one and inseparable’ from which every thought that is not worthy of our fathers’ first vows in independence, liberty, and right shall be excluded and in which we shall stand with united hearts.” [courtesy-National Day of Calendar]
I was going to add, nothing more needs to be said, but then I remembered a couple of times in my life that just seeing our flag brought tears to my eyes. One occasion was when I pulled into a funeral home parking lot to pay respects to a very dear friend. The Patriot Guard was standing at attention in two lines I had to pass through to enter the building. I almost couldn’t do it. One has to have an understanding of being a veteran, have a high degree of patriotism, and respect for the men behind the grizzled faces to grasp the emotion that sight filled me with.
The other memory had to do with when I attended Rolling Thunder in Washington D.C. It is held on Memorial Day weekend. 500,000 motorcycles, lots of American Flags, more veterans and a feeling of reverence and peace. Yes, motorcycles and reverence go together in this situation. I recommend it to anyone to experience at least once.
I hope you will fly the flag of this great country today and forget it has a few problems.