What’s missing???

What’s missing in Iowa?

The place is flooded, homes and lives are in ruin and Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson et al are nowhere to be seen. Wonder why???

Every photo I have seen shows people working to save their stuff, to my knowledge no one has cried for the government to save their ass, no looting no shooting. What’s missing, why is this so different than New Orleans???

Simple, these people work for a living and don’t live off the government dole…

You ain’t gonna like losing…

“You ain’t gonna like losing.” -Author unknown

President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism. But the mistake was not his decision to go to war in Iraq Bush’s mistake came in his belief that this country is the same one his father fought for in WWII. It is not.

Back then, they had just come out of a vicious depression. The country was steeled by the hardship of that depression, but they still believed fervently in this country. They knew that the people had elected their leaders, so it was the people’s duty to back those leaders.

Therefore, when the war broke out the people came together, rallied behind, and stuck with their leaders, whether they had voted for them or not or whether the war was going badly or not. And war was just as distasteful and the anguish just as great then as it is today. Often there were more casualties in one day in WWII than we have had in the entire Iraq war. But that did not matter. The people stuck with the President because it was their patriotic duty. Americans put aside their differences in WWII and worked together to win that war.

Everyone from every strata of society, from young to old pitched in. Small children pulled little wagons around to gather scrap metal for the war effort. Grade school students saved their pennies to buy stamps for war bonds to help the effort. Men who were too old or medically 4F lied about their age or condition trying their best to join the military. Women doubled their work to keep things going at home. Harsh rationing of everything from gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there was very little complaining.

You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the President. Interestingly enough in those days there were no fat cat actors and entertainers who ran off to visit and fawn over dictators of hostile countries and complain to them about our President. Instead, they made upbeat films and entertained our troops to help the troops’ morale. And a bunch even enlisted. And imagine this: Teachers in schools actually started the day off with a Pledge of Allegiance, and with prayers for our country and our troops!

Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots in our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum damage. No newspaper would have dared complain about what we were doing to catch spies. A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being ‘tortured’ by being forced to wear women’s underwear, or subjected to interrogation by a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.

There were a lot of things different back then. We were not subjected to a constant bombardment of pornography, perversion and promiscuity in movies or on radio. We did not have legions of crack heads, dope pushers and armed gangs roaming our streets.

No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of terrorism. He made the mistake of believing that we still had the courage and fortitude of our fathers. He believed that this was still the country that our fathers fought so dearly to preserve.It is not the same country. It is now a cross between Sodom and Gomorra and the land of Oz. We did unite for a short while after 9/11, but our attitude changed when we found out that defending our country would require some sacrifices.

We are in great danger. The terrorists are fanatic Muslims. They believe that it is okay, even their duty, to kill anyone who will not convert to Islam. It has been estimated that about one third or over three hundred million Muslims are sympathetic to the terrorists cause… Hitler and Tojo combined did not have nearly that many potential recruits. So… We either win it – or lose it – and you ain’t gonna like losing.

America is not at war. The military is at war. America is at the mall…

We REALLY need to turn this attitude around, but I don’t see it happening.

In Australia, the new liberal PM Rudd, is cutting support to the military because they have too many people supporting them, vowing to cut back to 15,000 total civilians to support the military. His rationale? More money needs to go to ‘social programs’… The next set of cuts being discussed is in active forces, which are ALREADY understrength!!!!

I am afraid if Obama gets in, we will see the same mentality, putting us even further under the gun than the military already is.

Answering Machine…

Too bad no school has the balls to actually put this up…

Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection:
To lie about why your child is absent – Press 1
To make excuses for why your child did not do his work – Press 2
To complain about what we do – Press 3
To swear at staff members – Press 4
To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you – Press 5
If you want us to raise your child – Press 6
If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone – Press 7
To request another teacher, for the third time this year – Press 8
To complain about bus transportation – Press 9
To complain about school lunches – Press 0

If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework and that it’s not the teachers’ fault for your child’s lack of effort:
Hang up and have a nice day!

If you want this in Spanish, move to a country that speaks it!

Range Report C&S Carry Commander


I’m in wuv…. 馃檪


Went to NRA yesterday and shot my new Bill Laughridge (Cylinder & Slide) Carry Commander-

Specs:


路 C&S Officers Model Frame
路 C&S Forged Commander Slide
路 Bar-Sto Semi Drop-In Barrel
路 Deburr & Polish all internals
路 Round Bottom of Mainspring Housing and Frame
路 Throat Barrel and Frame for Reliable Feeding
路 Cut Lubrication/Debris Grooves in Frame and Slide Rails
路 Cut Lubrication /Debris Grooves Inside of Slide in Front of Slide Locking Lugs
路 Cut Lubrication/Debris Groove in Barrel Bushing
路 Round all External Corner & Edges
路 Radius Extractor and Set Tension
路 Lower Ejection Port & Cut Bullet Nose Relief on Front of Ejection Port
路 Shorten Slide Stop Shaft on RH Side & Counter Sink Frame Hole
路 Bevel Mag Well for Speed Loading
路 Machine Stipple Mainspring Housing & Front Strap
路 Re-crown Barrel 11 degrees
路 Serrate Back of Slide & Rear Sight 50 LPI
路 Trigger Job 3 lbs
路 Silver Solder Grip Screws & Plunger Tube on Frame
路 Hand Lapped Slide to Frame Fit
路 Checker Sides of Novak Low Mount Rear Sight
路 C&S Stainless Tactical Ambi Thumb safety
路 S&A Beavertail High Grip Safety w/Palm Swell
路 C&S Medium Aluminum Solid Smooth Face Trigger w/overtravel stop
路 Novak Low Mount Carry Rear Sight & C&S Dovetail Front Sight
路 C&S Extended Ejector
路 Thin Green Micarta Grips
路 Officer Model Smooth Mainspring Housing
路 Wolff Recoil Spring 20lbs
路 C&S Tact II Trigger pull set 5 piece
路 C&S Extractor Series 70
路 C&S TM Hammer Strut
路 C&S Hex Head Grip Screws (set of 4)
路 C&S Checkered Slide Stop
路 Commander Recoil Spring Plug
路 Commander Recoil Spring Guide
路 Tritium Insert Front Sight
路 Cerami-Cote Matte OD Green Frame
路 Cerami-Cote Matte Armor Black Slide


Put 100 rounds down range to get the feel of the pistol, then tried some ‘serious’ shooting (above). I was pulling all the double taps low (note three in the neck and the two bottom nine and one eight ring), but I couldn’t be happier! This pistol is MUCH more accurate than I am…

Of course, as soon as I started feeling good about MY shooting, I glance over a couple of lanes, there is a Dad with two daughters (9 and 11) and an AR-15 on the bench. Target comes back from 50 yards, all 9/10 ring, I compliment the Dad, he chuckles and says, “Oh that wasn’t me, that was the 9 year old; she out shoots me all the time!”

So I wander back over to my lane, only to watch the guy on the other side of me start shooting the 1 inch Shoot n’ See DOTS at 10 yards! sigh…

Humility restored, I packed up and exited with what was left of my tatters of dignity…

Still in all, I feel MUCH better 馃檪 Got rid of some frustrations, got to shoot a very nice pistol and vindicated the choice I made to purchase it!

My sentiments…

Handle every stressful situation like a dog.

If you can’t eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away!

Other than the 600 watt Phillips bulb in the oncoming train, it hasn’t been a bad week, since we made it to Friday!

On a different note, today is the anniversery of D-Day, June 6, 1944 64 years ago-

President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation the evening of June 6th.

鈥淢y Fellow Americans:

鈥淟ast night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

鈥淎nd so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

鈥淎lmighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

鈥淟ead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

鈥淭hey will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

鈥淭hey will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

鈥淔or these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

鈥淪ome will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

鈥淎nd for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

鈥淢any people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

鈥淕ive us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

鈥淎nd let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

鈥淎nd, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

鈥淲ith Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

鈥淭hy will be done, Almighty God.

鈥淎men.鈥

Many of the survivors have gone now, but we need to remember their sacrifice, even as we remember the sacrifices being made by our troops today in the GWOT.

One of those days…

This is about how well my day has gone, sometimes all you can do is laugh at the absurdity of the world we work/live in…

sigh…

Here’s a little humor to brighten somebodies day, I hope…

Q. How many Californians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A1. None. They screw in a hot tub.
A2. None. Somebody organizes a workshop on how to deal with darkness in your life.
A3. 21, one to change and 20 to share the experience

Q. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Only one, but the lighbulb has to want to change.

Q. How many surrealist painters does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. A fish

Q. How many male chauvenist pigs does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. None. let her cook in the dark.

Q. How many men does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Four.One to actually change it, and 3 friends to brag to about how he screwed it.

Q…How many Jews does it take to change a lightbulb?
A…How many Jews does it take to change a lightbulb?

Q. How many red necks does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. They can’t because they are too busy complaining about how all the blacks and mexicans are getting the good jobs cause of that affirmative action crap.

Q. How many paranoid people do you need to change a light-bulb ??
A. AND WHO’S ASKING ???!!!!

Q. How many pot growers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. None – They use flourescent tubes!

Q. How many women with PMS does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Six
Q. Why?
A. IT JUST DOES OK !!!!!!

Q: How many mathematicians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: One, who gives it to six Californians, thereby reducing it to an earlier riddle.

Q: How many topologists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: It really doesn’t matter, since they’d rather knot.

Q. How many psychoanalysts does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. How many do you think it takes?

Q. How many Nebraska Cornhuskers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. Only one, but he gets 3 hours credit for it

Q. How many doctors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. It depends on what kind of insurance you have

Q: How many straight San Francisco waiters does to take to change a lightbulb?
A: Both of them.

Q. How many Christians does it take to change a Light bulb?
A. none, they just stay in their darkness and pray to their non-existant god to do it for them

Q. How many gays does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Seven. One to change the bulb and 6 to shriek, “Faaaabulous.”

Q. How many Japonese does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None. They have machines to do it automatically.

Q. How many law professors does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Hell, you need 250 just to lobby for the research grant.

Q. How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
A1: It only takes one lawyer to change your light bulb to his light bulb.
A2: You won’t find a lawyer who can change a light bulb. Now, if you’re looking for a lawyer to screw a light bulb…
A3: How many can you afford?
A4: Whereas the party of the first part, also known as “Lawyer”, and the party of the second part, also known as “Light Bulb”,do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be removed from the current position etc… etc…etc…..

Q. How many Sicilians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. Two. One to screw it in, and one to kill the witnesses.

Q. How many OJ jurors does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None of them believe it is broken.

Q. How many particle physicists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. One. Two to change the bulb and three to renormalise the wavefunction (if you don’t understand it, study quantum mechanics).

Q. How many perverts does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. One… but it takes the entire staff of the emergency room
to remove it.

An Interesting perspective…

Interesting perspective (not exactly sure who authored
this)

The Democrat Party has become the Lawyers’ Party. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are lawyers. Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama are lawyers. John Edwards, the other former Democrat candidate for president, is a lawyer, and so is his wife, Elizabeth. Every Democrat
nominee since 1984 went to law school (although Gore did not graduate). Every Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school. Look at the Democrat Party in Congress: the Majority Leader in each house is a lawyer.

The Republican Party is different. President Bush and Vice President Cheney were not lawyers, but businessmen. The leaders of the Republican Revolution were not lawyers. Newt Gingrich was a history professor; Tom Delay was an exterminator; and, Dick Armey was an economist. House Minority Leader Boehner was a plastic manufacturer, not a lawyer. The former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon.

Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer? Gerald Ford, who left office 31 years ago and who barely won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, running against Ronald Reagan in 1976. The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work.
The Democrat Party is made up of lawyers. Democrats mock and scorn men who create wealth, like Bush and Cheney, or who heal the sick, like Frist, or who immerse themselves in history, like Gingrich.

The Lawyers’ Party sees these sorts of people, who provide goods and services that people want, as the enemies of America . And, so we have seen the procession of official enemies, in the eyes of the Lawyers’ Party, grow.

Against whom do Hillary and Obama rail? Pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, hospitals, manufacturers, fast food restaurant chains, large retail businesses, bankers, and anyone producing anything of value in our nation.

This is the natural consequence of viewing everything through the eyes of lawyers. Lawyers solve problems by successfully representing their clients, in this case the American people. Lawyers seek to have new laws passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to
overturn precedent, and lawyers always parse language to favor their side.

Confined to the narrow practice of law, that is fine. But it is an awful way to govern a great nation. When politicians as lawyers begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes
all-consuming. Some Americans become “adverse parties” of our very government. We are not all litigants in some vast social class-action suit. We are citizens of a republic that promises us a great deal of freedom from laws, from courts, and from lawyers.

Today, we are drowning in laws; we are contorted by judicial decisions; we are driven to distraction by omnipresent lawyers in all parts of our once private lives. America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked. When the most important decision for our next president is whom he will appoint to the Supreme Court, the role of lawyers and the law in America is too big.

When lawyers use criminal prosecution as a continuation of politics by other means, as happened in the lynching of Scooter Libby and Tom Delay, then the power of lawyers in America is too great. When House Democrats sue America in order to hamstring our efforts to learn what our enemies are planning to do to us, then the role of litigation in America has become crushing.

We cannot expect the Lawyers’ Party to provide real change, real reform, or real hope in America . Most Americans know that a republic in which every major government action must be blessed by nine unelected judges is not what Washington intended in 1789. Most Americans grasp that we cannot fight a war when ACLU lawsuits snap at the heels of our defenders. Most Americans intuit that more lawyers and judges will not restore declining moral values or spark the spirit of enterprise in our economy.

Perhaps Americans will understand that change cannot be brought to our nation by those lawyers who already largely dictate American society and business. Perhaps Americans will see that hope does not come from the mouths of lawyers but from personal dreams nourished by hard work. Perhaps Americans will embrace the truth that more lawyers with more power will only make our problems worse.

The differance now is that the current crop of politicians have not, by and large, served in military. They have absolutely no respect for either the people or the institution of the military.

To them, the serviceman is an adjunct to the reelection campaign and adds credibility to the political person’s claim to “patriotism”. I believe that this great nation is at risk – not from without but from within; to me that risk transcends political parties, arising from the general indifference to facts, truth and more importantly, the lack of willingness to take an unpopular position even when it is the right thing to do.

My advice to all is to read the Constitution which we have all sworn to defend and protect and act accordingly. Look beyond the 30 second sound bites, find out what the candidates REALLY stand for and vote accordingly.

I really don’t care WHO you vote for, but I gave 22 years defending your right TO vote, so get your asses out there on Nov 7th…

Flog…er…golf humor…

ONLY A TRUE GOLFER WILL UNDERSTAND THIS…

1. Don’t buy a putter until you’ve had a chance to throw it. – Not at $325 I’m not…

2. Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing. – Hit. The. Ball…

3. When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls. – Or walk around and drop on the far side…

4. If you’re afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have two options: you can immediately shank a lay-up or you can wait until the green is clear and top a ball halfway there. – Or hit a perfect shot and nail ’em on the next tee…

5. The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing. – lalalalalala…

6. No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse. – Yep, that is a truism…

7. The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all of your many other errors. – An parting with significant $$ for the %^&* lesson…

8. If it ain’t broke, try changing your grip. – Then it will be broke and not repairable for the next 10 rounds…

9. Everyone replaces his divot after a perfect approach shot. – What divot? What shot…

10. A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponents’ luck. – With my skill, even BAD luck wins…

11. It is surprisingly easy to hole a fifty foot putt for a 10. – Only if it’s a double breaker, uphill, into the grain…

12. Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut. – Too true, even when you catch em at it…

13. Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts. – And neither one of the damn things goes in…

14. It’s not a gimme if you’re still away. -It is if I’m putting with a driver…

15. The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree. – Which will reject the ball an ricochet it into an even MORE unplayable lie…

16. There are two kinds of bounces; unfair bounces and bounces, just the way you meant to play it. – Notice there is NO mention of a fair bounce…

17. You can hit a two acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time. – Nah, 5% and 95%…

18. If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age. – Can one really go back to the sperm stage???

19. Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three. – Truism again…

20. When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again. – Look up, see a bad shot, look down, lose the ball, hitting three…

21. Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe. – Birdie, what’s a birdie??? Triple bogeys I know…

22. If you want to hit a 7 iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to lay up just short of a water hazard. – Or be in position to actually win a match…

23. To calculate the speed of a player’s downswing, multiply the speed of his back-swing by his handicap;
i.e., back-swing 20 mph, handicap 15, downswing = 300 mph. – Equals a complete miss 15% of the time…

24. There are two things you can learn by stopping your back-swing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove. – Usually the wrong hand…

25. Hazards attract; fairways repel. – Sand traps are black holes…

26. You can put a draw on the ball, you can put a fade on the ball, but no golfer can put a straight on the ball. – All of which occur at EXACTLY the wrong time…

27. A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours. – Yours is the one 150 yards in the rough…

28. If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker.
If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint. – I’d take that over plugged in the front face of a 5 foot bunker…

29. It’s easier to get up at 6:00 AM to play golf than at 10:00 to mow the yard. – Or 3:00 AM to leave at 4:00 AM to make a 3 hour drive to get an 8:00 AM tee time…

30. Sometimes it seems as though your cup moveth over. – Gravity blows…

31. A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game. – Which is SOOOO unfair…

32. Golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because you always end up having to pray a lot. – And it STILL doesn’t help…

33. A good golf partner is one who’s always slightly worse than you are…
that’s why I get so many calls to play with friends. – Picked last as usual…

34. That rake by the sand trap is there for golfers who feel guilty about skipping out on lawn work. – And when you step on it, it will be the ONLY perfect shot of the day…

35. If there’s a storm rolling in, you’ll be having the game of your life. – And won’t even get a rain check…

36. Golf balls are like eggs. They’re white. They’re sold by the dozen.
And you need to buy fresh ones each week. – Week Hell, every nine…

37. A pro-shop gets its name from the fact that you have to have the income of a professional golfer to buy anything in there. – I wear blinders, I’m so broke I can’t even afford to look (damn golf balls)…

38. It’s amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps. – And your point is???

39. If your opponent has trouble remembering whether he shot a six or a seven, he probably shot an eight (or worse). – I’ve had holes where I would have taken any one of those scores…

40. You probably wouldn’t look good in a green jacket anyway! A sweatshirt will do just fine. – Sweatshirts not allowed, but we will SELL you this windshirt for only $60…

41. It takes longer to learn to be a good golfer than it does to become a brain surgeon. On the other hand, you don’t get to ride around on a cart, drink beer, eat hot dogs and fart if you are performing brain surgery. – At least not more than once…

Fun Stuff…

Go over to Deathlok’s blog and check out the Collaborative Blog Story is up at his place, and I have to admit, it’s starting to look pretty damned good. This is quite a bit different from the Perspectives series done by Law Dog, Mattt, AD and Babs a while back. This one is basically a stream of consciousness collaborative, so feel free to jump in! We need somebody to be the bad guy… hint… hint… Murph if you’re not busy…

I saw one of these on another forum go to over 110 pages.

Memorial Day…

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead”.

While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868.

It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing.

In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program).

And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

Washington, DC is also home to two more ‘celebrations’ of Memorial Day; each special in it’s own way. I have been lucky enough to attend both, so I have a point of reference for each.

First is the laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. This is traditionally done by the President if available, and is a very solemn occasion, with a myriad of official and military guests, including a large number of veterans.

This photo, courtesy of the DOD, shows a Tomb Guard marching his post in front of the wreath and tomb. Today, President Bush delivered an excellent speech after he assisted in placing of the wreath.

The second is called Rolling Thunder, and is a memorial, celebration and political pressure group to bring our POW’s remains home. It is normally the Sunday before Memorial Day, and has been going on for 21 years now. Yesterday, over 100,000, yes one hundred thousand motorcycles of all descriptions started lining up at the Pentagon North Parking lot well before sunrise. They were there to participate in the ride to the reflecting pool and parade across the Memorial Bridge and by the Vietnam memorial. This one is by turns solemn, raucous, funny, poignant, and sometimes startling. Yesterday, a SSGT Chambers stood in his Marine Dress uniform for over 4 hours, saluting the riders as they came by his location.

These folks come from all over the US and it’s territories to ride in rememberance of their fallen Vietnam comrades and it has become something quite a bit more than a bunch of dirty old motorcycle guys causing trouble, which is the way it was originally percieved in 1987.

Now it is for many, a tradition, they come hell or high water ( and this year tornados and hail in the Midwest), but the ride on in to ride yesterday and start the long ride home today or tomorrow.

I talked to two couples in their 60’s from Western Idaho who have made this “pilgrimage” as they call it for 16 years. Both the men are former Army Rangers, who use their entire yearly vacation for the trip. Neither one of the wives had ANY problem with it, and have been riding with them for the last 10 years. All of them are VERY proud of the kids today, and thankful they are being treated better than we were after nam.

Enjoy your Memorial Day, but take a minute to reflect on those Servicemen and women who gave their lives over the years so that you HAVE that Freedom today.

Some say this is not true, but I believe it is!

POW鈥檚 / MIA鈥檚 YOU WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN

It was the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

That is all.