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Archive for the ‘Patriotism’ Category

        There is a debate brewing about whether news media should have access to photograph the coffins of returning military men and women, killed in the line of duty, when their bodies are returned to Dover Air Force Base.  There is strong controversy about whether this should be allowed or not.  In 1991, President George H. Bush enacted a ban on the photographing of the coffins.  It just was not allowed to happen, by the order of the President.

         This has been a matter of contention.  Some people believe that allowing  the photographs could make an impact on the  minds of the citizens of the United States as to the cost of war; as the death toll rises from the wars in recent years.  There are many who feel that by not seeing the evidence of the coffins, people would not understand the depths of the sacrifice that our service persons were making.  In effect, out of sight…out of mind.  (more…)

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     I can’t believe all of the different things that this inauguration appears to mean to each person that i talk to or read about.  Some people are moved to tears by the inspiration of it all.  Some people are in awe of the historical nature.  For others it is more personal; they have invested so much of their own personal hopes and dreams into the candidates for the office of the President of the United States.  Observing the inauguration is a very personal and a very public thing.  The swearing in of the 44th President of the United States is a solemn occasion and is observed by all in a variety of ways.

      For quite some time there has been indiviual stories on the news about individuals who have made the trek to view the ceremonies in person…some have borrowed money to get there or made amazing sacrifices to fund the trip.  Others who are content to watch from their homes watch avidly….others in dismay.

      Supporters of candidates who did not win the nominations have differing views and opinions.  I watch and look for conflicting emotions on the faces of those who could have been in a different place during todays proceedings..and yet…i see pride, joy and excitement in their faces.

       Watching the former Presidents and the mixture of emotions and memories flood their visage is truly something to see.  Their wives remembering their time in the spotlight…reflecting on the changes since their moment…you can see the strength that it takes to endure the pressures and the passage of time.

        It is no simple time …the respect of the responsibility, the solemness of the swearing in…the honor…the pride…the exaltation…it is such a mixture of the past, the present and the future.  Truly…can feel the waves of deeply held beliefs and expectations.  For this one day, we can enjoy the coming together as a nation.  There will be time on another day to examine the differences, the disappointments, the frustrations and the solutions to problems that exist…For now…today is momentous!  I am thrilled that God is acknowledged as the ultimate authority of our nation…I pray that President Barack Obama submits his actions to be wholly acceptable to the only person who he should be in submission to at this point and that is God himself.  May God bless our nation…and may we live up to the standards that he expects from us.

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       It is a historical moment in time, this presidential inauguration of 2009; just like every other presidential inauguration since the beginning of the United States.  Yet, this one feels different.  It feels as though this particular inauguration is getting more attention than any other one, in my memory.

          I did not personally vote for Barack Obama…still, i can appreciate this moment…as it will be a moment of history as well as a moment for our future in America.  There is hope, excitement, fear and anxiety, as this nation faces huge difficulties.  That hope and excitement creates an air of expectancy; yet, we must temper that.

          To hear the media tell it…Obama is the answer to all the issues facing the nation.  That can not be,  he is just one man after all…even though he is a powerful man.  It isn’t fair to put that kind of pressue on him.  He cannot fix all of the issues facing this country in a way that is going to satisfy everyone.  There will be frustration, there will be disappointment…and, there will be a reality check for those who believe that things can only go up from here.

           The reason for that is…President Barack Obama is human; he is not God.  I believe that he realizes that…but, there is such a building up of who people think he is; that i think it builds a false sense of what he will be able to do.  He will represent the people…not just the black population, not just the white population or the male population.  I do think he will do his best.  I do think that he will accomplish much…but, it will be in partnership  with the Senate, the Congress,  and even the citizens of the United States.  This country will change…for better or worse who knows?  History many years from now will be the judge; when we look back to this period of our history we will have the advantage of knowing what came before and after.

          The Presidency is also a conditional thing; people forget that you must balance your expectations with reality, because reality is based on the conditions during that president’s time of the leadership.  The reality is that there are foreign governments, there are terrorists, there are internal struggles that create situations that each and every President must face during their term in office. 

     What we as a nation want to know is that our leader is a strong person, a person of good moral fiber, a person of commitment and a person who we can trust; we want a president who is wise, who knows good counsel when he hears it, a person of integrity who knows how to balance compassion and strong leadership.

          I say for now…let’s enjoy the excitement of the moment.  Let’s celebrate with the Obama family at this accomplishment. Things will get real soon enough with all of the demands of the office on the President, his family and friends.  This is a huge accomplishment and honor; but, let’s not forget it is also a sacrifice.

            The sacrifice comes by way of a sacrifice of schedule to have family time whenever they want it; it comes with pressure like no other job, it comes with a lack of privacy, it comes with media scrutiny that is justified; and, with scrutiny that is not. 

          So for now, can we not just honor the new President of the United States…acknowledge his tipping of the hat towards President Lincoln and his respect for the man and the office…while quietly considering the possibilities before us? Let’s celebrate our patriotism with our fellow citizens and not let ourselves be divided at this time…let’s look forward to the future and it’s impact on us and those around the world.

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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      This week we celebrated two very special things here in the United States: one was Monday, November 10th which was the Marine Corps Birthday…and yesterday, which was Veteran’s Day.  Both dates give honor to our military men and women.  We should celebrate our armed forces because they sacrifice so much for us.  We have men and women who are seperated from their families, often in dangerous situations; defending our country and those in other countries who need defended.

       We have some pretty awesome troops who need support.  I have heard about a wonderful program that does just that.  It is a program that would be a wonderful project for school children or teen youth groups across the nation.   Activity directors in nursing homes would also be a great source for this project.  Even former Veterans can continue to serve their country by reaching out to those who presently serve our great country in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Marines. 

       The idea behind http://www.make2tell2.com is to make 2 cards of love and tell 2 others about the project.  They can be holiday cards or just cards that express respect and caring.  This is a great way to lift the spirits of those serving our country when they need an emotional pick me up.  These cards can express patriotism, faith, gratitude, caring, support, encouragement, and communicate comfort to those who need it!

         Please spread the word…get involved…support our troops today.  It doesn’t take much effort and it can mean so very much to the individual who receives it.  After you make the cards…please send them to:  Make 2 Tell 2, 991 Road
325, Harvard, NE 68944  This is also a great way to teach young people about service and about community.  We all need encouragement at times…this is a wonderful way to do that for our troops overseas; it can have a tremendous impact on our military personel.  Thank you!

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       Today is the Marine Corps birthday…hope it is a great one for all of our men and women in the Corps.  God bless you for all of your sacrifices for us civilians.  For those serving overseas we thank you and we appreciate you. To all of the Marines who serve here at home on U.S. soil…your sacrifice is also appreciated.  May you have safety and well-being till you are stateside and home again with your family & loved ones!

         Quite often on the news, all we hear about is those who dishonor the Corps or who choose to perpetrate violence outside of war.  Those stories put a black mark on the minds of people who don’t have personal knowledge of the quality of most Marines.  I want to acknowledge the fact that there are more men and women who serve the United States in good standing; than there are who fail to act honorably.  Just by living their lives decently and serving when called upon to do so…they are heros.  It takes courage & commitment to serve in the armed forces.  They risk life and limb and deserve respect for what they give during their time in the military.  We need to honor them and support them; not just at the holiday time…but, year round.  Support their family members who sacrifice alot as well…by being seperated from their service person.

        This week, several Marines made the news with their heroic actions by saving many people staying in a hotel when they discovered that the hotel was on fire.  They immediately went into action and alerted the hotel guests to the fire and told them to evacuate.  One Marine said…this is what we are trained to do…when there is danger we are trained to go in…not run away! The williness to serve, that the Corps instills in it’s personel, is nothing less than admirable.  God bless each and every one.  So, for those who are serving in the Corps today; or, those who have formerly served in the Corps…thank you.   If you see a Marine today…tell them thank you for serving and wish them a Happy Birthday!  Semper Fi

      

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        This election has electrified American’s like no other election in my memory.  People have strong reactions to the ups and downs on the daily news.  The media’s interpetation of what is happening minute- by- minute in the run for the Presidency of the United States is very slanted in it’s presentation.  It gives the impression that one doesn’t even need to vote…that it is already a done deal…IT IS NOT!  Everyone who is able must vote.  Everyone has a voice and must use it to choose who they wish to represent them in the leadership of their country.

          It has been called everything from a very prettified “Historic Election” to “A Mess”.  From the outset of this journey…it was touted as an election to take notice of, be a part of and yet; once the Democrats chose their candidate…and the Republicans chose theirs, the battle lines have been drawn.  The media has all but declared a win for Barack Obama.

           Each candidate has claimed that it is time for change.  Most Americans couldn’t agree more with that; however, the last few weeks have been increasing in ugliness.  Citizens are not happy with the direction our country has taken in the quality of life, nor in the image that has been projected of Americans around the world.  That has to be addressed.  Add into the chaos of the multi national financial systems collapse, and the housing market crisis, and throw into the mix health care & job losses; and you should have a clear platform for a political candidate to voice their position and their solutions.  It hasn’t happened yet.  The candidates are too afraid of voicing their true position on the issues in fear of alienating some section of voters…so we are left to our own impressions of where the candidates stand.

          Part of the fear and anxiety in this country has been the lack of information needed to make an informed decision.  Questions have been raised about personal integrity, honesty and positions of faith.  Candidates can say what they want about the image that they try to project…however, actions speak louder than all of the words written for them by their well-paid speech writers.  The truth of who a candidate really is will eventually come out.  I just hope that each will reveal themselves before the actual election.  We are in real trouble when the media and celebrity spokespersons are the go to sources of information.  We only learn what they want us to learn. 

           Hate and violence should never have a place in American politics.  Let the candidates show and declare their true value systems and positions on the issues.  There is a huge movement that has building over the last decade or so, against people of faith who try to vote their values and who hold their political leaders to some level of positive role modeling.  Why is that wrong? In my opinion, it isn’t.  Standards of behavior should be based on an acceptable level to the people that the candidates represent.

           We have, over the years, removed God from our schools, we have demanded seperation of church and state, and some talk of taking that even farther by removing the “Under God” from our pledge of allegience.  There is even an organization dedicated to supporting non-believers in God or atheists in their candidacy; it is called, Godless Americans Political Action Committee.  They have a right to form their committee just as others have a right to question a candidate about their alliance to such an organization and how it will affect their position should they be election to a position of power.  Plain and simple; let the truth be known if you are associated with such an organization and let the voter’s decide whether you merit a vote or not; don’t hide your involvement and don’t lie to the people who you would represent if elected.

            Really, if you are a Christian…this election is about staking your claim for your personal beliefs and value systems.  Don’t vote in this election based just on your economic situation; or, on falling for the one liner…”we want change”….because…if you don’t vote your Christian values then you and the rest of the citizens of the United States are on a slippery slope.  Quality of life is in question as it is with all of the challenges to traditional religious views such as one man one woman marriages and standing up for family values.  If we allow our leadership to rest in the hands of people who don’t consider themselves accountable to a higher power or authority under God, then we really are in trouble as a nation.

            I don’t think that America is ready, willing or able to endorse Godlessness in our Political leaders; do you?

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