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GOV/MIL Veterans day today
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    17,803

    Veterans day today

    thank you to all of the vets and their families on this board. and to all the vets in this country.


    MY dh is in Lansing at the service this morning. then off for a free lunch , then home.

    Remember 2 people willing to die for you,
    1. JESUS CHRIST
    2.THE AMERICAN VETS.

    I f see a vet today tell them thank you!
    blessings to all momof23goats

  2. #2
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    Thanks to my son Greg-US Army-Iraq 2008-9
    Thanks to my daughter Carrie-US Army-Iraq 2003-04, 2008-09
    Thanks to all of our brave veterans because you truly sacrificed for us.
    Prayers for our deceased veterans

    God Bless You All!
    God is pro-life!

  3. #3
    RIP to all those that died for the constitution military and otherwise!
    God bless those still fighting to keep the constitution alive, you know who you are.

    Is today a fedeeral holiday as in no mail?
    Nevermind just checked and no mail today.

    Are the banks closed today?

  4. #4
    I am sitting here in tears and pissed the F&*K off.

    I am watching FOX news and they are showing the laying of the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldiers, I believe it has been changed to "The Tomb of the Unknowns." BS BS BS BS.

    I just laid my dad to rest at a military cemetery. World War II veteran. 90 years old. A real hero and a great man.

    While "God Bless America" is being played and sung, all I can see is that piece of SH&T, HNIC, MUSLIM loving, Anti American racist, Mother FU*KER Obama standing there disrespecting every man that gave their life at Arlington National Cenetery.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    He was getting old and paunchy
    And his hair was falling fast,
    And he sat around the Legion,
    Telling stories of the past.

    Of a war that he once fought in
    And the deeds that he had done,
    In his exploits with his buddies;
    They were heroes, every one.

    And 'tho sometimes to his neighbors
    His tales became a joke,
    All his buddies listened quietly
    For they knew where of he spoke.

    But we'll hear his tales no longer,
    For ol' Joe has passed away,
    And the world's a little poorer
    For a Veteran died today.

    He won't be mourned by many,
    Just his children and his wife.
    For he lived an ordinary,
    Very quiet sort of life.

    He held a job and raised a family,
    Going quietly on his way;
    And the world won't note his passing,
    'Tho a Veteran died today.

    When politicians leave this earth,
    Their bodies lie in state,
    While thousands note their passing,
    And proclaim that they were great.

    Papers tell of their life stories
    From the time that they were young,
    But the passing of a Veteran
    Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

    Is the greatest contribution
    To the welfare of our land,
    Some jerk who breaks his promise
    And cons his fellow man?

    Or the ordinary fellow
    Who in times of war and strife,
    Goes off to serve his country
    And offers up his life?

    The politician's stipend
    And the style in which he lives,
    Are often disproportionate,
    To the service that he gives.

    While the ordinary Veteran,
    Who offered up his all,
    Is paid off with a medal
    And perhaps a pension, small.

    It is not the politicians
    With their compromise and ploys,
    Who won for us the freedom
    That our country now enjoys.

    Should you find yourself in danger,
    With your enemies at hand,
    Would you really want some cop-out,
    With his ever-waffling stand?

    Or would you want a Veteran
    His home, his country, his kin,
    Just a common Veteran,
    Who would fight until the end.

    He was just a common Veteran,
    And his ranks are growing thin,
    But his presence should remind us
    We may need his likes again.

    For when countries are in conflict,
    We find the Veteran's part,
    Is to clean up all the troubles
    That the politicians start.

    If we cannot do him honor
    While he's here to hear the praise,
    Then at least let's give him homage
    At the ending of his days.

    Perhaps just a simple headline
    In the paper that might say:
    "OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
    A VETERAN DIED TODAY."
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    "I, YHWH, change not." ~ our Creator
    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." ~ Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Scotto, that is beautiful. I had to wait to post this thank you as my eyes were filled with tears for more than a few minutes.

    Did you write this? It's great.

    I'm going to run a copy off (if that's ok with you) to read it to DH. BTW he is a Veteran.

    THANK YOU to all the Veterans here on TB and any of your family and friends who are.

  7. #7
    To Scotto,

    applause applause applause.
    I couldn't make it through the first 3 sections without tears.
    A great poem.
    Thanks

  8. #8
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    Reunions remain poignant for dwindling number of WWII veterans



    Published November 11, 2013

    | Associated Press




    DAYTON, Ohio – Paul Young rarely talked about his service during World War II — about the B-25 bomber he piloted, about his 57 missions, about the dangers he faced or the fears he overcame.

    "Some things you just don't talk about," he said.

    But Susan Frymier had a hunch that if she could journey from Fort Wayne, Ind., with her 92-year-old dad for a reunion of his comrades in the 57th Bomb wing, he would open up.

    She was right: On a private tour at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, amid fellow veterans of flights over southern Europe and Germany, Young rattled off vivid details of his plane, crewmates, training and some of his most harrowing missions.

    "Dad, you can't remember what you ate yesterday, but you remember everything about World War II," his daughter said, beaming.

    When Young came home from the war, more than 70 years ago, there were 16 million veterans like him — young soldiers, sailors and Marines who returned to work, raise families, build lives. Over the decades, children grew up, married, had children of their own; careers were built and faded into retirement; love affairs followed the path from the altar to the homestead and often, sadly, to the graveyard.

    Through it all, the veterans would occasionally get together to remember the greatest formative experience of their lives. But as the years wore on, there were fewer and fewer of them. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, just a little over 1 million remain. The ones who remain are in their 80s and 90s, and many are infirm or fragile.

    So the reunions, when they are held, are more sparsely attended — yearly reminders of the passing of the Greatest Generation.

    —When veterans of the Battle of the Bulge gathered in Kansas City this summer, only 40 came, according to organizers, down from 63 last year and 350 in 2004.

    —Of the 80 members of Doolittle's Raiders who set out on their daring attack on Japan in 1942, 73 survived. Seventy-one years later, only four remain; they decided this year's April reunion in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., would be their last, though they met Saturday for a final toast in honor of those who have gone before them.

    —A half-century ago, when retired Army First Lt. Frank Towers went to his first reunion of the 30th Infantry Division — soldiers who landed at the beaches of Normandy and fought across France and Germany — he was surrounded by 1,000 other veterans.

    "Now if I get 50, I'm lucky," said Towers, who is working on plans for a reunion next February in Savannah, Ga. "Age has taken its toll on us. A lot of our members have passed away, and many of them who are left are in health situations where they can't travel."

    So why persist?

    "It's a matter of camaraderie," Towers said. "We spent basically a year or more together through hell or high water. We became a band of brothers. We can relate to each other in ways we can't relate to (anyone else). You weren't there. These guys were there. They know the horrors we went through."

    ___

    As many as 11,000 people served in the 57th Bomb Wing that flew missions over German-held Europe from North Africa and the island of Corsica during most of the war. Hundreds survive, according to wing historians and reunion organizers. Only nine veterans made it to this fall's event.

    George Williams, 90, recalled earlier reunions with his comrades, "having a great time yukking it up and talking about things." No one else from his squadron came to this one.

    "All of a sudden, it's lonesome," said Williams, a native of Visalia, Calif., who moved after his wife's death to Springfield, Mo., where his son lives. "All of the people you ran around with are on the wrong side of the grass. You wonder why you're so lucky."

    But in a Holiday Inn hospitality suite with patriotic bunting, bowls of pretzels and chips with soft drinks at their tables, the stories flowed easily.

    Williams remembered the tension of his first mission, his hand ready at the tag that would release him to bail out if necessary. It went without incident, and upon their return to base, a flight surgeon measured out two ounces of whiskey for each crewman. "Sixty-nine to go," he said then, because 70 missions was considered the tour of duty. Sometimes on later missions, he would pour the two ounces into a beer bottle to save up for a night when he needed numbing.

    Robert Crouse, of Clinton, Tenn., is 89 years old, but he remembers as if it happened yesterday the time a shell blew out the cockpit windshield ("you could stick your head through it"), disabling much of the control panel. Another plane escorted the bomber, its pilot calling out altitude and air speed as Crouse's plane limped back to base, riddled with holes.

    Young recalled flying a damaged plane back to base, hearing his tail gunner's panicked yells as Plexiglass shattered over him. "You could feel the plane vibrate; you fly through the smoke, you smell the smoke and you hear the flak hitting the plane like hail on a tin roof."

    Not all the memories are bad ones. There was the late-war mission when they hit a spaghetti factory instead of the intended target ("Spaghetti was flying everywhere," recalled Crouse, chuckling). There was Williams' first Thanksgiving meal overseas: a Spam turkey, spiced and baked to perfection by an innovative cook.

    "I still love Spam," he said.

    Then there was R&R in Rome, hosted by the Red Cross. Young men not long removed from high school toured the Colosseum and other historic sites they had read about. They visited the Vatican; some met Pope Pius XII. Williams got a papal blessing of a rosary for his engineer's fiancee.

    "It was pretty good," Williams said of his war experience, "except when they were shooting at us."

    ___

    Some of the veterans fear that their service will be forgotten after they are gone. Crouse and others have written memoirs, and many of the reunion groups now have websites, magazines and other publications in which they recount their stories.

    "You just hope that the young people appreciate it," said Young. "That it was very important, if you wanted to continue the freedom that we have."

    Their children remember. Some are joining them at the reunions; others keep coming after their fathers are gone.

    At this year's reunion, Bob Marino led a memorial service and read the names of 42 members of the 57th Bomb Wing who died in the past year. A bugler played "Taps."

    Marino, 72, a retired IRS attorney and Air Force veteran from Basking Ridge, N.J., helped organize the gathering. His Brooklyn-native father, Capt. Benjamin Marino, died in 1967 and left numerous photos from the war, and Marino set about trying to identify and organize them. To learn more about his father's experiences, he corresponded with other veterans — including Joseph Heller, who was inspired by his wartime experiences with the 57th to write his classic novel "Catch-22."

    "He never talked about any of this," Marino said, turning the pages on a massive scrapbook as veterans dropped by to look at the photos. "Once in a while, something came out. I wish I had sat down and talked to him about it."

    This was precisely the gift Susan Frymier received at the reunion in Dayton.

    She watched as the father who had long avoided talking about the war proudly pulled from his wallet a well-worn, black-and-white snapshot of the plane he piloted, nicknamed "Heaven Can Wait" with a scantily clad, shapely female painted near the cockpit.

    She listened as he described German anti-aircraft artillery fire zeroing in on his plane. "I had to get out of there. All the flak ... they were awfully close." He described "red-lining" a landing, running the engines beyond safe speed. His voice suddenly choked.

    "Oh, Dad!" said his daughter, and she hugged him tightly.

    Print Close

    URL

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/11...wwii-veterans/

  9. #9
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    .

    A Visitor from the Past



    I had a dream the other night, I did not understand.
    A figure walking through the mist, with a flintlock in his hand.
    His clothes were torn and dirty, as he stood there by my bed,
    He took off his three-cornered hat, and speaking low, he said:

    "We fought a revolution, to secure our liberty.
    We wrote the Constitution, as a shield from tyranny,
    For future generations, this legacy we gave,
    In this, the land of the free and the home of the brave."

    "The freedom we secured for you, we'd hoped you'd always keep.
    But tyrants labored endlessly, while your parents were asleep.
    Your freedom gone, your courage lost, you're no more than a slave,
    In this, the land of the free and the home of the brave."

    "You buy permits to travel, and permits to own a gun,
    Permits to start a business, or to build a place for one.
    On land that you believe you own, you pay a yearly rent,
    Although you have no voice in choosing how the money's spent."

    "Your children must attend a school that doesn't educate.
    Your Moral values can't be taught, according to the state.
    You read about the current news, in a very biased press.
    You pay a tax you do not owe, to please the I.R.S."

    "Your money is no longer made of silver or of gold.
    You trade your wealth for paper, so your life can be controlled.
    You pay for crimes that make our nation turn from God - to shame,
    You've taken Satan's number, as you've traded in your name."

    "You've given government control to those who do you harm,
    So they can padlock churches, and steal the family farm,
    And keep our country deep in debt, put men of God in jail,
    Harass your fellow countrymen, while corrupted courts prevail."

    "Your public servants don't uphold the solemn oath they've sworn.
    Your daughters visit doctors so children won't be born.
    Your leaders ship artillery and guns to foreign shores,
    And send your sons to slaughter, fighting other people's wars."

    "Can you regain your freedom for which we fought and died?
    Or don't you have the courage or the faith to stand with pride.
    Are there no more values for which you'll fight to save?
    Or do you wish your children to live in fear and be but slaves?"

    "Sons of the Republic, arise...and take a stand !
    Defend the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land !
    Preserve our dear Republic and each God-given right,
    And pray to God to keep the torch of freedom burning bright !"

    As I awoke he vanished, in the mist from whence he came.
    His words were true, we are not free. We have ourselves to blame.
    For even now as tyrants trample each God-given right,
    We only watch and tremble, too afraid to stand and fight.

    If he stood by your bedside, in a dream while you're asleep,
    And wondered what remains of your rights he fought to keep,
    What would be your answer, if he called out from the grave?
    Is this still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?


    By Thelan Paulk

  10. #10
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    Thank you to all our veterans, past, present and future! And to my brother, Tom, who put in 20 years in the Navy.

    Our son is in the HS band and they marched in the parade today. It was great! One thing Sweetie and I noticed, there was a nice float from the local Republican Party, but nothing from the local Democrats. Hmmmm, wonder if I should get anything from that???

    Kajun
    Stupid outta hurt immediately!

  11. #11
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    ...but nothing from the local Democrats.


    Be thankful! Had there been, it would have been a horde of GIBSMEDATS rampaging through the crowd, as another horde of illegals running in waves down the street, dragging their anchor-babies with them....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    ...but nothing from the local Democrats.


    Be thankful! Had there been, it would have been a horde of GIBSMEDATS rampaging through the crowd, as another horde of illegals running in waves down the street, dragging their anchor-babies with them....


    I had to LOLOLOLOLOLOL at the part above in bold. Our town is so small, it is impossible to have a "horde" of anything, much less illegals! We do have a large "brown" population due to our location. Illegal? Dunno. Don't worry bout it too much. TOO much.

    Kajun
    Stupid outta hurt immediately!

  13. #13
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    This thread has brought tears to my eyes.
    THANK YOU to all of the veterans!

    My DH is marching in the NYC Veterans Day parade today. I am very proud of him.

  14. #14
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    That was wonderful Scotto! Thank you.

    A huge THANK YOU to the Veterans on this board, my SO Andy, and his VFW buddies.
    A salute of respect to you all.
    "There is only one success....
    to be able to spend your life in your own way."
    Christopher Morley

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pirate9933 View Post
    I am sitting here in tears and pissed the F&*K off.

    I am watching FOX news and they are showing the laying of the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldiers, I believe it has been changed to "The Tomb of the Unknowns." BS BS BS BS.

    I just laid my dad to rest at a military cemetery. World War II veteran. 90 years old. A real hero and a great man.

    While "God Bless America" is being played and sung, all I can see is that piece of SH&T, HNIC, MUSLIM loving, Anti American racist, Mother FU*KER Obama standing there disrespecting every man that gave their life at Arlington National Cenetery.
    I agree, I had to turn it off. can't stand that muslim in the white house.
    blessings to all momof23goats

  16. Thanks to all the vets. And to my favorite Veteran, my Dad.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pirate9933 View Post
    I am sitting here in tears and pissed the F&*K off.

    I am watching FOX news and they are showing the laying of the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldiers, I believe it has been changed to "The Tomb of the Unknowns." BS BS BS BS.

    I just laid my dad to rest at a military cemetery. World War II veteran. 90 years old. A real hero and a great man.

    While "God Bless America" is being played and sung, all I can see is that piece of SH&T, HNIC, MUSLIM loving, Anti American racist, Mother FU*KER Obama standing there disrespecting every man that gave their life at Arlington National Cenetery.

    WOW tell us how you really feel.

    SERIOUSLY I FEEL THE SAME WAY AS YOU JUST POSTED.
    GOD bless your dad and all like him.
    JUST A FEW OF MY SIMPLE THOUGHTS


    LAY LOW WAIT LIKE A WOLF IN THE WILD UNTIL THE TIME IS RIGHT

  18. #18
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    Heard an early AM radio show say that Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day following the end of WW-I.

    Just checked and it's also called (or coincident with) "Remembrance Day".

    Name was changed after WWII to honor all Veterans...and for a time was called "ALL Veterans Day"...later shortened to the current name.

    Good day to fly the flag.

  19. #19
    The title says it all:

    West Virginia University Marching Band Armed Forces Salute






    fd4266d12443435aae740947efe3ddd0ba63e971.jpg

    Thank you, veterans!
    ________
    - Nancy

  20. #20
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    Remember the price they paid - all of them.

    When I was still young, one of our neighbors was a veteran of World War I. He had been gassed.

    He still wheezed when he breathed till the day he died.
    =====================================

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
    Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
    And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.
    -- Wilfred Owen, 1918 --


    http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html

    Notes on Dulce et Decorum Est
    1. DULCE ET DECORUM EST - the first words of a Latin saying (taken from an ode by Horace). The words were widely understood and often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean "It is sweet and right." The full saying ends the poem: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - it is sweet and right to die for your country. In other words, it is a wonderful and great honour to fight and die for your country.

    2. Flares - rockets which were sent up to burn with a brilliant glare to light up men and other targets in the area between the front lines (See illustration, page 118 of Out in the Dark.)

    3. Distant rest - a camp away from the front line where exhausted soldiers might rest for a few days, or longer

    4. Hoots - the noise made by the shells rushing through the air

    5. Outstripped - outpaced, the soldiers have struggled beyond the reach of these shells which are now falling behind them as they struggle away from the scene of battle

    6. Five-Nines - 5.9 calibre explosive shells

    7. Gas! - poison gas. From the symptoms it would appear to be chlorine or phosgene gas. The filling of the lungs with fluid had the same effects as when a person drowned

    8. Helmets - the early name for gas masks

    9. Lime - a white chalky substance which can burn live tissue

    10. Panes - the glass in the eyepieces of the gas masks

    11. Guttering - Owen probably meant flickering out like a candle or gurgling like water draining down a gutter, referring to the sounds in the throat of the choking man, or it might be a sound partly like stuttering and partly like gurgling

    12. Cud - normally the regurgitated grass that cows chew usually green and bubbling. Here a similar looking material was issuing from the soldier's mouth

    13. High zest - idealistic enthusiasm, keenly believing in the rightness of the idea

    14. ardent - keen

    15. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - see note 1 above.

    These notes are taken from the book, Out in the Dark, Poetry of the First World War, where other war poems that need special explanations are similarly annotated. The ideal book for students getting to grips with the poetry of the First World War.

    Pronunciation
    The pronunciation of Dulce is DULKAY. The letter C in Latin was pronounced like the C in "car". The word is often given an Italian pronunciation pronouncing the C like the C in cello, but this is wrong. Try checking this out in a Latin dictionary! - David Roberts.

    To see the source of Wilfred Owen's ideas about muddy conditions see his letter in Wilfred Owen's First Encounter with the Reality of War. (Click to see.)
    "All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arises not from deficits in the Constitution or Confederation , nor from want of honor and virtue, so much as downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation." -- John Adams
    "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks." -- Lord Acton

  21. #21
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    I would like to salute all Veterans, active and retired for their service to our country. You have sacrificed so much. Thank you & may the Lord grant many blessings to you and your family.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a77DhwalG6A

  22. #22
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    Thank you for post #9 Dennis....

  23. #23
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    P.S.

    And thanks and tons of appreciation to my twin great-nephews who are currently serving in the Marines. Proud of you boys!

    Kajun
    Stupid outta hurt immediately!

  24. #24
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    From Tam:
    ==========

    http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot...-distance.html

    Time and Distance...

    The American Civil War is viewed differently in the North and the South in large part because most of it happened in the latter. It was a war that Hoosier and Buckeye boys marched away to fight, but it happened right in the front yards of Tennesseans and Virginians. Southerners of my grandparents' generation would have learned about the war from men and women who, as small children, had watched their homes burn, and anybody with a metal detector can still go looking for Minie balls and shell fragments near the historical markers that dot the roadsides.

    Similarly, I don't know that we as Americans really get the Great War. Sure, we sent some troops there at the end, but the sheer scale of the thing...

    Consider this: During the invasion of Normandy, V Corps suffered ~3,000 casualties total; killed, wounded, and missing. Antietam, the bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War, saw over 3,500 KIA for Union and Confederate forces, combined.

    By comparison, on the opening day of the Somme Offensive the British army took almost 60,000 casualties, over nineteen thousand of whom were killed outright. In the kindermord, the 'Massacre of the Innocents' of the first battle of Ypres, the Germans lost almost 20,000 KIA, a third of them practically children. The bones of more than 130,000 unidentified Frenchmen and their German foes are piled in the Douaumont ossuary.

    And this awful corpse-furnace burned in one place for four years as Europe stoked it with the better part, literally, of an entire generation.

    It's little wonder that the day on which the guns fell silent on the Western Front is still commemorated.
    Posted by Tam @ 9:56 AM 27 comments:
    "All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arises not from deficits in the Constitution or Confederation , nor from want of honor and virtue, so much as downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation." -- John Adams
    "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks." -- Lord Acton

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    Reunions remain poignant for dwindling number of WWII veterans

    World War II's surviving Doolittle Raiders make final toast


    Published November 10, 2013
    Associated Press



    DAYTON, Ohio Known as the Doolittle Raiders, the 80 men who risked their lives on a World War II bombing mission on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor were toasted one last time by their surviving comrades and honored with a Veterans Day weekend of fanfare shared by thousands.

    Three of the four surviving Raiders attended the toast Saturday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Their late commander, Lt. Gen. James "Jimmy" Doolittle, started the tradition but they decided this autumn's ceremony would be their last.

    "May they rest in peace," Lt. Col. Richard Cole, 98, said before he and fellow Raiders -- Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, 93, and Staff Sgt. David Thatcher, 92 -- sipped cognac from specially engraved silver goblets. The 1896 cognac was saved for the occasion after being passed down from Doolittle.

    Hundreds invited to the ceremony, including family members of deceased Raiders, watched as the three each called out "here" as a historian read the names of all 80 of the original airmen.

    The fourth surviving Raider, Lt. Col. Robert Hite, 93, couldn't travel to Ohio because of health problems.

    But son Wallace Hite said his father, wearing a Raiders blazer and other traditional garb for their reunions, made his own salute to the fallen with a silver goblet of wine at home in Nashville, Tenn., earlier in the week.

    Hite is the last survivor of eight Raiders who were captured by Japanese soldiers. Three were executed; another died in captivity.

    A B-25 bomber flyover helped cap an afternoon memorial tribute in which a wreath was placed at the Doolittle Raider monument outside the museum. Museum officials estimated some 10,000 people turned out for Veterans Day weekend events honoring the 1942 mission credited with rallying American morale and throwing the Japanese off balance.

    Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning said America was at a low point, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and other Axis successes, before "these 80 men who showed the nation that we were nowhere near defeat." He noted that all volunteered for a mission with high risks throughout, from the launch of B-25 bombers from a carrier at sea, the attack on Tokyo, and lack of fuel to reach safe bases.

    The Raiders have said they didn't realize at the time that their mission would be considered an important event in turning the war's tide. It inflicted little major damage physically, but changed Japanese strategy while firing up Americans.

    "It was what you do ... over time, we've been told what effect our raid had on the war and the morale of the people," Saylor said in an interview.

    The Brussett, Mont., native who now lives in Puyallup, Wash., said he was one of the lucky ones.

    "There were a whole bunch of guys in World War II; a lot of people didn't come back," he said.

    Thatcher, of Missoula, Mont., said the raid just seemed like "one of many bombing missions" during the war. The most harrowing part for him was the crash landing of his plane, depicted in the movie "Thirty Seconds over Tokyo."

    Cole, of Comfort, Texas, was Doolittle's co-pilot that day. Three crew members died as Raiders bailed out or crash-landed their planes in China, but most were helped to safety by Chinese villagers and soldiers.

    Cole, Saylor and Thatcher were greeted Saturday by flag-waving well-wishers ranging from small children to fellow war veterans. Twelve-year-old Joseph John Castellano's grandparents brought him from their Dayton home.

    "This was Tokyo. The odds of their survival were one in a million," the boy said. "I just felt like I owe them a few short hours of the thousands of hours I will be on Earth."

    Organizers said more than 600 people, including descendants of Chinese villagers who helped the Raiders and Pearl Harbor survivors, were invited to the final-toast ceremony.

    The 80 silver goblets in the ceremony were presented to the Raiders in 1959 by the city of Tucson, Ariz. The Raiders' names are engraved twice, the second upside-down. During the ceremony, white-gloved cadets presented each of the three with their personal goblets and their longtime manager poured the cognac. The deceased's glasses are turned upside-down.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/10...e-final-toast/

    ............

    http://www.npr.org/2013/11/11/244452...dle-in-numbers

    On April 18, 1942, in response to the Japanese attack the previous December on Pearl Harbor, 80 men in 16 B-25 bombers took off on a secret mission to bomb Japan. Led by James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, they became known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.

    On Saturday, three of the four remaining Raiders met for what is likely to be the last time at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

    Waving to the crowd were former Lt. Col. Richard Cole, 98, of Texas, former Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, 93, of Washington state and 92-year-old former Staff Sgt. David Thatcher of Montana. Former Lt. Col. Robert Hite, 93 and a fellow Raider, could not make the trip from his home in Tennessee.

    After the motorcade pulled into Memorial Park, Cole addressed the crowd: "Ladies and gentlemen, once again we meet in this memorial park to reflect on the mission more than 71 years ago. We are grateful we had the opportunity to serve."

    Following a B-25 bomber flyover, the Raiders were escorted to a private room above the museum. Next to each man was a framed photograph of his younger self.

    Saylor, holding court on one side of the room, says younger generations want him to talk about World War II.

    "I got two commitments next week: high schools, rotary club, Kiwanis, military outfits. Lots of interest in it, so I speak quite often," Saylor says.

    Across the room, Thatcher gives his thoughts on the mission. "It's really surprising that the public would remember a raid like that so many years ago [was] just a part of the war effort," he says.

    But the Doolittle Raid is seen as a turning point in the war. The raid on Japan boosted the low morale of Americans and forced the Japanese to reevaluate their strategy.

    Thatcher's son, Jeffrey, says his father has always been humble about the role he played. "They didn't brag about their exploits. They just felt like it was their duty, and they went and did it and just moved forward with their lives," he says.

    In 1959, officials in Tucson, Ariz., presented the Raiders with a set of 80 name-engraved silver goblets. They're kept in a velvet-lined box, and after each year's toast, the goblets of those who have died are turned upside down. Four remain upright.

    This time, the Raiders bring out an 1896 vintage bottle of Hennessy cognac. It was given to Jimmy Doolittle on his 60th birthday, and it has been kept unopened by the Raiders.

    Cole is asked to break the wax seal, but it's not an easy task. When the 98-year-old succeeds, the final toast is offered: "Gentleman, I propose a toast to those we lost on the mission and those who have passed away since. Thank you very much, and may they rest in peace."

    More than 71 years of tragedy, bravery and inspiration have lead to this moment. And finally, the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders declare their mission is over.
    Carpe Diem, if you don't someone else will!

  26. #26
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