|February 19, 2010, 02:48 PM||#4|
Join Date: December 30, 2007
It is the prayer to dedicate the Fifth Marine Division cemetery at Iwo Jima on March 26, 1945...THE DAY OF THAT FINAL ATTACK.
Prayer at the Fifth Marine Division Cemetery Iwo Jima,
March 26, 1945, by LT Roland Gittelsohn, CHC, USNR
_____This is perhaps the grimmest, and surely the holiest task we have faced since D-Day. Here before us lie the bodies of comrades and friends. Men who until yesterday or last week laughed with us, joked with us, trained with us. Men who were on the same ships with us, and went over the sides with us as we prepared to hit the beaches of this island. Men who fought with us and feared with us.
_____Somewhere in this plot of ground there may lie the man who could have discovered the cure for cancer. Under one of these Christian crosses, or beneath a Jewish Star of David, there may rest now a man who was destined to be a great prophet... to find the way, perhaps, for all to live in plenty, with poverty and hardship for none. Now they lie here silently in this sacred soil, and we gather to conse*crate this earth in their memory. It is not easy to do so. Some of us have buried our closest friends here. We saw these men killed before our very eyes. Any one of us might have died in their places. Indeed, some of us are alive and breathing at this very moment only because men who lie here beneath us had the courage and strength to give their lives for ours. To speak in memory of such men as these is not easy. Of them, too, can it be said with utter truth: “The world will little note nor long remember what we say here. It can never forget what they did here.” No, our poor power of speech can add nothing to what these men and the other dead of our division who are not here have already done. All that we can even hope to do is follow their ex*ample. To show the same selfless courage in peace that they did in war. To swear that, by the grace of God and the stubborn strength and power of human will, their sons and ours shall never suffer these pains again. These men have done their job well. They have paid the ghastly price of freedom. If that freedom be once again lost, as it was after the last war, the unforgivable blame will be ours, not theirs. So it is we, the living, who are here to be dedi*cated and conse*crated.
_____We dedicate ourselves, first to live together in peace the way they fought and are buried here in war. Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago helps in her founding, and other men who loved here with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores. Here lie officers and men, Negroes and whites, rich men and poor... together. Here are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews... together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or de*spises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many from each group are admitted or allowed. Among these men is no discrimination. No prejudice. No hatred. Theirs is the highest and purest democracy. Any man among us, the living, who fails to understand that will thereby betray those who lie here dead. Whoever of us lifts his hand in hate against a brother, or thinks himself superior to those who happen to be in the minority, makes of this ceremony and of the bloody sacrifice it com*memorates, an empty, hollow mockery. To this, then, as our solemn, sacred duty, do we the living now dedicate ourselves: to the right of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, of white men and Negroes alike, to enjoy the democracy for which all of them have here paid the price.
_____To one thing more do we consecrate ourselves in memory of those who sleep beneath these crosses and stars. We shall not foolishly sup*pose, as did the last generation of America’s fighting men, that victory on the battlefield will automatically guarantee the triumph of democracy at home. This war, with all its frightful heartache and suffering, is but the beginning of our generation’s struggle for democracy. When the last battle has been won, there will be those at home, as there were last time, who will want us to turn our backs in selfish isolation on the rest of organized human*ity, and thus to sabotage the very peace for which we fight. We promise you who lie here: we will not do that! We will join hands with Britain, China, Russia in peace, even as we have in war to build the kind of world for which you died. When the last shot has been fired, there will still be those whose eyes are turned backward, not forward, who will be satisfied with those wide extremes of poverty and wealth in which the seeds of another war can breed. We promise you, our departed comrades: This too we will not permit. This war has been fought by the common man; its fruits of peace must be enjoyed by the common man! We promise, by all that is sacred and holy, that your sons–the sons of miners and millers, the sons of farmers and workers, will inherit from your death the right to a living that is decent and secure.
_____When the final cross has been placed in the last cemetery, once again there will be those to whom profit is more important than peace, who will insist with the voice of sweet reasonableness and appeasement that it is better to trade with the enemies of mankind than, by crushing them, to lose their profit. To you who sleep here silently, we give our promise: We will not listen! We will not forget that some of you were burnt with oil that came from American wells, that many of you were killed by shells fashioned from American steel. We promise that when once again men seek profit at your expense, we shall remember how you looked when we placed you reverently, lovingly, in the ground. Thus do we memorialize those who, having ceased living with us, now live within us. Thus do we consecrate ourselves, the living, to carry on the struggle they began. Too much blood has gone into this soil for us to let it lie barren. Too much pain and heartache have fertilized the earth on which we stand. We here solemnly swear: this shall not be in vain! Out of this, and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come we promise the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere. Amen.
|February 19, 2010, 03:34 PM||#5|
Join Date: December 30, 2009
God bless all the men and women who have fought for our freedoms, this day just as every other. Thank you for your services so that my family and I can live the lifestyle that WE chose to live, and not the way we would be forced to live under a different style of government/leadership. I make it a point to thank every soldier that I encounter on the street. I have no idea what they do (occupation) in our military, but it doesn't matter. I have no idea where they have or have not served, but that does not matter either. It takes the whole for our military to function. You'd be amazed at how much it can change their day just by saying "thank you for your service". I have two brothers-in-law who are currently serving in the Marines, one serving in the coast guard, and one who has finished his term in the Marines. My dad was a door gunner on a huey during Nam. I withhold no amount of gratitude for their efforts. Memorial and Veteran's Day aren't enough to be the only days we show those who've served that we value their efforts. Thank you to the OP for bringing today to the minds of those who read this. More than that, thank you to everyone who has served our country and it's people.
“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second does not become the legalized version of the first.” Thomas Jefferson
"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." Thomas Jefferson
|February 21, 2010, 01:45 AM||#7|
Join Date: August 19, 2008
Location: Far Nth Wst QLD Australia
G'day. Got this Email and thought you might like to read it.
IT HAPPENS EVERY FRIDAY! Were you aware?
Fridays at the Pentagon
By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
Over the last 12 months, 1,042 soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel have given their lives in the terrible duty that is war. Thousands more have come home on stretchers, horribly wounded and facing months or years in military hospitals.
This week, I'm turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lt. Col. Robert Bateman, who recently completed a year long tour of duty in Iraq and is now back at the Pentagon.
Here's Lt. Col. Bateman's account of a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Weblog of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Website.
"It is 110 yards from the "E" ring to the "A" ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here.
This hallway, more than any other, is the `Army' hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew.
Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area.
The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares. "10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.
"A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.
"Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden ... yet.
"Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier's chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel.
"Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.
"11:00 hours: Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. My hands hurt. Please! Shut up and clap. For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway - 20, 25, 30.. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts.
They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals. Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly.
"There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband's wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son's behalf. No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.
These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for more than four years.
"Did you know that?
If you're not confused, you're not trying hard enough!
When you're confused, I'll try to use smaller words!!!
|February 21, 2010, 11:08 AM||#8|
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Not really relevant to the subforum. Yes, we should remember such events but we don't want the forum to get filled with such - as would happen.
Sorry - closed
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc.
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