Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
(Abraham Lincoln – The Gettysburg Address) Read the rest of this entry »
POW/MIA Tables of Honors
ALMIGHTY GOD, FATHER OF ALL MANKIND AND JUDGE OVER NATIONS, WE PRAY THEE TO GUIDE OUR WORK IN THIS MEETING AND IN ALL OUR DAYS AHEAD.
SEND THY PEACE TO OUR NATION AND TO ALL NATIONS. HASTEN THE FULFILLMENT OF THY PROMISE OF PEACE THAT SHALL HAVE NO END.
WE PRAY FOR THOSE WHO SERVE THE PEOPLE AND GUARD THE PUBLIC WELFARE THAT BY THY BLESSING THEY MAY BE ENABLED TO DISCHARGE THEIR DUTIES HONESTLY AND WELL.
WE PRAY FOR OUR COMRADS THAT BY THY HELP THEY MAY OBSERVE THE STRICTEST JUSTICE. KEEP ALIGHT THE FIRES OF FREEDOM, STRIVE EARNESTLY FOR THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY AND PRESERVE UNTARNISHED OUR LOYALTY TO OUR COUNTRY AND TO THEE.
FINALLY, O GOD OF MERCY, WE ASK THY BLESSING AND COMFORT FOR THOSE COMRADES WHO ARE SUFFERING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITIES. CHEER THEM AND BRING THEM THE BLESSINGS OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.
You see before you an empty table, set for service but vacant. This table is symbolic of our fallen comrades-in-arms and those whose fate is still unknown.
It is set with eight chairs – one each for the members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, as well as for Fire Fighters, Police Officers and Civilians.
The table is round, symbolizing our everlasting concern for those still missing. REMEMBER.
The table cloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their intentions in responding to their country’s call to arms. REMEMBER.
The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades-in-arms who keep the faith awaiting their return. REMEMBER.
The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands, bearing witness to their unyielding demand for a proper accounting of our missing. REMEMBER.
A slice of lemon is on the bread plate, symbolic of their bitter fate. REMEMBER.
There is salt upon the bread plate, symbolic of the family’s tears as they wait. REMEMBER.
The glass is inverted, for they cannot toast with us this night. REMEMBER.
The chairs – the chairs are empty – they are not here. REMEMBER.
REMEMBER – all of you served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied upon them, for surely, they have not forsaken you. Remember
Operation Love Our Troops would like to sincerely express our heartfelt gratitude to the Medford VFW/American Legion and Moose Lodge for the honor of attending their annual Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast. We were/are all deeply moved by your patriotism and the kindness, compassion, unity and strength that you all have shown in your service to our country and to your fellow service men yesterday, today and tomorrow. You are all heroes. No words can truly and fully express the dynamic/profound ways that you have all helped to guide, liberate and inspire.
“My Angel DAWN”
When my son Paul, who is a Marine, was in Iraq I prayed every night for him. I also prayed to my daughter that I carried for 9 months only to lose her after a few hours of birth on December 19, 1973. My loss of her is something I have never gotten over. I never had the chance to see her because they kept me sedated until she was gone. But I do know that she was and is beautiful. I have a daughter Denise, who was born first in 1970, Dawn in 1973, Paul in 1975 and Laurie in 1976.
One night during my prayers I felt anger at everyone because my son was in harm’s way and I couldn’t do anything about it. I angrily said to Dawn “Are you listening to my talks with you? At least give me some kind of sign that you hear me every night praying that you stay with your brother and keep your arms wrapped tightly around him to protect him from harm”.
The next day as I sat at work on the computer in my office a young woman peeked in the door and motioned for me to come out into the hall. She said she was new and working in an office at the other end of the building. She held out a small box to me and said that she had heard that my son was in Iraq. I opened the box and there was a Marine pin. She went on to tell me that it was her father’s pin, his name was Glensis and that he was killed in Vietnam. She never got to meet him. I started to cry and tell her that I really was touched, but that I couldn’t take something so special to her and wear it, when she didn’t even know me. She told me that as long as I wore the pin, Paul would be safe because her father would be watching over him. I started crying and thanked her while I proudly put on the pin. She told me to return it to her only when Paul came home. Later that afternoon it occurred to me that I didn’t even know her name. I went down to her office and apologized, saying that I was so overwhelmed by her gift that I didn’t get her name. She said “My name is DAWN”. I stood there stunned, bursting into tears. I told her about my baby and she started to cry.
About 2 months later, I was wearing the pin every day, I went to visit Dawn and she wasn’t at her desk. I was told that she “just left” without a word. I panicked because I had her father’s pin. A few days later I heard her voice in the hallway. I ran out and there she was. I took the pin off and handed it to her. She still insisted that I wear it. A feeling of calmness came over me and I explained to her that I no longer needed it. Paul was okay. Little did I know that he was in the air on his way home.
I have never seen or heard from Dawn again, but I KNOW that she was sent to me from my little precious angel Dawn.
I am never alone or will I ever be. My little girl is always with me, my children and my grandchildren watching over us every minute of the day and nobody can ever convince me any different. Angels DO exist.
“RED, WHITE AND BLUE”
Saw this first on “Little Green Footballs”, then found it on wordpress too:) Video at the top of the page. Keep shining the light brother: