Sunday, May 29, 2011

Patriotism and Freedom


Neil Armstrong on the moon

I'd like to explore today patriotism, and freedom.
These are the two main things that our armed forces do for us.
They give their lives with a fervor of patriotism.
Sometimes because they want to.
Sometimes because they don't want to, at least not at that time.
Some have conviction,
some have doubt,
some have confidence,
some are scared.
But all have given the rest of Americans a precious gift -

c.1944 World War II poster

Our veterans have seen terrible things-
so I don't have to.
Our veterans have made life or death decisions -
so I don't have to.
Our veterans have sometimes been forced to make incredibly hard choices -
so I don't have to.
Our veterans have been damaged and wounded for the cause of freedom -
so I don't have to.

How can we as a nation repay such self sacrifice?



There is a fascinating history to the photograph
on the cover of the song sheet above.
First, yes it is a photograph!
Second, the flag is made up of only US servicemen, in uniform.
You can find more photos from the same 'shoot' on the internet.
Way cool.


"Some people live an entire lifetime
and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world;
but our military doesn't have that problem."
- Ronald Reagan, 40th President

 "He serves his party best who serves his country best."
- Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President

adaptation of a 1943 poster

"The saving grace of America lies in the fact
that the overwhelming majority of Americans
are possessed of two great qualities -
a sense of humor
and a sense of proportion."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President


"America is best described by one word,
- Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th President


"Our nation's military and law enforcement personnel
work hard to protect us.
We must thank them for their continued vigilance.
Without their sacrifice
we would be less capable of protecting our nation."
- Leonard Boswell

c.1916, with picture of George Washington, 1st President



"God bless the Union;
it is dearer to us for the blood of brave men which has been shed in its defense...
no lapse of time,
no distance of space,
shall cause you to be forgotten."
- Edward Everett


This blog is dedicated to my grandfather
Jess McDowell
He lied about his age (he was too young) to join World War I.
He was sent from Dodge City, Kansas (think country boondocks)
to the trenches in France.
He came home with one souvenir - a silver menu holder from France.
He never talked about the war,
what he saw
or what he'd done.

That's all I know of his military service.
I do have an American Legion silver tag, very thin and worn.
It says:

Post 47
Jess McDowell
Dodge City, Kansas

If anyone remembers him, I would love to hear from you.
He died in Elgin, IL around 1962 - 1963,
visiting us (The Troup family) with Grandma Myrtle McDowell.
I believe he is buried in the Dodge City cemetery.



I'm so proud of what you did, Grandpa,

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