Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank A Veteran

                    The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the fact that freedom comes at a price.  Anyone who truly appreciates freedom should thank a Vet because veterans of our military services have kept our nation free.  November 11 is Veterans Day, a great day to thank our veterans. 

Veterans Day is a special day set apart to honor the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Services.
It is a legal federal holiday in the United States and is always celebrated on November 11.  President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day in 1919 because he wanted Americans to remember the horrors of war.  A law was passed in 1938 making the day a federal holiday, and in 1954 Congress changed the holiday’s name to honor all United States veterans.

                  I was gratified to learn that our nation honored a special group of veterans in recent days.  After Japan bombers attacked Pearl Harbor, the United States interned approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans because they were considered to be a potential threat to national security.  Young Japanese-American men  - Nisei, second generation Americans - in those camps joined the U.S. military to fight for the very nation that interned their families. The veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service earned their medals the hard way.  They fought both the enemy and prejudice because they felt that they had to prove beyond any doubt that they were loyal Americans.  The men of the 442nd became the most highly decorated regiment in Army history as they fought their way through Italy, southern France, and Germany.  There were 13,000 soldiers in the regiment, and they received 9,486 Purpose Hearts for wounds or combat deaths.  Several thousand other men served more discreetly as translators and agents in the Pacific with the Military Intelligence Service.  These elderly men were honored in Washington, D.C. with a three day series of events.  This is not the first time these men have been honored.  President Harry S. Truman reviewed the Nisei soldiers on the White House lawn, their exploits were dramatized by Hollywood in a 1951 movie entitled "Go for Broke," and the State of California named a highway after the 442nd.  (Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers)

                    We can honor all American veterans no matter which war they fought by remembering their sacrifices to preserve our liberties.  We can honor them by embracing the type of values and principles that are worth fighting to protect.  We can make our veterans proud of us by our own personal commitment, courage and compassion.  We can live our lives with honor and good behavior.  We can verbally express our gratitude for their service to our country.  A simple “thank you” to our service men and women helps them to know that their service and sacrifices have not been in vain.

                    Parade Magazine for Sunday, November 6, 2011, listed eleven ways that we can help veterans and/or thank them for their service to our country.  Their list is as follows:
1.  Give shelter.  Homes for Our Troops constructs houses for severely injured veterans who served after
9/11….  Donate equipment or help build a home.  
2.  Offera vet a ride.  The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) provides free transportation to men and
women unable to travel to VA medical facilities on their own.  You can volunteer to drive a DAV van for
those in need.  
3.  Providefoster care for a pet.  Take in the dog or cat of a deployed soldier or a wounded veteran while
he or she is on duty or receiving VA medical treatment. 
4.  Recorda war story.  Do you know an old soldier with tales from the front lines?  The Library
of Congress wants to hear his voice.  Go to the website below for tips on conducting an interview or to
request a field kit, including biographical data and release forms.  
5.  Put those old cell phones to good use.  Instead of stashing your used phones in the junk drawer, ship
them to Cell Phones for Soldiers.  For each one donated, the organization will pay for an hour of talk time
for troops overseas.  
6.  Donate used DVDs.  Drop off movies or television shows at your local VA facility, or mail them to
DVDs4Vets, a national organization that distributes them where needed.  
7.  Cut coupons.  Have some expired coupons lying around?  Military families can use them for up to six
months past their end date.  
                    8.  Contribute to a holiday drive.  Operation Gratitude's annual campaign collects clothing, food, and more
and packs it in gift boxes for service members.  Pitch in by offering up items; local residents can sort them
9.  Post a care package.  Through the organization Kitchen Table Gang, hospitalized veterans and troops
abroad can receive personalized parcels containing everything from candy to board games.  Get a service
member's address from KITG, bundle up items with a note of thanks, and send them off.  
10.  Share your expertise.  MilServe connects volunteers with vets in many areas:  financial counseling or
legal services; job search guidance; even carpentry, for building wheelchair ramps.  
11.  Support Big Brothers Big Sisters.  The national organization has a special Military Mentoring program
for children with parents in the armed forces.  The group carefully pairs kids with adults serving in the
military, as well as with veterans and civilians.  

                    Dr. Sam Bierstock wrote the lyrics to a song called “Before You Go,” and his band provided the music.  This song pays tribute to the veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, but it applies to all veterans.  You can find more information about Dr. Sam here.      
                    I send a special “thank you” to all the men and women who are serving in the military or have served in the military of our great nation.  Thank you for standing between us and those who want to destroy our liberty and way of life.  Thank you for being willing to endure hardships and make sacrifices to protect us.  To all the veterans, thank you so much for your service and your sacrifice!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU! 

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