We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, "Taps."
It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.
But, do you know the story behind the song?
If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.
Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia.
The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.
During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field.
Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention.
Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.
When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.
The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock.
In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier.
It was his own son.
The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out.
Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status.
His request was only partially granted.
The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.
The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.
But out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.
The Captain chose a bugler.
He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.
This wish was granted.
The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" ... used at military funerals was born.
I came out of the supermarket on a sunny day,
and I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside, with the door open.
The old man was looking at the engine.
I put my groceries away, and watched the old gentleman.
I saw a young man, early twenties, walk towards the old man.
The old gentleman took a few steps towards him.
I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something.
The young man put his groceries into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade.
He then turned back to the old man.
I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying:
"You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age!"
And with a wave of his hand, got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.
I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief,
and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine.
He went to his wife and spoke with her; perhaps telling her it would be okay.
I had seen enough, and I approached the old man.
He saw me coming and stood straight,
and as I got near him I said, 'Looks like you're having a problem.'
He smiled, and quietly nodded his head.
I looked under the hood, and knew whatever the problem, it was beyond me.
Looking around, I saw a gas station, and I told the old man I would be right back.
I drove to the station and went inside.
There were three attendants.
Approaching one of them, I related the problem the old man had with his car.
I offered to pay them if they would follow me and help him.
The old man had pushed the heavy car into the shade and was comforting his wife.
When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help.
As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine),
I spoke with the old gentleman.
When I shook hands with him earlier,
he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it,
telling me that he had been a Marine too.
I nodded and asked the usual question, 'What outfit did you serve with?'
He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division
at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal ....
He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over.
As we talked we heard the car engine start and saw the mechanics lower the hood.
They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me.
I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.
He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card
that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket.
We shook hands, and I said goodbye to his wife.
I told the mechanics that I would follow them back to the station.
I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me.
One of them pulled out a card from his pocket,
looking much like the card the old man had given to me.
Both men told me they were Marine Corps Reserves.
Again we shook hands and as I was leaving,
one of them told me to look at the card the old man gave me.
I said I would and drove off.
I pulled over after driving two blocks and took the card out of my pocket
and looked at it for a long, long time.
The name of the old gentleman was on the card in gold leaf and under his name was written:
'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.'
I looked up from the card and smiled and marveled that on this day,
four Marines had all come together because one of us needed help.
He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage,
and an honor to have been in his presence.
Remember, OLD men like him gave you FREEDOM for America.
Thanks to those who served and still serve, and to all of those who supported them,
and who continue to support them.
If you don't stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to stand in front of them!
1. "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."
2. "Those who trade liberty for security have neither."
~ John Adams
3. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
4. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
5. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.
6. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.
7. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.
8. Know guns, know peace, know safety.
No guns, no peace, no safety.
9. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
10. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
11. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
12. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights Reserved.
13. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.
14. What part of 'shall not be infringed' do you NOT understand?
15. Guns have only two enemies; rust and politicians.
16. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves to the government, criminals, and street gangs.
17. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.
"I love this country, it's the government I'm afraid of."
I love this movie!
I know - it is "just a movie".
But it is a great historical movie.
And from what I have read, researched and studied - not far removed from historical facts.
I have been doing some research into what it means to be a "Patriot".
PATRIOT - a person who loves, supports and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
A person who vigorously supports his or her country and its way of life.
"Patriots" is a name that is often used to describe the early American colonists.
Those that rebelled against the English government.
They represented an array of social, economic, ethnic and racial backgrounds.
The "Oxford English Dictionary" has this definition of a "Patriot" ...
"A person actively opposing enemy forces occupying his or her country; a member of a resistance movement, a freedom fighter."
In Britian 1773 "patriot" had a negative connotation.
(And to many it does today as well.)
A "Patriot" for America was first a "traitor" to England ...
There are many enemies of life and liberty - both foreign and domestic.
Those enemies that attack from without, and those that attack from within.
May God grant us the eyes to see and the ears to hear all attacks!!!
May God grant us the courage to stand up and be PATRIOTS for America!!!
The Star Spangled Banner
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,...
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the starspangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors; they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." Samuel Adams
God, Bless America once again.
Why "Stay the Course"?
What does it mean to "Stay the Course"?