Monday, November 10, 2008


Today's entry is dedicated to my dad, a US Marine who served on board of the USS Bataan, and all the veterans that truly risked all they had and all they were
for God and Country...
I truly hope that no one ever forgets - Keep their spirit alive - honor them every day of the year
Make sure their legacy is passed on to the next generation.

Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead.

Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.

Here is a short story from John McCain himself - that he told last Veteran's Day..and I am passing it on to all of you!


In light of the recent appeals court ruling in California, with respect to the Pledge of Allegiance, the following recollection from Senator John McCain is very appropriate:
"The Pledge of Allegiance" - by Senator John McCain As you may know, I spent five and
one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.

This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.
One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.
Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing.
Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt.

Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.
One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered
Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.

That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could.

The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room.

As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died
down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag. He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.

So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the
sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.
You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Freedom is Never Free

To the many who have fought to make and keep us free. THANK YOU!!!

I live in a Country
Where I am free.
I know about the men
Who fought for it to be.

I thank God everyday
That I live in this Country
And not in a land
That is far, far away.

I know freedom is never free
It took brave men and women
Who shed their blood
And fought hard for you and me.

So, if someone tells you that freedom is free,
Just smile and look at them
And tell them that freedom
Took someone dying for you and me

Freedom comes with a very high cost
It takes our young people and tears them apart,
It grabs a hold of families and breaks their hearts,
It's paid for by the blood of those we've loved and lost

So, you see my friend,
freedom is never free
It is paid for by others
Who set our Country free

Next time you see a war Vet
Don't forget to say "thank you"
It was only because of them that you can be you
And as you look them in the eyes, you will see no regret!

Right or wrong, they fought a good fight
And they would do it again
For you and for me,
Just to make sure things remain right



Sugar said...

beautiful post today to honor all our veterans.
my post was on saturday.

Sacred Suzie said...

I am now part of a military family and this day is so important to all those who dedicate their lives to protecting the world. For us in Canada it's called Remembrance Day. Blessings to all those who have given their lives for our protection.

Robin said...

Amen! What a wonderful entry, thank you for sharing this with us!

Indigo said...

Beautiful, spirited entry dear friend. (Hugs)Indigo

Chris/cacklinrosie101 said...

Gosh, Ellie, I have the chills. What an awesome entry. I don't think I'll ever hear or say the Pledge of Allegiance without thinking of that story. I can't even imagine. HUGS

Missie said...

Beautiful entry Ellie!

Betty said...

Awesome post today! I enjoyed reading it. Lots of thanks to our Vets. They are the reason we are free.
Betty from

TheClackHouse said...

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The Clack House

Bill said...

This is a fine entry for me to read. Thanks. I spend my Veterans Day thinking about old friends and Shipmates and thanking those who I see who are Vets. I spend Memorial Day praying for those who have "gone before" and those in "Harms Way" now.
My Regards, Bill.

"Ima" said...

what an inspiring post :) it's sad that more stories like that aren't shared daily instead of waiting for one designated day throughout the year. thanks for sharing! [and thanks for the comment on my last post as well :) ]