Tuesday, November 13, 2018

We Remember - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

 Veteran's Day isn’t to be a memory,  but a day to commemorate those who sacrificed their lives and livelihood. We may not set aside the memories and respect we expressed only days ago. The gestures may remain silent for another year, but they remain in our hearts.

As we step ahead in time, we look at this day November 13, 2018, as we remember another milestone in history. We look upon this day as a day when veterans of one era finally receive the respect they deserve. They receive the respect that for more than a decade was silenced, by a narrow-minded view, that certain men and women didn’t deserve respect because they fought an unpopular war.

It is on this day in 1982 that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated. The “Wall” as people commonly refer to it has become an icon. The black granite “v” shaped wall is a symbol of love and loss, war and peace, and the unending cycle of war. The Memorial is inscribed with 57,939 names of those who never came home from Vietnam. 

The “Wall” has become a gateway to forgiveness. It is a place where the protesters and defenders meet and remember a time of turmoil that separated a people who before the war were friends. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a place that offered the initial healing. It is one of the most visited memorials in the nation's capital.

I will take a moment today to remember not only the sacrifice our military endured in Vietnam but the humiliation people subjected them to when they returned home. I salute each of you today; those who look upon the names on the Memorial, and those whose names are inscribed within the black granite. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. My heart goes out to you who suffered in silence. I wish peace for you in your lives. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Sacred Salute

We offer our veterans a salute of respect and honor today. Let‘s salute all those who sacrificed their existence to secure our freedom, and give thanks to those who endured the pain and hardship of war, so we may feel secure.

Many people blindly walk through life. They go about our day not thinking about the choices they have and the voice they take for granted. We have a voice because of our veterans. Each of us is endowed with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; freedoms secured by our original forefathers. We enjoy these rights at the expense of those who live if not fearlessly; they live sacrificially.

From, the Revolutionary War to the Wars in the Middle East that continue to plague the world. Our Veterans along with our Allies, continue to police the world and offer a choice to those willing to step up and defend the freedoms we often forget about.

Today we offer our thanks to the men and women who keep the peace. I offer my gratitude along with thanks to all our service people. I thank their families too, for their sacrifice.

May your sacrifice be the light that shines in the darkness and spreads love across the globe. 

Photo by Holly Mindrup on Unsplash

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Another Voice Another Vote

The citizens of the United States of America are empowered with rights that could move mountains. Such rights should cause us to race to the polls and vote. Unfortunately, not everyone takes this right seriously.

In recent years we have seen a vast change in how we view politics. This blog is not going to be infused with politics in any form. I can’t mention voting without mentioning the elephant in the room. It is the reason we vote. I believe it is also the reason we are seeing an increased interest in voting and the voting process.

There is a long history of suffrage in this country. One equal to that of the vote. The topic has shaken up the masses at different times in history.

The first vote took place within hours of the landing of the Jamestown voyagers on April 26, 1607, according to their calendar. It was the first attempt at voting on American soil. It was also the beginning of corruption. The commanders of 105 colonialists of Williamsburg unsealed a box containing a list of seven men picked in England who would be the colony’s council. They would select one of the seven as president.

We all remember Captain John Smith. They denied him a seat initially on suspicion of concealing a mutiny. Because they eliminated John Smith from the vote, that left six men, less than six percent of the population to take part in the choice for president. Six men were the voice for the 105 colonists. Ninety-nine voices remained silent, choked out by the king’s rule.

This country has come a long way from colonial Williamsburg. We have suffered many growing pains. In the early years, they allowed only wealthy white men to vote. Male landowners controlled the interest of the population. Eventually, that changed, and it allowed all white males to vote.

In 1870 they granted the African American male population the right to vote through the fifteenth amendment. Many things didn’t change for this demographic, but it was the beginning of change. It would be almost a hundred years before the civil rights movement would cause a greater change.

We went through the woman’s suffrage movement. This movement broke down the barriers that had for centuries snuffed out the voice of women. They finally gave women the right to vote on August 18, 1920, when Congress ratified the nineteenth amendment.

The United States is a melting pot of ethnicity. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” (Statue of Liberty). This country welcomes the masses, through its gates (by means of citizenship), in welcoming them we give them the right to be a voice for themselves as well as for the country.

I hope each one of you finds the time today to make your voice heard.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash