Time for Thorns

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Posts Tagged ‘military

Memorial Day 2017, No. 2…

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I would have posted this on the day a week ago,  but I was surprised by the paucity of hits on the topic and decided to do some real searching.   It was not terribly encouraging.

Originally  known as  Decoration Day,  and intended to honor the dead of the war Between the States,  Memorial Day has always been based on military personnel whose lives were cut short by their service to their country.

Many Presidents have issued remarks on the occasion,  and most of them have acknowledged the ties between patriotism and Christianity,  as did our nation’s founders.   I included  this piece  because John Witherspoon was one of my ancestors.   Former President George W. Bush used social media to  pay tribute  to those who protect us.   Current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson  joined the  nearly one million motorcycles which made up this year’s Rolling Thunder  ride from the Pentagon to the National Mall and the Vietnam Memorial.   Conservative Treehouse has a very funny comparison of  Tillerson and Obama’s first Secretary of State John Kerry. President Trump had  no problem  negotiating the throngs of riders to reach the tomb of the Unknown Soldier,  a fact which garnered almost no notice from big media.

An Army veteran and current employee of Fort Bragg is using 7,000 combat boots  to memorialize the fallen.   We should remember the fallen  —  all of  them,  from  every era.   They remain  forever young,  but they live on as long as someone remembers them,  says their name,  tells a story about them.   We should not forget what the survivors of the  conflicts  were promised either.   Haven’t we allowed them to be lied to long enough?

Robert Curry has an  interesting piece  about what should be our common purpose,  but he appears to forget that progressives have never believed in the Constitution or Bill of Rights,  or indeed in the very notion of  America itself.   Vox chose this day  to trash  the Marine Corps.   The piece stands out only because everyone else was busy bashing President Trump and conservatives instead.   Apparently they can not break themselves of Obama’s eight-year long habit of blaming President George W. Bush for everything.

President Nixon’s  observations  seem at once prescient and hopelessly optimistic.   For too many Americans,  Memorial Day engenders no remembrance,  but makes a fine excuse to eat and drink.   Use these eleven quotes on  them.   Happily some of us  still make  the effort.

My general observation is that the small towns still honor Memorial Day, but the big cities do not.   If the latter condescend to even mention the occasion,  they turn it into something else and awful.  The wide spots in the road,  where so many of our military personnel come from, still have parades and speeches and fly flags proudly.

There are many ways to remember the fallen.   You can watch some politically  incorrect movies.   You could contribute to one of the groups which help their families,  or that lobby for veterans’ benefits,  but if you have a more personal connection,  here’s a guide to what  the coins  laid atop the tombstones of some graves mean.   Add to them,  for all of us,  won’t you?





Written by timeforthorns

June 5, 2017 at 5:10 pm

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How humiliating….

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How embarrassing must it be that your  spy ship  has collided with another nation’s livestock transport vessel and then sinks?   And the Turkish coast guard has  to rescue  the Russian sailors from their sinking ship?

Do you worry that your military and intelligence services are  falling down on the job?

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April 29, 2017 at 12:31 am

Veterans Day 2016…

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The Wall Street Journal offers a  nice collection  of this Veterans weekend from across the nation.   Here are  some pix  from across the country.   My observation is that small towns and rural areas still tend to have special events and celebrations organized by residents,  while metropolitan areas now have government-run events.   I prefer the homespun variety myself,  partly because there are actual veterans involved and they know what it means to serve.

Action star Chuck Norris is a vet himself and  understands it  well.   Bill Federer grasps why there are  no atheists  in foxholes.   More photos  here.

For me,  Veterans’ Day is special,  because every generation of my family has seen military service.   Some of them died because of it,  all of them suffered to some extent,  yet none of them regretted it.   Most people in my family regard it as the only honorable service possible to have in government.   Those who don’t,  basically whine and complain,  but don’t serve anywhere.




Written by timeforthorns

November 13, 2016 at 11:54 pm

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Raymond Haerry, R.I.P.

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Mr. Haerry ran away from home and  ended up  on the USS Arizona,  right in the middle of history.   He was one of only six known living survivors. Living through Pearl Harbor and World War II to die at age 94 looks like total victory to me.


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October 9, 2016 at 11:57 pm

Military coup in Turkey…

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The Turkish Army is apparently  attempting a coup  against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,  who is claiming he is still in control.   That is highly doubtful,  as the state-owned broadcasting system is clearly in the hands of the coup,  and Erdogan,  a tireless self-promoter,  has not been seen in several days.   I’d say that,  based on the little we know at this point,  the coup may well succeed,  as the police are no match for the military.

It is important to remember that Erdogan,  who took power in 2002,  has cashiered out many senior military members,  knowing that the history of Turkey is that the secular-minded army has long been a stabilizing force in the country.   Erdogan has been playing footsie with Russia and Iran and instituting Islamic policies bit by bit.   He also was aware that the Turkish officer corps knows many Western military personnel,  and has long worked well with the British and the Americans.

Secretary of State John Kerry from Moscow said the U.S. hopes there will be peace and stability in Turkey,  a typical diplomatic response.   Dollars to doughnuts His Oneness will not be able to keep his mouth shut and will at least hint that the military coup is not a good thing.   I say this because the Turkish president is a big fan of the Muslim Brotherhood,  as is Obama,  since he promoted Mohamed Morsi,  the Egyptian president who was ousted by Egypt’s military in 2011,  and was a member of that group himself.   His Oneness claims the Brotherhood is a a moderate alternative to more violent Islamist groups.

Congressmen Darrell Issa and Louis Gohmert have renewed the push for a bill to officially designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization,  an important move in light of what Retired Navy Admiral Ace Lyons  told the  National Press Club last year.

UPDATE:  News reports are that Erdogan is seeking asylum in Germany, which indicates the coup has succeeded.   Others say he is merely on vacation,  so we can’t tell.

UPDATE:   His Oneness wants all parties to “support the democratically elected government of Turkey”.   Isn’t that the same thing he said about Morsi in Egypt  in similar  circumstances??

Written by timeforthorns

July 15, 2016 at 10:23 pm

D-Day still remembered…

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Have you remembered D-Day?  If you’re a recent product of the public education system,  you may never have heard of it.   Christopher Kelley’s article on  the subject will clue you in,  and perhaps encourage you to join me in a toast to all those young men who dropped from the sky and slogged through the water to save Europe.   Some places still remember them,  and still pay them honor with much more feeling than the perfunctory,  bored speech His Oneness gives on any occasion involving the military or America’s exceptionalism.

War is a terrible,  hideous thing.   But as John Stuart Mill said over a century ago,  “War is an ugly thing,  but not the ugliest of things.  The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.  The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety,  is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

UPDATE:   Too many people have forgotten it,  but  none of these  have.

UPDATE:  Neither has Victor  Davis Hanson,  who places it in an historical context.

Written by timeforthorns

June 6, 2016 at 11:55 pm

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Memorial Day 2016…

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Vandals have been busy this weekend,  at  Petersburg National  Battlefield,  the  Vietnam War   Memorial in Venice,  a  Purple Heart plant bed,  in Anniston, Alabama,  and  in Henderson  where they have caught the culprit.   The Chicago Tribune ran an ad luring subscribers,   but  featuring the  U.S. flag backwards.

On the other side,  we have U.S. Army Rangers in Afghanistan  singing for us,  Steve  McCann giving  thanks, and officers aboard the U.S.S. Bataan saluting the  new greatest generation.   These  four veterans  serve in Congress,  and we are lucky to have them.   When they talk about war,  everyone should listen attentively.   Some families have made stupendous sacrifices for  their country through the years.

Valerie Strauss educates us on  the difference  between Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day.   Walt Whitman wrote about  the reasons  for this day many years ago.   Considering how poorly  people did  on Jesse Watter’s quiz,  many of us could use the information,  since schools apparently don’t teach such politically incorrect nonsense any more.

A tiny community in Illinois has given Civil War soldiers their identities back by  obtaining new  headstones for their graves.   My ancestors were mostly on the opposite side,  but all who served deserve honor and remembrance.

James Roberts sees this Memorial Day  as different  from others.   The rather poisonous atmosphere may be different,   but the occasion is the same for me.   How did you celebrate?   Are you at the lake or beach in party mode,  or have you  spared a thought  for the meaning of the day during the festivities?   Did you buy  your flags  yet,  or are you waiting for Flag Day or July 4th?

James Pinkerton offers a  lovely tribute  to Arlington,  calling it his church.   End with Pres. Ronald Reagan’s  inspiring words,  rendered by the Hillsdale College choir.






Written by timeforthorns

May 31, 2016 at 12:19 am

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