Wednesday, November 11, 2009

National Park Foundation Invites Americans to Honor Veterans Day by Supporting The Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Park Foundation is inviting all Americans to honor Veterans Day 2009 by supporting the campaign to complete the Flight 93 National Memorial. The memorial will honor the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93, who overtook the 9/11 terrorists aboard their flight and presumably thwarted efforts to launch a further attack on Washington, D.C.

A groundbreaking ceremony at the crash site marked the beginning of the construction process, as the campaign to support the memorial continues. To date, roughly one-third of the money needed has been raised to complete the Flight 93 Memorial. To make a contribution to the Flight 93 Campaign, visit: A video of highlights from the emotional groundbreaking ceremony was also released today on YouTube at

"All of America should be helping on this effort because they were heroes for all of America," said Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar at the groundbreaking ceremony. "Our nation's capital belongs to everybody in America, and if this plane, Flight 93 had hit its intended target who knows what the consequence would have been to the entire planet."

"Veterans Day is a time when we celebrate and honor the selfless men and women who have served the nation in times of need. The story of Flight 93 clearly resonates with the thousands of veterans who have visited the temporary memorial," said General Tommy Franks, honorary co-chair of the Flight 93 Campaign. "American Veterans are known for their commitment to getting hard jobs done. We are going to follow their example and complete the fundraising for the Flight 93 Memorial in time for the tenth anniversary of 9/11."

Many veterans who have visited the Flight 93 Crash Site have left tributes including a pair of combat boots, a Purple Heart, dog tags, and a brick from an Iraqi compound.

In a weekend editorial in the Washington Post about the groundbreaking, Gov. Tom Ridge, who is an honorary chairman of the Flight 93 Campaign, and Gov. Rendell wrote that, "The story of Flight 93 is a parable for our times that calls on each of us to be our best selves -- and to value and respect that spark in one another."

The National Park Foundation is running the campaign to complete the Flight 93 Memorial. To support the effort, please visit

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Veterans Day Call to Action

/PRNewswire/ -- This Veterans Day, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) is urging everyone to honor all veterans in every community across the nation.

"We encourage all Americans to take time out of their busy schedules to do something good for all generations of veterans and their families," said Paralyzed Veterans national president Gene A. Crayton. "And beyond Veterans Day, please take a minute to think about other opportunities to make every day a day for veterans. Thank you America for always caring about us."

Here are some suggested activities for this Veterans Day and beyond:

-- Everyone: Thank veterans for their service. It means more than you
might think. And please volunteer for veterans year round.
-- Leaders: From the President and Congress to our mayors, always use
your leadership to help empower veterans and their families.
-- Architects: Include wheelchair accessibility in your designs. This
improves everyone's quality of life.
-- Employers: Hire more paralyzed veterans. By doing do, veterans get
good jobs and careers in a tough economy, and employers get great

Sixty-three years ago, Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a band of spinal cord injured service members who returned home from World War II to a grateful nation, but also to a world with few solutions to the challenges they faced. These veterans from the "Greatest Generation" made a decision not just to live, but to live with dignity as contributors to society. They created an organization dedicated to veterans service, medical research and civil rights for people with disabilities. And for more than six decades, Paralyzed Veterans of America and its 34 chapters have been working to create an America where all veterans, and people with disabilities, and their families have everything they need to thrive. (

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Restored Vietnam Memorial Unveiled on Veterans Day

/PRNewswire/ -- The newly restored Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial (PVVM) at Penns Landing will be unveiled on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 at noon at Front and Spruce streets.

The unveiling concludes two years of fund-raising for the $500,000 project necessitated by 21 years of wear and damage from the weather, general use and vandalism. "In many ways, this effort by the PVVM Fund Board of Directors has resulted in virtually a brand new Memorial that will ensure the preservation of this important monument to the sacrifice of 646 Philadelphians," noted PVVMF president Terry A. Williamson.

The ceremony will feature an unveiling of the wall of names by the Vietnam history class of LaSalle College High School and raising of the Armed Services flags by an active duty member of each branch of service. The keynote speaker is PA Justice Seamus P. McCaffrey and remarks will be delivered by Mayor Michael Nutter.

The reconstruction represents the first phase of the "Duty to Remember" Campaign for the preservation of the Memorial. Improvements include the replacement of paving material, restoration of damaged granite, new lighting, a refurbished "wall of names," the installation of flagpoles to honor POW/MIAS and for each of the Armed Services, and other improvements.

One of the exciting improvements is a web-based 24/7 camera system, which just became operational last week, to permit individuals to visit our web site at to view a live video feed of the Memorial.

"Unfortunately, the restoration will not halt the vandalism and desecration that has marked the site since its dedication," Williamson said. "We believe the only way to do that is to open the Spruce Street side of the secluded Memorial to expose such acts to the public. That's why we have launched the second phase of our campaign to raise $500,000 for this purpose."

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Monday, September 28, 2009

This Obama Czar needs to be gone, gone, gone

Just adding my 2 cents worth to the growing mass trying to oust this guy. This is the caliber of person that the President wants working with our children's education??? Sick.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gotta Love the National Anthem

Here's an awesome video on the history of the National Anthem. You'll be in awe and truly appreciate "our" song. Just make sure you swallow the lump in your throat before you listen to the Peachtree City students sing.

The JC Booth Middle School 8th grade chorus recently performed the Star Spangled Banner at an Atlanta Braves game. This was the fourth year these talented Fayette County singers have wowed the crowds. Enjoy.

Sing it loud and sing it proud!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Superstar's Memory Honored by James Waldrop DAR in Fayetteville

Pictured are (l-r) James Waldrop DAR Member and Speaker Phyllis King, Regent Betty Harrah, Georgia State Society DAR Regent, Barbara Blakely Chastain, and James Waldrop Chapter DAR Commemorative Chairman Susan Sloan.

Do you know the significance of September 3rd in the history of America? What about September 6th?

If you answered with the end of the American Revolution and a Frenchman's birthday, you're right! The Treaty of Paris, which was signed on September 3, 1783, formally ended the American Revolution between Great Britain and the American colonies. Among the points made in the Treaty of Paris was the acknowledgement of the 13 colonies to be free, sovereign and independent States.

The James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution saluted this day in American history as well as the birthday of the Marquis de Lafayette, who was instrumental in the colonies' fight against the English crown by hosting a dinner in Fayetteville to celebrate these two events. The featured speaker was Phyllis King, DAR member and Fayetteville resident, who spoke about Lafayette's Superstar status after the American Revolution was over.

King said, "In the summer of 1824, cities and towns across the 24 States of the Union began plans and preparations for the visit of the last surviving General of the Revolutionary War, Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette. The New Republic was dear to him and the feeling was mutual. For 13 monthes he was celebrated almost daily with speeches, banquets, balls, long processionals and gun salutes. The"Nation's Guest " laid cornorstones for monuments and buildings, greeted old comrades, and reviewed militias.

His superstar status led 26 states to name 18 counties, 36 cities, a military fort and a mountain in his honor and his face appeared on more currency, second only to George Washington. During his stay he met with the President, visited Congress, dined with former Presidents, met with many governors and mayors as well as citizens and Native Americans. Congress awarded him $200.000. After all, he paid his way here in 1777 at age 19, took a commision with no pay and outfitted his first command with uniforms and weapons. In 1779 he convinced Louis XVI to loan money, send Rochambeau and 5000 French troops, and a naval squadron to aid the colonies in their struggle for independence.One author, Alan Hoffman, writes of Lafayette, "He was the noblest, most consistent, most principled, most modern of the Founding Fathers. He was one of the Greatest men of his time, a 19th century "Superstar".

"On his visit through Georgia, he landed in Savannah on March 19, 1825 and laid the cornerstone for monuments to Casmir Pulaski and Nathanial Greene. He traveled on to Augusta and Milledgeville where he found a man who had helped carry him off the field of battle at Brandywine. In his last days in Georgia, traveling through Macon and Marion County he met and visited with Creek Chief William McIntosh's son. His travels continued through all states and he returned to Boston in time for the 50th anniversary of Bunker Hill."

"On his return to France." she continued," he would carry soil from Bunker Hill which would cover his grave after his death in May of 1834 at age 76. In Lafayette's speech to Congress, he summed up his beliefs and his life, "I have stayed faithful to the American principle of liberty,equality,true social order to which I have been devoted since my youth, and which til my last breath will be a scared duty to me."

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Unknown Soldier Recovered from Franklin Battlefield

/PRNewswire/ -- A construction project in the area where the calamitous Battle of Franklin was fought on Nov. 30, 1864, has disturbed the resting place of an unknown soldier who was buried in a shallow grave 145 years ago during the tragic last days of the Civil War in Tennessee.

The City of Franklin's Battlefield Task Force, along with local historians and government officials, led the recovery of the soldier's remains and will direct a funeral ceremony to re-inter his body at the Historic Rest Haven Cemetery in downtown Franklin, where other brave veterans - both Union and Confederate - were laid to rest.

It is not known for which army the unknown soldier fought. A coffin containing his remains will lie in state at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 510 West Main Street in Franklin - the circa 1827 sanctuary which served as barracks for Federal troops during their occupation of the town in 1864 - from 8 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8 until the funeral ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. One Union and one Confederate honor-guard sentry will be posted at the front doors of the church during the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. visitation period each day, and prior to the ceremony on Saturday morning.

The soldier will receive full military honors from re-enactors representing brothers-in-arms from both the Union and the Confederacy. On Saturday morning, a Union and a Confederate Chaplain will conduct a brief funeral service in the church. Following the service, the casket will be borne from the church by uniformed pallbearers (Union and Confederate) and placed on a waiting, horse-drawn caisson in front of the church. Accompanied by a color guard, honor guard, and Civil War-era bagpiper, the caisson will move north on Main Street, crossing Fifth Avenue, circling the Square, proceeding north on Third Avenue, and then west on North Margin Street to the Rest Haven Cemetery gates.

As the procession leaves St. Paul's and continues up Main Street, townspeople and visitors are invited to fall in behind the ranks of the marching re-enactors.

After arriving at Rest Haven Cemetery, a brief eulogy will be delivered by the chaplains, and will conclude with period-appropriate military honors including a 21-gun salute and the playing of "Taps" by a uniformed bugler.

A Monument to The Unknown Soldier who died on the Franklin Battlefield will be unveiled as part of the ceremony. Active participation in the ceremonies at Rest Haven and at St. Paul's will be restricted to uniformed re-enactors only, but the public is invited to view the ceremonies from designated areas.

Any re-enactment unit that wishes to participate is encouraged to contact Robert Huff at (615) 500-8211, or via email at

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Historic Brandywine Battlefield Falls in Tough Times of the Economy

PP Note: Although the Americans lost this famous battle which lasted only one day in September 1777, it was a turning point for patriots. The battle at Brandywine demonstrated the resolve of the Americans and gave inspiration that they could wage war and defend their beliefs. Out of the estimated 26,000 troops who fought in the battle, the Americans lost some 1200 patriots.

Thomas Paine said of this battle, "Those who expect to reap the blessings of Freedom, must... undergo the fatigue of supporting it. The event of yesterday is one of those kind of alarms, which is just sufficient to rouse us to duty, without being of consequence enough to depress our fortitude. It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequence will be the same."

History is important, and we should all do our part to preserve our American heritage.

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

Brandywine Battlefield Park May Close

This appears to be a very sad "sign of the times."

The state park at the site of the largest land battle of the Revolutionary War, fought on September 11, 1777 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, is about to close for lack of funding. How can a National Historic Landmark be in jeopardy?

The future of the Brandywine Battlefield is being threatened by the loss of state funding needed to keep the gates open and the site functioning. The Revolutionary Times battle event has been cancelled for 2009. This event brings reenactors to the park along with others who establish camps, display crafts and recreate life in colonial times. This event has been the centerpiece of the Battlefied's calendar for years.

The rest of the park is expected to close soon and all employees there will be laid off.

A website has been established as a grass roots campaign to keep the Brandywine Battlefield open and bring back the Revolutionary Times battle event. Donations and other assistance are being solicited.

You can find the Save Brandywine Battlefield Park web site at

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Fayette: Freedom Walk, Patriot Day and Amy Grant Concert

2009 PTC Patriot Day Held at Frederick Brown Amphitheater

Patriot Day and the Freedom Walk in Peachtree City will be held in conjunction with the Amy Grant concert on September 11th this year.

The city is holding the 3rd annual “Freedom Walk” along with Patriot Day on Sept. 11, 2009. The walk will begin at 6:45 p.m. Towne Club at the intersection of Peachtree Parkway and Crosstown Drive in Peachtree City. The one-mile walk will end at The Fred Amphitheater where the Patriot Day celebration takes place prior to the opening act at approximately 8 p.m. Following will be a Concert by Amy Grant at 9 p.m. Discounted ticket prices are available for those who join the Freedom Walk.

The “America Supports You Freedom Walk” was started in 2005 by Pentagon employees to commemorate the terrorist attack on that Washington D.C. building and to honor all lives lost Sept. 11, 2001, to honor our veterans past and present and renew our commitment to freedom and the values of our country. What began as a small gesture became a new national tradition.

Those interested in walking can register their name and how many will be attending with them by email at: Individuals who would like to help in other ways can also go to that email or call Caitlin Dillon 770-880-8239 for more information.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Boehner Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the First U.S. Combat Losses in Vietnam

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement on the loss 50 years ago today of U.S. Army Master Sergeant Chester Ovnand and Major Dale Buis, who were killed in a Vietcong ambush in Bien Hoa. They served as part of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, originally deployed in 1950 by President Harry Truman. Theirs are the first two names listed on the Vietnam Wall.

“America’s involvement in Southeast Asia began not long after the dawn of the Cold War and lasted a quarter century. Ultimately, 58,261 American troops gave their lives in Vietnam defending freedom in the long struggle against totalitarian communism. The heroism and dedication displayed by American and allied forces in Vietnam are a profound and unique testimony in the history of military arms. America’s success in the Cold War and our ongoing success in the War on Terror are directly attributable to the military, logistical, and technological advancements made by our war fighters deployed in Vietnam. Their sacrifices in the jungles, battlefields, and skies over Vietnam ultimately gave the U.S. military a superior edge in every facet of combat arms.

“The freedom and liberty Americans enjoy today were secured in Vietnam no less than in any of our other military conflicts. As we mark today this solemn milestone of the loss of Master Sergeant Ovnand and Major Buis, let us always remember the courage and bravery of all those lost in Vietnam and honor the service of every Vietnam veteran who volunteered or answered their nation’s call.”

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Celebrate America - June 27 at the Rock Ranch

This event features family fun attractions, amazing live shows, a rubber duck derby to benefit charity, a live musical concert, great food and a fireworks extravaganza. Admission is only $20 per vehicle (regardless of the number of occupants), or $30 per bus. Admission includes unlimited use of attractions.

Family fun attractions include: locomotive train rides, hay rides, the cow train, a rock climbing wall, inflatables, the giant jumping pillow, family bicycles, pony rides, family dodge ball, the watermelon cannon, the petting zoo, paddle boats, cane pole fishing, and much more.

There will be activities provided by the Atlanta Braves, Hawks and Thrashers, a reptile show by Jason Clark of Animal Planet, master puppeteer Peter Hart, story teller Harvey Wilson, a paintball shooting range presented by, a cow milking exhibition, an antique tractor display and the America I Am - African American Imprint (traveling American history museum).

The presentation prior to the fireworks will include a live concert by national Christian recording artist Andrew Carlton who will sing some patriotic tunes in addition to his own hit songs (

Gates will open at 2pm and the fireworks extravaganza will begin at dark. No pets and no outside food or drinks are permitted. However, a variety of great food options will be available to purchase. Food choices include Chick-fil-A sandwiches, Chick-fil-A Ice Dream, funnel cakes, hamburgers and hot dogs, Bar-B-Q Pork, ribs, pizza, cotton candy, sno cones, popcorn, ice cold lemonade, boiled peanuts and more.

Another exciting addition to the 10th annual presentation of Celebrate America is The Great American Duck Derby presented by Stepping Stones Educational Therapy Center. Thousands of rubber ducks will race down Hopeful Beaver Creek at The Rock Ranch and the owner of the winning duck will be awarded $5,000.00 (with a chance to win a million). Ducks may be adopted for $5 each on site or they may be pre-purchased on-line. (Click here to adopt a duck) Contestants in the duck derby do not have to be present to win and all proceeds from the duck derby benefit Stepping Stones (an educational therapy center that serves special needs children).

We invite your family to be a part of this event. Join us as we assemble to celebrate this land, our freedoms as Americans and those who fought and are fighting to preserve those freedoms; to 'Celebrate America'.

For more information click this link to visit here for a printable flyer about Celebrate America at The Rock Ranch that you can share with friends and family - and click here for a complete 2009 schedule of events.
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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Obama Remarks at D Day 65th Anniversary Ceremony

HE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Thank you, President Sarkozy, Prime Minister Brown, Prime Minister Harper, and Prince Charles for being here today. Thank you to our Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki, for making the trip out here to join us. Thanks also to Susan Eisenhower, whose grandfather began this mission 65 years ago with a simple charge: "Ok, let's go." And to a World War II veteran who returned home from this war to serve a proud and distinguished career as a United States Senator and a national leader: Bob Dole. (Applause.)

I'm not the first American President to come and mark this anniversary, and I likely will not be the last. This is an event that has long brought to this coast both heads of state and grateful citizens; veterans and their loved ones; the liberated and their liberators. It's been written about and spoken of and depicted in countless books and films and speeches. And long after our time on this Earth has passed, one word will still bring forth the pride and awe of men and women who will never meet the heroes who sit before us: D-Day.

Why is this? Of all the battles in all the wars across the span of human history, why does this day hold such a revered place in our memory? What is it about the struggle that took place on the sands a few short steps from here that brings us back to remember year after year after year?

Part of it, I think, is the size of the odds that weighed against success. For three centuries, no invader had ever been able to cross the English Channel into Normandy. And it had never been more difficult than in 1944.

That was the year that Hitler ordered his top field marshal to fortify the Atlantic Wall against a seaborne invasion. From the tip of Norway to southern France, the Nazis lined steep cliffs with machine guns and artillery. Low-lying areas were flooded to block passage. Sharpened poles awaited paratroopers. Mines were laid on the beaches and beneath the water. And by the time of the invasion, half a million Germans waited for the Allies along the coast between Holland and northern France.

At dawn on June 6th, the Allies came. The best chance for victory had been for the British Royal Air Corps to take out the guns on the cliffs while airborne divisions parachuted behind enemy lines. But all did not go according to plan. Paratroopers landed miles from their mark, while the fog and clouds prevented Allied planes from destroying the guns on the cliffs. So when the ships landed here at Omaha, an unimaginable hell rained down on the men inside. Many never made it out of the boats.

And yet, despite all of this, one by one, the Allied forces made their way to shore -- here, and at Utah and Juno; Gold and Sword. They were American, British, and Canadian. Soon, the paratroopers found each other and fought their way back. The Rangers scaled the cliffs. And by the end of the day, against all odds, the ground on which we stand was free once more.

The sheer improbability of this victory is part of what makes D-Day so memorable. It also arises from the clarity of purpose with which this war was waged.

We live in a world of competing beliefs and claims about what is true. It's a world of varied religions and cultures and forms of government. In such a world, it's all too rare for a struggle to emerge that speaks to something universal about humanity.

The Second World War did that. No man who shed blood or lost a brother would say that war is good. But all know that this war was essential. For what we faced in Nazi totalitarianism was not just a battle of competing interests. It was a competing vision of humanity. Nazi ideology sought to subjugate and humiliate and exterminate. It perpetrated murder on a massive scale, fueled by a hatred of those who were deemed different and therefore inferior. It was evil.

The nations that joined together to defeat Hitler's Reich were not perfect. They had made their share of mistakes, had not always agreed with one another on every issue. But whatever God we prayed to, whatever our differences, we knew that the evil we faced had to be stopped. Citizens of all faiths and of no faith came to believe that we could not remain as bystanders to the savage perpetration of death and destruction. And so we joined and sent our sons to fight and often die so that men and women they never met might know what it is to be free.

In America, it was an endeavor that inspired a nation to action. A President who asked his country to pray on D-Day also asked its citizens to serve and sacrifice to make the invasion possible. On farms and in factories, millions of men and women worked three shifts a day, month after month, year after year. Trucks and tanks came from plants in Michigan and Indiana, New York and Illinois. Bombers and fighter planes rolled off assembly lines in Ohio and Kansas, where my grandmother did her part as an inspector. Shipyards on both coasts produced the largest fleet in history, including the landing craft from New Orleans that eventually made it here to Omaha.

But despite all the years of planning and preparation, despite the inspiration of our leaders, the skill of our generals, the strength of our firepower and the unyielding support from our home front, the outcome of the entire struggle would ultimately rest on the success of one day in June.

Lyndon Johnson once said that there are certain moments when "¼history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom."

D-Day was such a moment. One newspaper noted that "we have come to the hour for which we were born." Had the Allies failed here, Hitler's occupation of this continent might have continued indefinitely. Instead, victory here secured a foothold in France. It opened a path to Berlin. It made possible the achievements that followed the liberation of Europe: the Marshall Plan, the NATO alliance, the shared prosperity and security that flowed from each.

It was unknowable then, but so much of the progress that would define the 20th century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only six miles long and two miles wide.

More particularly, it came down to the men who landed here -- those who now rest in this place for eternity, and those who are with us here today. Perhaps more than any other reason, you, the veterans of that landing, are why we still remember what happened on D-Day. You're why we keep coming back.

For you remind us that in the end, human destiny is not determined by forces beyond our control. You remind us that our future is not shaped by mere chance or circumstance. Our history has always been the sum total of the choices made and the actions taken by each individual man and woman. It has always been up to us.

You could have done what Hitler believed you would do when you arrived here. In the face of a merciless assault from these cliffs, you could have idled the boats offshore. Amid a barrage of tracer bullets that lit the night sky, you could have stayed in those planes. You could have hid in the hedgerows or waited behind the seawall. You could have done only what was necessary to ensure your own survival.

But that's not what you did. That's not the story you told on D-Day. Your story was written by men like Zane Schlemmer of the 82nd Airborne, who parachuted into a dark marsh, far from his objective and his men. Lost and alone, he still managed to fight his way through the gunfire and help liberate the town in which he landed -- a town where a street now bears his name.

It's a story written by men like Anthony Ruggiero, an Army Ranger who saw half the men on his landing craft drown when it was hit by shellfire just a thousand yards off this beach. He spent three hours in freezing water, and was one of only 90 Rangers to survive out of the 225 who were sent to scale the cliffs.

And it's a story written by so many who are no longer with us, like Carlton Barrett. Private Barrett was only supposed to serve as a guide for the 1st Infantry Division, but he instead became one of its heroes. After wading ashore in neck-deep water, he returned to the water again and again and again to save his wounded and drowning comrades. And under the heaviest possible enemy fire, he carried them to safety. He carried them in his own arms.

This is the story of the Allied victory. It's the legend of units like Easy Company and the All-American 82nd. It's the tale of the British people, whose courage during the Blitz forced Hitler to call off the invasion of England; the Canadians, who came even though they were never attacked; the Russians, who sustained some of the war's heaviest casualties on the Eastern front; and all those French men and women who would rather have died resisting tyranny than lived within its grasp.

It is the memories that have been passed on to so many of us about the service or sacrifice of a friend or relative. For me, it is my grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived on this beach six weeks after D-Day and marched across Europe in Patton's Army. And it is my great uncle who was part of the first American division to reach and liberate a Nazi concentration camp. His name is Charles Payne, and I'm so proud that he's with us here today.

I know this trip doesn't get any easier as the years pass, but for those of you who make it, there's nothing that could keep you away. One such veteran, a man named Jim Norene, was a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Division of the 101st Airborne. Last night, after visiting this cemetery for one last time, he passed away in his sleep. Jim was gravely ill when he left his home, and he knew that he might not return. But just as he did 65 years ago, he came anyway. May he now rest in peace with the boys he once bled with, and may his family always find solace in the heroism he showed here.

In the end, Jim Norene came back to Normandy for the same reason we all come back. He came for the reason articulated by Howard Huebner, another former paratrooper who is here with us today. When asked why he made the trip, Howard said, "It's important that we tell our stories. It doesn't have to be something big¼just a little story about what happened -- so people don't forget."

So people don't forget.

Friends and veterans, we cannot forget. What we must not forget is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and the selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century. At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found within themselves the ability to do something extraordinary. They fought for their moms and sweethearts back home, for the fellow warriors they came to know as brothers. And they fought out of a simple sense of duty -- a duty sustained by the same ideals for which their countrymen had once fought and bled for over two centuries.

That is the story of Normandy -- but also the story of America; of the Minutemen who gathered on a green in Lexington; of the Union boys from Maine who repelled a charge at Gettysburg; of the men who gave their last full measure of devotion at Inchon and Khe San; of all the young men and women whose valor and goodness still carry forward this legacy of service and sacrifice. It's a story that has never come easy, but one that always gives us hope. For as we face down the hardships and struggles of our time, and arrive at that hour for which we were born, we cannot help but draw strength from those moments in history when the best among us were somehow able to swallow their fears and secure a beachhead on an unforgiving shore.

To those men who achieved that victory 65 years ago, we thank you for your service. May God bless you, and may God bless the memory of all those who rest here. (Applause.)

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Senator Bob Dole Travels to Normandy as Guest of President Obama

/PRNewswire / -- Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, special counsel in the Washington office of the law firm Alston + Bird, has been invited by President Obama to travel with him to France this week for the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the allied invasion of the Normandy coast on June 6, 1944.

President Obama invited Senator Dole to represent the World War II generation in recognition of his wartime service, his long and distinguished career in public service, and his continued commitment to veterans.

Senator Dole was chairman of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., helping raise nearly $175 million for its construction, almost all through private contributions.

He continues to be active as a volunteer for the "Honor Flight" program, which flies World War II veterans from across the U.S. without charge to view the memorial on the national mall. He personally greets almost all of the flights.

"It is an immense honor to take part in saluting and remembering all those who gave their lives at Normandy," Senator Dole said. "D-Day was the beginning of the end of World War II, and the sacrifices of so many brave soldiers that day will forever be burned in my memory and, I believe, of all Americans and all peace-loving and freedom-loving peoples throughout the world."

Senator Dole was seriously injured in World War II in the Italian campaign. He had enlisted in the U.S. Army from his native Kansas in 1942 and rose to the rank of second lieutenant, serving in the Tenth Mountain Division and fighting in Italy's Po Valley.

In 1945, he was leading his platoon through heavy enemy shelling when his radioman was struck. He crawled from his foxhole to help rescue the injured man, only to be hit himself by Nazi machine-gun fire. His lifelong injuries were so severe he was evacuated to the U.S. for three years of recovery in hospitals.

Senator Dole was decorated three times for heroism, receiving two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star with Combat V for Valor.

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and then to the U.S. Senate, Senator Dole served as Senate leader longer than any other Republican in history. He was instrumental in passage of numerous veterans bills and successfully sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act, along with other legislation assisting veterans and others with injuries. President George W. Bush appointed Senator Dole as co-chair of the Commission on Care for America's Returning Veterans.

Speaking at the dedication of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas State University, Senator Dole said: "No honor that has come my way has surpassed the pride I felt in wearing my country's uniform."

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West Georgia Honor Flight honors America’s Veterans

Reprinted from

West Georgia Honor Flight exists to help honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. Our goal is to fly veteran heroes from Columbus, GA, and surrounding counties to Washington, D.C., to reflect at their national memorials for a one-day free visit.

On May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial was dedicated to honor “The Greatest Generation.” Regrettably today, very few of these elderly veterans have the funds, knowledge or strength to complete a conventional trip to Washington, D.C., via commercial airline, car or bus.

It is our mission to honor as many of these selfless “ordinary people who saved the world” as we can by providing them an all expenses paid trip to visit their memorial in Washington, D.C.

Our program operates only on donations from corporate donors, local civic organizations and individuals from Columbus and the West Georgia area.

Our volunteer guardians pay their own way for the honor of personally accompanying the veterans throughout the day, including escorting them on and off the aircraft and buses as well as to the WWII Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and any other stops along the trip.

The flights, deluxe tour bus service, t-shirts, wheel chairs, oxygen and meals are FREE to our Veterans. We pledge to continue to do this as long as funds and volunteers are available.

To apply to be a part of one of our flights, please click on the appropriate link for application information and downloadable applications.

For more information about how you or your group can be a part of our effort, please contact the West Georgia Honor Flight, (706) 507-WWII (9944) or .

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WWII Veterans Compete in National Veterans Golden Age Games

/PRNewswire / -- Forty World War II Veterans are reuniting at the world's largest sports and recreational competition for senior Veterans June 1-5 in Birmingham, Alabama, at the 23rd National Veterans Golden Age Games. The Games are open to all U.S. military Veterans age 55 or older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility. More that 700 Veterans have registered to compete.

"The Golden Age Games continue to grow every year, and the athletes who participate are testimony that the spirit of competition, camaraderie and commitment to an actively invigorating lifestyle," Marilyn Iverson, director of the Veterans Canteen Service, said. "This spirit not only helps to prevent illness, it strengthens the hearts and rejuvenates the soul."

The Games give participants the opportunity to compete in ambulatory, visually-impaired and wheelchair divisions, according to their ages. Events include swimming, bicycling, bowling, croquet, air rifle, golf, shuffleboard, horseshoes, discus and shot-put.

The Golden Age Games are co-sponsored by VA, Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). This year's event is hosted by the VA medical center in Birmingham.

The Games are designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Through a partnership with the National Senior Games Association, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Games serve as a qualifier for the National Senior Games, held every other year.

"HHV is extremely pleased to continue its support of this wonderful therapeutic program," Mike Lynch, executive director of HHV, said. "The Games continue to demonstrate VA's commitment to offer programs that help Veteran patients in their health recovery and to send the message that Americans support their service to our country."

The majority of the competitive events for the Golden Age Games, including opening and closing ceremonies, will be held at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center. The opening ceremony took place at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 1. The competition began with golf on Tuesday, June 2, at 8 a.m., at Highland Golf Course. Closing ceremonies will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 5, at the convention center.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Volunteering To Assist America's Veterans

(NAPSI)-For centuries, the men and women of the U.S. armed forces have volunteered to protect the United States. But did you know that thousands of veterans are now volunteering to assist other veterans to receive the benefits they have earned.

Approximately 140,000 volunteers annually give more than 13 million hours in service to veterans through the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. And among those volunteers is a group that has already given on the battlefield: the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH).

The MOPH is made up entirely of veterans wounded in combat and who, for their sacrifice, received the Purple Heart medal. Last year, almost 700 volunteers from the group donated some 83,000 hours at 97 medical facilities providing assistance to other veterans. Its Ladies Auxiliary donated an additional 18,000 hours to the VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) program.

Jeff Roy, the group's National Commander, intends to increase his organization's role even further. He's set a goal of boosting its volunteer hours by 15 percent and has helped develop a Youth Scholarship Program to reward young people who volunteer.

If you'd like to help a veteran in the area, here's what you should know:

The Role Of Volunteers

Volunteers play a number of roles within the VA. They can work in hospital wards, at nursing homes and pharmacies, and in veterans outreach centers. Some volunteers serve as drivers who help bring patients to and from medical appointments. Some participate in recreational activities, birthday celebrations or holiday events. And some simply visit with veterans, helping improve their overall quality of life.

Making A Difference

You can donate time, money and even a car to help veterans. In fact, over 500,000 people have made a vehicle donation to the MOPH since the inception of the program. You may also contact Del "Bulldog" Turner, MOPH National VAVS Director, by phone at (256) 891-0592 or by e-mail at For more information on the MOPH VAVS program or to join in our other volunteer efforts, visit

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

1988: President Reagan at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

PBS' National Memorial Day Concert: A Tribute to the Sacrifice of America's Servicemen and Women

/PRNewswire / -- On Memorial Day weekend, PBS will unite our nation with an evening that has become an American tradition. The multi award-winning National Memorial Day Concert honors the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. The 2009 event commemorates 20 years on air as the nation's memorial service, offering viewers a time to remember, to heal and bring our country together. The program is co-hosted by Gary Sinise (CSI:New York) and Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds), two acclaimed actors who have dedicated themselves to veteran's causes and supporting our troops in active service. The top-rated show will be broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on PBS Sunday, May 24 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops around the world on the American Forces Radio and Television Network.

"For 20 years, a remarkable group of distinguished performers and television veterans have come together to create a moving remembrance and tribute to those who have been wounded or given their lives for our country," said executive producer Jerry Colbert. "Together with our audience, we have become a community of care and support for our troops. And, every year, we receive a growing number of e-mails and letters from those who still suffer their own personal and painful losses -- from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq and Afghanistan -- for whom this concert is truly a healing and uniting experience."

Joining co-hosts Sinise and Mantegna is an all-star line-up of dignitaries, actors and musical artists including: distinguished American leader Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); renowned film, television and stage actress Katie Holmes; Emmy Award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne; double Academy Award-winning actress Dianne Wiest; recording artist/actress Katharine McPhee; country music superstar Trace Adkins; Tony Award-winning Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell; celebrated Broadway star Colm Wilkinson; acclaimed opera star Denyce Graves; classical music superstar Lang Lang; and Grammy nominated violin virtuoso Robert McDuffie with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Erich Kunzel.

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Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home to hold Memorial Day ceremony

The Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday, May 25 in the courtyard. Regimental Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Barr of the U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon will be the guest speaker.

Fort Gordon’s U.S. Army Signal Corps Band and Post Ceremonial Detachment Color Guard also will be featured.

The Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home, operated through an interagency agreement between the Medical College of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, is located at 1101 15th St. For more information call 706-721-2531.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nation to Pause to Remember Our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day

/PRNewswire / -- The White House Commission on Remembrance today announced highlights of activities that will unfold across the country at 3:00 p.m. local time on May 25 as Americans pause to remember the nation's fallen heroes. The President, in his Memorial Day Proclamation, will call on Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. Observances include: Major League Baseball games will stop, the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. will halt, Amtrak trains will blow their whistles, Buglers Across America will play "Taps," and the National Grocers Association and Food Marketing Institute will ask shoppers to pause in stores nationwide to remember our fallen. Join them and millions of others in observing the Moment at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

Citizens are asked to pause, wherever they may be for the Moment, and reflect on the sacrifices made for our freedoms, and commit to Live Honoring America's Fallen.

"We want our citizens to contemplate the ties that bind us and take a moment to put 'Memorial' back into Memorial Day!" said Carmella LaSpada, the Commission's Director.

The Moment is a new American tradition--a time to renew the values upon which America was founded, to commit to serving our country, and reflect on the history of sacrifices made for freedom.

The Moment was created by the Commission after its Director asked a group of children visiting our Nation's Capitol, "What is the meaning of Memorial Day?" Their reply was, "It's the day the pools open." Their innocent response, combined with a Gallup Poll that revealed that only 28% of Americans know the true meaning of this holiday, launched the National Moment of Remembrance.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Is Patriotism Fading Along With Flag Stickers?

PP Note: Just in case you are searching for some flag stickers as we head in to the summer season!

/PRNewswire/ -- A tidal wave of patriotism ... and U.S. flag sticker sales ... began after September 11th, 2001. It was impossible to avoid the flood; almost everyone had a flag sticker on their car and you couldn't go anywhere without seeing the American flag. Gill Studios, one large manufacturer of flag stickers and decals, produced over 31 million flag stickers within a 3-month period in 2001. But the lifespan of a screen-printed, vinyl flag sticker is typically 3-5 years, so many of those flag decals are now long gone. (, a distributor of American flag decals as well as custom stickers, labels and magnets, wants to get the flag back on your bumper. They are currently offering free American flag stickers, a limited edition domed flag decal, and great wholesale prices for bulk quantities of flag stickers so that others can spread the flag and the pride.

"Flag sticker wholesale orders have steadily declined every year since 2001," says founder Jeff Nicholson. "There is a yearly spike in sales before Flag Day and July 4th -- and the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003 boosted sales, but the yearly trend in production and sales has been steadily downward. We want to do what we can to change that. Waving or displaying the flag and supporting our country shouldn't be just for holidays or the start of a war. Let's celebrate our nation every day!" introduced a new web page at to not only sell U.S. flag stickers at wholesale prices but to give flags away for free (4 stickers per SASE). They also introduced a high-end, limited-edition "Still The One" domed flag decal. The LE domed flag decals will be a gift with every bulk order of flag stickers as well as available for sale for a limited time. Only 500 of this domed flag design will ever be produced.

Flag Day is June 14th. Flag stickers are a great, inexpensive giveaway item for any business or used as a fundraising product for many organizations. Flag decals are not only great on cars but also on helmets, hard hats, equipment, products, toolboxes ... anywhere. ( was launched in 1997. Besides selling pre-printed flag stickers the company's main focus is designing and selling custom bumper stickers, decals, labels, magnets and other printed promotional products. They can also customize flag sticker products with company names or add personalized messages to the back of bulk sticker runs.

Please research all information and any organization prior to donating or contacting. The Georgia Front Page and the Fayette Front Page share information as provided from a variety of sources. We do not necessarily support, endorse or research the legitimacy of the various organization's information prior to including. We can not be held responsible for the reliability of the information or outcomes if you choose to donate or follow up with the organization (s).

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The National World War II Museum's Cutting Edge Victory Theater, Stage Door Canteen and The American Sector Set to Open in November

/PRNewswire/ -- The memories are gathered and the research is complete. Celebrity voice-overs are all recorded. The computer-synchronized props are soon to be stowed in an 18-foot-deep pit waiting for their close-up. The National World War II Museum's gleaming new complex, comprised of The Victory Theater, Stage Door Canteen and The American Sector restaurant, is readying for its debut. When the doors fling open on November 6, 2009, the Museum's $60 million newest addition to its $300 million expansion will become the most significant attraction to the city's cultural scene since Hurricane Katrina.

Groundbreaking for the 70,000-square-foot building occurred on April 7, 2008. Designed by architects Voorsanger Mathes, LLC, the three attraction's centerpiece is the 250-seat Victory Theater. A state-of-the-art venue, the theater boasts a 120 feet wide screen with technology designed to thrust audiences into the titanic struggles of the War That Changed the World via a 4-D cinematic experience entitled Beyond All Boundaries.

"This isn't another World War II film," says National World War II Museum President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller "This is a cinematic experience unavailable anywhere else in the world. The narrative uses the combatants', journalists' and Home Front workers' own words to tell the story of the war, and it's an unprecedented journey that took America Beyond All Boundaries."

Executive Producer Tom Hanks has worked with Phil Hettema, former Senior Vice President, Attraction Development for Universal Studios and now President of the Hettema Group, to create a unique and overwhelming immersive journey into World War II that will appeal to everyone - from the Greatest Generation to those who have grown up with Facebook and Xbox.

The four-year project incorporates Hollywood special effects, digital animation, and original war footage, all created specifically for the Theater that is being built to house it.

Creative consultant, screenwriter and Professor of History at Lafayette College, Donald L. Miller, author of several best-selling books about the war, collaborated on the screenplay of Beyond All Boundaries. As a historian it was vitally important to Miller that the facts be accurate. "We wanted it to have fidelity," he said. "The story is too good to make up. You're seeing events that really happened. Beyond All Boundaries gives audiences a tremendously exciting, immersive and significant picture of the immensity of World War Two. It was a true global conflict, and America is the only country that fought it globally.

The result, voiced by some of Hollywood's top stars, is jaw dropping. Beyond All Boundaries is true to its name - a 4-D experience that plunges audiences into a sensory world where they will feel the steam rising from Guadalcanal's jungles, brush snowflakes from their cheeks tailing troops in the Battle of the Bulge, and flinch at deadly anti-aircraft fire as they fly with bomber crews thousands of feet above Nazi Germany.

Following the end of on the 40-minute performance, theater-goers can catch their breath at the Stage Door Canteen, a detailed recreation of the wartime venues found in New York, Los Angeles and other cities that entertained the troops during the war. The National World War II Museum's new Stage Door Canteen recaptures that excitement and is an ode to the morale-building experience. Patrons will be able to hear the old songs, laugh at the jokes and grab a bite, a soft drink or a cocktail while discovering the sights and sounds of the era. On select nights, patrons can enjoy dinner and a spectacular new signature live show or local music performances.

Lastly, and literally, on the menu, is The American Sector, a Chef John Besh Restaurant. Chef Besh is the celebrated New Orleanian known to the nation for his James Beard award-winning restaurants and through appearances on TV shows like the Next Iron Chef and programs such as the Today show. His is also a former Marine who fought during Operation Desert Storm.

For The American Sector, the original name of the historic New Orleans district known today as the Warehouse District, Besh plans a menu inspired by the simpler fare of the 1940s, but with a flair found only in New Orleans. The restaurant interior will have a bar and an outdoor patio overlooking newly landscaped Magazine Street. It is certain to become a great new addition to the city's culinary landscape, making a trip to the Museum a must for visitors to New Orleans.

The complex's grand opening celebrations are planned to be worthy of a Hollywood premiere and run from November 6-8. A cast of celebrities led by Tom Hanks and Tom Brokaw, veterans and active military, political dignitaries from around the globe, as well as other assorted VIPs, will officially open the complex with a military fly-over and parachute drop on Friday the 6th. Family events and a New Orleans-style block party will take place all day Saturday the 7th, and special retrospective honoring Museum-founder and Historian Stephen E. Ambrose will be held on Sunday the 8th.

According to the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C., U.S. veterans of World War II are dying at the rate of 900 a day, with only 2.2 million remaining today. With each one goes another memory of a time when America sacrificed and shared together as one nation. It's priceless knowledge.

"The National World War II Museum must collect, record and pass on their stories for the next generation," says Governor Pete Wilson, Chairman of the Museum's National Board of Trustees. "Our veterans are saying good-bye, and we are losing their eye-witness accounts, so we are hastening our efforts to build-out the museum before they leave us completely. It's a way to honor those who have done so much to preserve our way of life, and it's our mission."

To that end the Museum is proceeding apace with building the new six-acre, 300,000 square-foot campus, of which the Victory Theater complex is only the first phase. When completed by 2015, the Museum will boast four additional exhibition buildings as well as space for traveling collections and a parade ground, in addition to its existing facilities.

The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world - why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America's National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Video: National Infantry Museum

The National Infantry Museum is set to open June 19, 2009 in Georgia at the home of the Infantry, Fort Benning. Nestled next to Columbus, Fort Benning has been part of the neighborhood since 1918. Congratulations on this wonderful new museum.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 1773- Parliament passes the Tea Act

The British Parliament passes the Tea Act, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and thus granting it a monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny......

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Local Rosies Honored as Women in History by Fayetteville DAR

Pictured (l-r) are James Waldrop Chapter DAR American History Chairman Phyllis King with Fayette County Rosies Sybil Hill, Dot Miller and Betty Dodds.

The James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution in Fayetteville recently honored three Fayette County women with the Woman in American History Award 2009.

During World War II, six million women joined the workforce , shattering myths of a woman's place and paving the way for future generations to become viable workers in the job market.

They were collectively called "Rosie, the Riveter" but performed many jobs. Three million women were Red Cross volunteers and Civil Defense workers. Two million were clerical workers, and one million were hired by the federal government.

In the 1943 issue of Newsweek magazine, those jobs were listed as work in shipyards, lumber mills, steel mills, and foundries. These women were the first generation to break out of the mold as homemakers as they became mechanics, boilermakers, and operated streetcars, buses, cranes, and tractors. They served as police officers, taxi drivers, lawyers, and journalists. They ran farms, planted crops, tended animals, and sewed uniforms.

The efforts of these women's wartime production included 296,429 airplanes, 102,351 tanks, 372,431 artillery pieces, 47 tons of artillery ammunition, 87,620 warships, 44 billion rounds of small arms ammunition, not to mention countless numbers of documents and material.

Even though considered ordinary, they pulled together to perform an extraordinary service to their country and America's full might was realized during a time of great need.

Betty Dodds had just moved to Fargo, North Dakota, in 1944 after graduating from High School, when she received a letter from the Federal Government asking her to come for an interview with the Office of Price Administration. At the tender age of 18, she went to work typing letters in answer to questions about quotas, pricing and rationing. She recalls the noise of many typists as they worked and the huge volumes of catalogued restrictions used to find the answers to questions.

After graduation in 1944, Sybil Hill of Mansfield, Georgia, moved to Atlanta to seek work. She found work in a defense plant on Sawtell Ave. across from the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. While at the defense plant she riveted and bucked the rivets in PBY plane wings. She was small and could climb inside the wing to buck the rivet more easily than some women. She remembers making $27-28 dollars a week in comparison to $17-18 a week in other jobs.

Dot Miller grew up in College Park, Georgia, and at age 19 went to work for the Immigration and Naturalization Service at 101 Marietta St. in Atlanta, Georgia. Her job was to fast track the citizenship applications of foreign born service men who wanted to go overseas to fight for the USA. If these immigrants had been captured fighting for the USA, their acts would have been considered treasonous to other countries and would be executed.

The contributions of these women and all the women who left the shelter of staying at home full time to serve their country were the beginnings of the woman's movement in America. No longer were women satisfied to sit at home. These women proved to themselves and the world that they, too, could have a positive impact in the workplace.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Remembering The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

This step back into history with this Commemorative Moment is brought to you by the James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution in Fayetteville, GA.

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place on 15 March 1781, 228 years ago, at the site of modern-day Greensboro, North Carolina.

It was a rather strange event, in which the British won the battle, but only by deliberately shelling and killing many of their own troops. It was also strange in that, even though it was a victory for Lord Cornwallis, he felt compelled right afterwards to abandon the Carolinas to the Patriots.

It was an American defeat that marked the last gasp for the British in the war.

The American commander, General Nathaniel Greene, had been running from Cornwallis to give his little army time to rest and refit in Virginia. In March of 1781, he thought it was time to cross back into North Carolina and give his lordship a fight.

The two armies met at Guilford Courthouse. The battle went back and forth, but finally, the Americans and British were all mixed up in hand to hand combat, and it appeared that the American Patriots were about to get the better of the fight. Desperate, Lord Cornwallis ordered his artillery to open fire on the tangle of men with grapeshot, which, of course, would cut down friend and foe alike. It worked, and the Americans broke off the fight, but many British soldiers were cut down by “friendly fire” from their own side. General Greene pulled out his army, leaving the field to Cornwallis, but saving his own force to fight another day, which they did. They went on to re-conquer the south from the British.

Cornwallis, meanwhile, found himself with a victory, but in the middle of hostile country, with very few supplies left. It was the beginning of the end for him and the British. He decided to abandon the Carolinas and move from Guilford Courthouse to rest and refit at a little Virginia seaport named Yorktown. The rest, as they say, is history.

References: George Washington’s War by Robert Leckie
The Road to Guilford Courthouse by John Buchanan

By Susan Sloan
James Waldrop Chapter DAR
Fayetteville, GA

Monday, March 16, 2009

U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebration

/PRNewswire/ -- The Golden Knights, the U.S. Army's official parachute demonstration team, kicked off their 50th anniversary today during a special ceremony that celebrated the team's half century of serving the country as Army ambassadors while also representing more than one million American Soldiers.

"Fifty years ago, the Golden Knights were established to compete in the sport of parachuting," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, Commanding General of U.S. Army Accessions Command. "Today, they are just one example of the many unique and interesting career opportunities available in the U.S. Army. The Golden Knights illustrate how the U.S. Army can help you achieve your goals with over 150 different career specialties - whether it is to become a doctor, an engineer, or even a computer technician. The Golden Knights of the Army Parachute Team represent the best of our Army: noncommissioned officers, technically superior soldier-athletes who daily demonstrate the Army values. In the Army's 'Year of the NCO,' it is fitting to celebrate 50 years of sustained excellence by our Golden Knight NCOs and their officers."

Formed in 1959 as a Strategic Army Corps Sport Parachute Team, the Golden Knights' initial purpose was to compete in the then communist-dominated sport of free-fall parachuting. The team performed so well that on June 1, 1961 the Army officially recognized, designated and activated the team as the U.S. Army Parachute Team.

Since then, the Golden Knights have awed audiences across the country and the globe at air shows and competitions. More recently, the team has conducted high-profile tandem jumps with dignitaries such as former President George H.W. Bush, who jumped for his 80th birthday along with friend Chuck Norris, as well as celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Ann Curry, Bill Murray and David Hasselhoff.

Today, the Golden Knights consist of two demonstration teams which travel nationwide performing aerial demonstrations at air shows and special events in support of Army recruiting efforts, and two competition teams which travel and compete nationally and internationally at various parachuting competitions. Year after year, the Golden Knights continuously bring home honors and are the most successful U.S. Department of Defense sports team.

"Like every U.S. Army Soldier, the Golden Knights exhibit a strength like no other - developed through half a century of challenging training, a spirit of teamwork and a set of shared values," added Col. David Lee, Director of Marketing for the U.S. Army Accessions Command. "Although the Golden Knights have a unique mission, throughout their history they have represented something even more special - the strength that can only be gained through being a U.S. Army Soldier."

Participants in the anniversary celebration included the Honorable Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Golden Knights alumni, including several original members of the 1959 team and Sonny Hill, president of the team's alumni association.

As part of the event the Golden Knights unveiled a special 50th anniversary patch which all team members will wear throughout the year. Busts for former team members Sgt. 1st Class Pedro Munoz, the first combat fatality in Afghanistan who jumped with the Golden Knights from 1998 to 2002, logging more than 4,000 freefall parachute jumps while shining for the Gold Demonstration team, and Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. "Mike" Novosel, a former pilot with the Golden Knights who earned the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot, were also dedicated in recognition of their service.

"We have proudly represented the U.S. Army with every jump taken over the last 50 years. Each successful Golden Knights mission honors the sacrifices and accomplishments our fellow Soldiers make every day, whether they're fighting overseas or serving back home making a difference for their families, their communities and the nation," said Lt. Col. Anthony Dill, Commander of the Golden Knights. "To celebrate our 50th Anniversary this year, the Golden Knights will honor our unique history, all past and present members, our fellow U.S. Army Soldiers and the American public each time we jump."

As part on their ongoing 50th anniversary celebration, the Golden Knights have a variety of special activities planned for the coming months, including jumps into the new Yankees Stadium and the Statue of Liberty grounds in New York City.

The team will also continue to perform at air shows, compete on an international level and perform high-profile tandem jumps. In addition, the Golden Knights will visit high schools to work with local recruiters and help show young adults the variety of opportunities available in the U.S. Army.

For more information about the Golden Knights year-long 50th anniversary celebration or to learn more about the team's unique history and to view a schedule of events, visit

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Closer Look at Our National Anthem

An awesome look at our national anthem-

Brought to you by the James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Fayetteville, GA
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Patriotic Meaning of Folding the United States Flag

Do you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?

Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that They pledge alleg iance to the flag of the United! States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, "In God We Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The American Legion Lauds Ben Stein for Support of Troops

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Television personality Ben Stein is being honored by The American Legion for his outspoken support of America's armed forces. The 64-year old lawyer, economist, author, actor and commentator is the recipient of the veterans service organization's 2009 National Commander's Public Relations Award.

The honor will be bestowed upon Mr. Stein by David K. Rehbein, the Legion's National Commander, during a luncheon ceremony on Wednesday, March 4th in Washington, DC, Mr. Stein's birthplace.

"Ben Stein's intelligence and wisdom are well known," said Commander Rehbein, "and he has demonstrated these qualities in a most important way through his steadfast support of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. His native wit is just a bonus - but a great one," added the Commander.

Mr. Stein's award citation commends him for his "stalwart commitment to raising public awareness about the contributions of America's men and women in military uniform. Your book The Real Stars: In Today's America, Who Are the True Heroes? is an eloquent reminder that it isn't actors or celebrities that deserve stardom, but the soldiers who patrol the streets of Iraq to protect others. You have been an articulate and staunch advocate for America's military members and veterans in numerous media interviews and public appearances. Moreover, your support for God, Old Glory, family and the American way of life is a hallmark of your outstanding patriotism and professionalism."

Commander Rehbein, in further praise of the award recipient, noted that Mr. Stein donated the proceeds from his 2007 book to the families of fallen warriors. "His generosity and patriotism cannot be questioned," concluded the Commander.

Previous recipients of The American Legion National Commander's Public Service Award have included Meet the Press host Tim Russert; entertainer Wayne Newton; NBC Anchorman Tom Brokaw; ABC News Correspondent Jack Smith; famed editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin (who created the World War II GI characters Willie and Joe); former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett; movie, radio and TV icon Red Skelton; White House aide and Hollywood executive Jack Valenti; and television and radio commentator Lou Dobbs.

Over a thousand representatives of the 2.6-million member American Legion are gathered in the nation's capital this week for their annual Washington Conference. The three-day event will include visits to key legislators on Capitol Hill to communicate the veterans service organization's agenda items for the 111th Congress.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Supreme Court Concurs With The American Legion's Stand on Public Monuments

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A ruling announced this week by the U.S. Supreme Court gives weight to an argument by The American Legion against the placing of public monuments that could threaten the sanctity of veterans memorials. Justices ruled unanimously that an obscure religious group cannot use a "free speech" argument to force a small Utah city to erect a granite marker in a local park that is home to a long-standing monument to the Ten Commandments.

"At first glance, this ruling may seem unrelated to us, but it actually sets a precedent that is very important to veterans groups," said David K. Rehbein, National Commander of The American Legion. "The Justices have said, in effect, that a local government can choose what donated public displays it cares to exhibit on public land - and what displays it can reject. This reduces the chance that a monument to an enemy or dissenting group, for instance, could be erected in the same space as a monument to our fallen warriors."

The ruling stems from a case precipitated by a small Salt Lake City, Utah-based religious group called Summum. Summum went to federal court after its effort to erect a marker in Pleasant Grove City, Utah was rejected by the city. Summum maintained that the city violated its right to free speech by refusing the donated monument. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver agreed with the religious group, but the Supreme Court ruling reverses that decision.

The American Legion played an active role in the oral argument phase of the case. Last year, Liberty Legal Institute in Plano, Texas filed an amicus brief on behalf of The Legion and several colleague veterans and military service organizations. The brief's argument summary stated:

"The precedent established by the Tenth Circuit lays the foundation for the destruction of all donated veterans memorials nationwide and chills the erection of any future memorials. From the United States Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, VA, to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial on The Mall in Washington, DC, to the myriad Spirit of the American Doughboy WWI memorials like that in Ft. Smith, AR, this precedent will require all governments, from the smallest municipality to the Congress itself, to make an impossible decision: either fail to honor our veterans by any donated monument whatsoever, tear down those that currently exist, or allow a monument honoring our veterans and then, upon donation, erect on the same hallowed ground one that dishonors them."

In his favorable Supreme Court opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said that while efforts to suppress actual speech in public parks would ordinarily violate the First Amendment, erection of donated physical entities such as markers and monuments is a different matter. Justice Alito said "the display of a permanent monument in a public park" defines, in part, a community's identity and, so, "cities and other jurisdictions take some care in accepting donated monuments."

Commander Rehbein notes that the Supreme Court has also agreed to hear a case later this year involving the suppression of a war memorial in the Mojave Desert. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that the memorial to World War I veterans is unconstitutional because it is the shape of a cross, which might connote religious symbolism. A proposal to transfer the land upon which the now-cloaked monument rests to the VFW, which erected the cross in 1934, was also ruled unconstitutional by the court. "Obviously, we favor the full and free display of that monument," said the Commander. "The Supreme Court ruling gives us hope for a good outcome in that matter, too."

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Monday, February 23, 2009

The State of the Union in Troubled Times

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a document alert -- part of a program sponsored by the National Archives to notify the media of documents in the National Archives holdings that are relevant to national holidays, anniversaries or current events. This program, which is based on original records from the National Archives, its 12 Presidential libraries and 13 regional archives, is designed to offer the media an historical perspective on events that occur periodically and to highlight historical antecedents to current political or diplomatic initiatives.

"For only with complete dedication by us all to the national interest can we bring our country through the troubled years that lie ahead. Our problems are critical. The tide is unfavorable. The news will be worse before it is better. And while hoping and working for the best, we should prepare ourselves now for the worst." -- President John F. Kennedy, State of the Union Address, January 30, 1961.

Forty-eight years ago a young, newly-elected and charismatic President stood before a joint session of Congress to give his first address to a nation ready for change. The young John F. Kennedy personified the transition of power to a new generation. He had returned triumphantly to his former colleagues on Capitol Hill. "It is a pleasure to return from whence I came," he began.

As President Barack Obama prepares for his first address before a joint session of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration features President Kennedy's 1961 State of the Union Address. Given in troubled times, passages of that speech parallel many of our present challenges.

President Kennedy's address was delivered, a journalist wrote, "in the most solemn terms." The President described a country in economic crisis within a dangerous world. He said "the American economy is in trouble." Bankruptcies were up, farm income was down, unemployment had sky-rocketed, inventories piled up, and the economy was "anemic."

But the dangers abroad, Kennedy warned, were dire. The President stressed that "each day the crises multiply. Each day their solution grows more difficult. Each day we draw nearer the hour of maximum danger, as weapons spread and hostile forces grow stronger." He observed, "the tide of events has been running out and time has not been our friend."

Yet, Kennedy stepped back from a completely bellicose stand. "On the Presidential Coat of Arms, the American eagle holds in his right talon the olive branch, while in his left he holds a bundle of arrows. We intend to give equal attention to both."

The solution to these troubles, in Kennedy's view, required tapping into "our reservoir of dedicated men and women -- not only on our college campuses but in every age group -- who have indicated their desire to contribute their skills, their efforts, and a part of their lives to the fight for world order."

Toward this end, the President announced "the formation of a National Peace Corps, enlisting the services of all those with the desire and capacity to help foreign lands meet their urgent needs for trained personnel."

He wanted to make clear to the country that action was being taken to fulfill his campaign promise "to get the country moving again...I have pledged myself and my colleagues in the cabinet to a continuous encouragement of initiative, responsibility and energy in serving the public interest."

The Constitution charges that the President "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient" (Article II, section 3).

Beginning with President George Washington, this report took the form of an annual address to a joint session of Congress. President Thomas Jefferson dismissed the practice of personally addressing Congress as too much like the British monarch's practice. Instead, he submitted identical written messages to both houses of Congress in 1801.

All subsequent Presidents followed Jefferson's lead until President Woodrow Wilson revived the personal address to Congress in 1913. With occasional exceptions, Presidents have personally addressed Congress in joint session on an annual basis since Wilson.

Today it represents one of the important resources available to Presidents as well as one of the few national pageants in our civic life. Members of Congress, justices of the Supreme Court, military heads of the armed services, and members of the diplomatic corps are all invited to attend the ceremony.

As communications technology has changed, these addresses have gained greater immediacy with the American people. Radio carried President Warren Harding's address live in 1922. President Harry Truman's 1947 address was broadcast live over television and was the first to be officially described as the State of the Union Address. In 1997 the Internet transmitted President Bill Clinton's address live.

This historic speech by President Kennedy can be found in the records of the U.S. House of Representatives, which are preserved by the Center for Legislative Archives. The Center holds the official records of the House, Senate, and legislative branch agencies, totaling over one-half billion pages of records documenting the history of representative government in America.

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