NFL (No Flag Loyalty): My Newest, Biggest Fear: “God Bless America”

Hi Friends:

Like most of you … “I never thought I’d see the day” when individuals, who make an incredible amount of money to play a game, to be allowed to “get rich and famous” by playing this game …
would not stand to honor the very Country which makes such a thing possible …
I also find it hard to believe this is still an issue …

While enjoying this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game … I got this wild idea … actually a wild thought … then a wild vision …

As I appreciated the pre-game ceremonies, in particular the honoring of the United States Medal of Honor recipients ….
And, then … when the game was halted in the seventh inning for “all to stand and honor America by the singing of ‘God Bless America’” … I got this vision …
What if?
What if:

What if … the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) decides, like Major League Baseball, to stop play (maybe at the beginning of the 4th Quarter?) for the singing of “God Bless America?”

Allow that to sink in for a moment:

What if the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) decides, like Major League Baseball, to stop play for the singing of “God Bless America.”

What would be the results?
Networks quickly cutting away for a few more beer commercials?
Would teams just go to the locker room at the end of the 3rd Quarter, and not come out until after the song is sung?

Are we getting to the point where the “stand for the Anthem” issue would be included in part of a player’s contract?

Did I just see a news blip (across the screen of ESPN network) that the “Anthem Issue” would be part of a new player agreement? Can this be?

To repeat two points we’ve made during this entire “controversy:”
If they don’t stand for our flag … Whose flag do they stand for?
If they don’t support our Veterans and Military … who’s Veterans and Military do they stand for?
If it’s not just about them … Why do they remove their helmets as they kneel?

Remember, “In honor and respect of our country, and the men and women who bravely serve to protect our freedoms, we ask that you please stand and remove your hats for the singing of our National Anthem …”
So, if it’s not just about them … why do they remove their helmets?
Who’s Flag, Veterans, and Military do they stand for?

Last year, after the “controversy,” it was painfully obvious that the networks purposely stopped airing the playing of the Nation Anthem, which was a staple, for example, on Thursday nights …

So, if the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) stadiums start singing “God Bless America” at, say, the beginning of the 4th quarter … do they also purposely not air that?

Would a solution be, to continue the appearance that the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) supports such a bold move … to have the performance of “God Bless America” during half-time?
That way, they’d be “off the hook;” the networks would simply not show the performance … just as they do now, for The Anthem.

I don’t know … why is it ok to show the Anthem during the Super Bowl, but not other games?  

I won’t change.
I can’t.
My Father-in-law was buried with full military honors.
The flag was draped across his coffin.
My Father was buried with full military honors.
The flag was draped across his coffin.
I received the “In Honor” Pin at his funeral, which I still proudly wear.
The last Funeral Service I attended was for a dear friend, who was a 20-year Veteran.
Full military honors.
The flag draped across his casket.

I’m free.
Because of them.
And, those like them.

Yeah … I’ll stand.

Are there things I believe are “wrong” in our country?
Are there things I believe need to be changed?
Are there things I should protest against?
I guess I’m doing that now.

I just don’t think that disrespecting our flag, our country, my Father-in-law, my Father, my good friend, and all those others who have served, and are serving now, is the way to do it.
However, I guess … if I did not respect our flag, if I did not respect our country, if I did not respect my Father-in-law, if I did not respect my Father, if I did not respect those who have served, and who serve now …
If there was another country I would stand for, if there was another military I would stand for, if there were other veterans I would stand for … then, I guess I would have to not stand, wouldn’t I?

Yes, it is a choice.
I get that.
My Father-in-Law had choices.
My Father had choices.
My close friend had a choice.
All those who have served, and still serve, also had choices.
I choose to honor their choices.

I’ll stand.
What other flag could I stand for?

I have to stand.
I’m an American.
An American citizen.

And, every day, I pray that God will bless America.
I can’t believe that I am here thinking … here in America … even thinking that I hope that someone will not … will not … suggest that the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) have a moment during a game to have a performance of “God Bless America.”
Can I really be thinking that here in America?
Land that I love?

Can you image the uproar if someone suggested such a thing?
Asking to sing, publicly at an NFL (No Flag Loyalty) game, “God Bless America?”
In the middle of a football game?
I mean … I guess it’s ok to sing this during a baseball game … but … to sing this during a football game???
Can you imagine??

Please … don’t suggest this!!!
I mean, if they feel this way about our flag … how would they react about God?
I mean, if it’s ok to disrespect our flag, our country, our military, including those who have died defending our freedom …

Well … you get the idea.

God HAS Blessed America.

Richard. Vincent. Rose.


Real Men/Real Brave: The Kind of Men Who Signed our Declaration of Independence

Real men.
Real brave.

56 men signed the Declaration of Independence.
What sort of men were these?
24 were judges and lawyers.
9 were farmers and plantation owners.
11 were merchants.
The remaining 12?
They were doctors, ministers, and politicians.

Personal note: “Politicians” were in the minority … Commonly, they are listed as the last “group.”
One, as you’ll discover, served in Congress without pay.

They were all educated … “men of means” … and, all knew that signing this document put their lives … their property … their “means” … in jeopardy …

These 56 men were willing to sacrifice everything … to insure our freedom.

Please hear the story of Thomas Nelson, Jr.
The Governor of Virginia.
He signed it.
Then, lived it.
I’m not sure when we started calling certain citizens, like politicians and judges, “honorable,” or adding “The Honorable” to their titles, but … please hear the story of Virginia Governor Thomas Nelson, Jr …
The Honorable Thomas Nelson, Jr.

At the end is a full list of all 56 signers.
56 men.
Real men.
Real brave.
Real heroes.
Real Americans.
Real statesmen.
United Statesmen.

Produced by “Clear Glass Productions.”

“I am thankful to have this time … not to look at what we’ve become … but, to look back at what we were …”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Paul Harvey: The Signers of the Declaration of Independence

“The price for this freedom has been high … but we have never been unwilling to pay that price … We must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women …”
President Ronald Reagan

“I, Paul Harvey, do herewith bequeath unto you, something to remember.You may not be able to quote one line from the Declaration of Independence … henceforth, you’ll always be able to quote at least one line …
These men … they considered liberty more important than security … they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor … and they fulfilled their pledge … they paid the price …”


“My Eyes” Video From Jay Shetty

“This message isn’t about being physically blinded.”

We feature this video from Jay Shetty.

Here’s a link to his story.
Please visit, and hear his story.

There are also credits at the end of the video.
I have personally called this story, “My Eyes.”

Please watch.
With your own eyes.

The Statler Brothers: “The Class of ’57”

Hi Friends:

With this song, the Statler Brothers were awarded the 1972 Grammy Award for “Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.”

Released in August, 1972, “The Class of ’57” was written by Don Reid and Harold Reid, and was the first single from the album “Country Music Then and Now.”

The Statler Brothers are:
Harold Reid, Phil Balsley, Jimmy Fortune and Don Reid.

The group retired from concerts and tours in 2002.

Here are the words:

The Class of ‘57
(Don Reid / Harold Reid)

Tommy’s selling used cars
Nancy’s fixing hair
Harvey runs a grocery store
And Margaret doesn’t care
Jerry drives a truck for Sears
And Charlotte’s on the make
Paul sells life insurance and part time real estate
Helen is a hostess
Frank works at the mill
Janet teaches grade school, and probably always will
Bob works for the city
And Jack’s in lab research
Peggy plays organ at the Presbyterian Church

And the class of ’57 had its dreams
We all thought we’d change the world with our great works & deeds
Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs
The class of ’57 had its dreams

Betty runs a trailer park
Jan sells Tupperware
Randy’s on an insane ward
And Mary’s on welfare
Charlie took a job at Ford
Joe took Freddie’s wife
Charlotte took a millionaire
And Freddie took his life
Johnny’s big in cattle
Ray is deep in debt
Where Mavis finally wound up is anybody’s bet
Linda married Sonny
Brenda married me
And the class of all of us is just part of history

And the class of ’57 had its dreams
But living life day-to-day
Is never like it seems
Things get complicated when you get past eighteen
But the class of ’57 had its dreams

The class of ’57 had its dreams
We all thought we’d change the world with our great work & deeds.
Or maybe we just thought the world would change to fit our needs.
The class of ’57 had its dreams.

Songwriters: Don Reid / Harold Reid

Graduation: Three in Six Days: Introduction to “Class of ’57”

Hi Friends:

This started as a short introduction to the Statler Brothers’ song, written by Don Reid and Harold Reid, “The Class of ’57.”
I hadn’t planned on writing much … but here we go …

This will serve as an introduction to the video, which we’ll feature next time …

Somehow, I feel comfort when I think that I wasn’t even born in 1957, but the words from this popular Statler Brothers song continue to ring true today:

“We all thought we’d change the world
With our great works & deeds
Or maybe we just thought the world
Would change to fit our needs
The class of ’57 had its dreams”

I’ve been a “ticketed” guest at 3 different High School Graduation ceremonies in one week, at 3 separate, very different venues. 3 in 6 days. That’s one every two days.
I’ve witnessed speeches, marches, and the look of fear, anticipation, gratitude, joy, and excitement, with tassels being turned, and caps thrown into the air.

I’ve seen the pride and joy, that look of accomplishment, of a student who would be the first in their family to graduate High School.
I’ve also looked into the eyes of a student who had just been told that they would not be graduating …
The first place they came was to the Library …

I’ll never forget last Friday, when a group of graduates, as they saw me arrive, began shouting my name, running up as a group to hug me … It was exactly the same scene I had, a few years ago, when I walked into a local McDonald’s, and as I walked from the side entrance, through the restaurant, to the front counter, I passed a group of tables … where a group of my students (now, this was K-2), having “lunch at Summer camp,” saw me, and … there is no better word to describe it … they mobbed me … screaming my name as they ran up, surrounded me, and, literally, “jumped on me” …
You just don’t forget those moments.

By the way … and, all teachers know this:
When you teach K-2, and you see a student at Wal-Mart, they mob you.
When you teach High School, and you see a student at Wal-Mart … they ignore you … like they’ve never seen you before …

This past Monday, in another city, a pretty long drive, I was there to witness the Graduation of a student who had worked for me in the Library at the High School … first, as an internship, then, on a volunteer basis … The traffic in town was incredible, and I finally found a place to park. The only chairs available were at the back of the assembly, which was great, because, the Graduates entered the large hall from the back entrance, just behind me. As they slowly, step-by step, made their way up the aisle, I was turned around to see each Graduate as they “entered” the Main Hall area … I will never forget the look on this young man’s face, as he entered the “staging area” directly behind me … As he stepped into view … He saw me there on the back row … I’ll just never … ever … forget the huge smile that erupted from his face, as he realized I was there …

This young man had made a special trip to our High School, a couple of months before, to present me with the “ticket” to attend the ceremony … I, nor he, had any idea that he would be presented/awarded with an award at Graduation, that is the highest honor a Graduate could receive … in honor of Public Service … His Mother was a featured guest speaker at the Ceremony … His “sash” had the “USAF” banner … I was so proud of him … The photos of me and him, as he displayed his “Raymond Burton” Award, in full “cap and gown,” with the “USAF” sash draped across his shoulders, was one of the proudest moments of my life … eclipsed only by the opportunity to take several photos of him and his Mother … with her camera! I’ll just never forget that …

Then, on Friday, our High School had our Graduation ceremony.
More memories:
The young lady who sang the National Anthem, and whom I have written about in a previous post (I’m so proud of her!), practiced the Anthem … just outside the Library door … that is one picture I’ll always treasure …

I was able to fulfill a promise to another young man who had interned … and then volunteered … to help me in the Library this year. He is a proud member of the United States National Guard, and I had promised, if he would stop by, before Graduation, to take pictures of him (and us together) in his “Dress Blues,” which he proudly wore underneath his Graduation robe. He had just received his “PFC” ranking, and with his Insignia Pin, Award Medal, and sash proudly displaying “National Guard,” we were able to take his picture … and … which meant so much … “our” picture, in the Library …

I saw so many students … maybe, let’s be honest … I may have been seeing for the last time … who have helped me, on a volunteer basis, in the Library.
So many who just loved to stop by and visit …
So many … many students … maybe, let’s be honest … I may have been seeing for the last time …

It’s not that I may have meant much to them … that I may have influenced and affected their lives …
It’s how profoundly they have influenced and affected my life.
That they did … and do … mean so much to me.

As I saw the “caps and gowns” of some I have known since they were just “kids,”
I didn’t feel any older.
I felt prouder.

“And the class of ’57 had its dreams
But living life day-to-day
Is never like it seems
Things get complicated when you get past eighteen
But the class of ’57 had its dreams”

Richard. Vincent. Rose.

From 1965: “If I Were the Devil” by Paul Harvey

Hi Friends:

… Chills …
There are no words adequate to introduce this recording of Paul Harvey from 53 Years Ago.
There just aren’t words.
53 Years Ago.
… Chills …

His voice among the most recognizable in American History, Paul Harvey (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009) broadcast his “News and Comment” on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays, as well as his famous “The Rest of the Story” features.

From 1952 through 2008, Harvey’s programs reached as many as 24 million people a week. “Paul Harvey News” was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 American Forces Network stations, and 300 newspapers.

In his lifetime, he received 11 Freedom Foundation Awards, as well as the Horatio Alger Award. In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ most prestigious civilian award.

When I think of Paul Harvey, I remember
“Hello Americans,”
“Page Two …” (and Three and Four)
“From Chicago”
“Good Day!”
“Our For What it’s Worth Department”
“Among Today’s Sue-eerrss…”
“”He would not want us to mention his name … “
“Here’s a strange …”
“And now, you know … the rest of the story …”
On his 12:30 (Mid-day) show, he would always have the couple’s names who were celebrating the “most years together” anniversary.

I can’t think of Paul Harvey without thinking of his beloved wife, Angel.

And, now, I won’t think of Paul Harvey without thinking of this … stunning … chilling …
recording, made 53 years ago.
… Chills …

The words have been added to the audio recording of:
“If I Were the Devil,” by Paul Harvey.
53 Years Ago.
… Chills …

By the way … the time on the recording … 3:16
… Chills …