For the moment, as we look ahead to Veterans Day, we conclude this series, the same way we began: Featuring a Memorial Day speech from President Ronald Reagan, which supplied our banner for the series:
“The price for this freedom has been high … but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.”
Now, we feature the same speech, with new video background. But, the words still ring true.
Here’s what we wrote, back in June, as we began this series:
Just think of all the freedoms we enjoy … every day … We should pause … every day … to think about … to remember … to appreciate … to honor … to pay our deepest respect and gratitude … To carefully consider …
What this freedom cost.
Included in the speech was an emotional reading of “The Pledge,” sometimes called “The Warriors Pledge” or “The Soldiers Pledge,” which was discovered in the diary of fallen soldier Martin A. Treptow. Here is the exact text, written on the flyleaf of the young soldier’s diary:
My Pledge America must win this war Therefore I will work I will save I will sacrifice I will endure I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.
“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 … It is a weapon that we as Americans do have … Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism, and prey upon their neighbors … They will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it … sacrifice for it … We will not surrender for it … Now or ever … We are Americans” President Ronald Reagan
“I was a reporter for ‘The Stars and Stripes’, and I saw a lot of heroes …”
Our fifteenth video in this series features Any Rooney, who would conclude this “Few Minutes” segment on “Sixty Minutes” with this statement:
“War is civilization at its worst, and it’s a strange twist that there’s more heroism at war than at any other time. Men do things for each other at war, that they’d never think of doing for each other in peace. Why is that?”
As we remembered in our first video featuring Mr. Rooney, Andy Rooney began his career in newspapers while in the Army during World War II. He would be one of the first American journalists to visit the Nazi concentration camps, and one of the first to write about them.
Indeed, he knows of what he speaks: For his service as a war correspondent in combat zones during the war, Rooney was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal (the Bronze Star), given for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone. He was also awarded the Air Medal, given for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.
As we continue to remember real heroes, let us also continue to remember the price paid for our freedom, and that
I can’t explain it … but … I “discovered” this video in my files … a video I had seen, years ago, but was unable to “save” it, or unable to transfer it in a format that I could share it …
I have often been in this folder, on my Desktop, where I save videos for future use … in fact, I was just there a couple of days ago … but, it wasn’t there …
It was there … today … as I began to work on the latest installment in “The Price for Freedom” series.
Here goes …
Our fourteenth video in this series features the amazing talent of Robin Williams, captured in a live performance on March 22, 1982 … this was 35 years ago … 35 years ago …
All of the production credits are included in the video …
Throughout this series, I have, in this introduction, featured quotes or text from the featured video. The subject of “The Flag” has been in the news a lot, lately … As a sports fan, I am aware of this … I guess, even if you’re not a sports fan, you are aware of news about “The Flag.”
Funny … I really haven’t, even once, been asked about “my stand” on this situation … I guess … people don’t have to ask … they, just, already know …
At School, we say the Pledge of Allegiance every day … the same time, every day, between 1st and 2nd period. Today … a busy Friday … it was Homecoming Day here … so, I took advantage of the time between periods to visit the faculty restroom. While there, I heard the announcement … to “Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.” Whoops!!! There, of course, is a pause, between the announcement to stand, and the Pledge …
Yes … that was me, barreling down the hall, hand over heart, racing to the Library, which was the closest location which I knew had the American Flag … I made it! I may have broken every rule, including the law of gravity to make it, but I made it … as I crossed the threshold of the Library, right-hand door, I could see The Flag … The Flag, I may add, which flies above a framed display of a folded American Flag, which, folded in that “triangle,” contains The Flag which flew on board military aircraft in Afghanistan, and was donated to the Library …
The “triangle-fold” Flag which matched the pin I wore on my left shirt collar today … a pin of The Flag, folded in a triangle … with the words “IN HONOR” underneath The Flag … A pin I wear every day … A pin which was presented to me at my Father’s Funeral …
Where The Flag was draped over my beloved Father’s casket … The Flag that was presented, in that “Triangle Fold,” to my Sister, at graveside, after a 21-Gun Salute …
“on behalf of a grateful nation.”
I guess that’s ’nuff said …
Yeah, I’ll stand for The Pledge. Yeah, I’ll stand for The Anthem. Yeah, I’ll stand. I mean … How can I not???
35 years ago, Robin Williams (here’s where I add quotes and text from the video) said, as The Flag, “I had a tough time for a while. I been in a lot of wars. They fired missiles and muskets at me, but, you know, come the dawn’s early light, I’m still there … But people haven’t always been respectful of me. Sometimes, it’s been tough. There’ve been some people who have tried to spit on me, trample me, burn me … sometimes some Americans, too … ”
Mr. Williams would, then, stoop down on one knee … yes, kneel on one knee, as The Flag, and say, “That’s not my favorite position, because, that’s half-mast …”
Again today, I was describing Carol to a co-worker, and, because it’s true, once again, it just came out: “She is the most genuinely nice person I’ve ever known.”
However … I can’t print how she feels about those who won’t stand. Yeah, I’ll stand. My Father … her Father … So many in our family … like yours … have served … Or … still serve … Yeah, we’ll stand …
As we continue to remember, continue “to stand,” because
“I would like to thank soldiers of past and present for their service and everything they have done. I don’t think we realize how much you boys have done.”
Our thirteenth video in this series features
“Amazing Grace/Amazing Images.”
Originally produced as a “Veterans Day” Salute, the only text in the video, other than the “thank you” which opens this introductions, are the words of a soldier, writing to his son: ” … I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH AND MISS YOU SO MUCH, MY HEART HURTS. AND I HOPE TO GET HOME TO YOU AND MOMMY SOON … AND DON’T FORGET ME. LOVE ALWAYS, DADDY”
As we continue to remember, to “NEVER FORGET,” that
“No official day is adequate for something like that …”
Our twelfth video in this series features Andy Rooney’s famous commentary on “Memorial Day.”
Andy Rooney was perhaps best known for his weekly broadcast “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” which aired as part of the CBS News program “60 Minutes,” from 1978 to 2011. His final regular appearance on “60 Minutes” aired on October 2, 2011. He died one month later, on November 4, 2011, at age 92.
“I have more to remember on Memorial Day than most of you …”
Andy Rooney began his career in newspapers while in the Army when, in 1942, he began writing for “Stars and Stripes,” in London, during World War II. In February 1943, he was flying with the Eighth Air Force, as a correspondent who flew on the second American bombing raid over Germany. He was the first journalist to reach the Ludendorff Bridge after the 9th Armored Division captured it on March 7, 1945.
Later, Andy Rooney was one of the first American journalists to visit the Nazi concentration camps, and one of the first to write about them.
For his service as a war correspondent in combat zones during the war, Rooney was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal (the Bronze Star), given for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone. He was also awarded the Air Medal, given for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.
Andy Rooney’s “end-of-show” segment on 60 Minutes, “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” (originally “Three Minutes or So With Andy Rooney”), began in 1978, as a summer replacement for the debate segment “Point/Counterpoint.”
If you remember, Rooney was always seated behind a walnut table … his own table, which he had made himself.
Here’s Andy Rooney asking us to “consider what they did for us” …
Let us, also, now, continue to remember, to realize, that “The price for this freedom has been high …”
Our tenth video in the series will, painfully, longingly, remind us that the soldier’s thoughts are of home … those at home, are of the soldier … and, painfully, longingly, remind us that not all soldiers return home …
Yet, those at home … painfully, longingly, “never forget;” never forget the soldier …
Our tenth video in the series features this video from moments.org. Here’s a direct link to their website: moments.org
“Bless their hearts …”
Let us, now, remember, think aloud, that, “You are not forgotten.”
Let us, now, continue to remember, to “do everything we can,” to realize, that
If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps was played; this brings out a new meaning of it.
Here is something Every American should know. Until I read this, I didn’t know, but I checked it out and it’s true:
We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, ‘Taps…’ It’s the song that gives us the lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.
But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.
Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Elli was with his men near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia . The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.
During the night, Captain Elli heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment..
When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.
The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out.. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted.
The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.
The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.
But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.
The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth’s uniform.
This wish was granted.
The haunting melody, we now know as ‘Taps’ used at military funerals was born.
The words are: Day is done. Gone the sun.
From the lakes From the hills.
From the sky. All is well. Safely rest.
God is nigh. Fading light. Dims the sight.And a star. Gems the sky.Gleaming bright. From afar..
Drawing nigh. Falls the night. Thanks and praise. For our days.
Neath the sun. Neath the stars.
Neath the sky
As we go. This we know.
God is nigh
I too have felt the chills while listening to ‘Taps’ but I have never seen all the words to the song until now. I didn’t even know there was more than one verse . I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn’t know if you had either so I thought I’d pass it along.
I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before.
Remember Those Lost and Harmed While Serving Their Country.