Armstrong Economics Blog/Germany Re-Posted May 30, 2021 by Martin Armstrong
My friends in Germany are asking when will American rebel?
German RAP Song against COVID showing the Youth is also not buying this COVID scam.
Posted originally on the conservative tree house April 25, 2021 | Sundance | 137 Comments
Senator Rand Paul appears on Maria Bartiromo to discuss the ongoing ramification from current leftist policy as being produced on Capitol Hill. The interview begins with Senator Paul discussing the leftist definitions of ‘infrastructure’ and how left-wing groups are beneficiaries of trillions of taxpayer funds.
On the economic ramifications Senator Paul notes the impact of massive capital gains increases and how increasing corporate income taxes only provides incentives for national companies to establish themselves overseas to avoid tax liability. The multinational corps, those already positioned overseas, do not have the same risk exposure to corporate tax increases, thus they do not oppose legislation that hurts national business and small U.S. corporations.
Overall the points made by Rand Paul are all valid; however, those in DC still hold back from pointing out the intent of the JoeBama group – that’s frustrating. This game where incompetence is claimed under the guise of ‘benefit of doubt’ is a severe weakness within the GOP. The refusal to aggressively confront Obama 3.0 is beyond frustrating.
Anyone who believes Democrats own exclusive opposition to the America First principles are completely ignoring the deliberate construct of the republican party. There are just as many -if not more- natural enemies within the Republican apparatus as there are within the Democrat group. “America-First” is antithetical to the UniParty.
The frustration amid the MAGA community is valid. Everything about it is righteous. The mechanisms that run the system in DC must be deconstructed if we are to win the battles and the war against this massive enemy. We have the largest coalition of American patriots on our side; however, there are only a handful of representatives willing to confront with the needed ferocity.
Multinationals want control; some call that corporatism…. but the names are moot. Multinationals want control, and capitalism does not allow them control; that is why multinationals do not want capitalism. Multinationals use lobbyists to generate regulations that stall competition.
Multinationals do not want competition; they are, by nature of their interest, anti-capitalists.
This misunderstanding is everywhere.
Most people think when they vote for a federal politician -a House or Senate representative- they are voting for a person who will go to Washington DC and write or enact legislation. This is the old-fashioned “schoolhouse rock” perspective based on decades past.
There is not a single person in congress writing legislation or laws. In modern politics not a single member of the House of Representatives or Senator writes a law, or puts pen to paper to write out a legislative construct. This simply doesn’t happen.
Over the past several decades a system of constructing legislation has taken over Washington DC that more resembles a business operation than a legislative body.
The for-profit groups (mostly multinational corporations) have a purpose in Washington DC to shape policy, legislation and laws favorable to their interests. They have fully staffed offices just like any business would – only their ‘business‘ is getting legislation for their unique interests.
These groups are filled with highly-paid lawyers who represent the interests of the entity and actually write laws and legislation briefs.
In the modern era this is actually the origination of the laws that we eventually see passed by congress. Within the walls of these buildings within Washington DC is where the ‘sausage’ is actually made. Again, no elected official is usually part of this law origination process.
Almost all legislation created is not ‘high profile’, they are obscure changes to current laws, regulations or policies that no-one pays attention to. The passage of the general bills within legislation is not covered in media. Ninety-nine percent of legislative activity happens without anyone outside the system even paying any attention to it.
Once the corporation (multinational) or representative organizational entity has written the law they want to see passed – they hand it off to the lobbyists.
The lobbyists are people who have deep contacts within the political bodies of the legislative branch, usually former House/Senate staff or former House/Senate politicians themselves.
The lobbyist takes the written brief, the legislative construct, and it’s their job to go to congress and sell it. “Selling it” means finding politicians who will accept the brief, sponsor their bill and eventually get it to a vote and passage.
Corporations (special interest group) write the legislation. Lobbyists take the law and go find politician(s) to support it. Politicians get support from their peers using tenure and status etc. Eventually, if things go according to norm, the legislation gets a vote.
Within every step of the process there are expense account lunches, dinners, trips, venue tickets and a host of other customary financial way-points to generate/leverage a successful outcome. The amount of money spent is proportional to the benefit derived from the outcome.
The important part to remember is that the origination of the entire process is EXTERNAL to congress.
Congress does not write laws or legislation, special interest groups do. Lobbyists are paid, some very well paid, to get politicians to go along with the need of the legislative group. When a House or Senate member becomes educated on the intent of the legislation, they have attended the sales pitch; and when they find out the likelihood of support for that legislation; they can then position their own (or their families) financial interests to benefit from the consequence of passage. It is a process similar to insider trading on Wall Street, except the trading is based on knowing who will benefit from a legislative passage.
When we understand the business of DC, we understand the difference between legislation with a traditional purpose and modern legislation with a financial and political agenda.
If you know a better solution to this mess than repeal of the 17th amendment, I am all ears.
If, as the constitution outlined, the Senate were still a place where all legislation required a 2/3 majority for passage; and if, as the constitution outlined, the Senate were a body filled with representatives selected by State Houses instead of popular election – then perhaps Senators could not be purchased by multinational interests. Alas it is not.
Passage of the 17th amendment took away the very intentional roadblock of the Republican framework that Jefferson spoke of when he called it a saucer to cool the hot emotional tea of short-sighted legislation. The constitution outlined consent as “two-thirds” (66), which was progressively watered down to become “three-fifths” (60) as the majority rule; and substantively, as it now stands according to democrats objectives, one-half plus one (51).
We are on the precipice and the GOP operate as if the constitution burning can be restored if they just reach across the aisle more.
Armstrong Economics Blog/China Re-Posted Feb 13, 2021 by Martin Armstrong
The Ox is the second of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal.
From a cyclical perspective, these are years that do correspond to important shifts in trends. The year 1913 was the year of the Ox when both the income tax and the Federal Reserve were created. (125 was the year the bull market really began to take off and real estate was the first to peak 2 years later. Of court 1949 was the first currency devaluation under Bretton Woods. Even 1961 was Kennedy election, 1973 OPEC, 1985 peak in dollar birth of G5, 1997 Asia Currency Crisis, 2009 bottom in the 2007 Financial Crisis, and now 2021 looks to be shaping up as a disaster and Biden takes control. The next will be 2033 one year after our model peaks in 2032.
Earlier today President Trump presented the Congressional Medal of Honor for Sgt. Major Thomas “Paqtrick” Payne, U.S. Army. President Trump called Payne: “one of the bravest men anywhere in the world” for his role in a daring 2015 mission to rescue dozens of hostages who were set to be executed by Islamic State militants in Iraq.
Payne negotiated a barrage of enemy gunfire and repeatedly entered a burning building in a harrowing effort that saved more than 70 hostages. [Video and Transcript Below]
[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Chaplain Winton. Really, a beautiful job. And thank you for your service.
Please. Thank you.
Today, it’s my privilege to present the Congressional Medal of Honor to a warrior who has devoted the last two decades to fighting the forces of terror. Please join me in welcoming today’s extraordinary recipient, Sergeant Major Thomas Patrick Payne. Congratulations. (Applause.) Thank you very much.
We’re grateful to be joined by Pat’s really wonderful wife, Alison. And, Alison, thank you, for being here on this very momentous occasion. This is — this is the big one. You know that. This is the big one.
Also with us is Patrick and Alison’s 6-year-old son, Aaron. Aaron, thank you for being here. He got a very nice little award back there: a beautiful pen. Right? You’re going to save that pen. Thank you, Aaron.
I want you to know that your Dad is one the bravest men anywhere in the world. You know that, right? You knew that before — I think you knew that before we knew it. So, congratulations to both.
With us also is our First Lady — thank you, darling; and Vice President Mike Pence — Mike, thank you very much; along with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper — Mark, thank you; Congressman Richard Hudson — Richard — Richard, thank you very much; Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy — thanks, Ryan; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley — Mark, thank you very much. It’s amazing the way all these big generals are showing up. This is something, huh? (Laughter.) This is the big one, as I say — always do. It always will be. The Army Chief of Staff James McConville — James, thank you. Thank you very much, James. And Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston — thank you, Mike. Thank you very much.
I also want to recognize the three Medal of Honor recipients that are with us: Matthew Williams, Edward Byers, and Walter Marm. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. That’s great. A lot of brave people are with us today.
Pat grew up in a small town in South Carolina. His dad is a police officer. His grandfathers served in World War Two, in Korea, Vietnam. Service to our country really goes through their veins very, very rapidly.
Exactly 19 years ago today — on September 11th, 2001 — news of the attack on our nation’s great, great country — this was just an attack like has never happened to us. But it went through Pat’s high school — and went through his classroom. And Pat was sitting there, listening. His teacher solemnly told the students that their generation had a fight to win. They were going to fight and fight to win. In that moment, Pat was called to action. He knew that his country needed him.
Ten short months later, at the age of 18, Pat was in Army basic training at Fort Benning. Soon, he joined the elite ranks of the legendary Army Rangers. Pat became an exceptional soldier and expert sniper. He saw heavy combat in multiple theatres of battle.
In 2010, during a deployment in Afghanistan, his leg was severely wounded by an enemy grenade. While recovering in South Carolina, Pat met with his wife, Alison. Well, that was probably not a bad wound then, was it? Huh? It was worth — (laughter) — I hope you’re going to say it was worth it. (Laughter.) It was.
Less than two years after being injured, Pat competed against some of America’s toughest warriors and won the prestigious Best Ranger Competition, among the most grueling physical contests anywhere in the country.
In October of 2015, on his 14th deployment, Pat was part of a team assigned to plan and conduct an operation to rescue over 70 Kurdish prisoners being held by ISIS barbarians in Iraq. The team soon received horrifying intelligence that the terrorists were planning to massacre their captives and bury them in freshly dug graves. Pat and his teammates raced into action.
After midnight, on October 22, Pat boarded a helicopter and departed on a mission to free the hostages from two buildings guarded by dozens of ruthless and bloodthirsty ISIS terrorists. He was in command of a team clearing one of the compounds. As soon as the ramp to his helicopter went down, Pat rushed into a blistering hail of gunfire. Pat and his team swiftly overpowered the enemy, secured the building, and freed 38 of the hostages.
Then Pat received word that the rest of the assault team was facing harsh resistance in another complex. Pat turned to one of his fellow soldiers and said, “Let’s get into the fight right now. Let’s get into the fight.” He saw that the other building was on fire and he knew more of the hostages were still trapped inside. He and his team climbed up ladders to the roof and opened up fire on the enemy. Multiple ISIS fighters detonated suicide vests, ripping a portion of the building into pieces.
But Pat and his fellow Rangers fought through the fire, the bullets, and the deadly blasts. Pat navigated to the front door and saw the captives were being held behind a metal door secured by two very heavy padlocks. He grabbed a pair of bolt cutters and ran through smoldering flame and smoke. As bullets impacted all around him, Pat succeeded in cutting one of the locks before scorching, sweltering heat forced him to leave the building for some air.
Pat caught his breath in a few seconds and was back. He ran right back into that raging blaze. He sliced the final lock and released the rest of the hostages as the building began to collapse. He received orders to evacuate, but he refused to do so; he didn’t want to leave anyone behind.
Pat ran back into the burning building that was collapsing two more times. He saved multiple hostages, and he was the last man to leave. He wouldn’t leave. No matter what they said, no matter who ordered him to do it, he wouldn’t do it. He was the last one out. It was one of the largest and most daring rescue missions in American history. Pat and his team rescued 75 captives and killed 20 ISIS terrorists.
Pat, you embody the righteous glory of American valor. We stand in awe of your heroic daring and gallant deeds. You truly went above and beyond the call of duty to earn our nation’s highest military honor.
Pat would be the first to remind us that he was not alone that day. In the battle, one Army Ranger made the ultimate sacrifice: Master Sergeant Josh Wheeler. Josh was something. Right, Pat? Josh was something. You’ve — you’ve said that before.
Today, we’re deeply moved to be joined by Master Sergeant Wheeler’s wife, Ashley Wheeler. Ashley, our hearts break for your loss. A great man. That was a great man.
Ashley — where is Ashley? Ashley, please stand up. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you, Ashley.
Our nation endures because fearless warriors like Josh are willing to lay down their lives for our freedom. Our children can grow up in peace because Josh had the courage to face down evil. Our debt to him and to you is everlasting. And again, thank you very much, Ashley. We appreciate it very much. We will honor him forever. You know that. Very special group of warriors, men — great men.
Pat has said that as soon as our soldiers’ boots hit the ground, they are ambassadors of the American way of life. Everywhere they go, the men and women of our armed forces instill our friends with hope, our enemies with dread, and our fellow citizens with unyielding American pride.
Over the course of his service, Pat has embarked on an astounding — really, an astounding 17 deployments in defense of our nation. General Milley, that’s a lot, right? Is that a lot?
GENERAL MILLEY: That’s a lot, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s a lot. Okay, I needed that little extra confirmation. That’s a lot.
He now serves as an instructor at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, training the next generation of American warriors. Today, he joins the immortal company of our most revered American heroes. Pat, you personify the motto “Rangers lead the way,” and you inspire us all.
It is now my privilege to present Sergeant Major Thomas Patrick Payne with the Congressional Medal of Honor. I’d like to ask the military aide to come forward and read the citation.
Thank you very much.
MILITARY AIDE: Attention to orders. The Medal of Honor is awarded to Sergeant First Class Thomas P. Payne, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on October 22, 2015.
His heroism and selfless actions were key to liberating 75 hostages during a contested rescue mission that resulted in 20 enemies killed in action.
Sergeant First Class Payne’s gallantry under fire and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Special Operations Command, and the United States Army. (Applause.)
(The Medal of Honor is presented.) (Applause.)
Armstrong Economics Blog/Gov’t Incompetence
Re-Posted Jun 22, 2020 by Martin Armstrong
QUESTION: What do you think of Bolton & his $2 million book deal?
ANSWER: I have zero respect for Bolton and whatever he says I would never trust. Bolton is a HAWK, and his entire clash with Trump was over the fact that he wanted to perpetuate a never-ending war. Yes, he had a long career in and out of Republican administrations in Washington. However, he is a product of the Cold War and has NEVER been able to move beyond 1989.
Perhaps the only thing he ever agreed with Trump on was ending the nuclear accord with Iran. However, he was opposed to pulling troops out of Afghanistan and saw no problem with constantly sending American boys to their death for no real gain to the United States. This was the real clash for he constantly disagreed with bringing troops home and always wanted more. He repeatedly tried to stop Trump from making concessions to the Taliban. He advocated escalating force against the Taliban and wanted to invade Syria. He constantly criticized Trump calling his diplomacy to be folly because he did not want to invade the world.
Bolton outright objected to Trump’s decision to meet North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, calling it a “foolish mistake.” Even Trump’s meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Bolton called a “self-inflicted wound” and “Putin had to be laughing uproariously at what he had gotten away with in Helsinki.”
I have never seen someone so hell-bent on creating war. He constantly criticized Trump, yet the American people did not want to police the world. So I have to look at Bolton as the lowest possible arrogant person who has no regard for human life and champions old theories that have long since proven invalid.
A long-held musical tradition at military funerals, the music of Taps originated from a Civil War bugle call entitled, “Extinguish Lights”. A plaintive call, the sounding of Taps signals the end of the fallen serviceman’s duty and is the final tribute from a grateful nation.
To those who have given the last full measure of devotion, we honor your service, pay tribute to your lives, and thank you for your selfless sacrifice.
The Bugler is Technical Sgt. Jason Covey. The location is Culpeper National Cemetery
“Today we honor the extra ordinary sacrifice of not only these service members, but also their families–especially our Gold Star families. Each individual loss brings untold grief. Each loss is a hope never realized. Each loss is a dream never reached.”
“Every one was a son or a daughter. A husband or a wife. A mother or a father. Each is a gaping hole of grief that can never be adequately filled.”
“For the families of the fallen we are here to remember that for them every day is Memorial Day.”
Following the solemn ceremony at Arlington the President and First Lady traveled to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Maryland where President Trump delivered remarks honoring Memorial Day 2020. [Video and Transcript Below]
[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: I stand before you at this noble fortress of American liberty to pay tribute to the immortal souls who fought and died to keep us free. Earlier today, the First Lady and I laid a wreath in their sacred honor at Arlington National Cemetery. Now we come together to salute the flag they gave their lives to so boldly and brilliantly defend. And we pledge, in their cherished memories, that this majestic flag will proudly fly forever.
We’re joined for today’s ceremony by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper; Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley; Congressman Andy Harris; and a number of service members and veterans of the Armed Forces. The dignity, daring, and devotion of the American military is unrivaled anywhere in history and any place in the world.
In recent months, our nation and the world have been engaged in a new form of battle against an invisible enemy. Once more, the men and women of the United States military have answered the call to duty and raced into danger. Tens of thousands of service members and National Guardsmen are on the frontlines of our war against this terrible virus — caring for patients, delivering critical supplies, and working night and day to safeguard our citizens.
As one nation, we mourn alongside every single family that has lost loved ones, including the families of our great veterans. Together, we will vanquish the virus, and America will rise from this crisis to new and even greater heights.
As our brave warriors have shown us from our nation’s earliest days: In America, we are the captains of our own fate. No obstacle, no challenge, and no threat is a match for the sheer determination of the American people. This towering spirit permeates every inch of the hallowed soil beneath our feet. In this place, more than 200 years ago, American patriots stood their ground and repelled a British invasion in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.
Early on a September morning in 1814, the British fleet launched an assault on this peninsula. From the harbor, some 30 British warships attacked this stronghold. Rockets rained down. Bombs burst in the air. In the deck of one ship, a gallant young American was held captive. His name was Francis Scott Key.
For 25 hours, Key watched in dismay as fire crashed down upon this ground. But through torrents of rain and smoke and the din of battle, Key could make out 15 broad stripes and 15 bright stars — barraged and battered, but still there. American forces did not waver. They did not retreat. They stared down the invasion and the held that they had to endure. The fact is, they held like nobody could have held before. They held this fort.
The British retreated. Independence was saved. Francis Scott Key was so inspired by the sight of our flag in the battle waged that the very grounds that he fought on became hallowed and he wrote a poem. His ageless words became the anthem of our nation: “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Every time we sing our anthem, every time its rousing chorus swells our hearts with pride, we renew the eternal bonds of loyalty to our fallen heroes. We think of the soldiers who spent their final heroic moments on distant battlefields to keep us safe at home. We remember the young Americans who never got the chance to grow old but whose legacy will outlive us all.
In every generation, these intrepid souls kissed goodbye to their families and loved ones. They took flight in planes, set sail in ships, and marched into battle with our flag, fighting for our country, defending our people.
When the cause of liberty was in jeopardy, American warriors carried that flag through ice and snow to victory at Trenton. They hoisted it up the masts of great battleships in Manila Bay. They fought through hell to raise it high atop a remote island in the Pacific Ocean called Iwo Jima. From the Philippine Sea to Fallujah, from New Orleans to Normandy, from Saratoga to Saipan, from the Battle of Baltimore to the Battle of the Bulge, Americans gave their lives to carry that flag through piercing waves, blazing fires, sweltering deserts, and storms of bullets and shrapnel. They climbed atop enemy tanks, jumped out of burning airplanes, and leapt on live grenades. Their love was boundless. Their devotion was without limit. Their courage was beyond measure.
Army Green Beret Captain Daniel Eggers grew up in Cape Coral, Florida, determined to continue his family’s tradition of military service — and it was a great tradition. He attended the legendary Citadel Military College in South Carolina. Soon, he met a beautiful cadet, Rebecca. They fell in love, married, and had two sons.
In 2004, Daniel left for his second deployment in Afghanistan. On the morning of May 29th, Daniel and his team were courageously pursuing a group of deadly terrorists when he was killed by an improvised explosive device.
This week is the 16th anniversary of the day that Daniel made the supreme sacrifice for our nation. He laid down his life to defeat evil and to save his fellow citizens.
At the time of his death, Daniel’s sons Billy and John were three and five years old. Today, they have followed in Daniel’s footsteps — both students at the Citadel planning to serve in the military. Their amazing mom Rebecca has now served more than 23 years in the U.S. Army. Everywhere she goes, she wears Daniel’s Gold Star pin on the lapel of her uniform.
Colonel Rebecca Eggers and her two sons are here today, along with Daniel’s father Bill and mother Margo. To the entire Eggers family: Your sacrifice is beyond our ability to comprehend or repay.
Today, we honor Daniel’s incredible life and exceptional valor, and we promise you that we will cherish his blessed memory forever.
Thank you very much for being here. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Please. Thank you. Thank you. Great family. Thank you very much.
To every Gold Star family here today and all across our land: Our debt to you is infinite and everlasting. We stand with you today and all days to come, remembering and grieving for America’s greatest heroes. In spirit and strength, in loyalty and love, in character and courage, they were larger than life itself. They were angels sent from above, and they are now rejoined with God in the glorious Kingdom of Heaven.
Wherever the Stars and Stripes fly — at our schools, our churches, town halls, firehouses, and national monuments — it is made possible because there are extraordinary Americans who are willing to brave death so that we can live in freedom and live in peace.
In the two centuries since Francis Scott Key wrote about the stirring sight of our flag in battle, countless other American patriots have given their own testimony about the meaning of the flag. One was World War Two veteran Jim Krebs from Sunbury, Ohio.
Jim and his twin brother Jack fought side by side in General Patton’s Third Army. At the Battle of the Bulge, the twins volunteered for a dangerous mission. Together, they took out four enemy tanks, two machine gun nests, and a mothar [sic] position that was very powerful, loaded up with mortars. Jim’s brother Jack was mortally wounded. Jim held his dying brother in his arms, praying together as his twin passed away.
Jim fought to victory and came home to build a great American life. He married, had children, became an electrical engineer, and taught young people about war. As an old man, Jim was asked what about the American flag and what it meant to him. Jim said, “The flag to me is as precious as the freedom that the flag stands for. It’s as precious to me as the thousands of lives that have been lost defending her. It’s that important to me; it gave me a value of life that I could have never gotten any other way. It gave me a value of my Lord, my family, my friends, loved ones, and especially my country. What more could I ask?”
Last month, Jim died peacefully at his home at the age of 94. This afternoon, we are greatly honored to be joined by his grandsons, Andy and Ron. Please, thank you very much. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you very much for being here.
Today, as we remember the sacrifice of Jim’s brother Jack, we honor Jim’s service, and we are moved by his beautiful words. Andy and Ron, thank you for being here to remember your grandfather and his brother, and what they did for us all, and most importantly, what they stood for.
From generation to generation, heroes like these have poured out their blood and sweat and heart and tears for our country. Because of them, America is strong and safe and mighty and free. Because of them, two centuries on, the Star Spangled Banner still proudly waves.
For as long as our flag flies in the sky above, the names of these fallen warriors will be woven into its threads. For as long as we have citizens willing to follow their example, to carry on their burden, to continue their legacy, then America’s cause will never fail and American freedom will never, ever die.
Today, we honor the heroes we have lost. We pray for the loved ones they left behind. And with God as our witness, we solemnly vow to protect, preserve, and cherish this land they gave their last breath to defend and to defend so proudly.
Thank you. God bless our military. God bless the memory of the fallen. God bless our Gold Star families. And God bless America. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, together with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington to honor Memorial Day.
Wearing a white suit coat and white heels First Lady Melania stood at the center steps of the amphitheater steps during the ceremony. Also in the amphitheater was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao & Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.
This is a modified re-post from last year. I love the video and I cannot top it, so I offer it again.
Today all across this great land we call America, we pause to remember those who have fallen. We give thanks for their final sacrifice, for their love of country, and we say prayers for them, for their families, for the country they serve. We fly flags to honor their service, to observe our own dedication to America.
However, being the ever optimistic Americans we are, we have turned this day formerly known as Decoration Day into a nation wide party, a celebration of patriotism, family, summer’s promise, and just any old other thing we choose it to be, but in some places like our little town Memorial Day is still about the fallen servicemen and women who gave their lives for our country.
Tracking the origins of Memorial Day proves to be a somewhat difficult task. Some attribute it to former African slaves paying tribute to fallen Union soldiers. There is strong evidence that women of the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War. On May 30, 1868, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. By 1890 all the northern states were observing the day. The South would not observe the same date until after World War I, when it became more than an observance recognizing those fallen in the Civil War.
So, it took another war to unite Americans in remembrance of those fallen heroes.
Here in the South, I grew up visiting the cemetery on birthdays, holidays, and whenever my mother felt a need to connect with those gone from her – but never forgotten.
Each visit to the cemetery (my mother never let us call it a graveyard) was a fascinating experience to me as a child, and sometimes we visited, or at least drove by the National Battlefield.
We drove past it everyday on the way to my dad’s business and I always used to watch for the large flag to be at half mast. I knew then that a soldier or sailor had died, or sometimes it signified a national loss like the Apollo 1 tragedy or the loss of a president, as I remember the death of President Kennedy.
There was a protocol to the visit. Always walk around the plots, never step on one. Wander away as my mother knelt in the grass coaxed lovingly into growth in the red Georgia clay. Look first for relatives, those my mother spoke of, and those strange names I was unfamiliar with. Look for the little stone with the lamb on top – the resting place of my mother’s baby sister, Carole. Look for more lambs and little angels – they were dotted around the older section with alarming frequency, something I noticed even as a child. Take note of all the flowers.
It was a fine thing for a family to have many who remembered to honor their dead. I also very vividly remember the little American flags stuck in the ground on days such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
Not too long ago, I found a small cemetery with a mass grave of Confederate soldiers who mostly died of an outbreak, possibly flu, during the war. Those little flags had been put in the ground around the few individual markers. I wondered if they minded that 50 star flag, or if they were grateful to be remembered, honored, prayed over.
It was something I lived with as a child, this presence of the dead. I never thought much about it until recently. Here you literally cannot stray far outside your own yard without encountering some reminder of the war fought on this soil, and those fallen. As a child, many of our parents remembered grandparents who fought in the war. It is alive for us, and so has colored how we honor our dead, those who have fallen in battle, and those who in the words of many a fire and brimstone preacher, “The LORD has called home to be with HIM.” Believe me, no disrespect intended, just an indication of a little local flavor.
And so, I find myself wondering. Is this a southern thing? Is it an American thing? Or is it something common to all of us, this need to return to the place we left our loved ones for the final time on this earth? Is it a regional custom, tied deep in the roots we are so tangled in, or a need born with our souls? I think it must be the latter, with a twist of regional observances that may vary from place to place, but sooth the heart of those who wait here, on this side.
Perhaps, after all is said and done, it meets our needs more than just paying respect to the dead. We wander there, among those peaceful plots, wondering, imagining, where are they? How is it there? When will my time come? Will I be with them again? Then, that most human of all questions. Who will honor me in my time, when I lay beneath the grass coaxed lovingly into growth in the red Georgia clay?
In Ringgold volunteers work for several weeks to place the poles and crosses you saw in the video. You can even get a list of names and locations so that families can locate the cross for their own loved one. We Remember, we honor, we celebrate. I sure hope we always will.
I hope you enjoyed the video of my former hometown. I could not have been more proud to have lived in a place like this little town. I am happy to say that the neighborhood I live in now also places crosses and flags to honor our fallen, not quite as spectacular a display as the town of Ringgold, but volunteers come together to honor those from this community who gave their lives for our freedom, and they have not been forgotten or gone unappreciated.