Memorial Day 2017: Remembering Those Who Sacrificed…

By Boe James

For many, this weekend is a time for picnics, BBQ’s and fun family activities, for holiday shopping and sales or for those who have recently graduated, perhaps a time of reflection on the future and the past.

Flanders Field

But this weekend is not just the beginning of summer; it is also Memorial Day weekend.  Memorial Day is, and should be, a solemn day when we commemorate and honor our war dead, not a holiday to “celebrate”.  Originally, it was called Decoration Day and ladies (mostly) went to the military cemeteries and laid (or scattered) flowers on the graves of Civil War veterans after listening to patriotic speeches.  Today the speeches continue as does the laying of flowers at the graves of military veterans at cemeteries all across the nation.

Since the creation of Memorial Day in the wake of the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of Americans have fought and died for our country in battles across the globe so that freedom could endure and our nation prosper.  Some are fighting for our country still, in Afghanistan.  In doing so, they are carrying on the legacy of service and sacrifice forged by Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen at places like Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Guadalcanal, Midway, Khe Sanh and Khafji and most recently in such places as Baghad, Fallujah and Tora Boro.

This weekend is a good opportunity for everyone, including our recent graduates, to reflect upon the freedoms we all enjoy and upon the brave Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen who have died so that we can have those freedoms.  Even as we honor the war dead, members of our Armed Forces are putting themselves in harm’s way and some may be dying today.  We need to remember them also as they continue to support, defend and protect America and enhance the ideals of liberty, justice and freedom.

Unfortunately, history has taught us the bitter lesson that freedom is not guaranteed. There will always be individuals, groups or nations that don’t believe in the “certain inalienable rights” of all people that our Constitution promises to protect.  This weekend we honor noble service men and women who sacrificed all for those rights.

In Flanders FieldThis weekend, let us not forget the sacrifice of those who died.  Let us not forget the deeper meaning behind the day amid the parades and barbecues that have come to herald the beginning of summer.  Let us not forget the real reason that men and women in uniform march each year.  Let us honor and remember our war dead and the sacrifices they have made.  At the same time, let us hope and pray that conflict will end.

World War I brought us the famous poem “In Flanders Field,” which was written by John McCrae, a Canadian Army Major.  That poem will be read or printed in the program at almost every Memorial Day Ceremony.  That war also brought us the Buddy Poppy as a symbol of sacrifice.  During the weekend veterans’ organizations, particularly the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), will be selling these red flower symbols to raise funds for veterans causes.  The Buddy Poppies are all made by veterans who are disabled or in nursing homes.  Buying and wearing one is a visual symbol of support for war veterans.

Maybe in the future, there will be a time when Americans will not have to make great sacrifices to stand against tyranny, injustice, hatred and terrorism. But, until that day we must thank God that living among us are those men and women who willingly join the Armed Forces and take up the cause of defeating tyranny and who possibly sacrifice their lives for our freedom.  History has shown that civilization does not thrive without freedom and that freedom does not survive without those willing to sacrifice in its name.

On Memorial Day services will be held at various locations:

  • At the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 North Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, at 8 a.m., with various speakers;  
  • In Fountain Hills at the Veterans Memorial on the south side of Fountain Park at 9 a.m., with Barbara Hatch, Executive Director of the Veterans Heritage Project and Mike Ferguson, Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart and former Commander, AZ Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
  • In Scottsdale at the Chaplain Statue at Scottsdale City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., at 10:00 a.m. with LtCol John Chavez, US Army as the keynote speaker.   

The Fountain Hills and Scottsdale ceremonies are hosted by local veterans groups.

I strongly encourage everyone to do something to reflect upon or remember the reason for this particular holiday.  It is a day of commemoration and honor and not a day of celebration.

Phoenix Veterans Cemetery

photo credit: Willie Stark

Postscript:  Many people confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day.  Memorial Day is officially proclaimed to honor those who have died while serving in the Armed Forces in time of war, while Veterans Day is set aside to honor those who have served or are now serving in the Armed Forces.  On both days, we should be thankful for those who serve to protect our American freedoms.

Since not everyone can participate in Memorial Day services, Congress established the “National Moment of Remembrance” and asks that all Americans wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time, on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute.  The time 3 p.m. time was chosen because it is a time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.  This Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events, rather, it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, whether alone or with family or friends, honor those who died in service to the United States.

Merry Christmas!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Birth of Jesus

Let us not forget the truth and reality of this important story. You will either fight against the story or submit your life to it.

On behalf of all of us at Sonoran Alliance, we wish you a very blessed and merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Senator Sylvia Allen & Family

Christmas Time

It was an unknown author who wrote these profound words about Jesus Christ: “I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this one solitary life.”

Jesus Christ’s birthday is celebrated by the world in this month of December.  He lived in a dusty corner of the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago.  From the beginning of his  birth among the animals was the beginning of his humble life. For there was no room for him in the Inn.  He had no money.  He was not a sport hero or starred in a blockbuster movie, or was elected to a position of power.  And, yet, more than one billion people today proclaim to be his followers.

From my earliest memories, I knew who this man was, for I was taught as a child, “Jesus Loves Me.”  My mother read Bible storybooks to me about his compassion for the sick and the suffering and how he healed the blind, lame, and lepers.  He even raised the dead.  I had a picture of him holding the little children.  My heart knew he loved me.   

He was a master storyteller who wove moral lessons through the stories he told so that you had to ponder and think upon them.  To illustrate the forgiveness of God, Jesus related the tale of the prodigal son, who threw away his inheritance in loose living and worldly things until, broken, shamed, and repentant, he returned home to find his father rejoicing that, “once you were lost, but now are found.”

Jesus urged his followers personally to help those in need – the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the imprisoned, saying that whatever they did“for one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

He asked them to forgive the faults of others and He laid down the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

He forbade murder and adultery, anger and hatred, and encouraged prayer, fasting, and sacrifice. “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

What was at the center of all he taught?  Love. “Love one another as I have loved you.”  Not only love God but also love your neighbor as yourself.  Then he asked us to even love our enemies as he loved his, for on the cross he said, ”Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

My early memories of Christmas were wrapped up in sound, smell, and taste.  There just is something about the air that is even different.  A child feels an unexplained excitement and anticipation that stays with them into adulthood. 

My mother wanted us to remember Christmas not as a gift-giving day but one of celebration of the Life we were honoring. “What gifts can you give Jesus?” was her question to us one Christmas in 1960.  I wasn’t much in the mood to answer her question.  I was feeling sorry for myself because, truth be told, we were a family living on meager means, and I knew that I wouldn’t get much in the way of presents that year. 

My mother told us of a family whose father was very ill.  There were three little girls in the family.  We took some of our old dolls and made them over with new hair and beautiful doll clothes that my mother and I sewed.   I felt the excitement building.  We made pies and cookies and put together a food basket.  After dark, my sisters and I crept up to the door.  We placed our offering on the porch, knocked, and ran.  We had pre-picked a bush where we sat shivering with anticipation as we watched to see what would happen.  The door opened, and a little girl cried out. “Mommy, there’re presents!  Words can’t describe how much better my young 12-year-old heartfelt.  My mom said I felt the spirit of Christmas. 

When it was my turn to bring the spirit of Christmas to my own children, we had many wonderful experiences, but my favorite was with a homeless man who lived in his truck parked in a vacant field.  For months we would drive by and the kids would comment on how sad it was that he had no home.  When we gathered together to pick our Christmas service, my young son said, “Mom, the man in the truck!” 

We made goodies and  wrapped a flannel shirt and packed them in a basket and at the last minute I put in a Bible with the Christmas story marked.  I told my oldest son to be ready to jump out and place the box on the ground at the back of the camper.  I was worried that we might frighten him, so I wanted to be quick.

On Christmas Eve, when we drove up, all was dark and quiet.  I wasn’t sure if he was there, but my son quickly got out and placed the box.  As he jumped back in the car, the back of the camper door flew opened and, as I sped away, my daughter yelled out the window,  “Merry Christmas, we love you!”  The kids sang all the way home.  We had the Christmas Spirit – the Spirit of Christ.

Now I am making memories with my grandchildren this year we help at the Salvation Army warehouse.

Whatever attitudes people hold towards Jesus Christ, whether they believe him to be the Son of God or just a great teacher, there is no question that, if his teachings were faithfully followed and lived by everyone, the world would be a better and more peaceful place to live.  Christmas gives us a chance to change ourselves and to remember a babe born of Mary.

What gift will you give?

Merry Christmas to all of you from the Allen Family!!!

Arizona AFP: LAST CALL: RSVP for Friday’s Celebration!

We are excited to celebrate YOU this Friday.

Arizona AFP

This is the last call to attend our Liberty Celebration, this Friday, December 9, to celebrate your legislative and policy victories for 2016. We would love for you to join us.

RSVP as soon as possible for our Liberty Celebration as seats are limited!

Where:  Christ Church Lutheran, Arizona Room
3901 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

When: 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Why: Americans for Prosperity Arizona will be honoring our top activists-America’s freedom fighters and our friends! We will also honor legislators and local government officials with the designation of Friend of the Taxpayer of higher on our annual scorecards (Legislative Scorecard and Local Government Scorecard).

Dinner and drinks will be provided.

AFP across the United States contacted 30 million Americans at the phone and the door – that’s 10% of the entire country! All told, AFP advocated against Senate candidates in eight states. All but one of those candidates were defeated. That’s something to celebrate! We will giving each of our top winners a prized jackalope.*

Please RSVP and come celebrate YOUR efforts for promoting liberty and prosperity for all Arizonans!

For Liberty & Prosperity,

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity Arizona

*Think that jackalopes do not exist? Well, that’s how a lot of taxpayers feel when we tell them that there are pro-taxpayer elected officials and local activists. But they really do exist! And we plan to honor them on Friday, December 9th. Please join us!

Frank Schmuck: Fly Your Flag And Show Your Patriotism In The Face of Terrorism

Frank SchmuckISIS now admits responsibility for the massacre in Orlando, Florida. A Radical Islamic Terrorist did this.  He could have used a sword.  He chose to use a gun.  A terrorist used fertilizer in Oklahoma City. Radical Islamic Terrorists used box cutters and airplanes in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon.  Banning implements is not the answer.

Americans need to be able to defend themselves, not have radicalized terrorists or the mentally unstable hold them hostage.  When governments make gun free zones the criminal does NOT suffer, the law-abiding citizen suffers.

ISIS does not and will not conform to a well-regulated militia. Hard working Americans can and will.

John Stuart Mill spoke this centuries ago. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse. . . . A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

War is in America – New York City, San Bernardino, and now Orlando. Who’s next? Let’s stand up and defend this great nation and ALL classes of people who live here against radicalism. Don’t let “political correctness” cause the loss of life again.  Speak up. This act of terror awoke an American sleeping giant spirit. Let us not forget freedom isn’t free. When you exercise your right to vote think about those who have experience with defending your freedoms. Without safety, rules don’t matter. This enemy doesn’t play by the same rules we do. Be vigilant. Be strong. Protect one another.

Today is Flag Day. Hang your flag proudly to show your patriotism.

Frank Schmuck, Captain
Persian Gulf War Veteran
Conservative Republican Candidate
AZ State Senate LD18

Congressman Matt Salmon Statement in Remembrance of September 11th Attacks

Washington—Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement in remembrance of the September 11th attacks in the United States of America and in Benghazi, Libya.

“Today, we take a moment to observe the anniversary of the horrific attack on the United States of America that shook the very soul of our nation. Twelve years ago, we were hit, but not defeated. As Americans always do, we stood back up with strong resolve to move forward. Let us remember the brevity of life, the presence of evil in this world, and the strength we see in America’s heroes. We are grateful for their countless acts of courageous service and sacrifice.

“On this day, we also remember the four American service members and diplomats struck down by terrorists one year ago in Benghazi, Libya. We must continue to pursue justice in their name.

“As our nation moves forward from these tragic events, we resolve to never forget and to never stop sacrificing for those values that matter most—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. May God continue to comfort the families of the victims and heroes, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Follow him on
Facebook and Twitter.

###

Maricopa GOP Chair Rallies LD Censures

To all Arizona County and LD Republican Committee Chairmen –
Below is the front page article of the July 15 Arizona Capitol Times. I want to express my appreciation to those courageous and principled County and LD Republican Committees who have already conducted votes of “censure” and/or “no confidence.”
Jan Brewer, the legislators and their crony capitalist friends that support ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion have betrayed Americans, Arizona Republicans and the Republican Party Platform.  Their lack of ethics, integrity and egregious acts are motivated by only two things – greed and the lust for power – at the expense of hard working tax paying Americans.
The law was expected to cost $898 billion over the first decade when the bill was first passed, but this year the Congressional Budget Office revised that estimate to $1.85 trillion.  Money that will have to be borrowed from the Chinese or printed in the backroom of the Federal Reserve.  Latest polls indicate a majority of Americans are opposed to ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion with an overwhelming majority of Republicans in opposition.
During the past six months, we did everything we could to make a solid argument against ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion, we tried to reason with these people and even tried to make them see the light.  Unfortunately, our lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears and without success.
During one of Ronald Reagan’s difficult political battles he said,
               “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
I’m asking all the County and LD Republican Committees to make these people feel the heat by passing public censures for their actions.  They are elitists who think what they have done should be forgiven. They are mistaken.  We are not going to be able to defeat all of them, but we can defeat a majority of them in the 2014 Primary Election.
You can go to “MCRC Briefs” and get examples of public censures that have already been passed.  http://briefs.maricopagop.org/  Just type “censure” in the search field on the left.
Warmest regards,
 A. J. LaFaro
Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee
P.S.  Please encourage all of your PCs to keep up their daily efforts in getting petition signatures for www.urapc.org  Getting ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion on the November 2014 ballot will be historic for Arizona’s grassroots conservatives.

Christmas Message from Chairman Tom Morrissey

Arizona Republican Party

Friends,

On behalf of the million-strong voters in the Arizona Republican Party, I heartily wish you a Merry Christmas.

As we reflect on the meaning of the holiday season, I can’t help but think about our good fortune as Americans, and especially as Arizonans.

Our party’s strength in Arizona is tremendous and growing, and in so many ways Arizona is leading the nation with our conservative principles and our proven success in winning elections.

We have you, the supporters of our Republican candidates, to thank.

I ask that you especially thank our Almighty God for the great many blessings we all share.

Sincerely,

Tom Morrissey

Chairman, Arizona Republican Party

Mitt Romney: Thank You

Rep. Ben Quayle Pays Tribute to Our Fallen Soldiers