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.

AZSOS Michele Reagan: Remembering Pearl Harbor, 75 Years Later

The Arizona Capitol Museum presents:

Remember Pearl Harbor, 75 Years LaterUSS Arizona Memorial

WHAT: 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. entry into WWII
WHERE: Arizona Capitol Museum, 1700 W. Washington Street, Phoenix
WHEN:  December 7, at the Arizona Capitol Museum
WHY: Special presentation of rare artifacts, for a solemn occasion

In remembrance of the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the AZCM is unveiling its special collection of rarely seen USS Arizona artifacts, including a never before displayed U.S. Flag rescued from the USS Arizona.   In addition, for one day only, the Capitol Museum will display several unique items including a 1918 seaman’s diary; brass and silver Navy bugle; 1940 handmade USS Arizona baseball team pennant and a historic piece of the U.S.S. Arizona itself.

Also on December 7th the AZCM will premiere its collaboration with the Google Cultural Institute.  This ongoing partnership provides the museum with a permanent online portal to showcase the gems of our collection, starting with the USS Arizona Silver Service and many other artifacts from the collection. Viewable online at: Google.com/culturalinstitute (content unavailable until Dec. 7)

The Arizona Capitol Museum is in some ways a home away from home for members of the Pearl Harbor and World War II service community.  The museum is the only place outside of Hawaii with artifacts and permanent exhibits, including the ship’s silver service, dedicated to the USS Arizona, and its loss on December 7, 1941.

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

U.S. Rep. McSally Statement on Death of S. AZ Resident in Afghanistan

TUCSON – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today released the following statement after a C-130J crashed shortly after takeoff from Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan, killing six Airmen and five civilian passengers including Tombstone native Carlos Carrasco.

“My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Carlos Carrasco,” said Rep. McSally. “I was able to visit our troops at Jalalabad Airfield in May and witnessed first-hand the critical work they were doing for our national security. Carlos died while serving alongside his peers to make all of us here at home safer, and our country and community are grateful for his brave service as we mourn his tragic loss.”

Carlos Carrasco was raised in Tombstone, Arizona and graduated from Tombstone High School in 2006.  He worked as a contractor for Northrop Grumman in Sierra Vista and was serving in Afghanistan as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mechanic and technician. He previously earned degrees in Avionics & UAV Technology from Cochise College.

Rural Arizona Senator Chester Crandell Passes

By Jesse Bryant

Senator Chester CrandellTragedy has once again struck Rural Arizona with the passing of Rural Arizona’s Senator Chester Crandell. It was announced Monday, August 04, 2014, that Senator Crandell died while out riding his horse in his Rim Country home of Heber, Arizona.

It was in Heber, also, where Chester grew up and finished school in the one-room school house in 1964. He went on to attend Mesa Community College, then transferred to the University of Arizona earning a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Education and afterward earning a Master’s of Education Leadership degree from Northern Arizona University.

After college, he began a distinguished thirty year career in public education starting at Westwood High School in 1972. He developed the first Vocation Agriculture program at Heber-Overgaard School District, and in 1999 helped to establish the Northern Arizona Vocation Institute of Technology (NAVIT) across rim country school districts.

While serving as superintendent of NAVIT, Chester took sevice to the next level by becoming a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives. He received a warm welcome by rural activists and became the “C” in that year’s ABC team representing the five eastern counties, including Gila, in the legislature; Senator Sylvia Allen and Representative Brenda Barton being the “A” and “B” of the team. In 2012 with the retirement of Senator Allen, he ran for and won a seat in the state senate.

Chester presented a strong voice at the capitol for all rural Arizonans and our important issues. Most recently he was working on efforts to restore control of public lands to the states, and running for a second term. His death creates vacancies in his office and on the November ballot. A strikingly similar incident occurred in 2008 when Senator Jake Flake died of a heart attack after being thrown from his horse in Snowflake, AZ. As it happened in 2008, the law requires that the Navajo County Board of Supervisors appoint a resident of Navajo County to finish the remaining few months of Senator Crandell’s term. The precinct committeemen of the Republican Party inside Crandell’s legislative district will gather together in a central location within their district, receive qualified candidates, and elect an individual to run in his place for the November election.

Chester Crandell, leaves behind his wife Alice, nine children, and many grandchildren. As an inheritance he leaves them a ranching heritage, a name marked by honor, and an example of humility. Rural Arizona mourns the loss of one of its champions and heroes, but hats come off to a fitting passing for a man of the land.

Arizona Republican Party Commemorates 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

PHOENIX – Robert Graham, Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, issued the following statement in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, a historical speech given by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to dedicate the Gettysburg National Cemetery after a brutal battle during the Civil War.

“Lincoln’s speech was brief but profound, and it is a solemn reminder that our nation is constantly being tested.  He reminds us that the first principle of our nation’s founding is the perpetual challenge to increase our freedom.  As the founder of the Republican Party, Abraham Lincoln boldly proclaimed that the work of the nation he presided over was still unfinished.  And while we have made great progress in these 150 years, the unfinished work of expanding our freedom and recognizing our equality with each other still remains.  I implore all Arizonans to join me in our party’s efforts to take up this challenge, to do everything in our power to fight for our liberty and celebrate the principle that all men are created equal.”

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.

Jeffrey M. Vath – Freedom Fighter – Rest In Peace

Jeff Vath

Arizona conservatives lost a freedom fighter last night.

Jeffrey Vath, aka Tony GOPrano, passed away surrounded by his wife, Mary Anne and family.

Jeff and I certainly had our political differences but we were also brothers at arms on a number of issues important to Arizona.

As we say goodbye to this giant in the conservative movement, please keep Mary Anne and Jeff’s family in your prayers.

We will miss you Jeff.

Fight on from the Kingdom of Heaven!

In Memoriam: Tribute to Andrew Breitbart – I Can’t Stand to Say Goodbye

By John Ondrasik

I see Andrew every day. When I fire up my buddy list there is Bodiaz bringing his dose of happy-sad. Thanks, someone, for not turning his computer off.

On the one-year anniversary of his death, many folks will speak of Andrew’s loss to the cause. Go ahead and cube that vacuum a few times. It’s true, in some measure he lives on in all of us. When I was out campaigning for Romney last year, all my tough decisions were decided by a simple What Would Andrew Do?

But for me, and many, it’s not about politics or movements. I’m still mourning the small “b” Breitbart. I miss my friend terribly. I loved the guy.

A few days after Andrew’s funeral last year I wrote a song. It was never meant for public consumption. With his wife’s Susie’s permission, here’s the demo/lyric.

I Can’t Stand to Say Goodbye
Here
Gone
Unfinished Song
All was there
All is lost

No Silver Linings
No God’s will
No Sense or Reason
Our heart is still

All that remains is moving on
Lessened
Cheated
Robbed us all

I can’t stand to say goodbye
Oh No…

Memories
Not enough
In the Home of the Brave
You were the best of the lot
There’s no replacing
This hole won’t fill
Death is cold and it’s cruel
Real and unreal

All that remains is to carry on
With Tears and Riddles
We’ll never solve

I can’t stand to say goodbye
I can’t stand to say goodbye
Oh No…

Here at the bridge we will never cross
Here at the bridge…Lost

I can’t stand to say goodbye
I can’t stand to say goodbye
I can’t stand to say goodbye
Goodbye
Oh No…

Reprinted from http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/03/01/Original-Song–Tribute-to-Andrew-Breitbart-I-Cant-Stand-to-Say-Goodbye#sthash.ud8RVwP4

Downtown Mesa to be future home of Goldwater Library and Archives

The City of Mesa and the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Library and Archives (BPGLA) are pleased to announce the BPGLA will be located in downtown Mesa. The Library will be built on the southeast corner of Macdonald and First Avenue.

“It is quite an honor for my family to see the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Library and Archives locate in downtown Mesa and become a step closer to reality,” Michael Goldwater said. “Not only will it preserve and tell the story of my father’s life and career, but it honors his commitment to ‘collect, preserve and disseminate’ the history of Arizona and the United States.”

The BPGLA will house a remarkable collection of manuscripts, photographs and rare books owned by the Senator. The Library will also preserve other notable 20th century political and public policy collections including the papers from of the Arizona Congressional Delegation dating back to statehood. The BPGLA will be recognized as a Center for the Study of Congress, raising the profile of one of the premiere Congressional collections in the U.S. In addition to its own materials, the BPGLA will exhibit collections on loan from both Presidential Libraries and other Centers for the Study of Congress.

“Having the Goldwater Library and Archives in our downtown is a tremendous honor for Mesa,” Mayor Scott Smith said. “The combination of the Library, the new colleges and universities along with the light rail extension will create incredible opportunities for both Mesa and Arizona.”

The BPGLA will be housed in a three-story, 40-thousand square foot LEED certified building. LEED is the United States Green Building Council Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design registration. The building will include an exhibition area, reading room, café and automatic archival retrieval system.

“This building will house Arizona’s history as seen through the eyes of Senator Goldwater and others who represented our great state in Washington, D.C.,” District 4 Councilmember and BPGLA Board Member Chris Glover said. “I could not be more proud that this great facility will call downtown Mesa home.”

The Library will be built on City land subject to the City and BPGLA reaching an agreement on the terms. The design, construction and maintenance of the BPGLA will be privately funded. Fundraising is just beginning for construction and the establishment of an endowment fund. The goal is to open the BPGLA in 2016. It is expected to attract an estimated 57,000 visitors per year.

For more information about the BPGLA, visit https://barrygoldwaterlibrary.org/.

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