Happy Veterans Day to all the Heroes Among Us

Dad army photo

This past Sunday at my church, and today throughout the USA, we celebrated the heroes among us, those who have come before us, and those who are currently serving.  What a beautiful sight it was watching our congregation on Sunday, as those who have served in our Armed Forces slowly stood up to be recognized, a powerful reminder that at any given moment, there may be heroes among us.

It always brings tears to my eyes to think that so many soldiers gave their lives to protect our freedom and defend what our country stands for, and none were more aware of that than my father.  Born in France, he was just six years old when our troops landed on that beach at Normandy, and if it hadn’t been for those brave soldiers, my father might never have gotten to finish his childhood.  It’s staggering to think that so many died so that others could live.

My dad grew up and went on to immigrate to America, proudly serving in the U.S. Army himself.  He never forgot the tremendous sacrifices that were made on his behalf, nor should we.  Thank you to all the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, we love you and appreciate you!  As Americans we can show our gratitude by remembering you and your families in our prayers, thanking you personally when we can, and taking good care of you when you return home.

Thank you so much to all the amazing veterans I’ll mention by name here: thank you to Mark, Rob,Wayne, Jann, Harry, Rocco, Russ, and Larry, and all those we can’t possibly list but whose names God has in a special place in His heart…

Thank you to those currently serving: Ernie, Aaron, Lindsey, Nolan, Doug, Chris, Rick, Justin, Christopher,Lee, Joey, Craig, Shane,  Cory, Aaron, Daniel, Kristopher, Joshua, Jeremy, Justin, Kyle, and  Jefferson.  God bless you all!

And there are 2 other humble heroes I have to mention… I met Donald awhile back at an indoor flea market at my church.  As we were talking I thanked him for his service to our country, and he was humble about his own service, but he was so proud as he told about his lovely wife Dolores.  She is one of the many women who also supported the war efforts here on the home front, epitomized by the famous “Rosie the Riveter.”

Thank you all, and a very Happy Veterans Day.  Remember to always be on the lookout for the Heroes among us, you never know when you just might get a chance to thank one of them personally.  God bless you all.  ~Michele

 

HEROES Donald and Dolores HEROES Rosie the Riveter

 

 

Memorial Day 2015: THANK YOU, VETERANS!!!

Star Spangled Banner Forever WP photo

MEMORIAL DAY 2015: THANK YOU, Veterans!!!
These two little words are so important! As children we were taught to say “please” and “thank you” as a matter of courtesy- but “thank you” is the more important of the two because it offers gratitude, rather than an introduction for making a request.

But how do you thank someone when words are completely inadequate?

How do you thank someone you don’t even know?

How can we truly thank our Veterans for protecting us, for saving our lives, for saving the lives of our children and families? How can we thank our Veterans and their families for their sacrifices?

Well, we were also taught as children that actions speak louder than words, so here goes…

You may have seen this question posed on social media:

“SHOULD THE NATIONAL ANTHEM BE SUNG AT EVERY GAME?”

As an American who is so grateful to live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, my answer is YES, OF COURSE! And what better way to thank our Veterans and their families than to take up this fight at home?

The National Anthem pays tribute to our country and honors our Veterans. Let’s answer that question with a loud and clear, “YES, THE NATIONAL ANTHEM SHOULD BE SUNG AT EVERY GAME.”

If you agree that the National Anthem should be sung at every game, please LIKE this page on Facebook, and SHARE with friends and family.

https://www.facebook.com/StarSpangledBannerForever

 

 

Happy July 4th: Freedom Is Not Free (author known)

freedom

 

 

 

 

 

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought… how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?

How many pilots’ planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands.
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!

©Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong

 

This beautiful poem has been sent to me in many emails over the years, probably because a poem as poignant as this one rings true to millions of people who have lost a loved one.

There is always a story behind the story, so I decided to research the author, because it’s often listed as “author unknown.”  I was touched to find “Freedom Is Not Free” was written by U.S.C.G. Commander Kelly Strong, a fellow Floridian whose dad served two tours in Vietnam.  I’m reposting it here with a special Thank you to Commander Strong for his words that have helped millions to remember that Freedom Is Not Free.

Meet the author here:      http://iwvpa.net/strongk/

Remembering D-Day…

Remembering D-Day… On this day in 1944 my grandfather was among those who landed on the beach in Normandy.  More than twenty years later, I was born in the land of the free and the home of the brave, because he fell in love with my grandmother while he was in France.  Truly, there are always angels among us.  May God continue to bless and protect our Veterans as they bless and protect us.  God bless the U.S.A.

D-Day Memorial

US Army Tribute to D-Day

 

 

Happy Memorial Day

Wow, what a powerful poem.  As a daughter, granddaughter, sister in law, friend, and supporter of veterans, I pray this Memorial Day Weekend that the Men and Women of our armed forces know how much we love and appreciate them.  God Bless our Veterans and our Troops.

FLYERS PRAYER

by Patrick J. Phillips

When this life I’m in is done,

And at the gates I stand,

My hope is that I answer all

His questions on command.

I doubt He’ll ask me of my fame,

Or all the things I knew,

Instead He’ll ask of rainbows sent

On rainy days I flew.

The hours logged, the status reached,

The ratings will not matter,

He’ll ask me if I saw the rays

And how He made them scatter.

Or what about the droplets clear,

I spread across your screen?

And did you see the twinkling eyes,

Of student pilots keen?

The way your heart jumped in your chest,

That special solo day-

Did you take time to thank the ones

Who fell along the way?

Remember how the runway lights

Looked one night long ago

When you were lost and found your way,

And how-you still don’t know?

How fast, how far, how much, how high?

He’ll ask me not these things

But did I take the time to watch

The moonbeams wash my wings?

And did you see the patchwork fields

And mountains I did mould,

The mirrored lakes and velvet hills,

Of these did I behold?

The wind he flung along my wings,

On final almost stalled,

And did I know it was His name,

That I so fearfully called?

And when the goals are reached at last,

When all the flying is done,

I’ll answer Him with no regret-

Indeed, I had some fun.

So when these things are asked of me,

And I can reach no higher,

My prayer this day-His hand extends

To Welcome Home a Flyer

This prayer posted in memory of

US Navy Lieutenant Matthew Ira Lowe

 

 

 

 

Matthew Lowe

“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.” ~Ronald Reagan

God Bless The U.S.A. (Lee Greenwood)“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me, and I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless The U.S.A.”

Arlington (Trace Adkins) “We’re thankful for those thankful for the things we’ve done, we can rest in peace, cause we are the chosen ones, we made it to Arlington…  Yeah dust to dust, don’t cry for us, we made it to Arlington.”

The world has lost a real Hero.

The world has lost a real Hero.

I still owe Sergeant Adam Rosenthal another Thank You note.  I sent my first letter to Delray Beach Police Chief Strianese after I completed RAD for the first time last August.  I started my thank you for the second class that ended last week but hadn’t gotten it finished when I learned of Adam Rosenthal’s tragic death on Thursday.

Even though I only saw Adam on a handful of occasions, in a short time he and his team gave me far more than I could ever repay in a Thank You.  When I heard of Adam’s death I was heartbroken for his family, his community, his city, his department, and his students.  I gave a donation to Delray Citizens for Delray Police for his family, who must somehow deal with this tremendous loss. But the reality is I could never write a check that comes close to what I owe Adam Rosenthal.  And I hardly knew him.

Arriving at work on Thursday morning, I told a coworker that I had lost a friend. My heart was breaking for Adam’s coworkers, who obviously respected and admired him; my fellow students, who were also touched by Adam; and his family, who I can only imagine are devastated.

It turns out my coworker knew Adam too, and she knew people who worked with him.  Just a week before, I had completed the RAD class for the second time.  I knew Adam personally, and while I would not have actually considered him a friend in life, it is impossible to deny his impact on my life and the lives of so many others whose lives I can imagine he touched, as he did mine.  At first it seemed that his tragic death earned him a posthumous promotion so to speak, bringing him from the level of just an Acquaintance to that of a Friend. But calling him a friend didn’t feel right.  Very often people in Adam’s position don’t have friends like most of us do.  Adam Rosenthal was immensely knowledgeable and talented and you could see his passion for sharing his knowledge and skills.  He was encouraging, supportive, and while he was friendly yet respectfully distant with his students, you could see that his coworkers and fellow RAD Instructors respected him, admired him, and trusted him with their lives.

It was then that I realized that Adam wasn’t a friend, he was a Hero.

Adam Rosenthal donated his skills and his time to help women and kids learn to defend themselves. With his skills and his network, Adam Rosenthal could have given private classes, yet he chose to do it for free, for the people who most needed it. His free martial arts programs helped countless local children. And the RAD program he ran, a program that was offered completely free by the Delray Beach Police Department and staffed by Adam and other tireless volunteers, helped women like myself learn safety, awareness, and self defense.

A Hero is often thought of as someone who saves you.  But Adam Rosenthal was a Hero’s Hero.  He was only one man, yet his legacy will carry on because in addition to being a Hero, he was also an incredible Teacher.  He and his team gave me skills and confidence, and gave me the skills to someday save myself.  And he gave others the skills to carry on in his memory.

It is up to all those of us whose lives have been touched by Adam Rosenthal to decide how to honor this man’s memory and carry on his legacy in some way, no matter how small.  He would expect and demand it of us.  And he taught us how to expect and demand it of ourselves.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Adam’s wife, children,  family and friends.  He touched so many lives, and was a hero to so many. May his family find the strength to get through the most difficult times and always remember that Adam Rosenthal was an amazing teacher.

“A teacher affects eternity; he never knows where his influence ends.”  ~Unknown

Sergeant Adam Rosenthal, who died tragically on Thursday in a car accident, will be laid to rest with full law enforcement honors.

The service will be held on February 20, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. at Congregation Kol Tikvah.  Congregation Kol Tikvah is located at 6750 N. University Dr, Parkland, FL.

Interment immediately following at Eternal Light Memorial Gardens which is located at 11520 State Road 7 (441) Boynton Beach, FL 33473.

You can support Sergeant Rosenthal’s family during this difficult time by donating to: Delray Citizens for Delray Police, 300 W. Atlantic Ave. Delray Beach, FL 33444.  Write Adam Rosenthal’s name in the memo portion of the check.