Posts Tagged ‘Military’

A Beautiful Death

May 31, 2016
short url to this post: http://wp.me/pGfx1-vP

By Dahni
© 2016, all rights reserved

Memorial Day has passed, but neither death nor honor knows any particular time. The living think on and dream of death, a beautiful death. A beautiful death? What is beautiful about death? I suppose it depends on the manner of one’s death? But according to the Bible, death is an enemy. The hardest words to utter in the original language of the Old Testament Bible are:

“Moses my servant is dead!”

God to Joshua, Joshua 1:2a, King James Version (KJV)

The shortest sentence in the Bible, appears in the New Testament. It was in response to Jesus Christ being told his friend Lazarus, had died.

“Jesus wept.”

John 11:35, King James Version (KJV)

“When King Lear dies in Act 5, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written, “He dies. ” That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of [one of] the most influential work [s] of dramatic literature is: “He dies. ” It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with, “He dies. ” And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words “He dies,” but because of the life we saw prior to the words. I’ve lived all five of my acts, …and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I’m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading…and let the next story begin. And if anyone ever asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest, “He died. ” I love you… Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.”

Excerpts from the movie script: ‘Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium’

BeautifulDeath_poem

In passing, to those that care, a beautiful death might be to ease the burden of their passing, to those they love and that they are amply provided for. To others, a beautiful death may be to be surrounded by their loved ones and to quietly close their eyes and take their final breath. A beautiful death, for others could be, to pass from this life to the next, without regret or fear. For myself, I would simply like to be alone with God, turn my face to the wall, peacefully pass away and to wake at, the return of Jesus Christ.

There is no greater example of love, commitment and dedication than a soldier who has died for Freedom or to wounds from defending Freedom, for they gave and will freely give their lives to something far greater, than their own lives!

“Greater love hath no man [or woman] than this, that a man [or woman] lay down his life for his [or their] friends [and family and all others of our nation].”

John 15:13,King James Version (KJV)

To a soldier, a beautiful death may best be described by the words of a presently living veteran.

“…we honor those who gave it all to their country and then some. It amazes me often how men and women find the courage to put on the uniform and wear their patriotism freely and honorably. It also reminds me of what Nathan Hale said one time, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” The heroes of this country deserve a day to be celebrated and reflected upon, but not mourned. I conclude this post with a great quote from General George S. Patton, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men [and women] who died. Rather we should thank God that such men [and women] lived.””

excerpt from the words of a living Army veteran: Chuck Mcmillen

A beautiful death to a soldier is knowing that they and their loved ones would be honored by a military funeral, the draping of their beloved flag over their coffin, an honor guard, a 21 gun salute,the playing of TAPS one last time, the folding of their flag and the presentation of this flag to their chosen loved one.

A United States flag drapes the casket of deceased veterans to honor the memory of their service to America. The flag is placed so that the blue field with stars is at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased.

After Taps has been played, the flag is carefully folded into the symbolic tri-cornered shape. A properly proportioned flag will fold 13 times on the triangles. Some believe these represents the 13 original colonies, but each fold has a specific meaning. For the meaning of each fold, see: Folds of the Flag

The folded flag is emblematic of the tri-cornered hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution. When folded, no red or white stripe is to be evident, leaving only the blue field with stars. When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God we Trust.”

The folded flag is then presented as a keepsake to the next of kin or an appropriate family member. Each branch of the Armed Forces uses its own wording for the presentation …

U.S. Air Force: “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Department of the Air Force, and a grateful nation, we offer this flag for the faithful and dedicated service of (Service Member’s rank and name).”

U.S. Army: “This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.”

U.S. Coast Guard: “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to Country and the Coast Guard.”

U.S. Marine Corps: “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to Country and Corps.”

U.S. Navy: “On behalf of the President of the United States and the Chief of Naval Operations, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to this Country and a grateful Navy.”

If the next of kin has expressed a religious preference or belief, add: “God bless you and this family, and God bless the United States of America.”

The significance of the 21 gun salute is that the numbers are the summation of 1776.

Anyone may request, on behalf of their deceased soldier, a flag flown over our Nation’s Capitol, from either their district’s U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator of the state wherein they reside. An interment flag (a flag used to drape a coffin) is 5’ X 9 1/2‘. Flags are not flown on the following holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. You can select a fly date for the flag to be flown, but cannot submit it more than two weeks in advance. The Flag Office will only process Same Day Rush requests for funerals. Personalized dedications are permitted, but limited to 300 characters.

BeautifulDeath_med

Sample Certificate of the Flag Flight Over the U.S. Capitol

Beautiful display cases can be ordered to preserve, protect and display both the flag and certificate. Some custom work can provide actual uniform fabric as a background, such as.: Navy Blue, Army Green, Air Force Blue, Marine Corps Blue, Marine Corps Green, Coast Guard Blue.

BeautifulDeath_display

A display case for the folded flag and a certificate that is was flown over the U.S. Capitol

For More information see the following:

Architect of the Capitol Flag Request Form (Fillable PDF)
Flag Flying Guidelines — Updated October 1, 2015

A Beautiful Death


Honor and Dignity for our fallen Warriors

Full Military Honors

1  of WE,

Dahni

Advertisements

Remember

May 30, 2016
short url to this post: http://wp.me/pGfx1-vf

By Dahni
© 2016, all rights reserved

Half-Mast til' Noon

Half-staff til’ Noon

Most of you know I’m not, a veteran. I’ve family that have lived and died in service to this country. Most of my dearest friends are members of these services for my Freedom and yours! They are among the kindest, gentlest, most respectful, most civil, most dedicated, most disciplined, among the smartest, and most heart-serving, self-sacrificing people, I’ve ever known! I’m just honored, really honored that they let me hang out with them and shake their hands! I try my best to do for them more! To me, they are the living, breathing examples of the purpose of, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America! I REMEMBER you! And they, remember what Memorial Day is for! I will REMEMBER! What does this day mean to me and to all others?

Full-staff after Noon

Full-staff after Noon

Note: “Half-staff” or “Half-mast?” If a flag is hoisted on a pole on land, the proper term is half-staff. If it is a flag raised on a ship, the correct term is, half-mast.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a soldier stand guards by day and night at Arlington National Cemetery

Memorial Day, is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It is supposed to, honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Today, many people have forgotten this or have never known this and it has become something else. And sadly, there are those that do not care and may not ever care? How very sad and so very, very foolish are these whose breath and freedom has been provided by those who lived and died that they so dishonor! General Sherman of the Civil War said, “War is Hell!” Every soldier, from both the North and South, fought and died for FREEDOM, all politics aside!!

In 1966, the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

Originally, this day was known as, Decoration Day. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Soldiers still decorate the graves here, every year, for the unknown soldier and for those who families cannot or will not. It is fitting that both those of the North and of the South are buried here because, WE the People are one people! Arlington Cemetery by the way, is on property that once belonged to General Robert E. Lee. The name Lee, is a namesake in our family. Our grandmother Laura Lee was named by her great-grandfather, who fought with General Lee and respected him greatly! Our sister was named, Carol Lee. Her daughter was named, Sierra Lee.

Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Today, we have forgotten this history or have never been taught it. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials of their family and friends that may or may not have served in the military. Others hold family gatherings and participate in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer. Swimming pools often open up on Memorial Day and close on Labor Day. Many people just think of it as a three-day holiday. It has become a time for the gatherings of friends and family and backyard barbecues and picnics.  It is a time of ‘great deals’ for new car sales and sales for so many more ‘things.’ Then there is the matter of confusing this day with other holidays.

 

REMEMBER

VETERANS DAY

Veterans Day November 1, is an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans. Every veteran has the right to a military funeral to include: an honor guard, the blowing of TAPS, their coffin draped with a flag of the United States of America and to have it properly folded by the honor guard into its triangular shape, representing the first patriots’ cocked three corner hat of 1776 and to have this presented to some loved one, “on behalf of a grateful nation.” 

ARMED FORCES DAY

Armed Forces Day, May 17 an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of those presently serving in all branches of the military.

RememberMemDay3

Poem is written by -Unknown-  click to enlarge

MEMORIAL DAY

Memorial Day, May 30 (traditional), is a sacred day to all war veterans. It commemorates those who died while in service to their country or that died from wounds while in service to our country. My brother’s namesake, Richard, was an Air Force pilot in WW2. Neither his plane nor his body was every found. Memorial Day is for men and women like him. Like any veteran, these men and women have the rights to a military funeral with all the do respect, due them. America’s collective consciousness demands that all citizens be reminded of the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime or times of their sacrifice while in service to our nation. By honoring the nation’s war dead and those that died while in service, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice. All U.S. flags should be displayed at half-staff or half-mast during the morning hours. At noon, they should be raised back to full-staff or full-mast. Respectfully, the flag should be taken down at sunset and properly folded.

Note: “Half-staff,” Full-staff” or “Half-mast, Full-mast?” If a flag is hoisted on a pole on land, the proper term is half-staff or full-staff. If it is a flag raised on a ship, the correct term is, half-mast or full-staff.

This day is a sacred day to all veterans and to those serving. None of these never need, to be reminded of the reason that Memorial Day must be commemorated!

Far too often, the nation as a whole, takes for granted the freedoms all Americans enjoy and those that have made and will make it still possible! Those freedoms were paid for, or will be, by the ultimate sacrifice with the lives of others, few of us actually knew or will ever know. That’s why they are all collectively remembered on one special day.

Memorial Day should be regarded as a civic obligation. For this is a national debt that can only be truly repaid by individual Americans. By honoring the nation’s dead that died in service to our country, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice in the memories of future generations. For by them are we here! There is no greater example of love, commitment and dedication, for they gave and will freely give their lives to something far greater, than their own lives!

“Greater love hath no man [or woman] than this, that a man [or woman] lay down his life for his  [or theirfriends [and family and all others of our nation].”

John 15:13,King James Version (KJV)

They came; they will come, from all walks of life and regions of the country. But they all had and will have, one thing in common—love of and loyalty to country. This bond cemented and cements ties between them in times of trials, allowing a diverse lot of Americans to achieve monumental ends. They are the examples of what it means to be united, in the United States of America!

We remember the loss of loved ones, a sense of loss that takes group form. In essence, America is commemorating those who made the greatest sacrifice possible—giving one’s own life on behalf of others.

Nothing infuriates me more than the ignorance of flag burners. Not only do they not understand the purpose of Our Republic, and trample upon it, spit on it and burn it, they take these flags from those whose honor it is, to have their coffins draped by their Mother country, for whom they have freely given their all, to all and to even for those that burn their palls.

Perhaps those that disrespect, would be interested in knowing that if the government enforced our laws, they would be in violation of the U.S. Flag Code and subject to penalties. For more information on the flag code see: Flag This (an update)

Note: A pall (also called mortcloth) is a cloth (or flag) that covers a casket or coffin at funerals. The word comes from the Latin pallium (cloak).

Each year, members of the military have the honor of placing flags at the graves of every soldier buried, in Arlington National Cemetery. Soldiers understand and take this day and the words of JFK seriously. President John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”

This year marks the 72nd year since the Normandy Invasion.

RememberNormandy

Normandy Then & Now (click to enlarge)

The picture above is extraordinary! Two actual photographs were merged together to make it.  It is ‘D-Day’ in Normandy. It is the Landing of US troops on Omaha beach. The Black and white photo portion is from June 6th 1944; colour from 2010. Many lost their lives the day this was taken or shortly after. Most have since died. The rest will soon pass away. Our family honors two family friends (Joe & Don) that participated in the Normandy Invasion. They are honored to personally participate in the memorial in Normandy, France, on this seventy-second commemoration. They are just two of the few still alive from their ship, the USS DD603 Murphy, which participated in the Normandy Invasion. Though we may not know or remember those in this picture, they have all lived and died or will one day, for FREEDOM! They cannot and must not be forgotten! REMEMBER!

I am posting this with the hope that as many people as possible will see it, share it, learn from it and DO IT! Enjoy your long holiday. Enjoy your times together as family and friends. Enjoy your rest. Enjoy your barbecues, parades and picnics. I hope you find and make ‘great deals’ during this three-day weekend. Enjoy decorating the graves of your loved ones. But on Memorial Day, May the 30th, remember what it is REALLY for and for WHOM! Flags In! Flags in for their courage! Flags in for the cause! Flags in for the freedom! I will, REMEMBER!

“This weekend we honor those who gave it all to their country and then some. It amazes me often how men and women find the courage to put on the uniform and wear their patriotism freely and honorably. It also reminds me of what Nathan Hale said one time, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” The heroes of this country deserve a day to be celebrated and reflected upon, but not mourned. I conclude this post with a great quote from General George S. Patton, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.””

excerpt from the words of a living Army veteran: Chuck Mcmillen

 

1 of We,

Dahni

TAPS

April 9, 2016
short url to this post: http://wp.me/pGfx1-v8

By Dahni

© 2016, all rights reserved

TAPS

The True Origins of the beloved TAPS began in 1862. It was used by the armies of the North and adopted by those of the South, during the American Conflict of the States. Since that time and over time, it has been used by all branches of the military and familiar to everyone that has ever served or serves in the present now. It’s simple 24 note tones are recognized the world over as the song of the United States military and a wholly USA original. When it is played the world over, almost everyone the world over, know where it’s from.

It was a simple call to “lights out” that the “day was” done, to “go to sleep” and rest. It was and remains a peaceful and joyful sound. And even though it is played exactly the same at a funeral and takes on a more somber feeling, its message is still the same, “work is done with the setting sun and to sleep, whether temporal or yet lingering until, all are called home! Its message remains. The work of a soldier is always freedom and freedom is— NOT YET done.

On November 22nd, 1963, it was played for the fallen Commander and Chief, President John F. Kennedy. It was a cold day and cold can effect the buglers instrument. This buglar had to play when over 20 million people would hear. Whether the cold or nervousness or both played a part, the bugle ‘cracked’ a note. Now in folklore, that moment when the nation felt the sting it was as if freedom had been cracked. But like the Liberty Bell was cracked, freedom still rings, the bugler still plays, the bugle call out, rest now, your work is done for now, the day is done, gone the sun, but freedom is NOT YET done!!

TAPS (the lyrics)

The lyrics of TAPS can NOT be attributed to anyone with any authority. So, the original author remains, “unknown.” There are many versions and lines used for many purposes. What are the most common and most often used to accompany the bugler’s call are:

Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.

Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, ‘neath the stars’, ‘neath the sky’
As we go, this we know
God is nigh.

Take your rest all you soldiers now and past. Take your rest in peace and for joy, for now the day is done, gone with the sun, your day is done and daily work is done, but your work of freedom is, NOT yet done!

From me to You

April 9, 2016
short url to this post: http://wp.me/pGfx1-tZ

By Dahni

© 2016, all rights reserved

Dedicated to: Every member of the Armed Services, your family and loved ones; to all those I know and those I do not (PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHO YOU ARE), and to all those that have already given— “their last ounce of devotion..”- Abraham Lincoln – ‘Gettysburg Address’

From me to YOU!

From me to YOU…

 

Nothing particular or some special day
Or noble, eloquent words ringing true
Just some thanks I hope, find their way
Coming from me to you

Yawp (loud harsh cry with every fiber of a being)

   To keep me free, you laid all down
   And died outside or still, inside
   To the memories that seek to drown
   To memories that always hide

   Memories that find their mark
   Haunting so, you always see
   Alone by day and in the dark
   That will NOT— make you free

Many chose to wear this cloth
Many forced against their will
To eat this porridge and drink this broth
But each the same purposed will

Many left, but they went with them still
And were with them there or here
Each of equal courage and strength of will
Succumbing to or surviving fear

Those that loved you or love you still
Equally served or serve
Shared or sharing, in all you spilt or spill
With equal vim and verve

For not just one, for me, but many
For freedom gained and given
All wore the cloth as any
And purchased what was forfeited, for the liven’

Yawp (loud harsh cry with every fiber of a being)

   To keep me free, you laid all down
   And died outside or still, inside
   To the memories that seek to drown
   To memories that always hide

   Memories that find their mark
   Haunting so, you always see
   Alone by day and in the dark
   That will NOT— make you free

And returning or if not
To tender loving thanks or despised
Each there or here, the same they’ve got
The reason for all, neither hidden— nor disguised

There is no difference among those that left
Or to those that were left behind
Returning or not, there is no theft
For all the same purpose— of heart, soul and mind

Formed to order, molded to honor, made to protect in all you         deploy
You’ve done and do your duty, from sea to shining sea
And memory, your captor, to seek you and destroy
Memory your captor that will NOT YET make you free

You are singular and you are plural
Not for only me your gift
All encompassing purpose— neural
Uncompromising, neither shifting nor to drift

Yawp (loud harsh cry with every fiber of a being)

   To keep me free, you laid all down
   And died outside or still, inside
   To the memories that seek to drown
   To memories that always hide

   Memories that find their mark
   Haunting so, you always see
   Alone by day and in the dark
   That will NOT— make you free

You died or daily die that I still— live free
What daily thanks could I ever offer enough, while I live free             and you died or daily die
What could I ever do, for You— from me?
For I live free and you died or daily do, in memory shed, you cry

My humble, daily thanks— falls and fails, even should, I never          forget
Your memory destroying or is your captor— even still
For freedom for me, but for you, it finds You— NOT YET
Dead or dying— remains your strength of will

Yawp (loud harsh cry with every fiber of a being)

   To keep me free, you laid all down
   And died outside or still, inside
   To the memories that seek to drown
   To memories that always hide

   Memories that find their mark
   Haunting so, you always see
   Alone by day and in the dark
   That will NOT— make you free

It’s not in me to give freedom or life that You may freely live
There must be a greater power, so for you, to Him— my humble       prayer
For you, what is Only in— His power to give
That He would make you free and all that is life — in you to                share

And so this ends, with only the best that I can do
I live FREE, from the rising to rising; from the set to setting sun
All my thanks from me to you
For YOU KNOW, that freedom, ever reminding is—

NOT YET done!

From me to YOU i will!

…From me to YOU i will!!!

 

from the collection: Sing in the Key of Me
by the same author © 2015, all rights reserved

Note: This poem is a response to and was inspired by, the song ‘I see the Rain,’ written over 40 years ago, by Jim Moore, the father of Aleisha Moore (Pink). see: https://youtu.be/WMd36UaTcQs