Honoring Our Heroes

Folded Flag In a recent news story on foxnews.com, it is reported that “a group of congressmen has asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to reconsider its ban on the flag-folding ceremony at military funerals after the agency decided last month to streamline burials at federal cemeteries.”

It goes on to explain that the flag-folding ceremony had been stopped due to a complaint by someone about the speech each flag-folder recites as they fold the flag. Each fold stands for something different:

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.

The problem has come with the symbol of the eleventh fold. It seems some people have been offended by the mention of an eternal God. So in attempts to unify all cemeteries’ services, they have banned the flag-folding ceremony. Instead of letting each family choose whether or not they want to have it, they have forbidden it totally.

This is a slap in the face of every veteran. I mean, our country wouldn’t even have a flag if it weren’t for them. How is this any way to honor our heroes? “When we got back from the war, we didn’t ask for a whole lot,” said Bobby Castillo, 85, a World War II Navy veteran. “We just want to give our veterans the respect they deserve. No one has ever complained to us about it. I just don’t understand.”

I know this, my father will have a flag-folding ceremony if I have anything to do with it. I will honor his contribution to our country during the Vietnam War. He didn’t fight and risk his life for nothing. I think each and every one of our veterans deserves the same.

Please Don’t Leave Us

This week I had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Abdullatif. Mr. Abdullatif is an Arabic man who was born in Iraq and grew up there. Later, he immigrated to America with his family and settled in Detroit. He still visits Iraq quite frequently and is currently in the process of trying to get his extended family out of Iraq and into America.

He was a delightful man and I enjoyed listening to him talk of his past and how different it is because he grew up in a foreign land. Then we turned the talk to that of the war.  He expressed his sadness over lost countrymen and even mentioned that his own brother-in-law was recently killed.

As I heard the grief in his voice, I was nervous to ask, but did so anyway, if he then believed we, as America, should pull our soldiers out of Iraq. He looked up and looked me straight in the eyes as he said, “Why would you want that?” I was a little taken aback and asked him to explain.

He went on to say that in Iraq there are two major groups in power. He said they are sworn enemies and hate each other, but the only thing keeping them from destroying each other are the American forces there. I asked what would happen if we were to pull out. He said, “Complete chaos. It would be a wasteland. Those two groups would fight it out, destroy the nation, and enslave the surviving people. It would be worse than it ever was before.”

As he described this, tears began to well in his eyes. I could sense the passion and love that he had for his countrymen. He then said, “I hear these politicians talk about pulling out and how it would be best for all of us, but they don’t know anything. They haven’t been there and experienced life before America came. They don’t know how blessed we are now that we are free. They talk of how the people in Iraq hate Americans and the American soldiers, but I can tell you that is not true. Most all Iraqis are so thankful to be free from the tyranny. We realize that if the soldiers were not there, our country would be ruined by fighting. We owe a lot to America.”

Talking with Mr. Abdullatif this week has caused me to look at this war in a new light. I believe it is much more serious than we like to believe. Take it from someone who’s been there, pulling out is not the best solution. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of voices like Mr. Abdullatif crying out to us, “Please don’t leave us.”

It’s About Time

On A Lighter Note…

Aint that the truth

Gives a Whole New Meaning to the Term “Moving Target”

A story at Fox news tells how Presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani, at a town meeting in New Hampshire last night, reassured a recently-blinded police officer that he would still be able to own and carry a gun. While Guiliani’s support of the blind having guns and being able to carry them around is a whole other issue, the thing that caught my eye in this story was that Rudy Guiliani was in support of the citizens’ Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Rudy Guiliani has been a big supporter of gun control and limitations his entire political career…well that is until now. From the news story:

“During his two terms as mayor, Giuliani supported strict gun laws at both the local and national level and advocated the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. But as a presidential candidate, he vows to protect Second Amendment rights at the federal level allowing state and local authorities to determine their own ‘reasonable’ restrictions.”

This is just another instance of a candidate switching sides, changing values, and confusing us. Why is it so hard to say what you mean and mean what you say? That is why I don’t like any of the forerunners in the Republican party. They seem to change their stand as often as they change their socks! I want a President who will stand up for what they believe.

We need a President, not another politician.

So is it Obama or Osama?

During a speech recently, Presidential candidate Mitt Romeny “accidentally” mistook Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden. In speaking about the new tape Osama bin Laden had released, Mr. Romney spoke of Mr. Obama’s call to radical jihadists to come together in Iraq.

While I have made it clear on this blog that I do not support Mr. Romney, I will give him credit for having the guts to point out Mr. Obama’s Muslim ties. Don’t think he has any ties with the Muslims? Let’s examine the facts:

1) He was born to a father who had strong ties with the radical Muslims of the Middle East. (Yes, his father left soon after his birth, but he was still there.)

2) He was schooled in the Middle East in the same school that has produced many of the radical Islamists that have declared war against the Western World.

Now I’m sure you could make the case that this all proves he accepts the Islamic religion but does not prove his ties with radical Islam. This is true. But then again, we never thought anything about a group of men training at flight school in Florida until they crashed into the Trade Towers.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating being suspicious of anyone and everyone who has ever believed the Koran or who is in flight school. That’s not my point. All I’m saying is we should take extra care and caution in electing a President who has a background like some of the terrorists.

Do I think Barack Obama is a plant by the Muslims to gain access into our country and to corrupt her? I’m not saying yes and I’m not saying no. All I know is that the terrorists have vowed to corrupt America from the inside out.

What Would You Ask Them?

If you could ask each Presidential candidate one question, what would it be? Would it relate to healthcare, the war, immigration, or another key issue? Or would it be off the beaten path and not relate to politics–their favorite restaurant, pastime, childhood memory, place to shop? Would it be about their family life, work life, or social life?

So you may be wondering what I would ask them. Well, I would sit down with each of them, look them straight in the eye, and ask them if they truly believed in what they stood for. If they believed that what they proposed could help keep America great for my children and grandchildren. If they would stick by those beliefs even in the face of opposition. (Okay so maybe that was three questions, but it’s all related.)

I want to know that the candidate I vote for has his heart and soul into making our world a better place. I want him to believe that America can remain the great country she is today. And I want him to be passionate about his role as President.

Now it’s your turn. Take time and think about it. If you had the opportunity to ask each Presidential candidate one question, what would it be and why?