Patriotism

Trump pays tribute to 9/11 victims and heroes in Shanksville: ‘When America fought back’

President Trump, at a hushed ceremony in Shanksville, Pa., paid “solemn tribute” to the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 who “stood up and defied the enemy” 17 years ago. The president and first lady Melania Trump visited the hallowed site Tuesday to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. They spoke after a new memorial to the victims was dedicated over the weekend. “On September 11, 2001, a band of brave patriots turned the tide on our nation’s enemies and joined the immortal ranks of American heroes,” the president said. “At this memorial, on this sacred earth, in the field beyond this wall, and in the skies above our heads, we remember the moment when America fought back.” The 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 are believed to have prevented a larger attack by fighting back against the terrorists who hijacked the plane. The field in Shanksville, Pa. where the plane crashed, is just a 20-minute flight from the U.S. Capitol. Trump, in a passionate address, honored the lives lost and their families, saying that their “tears are not shed alone, for they are shared grief with an entire nation.” “We honor their sacrifice by pledging to never flinch in the face of evil and to do whatever it takes to keep America safe,” Trump said. The president recalled the story of that day—passengers and crewmembers placing “their final calls home, whispering those eternal words, ‘I love you.’” “They bravely charged the cockpit. They attacked the enemy. They fought until the very end. And they stopped the forces of terror and defeated this wicked, horrible, evil plan,” Trump said. “Through their sacrifice, the 40 saved the lives of countless Americans and they saved our Capitol from a devastating strike.” Trump called the field a “monument to American defiance,” with the new memorial sharing a “message to the world—America will never submit to tyranny.” “As commander in chief, I will always do everything in my power to prevent terrorists from striking American soil,” Trump said. “17 years ago, 40 incredible men and women showed the whole world that no force on earth will ever conquer the American spirit …We treasure their memory and legacy.” The new Shanksville memorial is called “The Tower of Voices,” which stands 93 feet tall. The tower holds 40 wind chimes to honor the 40 victims of Flight 93. Vice President Pence, who visited Shanksville last year, on Tuesday presided over a ceremony at the Pentagon, delivering a tearful address and acknowledging that approximately one quarter of the U.S. population was born after the 9/11 attacks 17 years ago. “We gather here today to reflect on what we remember, to remember the fallen, their families and the heroes that day. But be assured, we also gather here to ensure that each succeeding generation knows the story of what happened that dark day, and understands why,” Pence said. “We must learn the lessons of September 11, and remain ever vigilant in the defense of our nation and our people.” The vice president added that the terrorists who carried out the attacks “sought not just to take the lives of our people and crumble our buildings, but they hoped to take our spirit.” “They failed,” Pence said. Pence touted the administration’s efforts to strengthen the military, offering “renewed support” to the armed forces. “We overcome every challenge, we triumph over every evil, and we remain united as one nation, under God,” Pence said, concluding with a delivery of the Irish Prayer. Trump on Tuesday also signed a proclamation designating Sept. 11, 2018 “Patriot Day 2018” in honor of the victims from the tragic terror attacks nearly two decades ago, and “every hero who has given their life since that day to protect our safety.” Trump retweeted the full statement shared by White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino Jr., tweeting: “#NeverForget #September11th.” The proclamation, which was signed on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, honors “the memories of the souls we lost,” and pays “tribute to all of the patriots who have sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom.” “On Patriot Day, we honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 precious lives we lost on September 11, 2001, and every hero who has given their life since that day to protect our safety and our freedom,” the proclamation says. “We come together, today, to recall this timeless truth: When America is united, no force on Earth can break us apart. Our values endure; our people thrive; our Nation prevails; and the memory of our loved ones never fades.” The statement details how “that fateful Tuesday … erupted into horror and anguish when radical Islamist terrorists carried out an unprecedented attack on hour homeland.” “Through the dust and ashes, we emerged resilient and united—bruised but not broken,” the statement says. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also tweeted early Tuesday touting America’s resilience: “17 yrs ago, we received a terrible reminder of the evil in our world. In the midst of horrific tragedy America stood strong. We will never be the same, but we will always resilient. Today we honor the memory of those who died, and those who keep us safe. #NeverForget”

And we never will..  As someone who served as a “field grade” Army (Military Intelligence) officer in Afghanistan several years ago, this day means a lot to me and my brothers and sisters I’ve had the honor of serving with “down range.”…and serves as a grim reminder of why we must remain ever vigilant and NEVER let our guard down.  We have to be vigilant ALL the time.  The terrorists just need to get it right once..

Army Veteran’s Apparel Line Counters Nike-Kaepernick Campaign with ‘Just Stand’ Shirt

An Army veteran called out Nike Saturday on Fox & Friends for featuring Colin Kaepernick at the center of the company’s “Just Do It” campaign. Tyler Merritt’s company, Nine Line Apparel, has countered Nike by releasing a shirt of its own that reads “Just Stand.” Merritt, a former Army captain and Nine Line’s CEO, said Saturday, “They decided to take a stance. This is our stand.” Nike recently announced a multiyear agreement with Kaepernick, including for his own apparel line, video ads and billboards featuring his image, and a contribution to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s Know Your Rights charity. The company drew immediate backlash after releasing a print ad that stated, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” Merritt said Saturday that it’s hard to make a parallel between an athlete’s sacrifice and a soldier’s. “The word ‘sacrifice’ in the military members, it’s something severe,” he said. He said that Nike’s move to feature a controversial figure like Kaepernick was done with a lack of concern about those who may find the former quarterback’s actions offensive. “I agree that police brutality is bad, but you know, wearing socks that say pigs…” he said, in reference to when Kaepernick wore socks depicting police officers as pigs. “Actions speak louder than words,” Merritt said. “If you want to say that you’re promoting social injustice, then actually do something.”

Fair enough…

Opinion: A Purple Heart for disgraced FBI agent Strzok? The very suggestion is an insult to the military

If medals were awarded for disgraceful, disrespectful and downright dumb statements by members of Congress, Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., would surely be awarded one for his ridiculous comment Thursday to disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok. Strzok was questioned by members of two House committees about the clear contempt and hatred for presidential candidate Donald Trump he expressed in numerous text messages with his then-lover and FBI attorney Lisa Page during the 2016 presidential campaign. Committee Republicans quite understandably wanted to know if Strzok’s intense anti-Trump bias influenced his work on the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russia to help elect Trump, or influenced his work on the investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal. These are surely legitimate questions, since Special Counsel Robert Mueller is relying on the work of FBI investigators in his Russia probe. But Cohen joined other Democrats on the committees in leaping to Strzok’s defense and showering him with praise like he was some great hero, while bemoaning the attacks on him by Republicans. And then Cohen made his stunning and absurd comment about the questioning Strzok was undergoing. “If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would,” Cohen said to Strzok. “This has been an attack on you and a way to attack Mr. Mueller and the investigation that is to get at Russian collusion involved in our election.” Quite a statement. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of our armed forces wounded in combat while fighting to keep all of us safe. It was established by Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War and represents the respect we offer as a nation for that sacrifice. To demean this award by using it for any other purpose is wrong. To do so in support of a man who is testifying because he abused the trust of the American people and appears to have used his position at the FBI against a political candidate he opposed is obscene. Cohen received a torrent of criticism for his abhorrent comment – as he should have. The Nashville Tennessean newspaper reported: “A group of veterans in Memphis has slammed Cohen’s comment Thursday as an ‘insult to every service member’ and are demanding the Memphis Democrat apologize for his ‘disrespectful’ words.” That and other criticism of Cohen in Tennessee media prompted him to beat a hasty retreat: “I regret mentioning the Purple Heart medal at yesterday’s hearing. My intent was to speak metaphorically to make a broader point about attacks against the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into a Russian attack on our country,” Cohen said Friday. “I have nothing but the highest respect for members of the Armed Forces, especially those who have been awarded Purple Hearts, as well as the hard working men and women at the FBI. We are safe because of their service and sacrifice,” Cohen said. Too bad that Rep. Cohen, who has zero personal experience with the military, didn’t think first before making his comment to Strzok a day earlier. The Purple Heart is an exceptionally well-known award. Any decent person should have known to steer clear of mentioning it unless referring respectfully to recipients of the medal. To compare the suffering of a heroic member of our military wounded in combat to the experience of Strzok sitting at a table and underdoing questioning by elected officials for his misconduct is unbelievably insulting. As an Army Special Forces veteran – and as the son of a soldier who fought in the Vietnam War – I know firsthand that there is near zero tolerance among the military community and most patriotic Americans for any abuse of military awards, symbols or service. While Cohen went further than any of his colleagues in praising Strzok, plenty of his fellow Democrats joined in the lovefest for Strzok. For example, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said we should be “honoring” Strzok. Far from showing any remorse for personally destroying the FBI’s reputation for trustworthiness and impartiality, Strzok is acting as if he is beyond judgment. At the House hearing he absurdly claimed that he was not biased against Donald Trump and for Hillary Clinton, and took no improper action in his FBI investigations – despite the many biased texts he wrote. The voluminous record of hate-filled anti-Trump texts Strzok sent his partner in adultery, Lisa Page, tell another tale. They describe a rogue senior FBI official so blinded by partisan political rancor that he has been suspended from his job and may face criminal charges in the future. As for Rep. Cohen, if a Congressional Medal for Stupidity is ever created, he’s already earned it.

Agreed!!  And well said, Jim.  Former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier Jim Hanson is the author of that op/ed.  Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) needs to simply apologize for his offensive, and breathtakingly stupid comment….without the political disclaimers and equivocating he did the first time.  That apology should first and foremost go to those who have actually received the Purple Heart, and then to those who have served in combat.   Then, whoever faces him in November should use his spectacular blunder to beat him.  The good people in his Tennessee congressional district have an opportunity in November to fire him.

 

Vermont Church Slams America, Desecrates “God Bless The USA”

There is outrage from the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee after a Methodist church in Vermont rewrote the lyrics to Lee Greenwood’s beloved song, “God Bless the USA,” and turned it into a “bash America” anthem. “I look around this America but not everybody’s free. And I won’t forget all those who died beneath our fear and greed,” a singer crooned during Sunday “worship” at the First United Methodist Church in Burlington. “God forgive the USA.” The singer went on to ask forgiveness for ripping families apart at the border and taking land from the Native Americans and the way we treat LGBT citizens. “For the native tribes we conquered – Sioux, Lakota, Cherokee – for the slaves we beat and tortured for the interned Japanese,” the singer warbled. “For the women and the children for the lesbian, gay.” The confession of America’s alleged sins went on and on and on and on. “Mr. Greenwood’s song is emblematic of pride in and prayer for blessing of our country,” Pastor Mark Demers told me. “Changing the words to make it also a prayer for forgiveness and healing served to expand the meaning, thus reflecting with the anthem the theme of our worship service.” He did not seem at all bothered that the church had desecrated a beloved patriotic anthem. “Confession is a central part of Christian worship, as is prayer for healing. The lectionary text and sermon for the day told of two healings requested of Jesus – one a person of power in the community and the other a person impoverished by her illness,” the pastor told me. “The text lends itself to the idea that all, of every station in life, individuals and communities alike – including churches – stand in need of forgiveness and healing.” I reached out to Mr. Greenwood’s publicist who told me the church did not seek permission to alter the copyrighted song. Nor did the church let Mr. Greenwood know in advance they would be taking great liberties with the lyrics. “It’s illegal to do that,” Greenwood told One America News. However, the United Methodist Church pastor defended the atrocities they committed against Mr. Greenwood’s song. “A change of lyrics such as was done does not violate copyright law, falling under the category of parody,” he said.

Perhaps..   Perhaps not.  Mr. Greenwood should seek the advice of counsel, and if they think a copyright law was infringed upon, then he should sue this UMC in court.  Either way, what this idiot pastor did was at best hugely offensive.  Shame on him.  Thanks to veteran culture warrior Todd Starnes for sharing this head-shaking story with us.

Trump hails ‘American heroes’ who helped U.S. win independence

President Donald Trump wished America a happy Fourth of July holiday Wednesday and reserved special praise for the “American heroes” whose sacrifice he said helped the nation win her independence 242 years ago. Trump tweeted a short video that included well wishes from him and first lady Melania Trump. The Trumps were hosting a White House picnic for military families later Wednesday, followed by a concert and viewing of the fireworks on the National Mall. “Our freedom has been earned through the blood and sweat and sacrifice of American heroes,” Trump said. Trump left the White House on Wednesday morning clad in a white short-sleeved shirt, dark slacks and a cap and was driven west across the Potomac River in the direction of the private golf club he owns in Northern Virginia. The White House did not immediately confirm that Trump is at the club. Reporters were not allowed to accompany him to his destination, as is the case with virtually all presidential travel. Trump got into the Independence Day spirit a day earlier by celebrating active-duty service members during a military tribute Tuesday night in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. At the “Salute to Service” charity dinner, Trump praised “Americans of every generation” who have served in the armed forces.

Happy Independence Day!!    🙂

Texas city to fly 40,000 American flags, one at every home, on 4th of July

A North Texas city will proudly display its patriotism by flying more than 40,000 American flags that will be displayed in front of every home, business and place of worship on the Fourth of July. About 300 volunteers are hitting the streets of Irving, Texas this weekend to place thousands of flags around town. Nell Anne Hunt, founder of The Great Flag Caper, who is responsible for the patriotic display, told Fox 4 that it all began when she started putting some flags in front of her neighbor’s homes shortly after she moved to the area. “So I bought 200 flags and went in a concentric circle around my house and put flags in everybody’s yards,” Hunt said. “Well, the next year everybody liked it so much I bought 400 flags so it went a little further.” “And then before we know it, the whole city said, ‘Count us in. We want to do it, too,’” she said. The idea, she said, is to bring the community together – regardless of background – and remember their common values. “We all want the same thing for our country and our families,” Hunt said. “We want safe neighborhoods and we want children to be educated properly and so we’re all alike under the flag. And so we come and celebrate that.” For more information, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/Great-Flag-Caper-87306023868/

U.S. Troops Celebrate Independence Day amid Unrelenting Threat in Afghanistan: ‘We Fight for It’

U.S. service members in Kabul took a moment’s respite from the wave of terrorist bombings in Afghanistan in recent months to enjoy a lunchtime ceremony in honor of America’s 242nd Independence Day on the Fourth of July. “It’s an important holiday because we fight for it,” U.S. Army Cpl. Ruby Cruz of the 191st Regional Support Group Forward from Fort Allen, Puerto Rico, told Stars and Stripes in Kabul. Acknowledging that she missed the celebrations back home, she added, “But we have fun here, too, so it’s not too bad.” A barbecue dinner in the evening is expected to follow the Fourth of July ceremony at the headquarters of the U.S.-NATO mission known as Resolute Support (RS). “American flags could be seen in all corners of NATO’s Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul on Wednesday as U.S. service-members celebrated Independence Day,” Stars and Stripes reports. Honoring the birth of the United States at the ceremony in Kabul, U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, declared: ” For American servicemen and women who are deployed overseas, this day holds a very special significance, and it reminds us of the tremendous sacrifices made by previous generations of patriots in all of America’s wars in defense of liberty at home and abroad. …We hope Afghans will remember this, that reconciliation is possible between rivals.” Reconciliation between Kabul and the Taliban is the primary goal of U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy to end the nearly 17-year-old war. In recent months, both the Afghan Taliban and its alleged rival, the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), have heavily targeted the Afghan capital of Kabul, including a meeting of the top Islamic scholars in the country last month. The U.S. military has deployed a brigade that consists of about 800 military advisers and a few hundred additional soldiers to tackle the wave of bombings that have been targeting Kabul, the Washington Post reported on July 1. In March, Gen. Nicholson expanded the American mission to prevent massive bombings in Kabul..

So much for that reconciliation..  Having spent some time in Afghanistan, myself, I can say with certitude and experience that the Taliban (and certainly ISIS) has NO intention of reconciling.  They’re just waiting us out, so they can take back control after we leave.  So, as long as we’re there, we should be using all of our resources to totally intimidate, humiliate, and crush the Talian and the rest of the Islamo-wackos there.  As for the troops celebrating our Independence while “down range,” we’re all thinking of you.