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Memorial Day originated in the nineteenth century as a day to remember the soldiers who gave their lives in the American Civil War by decorating their graves with flowers. It is the day Americans remember its military personnel who died while serving our country. It is a day when people decorate the graves of our fallen military heroes. On this scared day I compiled my favorite tributes to our military men and women who gave their all serving our country.
Duty, Honor, Country
by Five Star General Douglas MacArthur
The motto of the United States Military Academy at West Point is “Duty, Honor, County.” On May 12, 1962, retired 82 year old U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur, holder of the Medal of Honor and the leader of the Army in the Pacific theater during World War II, gave his now famous 34 minute “Duty, Honor, Country” speech without notes to the entire corps of 2,100+ West Point cadets. This speech is my favorite speech of all time on any topic. I re-read it several times a year because: (i) what the General says about military service and sacrifice and Duty, Honor, Country moves and inspires me, and (ii) what he said then is as true now as it has always been throughout the history of the U.S. military. Read the entire text and listen to an audio of the General’s speech.
Here are a few statements about military men and women from General MacArthur’s speech:
“Duty, Honor, Country — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you want to be, what you can be, what you will be. . . .”
“It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world’s noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast. . . .”
“I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood and sweat and tears as we sought the way and the truth and the light.”
by then 15 year old high school sophomore Lizzie Palmer
This is one of my all time favorite videos. It is also one of Youtube’s most viewed videos of all time. This video is especially important on Memorial Day because its message is that our military personnel ask Americans to remember them.
President Lincoln’s Letter to Lydia Bixby
Executive Mansion Washington
Nov. 21, 1864
To Mrs. Bixby,
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
Union Army Major Sullivan Ballou’s Last Letter to His Wife
A week before the Civil War Battle of Bull Run Sullivan Ballou, a Major in the Second Rhode Island Volunteers, wrote home to his wife in Smithfield. Major Ballou says that his commitment to Duty, Honor & Country comes first ahead of duty to and love of his wife and children, even as it leads him to death in battle.
July 14, 1861
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days, perhaps tomorrow. Less I shall not be able to write you again, I feel compelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I am no more.
Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure — and it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine 0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how American civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the revolution. I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down all my joys in this life to help maintain this government and to pay that debt.
But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows — when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children — is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?
I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death — and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.
I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often advocated before the people and “the name of honor that I love more than I fear death” have called upon me, and I have obeyed.
Sara, my love for you is depthless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence can break. Yetmy love ofcountrycomes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield. The memory of all the blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crowding over me. I feel most deeply grateful to God and you that I have enjoyed them for so long. How hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes our hopes and future years when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and seen our boys grown up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me — perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar — that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.
Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have sometimes been. How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.
But, oh Sara, if the dead can come back to this earth and fly unseen around those they love, I shall always be with you on the brightest day and the darkest night. Always. Always. When the soft breeze fans your cheek, it shall be my breath. When the cool air caresses your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sara, do not morn me dead. Think I am gone and wait for me. We shall meet again.
As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father’s love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God’s blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.
Your loving husband,
A week after writing this letter, Major Ballou was killed at the first Battle of Bull Run.
Here’s to the Heroes – A Military Tribute
More to Reasons to Remember
Here are links to other inspirational statements made by and about our brave men and women who all Americans should remember on this Memorial Day:
Marine Sgt. Daniel Clay’s Letter to His Family – U.S. Marine SSgt. Daniel Clay was killed in action in Iraq on December 1, 2005. Before leaving home for his second tour in Iraq, Sgt Clay left a letter with his family and an instruction to open the letter only in the event of his death. A few quotes – note his references to duty and honor:
“What we have done in Iraq is worth any sacrifice. Why? Because it was our duty. That sounds simple. But all of us have a duty. Duty is defined as a God given task. Without duty life is worthless. . . .”
“You all have your duties. Be thankful that God in His wisdom gives us work. Mine was to ensure that you did not have to experience what it takes to protect what we have as a family. This I am so thankful for. I know what honor is. It is not a word to be thrown around. It has been an Honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to. . . .”
“I have been in the company of heroes. I now am counted among them. Never falter! Don’t hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting. . . .”
Army Sgt. Michael Carlson’s High School Paper – Wise beyond his years, Mike Carlson who died in Iraq in 2005 wrote a credo paper his senior year in high school that moves everyone who reads it. Here is just a part of young 18 year old Mike Carlson’s essay:
“I want to live forever; the only way that one could possibly achieve it in this day and age is to live on in those you have affected. I want to carve out a niche for myself in the history books. I want to be remembered for the things I accomplished. I sometimes dream of being a soldier in a war. In this war I am helping to liberate people from oppression.”
“In the end there is a big parade and a monument built to immortalize us in stone. Other times I envision being a man you see out of the corner of your eye, dressed in black fatigues, entering a building full of terrorists. After everything is completed I slip out the back only to repeat this the next time l am called. I might not be remembered in that scenario, but I will have helped people.”
Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion and Navy Lt. Brendan Looney -Tom Manion wrote a heartbreaking story in the Wall St. Journal called “Why They Serve—’If Not Me, Then Who?’” in which he said “After more than a decade of war, remarkable men and women are still stepping forward.” Tom spent 30 years in the military and he writes about two graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy – his son Lt. Travis Manion and his son’s good friend Lt. Brendan Looney. When Lt. Manion was killed in Iraq in 2007 his good friend Lt. Looney was in training to be a Navy SEAL. Lt. Looney was devasted at the death of his friend. In 2010 Lt. Looney and 7 other Americans were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Lt. Manion and Lt. Looney are buried next to each other at in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Lt. Phil Clark (father – killed in action over North Vietnam in 1972) & Lt. Terry Clark (son – killed in an F-14 accident off the coast of San Diego in 1996), two Annapolis graduates and Navy pilots buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Phil’s father, Phil, Sr., was a long-time friend of my parents. I’ll never forget Colonel Phil Clark, Sr. (USAF ret.)., telling me how difficult it was for he and his wife Freda to go to Arlington National Cemetery twice, once to bury their son Phil and again to bury Terry, the grandson they raised after losing their son Phil and his young wife.
Captain Thomas A. Amos (35th Tactical Fighter Squadron) and Captain Mason I. Burnham (421st Tactical Fighter Squadron) were killed in action during an F-4D combat mission over Laos on April 20, 1972. Tom Amos was the only member of my squadron that was killed in action while the 35th TFS was on temporary duty from Kunsan Air Base, Korea, to Danang Air Base, South Vietnam, and Korat Air Base, Thailand, in 1972. See “35th Tactical Fighter Squadron MiG Kills.”
Military people risk their lives and die even during training. While I was stationed at Kunsan Air Base, Korea, my squadron lost two men. Captain Tom Ballard and Lt. Ron Goodwin of the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron were killed flying an F-4 during a nuclear bomb delivery training mission over Korea on February 16, 1973. They were on a typical F-4 training mission. Tom and Ron were tasked to fly a low level route in their F-4D and deliver their first practice simulated nuclear bomb within 1,500 feet of the target plus or minus two minutes of a designated time over the target (TOT).
In Remembrance of Edward Schwebel
I want to remember my good friend Ed Schwebel, 63, who died on May 11, 2010, from a fall off of a ladder. Ed and I were F-4 instructors in the 35th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at George Air Force Base, California. We were in the same squadron from 1973 to 1976. In 1973, Ed has just returned from a year of flying combat missions in the F-4 over South Vietnam, North Vietnam and Laos. Peace brother and keep your mach up.
Woodrow Dutt & Elmer Dutt
My wife and I also want to remember her two uncles, Woodrow Wilson Dutt and Elmer F. Dutt, who were killed in action during World War II. Lt. Woodrow Dutt was a navigator on a B-17 who was wounded on a bombing mission over France and died from his wounds on July 9, 1944. Private First Class Elmer Dutt died in North Africa in 1943.
Harold R. Keyt, My Father
Last, but certainly not least, I want to pay tribute and remember my wonderful father, Harold R. Keyt. Hal retired as a Major from the USAF after 20+ years of service. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, my Dad, like hundreds of thousands of other young men of that time, joined the Army Air Force to fight and serve. Without knowing if he would ever return to his family and the U.S., my Dad went to England and flew day light bombing missions over Germany as a B-17 navigator. I love and miss you Dad.
Todd, who received her high school general equivalency diploma during the late 1980s, at the age of 39, began attending law school in 1992 but did not finish, according to the opinion. She went on to obtain a master’s degree from Towson University and a Ph.D. from an unaccredited online school in 2007. She filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2009. At the time of her trial, she was 63 and owed $339,361 to three student loan creditors.”
Arizona Republic: “Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett says he’s not a ‘birther.’ In fact, he says, he believes President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. Yet the state’s No.2 elected official has waded into the highly charged controversy, asking the island state to verify the president’s birthplace to ensure Obama can appear on Arizona’s Nov.6 ballot.”
Arizona Republic: “A Tempe man is suing LA Fitness for fraud, contending that staff members used his electronic signature to charge him for more than $1,200 in services he did not want or need. Benjamin Calleros, 22, said LA Fitness drained his bank account of money set aside for tuition when staff members fraudulently signed him up for personal-training services. The lawsuit mirrors hundreds of concerns posted on consumer-protection websites alleging that LA Fitness bills for unrequested services, continues auto-deducting monthly fees after contracts are canceled and refuses to reimburse once fees are collected.”
Salon: “Approximately half of the 45,000 people who will graduate this year from ABA-accredited law schools will never find jobs as lawyers. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over the next decade 21,000 new jobs for lawyers will become available each year, via growth and outflow from the profession.) Most of those who do find jobs will be making between $30,000 and $60,000 per year. People currently in law school are going to graduate with an average of $150,000 of educational debt. This debt will have an average interest rate of 7.5 percent, meaning the typical graduate will be accruing nearly $1,000 per month in interest upon graduation”
Most of those who do find jobs will be making between $30,000 and $60,000 per year.
People currently in law school are going to graduate with an average of $150,000 of educational debt. This debt will have an average interest rate of 7.5%, meaning the typical graduate will be accruing nearly $1,000 per month in interest upon graduation. Unlike almost every other form of debt, these loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.”
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York is related to government charges in April accusing Apple and publishers of colluding to break up Amazon.com’s low-cost dominance of the digital book market. HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Simon & Schuster Inc and Hachette Book Group reached settlements with the Department of Justice’s anti-trust division.
Apple and two of the publishers, Macmillan and Penguin, said in court last month that they want to go to trial to defend themselves against the government charges. The judge has scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for June 22.
The consumers’ main allegation is that the publishers worked together to raise prices and decrease retail competition with Apple coordinating the agreement among them.”
“The principle of majority rule was so basic to the concept of a democratically elected legislative body that it did not need to be expressly stated in the Constitution,” the suit (PDF) says. Other plaintiffs include several Democratic lawmakers and three immigrants who would be aided by passage of the Dream Act, according to Politico, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a press release.”
According to Michael Orr, real estate expert at A.S.U.’s W.C. Carey School of Business, the Phoenix housing market is continuing to recover. He also says that traditional homes sales are on the increase.
Of the 314,000 jobs lost during the recession, Arizona has recouped only 78,000 of those positions. ASU economist LeeMcPheters estimates that it could take five years to create the additional 235,000 jobs needed to get back to pre-recession levels. Read more…
losangelesimmigrationlawattorney.com: According to this post:
In a very interesting case out of the state of Illinois, a young man is currently being held in an immigration detention center as a fugitive despite his insistence that he has sought to secure citizenship through the proper legal channels.
Eugene P., 28, was originally born in Nigeria, where he was part of the Ogoni tribe, who are well known for their protests against petroleum drilling in their region of the country in the 1990s.
It is rumored that in response to these protests, oil companies enlisted the assistance of the Nigerian military. This in turn, created an extremely chaotic and dangerous environment that Eugene P. sought to flee.
He is currently appealing the detention as his deadline for the appeal of his green card had not expired when he was taken into custody. Eugene also married a woman while living in the United States – three days prior to being arrested and detained by an ICE worker.
miamicriminallawyer.com: “Even a small charge is worth fighting.” That was unfortunately true for the woman featured in this article, who lost her job when her employer, Wells Fargo, discovered a 40 year-old conviction. After five years of awards for employee excellence, she was terminated for a 1972 shoplifting conviction.
azcentral.com: A dog-fighting ring in Phoenix was busted recently and nine people have been arrested. Two more spectators left with injured dogs, which were never found. Dog-fighting is usually associated with other illegalities. There is a strong body of evidence that animal cruelty is linked to other crimes, particularly crimes against humans. According to the New York Times:
“….We discovered that in homes where there was domestic violence or physical abuse of children, the incidence of animal cruelty was close to 90 percent. The most common pattern was that the abusive parent had used animal cruelty as a way of controlling the behaviors of others in the home. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at what links things like animal cruelty and child abuse and domestic violence. And one of the things is the need for power and control. Animal abuse is basically a power-and-control crime.”
Quote by Randall Lockwood, the A.S.P.C.A.’s then-senior vice president for forensic sciences and anticruelty projects and a member of the new Anti-Animal-Abuse Task Force in Baltimore.
huffingtonpost.com: According to this slideshow, the top ten celebrity divorce settlements come with the rather dubious honor of the owing spouse funding such settlements as $100 million dollars (Tiger Woods). We suspect, but cannot prove, that most celebrities’ divorces do not play out as publicly as commoners’ because many celebrities hire attorneys and experts to negotiate behind the scenes and reach an out-of-court resolution. This dynamic strongly resembles collaborative law, an out-of court dispute resolution process in which the parties hire attorneys, divorce coaches, neutral financial experts and child development experts. Several attorneys in Phoenix are specially trained to practice in this area. Collaborative law saves families time, money and the uncertainty of court proceedings. It also typically results in a resolution that both parties may not love, but at least they can live with it. It certainly beats spending $100 million on a divorce settlement.
huffingtonpost.com: Men (and women) make several mistakes after a divorce. Particularly common with men, according to this article, are (1) rushing back into marriage, (2) becoming the bachelor at-large, and (3) introducing your new “friend” to your children way too soon. If the divorce has resulted in a custody dispute, each of these mistakes could also result in your being portrayed negatively in court.
Findlaw.com: Mitch Torbett was arrested in Tennessee for a crime committed by his identical – and deceased – twin brother. He’s suing authorities for the 36 hours he spent in jail and according to this article, he won’t likely win.
New York Times: “On April 30, the Treasury Department announced that 461 Americans had renounced their citizenship in the first quarter of 2012. A 1996 law requires that every person doing so be named, with their names published in the Federal Register. The idea is to shame those who may be renouncing their citizenship solely to escape taxation.
Other countries tax only those who live and work within their borders; if their citizens live and work in another country, they are liable only for taxes incurred in that country.
Americans living abroad, however, must not only pay taxes in the country in which they are living, but United States taxes as well, although there is an exemption of $93,000 that is adjusted for inflation annually. The only legal way for American citizens to avoid American taxes is to renounce their citizenship and live their lives permanently in another country.”
Law.com: “I long have believed that the best predictor of whether the U.S. Supreme Court finds a violation of the Fourth Amendment is whether the justices could imagine it happening to them. For example, the Supreme Court upheld drug-testing requirements in every case until it considered a Georgia law that required that high-level government officials be subjected to it. The two Fourth Amendment decisions this term, U.S. v. Jones and Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Burlington County, powerfully illustrate that the justices only seem to care if it could happen to them.”
ABA Journal: “Consensus doesn’t seem to have a place in policy discussions about the state of the U.S. immigration system. But there is, at least, widespread agreement that the system needs fixing.
“Everyone will tell you the laws aren’t working,” says Brittney Nystrom, director of policy and legal affairs at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C. But beyond that starting premise, views on immigration laws start to splinter.
“On both sides of this debate, there are deeply held beliefs about what immigration means to America,” says Nystrom. “On one side, you have the idea that we’re a nation of immigrants, and it’s healthy and important to keep that tradition alive. On the other side, you have the argument that immigrants are a burden. Trying to factually discuss immigration becomes almost impossible when people tend to fall into one camp or the other based on what they’re told.”
Such an environment is the perfect incubator for rampant mythmaking. Advocates on different sides of the debate support their positions by insisting that certain beliefs must be true while dismissing evidence that might suggest otherwise.”
Previously, Law School Transparency had estimated that the average cost of borrowing money for legal education was about $195,000 for students starting law school this year, and $200,000 for students starting next year. Law School Transparency has now revised those numbers to $210,796 and $216,406, respectively.
abajournal:Arizona for-profits may now use .org in domain name. The State Bar has reconsidered its prohibition on the use, according to this article:
That’s the same conclusion an Arizona ethics panel reached in reconsidering a decade-old decision, which was based on state laws prohibiting lawyers from making false statements about their services. The original opinion determined that “by identifying a private law firm with the .org suffix, the communication creates a false impression that the firm either is a nonprofit or is in some way specially affiliated with a nonprofit.”
But the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers doesn’t require businesses that use .org to be nonprofit, and local firms argued that the use of the suffix has become widespread to the point of dilution. In its latest opinion, the State Bar of Arizona agreed that consumers were smart enough to know the difference. “The possibility that the public will be misled by a for-profit law firm’s use of .org in its website address is remote,” the ethics panel concluded.
abajournal.com: The practice of law is changing – you can only hope your lawyer is as flexible. Below we highlight from this article a comparison chart of the “new normal” vs. its “old normal” counterpart. Our favorite: “Make things more simple.” If only…
abajournal.com: According to this article, a landmark Florida case will be heard this week by the Florida Supreme Court. The Court weighed in on its reasoning for hearing a twice-dismissed action:
“The question certified to us by the Fourth District Court of Appeal in this case transcends the individual parties to this action because it has the potential to impact the mortgage foreclosure crisis throughout this state and is one on which Florida’s trial courts and litigants need guidance,” the supreme court wrote. “The legal issue also has implications beyond mortgage foreclosure actions. Because we agree with the Fourth District that this issue is indeed one of great public importance and in need of resolution by this court, we deny the parties’ request to dismiss this proceeding.”
First there was the Sundance Kid, and now there’s the “go-kart bandit.” A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with about 100 home burglaries in Nashville, Tenn., the New York Daily News reports.
The teen’s name wasn’t released because he’s a minor. But police believe the young suspect stole and vandalized homes in at least four different neighborhoods. The teen allegedly found his targets by trolling the alleys behind homes in a go-kart. He got in by kicking in the back doors.
huffingtonpost.com: Forget Mexico, Colombia…Colorado, a key swing vote state, may be swinging against Obama if his administration does not stop shutting down dispensaries. For the entire article, click here.
The state has embarked on an ambitious effort to regulate its thriving medical marijuana industry. When it comes to marijuana policy, Colorado’s voters, businesses, tax collectors, doctors and policy makers are moving forward. The lone holdout: President Barack Obama.
On Sunday, 25 medical marijuana centers across Colorado closed their doors in response to a Department of Justice crackdown which did not appear rooted in state or local law, as the administration had previously promised it would be.
Bank of America is reaching out to thousands of homeowners in an attempt to reduce principal on home loans as a result of a $25 billion settlement with 49 state attorneys general and federal authorities.