Saturday, November 10, 2007

That None Should Forget

 
The skeptics and the cynics were questioning the sacrifice made in the war.  They asked the veteran and hero, "What did it get you?"  and "What was there in it for you?".  To which he replied of that kind, "The thing they forget is that liberty and freedom and democracy are so very precious that you do not fight to win them once and stop. Liberty and freedom and democracy are prizes awarded only to those peoples who fight to win them and then keep fighting eternally to hold them.
 
This could be today.  Could've been after the Gulf War.  Could've been after Vietnam or Korea.  But this was after the Great War; WWI.  This was veteran was Sergeant York, the most highly decorated veteran of WWI.  If you don't know his story, there is a wonderful old movie you can rent or catch on satellite that tells his tale. 
 
In his address on Armistice Day, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt recounts this story and adds his own response, "If our armies of 1917 and 1918 had lost there would not have been a man or woman in America who would have wondered why the war was fought. The reasons would have faced us everywhere. We would have known why liberty is worth defending as those alone whose liberty is lost can know it. We would have known why tyranny is worth defeating as only those whom tyrants rule can know.
 
Daddy Jess (mother's father) fought in the Great War.  Him and Mama Ruth always called it Armistice Day.  Mother too, half the time, rather than Veteran's DayJesse Oah Allbritton went on to be father to four girls, through the great depression and beyond.  He was about the first auto mechanic around the little towns of S.E. Texas.  Had to drive himself to San Antonio, then the closest V. A. hospital, when his appendix was on the verge of bursting.  He loved dominoes and played them well.  When he shaved, he'd try to swipe any passing grandkids with his foamy shaving brush.  Was known to get a thrill out of holding onto a car battery and shock those who passed close by. 
 
I grew up hearing Mama sing to me.  Often she'd sing one was reminiscent of those by gone days, "He was just a long tall country gent, from a way out west where the hop toads wink.  Stood six feet two in his stocking feet and he kept a getting thinner the more he ate.  But he was brave as he was thin when the war broke out he joined right in, unhitched his plow, put the mule away and the old folks heard him say  'Goodbye maw!  Goodbye paw!' Goodbye mule with the old hee-haw, may not know what the war's about, but I bet by gosh I'll soon find out.  And oh, my sweetheart, don't you fear!  I'll bring you a king for a souvenir.   I'll get you a Turk and a kaiser too, and that's about all one fellow can do.'"  It's one I sing to my kids.
 
Right after Halloween, seems everyone jumped straight to Thanksgiving or Christmas in their thoughts.  Their talk is of thanksgiving plans and menus.  Their screen savers and such are of that same theme.  Of course, the local schools will have a program to honor veterans.  And many churches will offer something patriotic tomorrow. I mean, where is the personal reflection and gratitude for what we have, how we live?  Well, this is my salute to the many who have and do defend me and my home.  Protects my liberties. 
 
  • My own father, Clayon Stutts, who served in WWII as an infantry man. He served in the nitty gritty of the European theatre. 
  • His brother, Hightower Stutts who I believe was a Navy cook. 
  • Uncle Lenox Hawthorne, married to mother's sister, who served, obviously in the pacific as he saw the crater where the bomb was dropped. 
  • Uncle Rene Lemons, married to another of my mama's sisters, who also served and came back home with a love and appreciation of India and her peoples.
  • My brother-in-law, Edward Puntes, who served in the army and fortunately did not have to see combat.
  • My cousin, Buzzy Lemons, who did see combat in Vietnam. 
  • My second cousin, Jason Hawthorne, who served as a Navy Seal.
  • My stepfather, Polk Hawthorne, who returned from WWII vowing to never eat spam again.
  • The many men I have been privilege to work with, worship with, have as neighbors and know as friends who served.
  • All those currently serving or recently serving that I have the pleasure to know of through J-land, or personally.
  •       Veterans deserve our respect not just for the wars they fought and the price they paid defending us.  They deserve our respect for the way they come back and live!  For the excellent citizens they make.  One quarter of them have bachelor's degrees, and 90% have completed high school.   Only 5.9% of them live in poverty, as apposed to non veterans which is 12.3%.  There are over 11 million of them in the labor force.  In the last presidential election 3/4's of veterans voted!    ............... If you do nothing else to reflect and remember, please read President Roosevelt's Address at Arlington in 1941. My thanks to Dover Publishing and Emma for the graphics.  To the Census Bureau for the statistics.

20 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more, Barbara

    http://www.adb422006.com/memorial2007.html

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  2. Great tribute Barbara. Helen

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  3. Very nice!  Thankyou!  Linda

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  4. This is such a beautiful entry!!!  I really enjoyed the quotes and the pictures of life in a different time for America.  I do agree, people aren't honoring our veterans like we should.  We had a veterans day parade that my cheerleaders were in two years ago and it was really good to be involved and a huge eye opener.
    Lisa

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  5. Interesting and touching entry. Everyone in my home town called it Armistice Day too. There was a celebration and parade every year. Now someone changed it to Homecoming and its on the Saturday nearest to Nov. 11th. Paula

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  6. thank you for remembering, as i know you always will. i thank my father who was drafted but never saw combat, his brother who was also drafted and did see combat is has never been the same since vietnam. my mother's brother, and on of my aunt's husband's all of those serving in vietnam. then one more of mom's brother-in-laws who served in korea. i guess when your small town folk you don't forget cause family means more, and everyone shares in everyone else's joys and sorrows. i guess that is why we remember.


    sending blessings and love,

    jess

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  7. Very well said!  We should always remember that we can't stay free if we don't keep on standing & fighting for our freedom. I hate war, I hate it when someone loses a loved one in a war, but as the much cliche'd saying goes, "Freedom Isn't Free".  It's not anywhere close to being enough to say I appreciate our service men & women past and present.  It's a debt we can never repay.

    Dirk

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  8. we had a veteran parade today..There was a sign if you enjoy your freedom than a vet
    Donna In TEXAS

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  9. This was really great. I will click on the link tomorrow...it's late and I want to journal a bit before going to bed myself.

    God Bless
    Christy...Proud Soldier's Wife!

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  10. God Bless you Barbara for such an inspiring tribute to our Veterans.  There are so many words that I could say in gratitude, but it never seems enough.  When I was growing up in Canada, we called it Rememberance Day and wore red poppies in memorium to all who have served- I am grateful for the chance to raise my little guy to know and love our soldiers just as I was.  God Bless them all- Passed and those who still serve today. I am forever grateful and thankful.  Barbara, I hope you don't mind that I add a link here for you and your readers, but another beautiful tribute- and heart searching questions for Veteran's Day can be found at http://davidjeffers.thevanguard.org/  Dave is a true Brother in Christ,  retired military and a GOLD STAR Dad.  Please go visit and leave a comment. Thank you Barbara- God Bless you and You're all in my prayers!~  Carolyn

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  11. A perfect tribute, Barbara, and great graphics to go with it. Thank you for taking the time to write these words of honor and remembrance. May I borrow the tag for my journal? The one with the flag and the helmet? bea

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  12. One of my clearest memories - Sgt. York.  A beautiful tribute and recognition of bravery and a courageous spirit.  CATHY
    http://journals.aol.com/luddie343/DARETOTHINK/  

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  13. This a very moving and great tribute to the men and women that keep us free. Great entry...really top notch. A good way to start out this Monday...thankyou.

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  14. excellent entry!!!

    Kathy

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  15. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to our country's heros.
    In these days where so little repect is ever shown at all...
     this is a very gracious and heartwarming entry indeed.

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  16. I completely agree with you.  It is amazing, especially in this political atmosphere, that our young men and women still proudly volunteer to serve in our armed forces.  Freedom is most certainly not free.

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  17. Wow, that was an incrediable tribute that I was privledged to read.
    You have honored us all~

    Proud daughter of a U.S. Milatary Father,
    Rebecca Anne

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  18. We should never forget the sacrifices made by so many people in the pursuit of peace and freedom.
    http://journals.aol.co.uk/acoward15/andy-the-bastard/

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  19. Being a veteran, thank you very much for the great post!  My family has served our country since the Revolutionary War, an 18 year old Grandson is going in very soon, and knowing my younger Grandkids, they will serve too!  Our freedom and liberty is too precious not to protect, and this belief must be passed on to the next generations!

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  20. Message to bhbner2him, the person who created this blog.  My name is Nate Parrish and I would like to talk to you about your Uncle Hightower Stutts.  I believe he may be related to me.  Please contact me personally at kultureklub@centurytel.net

    Thanks,
    nate

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So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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