Archive for the ‘Veterans Day’ Category


November 11, 2010

>Today is Veteran’s Day and we honor those who have served our country. In Bessemer a Veteran’s Day program will take place at 12:00 noon at Watermark Place at the Discovery Alabama Event Center. Retired Col. Dan Fagan U. S. Air Force will be the speaker. Lunch will be available.

In Birmingham the nation’s oldest Veterans Day Parade takes place beginning at 1:30 starting near Linn Park on 19th Street.

This picture is of my father, a World War II Veteran. Thank you dad, for serving our country. The United States exists today because of your generation.

He fought in the Rhineland, in the Central Europe campaign, and then in Luzon in the Pacific Theater. He received the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Here is a video honoring all Veterans, including one from Alabama.

Here is a preview of songwriter Tom Goss’s new single Lover which will be released November 18.

The song tells the story of a gay man whose partner is killed in battle.

Thank a Veteran today.

>Responding to right wing rhetoric is a never ending job

November 17, 2009

>They never give up.

But the truth always prevails.

Earlier this morning I got an email that criticized the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, saying that the words “so help us God” were left out of FDR’s quote which is engraved in stone.

“It is very scary how subtle these things are allowed to happen,” the email began.

“On the Pacific side of the memorial, a group of us gathered to read the words President Roosevelt used to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor: Yesterday, December 7, 1941– a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.

One elderly woman read the words aloud: ‘With confidence in our armed forces, with the abounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph.’ But as she read, she was suddenly turned angry. ‘Wait a minute,’ she said, ‘they left out the end of the quote. They left out the most important part. Roosevelt ended the message with ‘so help us God.'”

The email claimed that “People today are trying to change the history of America by leaving God out of it, but the truth is…”

No, here’s the truth. The words they claim the woman said are not even on the memorial!!! This is another right wing idiot trying to gin up opposition to the left. Here is the real quote (the part engraved on the wall is in blue, the part they claim is on the wall, but actually isn’t, is in green, and the part they claim is missing is in red.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces — with the unbounded determination of our people — we will gain the inevitable triumphso help us God.

So the “so help us God” is not even a part of the quote which is engraved on the wall. Good try, righties, but facts always prove you wrong.

The email was discredited on Snopes.

Then I see on a right wing blog (by a Bessemer resident) a picture from Veteran’s Day at Arlington showing President Obama and several military on stage and they are saluting and his hands are by his side. The blogger claims it is during the National Anthem and Obama is showing disrespect.

Often pictures like this are snapped before one person has moved their hand over their heart, or maybe it really wasn’t during the National Anthem. But, President Obama honored our Veterans that day. This video shows parts of his speech and describes the day well.

Respecting the flag and such reminds me of 10 year old Will Phillips who I wrote about here the other day. He’s the young man who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance because our country does not offer “liberty and justice for all.” He says until gays and lesbians are allowed to marry he will not swear to it (by reciting the pledge).

Hooray for Will, hooray for his dad, Jay.

The following is not right wing rhetoric, rather it is about patriotism.

Finally, I was taken to task by a comment on this blog for leaving my flag up during the storm and allowing it to be destroyed by the winds and rain. Even though the US code states the flag should not be flown during inclement weather, I often see flags in yards, on homes, and even on government buildings flying during storms.

Two comments:

The code also states “the Flag Code does not proscribe conduct, but is merely declaratory and

Second, in the Frequently Asked Questions of the CRS Report to Congress it says this:

The Flag Code states:
The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except
when an all weather flag is displayed.

The language of this section reflects the now-popular use of flags made of
synthetic fabrics that can withstand unfavorable weather conditions. It is not
considered disrespectful to fly such a flag even during prolonged periods of
inclement weather.

My flag was 100% Nylon, thus was considered an all weather flag.

>Shocked…and more shocked

November 11, 2009

>This is a sad casualty of the storm yesterday. Ida destroyed my flag.

But it is Veteran’s Day, so I will leave it up until dark. It looks kind of like a war time flag, huh? Thanks go out to those who have served in our armed forces. I won’t name names, but family members and friends…you know who you are…thanks.

Shocking. I am really shocked that Claire Mitchell lost the district 56 election yesterday. Congratulations to Lawrence McAdory. He will have to defend his win soon, however, as the election only fills the seat through the unexpired term of Priscilla Dunn, who won the Senate district 19 seat earlier this year.

I have my own opinions as to why this election turned out the way it did, but (believe it or not) I am keeping those to myself.

Even more shocking. Teabaggers are defending their use of Kelly Ingram Park for their rally. An anonymous person sent a comment to my post that linked to one of the teabagger organizer’s blog. Regarding the Kelly Ingram Park rally, he says:

“Names like Bull Connor and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are attached to the horrible events there.”

Isn’t that a little degrading to MLK, Jr., to have is name “attached to the horrible events” as if he bore some responsibility for the fire hoses and dogs. No, that blame is not shared by Bull Conner and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Then after showing historic pictures of the four girls who were killed nearby, he writes this:

“Could there be a better venue to celebrate our freedoms and rise to the defense of civil rights for all? I hope that the symbolism is not lost on people but what happened there today would have to make Dr. King and the victims of Bull Connor proud.”

“The defense of civil rights for all”? From the stage I heard a birther arguing against the credibility of the Obama presidency. I heard the right to health care being compared to communism and socialism.

If they wanted civil rights for all, they would have been promoting GLBT equality and same sex civil marriage.

“…but what happened there today would have to make Dr. King and the victims of Bull Connor proud.”

Some of the victims of Bull Conner were there, and they were proudly standing against what was coming from the stage.

Read what Kathy wrote. This was nothing more than a modern day “Klan-lite” gathering and a slap in the face of what Kelly Ingram Park and the Foot Soldiers stood for.

Shockingest. Well not really, but somewhat shocking that Republicans could be handing such a gift to the Democrats. In Florida, the Tea Party political party has registered as a valid political party and promises to run candidates against Republicans and Democrats. Thank you thank you thank you. After the success they had in NY-23 (laugh, laugh), right wing conservatives are going to try the same strategy nationwide.

>Veterans, Mormons and Love

November 11, 2008


Today is Veterans Day, and the annual Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham begins at 1:30. Toward the end of this column I question what our service men and women fought for. Be thankful that people have put their lives on the line so that we can enjoy our freedoms.

Last night Keith Olbermann, in a Special Comment, asked people who supported Prop 8, “Why?” He makes the same points I did, and more.

In addition to the protests in California and Salt Lake City regarding the Mormon Church’s role in passing Prop 8 in California, a major protest is planned for tomorrow in New York City at the Mormon Manhattan Temple.

My question is…we have a Mormon facility nearby in Gardendale. Why aren’t we protesting there?

Just as an aside, how does what these two men are doing hurt anyone? How does the celebration of their love threaten the marriage of anyone?

Here Michelangelo Signorile takes a call from Nancy, a Mormon who contributed to Yes on 8. The discussion is about 15 minutes long, and focuses on whether the rights of groups of people can be taken away with a ballot measure. In the end, Nancy agrees that if the people of California voted to ban Mormons, that would be OK. In doing so, and in context of the conversation, she also agrees that the rights of African Americans could be taken away in this manner.

This probably does not bother Nancy, because she must know (from the conversation if not already), that the Mormon Church did not support the Civil Rights movement. They used the Bible, and their Book of Mormon, to support their discriminatory beliefs. More recently they have (so they say) moderated their beliefs on racial equality, but I am sure that many individuals still cling to their old beliefs, just as some still believe in polygamy and child marriage.

This may sound wacky, but this is scary, and not just for gays. 52% of people in California were manipulated to vote to take away an established right. Who’s to say they couldn’t be persuaded to vote to take away the rights of blacks to attend public colleges? Or the rights of Jews to gather in worship?

This is America? Where good men and women have fought for our freedom and for our Constitution, and we end up taking people’s rights away by a vote? Today is Veteran’s Day. Is this what our service men and women fight for? While many who march in the parade in Birmingham today may not agree that same sex couples should be able to marry, I bet most would hate to know that they fought for a country where the rights of individuals can be taken away with a vote.

This is different than the vote in Alabama that amended our constitution to restrict marriage. The potential right to marry was denied, but established rights were not taken away as they were in California.

In a decade or so, people will laugh when they look back at this. By then, the love between two people will be recognized and celebrated, regardless of who the two people are. Why does it have to be so difficult to get there? I’m sure African Americans asked this question throughout the history of the country. Sexual minorities are fortunate. Our rights are being realized much quicker. It just doesn’t seem that way.