Think About This
A Soldiers Pledge – Recalled by Ronald Reagan
In this video, Ronald Reagan explains the origin of a “Soldiers Pledge”, written during the WW-I and reflects on the values that made America great. It is profound, and still is as relevant today as it was then. We are now challenged by many misguided, uninformed people and even worse, evil forces that would do us harm. This solitary soldier’s Pledge stands as guiding beacon in today’s troubled times.
The Pledge was by Private Martin A. Treptow, a barber in peacetime, who enlisted with the Iowa National Guard and became part of the 168th Infantry of the 42nd Division (the famous Rainbow Division) during World War I. During an assault on Hill 212 on La Croix Rouge Farm, a messenger was needed to deliver a message to a platoon leader. Treptow reached his objective only to be killed in a hail of enemy bullets. A diary was found on his body and on the flyleaf under the heading, “My Pledge”, he wrote these words:
“America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”
Individual Freedom makes America Great – Ronald Reagan
"Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here, than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price. It is no coincidence, that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate, to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government.” President Ronald Reagan.
Comment: Our country was born from the rebellion against the suppression of individual freedom created by oppressive government control. The quest for individual freedom is a powerful human need and is as strong today as it was in 1776. It is sad that after 200 years the attack on individual freedom is renewed by a proliferation of a new government rules, regulations and controls, which threaten our forefather’s values, which created our country. May their efforts not have been in vain.
American Values – Excerpts from President John Fitzgerald Kennedy Speeches
"And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your Country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
“Terror is not a new weapon. Throughout history it has been used by those who could not prevail either by persuasion or example. But inevitably they fail either because men are not afraid to die for a life worth living or because the terrorists themselves came to realize that freemen can not be frightened by threats and that aggression would meet its own response; and it is in the light of that history that every nation today should know, be he friend or foe, that the United States has both the will and the weapon to join free men in standing up to their responsibilities.”
“The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society, and we are as a people, inherently and historically, opposed to secret societies, secret oaths, and secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts, far outweigh the dangers which are cited to justify it."
Comment: The trappings of time may change, but a country's values must remain clear, strong and unwavering if we are to endure. The various extracts from speeches by President John Fitzgerald Kennedy reflect a range of values which are as relevant today as they were then.
President Teddy Roosevelt speaking in 1916 about his faith in the American people
“I believe in the right of the people to rule. I believe that the majority of the plain people of the United States will, day in and day out, make fewer mistakes in governing themselves than any smaller class or body of men, no matter what their training, will make in trying to govern.”
Comment: President Teddy Roosevelt was a strong believer in the capacity of the American people to govern themselves. He championed this belief and was also responsible for protecting many of our countries treasures of nature through the formation of National Parks. A little known fact is that the term “Teddy bear”, which refers to the cuddly stuffed animal so many us had as children, was named after a bear cub that he saved. His public popularity was brought to prominence by his daring, bold leadership in the Spanish-American war. Please refer to “Take a Message to Garcia” (found in About Marko) to learn more about him.
President William J. Clinton Inaugural Address 1997 — Our Land of New Promise
“Our land of new promise will be a nation that meets its obligations, a nation that balances its budget but never loses the balance of its values, a nation where our grandparents have secure retirement and health care and their grandchildren know we have made the reforms necessary to sustain those benefits for their time, a nation that fortifies the world's most productive economy even as it protects the great natural bounty of our water, air, and majestic land. And in this land of new promise, we will have reformed our politics so that the voice of the people will always speak louder than the din of narrow interests, regaining the participation and deserving the trust of all Americans.”
Comment: In his address, President Clinton stated a belief that was similarly held by previous presidents, that the American people are the solution. He stated; “Government is not the problem, and Government is not the solution. We—the American people—we are the solution. Our Founders understood that well and gave us a democracy strong enough to endure for centuries, flexible enough to face our common challenges and advance our common dreams in each new day.” It is my belief that we need more everyday people in the government and NOT more politicians.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Signs the Social Security Act of 1935
“This Social Security measure gives at least some protection to 50 millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old age pensions, and through increases services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill-health.”
Comment: Profoundly historic for all times, the birth of the Social Security system, which is a bed-rock of American values. It has evolved through the decades and has faithfully administered benefits to the American people. Today it is source of much concern for most believe, as I do, that it must be preserved and strengthened to be better serve the current needs of our population and, most importantly, the future needs of our children and their descendents.
Jason Redman – Decorated Navy Seal – Warrior Patriot
Note: Self-described story of a Navy Seal on a mission, September 13, 2007, who was severely wounded, but survived when the thick fog of war rolled in he and his team were caught in a deadly ambush.
“Despite all I’ve been through, it made me realize some critical things about life. I realize that the mark of a man is not found in his past, but how he overcomes adversity and builds his future. Regardless of the overwhelming odds or obstacles in your past, you always have the opportunity to overcome – it is your attitude that will determine your outcome.”
“Freedom is not a right. It must be fostered, nurtured, preserved and in the darkest times, it must be fought for… And despite the pain that comes with war, we recognize that it’s to preserve the best that America has yet to offer. I now strive to show all Americans that it is up to all of us to preserve and nurture the future of our great nation and never to forget the sacrifice of all those who have fought and bled, and died to make it what it is today. This is the true cost freedom and the eternal vision of America.”
“Many Americans feed their flame (torch of freedom) and ensure it burns brightly for all to see, always showing their patriotism – voting, upholding our republic and looking for ways to support their country through getting an education, volunteering, pursuing the American dream or giving charitable contributions.”
Comment: We are blessed to be Americans living in the United States of America. Far too many consider this a given reality with no appreciation for the freedoms and opportunities we are given. This gift, which so many do not see and take for granted, was earned, paid for, and preserved by the blood and sacrifices by patriots and warriors of past and present. Jason Redman is but one of these who we give our gratitude; there are many, many others – some we know about; far more we will never know their name or their acts of valor, sacrifice and honor. To ignore them is a tragedy. Give them a honor by accepting their sacrifices through your VOTE, as Jason Redman has asked. Your VOTE will honor them -- use it wisely.
Marcus Luttrell – Navy Seal, Operation Redwing (aka: The Lone Survivor)
Note: Marcus Luttrell was the only survivor of 4-man Seal Team 10, who on June 28, 2005, deep behind enemy lines in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan, during a reconnaissance mission, was ambushed by 50-200 Talibans. In the video he talks about his Seal training and recounts the life-altering encounter with Taliban on that fateful day.
“I made a promise to my guys when I was jammed in the mountains that first day; I said, “God, if you can get me, I’ll never let their memory die… If I can get up here and talk to you a little bit, and keep the memory of my teammates alive, and keep my promise to God, and thank you for letting me get up here and do that, it means a lot. I appreciate you all for letting me have this time – take care.”
Comment: The price of freedom should never be taken for granted or forgotten. It should be taught in our schools so every young person can learn of the cost of their freedom and education.
John Wayne Talks About Values
Dean Martin talks with John Wayne and asks him about his 8-month old daughter, “What do you want for her, Duke?” And, then the Duke responds, “I’d like for her to know some of the values that we knew as kids, some of those values that too many people these days are thinking are old fashion.” He then continues and shares some of those values.
Comment: Values define the fiber, essence and character of a person. It was the basic, shared values of freedom and respect held by our Founding Fathers, which created the United States of America. Values should not be temporal, changing with time and each generation. The values of our forefathers are just as relevant and meaningful today as they were then. However, with extreme apprehension my observation is that the values of far too many of today’s leaders have strayed significantly from our foundational values. I believe we should respect the old values which made our country great, reaffirm them, and let them be our guide into the future.
Coming Home – Our Heroes
Three soldiers in the British Army and two with the U.S. Army join their spirit and voices in tribute to all military personnel who sacrifice and serve their country with honor and pride. The song is about our heroes, young and old, coming home with heads held high. Our hearts join with them for our warriors, who give their very essence, through their service and sacrifice, and have paid for our treasures of freedom and liberty. I extend my appreciation and thank you to those who recognize and honor those who are coming home.
Coming Home – MSgt Edgar
Only a few people who serve our country truly distinguish themselves like MSgt Mike Edgar. He has the technical skill, the absolute commitment to duty and country, a consistent positive attitude, and the mental fortitude to stay focused on the mission and not be intimidated to follow the well-beaten trail of the mediocre masses. When it is time to take the hill – he takes the hill.
In a time of “just getting by”, with too many having a lassitude nature, and too many hindering rules, regulations and restrictive policies, I am warmed with the knowledge that there will be a few who will have the courage to do what needs to be done regardless of the obstacles, in order to complete the mission. MSgt Edgar is one of the few. It has been my distinct and most rewarding experience to have worked with him in the Middle East during his four-month rotation of duty while I was serving there, embedded with the USAF 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron. Years after I worked with MSgt Edgar, and after his long-tour in Europe, when Mike was blessed with two beautiful daughters, he returned to the Continental United States. Even then, because of his unique skills, knowledge and experience, he was selected for “special training” and was subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.
The picture above is his coming home arrival and his heart-warming welcome by his family. Our military service men and woman sacrifice much, which is largely unrecognized by the general public and is under appreciated. To MSgt Edgar, I am a better person to have worked with you and I personally say… Welcome Home. NOTE: As of September 2014 MSgt. Edgar is gone. He is now assigned to the Inspector General duty and is gone 50% of the time, deployed to many locations and his family is again and again waiting for his COMING HOME.
Coming Home -- In The Arms Of An Angel – A Tribute
We are blessed with a sanctified freedom given to us by the blood and lives of our fallen heroes, who through history have bravely risen to the call of our country. Many have returned maimed and wounded in body and soul, while others are now embraced in the arms of angels. We can honor their sacrifice in spirit and ceremony, but the most meaningful way to pay them tribute is for every American to Be Informed And VOTE. Our heroes have given this treasure, and if we don't use it wisely, we may lose it entirely. Please hold this thought closely and watch a song of tribute, “In the Arms Of An Angel” sung by Sarah McLachlan with a heart-moving video.