America: We are UNITED!
September 11, 2001
Inspired Us All to Think About Our Relationships...
...Our Families...Our Friends...
...Our Military...Our Militray Families...
Our Country...
God Bless the USA
And ALL the Peoples of the World!
Freedom-Loving People Around the World
MUST NEVER FORGET...
CLICK FOR SLIDESHOW

We were ALL Attacked this Infamous Day!
 
THE FOURTH OF JULY SUPPORT OUR TROOPS PERSPECTIVE A SOLDIER'S POEM
BEN STEIN'S LAST COLUMN   THE LIST
Show your support for Our Troops [CLICK HERE]
and read Messages from Our Troops News from Iraq [CLICK HERE]
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This commercial Thanking Our Troops
appeared during
Super Bowl XXXIX CLICK HERE
Patriotism and the 4TH OF JULY...
Some of us take our liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't. So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July Independence Day holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid. Remember: freedom is never free! It's time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.

Our Brave Troops are cut from the same cloth as these first American Patriots...we owe them our deepest gratitude and respect.
God Bless Them All...And God Bless the USA!

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants,
nine were farmers and large plantation owners;
men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton had their properties looted by vandals or soldiers.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr.'s home was taken over by General Cornwallis for his headquarters. Nelson quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.
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Ben Stein's Last Column...
How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?

For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called "Monday Night At Morton's." (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to be frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now, Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life. Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.

As I begin to write this, I "slug" it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is "eonlineFINAL," and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.

It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.

Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.

How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a "star" we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.

They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.

A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.

A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.

The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.

We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.

I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.

 

There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.

Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin...or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.

But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.

Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.

~ By Ben Stein
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In support of the Illinois National Guard 233rd Military Police on deployment in Baghdad, Iraq December 2003
See the FULL STORY of this poem at
www.snopes.com/holidays/
christmas/soldier.asp

Please copy and paste the following in your email:
Please go to www.GeriZahner.com/America and click onFOOD FOR THOUGHT and then on A SOLDIER'S POEM
This poem was written by a Marine on active duty. The following is his request... PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can at Christmas. We can live our lives in freedom and comfort and celebrate Christmas because of what our brave military does and some credit is due

A Soldier's Poem...
'Twas the night before Christmas,
they lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house
made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney
with presents to give,
and to see just who
in this home did live.

I looked all about,
a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents,
not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle,
just boots filled with sand,
on the wall hung pictures
of far distant lands.

With medals and badges,
awards of all kinds,
a sober thought
came through my mind.

For this house was different,
it was dark and dreary;
I found the home of a soldier,
once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping,
silent, alone,
curled up on the floor
in this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle,
the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured
a United States soldier.

Was this the hero
of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho,
the floor for a bed?

I realized the families
that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers
who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world,
the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate
a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom
each month of the year,
because of the soldiers,
like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder
how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve
in a land far from home.

The very thought
brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees
and started to cry.

The soldier awakened
and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry,
this life is my choice;

I fight for freedom,
I don't ask for more,
my life is my God,
my country, my corps."

The soldier rolled over
and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it,
I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours,
so silent and still
and we both shivered
from the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave
on that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor
so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over,
with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "Carry on Santa,
it's Christmas day, all is secure."

One look at my watch,
and I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas my friend,
and to all a good night."
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These are a couple of messages that were circulating on the internet the week America was viciously attacked by the rawest of hate...they are representative of the thoughts and feelings of Americans that horrendous day.

It's all about perspective...Monday & Tuesday

On Monday there were people fighting against praying in schools
On Tuesday you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying

On Monday there were people trying to separate each other by race, sex, color and creed
On Tuesday they were all holding hands

On Monday we thought we were secure
On Tuesday we learned better

On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes
On Tuesday we relearned what hero meant

On Monday people went to work at the World Trade Center as usual
On Tuesday they died

On Monday people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property
On Tuesday the same people all said 'God help us all' while thinking 'Thou shall not kill'

On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their rooms
On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids

On Monday people picked up McDonalds for dinner
On Tuesday they stayed home

On Monday people were upset that their dry cleaning was not ready on time
On Tuesday they were lining up to give blood for the dying

On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses
On Tuesday, grief-stricken, they sang 'God Bless America'

On Monday we worried about the traffic and getting to work late
On Tuesday we worried about a plane crashing into your house or place of business

On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived
On Tuesday we saw people celebrating people dying in the USA

On Monday some children had solid families
On Tuesday they were orphans

On Monday the president was going to Florida to read to children
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children

On Monday we emailed jokes
On Tuesday we did not.

It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things into perspective, but it has. The lessons learned this week, the things we have taken for granted, the things that have been forgotten or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.

On Monday - pray and be thankful
On Tuesday - pray and be thankful
On Wednesday - pray and be thankful
On Thursday - pray and be thankful
On Friday - pray and be thankful
On Saturday - pray and be thankful
On Sunday - pray and be thankful
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The List

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday she gave each student his or her list.

Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much," were most of the comments.

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends.

One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. She nodded: "yes." Then he said: "Mark talked about you a lot."

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times.

The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."

All of Mark's former class mates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times, " Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: "I think we all saved our lists."

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. TOP

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