Memorial Day, begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family get-togethers, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events.
The first known observance of Memorial Day was in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865; freedmen celebrated at the Washington Race Course. African Americans founded Decoration Day, now referred to as Memorial Day, at the graveyard of 257 Union soldiers and labeled the gravesite “Martyrs of the Race Course” on May 1, 1865. Black Charlestonians created this American tradition.
The remembrance of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to this would be incomplete without remembering what it was they died for. Every person who has served in the Military of the United States and is no longer with us as a result of that service, did not die in vain.
Those who join the military, do so out of a deep respect for this nation and the idea of service to their fellow man. In every form of “basic training” the idea of your buddy is ingrained into your psyche. It becomes not about your well being, but about watching out for your buddy. He will save your life, as you will save his life.
The love for this nation and its ideals of liberty and freedom pervade their minds. The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, The Bill of Rights.. These are the documents which outline and declare just exactly what this nation is all about.
What has America become? We have become merely another nation among many in this world. America is no longer a nation to be revered, to be looked up to, to view as an example. Some of the factors leading to concern about the well-being, nay even existence, of self and family with little regard to the health and prosperity of the nation are the unemployment rate, the climbing national debt, skyrocketing energy prices.
Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, I am quite sure, would not be very happy with where this nation is and where it is heading. They died for liberty and freedom, not statism and control.
While celebrating with a cookout or other individual activity today, remember the corporate sacrifice of so many and the reasons they were willing to make it.
Americans are at a crossroads. Decisions must be made.
We, as a nation, need to decide, are we representative of the rugged individualism and independence or do we, as a whole, roll over and say “somebody needs to care for me, because I cant do it myself.”
We, as a nation, need to decide whether we will continue to be the policeman of the world, or do we say, “we cant do this anymore, sorry, folks, have at it amongst yourselves.” “Create what you like, regardless of what that might be.”
We, as a nation, need to decide if we want to have employment and self-determination or do we just want to go on the government dole.
We, as a nation, need to decide that being “An American” is a good thing and instills pride at the thought, a unique and successful experiment in a Republican form of government, or do we say, we are just another “member nation” of the World.
We, as a nation, need to decide if we wish to be more energy independent or do we rely on the rest of the world and their whims and simply buy energy.
We, as a nation, need to decide if we are a sovereign nation, with laws and rules created for our citizens or do we accept another’s rules and laws.
We, as a nation, need to decide who our allies are and build those ties to unbreakable, or do we simply keep sending funds, which we do not have, to anybody, regardless of their opinions of America.
We, as a nation, need to decide if we have the requisite fortitude to carry on as America, or do we say that we are too wishy-washy to make up our own minds about anything and the rest of the world needs to tell us how we think.
We, as a nation, need to decide, that as a mixture of all nationalities, our allegiance is to America alone, or are we just a landmass that hosts expatriates from all other nations of the world, with loyalty to their origins.
The time has come, no longer can we bury our heads in the sand. We must decide. As has been said MANY times before, “if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”
We, as a nation, need to decide, Are we, or are we not, PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.
There is much talk about the “Nanny State” and the concept of Big Government caring for all the needs of its citizens. Everyone wonders just what would things look like if that were to occur. We do not have to wonder, we have an example of the differences clearly shown to us. We have only to look at the many Native American tribes of the Western States and compare them to the Lumbee Tribe of Native Americans in North Carolina.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for EVERYTHING on the reservations of the West. The Federal Government also owns everything on these reservations.
Living conditions are poor, at best, unemployment and substance abuse is rampant. Why are these conditions so? Does not the Federal Government care for them? A classic example and a preview for all of what our government is capable of. Are these the conditions in which all of America aspires to? I think not.
Let us compare this with conditions for the Lumbee Indian tribe. Keep in mind, we are comparing Native Americans, the same genealogically, yet very different ideologically.
Census statistics for the “top” 25 Indian tribes are skewed due to the inclusion of the information of the Lumbee’s. This tribe is affluent, to say the least. Something of GREAT importance is noting that this wealth and prosperity is achieved through hard work and private ownership of property AND NO CASINO INCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why is this so? The primary underlying fact is private property ownership.
The Indians on the reservations of the West, I know are a proud people. Something that helps keeps them in squalor is the fact that the government owns the property. There is no incentive whatsoever to improve any type of conditions, for the government has the ability to take that away at any moment. Common sense lends the idea that one would not make any “extra” investment of time or money into something that ultimately belongs to someone else.
I use this as an example for comparison of the underlying factors. This clearly shows all, both the ” Big Government” caring scenario and the independent spirit of Americans and what can be achieved when government is not involved in our everyday lives.
The annual State of the Union speech from the President of these United States is being prepared as we speak. I am sure there will be much said and quite a rosy picture of American health will be painted. There is much debate over the “seating arrangements” for the members of Congress. Regardless of how the members and others are seated, I am quite sure there will be no mention of any of these pieces of information, as they do not show America in the wonderful light that they would hope to portray.
The following are pieces of information that will not be heard of or addressed in the State of the Union.
The current “official” unemployment rate is 9.4%. But, for blue collar jobs, the unemployed/underemployed rate has gone from 7.2% in 2000 to its current rate of 19.5%, an increase of almost 271% in a ten year period.
The percentage of employment in manufacturing areas in 1941 was around 9%. We currently have approximately the same number employed in manufacturing now, as we did then. The current rate of employment to the population is around 4%. There are approximately the same number of people in manufacturing then as now, yet our population has more than doubled.
The United States has lost 32 % of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
Printed circuit boards are used in almost everything we use today. Asia now produces 84 % of them worldwide.
The U.S. Census Bureau states that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty. The highest number of poor Americans since 1960, when records were first kept.
Service sector employment has grown by over 68% since 1961.
U.S. multi-national corporations (those with the parent company being US based) increased employment at their foreign subsidiaries by 30% in the last ten years, while at the same time, decreasing employment at their US parent by 8%.
In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 % of U.S. economic output in 1959. Today, it represents less than 11.5 %.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is seeking to “repurpose” a portion of city property as a new way to save money. Essential social services such as road repairs, police patrols, functioning street lights and garbage collection will be completely eliminated for 20% of the city.
Ranked as the 2nd most dangerous city in America, Camden, New Jersey, wishes to lay off around 50% of its police department, in order to save money.
The State of Illinois has just raised its personal income tax rate by 66%, FROM 3% to 5% and its corporate rate from 4.8% to 7%. To help eliminate a budget deficit of over $13 billion dollars.
These are a few examples of the true state of the nation. This listing is FAR from the complete listing, it would take pages and pages to list them all.