A Debt We Can Never Repay

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Today is Memorial Day.

It is a time to stop, reflect and remember those military personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to maintain and protect our freedom and way of life in the US of A.

The tradition of Memorial Day originally began in commemoration of those soldiers lost during the Civil War. It was known in various communities and states as Decoration Day. The date set aside was May 30. This was later changed to allow for a 3-day weekend by Congress to be the last Monday in May.

For the vast majority of Americans it is just another holiday weekend and the unofficial start to the summer vacation season. For many others it’s the weekend when millions around the world tune in to watch or listen to the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500.

To too many it’s just a day to get together with family, have picnics and barbecues, go to the opening of community pools across the nation.

It’s a time to lay back and enjoy having three days off in a row with no worries.

Yet, Memorial Day symbolizes much more.

Ask any veterans’ organization or any military person in uniform or any family member who has lost a loved one in war, whether declared or undeclared, in peacetime or wartime.

Memorial Day was meant to be a day upon which a grateful nation pauses to remember those who donned a uniform and gave their lives in defense of our American way of life.

These brave men and women paid the ultimate price to make sure we could have our picnics, our barbecues, our splashing around in the pool.

The sacrifice of those who gave their lives is honored with each election where not by coup, but by ordinary Americans casting a ballot and choosing those who will lead and represent them.

The power and authority of those officials are transferred from one elected official to the next, from the precinct level to the highest office in the land, the Presidency, without the need for troops in the streets because of those who answered the call to duty, honor and service.

The ability to vote, the ability to choose, the ability to speak our minds, the ability to worship or not worship, the ability to write these words without fear, the ability to work, to succeed, to fail, to rise above our circumstances, all of this we owe to those men and women who fought and died for peace, justice and freedom.

None of our liberties came without cost and thus we owe a debt to those men and women who died in defense of our freedom.

On a personal note:

In those dark days following the sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, four brothers from Nashville, Brown County, Indiana lined up at the recruiting office and joined the US Navy. These four brothers went off to save the world for democracy both in the European Theater and in the Pacific.

Three made it back home at the close of the war. The one who didn’t return was my Great-Uncle Hobert. My grandfather and his other two brothers, Herman and Wesley, came home, but changed, never to be the same.

I never was afforded the pleasure of meeting my Great-Uncle Hobert Powell, a sailor who gave his life for our nation during World War II and long before I was born. The family seldom mentioned his name, but it was apparent Great-Uncle Hobert was not forgotten. His picture, in uniform, hung proudly in my Great-Grandpa Ancil Powell’s living room. In silence, his memory was honored.

Today thousands still are in the fight to keep us safe. Over the past 10+ years, thousands more have shed their blood and forfeited their lives. We must never forget their sacrifice, their bravery, the lives they lived.

This is why we owe a debt of gratitude we can never repay and should never stop repaying.

This is why the deaths of veterans waiting on care from the Veterans Affairs medical facilities is such a gaping wound on the American conscious and must be addressed not after another study, but with action now.

From the Cornfield, I hope each of you will take time from the barbecuing, the playing games with family, watching reruns of yesterday’s race or enjoying the water and sun to stop – remember our heroes who gave their all so that we can live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Policy Fail Again for Obama!

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On a night when President Barack Obama planned to make a victory lap, highlighting the wins of his two-term Administration, Iran has cast a dark shadow on the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress.

The Persian nation, long a pariah in the international community, has seized two small US Navy boats in the Persian Gulf. Ten American sailors, including one woman, have been, according to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard been arrested after one of the boats is alleged to have had engine trouble and ran aground on an Iranian island.

This is also on the eve of the release of $150 billion to the regime for agreeing to an international deal to limit its nuclear ambitions.

Never mind that the President did not press for nor has yet to secure the release of four Americans being held illegally by Iran before reaching any deal with the Iranians or that the nation fired live rockets within 1,500 feet of Navy vessels last month, this gives the President’s foreign policy yet another black eye and proves how ineffective that policy is and has been.

When will this President realize and wake up to the fact you cannot talk your way to peace with radicals and jihadists?

The only bright spot is that this is the last year of this Administration and the last address by this President to Congress. Our long national nightmare may soon be over.

But for now 10 American sailors are being held captive by the most belligerent and bellicose segment of the Iranian military. Iran says it will release the sailors and the boats. The Administration is stressing there were no sinister motives while the Iranian press details the weapons seized and how the Americans were arrested.

Time to stop playing nice.

Time to stop the release of the money.

Time to demand not only the release of our sailors, but also the other four Americans being illegally detained.

From the Cornfield, how many more fails before the President stops his Neville Chamberlain act?

It has never worked and never will. Radicals do not play by the rules and only understand might.