In western France, the moslem conquest (the ‘left hook’) from Spain into Europe was stopped, but cold.


The Battle of Tours: When the West ‘Manfully Resisted’ Islam

Today in history, on October 10, 732 A.D., an epic battle saved Western Europe from becoming Islamic.

Precisely one hundred years after the death of Islam’s prophet Muhammad in 632 — a century which had seen the conquest of thousands of square miles of formerly Christian lands, including Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain — the scimitar of Islam found itself in the heart of Europe in 732, facing that continent’s chief military power, the Franks.

After the Muslim hordes, which reportedly numbered 80,000 men, had ravaged most of southwestern France, slaughtering and enslaving countless victims, they met and clashed with 30,000 Frankish infantrymen under the leadership of Charles Martel, on October 10, somewhere between Poitiers and Tours.  An anonymous medieval Arab chronicler describes the battle as follows:

Near the river Owar [Loire], the two great hosts of the two languages [Arabic and Latin] and the two creeds [Islam and Christianity] were set in array against each other. The hearts of Abd al-Rahman, his captains and his men were filled with wrath and pride, and they were the first to begin to fight. The Muslim horsemen dashed fierce and frequent forward against the battalions of the Franks, who resisted manfully, and many fell dead on either side, until the going down of the sun.

Entirely consisting of wild headlong charges, the Muslim attack proved ineffective, for “the men of the north stood as motionless as a wall, they were like a belt of ice frozen together, and not to be dissolved, as they slew the Arab with the sword. The Austrasians [eastern Franks], vast of limb, and iron of hand, hewed on bravely in the thick of the fight,” writes one chronicler.  The Franks refused to break ranks and allow successive horsemen to gallop through the gaps, which Arab cavalry tactics relied on. Instead, they tightened their ranks and, “drawn up in a band around their chief [Charles], the people of the Austrasians carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their swords down to the breasts [of the foe].”

Military historian Victor Davis Hanson offers a more practical take:

When the sources speak of “a wall,” “a mass of ice,” and “immovable lines” of infantrymen, we should imagine a literal human rampart, nearly invulnerable, with locked shields in front of armored bodies, weapons extended to catch the underbellies of any Islamic horsemen foolish enough to hit the Franks at a gallop.

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October 3

42 BC – The Army of Triumvirs Mark Antony and Octavian defeats the forces of two of Caesar’s assassins, Brutus and Cassius, at Phillipi Macedonia

1789 – President Washington issues a proclamation creating “….Thursday the 26th day of November next…” as the first officially designated Thanksgiving Day

1863 – The last Thursday in November is declared as Thanksgiving Day by President Lincoln.

1873 – Chief Kintpuash (Captain Jack), Black Jim, John Schonchin, and Boston Charley are hanged for murdering General Edward Canby and Reverend Eleazar Thomas during a peace commission hearing which began the Modoc War in California and ended with the perpetrator’s execution.

1962 – Wally Schirra in Project Mercury’s Sigma 7 spacecraft, launches from Cape Canaveral for a 6 orbit flight.

1985 –  USAF Colonel Karol J. Bobko, and a crew of 4 pilot Space Shuttle Atlantis on its maiden flight.

1989 – A coup attempt by Panamanian Army officers against dictator Manuel Noriega fails in Panama City, 11 participants are later executed.

1990 – Tag der Deutschen Einheit. The German Democratic Republic is abolished and becomes part of the Federal Republic of Germany

1993 – An American attempt to capture a warlord in Mogadishu fails, resulting in 18 US soldiers; MSG Gary Gordon MH, SFC Class Randy Shughart MH, CW4 Raymond Frank, CW3 Clifton Wolcott, CW2 Donovan Briley, MSG Timothy Martin, SFC Earl Fillmore, SSGs William Cleveland, Thomas Field, Daniel Busch, SGTs Casey Joyce, Dominick Pilla, Lorenzo Ruiz, Cornell Houston, CPLs Jamie Smith, Richard Kowalewski, SPC James Cavaco and PFC James Martin Jr. being killed.

1995 – The O. J. Simpson murder trial ends with a verdict of not guilty.

2008 – The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 for the U.S. financial system is signed by President Bush.

How United Flight 93 Passengers Fought Back on 9/11

The coordinated terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 unfolded at nightmarish speed. At 8:46 a.m., the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Sixteen minutes later, a second jet hit the South Tower. At 9:37, an airliner hit the Pentagon. Within hours, thousands had died, including hundreds of first responders who’d rushed to the scenes to help.

But after the events quieted and the scope of the damage came into relief, it became clear that there was at least one element of the al-Qaeda terrorist plot where the damage had been mitigated—with the fatal crash of United Airlines Flight 93.

Like the three other planes hijacked on September 11, Flight 93 was overtaken by al-Qaeda operatives intent on crashing it into a center of American power—in Flight 93’s case, likely the White House or the U.S. Capitol. But instead of hitting its intended target, the United jet went down in a field in rural Pennsylvania. While all 44 people aboard the plane were killed, countless people who might have perished in Washington were spared because of a passenger revolt—a heroic struggle undertaken with whatever low-tech weapons they and the cabin crew members could muster.

Brendan Koerner, author of The Skies Belong to Us, a book about domestic airline hijackings in the 1960s and 1970s, says that in the hundreds of cases he studied for his book, he never came across anything like Flight 93’s passenger revolt.

“The attitude of passengers tended to be that airlines would give the hijackers what they wanted, and so there was relatively little threat to the passengers,” Koerner says. “There aren’t really that many instances of passengers getting involved.”

7:39–7:48 a.m.: The terrorists board, likely one man short

On the morning of September 11, four terrorists boarded United Airlines Flight 93 at Newark International Airport: Ziad Jarrah, a trained pilot; and three others, who were trained in unarmed combat and would help storm the cockpit and control the crowd. All four sat in first class.

There was one fewer hijacker on Flight 93 than the five-man crews that commandeered the other three planes, leading the 9/11 Commission Report to speculate that the United Airlines hijacking operated with an incomplete team. That commission speculated that an intended fifth hijacker—Mohammed al-Qahtani—had been refused entry to the country in early August at Orlando International by a suspicious immigration official, who thought al-Qahtani wanted to overstay his visa and live in the United States.

8:42 a.m.: The flight departs late

UA 93 left its gate at Newark International at 8:01 am, only one minute later than scheduled. But heavy traffic on the runway delayed takeoff for approximately 42 minutes.

As a result, one of the flights (Flight 11) was hijacked nearly half an hour before UA 93 had even left the runway, and both of the World Trade Center towers would be hit before the hijackers on Flight 93 had taken over their plane.

9:24 a.m.: Airline dispatcher warns United 93 about cockpit intrusion

With multiple hijackings unfolding across the country, United Airlines dispatcher Ed Ballinger sent a text message warning to pilot Jason Dahl: “Beware any cockpit intrusion—two a/c [aircraft] hit World Trade Center.”

Dahl, seemingly confused, wrote back, “Ed, confirm latest mssg plz—Jason.”

9:28 a.m.: United 93 is hijacked

While flying 35,000 feet above eastern Ohio, United 93 suddenly lost 7,000 feet as the terrorists rushed the cockpit. In the cockpit, the captain or first officer could be heard shouting “Mayday!” and “Get out of here!” into a radio transmission.

Sometime before 9:30 a.m.: Hijackers kill a passenger in first class

Tom Burnett, a first-class passenger on the flight, called his wife from the back of the plane at 9:30 to report the hijacking. On the call, Burnett told his wife, Deena, that a passenger had been knifed in front of the other passengers. On a subsequent call a few minutes later, he told her the passenger had died.

9:32 a.m.: Hijacker Ziad Jarrah threatens the passengers via the intercom

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Here the captain, please sit down keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board. So, sit.”

9:35 a.m.: Jarrah redirects the jet’s autopilot toward Washington, D.C.

At approximately the same time, recordings from the cockpit capture the sound of a flight attendant pleading for her life, then falling silent.

9:35–9:55 a.m.: Passengers and crew call their loved ones

For approximately 20 minutes, passengers and crew relayed information about their hijacking…and received word of the grim news on the ground. Planes had, by this point, struck both of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. The passengers knew they were staring down a similar fate.

Passenger Jeremy Glick told his wife Lyz that passengers were voting on whether or not to storm the cockpit in an attempt to take back the plane.

“I have my butter knife from breakfast,” he reportedly joked.

Burnett told his wife that the passengers were going to wait until they were above a rural area before attempting their action.

Flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw boiled water, to throw on the hijackers.

Those on the flight who couldn’t get through to their loved ones left heart-wrenching voicemails instead. Flight attendant CeeCee Lyles called her husband, told him she loved him, and asked that he take care of her children.

“Are you guys ready?” one of the passengers, Todd Beamer, could be heard saying to the others while on a call with a telephone operator. “Let’s roll.”

9:57 a.m.: The passenger revolt begins.

The cockpit voice recorder captured the sound of passengers attempting to break through the door: yelling, thumping and crashing of dishes and glass. In response, Jarrah tried to cut off the oxygen and began pitching the plane left and right, to knock the passengers off balance.

9:58 a.m.: Jarrah instructed another hijacker to block the door.

9:59 a.m.: Jarrah began pitching the plane up and down, again hoping to neutralize the passenger assault.

10:00 a.m.: The hijackers discuss crashing early

Still approximately 20 minutes away from their target, the hijackers recognized that they would soon lose control of the aircraft.

“Shall we finish it off?” Jarrah asked one of the other hijackers in the cockpit.

“Not yet,” was the reply. “When they all come, we finish it off.”

In the background, a passenger screamed to another, “In the cockpit. If we don’t, we’ll die!”

10:01 a.m.: The hijackers decide to crash the plane

Jarrah again asked the other hijacker if he should crash the vehicle. This time, he was told, “Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.”

Jarrah pulled the control wheel hard to the left, causing the plane to fly upside down, and then to crash into the ground at a speed of 580 miles per hour.

It was 10:03 a.m.

Pentagon Releases Names of 13 U.S. Service Members Who Lost Their Lives in Afghanistan Terrorist Attack

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of 13 service members who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. They died Aug. 26, 2021, as the result of an enemy attack while supporting non-combatant evacuation operations in Kabul, Afghanistan. The incident is under investigation.

For the Marine Corps, the deceased are:

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California.

Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California.

Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska.

Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California.

Staff Sergeant Darin T. Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, and Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. For more information, media may contact IMEFCOMMSTRAT@USMC.MIL.

Sgt. Nicole L. Gee was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. For more information, media may contact IIMEFCOMMSTRAT@USMC.MIL.

Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo was assigned to 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Naval Support Activity Bahrain. For more information, media may contact MARCENTCOMMSTRAT@USMC.MIL.

For the Navy, the deceased is:

Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio.

Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak was assigned to 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. For more information on Hospitalman Soviak, media may contact the U.S. Navy Office of Information at PTGN_CHINFONEWSDESK@navy.mil.

For the Army, the deceased is:

Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee.

Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss was assigned to 9th PSYOP Battalion, 8th PSYOP Group, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. For more information on Staff Sgt. Knauss, members of the media may contact Maj. Dan Lessard, Public Affairs Officer, 1st Special Forces Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, at 910-908-3947 or by email at: daniel.j.lessard.mil@socom.mil.

 

 

Private citizens doing what passes for the President of the U.S. dithers.


US special operations vets carry out daring mission to save Afghan allies

With the Taliban growing more violent and adding checkpoints near Kabul’s airport, an all-volunteer group of American veterans of the Afghan war launched a final daring mission on Wednesday night dubbed the “Pineapple Express” to shepherd hundreds of at-risk Afghan elite forces and their families to safety, members of the group told ABC News.

Moving after nightfall in near-pitch black darkness and extremely dangerous conditions, the group said it worked unofficially in tandem with the United States military and U.S. embassy to move people, sometimes one person at a time, or in pairs, but rarely more than a small bunch, inside the wire of the U.S. military-controlled side of Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The Pineapple Express’ mission was underway Thursday when the attack occurred in Kabul. A suicide bomber believed to have been an ISIS fighter killed at least 13 U.S. service members — 10 U.S. Marines, a Navy corpsman, an Army soldier and another service member — and wounded 15 other service members, according to U.S. officials.

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Usually a doggy the size of a Yorkie is a snack for a Coyote, but as they say, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight,  it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
And, as we see with this pint sized pup with the Napoleon complex defending his mistress, they ain’t called ‘Man’s Best Friend’ for nothing.

Oh, and by the way, this happened in Toronto Canada, so it’s not to be surprised to not see someone run out of their front door at the screams of the girl, and TCOB with a shotgun.


 

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.
To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

 

Witness says Good Samaritan shot the gunman in Olde Town Arvada

ARVADA, Colo. — On Tuesday, the Arvada Police Department chief identified John Hurley as the Good Samaritan who was killed during Monday’s shooting in Olde Town.

The chief called Hurley a “true hero.” Witnesses told Denver7 that Hurley confronted the gunman.

Hurley was 40 years old and lived in Golden. A friend described him as an outspoken activist.

Hurley, veteran Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesely and the gunman, Ronald Troyke, were killed in the shooting on Monday afternoon in Olde Town Square.

Bill Troyanos was working at the Arvada Army Navy Surplus store on Monday afternoon when Hurley walked into the business. He said Hurley was inside for just a few minutes when they heard gunshots outside and saw the gunman in the plaza. Troyanos said Hurley swiftly pulled his gun from his holster and jumped into action.

“He did not hesitate; he didn’t stand there and think about it. He totally heard the gunfire, went to the door, saw the shooter and immediately ran in that direction,” Troyanos said. “I just want to make sure his family knows how heroic he was.”

A manager at a business nearby who asked not to be identified said he was outside when he heard Hurley urge people to get to safety.

“He turned back and looked towards everybody at the restaurant and told us that he (the gunman) is coming, that he is coming back and that we should get inside,” the manager said. “I ran to the back of the store, closer to the alley, kind of ‘nooked’ myself in a corner just to feel safe.”

Troyanos said he witnessed Hurley confront the gunman.

“Mr. Hurley shot him. I think I heard 6 shots from his gun, maybe 5,” Troyanos said.

He said the gunman fell against a parked vehicle.

Officials have not released information on who fatally shot Hurley. They also haven’t confirmed who shot the gunman.

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June 6: A walk across a beach in Normandy

Today your job is straightforward. First, you must load 40 to 50 pounds on your back. Then you need to climb down a net of rope that is banging on the steel side of a ship and jump into a steel rectangle bobbing on the surface of the ocean below you. Others are already inside the steel boat shouting and urging you to hurry up.

Once in the boat, you stand with dozens of others as the boat is driven towards distant beaches and cliffs through a hot hailstorm of bullets and explosions. Boats moving nearby are, from time to time, hit with a high explosive shell and disintegrate in a red rain of bullets and body parts. Then there’s the smell of men near you fouling themselves as the fear bites into their necks and they hunch lower into the boat. That smell mingles with the smell of cordite and seaweed.

In front of you, over the steel helmets of other men, you can see the flat surface of the bow’s landing ramp still held in place against the sea. Soon you are within range of the machine guns that line the cliffs above the beach ahead. The metallic death sound of their bullets clangs and whines off the front of the ramp.

Then the coxswain shouts and the klaxon sounds. Then you feel the keel of the LVCP grind against the rocks and sand of Normandy as the large shells from the boats in the armada behind you whuffle and moan overhead. Then the explosions all around and above you increase in intensity and then the bullets from the machine guns in the cliffs ahead and above rattle and hum along the steel plates of the boat and the men crouch lower. Then somehow you all strain forward as, at last, the ramp drops down and you see the beach. Then the men surge forward and you step with them. Then you are out in the chill waters of the channel wading in towards sand already doused with death, past bodies bobbing in the surf staining the waters crimson. Then you are on the beach.

It’s worse on the beach.

The bullets keep probing along the sand digging holes, looking for your body, finding others that drop down like mere sacks of meat with their lines to heaven cut. You run forward because there’s nothing but ocean at your back and more men dying and… somehow… you reach a small sliver of shelter at the base of the cliffs. There are others there, confused and cowering and not at all ready to go back out into the storm of steel that keeps pouring down. And then someone, somewhere nearby, tells you all to press forward, to go on, to somehow get off that beach and onto the high ground behind it, and because you don’t know what else to do, you rise up and you move forward, beginning, one foot after another, to take back the continent of Europe.

If you are lucky, very lucky, on that day and the days after, you will walk all the way to Germany and the war will be over and you will go home to a town somewhere on the great land sea of the Midwest and you won’t talk much about this day or any that came after it, ever.

They’ll ask you, throughout long decades after, “What did you do in the war?” You’ll think of this day and you will never think of a good answer. That’s because you know just how lucky you were.

If you were not lucky on that day you lie under a white cross on a large lawn 77 long gone years later.

Somewhere above you among the living weak princes and fat bureaucrats and rank traitors mumble platitudes and empty praises about actions they never knew and men they cannot hope to emulate.

You hear their prattle, dim and far away outside the brass doors that seal the caverns of your long sleep. You want them to go, to leave you and your brothers in arms to your brown study of eternity.

“Fifty years? Seventy-five? A century? Seems long to the living but it’s only an inch of time. Leave us and go back to your petty lives. We march on and you, you weaklings primping and parading above us, will never know how we died or how we lived.

“If we hear you at all now, your mewling only makes us ask, among ourselves, ‘Died for what?’

“Princes and bureaucrats, parasites and traitors, be silent. Be gone. We are now and forever one with the sea and the sky and the wind. We marched through the steel rain. We march on.”

To absent friends
CW5 Robert Selje
MSG Ben Stevenson
MSG Jared Van Aalst
SFC Ryan Savard
SGT Paul Dumont
SGT Jose Regalado


If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.
And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.

Remembering the Whys Behind the Whos This Memorial Day

There is some angst among right-minded Americans over the near-sighted tweet from Vice President Kamala Harris concerning the 3-day Memorial Day Weekend we currently enjoy. Whereas many Americans wrongfully view the Memorial Day Weekend as the May cousin of September’s Labor Day Weekend (with each Monday signifying the mileposts for the summer season), it is abhorrent that the person “…a heartbeat away from the presidency…” would signal a tone-deafness to the meaning behind our celebration of the last Monday of May.

And yet, she is hardly alone. Millions of Americans sadly view this weekend the same way: a convenient break at the end of May before the school year ends and summer season kicks off.

It would behoove so many of us to remember that we are not actually festive on Memorial Day. We are reflective. We do not celebrate some of the worst possible incidents in millions of American families’ lives, even as we celebrate the rights and privileges their collective agony afford us to enjoy. We appreciate them.

Many images will remind us of the people who made the ultimate sacrifice throughout the course of American history. Some images will focus solely on the Greatest Generation, a group of Americans that beat down the Nazi threat that approached our shores and wreaked destruction across the globe. That war alone cost us over 400,000 lives. Other stories will remind us of the recent sacrifices of our young people over the past few decades, from the soul-wrenching times of the Vietnam War to the ongoing impacts of the battles in the Middle East since 1991.

And, of course, these numbers only account for deaths that our nation incurred fighting foreign enemies. When considering the oath to “…defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…,” the numbers swell over the course of the lifetime of the Great Experiment.

Through all of this, it is easy for us to overlook the meaning behind the sacrifices. It is intellectually lazy for us to merely state that they died “defending America” or “advancing American values” or “securing freedom.” These phrases can be haughty sentiments and hollow compliments if we are not intentional as to their meaning.

This Memorial Day, it makes sense for us to actively recall the items that Americans gave their lives for.

Among others, they died to ensure that their families and our loved ones could vote freely with confidence, protection, and equality during each election cycle. They died to ensure that parents were empowered to do their absolute best for their children at each phase of life, from protections in the womb to pursuits within the education system. They died to ensure that processes could develop more perfectly so that the criminal justice system was fair, unbiased, and rooted in facts and law. They died to ensure that hard work was not punished because of skin color, religious background, status in society, or prejudices pushed by jaded politicians.

These Americans made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that freedom of speech continued as a constitutional right that was both revered and right-minded to keep our republic heading down a path of strengthening through debate and away from tactics that could destroy us. These Americans made a common ultimate sacrifice – regardless of the color of the skin that was torn but through the common blood that was shed — to ensure that we continued to see each other as fellow Americans through the many differences that a nation of millions is bound to contain. These Americans made the ultimate sacrifice through their self-determinative decision to defend our nation’s values to ensure that our individual self-determination was a foundation for life in each corner of our country – and that the pursuit of it never stops for those who do not have it now due to legacy woes domestically or unavoidable challenges personally.

These Americans did not die merely for the idea of America. These Americans died to defend, secure, or obtain very tangible things within America. Immigrants and former slaves who were shamefully discriminated against used their grit to gain respect and equality for their families and loved ones – and some made the ultimate sacrifice on that trek towards equity. Women who were viewed as weaker and incapable in battle used their minds and might to change the course of American history for those who may never know their names. Those discriminated against in today’s times – in stark contrast to our secular Constitution – continue to fight on the front lines, knowing that their names might be added to the list of those who left behind a lifestyle and eternally gained a legacy because of their love of country.

Because of their specific love of us – and specific people among us.

Because of their love of specific things that we enjoy.

This Memorial Day, we must not wrap our salute to these fallen Americans in an all-encompassing remembrance. We should see the fallen in each specific thing we have in our lives as citizens of this nation and leaders in this world. Just as each one of the fallen is a specific person whose family cried a river of tears over the tragic loss of their loved one, each aspect of America that they died for is a specific why that prompted them to have courage past fear, honor past apprehension, and American Exceptionalism past civic complacency.

An Honor Long Overdue:’ After 70 Years, Ranger Legend Ralph Puckett Receives Medal of Honor

President Biden presents Medal of Honor to retired Col. Ralph Puckett.

ralph puckett army ranger medal of honor

 

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

COLONEL RALPH PUCKETT JR.
UNITED STATES ARMY (RANGER)

for service as set forth in the following CITATION:

for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer of the 8th Ranger Company, 8213th Army Unit, 8th U.S. Army. First Lieutenant Puckett distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces near Unsan, Korea, on 25 and 26 November 1950.
With complete disregard for his personal safety, First Lieutenant Puckett led his company across eight hundred yards of open terrain under heavy enemy small-arms fire and captured the company’s objective. During this operation he deliberately exposed himself to enemy machine-gun fire to enable his men to spot locations of the machine guns.
After capturing the objective, he directed preparation of defensive positions against an expected enemy counterattack. At 2200 hours on 25 November 1950, while directing the defense of his position against a heavy counterattack, he was wounded in the fight shoulder. Refusing evacuation, he continued to direct his company through four more counterattacks by a numerically superior force who advanced to within grenade range before being driven back.
During these attacks, he left the safety of his foxhole in order to observe movements of the enemy and to direct artillery fire. In so doing, he repeatedly exposed himself to heavy small-arms and mortar fire. In the sixth counterattack, at 0300 hours on 26 November 1950, he was wounded again, so seriously that he was unable to move. Detecting that his company was about to be overrun and forced to withdraw, he ordered his men to leave him behind so as not to endanger their withdrawal. Despite his protests, he was dragged from the hill to a position of safety.
First Lieutenant Puckett’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Remains of Emil Kapaun, Kansas priest who died a prisoner of war, have been identified

The remains of Father Emil Kapaun, a Kansas native and Catholic priest who died while a prisoner of war, have been identified by military officials.

Sen. Jerry Moran announced Thursday that the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency of the Department of Defense has identified Kapaun’s remains. As of Thursday evening, Kapaun was not listed by the agency among the names of people who have recently been accounted for.

“This evening I was notified that the remains of Marion County-native Father Emil Kapaun, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, have been identified,” Moran said in a statement. “Father Kapaun served as an Army Chaplain during WWII and the Korean War, and was taken as a Prisoner of War in 1951. He continued to minister to Americans as a POW before passing away on May 23, 1951.

“In 2011, I introduced legislation to bestow Father Kapaun with the Presidential Medal of Honor, which was awarded in 2013. In 1993, Pope John Paul II declared Father Kapaun a Servant of God, the first step toward sainthood. I am glad that his family has finally been granted closure after Father Kapaun’s selfless service to our nation.”

According to the U.S. Army, Kapaun was a chaplain with the rank of captain in the 8th Cavalry Regiment. During the Battle of Unsan, Kapaun ran from foxhole to foxhole while under fire to provide comfort to soldiers. He helped wounded soldiers to safety, but stayed behind himself in order to care for others. He was then captured by Chinese forces in November 1950.

 

Proclamation on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, 2020

Throughout our Nation’s history, America’s sons and daughters have heroically safeguarded our precious freedoms and defended the cause of liberty both at home and abroad.  On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we remember the more than 500,000 prisoners of war who have endured incredible suffering and brutality under conditions of extraordinary privation, and the tens of thousands of our patriots who are still missing in action.  Although our Nation will never be able to fully repay our debt to those who have given so much on our behalf, we commemorate their bravery and recommit to working for their long-suffering families who deserve answers and solace for their missing loved ones.

Today, I join a grateful Nation in honoring those POWs who faithfully served through extreme hardship and unimaginable physical and emotional trauma.  Their lives and resilience reflect the best of the American Spirit, and their immeasurable sacrifices have ensured the blessings of freedom for future generations.  On this day, we also reaffirm our unceasing global efforts to obtain the fullest possible accounting of our MIA personnel.  The search, recovery, and repatriation of MIA remains help bring closure to families bearing the burden of the unresolved fate of their loved ones.  That is why in 2018, I worked to secure the historic repatriation of remains from North Korea, and why we are continually working to bring more home from around the world.  My Administration will never waver in fulfilling our country’s obligation to leave no service member behind.

This year, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and reflect upon both the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War and the 45th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, we pause to recognize the men and women who were held as POWs or deemed MIA in these conflicts against repressive ideologies.  These service members and civilians, many from the Greatest Generation, deserve a special place of honor in the hearts of all Americans because of their selfless devotion, unflinching courage, and unsurpassed dedication to our cherished American values.

On September 18, 2020, our Nation’s citizens will look to the iconic black and white flag as a powerful reminder of the service of America’s POWs and service members who have gone MIA.  This flag, especially when flying high above our military installations abroad, conveys the powerful message of American devotion to the cause of human liberty and our commitment to never forget the brave Americans lost defending that liberty.  On this National POW/MIA Recognition Day, our Nation takes a special moment to pay tribute to those who endured the horrors of enemy captivity and those lost in service to our country.  Our Nation will continue to be resolute in our relentless pursuit of those remains of service members who have yet to return home from war and our steadfast promise to their families that their loved ones will never be forgotten.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 18, 2020, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  Together with the people of the United States, I salute all American POWs who, in the presence of great dangers and uncertainties, valiantly honored their duty to this great country.  Let this day also serve as a reminder for our Nation to strengthen our resolve to account for those who are still missing and provide their families long-sought answers.  I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

13-Year-Old Oregon Boy Dies Trying To Save Grandmother In Wildfire, Says Family.

A 13-year-old Oregon boy named Wyatt Tofte reportedly died in the wildfires engulfing pockets along the West Coast after he initially fled for safety, but returned to try and save his grandmother, according to the family.

According to The Associated Press, Chris Tofte, the boy’s father, drove to a nearby town on Monday night to pick up a trailer with the hopes of returning to take the rest of the family and their belongings to safety. (Susan Vaslev, Wyatt’s great aunt and spokesperson for the family, told CNN the father went searching for a generator in town after the power went out during the high winds, and left before the fire actually started.)

The wildfire, although 15 miles away, spread quickly. And while the rest of the family was asleep, it reached the home, forcing Angela Mosso, Tofte’s wife, to cram her son, mother, and pet dog—a 200 lb bullmastiff mix—in the family car, reports The Statesman Journal.

But then the car stopped.

Lonnie Bertallato, Angela’s brother, said Friday that he believes the wheels on the car melted, and his sister was forced to send her son and the dog out on foot. She then said goodbye to her mother, who was unable to walk far, and also set out on foot, reports AP.

“She knew the only way for her son to survive was to run,” Vaslev told CNN. “So she told Wyatt and the dog to run.”

Angela Mosso walked roughly three miles before she was saved by her husband, who was searching for his family, but didn’t recognize Angela until he explained to her that he was looking for his wife and son, and Angela managed to reply: “I am your wife.”

Chris Tofte took his wife to safety, and then returned to look for his son and mother-in-law.

Several days later, authorities found Wyatt Tofte in the driver’s seat of the family car, with the dog in his lap, and the grandmother’s remains in the back of the car.

“I don’t need to go into too much detail, but obviously…he turned around to go try and save his grandma,” Angela’s brother told AP.

“Wyatt ended up going back to the car, and tried to drive his grandmother out,” said Vaslev. “So he attempted to drive that car, and he—the roads were so hot that it burned up the tires, and so he wasn’t able to drive it to safety. Did not make it out of the fire.”

“It’s devastating. Just the way it happened, and the whole story, and who was lost,” Vaslev told CNN. “Any time a young child dies in a fire like that, and the details, it’s just something that you can’t wrap your head around. And it just hurts.”

Angela Mosso suffered burns across her whole body, but is expected to survive.

“She has a long road to go,” said Vaslev. “But to come out of that. We all know surviving full-body burns is a painful experience in itself—recovering from that—and then to come back [to] your son having died, and your mother having died.”

President Awards Medal of Honor to Army Ranger for Hostage Rescue

A man puts the medal of honor around the neck of another man.

Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne received the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony today for helping liberate over 70 hostages from an ISIS prison compound in Iraq five years ago.

Continue reading “”

Decorated Veteran Who Saved Lives at Pearl Harbor Dies at 99

Decorated World War II veteran Floyd Welch of East Lyme, Connecticut, died peacefully in his home on Monday.

Floyd Welch was born in February of 1921. Twenty years later, he was serving aboard the USS Maryland. On December 7, Welch was stepping out of the shower when he heard alarms followed by a series of deafening explosions. Welch emerged on deck to see the USS Oklahoma overturned and sinking into the Pacific Ocean.

After he and the rest of the USS Maryland crew pulled survivors from the waves, Welch and his fellow soldiers boarded the USS Oklahoma where they heard tapping coming from inside the ship. They took immediate, and intelligent, action.

“By using blueprints of the Oklahoma, so as not to burn into a fuel void, we began the long and extremely difficult process of cutting holes through the bottom steel plates,” Welch wrote of his experience. “When we could see the planes coming, we would try to find cover. We would cut near where we heard the trapped crewmen tapping. In all, I believe 33 men from the Oklahoma were rescued through these holes.”

Welch continued his service aboard the USS Maryland until World War II ended. Continue reading “”

This will be the first, living, member of 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force) to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed while assigned to the unit. Sergeants Shughart and Gordon received the award posthumously for actions in Somalia back in ’93. John Cavaiani was assigned to the unit years afterwards.


SERGEANT MAJOR THOMAS P. PAYNE

Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne, an instructor assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, grew up in Batesburg-Leesville and Lugoff, South Carolina, and graduated from high school in 2002. Part of the 9/11 generation, Payne felt a strong sense of duty to serve his country. After high school, he enlisted in the Army as an Infantryman 11B and completed the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2002 and the Ranger Indoctrination Program (now known as the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program) in early 2003.

He was then assigned as a rifleman to A Co., 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, where he also served as a sniper and sniper team leader until November 2007, the year he was selected for assignment to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Since then, he has served within USASOC as a special operations team member, assistant team sergeant, team sergeant and instructor.