Happy Birthday, America!

Happy INDEPENDENCE Day!

declaration-of-ndependence
Declaration of Independence
Photo Credit: The National Archives

A good day to refresh our memory of what the Declaration of Independence says…

Wishing all a peaceful and relaxing day as we celebrate the birth of our Nation. We live in the Land of the Free BECAUSE of the Brave. Thank you to all who serve, and have served, our country!

Happy Birthday, America!

1821 September 12. (Thomas Jefferson to John Adams).

“And even should the cloud of barbarism and despotism again obscure the science and liberties of Europe, this country remains to preserve and restore light and liberty to them. In short, the flames kindled on the 4th. of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism. On the contrary they will consume those engines, and all who work them.”

The Declaration of Independence

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.

Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

 

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

 

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

 

Massachusetts

John Hancock

Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

 

Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

 

Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

 

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

 

New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

 

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple

 

Massachusetts

Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

 

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery

 

Connecticut

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

 

New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

 

 

Links of Interest:

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Monticello:

The quote at the beginning of the post came from here:

   https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/fourth-july

National Archives:

The photo and the transcript of the Declaration of Independence came from here:

Declaration of Independence:

   https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration

Declaration of Independence Transcript:

   https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

give-us-independence
Give us independence

Calling All “Elfs” – “Holiday Cheer at Walter Reed 2017”

Marine Moms-Bethesda's "Holiday Cheer @ Walter Reed-Bethesda 2017"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The original post for “Holiday Cheer” was published 27 September 2017.  Bumping this up to today, 14 December 2017 to keep our “Elfs” in the loop.

14 December 2017 “Holiday Cheer” Update:

When “Plan A” doesn’t work, move on to “Plan B”. (And have Plan C, D, and E in the background, too!)  Continue reading Calling All “Elfs” – “Holiday Cheer at Walter Reed 2017”

242 Years, Happy Birthday, MARINES!

242 Years!

This came to us in an email the morning of the 242nd USMC Birthday from one of our Marine Dad “Elfs”.  He’s a private person,  likes to stay in the background… and when he speaks, we listen.  He has a special gift of saying so much in so few words.  And he has a very deep respect for Marines.

“On this, the 242nd birthday of the Marine Corps, I, like all Corps parents have deep emotions about our sons and the battles they fought and some still fight.”

Reading the battles our sons fought during active duty listed along with some of the most hard- fought battles in the history of the United States Marine Corps – Guadalcanal, Chosin, Khe Sanh and so many more in the Commandant’s 2017 Birthday Message… yes… we have deep emotions.

And we’re very proud of our Marines – every single one of them, whether they’re a 96 year old Iwo Jima Warrior or a PFC at the Recruit Depot on Family Day, we are proud of them, and we are grateful for their service.

Thank you for serving.

You can read the Commandant’s Birthday Message here:

10 November 2017
A MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS

or watch his video message here:

2017 Birthday Message
“Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald Green speak to Marines and Sailors about the importance of teamwork to the success of our Corps.”

And then there is this:

“Be a man of principle.  Fight for what you believe in. Keep your word. Live with integrity.  Be brave. Believe in something bigger than yourself.  Serve your country. Teach. Mentor.  Give something to back to society.  Lead from the front.  Conquer your fears.  Be a good friend.  Be humble and self-confident.  Appreciate your friends and family.  Be a leader and not a follower.  Be valorous on the battlefield. Take responsibility for your actions.”

These words from Marine Major Douglas Zembiec were taken from his combat journal under the title “Principles My Father Taught Me”.  Major Zembiec was killed in action March 11, 2007, during his 4th tour of duty in Iraq, during a raid against insurgent forces.

The “Lion of Fallujah”.

242 Years, Happy Birthday Marines!

 

Happy Birthday, Marines!

Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day 2017

Gold Star Mothers and familys Day 2017 with pi and bannerWe have friends whose sons came home with the American flag draped over their coffins. They are “Gold Star Mothers”. That’s what the Gold Star in the banner above represents – a son or daughter lost during war time. You might see it hanging in a window at their home or as a sticker on their car.

Gold Star Mothers sometimes wear the pin you see in the picture.  It’s actually called a “lapel button”, not a pin. It’s small, maybe you have to look twice to notice it. Sometimes the Mom will turn it into a necklace.

A SMALL reminder of the HUGE sacrifice paid by their child while in service to our country – your country and my country.

We hope you will take a moment to stop, pause, reflect on, and honor the sacrifices paid by those who have made this country great, and remember the loved ones they’ve left behind.

Their pain is deep, their courage is strong.  Our hearts are with you this day and every day.

Reflections on Memorial Day 2017

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are always with the men and women, and their families,  who have sacrificed so much for our country. NOT a day goes by that we don’t remember them.

In Memory of our HeroesMemorial Day is to give remembrance to, and honor our Nation’s war dead.

The first “Decoration Day”, 30  May 1868, was designated by  General John A. Logan

“for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

In 1967 the day was officially named “Memorial Day”.

On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved Memorial Day from its traditional date to the last Monday in May in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.

Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Have things really changed that much since May 30, 1868? Continue reading Reflections on Memorial Day 2017

AAR – “Holiday Cheer 2016”

giftBeing far from home in a hospital over the Holidays is no fun.

We were grateful to once again have the opportunity to bring some “Holiday Cheer” to recovering Marines at the hospital.

 

On December 7, 2016 Marine Moms-Bethesda delivered gifts and cards to the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Battalion-East Detachment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. This was our 10th year bringing cheer to patients!

The car is packed and ready to head over to Walter Reed!
The car is packed and ready to head over to Walter Reed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

With so few combat patients on the hospital ward, we focused our “Holiday Cheer” efforts on our annual card campaign and adopting three recovering Marines.
Continue reading AAR – “Holiday Cheer 2016”

Choptank MCL Detachment’s 241st USMC Birthday Party

Every year on November 10th, United States Marines all over the world gather to celebrate their Birthday.

From the Continental Marines in 1775 to the Marine Corps of today, their rich history and Warrior ethos binds them together.

“Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Choptank Marine Corps League Detachment 439 celebrated their Brotherhood and Birthday Thursday evening at the VFW Post in Easton, MD. Marines from WW II thru the current missions were represented.

Check In! The Ladies checked everyone in, gave out door prize tickets and sold raffle tickets for the 50/50.

the-ladies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Easton High School JROTC presented the Colors.

presenting-the-colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the opening ceremony and formalities,  Wayne and the Gunny told a few “sea stories”.  We won’t try to re-tell them here because no one tells a sea story like a Marine. You had to be there.

There were mentions of Belleau Wood,  “OohRahs”, “UrrrrRahs”, and even a “HooRah”, and someone saying, “When I was in, we used to say “Gung Ho!”

Wayne, the Detachment’s Commandant, said, “The one thing we all have in common is Boot Camp. ”  Comments about “sand fleas”, “alligators”, and oh… “Hollywood Marines” were heard.  All good-natured, connections they all have.

the-gunny-telling-sea-stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Brotherhood is there no matter where they went to Boot Camp, what their MOS was, or where they served.

After the buffet prepared by the VFW Ladies – wings, meatballs, pulled pork, rolls, cole slaw, baked beans, veggie tray, chips and dip, it was time to cut the cake.

Two cakes, one chocolate and one yellow.

the-cakes

 

 

 

 

Marine Corps tradition is to have the oldest and the youngest Marine in the room cut the cake. This represents the passing of the honor, experience and heart of the Corps to the next generation of Marines to carry on.

This year’s oldest Marine is 91 years young, and fought on Okinawa in WWII and the youngest Marine is 27 years old.

2016 Cake Cutting Ceremony

 

It was a nice evening in the company of Heroes.

They signed cards for us to give to the combat patients at Walter Reed, and presented Marine Moms-Bethesda with a very generous donation toward our 2016 Holiday Cheer project of adopting two single Marines and a Marine family living in the out-patient barracks at the hospital. We are very grateful for their support over the years. Thank you, Marines!

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Choptank Marine Corps League Detachment, we can hook you up with one of them for more information, just let us know.  They currently meet the 4th Thursday of the month in Easton, MD and would love new members.

Happy 241st Birthday, MARINES!

Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert B. Neller’s 241st Birthday Message can be read HERE.

And a video is here:

241st Marine Corps Birthday Message

Commandant of the US Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller and Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green speak to Marines and sailors about the importance of reunions and staying connected. (US Marine corps courtesy motion imagery/Released)

“The Few and The Proud.”

There’s a reason for this.

With Respect,

Jane

 

November 6, 2016 – 4th Floor: USMC & Veterans Day Theme

Proud to be an American!

Ten years of luncheons at Bethesda/Walter Reed.

It has always been an honor to serve the patients and their families and today was no different.

As things have changed at the hospital, we’ve adapted our luncheons.  Thoughts of years past and how things have changed come to mind as we reflect on those we’ve served.

Our main mission since 2007 has been serving wounded warriors and their family members. This is why we formed – to serve our “sons by another mother” who were so far from home.  And now we sometimes serve our “daughters by another mother”, too.

As the numbers of combat casualties have decreased, we’re serving “regular” active duty, Veterans, and their families more so than combat patients. Because there are fewer combat casualties, we adjusted our schedule to three luncheons this year.

Gift tableThe luncheons impact is still the same.  Food for the families when the cafeteria in the hospital is closed, family members stay with us to eat because their loved one can’t have solids, the surprise that we’re there, and the appreciation and thanks for the meal and niftie-gifties.

Our supporters and “Elfs” are very much appreciated by those we serve. You help to make the luncheons quite awesome!

We’ve watched the hospital expand and grow as Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval planned to merge.  Continue reading November 6, 2016 – 4th Floor: USMC & Veterans Day Theme

August 21, 2016 – 4th Floor: Thank You, “Elfs”!

Luncheon room, ready to serve
WELCOME!

Sunday’s luncheon was really nice.  Dina and Dina were a pleasure to work with.  Yes, who would have thought there would be two        Dinas?  With help from HM2 C. from the WIFLO we were ready to serve a half hour early.  Thank you, Ladies. Job well done!

Dina, Dina, and the Patriotic Afghan from Andria__Aug21_2016
Dina, Dina, and Andria’s Patriotic Afghan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brother Dave popped in to say hello, always nice to see him.  He’s so dedicated to the patients at Walter Reed.

Our “Elfs”, along with our volunteers, are dedicated, too.  They are what makes the luncheons so special for the people we serve.

August 21, 2016 niftie-gifties
Niftie-gifties

Quilts and pillowcases from Bayside Quilters of the Eastern Shore in Easton, and Olde Kent Quilters in Chestertown, MD keeps giving LOVE to the patients and their families. Continue reading August 21, 2016 – 4th Floor: Thank You, “Elfs”!

Bringing "Comforts of Home" to Bethesda (now Walter Reed NMMC) since 2005.