As Veterans' Day 2014 approaches I thought I would share the YouTube video entitled "I Fought For You!" I think our classmates will enjoy it and may want to pass it on to friends and family.
As is our custom, our middle school is celebrating Veterans' Day this year with a school-wide ceremony in the gymnasium, and is inviting the entire local community to join teachers and students as we celebrate Veterans' Day 2014. The YouTube video will be shown on the school's morning video announcements to help set the mood before students move to the gym for the school program, almost all parts of which are presented by our great middle school students..
Chuck Moseley was kind enough to share the following link with me to pass on to you. He comments:
Go Jarheads! A Marine stuns the crowd at a Party. Watch this crowd. In the beginning when he started to sing, they were not even aware he was singing The National Anthem.
Let me add that you can see the awareness spreading as the people behind him, one by one, begin to stand a render the appropriate salute to our National Anthem. With this offering, I’m asking Chuck Nichols to post this link in our Patriotic/Military section of our webpage. Thank you Chuck Moseley for sharing and Chuck Nichols for making it available to us all.Indeed – Go Jarheads!
Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing "God Bless America" on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a tear or two.
The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of "GOD BLESS AMERICA". But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the song.
The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.
This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith.
Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote "White Christmas") and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her.
He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before, in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America. Any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song.
This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie ,"You're In The Army Now." At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper; it's Ronald Reagan.
To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry..... and for many generations of Americans to follow. Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you'll enjoy it and treasure it even more.
Many people don't know there's a lead in to the song since it usually starts with "God Bless America." Here is the entire song as originally sung. Play the recording
There are a number of businesses that offer discounts to veterans on Veterans Day, others give discounts to veterans and their dependents year round. Here are some who provide discounts (registration may be required).
Incredible pictorial of Vietnam.... Some pictures are repeated and some are graphic but well worth watching.
Things to notice:
Stormin' Norman Schwartzkopf one arm helping carry an ARVN trooper; the accursed 3.5mm rocket launcher tubes and round being carried by the Marine crossing a water course (this USMC was later KIA after this photo); the French female photographer in the background right with a USMC squad (this was in Lwr I Corps) when Marines were to meet an NVA group for a pow-wow...and it is likely that this is the op where she was KIA.
Click here to watch.
Ronald Reagan had a unique ability to communicate in such a way that to hear him was to just feel good about being an American. Listen and enjoy one of his best efforts on that subject.
You might enjoy this from Col D. G. Swinford, USMC, Ret and a history buff. You would really have to dig deep to get this kind of ringside seat to history:
The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.
The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.
The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.
The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.
The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.
For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.
The most unforgivable oversight of TV is that her shows were not taped. I was unaware of her credentials or where she is buried. Somehow I just can't see Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, or Jessica Simpson doing what this woman (and the other USO women, including Ann Margaret & Joey Heatherton) did for our troops in past wars.
Most of the old time entertainers were made of a lot sterner stuff than today's crop of activists' bland whiners.
The following is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane:
"It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku. We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back. All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear. There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a SF (Special Forces) beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard.
'Maggie' had been visiting her SF 'heroes' out 'west'. We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku. As we all started unloading our sad pax's, a 'Smart Mouth' USAF Captain said to Martha.... "Ms Ray, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show!"
To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said ......"Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve, and on this is a 'Caduceus' which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical specialty....now, take me to your wounded!"
He said, "Yes ma'am.... follow me." Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.
Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.