Heroic Acts


11 Sep 2011 08:20 am

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“Oh! God! Oh” were the last recorded words of Kevin Cosgrove on September 11th, 2001 as the South Tower fell. Kevin Cosgrove,in his desperate and heart breaking 911 phone call mentioned that he, Doug Cherry and others were on the 105th floor of the South Tower when the plane hit.

I wrote about Kevin’s call back in 2006. The recording was played at the Moussaoui trial.

Ten years gone, and three very important elements are being left out of the September 11th Remembrance this morning in New York City. Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t want any representatives of religion at the remembrance of the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. There will be no firefighters, no police and no representatives of clergy present at the ceremony. In other words, no First Responders and no Last Responder.

No Comfort, no peace.

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Kevin Cosgrove’s body was found in the rubble of the World Trade Center on September 22nd, 2001. He was buried at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Huntington, New York. He left a widow and three children. He was 46 years old.

Imagine going to work on a Tuesday morning and everything suddenly turning to madness.

This could happen again in a world that forgets. When we forget to honor those who ran into the towers in an attempt to save the Kevin Cosgroves of the world something is terribly wrong. When we forget the shouts and prayers of grief that went up to heaven on that clear Tuesday morning we forget the monstrosity of the moment and how much in that moment we needed God.

When we forget the policemen, many of whom also laid down their lives to help their friends and neighbors on September 11th, we dishonor the civilization that emerged from the madness of the day.

When political correctness rules the mouths of men and women we become, again, the weak horse that enticed Osama bin Laden in the first place.

May we never forget all of those who perished on September 11th, 2001. May we never forget that we were attacked by those who are still scheming to kill us today. May we never forget that it is the very freedom that we cherish that they hate.

Let us not forget that we are Americans.

03 Jul 2011 03:26 am

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My children on some rocks at Fort Monroe years ago.

Boy it was hot today. But it was even hotter yesterday. I went to see my sister about thirty five miles south of me and spent a few hours helping her to inventory art items and when I got back in my car the temperature was 117 degrees. As I was driving home I glanced at the temperature gauge and it was slow to cool. By the time I arrived home the temp had merely cooled to 102 degrees. And I was thirsty. I was so dry I was spitting cotton. Unlike some people, I don’t like heat. Summer is my least favorite season.

An odd thing happened while I was with my sister counting and listing all the art materials. We were in her art room which is in an old stone building and has absolutely no windows. The air conditioner was old and struggling to keep us cool. Around five o’clock I had a feeling that it was raining outside.

I walked over to open the door to take a look and no, it was sunny and hot. A weird feeling. I was wrong. But after I got home I noticed that almost all the lights were out in the house. My husband told me that we had had a power failure for a couple of hours even though there hadn’t been any bad weather, just a little rain.

I checked the weather and discovered that just a few blocks away there had been quite a bit of bad weather, one of those “microbursts” of wind and rain that knocked down a lot of power lines.

So I was glad that the flowers and Alberta Pines had been watered by the rain and that I was home and the electricity had been restored and that, for once, I had missed the lack of it. But I did have to endure the heat inside the car.

We Americans are so spoiled.

I know I am.

I am writing the whiny proof about myself.

Last night ended up being a delight because with our precious electricity we were able to view the Coen Brothers True Grit for the first time. I had resisted all this time because, being a John Wayne fan and a purist for the original True Grit I didn’t think it could be improved upon. But it could and it was.

How do I judge a movie? Not only by how much it affects me while I am watching it but by how much I think about it later. I love how the Coen Brothers captured the dialect/language of the era and region. Much of it, of course, was lifted straight from the Charles Portis book and was in the first True Grit but the dialogue in the Coens’ True Grit was rich and well delivered, developing the characters through the use of it. The original was like reading the New American Standard Bible but the Coen Brothers’ True Grit was like reading the King James Bible. (I much prefer that)

What touched me personally? The Fort Smith where Mattie found Rooster Cogburn still has some people around here who live their lives and speak as uncompromisingly as Mattie Ross. (my grandmother spoke with few contractions)

My favorite scene? Seeing that little girl put on her over-sized hat and get on her ten dollar pony (named Little Blackie) and plunge into the Poteau River to catch up with Rooster and La Boeuf and make it to the other side. Mattie herself had True Grit.

We need more people with True Grit (unyielding courage in the face of danger) We see it everyday in our military, and in heroic people who step up to save people in danger but it is rare to see it in those in the political realm. That is, it is rare to see courage in those who are in elective office.

Some individuals, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman, in particular, are courageous in my book. Sarah is still standing after the relentless attacks of the democrat hounds of hell. They are just now starting on Michelle.

Our Founders had the grit to face the British in 1776. They endured many long years before we had what Franklin termed a Republic. If we are to keep it, we have to stop the whining, and stand up and unite behind a conservative who we can trust to stand up and rouse the American people to listen and vote out that sorry outfit in the White House.

It may be still hot outside but we can take the heat.

06 Jun 2007 12:06 pm

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Assault landing One of the first waves at Omaha Beach as photographed by Robert F. Sargent. The U.S. Coast Guard caption identifies the unit as Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division.

“Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not fear of something; it is the love of something.” Adlai Stevenson-1952 speech to American Legion

The Surge is not yet taken hold. Give it a chance to work. The QandO Blog links to the kind of nonsense General Petraeus is up against here in the states. Hat tip: The Mudville Gazette

The Surge of troops in Iraq is not yet in place and hasn’t been implemented fully, if at all. It is a change in the strategy and tactics of this war. In reality, it is an adaptation to defeat the tactics and strategy of our enemy. This has happened many times before in the history of war, the invasion of Normandy, being one such example.

On D-Day we utilized many innovative ideas. Diversions were accomplished by dolls floating down from the sky. In addition, the largest parachute operation up to that time was accomplished. Enemy communication lines far behind the front were disrupted by bombing raids and complete control of the air was achieved. These ideas were new at the time but have become great military lessons for wartime operations today.

There were, however, also failures. The Rangers attacked a dummy position and suffered a large amount of casualties for seemingly, very small gain. The invasion of Omaha Beach occurred as the Germans were practicing their defense for just such an invasion. The result was bloody Omaha.

New ideas and adapting strategy and tactics to an enemy is war! It does not work all the time! But the nation that wins will simply refuse to give up. On D-Day, after suffering horrendous casualties, our military and political leaders refused to admit defeat. The result was victory.

The Surge promises a new direction to combat the terror tactics of the enemy. In the early stages it seems to be working. This does not mean that it will win the war completely, nor can it be seen as a constant recipe for success. Just like D-Day, we must take the failures with the successes, and learn from them. Not how to quit, but how to persevere and win.

This is what our fathers and grandfathers did on the sixth of June, 1944. Perhaps we should ask those who laid on the beach at Normandy, seeing their brothers blown to pieces, if the price was too high to pay for the destruction of the Third Reich. Our generation must answer the question: What is the price for the destruction of Islamic terrorism and are we willing to pay it?

Another story, scarcely remembered, is the first fight of the 30th and 38th Regiments of the 3d Division in World War l. With the French in retreat, these regiments of the 3d Division held on.

Rock of the Marne

Near Mézy, France, July 1918. Here the German Army made its last great attack of World War I. It struck in the Marne River area along the road to Paris, and the weight of the blow fell on the 30th and 38th U.S. Infantry Regiments of the 3d Division. This was their first fight. Firing in three directions, blasted by artillery fire, taking all flesh and blood could stand, the regiments held on doggedly and threw the enemy back across the Marne. This defense checked the Germans’ assault and made an Allied offensive possible. General Pershing called it “one of the most brilliant pages of our military annals.”

In Iraq, the greeting of the members of the 3d Division is, “Rock of the Marne.”

Today is the 63rd anniversary of D-Day. This day is fading into history but should be remembered by all Americans as the day many valiant American men gave their lives for freedom. Blackfive is remembering. So is Jules Crittenden.

Winston Churchill in his speech to the British House of Commons on June 6th, 1944.

There are already hopes that actual tactical surprise has been attained, and we hope to furnish the enemy with a succession of surprises during the course of the fighting. The battle that has now begun will grow constantly in scale and in intensity for many weeks to come, and I shall not attempt to speculate upon its course.

This I may say, however. Complete unity prevails throughout the Allied Armies. There is a brotherhood in arms between us and our friends of the United States. There is complete confidence in the supreme commander, General Eisenhower, and his lieutenants, and also in the commander of the Expeditionary Force, General Montgomery.

The ardour and spirit of the troops, as I saw myself, embarking in these last few days was splendid to witness. Nothing that equipment, science or forethought could do has been neglected, and the whole process of opening this great new front will be pursued with the utmost resolution both by the commanders and by the United States and British Governments whom they serve.

1944 was a Presidential election year and President Roosevelt was elected to his fourth and last term of office. It’s hard to imagine members of the Democrat Party distancing themselves from Roosevelt in a time of war as some Republican candidates are shamefully doing today with President Bush.

To the eternal shame of the British people, it happened to that great lion, Winston Churchill. While the war was still raging in the Pacific, the fickle British electorate turned out Churchill and his conservative party.

Michael Yon has a must-read post (with amazing photos) on his stay in the desert of Iraq with the British.

This guy has gone to fight the terrorists and will be back when the war is over.

Why is 2500 such an important number?

Hot Air is remembering.

UPDATE:
Some readers may be disturbed because I’ve included current events in this D-Day Remembrance post but, to me, the only way we can truly honor those who have given their all is to continue to strive to win the war on terror.

Republican candidates who continue to bash President Bush will not get my vote. Whether or not the Immigration Bill is vile (and I believe it to be terribly flawed and wrong) it comes off as petty and weak for the Republicans to bash the president as a method of attracting votes.

The Anchoress has written a very important article which attempts to reason with those who believe that President Bush has betrayed the right. It should be read.

03 Jun 2007 12:37 am

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My husband grew up reading books like the one above, The Boy’s Book of Battle Lyrics by Thomas Dunn English. It was published in 1885 and I found it recently in our bookshelves.

It’s described as A collection of verses illustrating some notable events in the history of the United States of America, from the Colonial Period to the outbreak of the Sectional War.

It’s not The Dangerous Book for Boys and will not be found in a school library today, (more’s the pity) but it demonstrates that at one time, manliness, courage, patriotism, historical knowledge and poetry were considered important essentials for bringing up successful young men.

It’s doubtful The Hornblower Series would be found in school libraries either but that wonderful series of stories about Horatio Hornblower by C.S. Forester is among my husband’s favorite books of his youth. The stories appealed to the swashbuckler in his soul.

I am purchasing The Dangerous Book for Boys for my nephews because it’s the kind of book that will appeal to them. They are the kind of boys, who, when they decided they wanted a basketball goal, built one for themselves. They love action and challenges and never find anything like that at school.

Many boys in public schools today are either ignored by their teachers or sent to the principals’ office when they get antsy in class. Girls are the preferred class because they very rarely stick paperclips into erasers, make paper airplanes out of their homework or do any of the things that used to be considered normal behavior for boys but is now used as evidence of their “hyper-activity.”

03 Feb 2007 01:41 pm

Epilepsy runs in our family although we’ve never said the word. My parents called it spells when my grandmother was suffering through them. After our grandfather died, our grandmother came to stay with us and I awoke one morning hearing a strange noise. I ran in to her bedroom to find my grandmother having a convulsion. We could say that word. I remember hearing my mother ask my grandmother if she had taken her medicine.

My grandmother developed epilepsy after the birth of her only child (my mother) and she was burdened early on by the type of epilepsy that could not be controlled by medication. Because of the severity of her affliction, she could not drive or ever hope to have another child. But being the kind of person she was, it didn’t stop her from working, being a loving grandmother or from getting around.

My grandmother was very intelligent; she had won a chemistry scholarship to the University of Arkansas at the age of sixteen, but didn’t complete her education because of the illness and subsequent death of her own father. She returned home to help keep his business going until she married my grandfather.

After my grandfather died, my grandmother only stayed with us for two weeks. She wanted her independence and couldn’t bear to see her grandchildren in trouble. Every time any of us did something wrong she cried because she didn’t want to see us being disciplined, whether it was just a strong, “talking to” or a spanking.

The day our grandfather died at the relatively young age of sixty, he had awakened to hear our grandmother fall. She was having a convulsion. In his panic to help our grandmother he had a heart attack. By the time my parents got to their house my grandfather was being put in an ambulance.

My mother was riding in the ambulance with him when he died. I’ll never forget my gentle grandmother’s grief and anguish with her self-inflicted belief that she had caused my grandfather’s death. Every night for months I cried myself to sleep and during the day we were with our grandmother, reassuring her that she was not at fault. The convulsions just could not be controlled.

My grandfather had a premonition of his death a month or so before he died, and asked my father to purchase for him my little brother’s annual birthday gift, which was cowboy boots. My grandfather died the day before my brother’s birthday.

Other than the epilepsy my grandmother seemed to be relatively healthy. She walked everywhere she needed to go and kept her business going for several years after my grandfather’s death. Several times, however, my mother was called to go down to the Rightway Cleaners because my grandmother had suffered another spell.

How do I know the dreaded word ran in our family?

Once when we were traveling home from Rogers, Arkansas in our grandparents’ station wagon after a visit with our aunt and uncle, I noticed my little brother jerking in his sleep and alerted my parents. Another time, after we had suppered on a meal of hamburgers with pickles I awoke hearing something odd and discovered my little brother in his bed having another spell.

I remember my mother blaming it on the pickles and for a while they were not allowed in our refrigerator but I knew that pickles were not the cause of the convulsion. Luckily, my brother’s problem was remedied by a magical bottle of red medicine he had to take for a couple of years and he grew up happy, whole and very healthy.

But I remember once hearing my grandmother talking to my mother about how “delicate” my brother was and wondered at that statement as my brother played baseball, basketball, football and was constantly in motion. We were never to speak of the problem with our brother and haven’t until this day.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my mother was taking college classes and collapsed one day in class with a spell. After they rushed her to the hospital she had another one. My brothers, sister and I were sent to stay with our cousins, Jeanne and Junior for a few days while my mother was evaluated.

She was prescribed a medication that has worked and she has never had another problem with convulsions.

When I had problems with fainting as a teen, I worried that I might have the problem but the dreaded and fearful word never attached itself to me.

It seems to have become only a bad memory although I watched my own young children carefully at night and in early mornings.

My son’s life long friend was afflicted with convulsions when he was a young teen. His family had hoped it was just a childhood thing but then it came roaring back when he was in his twenties. That hasn’t stopped him, even though he can’t drive. He is a Baptist missionary and his ministry includes Africa and the Middle East.

So reading about the account of this amazing woman brings absolute delight to me. Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt

03 Feb 2007 10:31 am

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A German Shepherd plays good Samaritan…….

THOMASVILLE, Ga. — A bruised and battered south Georgia woman credits a wayward German shepherd with rescuing her after her car careened down an embankment, tossing her through the rear window and leaving her sprawled, cut and bleeding, on the vehicle’s trunk.

Thirty-six-year-old Shannon Lorio said the dog, which has since been given the name “Hero,” pulled her by her collar off the trunk and dragged her about 50 yards through briars to the edge of a highway and let her lean against him so that she could stand up and flag a passing motorist.

Officials of the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society, which runs the local animal shelter — now Hero’s temporary home — were so impressed with the victim’s account they have arranged to have Hero evaluated for search and rescue work.

“That dog is always going to have a special place in my heart,” Lorio said Friday during a tearful reunion with the dog. “He’s my hero.”

Lorio, who still has scratches and bruises on her arms and legs, spent most of a night in the hospital, until she insisted on being released. She still walks with a limp. Cuts on her left elbow are held closed by more than 20 metal staples.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with German Shepherds. When I was a teen a stray German Shepherd left his pack of fellow dog pals and came into our yard. We named him Sloopy. He was so gentle even our ferocious cat, Precious loved him and would curl up with him to sleep.

He was with us for a couple of years before he came down with distemper and died. This was before a vacine and there was nothing we could do but bury him on the mound, our hearts broken.

Another stray German Shepherd killed several of our cats.

When we were living at Fort Monroe, VA, a neighbor’s German Shepherd attacked our poodle, Sugar as our daughter was taking her out for a walk. It killed Sugar and broke our hearts.

Reading about this splendid German Shepherd, “Hero” brings back to mind the valiant and gentle, Sloopy, who left the pack for love of us. Shepherds are a wonderful breed of dog.