Category Archives: military

A Date of Infamy

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Today is December 7 – a day that President Roosevelt said would be “a date which will live in infamy.” On that fateful morning of December 7, 1941, America was attacked without warning. More than 2,400 Americans died and 1,100 were wounded. Our country was changed forever. This attack led us into war, and the citizens of America responded with courage and resolve. So it may be well to reflect on what took place and how we today must also rise to the occasion of the attacks on America by Islamic extremists.

Today is known as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It is a day when we honor the lives lost in that attack on Pearl Harbor and also honor the veterans of World War II. But it can also be a day in which we pay tribute to the men and woman who are currently serving in the armed forces in an effort to promote freedom and justice around the world.

( Read the rest of this spot-on commentary. )

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China ready to depose NK troublemaker

China should pay an economic price for propping up North Korea’s regime, says a national defense analyst, while a second analyst predicts China will orchestrate regime change in the near future.

North Korea’s provocative launch of an ICBM into Japanese waters – after a flight time of 53 minutes and reaching space before re-entry – has heightened nightmare scenarios of tens of thousands dead or, worse, a nuclear exchange on the Korean peninsula.

 

“I think, if you trigger a military option, it’s going to escalate unbelievably quickly,” leaving “tens of thousands” dead, warns Kirk Lippold, a retired U.S. Navy officer who commanded the USS Cole when terrorists attacked it in 2000.

( Read the rest of this story. )

BreakPoint: The Story behind the Navy Hymn In Honor of Veterans Day 2017

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I’m John Stonestreet. On this day before Veterans Day, Eric Metaxas tells us the back story to one of the great hymns.

Eric Metaxas: It’s one of the most famous hymns in Christendom: “Eternal Father Strong to Save.” It’s often called “the Navy hymn” because it’s sung at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.  But how many of us know the story behind this moving hymn?

The hymn’s author was an Anglican churchman named William Whiting, who was born in England in 1825. As a child, Whiting dodged in and out of the waves as they crashed along England’s shoreline. But years later, on a journey by sea, Whiting learned the true and terrifying power of those waves. A powerful storm blew in, so violent that the crew lost control of the vessel. During these desperate hours, as the waves roared over the decks, Whiting’s faith in God helped him to stay calm. When the storm subsided, the ship, badly damaged, limped back to port.

The experience had a galvanizing effect on Whiting. As one hymn historian put it, “Whiting was changed by this experience. He respected the power of the ocean nearly as much as he respected the God who made it and controls it.”

The memory of this voyage allowed Whiting to provide comfort to one of the boys he taught at a training school in Winchester.

One day, a young man confided that he was about to embark on a journey to America—a voyage fraught with danger at that time. The boy was filled with dread at the thought of the ordeal to come. A sympathetic Whiting described his own frightening experience, and he and the other boys prayed for the terrified student. And then Whiting told him, “Before you depart, I will give you something to anchor your faith.”

Whiting, an experienced poet, put pen to paper, writing a poem reminding the boys of God’s power even over the mighty oceans. It begins:

“Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave.”
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Scholars believe Whiting was inspired in part by Psalm 107, which describes God’s deliverance from a great storm on the sea: In verses 28 and 29, we read: “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble [and] he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”

This thought is of course echoed in the New Testament, when Jesus and his disciples are caught in a sudden storm on the Sea of Galilee; Jesus “rebuked the wind and calmed the sea.” (Mark 4:39)

In 1861, Whiting’s poem was set to music by the Rev. John Dykes. The hymn became enormously popular; British, French, and American sailors all adopted it. Winston Churchill loved it, and the hymn was performed at the funerals of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and Richard Nixon.

Over the years, those who love the hymn and the men and women it honors have written additional stanzas—verses that ask for God’s protection over Marines, Seabees, submariners, flyers, the Coast Guard and Navy SEALS. They ask God to remember the needs of wounded warriors, asking: “By power of thy breath restore, the ill and those with wounds of war.” Touchingly, one newer stanza asks God’s protection for the families of those who serve, asking, “Oh Father, hear us when we pray, for those we love so far away.”

Veterans Day is a reminder that we should be praying regularly for those who put themselves in harm’s way for our sake, for their families, and for those who suffer the after effects of combat.

And as we sing the Navy hymn, as many of us will on Sundays around Veterans’ Day, its words should also recall to our minds the fact that none of us will escape the storms and tempests of life. Its verses offer comfort and help us “anchor our faith,” as William Whiting put it, when the winds and waves of our own lives threaten to capsize us.

 

(This commentary originally aired November 11, 2015.)
 
 

The Story behind the Navy Hymn: In Honor of Veterans Day 2017
Read all the stanzas of “Eternal Father Strong to Save” and listen to the hymn performed by the Navy Sea Chanters by clicking on the links below. And especially today, please pray for our nation’s veterans.

Resources

Description of the Navy hymn “Eternal Father Strong to Save”
website

“Eternal Father Strong to Save”
Sung by the U.S. Navy Band’s Sea Chanters

Something a Passport agent should say thanks for

( Here is something my friend Denny posted on his Facebook page. I thought it was so good that I copied it.)

 

An American gentleman of 83 years arrived in Paris by plane and slowly headed through customs. It took him a few minutes to find his passport in his carry-on bag. The customs officer, a bit impatient and haughty, asked him, “You have been to France before, monsieur?” The American nodded and said, “Yes, I have.” The customs clerk then said, “In that case, you should know better and should have had your passport ready to show.” The elderly American courteously replied, “Yes, I suppose. Forgive me. But the last time I came here, I didn’t have to show a passport.” “That’s impossible. You are quite wrong, sir. Americans always have to show their passports upon arrival in France!” The American sighed and then gave the customs clerk a slight smile. “Well, it’s like this, my young friend. When I last came to France it was in 1944. I was dodging bullets and artillery shells when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day to help liberate this country. And wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.”

NFL Player honors the flag all by himself

Billy’s thoughts —- If I remain a fan of the NFL it will be because of athletes like this guy who plays for the Steelers. Sadly not many others joined him yesterday in honoring our nation.

( Read the story. ) 

Trump Bans Transgender People Serving in Military (Good for him )

It is good to have a President who knows the job of the military is to fight, and win wars, not to advance some group’s agenda. Here is the story.

Who MEMORIAL Day is for, and who the holiday is not for

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President] Obama’s commutation of his sentence is a disgrace. ( Saving Private Manning )

The final acts of his presidency, Mr. Obama has granted clemency to Bradley Manning. Here’s what it reveals.

John Stonestreet
On Tuesday, president Obama, using his constitutional powers “to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States,” commuted the sentence of former Army private Chelsea Manning.
Now, in case you missed it, that wasn’t Manning’s first name six-plus years ago. At that point, it was Bradley, and it was Bradley Manning who was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison for, among other things, espionage and theft.
Given the nature of Manning’s offenses, any executive clemency was bound to be controversial, but it’s what happened after Manning’s conviction that raises doubts about why Manning was the recipient of presidential clemency.
It’s impossible to really know the president’s motives. But a quick examination of the facts reveals that there’s reason to believe that a culture-war agenda played a disturbing role in this story.
To start at the beginning, in early 2010, a series of diplomatic cables and war logs began to appear on the WikiLeaks website. In total, more than 600,000 classified documents had been leaked to the site. The source of the leak was Manning. His stated justification was “to show the true cost of war” to the public in the hopes that it “would come to the conclusion that the war wasn’t worth it.”
In May, 2010, Manning was arrested and charged with 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy, which carried a potential death sentence. Three years later, Manning was acquitted of the most serious charge but found guilty of 17 others, including “five counts of espionage and theft.”
At this point, it seems pretty straightforward. Manning’s actions jeopardized national security and placed people in harm’s way.
daily_commentary_01_19_17But, in this case “straightforward” is the last word anyone would use to describe Manning’s actions. At the sentencing phase, Manning’s lawyers “raised questions about whether Manning’s confusion over her gender identity affected her behavior and decision making.” Note the use of the feminine pronoun by the lawyers. A military psychologist testified that “Manning had been left isolated in the Army, trying to deal with gender-identity issues in a ‘hyper-masculine environment.’”
Thus, Manning went from being a misguided-to-the-point-of-possibly-traitorous “whistleblower” to a transgendered martyr, a transformation underscored by the name change from Bradley to Chelsea, a change that media outlets adopted immediately.
Reasonable people can disagree on whether seven years for his actions is a sufficient punishment. At the time of his sentencing, the New York Times argued that “much of what Private Manning released was of public value.” And all of his supporters argued that 35 years was far too long a sentence.
The problem is the same arguments can be made about other people who are not the beneficiaries of presidential clemency. Like Edward Snowden, who revealed the NSA’s surveillance program to the country. One could argue the “public value” of his actions far exceeded those of Manning’s.
Which is why it’s reasonable to suspect that Manning’s status as transgendered icon had something to with the president’s actions. As the New York Times put it, “The decision by President Obama rescued Ms. Manning from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at a male military prison.”
Now, as a Christian, I’m not opposed to clemency. And I’m willing to consider Manning’s documented history of mental illness and suicide attempts as mitigating factors.
But in the end, I find it hard to disagree with David French, writing in the National Review:
“Manning isn’t a woman in need of rescue. He’s a soldier who committed serious crimes. He … just dumped hundreds of thousands of classified documents into the public domain ….without the slightest regard for the lives of others. Manning is a traitor who pled guilty to a lesser offense to avoid the full penalty for his crimes… [President] Obama’s commutation of his sentence is a disgrace.”

Today December 7th a day which will live in infamy 

Today is December 7 – a day that President Roosevelt said would be “a date which will live in infamy.” On that fateful morning of December 7, 1941, America was attacked without warning. More than 2,400 Americans died and 1,100 were wounded. Our country was changed forever. This attack led us into war, and the citizens of America responded with courage and resolve. So it may be well to reflect on what took place and how we today…

( More )

Honoring the unknown Soldier tomb 

*Today is Veterans Day, a day when we honor the men who have served our country and to thank them for their service and sacrifice to defend us. This holiday was originally known as Armistice Day, was established to remember the 1918 signing of the Armistice Treaty and to honor the heroes of World War I. 

In 1921, Congress ordered the building a tomb to honor the men who had given their lives. One unknown American soldier was chosen to be buried in the tomb. When the Navy ship Olympia arrived in Washington with the body of that fallen soldier, America responded. The Band played “Onward Christian Soldiers” as the casket was taken to the U.S. Capitol, where the soldier was laid in state. ( More )