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Stand up for America


President Bush

I Am the Flag of the
United States of America

I am the flag of the  United States of America.

My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.

I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the  world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and  justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am  proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little  higher,
My colors a little truer.

I bow to no one!
I am recognized  all over the world.
I am worshipped - I am saluted.
I am loved - I am  revered.
I am respected - and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war
for more then 200 years.

I was flown at Valley Forge,  Gettysburg,
Shiloh and Appamatox.
I was there at San Juan Hill,
the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest,
Anzio, Rome and the beaches of  Normandy.
Guam, Okinawa, Korea and
KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me.
I was  there.
I led my troops, I was dirty, battleworn and tired,
But my soldiers  cheered me and I was proud.

I have been burned, torn and trampled on the
streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt for I am  invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn and
trampled in the streets of my country.
And when it's done by those
Whom I've served in battle - it  hurts.
But I shall overcome - for I am strong.

I have slipped the  bonds of Earth
and stood watch over the uncharted
frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness to all of America's finest hours.

But my finest hours are yet to come.

When I am torn  into strips and used as bandages
for my wounded comrades on the  battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I  lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent
at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,

I am proud.


Thanks to Marsali:

With all of this talk of impending war, many of us will encounter "Peace Activists" who will try to convince us that we must refrain from retaliating against the ones who terrorized us all on September 11, 2001. These activists may be alone or in a gathering. Most of us do not know how to react to them. When you come upon one of these people, or one of their rallies, here are the proper rules of etiquette:

1. Listen politely while this person explains their views. Strike up a conversation if necessary and look very interested in their ideas. They will tell you how revenge is immoral, and that by attacking the people who did this to us; we will only bring on more violence. They will probably use many arguments, ranging from political to religious to humanitarian.

2. In the middle of their remarks, without any warning, punch them in the nose.

3. When the person gets up off the ground, they will be very angry and they may try to hit you so be careful.

4. Quickly and calmly remind the person that violence only brings about more violence and remind them of their stand on this matter. Tell them if they are committed to a nonviolent approach to undeserved attacks, they will turn the other cheek and negotiate a solution. Tell them they must lead by example if they really believe what they are saying.

5. Most of them will think for a moment and then agree that you are correct.

6. As soon as they do that, hit them again. Only this time hit them much harder, square on the nose.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 until the desired results are obtained and the idiot realizes how stupid an argument he/she is making.

There is no difference in an individual attacking an unsuspecting victim and a group of terrorists attacking a nation of people. It is unacceptable and must be dealt with, perhaps at a high cost. We owe our military a huge debt for what they are about to do for our children and us.

We must support them and our leaders at times like these.

We have no choice. We either strike back, VERY HARD, or we will keep being hit in the nose.


This is a story about a Viet Nam vet and movie star Ann Margaret which was written by the veteran's wife -- unique and well worth reading.
  
   Richard, my husband, never really talked a lot about his time in Viet Nam other than he had been shot by a sniper.  However, he had a rather grainy, 8x10 black-&-white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margaret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures.
  
   A few years ago, Ann Margaret was doing a book-signing at a local bookstore. Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo, so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o'clock for the 7:30 signing. When I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore, circled the parking lot, and disappeared behind a parking garage.
  
   Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted. Richard was disappointed, but wanted to show her the photo and let her know how much those shows meant to lonely GI's so far from home.
  
   Ann Margaret came out looking as beautiful as ever and, as 2nd in line, it was soon Richard's turn. He presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo. When he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not sign it. Richard said, "I understand.  I just wanted her to see it."
  
   She took one look at the photo, tears welled up in her eyes and she said, "This is one of my gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most certainly will sign his photo. I know what these men did for their country and I always have time for "my gentlemen."  With that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on him. She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young men she met over the years, how much she admired them, and how much she appreciated them.. There weren't too many dry eyes among    those close enough to hear. She then posed for pictures and acted as if he was the only one there.


   Later, at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he'd like to talk about it, my big strong husband broke down in tears.  

  "That's the first time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army," he said.

   That night was a turning point for him. He walked a little straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet.

   I'll never forget Ann Margaret for her graciousness and how much that one small act of kindness meant to my husband. I now make it a point to say Thank You to every person I come across who served in our Armed Forces.
  
   Freedom does not come cheap and I am grateful for all those who have served their country.
  
   If you'd like to pass on this story, feel free to do so. Perhaps it will help others to become aware of how important it is to  acknowledge the contribution our service people make.
  
   I HOPE THIS GETS AROUND TO JANE FONDA !!


Powell Quote:

When in England at a fairly large conference recently, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush.

He answered by saying that, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."

It became very quiet in the room.


U.S.  Navy Capt. Dan Ouimette, Executive Officer of NAS, Pensacola. 

A copy of the speech he gave this month.

AMERICA WOKE UP!

That's what we think we heard on the 11th of September 2001 and maybe it was, but I think it should have been "Get Out of Bed!"

In fact, I think the alarm clock has been buzzing since 1979 and we have continued to hit the snooze button and roll over for a few more minutes of peaceful sleep since then.

It was a cool fall day in November 1979 in a country going through a religious and political upheaval when a group of Iranian students attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran.

This seizure was an outright attack on American soil; it was an attack that held the world's most powerful country hostage and paralyzed a Presidency.  The attack on this sovereign US embassy set the stage for the events to follow for the next 23 years.

America was still reeling from the aftermath of the Viet Nam experience and had a serious threat from the Soviet Union when then President Carter had to do something.

He chose to conduct a clandestine raid in the desert.

The ill-fated mission ended in ruin, but stood as a symbol of America's inability to deal with terrorism.   America's military had been decimated and downsized / right sized since the end of the Viet Nam war.

A poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly organized military was called on to execute a complex mission doomed from the start.

Shortly after the Tehran experience, Americans began to be kidnaped and killed throughout the Middle East.  America could do little to protect her citizens living and working abroad.

The attacks against US soil continued. 

In April of 1983 a large vehicle packed with high explosives was driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut.

When it explodes, it kills 63 people. 

The alarm went off again and America hit the Snooze Button once more.

Then just six short months later a large truck heavily laden down with over 2500 pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut.

241 US servicemen are killed.

America mourns her dead and hit the Snooze Button once more.

Two months later in December 1983, another truck loaded with explosives is driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait, and America continues her slumber.  The following year, in September 1984, another van was driven into the gates of the US Embassy in Beirut and America slept.

Soon the terrorism spreads to Europe.  In April 1985 a bomb explodes in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid.  Then in August a Volkswagen loaded with explosives is driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main, 22 are killed and the Snooze Alarm is buzzing louder and louder as US soil is continually attacked.

Fifty-nine days later a cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, is hijacked and we watched as an American in a wheelchair is singled out of the passenger list and executed.  The terrorists then shift their tactics to bombing civilian airliners when they bomb TWA Flight 840 in April of 1986 that killed 4 and the most tragic bombing, Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 259.  America wants to treat these terrorist acts as crimes; in fact we are still trying to bring these people to trial.

These are acts of war -- the Wake Up alarm is louder.

The terrorists decide to bring the fight to America. 

In January 1993, two CIA agents are shot and  killed as they enter CIA headquarters in  Langley, Virginia.

The following month, February 1993, a group of terrorists are arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City.  Six people are killed and over 1000 are injured.

Still this is a crime, not an act of war?

The Snooze alarm is depressed again.

Then in November 1995 a car bomb explodes at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing seven service men and women.  A few months later in June of 1996, another truck bomb explodes only 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.  It destroys the Khobar Towers,  a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500.

The terrorists are getting braver and smarter as they see that America does not respond decisively.

They move to coordinate their attacks in a simultaneous attack on two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These attacks were planned with precision, they kill 224.

America responds with cruise missile attacks and goes back to sleep.

The USS Cole was docked in the port of  Aden, Yemen for refueling on 12 October 2000, when a small craft pulled along side the ship and exploded killing 17 US Navy Sailors.

Attacking a US War Ship is an act of war, but we sent the FBI to inspect the crime and went back to sleep.

And of course, you know the events of 11 September 2001.

Most Americans think this was the first attack against US soil or in America.

How wrong they are.

America has been under  a constant attack since 1979 and we chose to hit the snooze alarm and roll over and go back to sleep.

In the news lately we have seen lots of finger pointing from every high official in government over what they knew and what they didn't know.

But if you've read the papers and paid a little attention, I think you can see exactly what they knew.

You don't have to be in the FBI or CIA or on the National Security Council to see the pattern that has been developing since 1979.

President George W. Bush is right on when he says we are engaged in a war.

I think we have been in a war for the past 23 years and it will continue until we as a people decide enough is enough.

America has to "Get out of Bed" and act decisively now.

America has changed forever.

We have to be ready to pay the price and make the sacrifice to ensure our way of life continues.

We cannot afford to hit the Snooze Button again and roll over and go back to sleep.

We have to make the terrorists know that in the words of Admiral Yamamoto after the Pearl Harbor attack, "all they have done is to awaken a sleeping giant."


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