November 24, 2008
I watched a fantastic and haunting documentary on the Discovery Channel on the day of the assassination’s 45th anniversary. It’s titled “Oswald’s Ghost”. It was not just about the crime, but the effect it had on everyone. It wasn’t pro-conspiracy or lone gunman. Rather it reviewed the events and the unanswered questions. This DVD was not in any way sensationalized, rather a sobering look at that fateful day.
After watching I ordered it for my history library. It evoked many memories and haunts the viewer with many what-ifs.
The final solution in my opinion lies in Oswald’s grave. Only God and Lee Harvey Oswald know what truly happened that day.
November 12, 2008
TR and John Muir at Yosemite
Roosevelt was born October 27, 1858. This year marks the 150th anniversary of his birth. The 26th President of the United States is remembered for elevating the power of the presidency to new heights. Here are twelve interesting facts about his life and his presidency:
- First American to be awarded the Nobel Prize, winning the Peace Prize in 1906, for negotiating the peace in the Russo-Japanese War.
- Only president to win his country’s highest military honor. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War. His oldest son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on the Normandy beaches during D-Day, June 6, 1944.
- Although he was affectionately called “Teddy” by the public, he preferred to be called TR by his friends and family.
- He had a photographic memory and could read and comprehend several books in a day.
- TR was ahead of his time in that he multi-tasked with ease. He could be dictating letters to one secretary and a memo to another, while browsing through a new book.
- He was a prolific author. One of his books published on The Naval War of 1812 remains an essential reference to this conflict and continues to be reprinted to this day.
- TR was the youngest person to assume the presidency at age 42. (John F. Kennedy was the youngest to be elected at age 43)
- He was the fifth Vice President to succeed to the office of President, but the first to win election in his own right.
- He promised not to run again after his election even though he was eligible. He later regretted this because he was forced to leave the presidency at the young age of fifty and the height of his popularity
- First president to be involved in an automobile accident. One of the Secret Service agents guarding him was killed in the incident. He became the first agent killed while on duty (more on this gentleman in another posting).
- First president to fly in an airplane and ride in a submarine
- The “teddy bear” was created and named after him when he refused to shoot an orphaned black bear while on a hunting trip.
November 11, 2008
The eleventh hour, the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Today is the 90th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Known as the war to end all wars, it unfortunately didn’t achieve that goal.
Since the end of that war there have been many major wars and numerous other quasi-wars. World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan just to name a few.
Remembrance Day here in Canada, or Veteran’s Day in the States are both relevant today. Freedom and liberty aren’t free, they have to be protected and sometimes fought and died for.
So on this special day let’s pause and think of the young men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country’s freedom. We should also think of those who returned maimed physically and mentally as a result of their service to country.
My grandfather served in World War I. He never talked much about his experience, but he sure appreciated life the rest of his days. My father and mother served in World War II as did two of my uncles. I will be thinking of you today. Thanks for your service.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— Lt.-Col. John McCrae
November 10, 2008
Transition (AP/White House photo)
Americans – Republicans, Democrats or Independents should be proud. Government is transitioning in an organized and peaceful way.
Many governments only change through coups, bloody or bloodless. The people don’t take part in those changes.
I commend President Bush for his and his staff’s cooperation in this process. Sure there are many differences, but in the end all involved are Americans first and foremost.