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The Upper and the Real Deal
The BBHQ Monday Morning Upper
Click the picture for the
BBHQ Monday Morning Upper.
Today, in the spirit of the day, we offer a Piano Guys special, "Bring
Him Home." This is one of the best Uppers we have ever offered.
Take 4 minutes; sit back; think about how fortunate we are.
Until the millennium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others,
it will be necessary to accept one's responsibilities and be willing to make
sacrifices for one's country. As the troops used to say,
"If the country is good enough to live in, it's good enough to fight
for." With privilege goes responsibility.
- Victor Davis Hanson
This Week with the Chicowitz
This week Hershel remembers "Decoration Day":
My mother called it "Decoration Day"; for most of her life, it was May
Decoration Day was first observed on May 30, 1868 in order to
encourage decoration the graves of soldiers who had died during the Civil War. In
1971, Congress included Memorial Day as part of the Monday holiday law.
Still, every year my mother decorated her father's grave and her
husband's grave - on May 30th. It was an important tradition.
My mother said that one of the main differences between the Vietnam War
and World War II was that, during her war, everyone was involved in the
war... every day. Even if you did not listen to the radio or read the
newspaper, you could not avoid the war - be it a drive to sell war bonds
at work, news of the death of someone you knew, or the inability to buy a
washing machine, gasoline, or even butter. Every day, it was all around
you. You were a part of the war, like it or not.
My father participated in the tradition each year by reading a speech to
us: the Gettysburg address ("...that from these honored dead we take
increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full
measure of devotion"); Washington's farewell address; one of FDR's
fireside chats, Lincoln's second inaugural address ("With malice toward
none, with charity for all...").
In 1962, my dad read President Kennedy's inaugural address: "Let every
nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any
foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
Click below to read the entire essay:
General John Logan issued General Order #1 on May 5, 1868, stating:
Gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above
them with choicest flowers of springtime. Let us, in this solemn presence,
renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as
sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude, the soldier`s and sailor's widow
Most wars are fought over land, or, ironically, in the name of religion.
(There is no greater oxymoron that the term "holy war.") That is not why
we fight. We have never fought over such issues. We fight for our most
sacred treasure: freedom. We fought our Revolutionary War to rid
ourselves of the tyranny of British Rule. Our Civil War made a statement
about freedom -- for every American. We sought no land or religion in
either world war; we sought only to prevent others from overtaking us and
or allies. The Vietnam War - ? Perhaps it drew a line in the sand that
the U.S. would not accept an endless expansion of communism. As
controversial as the wars in the middle east have been, they have
brought the opportunity for freedom to millions of people... mostly
Muslims. And they have sent a clear signal that the United States will
not yield its freedom, especially in the name of "religion."
We fight for freedom; our soldiers fight... and die... for freedom.
In 1861, Sullivan Ballou was the Speaker of the Rhode Island House of
Representatives. He was 31. Public service was a long standing tradition
among Ballou's ancestors. As a dedicated public servant and ardent
supporter of President Lincoln, Ballou saw it as his duty to serve in the
military, though by the outbreak of the war between the states, he was a
husband and father of two children. Recent members of Ballou's family had
fought to create his country. He saw it as his duty to help preserve
Sullivan Ballou was typical of millions of soldiers who have fought for
their country. A strong sense of pride and patriotism was a major part of
the foundation of his character.
The war had begun in April, 1861. By June, Sullivan Ballou a Major in the
2nd Regiment of Rhode Island, located in Washington. Sullivan Ballou
wrote to his wife, "We are encamped in paradise. There certainly never
was a more beautiful spot. It is an oak grove - trees all tall and large
and the ground free of shrubs."
On July 14, Major Ballou wrote a letter to his wife, indicating that he
may be able to send for her for a brief visit. Later that day he learned
that his regiment would be travelling 35 miles south, to Manassas,
Virginia, and that a confrontation with the enemy was likely. A visit
form Sarah was not out of the question. Recognizing the seriousness of
war, Ballou returned to his tent and penned a second letter. This one,
however, he left in his trunk.
July the 14th, 1861
My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days -
perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel
impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no
Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure - and
it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. Not my will, but thine
0 God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield
for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of
confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not
halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon
the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who
went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I
am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to
help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt.
But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly
all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows -
when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage
myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little
children - is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose
floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you,
my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless,
contest with my love of country?
I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two
thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last,
perhaps, before that of death -- and I, suspicious that Death is creeping
behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and
I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a
wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved and I could
not find one. A pure love of my country and of the principles have often
advocated before the people and "the name of honor that I love more than
I fear death" have called upon me, and I have obeyed.
Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with
mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love
of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on
with all these chains to the battlefield.
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping
over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed
them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the
hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and
loved together and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us.
I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but
something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little
Edgar -- that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my
dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath
escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.
Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How
thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been! How gladly would I wash
out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle
with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from
harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near
you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and
wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.
But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen
around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day
and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest
hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it
shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall
be my spirit passing by.
Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we
shall meet again.
As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a
father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long,
and my blue eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest
memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your
maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell my two
mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them. O Sarah, I wait for
you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.
On July 21, Major Sullivan was shot in Manassas, the first Battle of Bull
Run. He died several days later. His last letter to Sarah was delivered
to her personally, several months after his death.
"Sullivan Ballou was typical of millions of soldiers who have fought for
their country. A strong sense of pride and patriotism was a major part of
the foundation of his character." THIS is why we remember... on Decoration
Day... Memorial Day.
Have a great holiday, and a thoughtful remembrance. We'll share the
fun again next Monday.
- the Boomer Crew at BBHQ
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