Archive for May, 2011
I heard of Bugles Across America on ABCWorldNews yesterday and was incredibly touched by this group. It bothered me that the option given to many veterans was a recording of taps and not live. Tom Day also found this appalling and is trying to address the need. And doing a great job of it!
Please consider volunteering, requesting a bugler, or even donating via their site.
Bugles Across America, NFP was founded in 2000 by Tom Day, when Congress passed legislation stating Veterans had a right to at least 2 uniformed military people to fold the flag and play taps on a CD player. Bugles Across America was begun to take this a step further, and in recognition of the service these Veterans provided their country, we felt that every Veteran deserved a live rendition of taps played by a live Bugler. To this end, we are actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.
Bugles Across America now has over 7500 bugler volunteers located in all 50 states and growing number overseas. Since the Department of Veterans Affairs is expecting more than 1/2 million veterans to pass every year for the next 7 years, Bugles Across America is ALWAYS recruiting new volunteers.
Bugler Volunteers can be male or female. They can play a traditional bugle with no valves, or they can perform the ceremony on a Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, or a 1, 2 or 3 valved bugle. The bugler can be of any age as long as they can play the 24 notes of Taps with an ease and style that will do honor to both the Veterans, their families, and the burial detail performing the service.
Memorial Day is about honoring those who have fallen while defending our country. The holiday’s origins date back to May 5th 1868:
On May 5, 1868, Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed the holiday, and on May 30 of that year, flowers were first placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
As you read this we have soldiers abroad doing what their country has asked of them in both Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars have been going on for a decade now and while casualties have been kept low compared to other historical conflicts, it is important to remember that not all of our troops will be coming home.
In the Afghanistan War we have lost 1594 American soldiers since 2001. Last year was the deadliest year of the Afghan War for US troops since it began, we lost 499 men and women in 2010.
The Iraq War, which began in 2003, has cost us a total of 4454 lives thus far and countless injuries. Thankfully, the amount of US troop casualties in Iraq peaked in 2007 and has declined each year since.
If you want to read blogs more specific to the military, I suggest Milblogging. Amazing!
This was in an email I received from RJ and I had to share!
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’
‘H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.’
‘They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?’
‘Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.’
‘Good. Anything I can help you with?’
‘No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’
‘Would you like to take some home?’ Asked Mr. Miller.
‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.’
‘Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’
‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’
‘Is that right? Let me see it’ said Miller.
‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.’
‘I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?’ the store owner asked.
‘Not zackley but almost.’
‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble’. Mr. Miller told the boy.
‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.’
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.
When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.’
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts… All very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket.
Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.
They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size… They came to pay their debt.’
‘We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,’ she confided, ‘but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.’
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn’t make yourself… An unexpected phone call from an old friend… Green stoplights on your way to work… The fastest line at the grocery store…. A good sing-along song on the radio… Your keys found right where you left them.
IT’S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!
To my mom and all my mom friends out there!
This article is from SPN and had to share. Too cool not to. What an inspiration!
Back in February, we shared the story of Nathan Hidajat, who decided before he turned 8 that he wanted to give up his birthday for charity: water after watching the video of Scott Harrison on stage at Big Omaha 2010. Nathan met his original goal — raising $1,000 — in a mere seven days. Not content to stop there, he’s raised and met new goals several times since.
Charity: water campaigns typically last for 90 days, and Nathan’s will reach that in about three days. As of his last update on Tuesday, he had raised more than $3,000 from 86 donors. I conducted an email interview with Nathan, who (with the help of his father, Robert) looked back over his charity: water experience so far and discussed fund-raising goals for the future.
Silicon Prairie News: How do you feel about reaching your goal of raising $3,000 for charity: water?
Nathan Hidajat: I feel great! I am happy and thankful for everybody who helped me reach my goal. Most importantly, I am excited that the money raised will help more than 150 people get clean water.
SPN: Do you have another goal for the last few days of your campaign?
Hidajat: My next goal is either $4,000 or 100 donors.
SPN: What have you learned from this whole experience?
Hidajat: I [learned] that:
- Even someone as small as me can help people and make a difference in the world.
- Helping people is fun!
- People are very nice and want to help.
- At first I was scared and nervous to play piano for Grandmas and Grandpas at the retirement homes [as a thank you to the donors], but it’s actually very fun! I really like to see them happy and sing along when I play for them.
- People like my drawings [also a donor thank you] and feel that I appreciate their help and donation.
Additionally, the Lincoln Way chapter of the American Red Cross recognized Nathan as one of several “Young Heroes of the Heartland” in an event on Tuesday night in Ames. According to the organization’s website, this award is used “to recognize and pay tribute to young people, under 21, who have demonstrated local acts of heroism.”