Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years 2012 - the Good worth fighting for!



Baseball. Apple pie. The American dream.

Those were the days? ....

As I flip the calender to a New Year - 2012 - I reflect on growing up in a seemingly more innocent America and I get nostalgic with a tinge of sadness. Many songs express these feelings, as one of my favorites made popular in 1968 - Those Were the Days - sung in this video clip below.



Those were the the days, my friend.

We thought they would never end ...

Not so long again, October 2011, I wrote a blog: America in Decline?! The news has been (and still is) bad for so long that it has affected the national psyche. Even global tweets in twitter show we are depressed: Is Twitter Showing We're Depressed?

And I find myself getting older, but not wiser?

How did that happen?

Let's go back to the "Good Ol' Days" - 1983

I wrote a poem some 30 years ago, which I had posted more recently on my web page: here. Back then, I had been a little then depressed - it was raining - and I was between jobs. In 1983, the country was still in a deep recession as we were just starting to pull out of a national malaise. And I had written this poem to express my feelings - looking back to my more optimistic school days,

Lamenting the "Good Ol' Days"

The past is gone
The future dim
We lament
What could have been!


As the rain
Blows in wind
We yearn the sun
That could have been!


Time wears away
As the rain
That pounds and drips
Against the pane ...


What could have been!
Dare we say --
Will be the 'morrow
Which is today?


(C) 1983 by S. K. Smith

But after 1983 came ...

1984

It was an ominous sounding year with the ring of disaster thanks to George Orwell's novel - 1984. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. Yet in 1984, the national spirits and the economy took off. It would not be an exaggeration that in 1984, it was - Morning, again, in America.

Now at the doorstep is ...

2012

Like 1984, 2012 sounds like an ominous year. Some ancient prophesies predict a year of disasters. According to the Mayan calender - December 21, 2012 will be the "End of Time" (Also, reference: 2012 Mayan Predictions ) And there was the 2008 disaster movie - 2012 Doomsday.

2012 has become the new Y2K (2000).

The Future dim?

We survived Y2K - whose predicted disasters did not live up to the hype. With the turn of the new Millennium, The Lord of the Rings trilogy made it to the big screen in its latest version, starting in 2001. After the unpredicted disaster of 9/11, the story offered hope for the future as the protagonists faced and overcome overwhelming evil. One of my favorite speeches comes near the end of the second movie in the trilogy - The Two Towers (2002):




Looking back to stories in the past gives me hope for the future. There have been many dark days in our history. Like in the Lord of the Ring trilogy, the real life hero and heroines had many chances to turn back, but they did not. All were hanging on to the hope that there was some good in this world worth fighting for.

These stories still inspire me and we have their stories easily accessible to review in many forms of media. Here is a sample of some of those stories - with video links:

* The Revolutionary War

During the dark days when the "Glorious Cause of America" seemed lost, George Washington never gave up: George Washington insights

* The War of 1812

During the Battle of Baltimore and the fierce British bombardment of Fort McHenry, it looked like the United States would lose its "Second War of Independence." Great Britain had offered us an easy out if we took down our colors and surrendered. But we did not. Then enemy gave it everything they got. Against the odds, we prevailed. This battle inspired Francis Scott Key who wrote the words that became our national anthem: The Star Spangled Banner Story

* The Civil War

During those very dark days, it seemed the United States would dissolve, especially after the terrible losses such as at the Battle of Gettysburg. But Abraham Lincoln reminded us of the good that was worth fighting for: The Gettysburg Address

* World War Two:

During the dark days as Europe was succumbing to Hitler's juggernaut, Sir Winston Churchill reminded his people and allies as the United States that Christian civilization was worth fighting for: Their Finest Hour Speech

* The Cold War

During these dark days, it seemed communism was gobbling up the free world, imprisoning millions under dictatorial regimes behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains. Yet, Ronald Reagan reminded us that freedom was worth fighting for: A Time for Choosing

As in the stories above there is still Good in this world and ...

it is worth fighting for!

This 2012,

Fight the good fight of faith ...

1 Timothy 6:12
(King James Version)

-----------------------------
-----------------------------

Previous New Year's posts:

New Year's Lessons from Gilligan's Island (2010)

Eucatastrophe for 2010? (2010)

New Year's Resolutions and Blue Monday - the cure (2009)

-----------------------------


Photo from Wikipedia Commons: Americana

Saturday, December 17, 2011

America's Story (part 4) - Christmas 1944, when we said NUTS to the enemy


Anthony McAuliffe

December 1944


World War Two was in overdrive. The major powers were slugging it out about the world - in Europe, Africa, and in the Pacific for 5 long years already- since 1939.

The United States had entered the fray when the US Congress had declared war on Japan (December 8, 1941) for attacking Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941).


Then on December 11, 1941, Germany and Italy had declared war on the United States. We were in the war for the long haul. 

Early December 1944, we had thought the war, at least in Europe, would be over in a few weeks and we'd be home for Christmas. 

But Adolf Hitler  had other plans and fought back with everything he got.


The European Theater - the Battle of the Bulge

The German offensive,
December 16-25, 1944
Starting in December 16, 1944, Hitler had launched a surprise counter-offensive, the largest one in the war, against the Western Front. Its purpose was to drive a wedge between British and American armies and capture the Port of Antwerp to get the Allies to negotiate a peace.

It would be known as the Battle of the Bulge (December 16, 1944 - January 25, 1945). And the legendary General George S. Patton was key to frustrate the Germans in this offensive.

In December, 1944, Major General Maxwell D. Taylor, commander of the 101th Airborne, was attending a conference in the United States when the German army attacked. Acting in command was Brigadier General McAuliffe - who had showed his mettle when he parachuted in Normandy on D-Day.

During the German counter-attack, the 101th Airborne was called to defend the critical road junction at Bastogne, Belgium at all costs. Here the Germans surrounded the 101th in what would be known as the Seige of Bastogne.

This scene from Band of Brothers (2001) in the forest near Foy, a village near Bastogne, gives a glimpse of what the Allies were up against:




On December 22, 1944, the German commander, General Heinrich Freiherr von L├╝ttwitz sent the following ultimatum for immediate surrender to General McAuliffe at Bastogne.

That morning, General McAuliffe delivered his written answer -

To the German Commander,

Nuts!

The American Commander.

The verbal exchange is shown in the clip below from Battleground (1949) :



(For a longer clip  - check out: The Siege of Bastogne.  And for the text of the German ultimatum and American response: "NUTS!" Revisited)


Help was on the way!

Enter General George S. Patton and the Third Army.

Though caught by surprise, General Eisenhower saw an opportunity in the German counter-attack. It was easier to defeat the Germans when they were on the offensive. General Patton made the claim that he could have two divisions to counterattack in Bastogne in 48 hours.

At the time, Patton's army was in the northeast of France. And the troops made good on that claim as the Third Army turned 90 degrees left and in 48 hours had linked with the defenders of Bastogne - a move that surprised General Eisenhower. (Reference: Battle of the Bulge)

And here is Patton's famous weather prayer that Christmas 1944, shown in this clip from Patton (1970), requested that December of 1944.  (For the rest of the story, Patton's Weather Prayer.)



That December 26, 1944, Patton's Third Army broke through the German lines and entered Bastogne, relieving the valiant defenders and ultimately pushing the Germans east across the Rhine.

Against overwhelming odds, the Americans held Bastonge and prevailed that Christmas of 1944 and after.

And General McAuliffe's - NUTS - at Bastonge and General Patton's gutsy leadership during the Battle of the Bulge in World War Two are part of America's Story

which is to be continued ...
 
------------------------------------
------------------------------------

Previous posts in this series:


America's Story (part 3) - Over There - 1917, 1941 (2011)

America's Story (part 2) - Savages! (2011)

America's Story (part 1) - The Speech that redefined us, November 19, 1863 (2011)


------------------------------

Previous posts on the World War 2:

A kiss immortalized in August 14, 1945 (2010)

Remembering D-Day - June 6, 1944 (2010)

Pearl Harbor Day, 1941 - World War Two Soldiers Remembered (2009)


------------------------------------

Previous Christmas posts:

The King James Bible: 1611 - 2011 (2011)

Random Acts of Christmas (2010)

Remember Ebenezer Scrooge? (2010)

Christmas 1776 - the gift of freedom (2009)


------------------------------------
------------------------------------

Photo from Wikipedia Commons: Anthony McAuliffe, map of the Battle of the Bulge

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The King James Bible: 1611 - 2011


This year, 2011, has marked the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

Check out this article:

Happy 400th Birthday To The King James Bible -- The Most Influential Book In The English Language


The headline of this article is no hyperbola.


From a literature standpoint - this translation is one of the greatest piece of literature in the English language. (reference: Why the King James Bible Endures)


From a scholarly standpoint - the bar was set very high in making this translation. (reference: An enduring legacy)


From a cultural standpoint - no other book has influenced so much of the English speaking world, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, .... (reference: King James Bible - Influence)


From an American standpoint - this version had a great influence in many of the American founding documents and laws. (reference: Concurrent Resolution (House & Senate) Recognizing the 400th Anniversary of the KJV)


The story of how this translation came about is rich in historical twists and players - saints, sinners, martyrs, persecutors. (For further reading, check out: English Bible History)

And now for the video clips highlighting the King James Bible ....

The History.

Below is a video (one of many good ones) that captures the high points:


The influence on the English Language.

This cartoon version presents quite succinctly and humorously the influence of the King James Bible on our language and culture:




The influence in Music.

Many sacred pieces take their lyrics from the King James Bible, such as the musical masterpiece, Handel's Messiah.  During this Advent/Christmas season, what more appropriate example of a song from this masterpiece than this one:





For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6
(King James Version)

The source of many Idioms.

Below is a tribute to the King's English, as the narrator easily pours from his lips so many of the idioms that have become part of our every day speech:




The King James Version in outer space?

Who would have even imagined that in 1611! Yet it happened. One of the most unforgettable Christmas Eve's was in 1968 when the crew of Apollo 8, while circling the moon, read to the world these words from Genesis in the King James Version:



P. S.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
Genesis 1:31
(King James Version)


Happy 400th Birthday KJV, which
Praises the King of King and Lord of Lords!

Merry Christmas
And God bless us all on the good old Earth!

------------------------------------
------------------------------------


Holiday eCards from Dayspring.com:

Hanukkah:

Messianic Hanukkah Greeting

General Hanukkah Greeting


Christmas:

Love Came Down

Silent Night

Unto us a Son is Given

The Father's Hands


------------------------------------


Previous Christmas posts:

Random Acts of Christmas (2010)

Remember Ebenezer Scrooge? (2010)

Christmas 1776 - the gift of freedom (2009)


------------------------------------
------------------------------------


Photo from Wiki Commons: King James' Bible, 1611

Saturday, December 3, 2011

America's Story (part 3) - Over There - 1917, 1941


George M. Cohan (1878 - 1942) - entertainer, singer, dancer, composer, actor ...

George Michael Cohan is an American icon as he wrote many patriotic songs, such as Give My Regards to Broadway, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Over There, You're a Grand Old Flag, which are played in this video clip below:



And James Cagney played this song-and-dance man in the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), which was made during a time when the United States had recently entered into World War Two.

The importance of music, especially in arousing passions and lifting spirits, is keenly felt during troubled times such as war ... especially a world war.

April 6, 1917

As newspaper headlines that day broadcast that the United States had declared war on Germany, one man, George M. Cohan started humming a tune, which he would compose a song and set to lyrics -Over There. (reference: Story behind the Lyrics)  And during World War One, Over There inspired young men to go and fight overseas as well as consoled those on the home front who were concerned for their loved ones - over there.

This story behind the lyrics is shown in this scene from Yankee Doodle Dandy: Over There
(It's worth a look, but I was not able to embed it, since its source on YouTube has disabled that feature.)

So we went over there in 1917. And we came back when it was over, over there. That is till the winds of wars inflamed the world again, and the United Stated was about to enter World War Two.

In this clip of the final scenes from Yankee Doodle Dandy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt presents George M. Cohan the Congressional Medal of Honor for his work on patriotic songs, such as Over There - which had inspired the nation, as shown in this clip:   Yankee Doodle Dandy Finale
(Again, I was not allowed to embed this one.)

And this scene of the James Cagney's tap dancing down the stairs was completely ad libbed. (reference: IMDb trivia)




In reality, George M. Cohan was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1936 by the US Congress - not the Congressional Medal of Honor, but this fiction made for a good Hollywood story ending  to complete the circle of Over There and the life of this composer, whose songs were so important during two world wars. (reference: House History, George M. Cohan)

And after December 7, 1941 - Pearl Harbor Day

we did go Over There ... Again ... 70 years ago.

George M. Cohan's legend and patriot songs are part of America's Story, which is

to be continued ...

--------------------------------
--------------------------------


Previous posts in this series:

America's Story (part 2) - Savages! (2011)

America's Story (part 1) - The Speech that redefined us, November 19, 1863 (2011)


--------------------------------

Previous posts on the World Wars:

World War 1:

Veteran's Day 2011 - final homecoming of the WWI vets (2011)

Veterans Day - World War One Soldiers Remembered (2009)


World War 2:

A kiss immortalized in August 14, 1945 (2010)

Remembering D-Day - June 6, 1944 (2010)

Pearl Harbor Day, 1941 - World War Two Soldiers Remembered (2009)


-------------------------


Photo from Wikipedia Commons: Over There

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Anastasis (part 2) - standing up



Anastasis.

Ana .... say what?  Did I mistype and really mean Anastasia

No.  I meant anastasis.  And it's Greek.

What does it mean?  And in English please.

Here comes the technical stuff, first, then the music.

-----------------------------

Anastasis (Gk., ‘resurrection’). The term is used both of the resurrection of Christ and of that of mankind in general. (from E. A. LIVINGSTONE. "Anastasis." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 2000. Encyclopedia.com. 24 Nov. 2011)

And from Vine's Expository Dictionary, anastasis denotes a raising up or rising ( from ana - "up" and hestimi - "to cause to stand.") ... hence, a standing up.  In Strong's concordance, anastasis translates as resurrection (reference: Greek Word Study) and is used in the New Testament 42 times (reference: Search God's Word )

-----------------------------

About resurrection in the Bible ....

Chronologically, the first mention of the resurrection may be in the Book of Job, as many scholars conclude this to be the oldest book written in the Bible, most likely during the time of the patriarchs (reference Apologetics Press.)  During his trials, made worse by the miserable comfort of his friends, Job makes this great statement of faith in the resurrection:

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Job 19:25-26
King James Version

 
And Job's words were put to music some 3000 years later in Handel's Messiah: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth




The last phrase of the song comes the New Testament:

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

1 Corinthians 15:20
King James Version
 

The following verses expound on the resurrection, not only of Christ, but for all those who have trusted in Him:

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22
King James Version

 
And Handel put those words to music, too: Since by Man Came Death




And the word in the Greek used for resurrection in these verses above is anastasis. (reference: The New Testament Greek Lexicon)

Standing up is a theme throughout the first book of this trilogy -  Anastasis: The Forbidden Book Concealed.  And it was no accident that the heroine is Anastasia - whose name means resurrection.

The setting of this story is in a fictional tiny kingdom (in continental Europe) during a time when the ecclesiastic powers in high places control the people by keeping their minds and spirits enslaved in the darkness of dead religion. Hence, the Light of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is concealed.

Yet ...

Even the Dark Ages could not extinguish the Light.

And the age old struggle between darkness and light continues ....


You must read it to see how it plays out.

-------------------------------------
-------------------------------------

The site where free sample chapters can be downloaded and where this eBook can be bought and delivered via wireless:

* Amazon.com (for Kindle)

* Barnes and Noble (Nook)



-----------------------------------

Previous post in this series:

Anastasis (part 1) - The Forbidden Book Concealed (2011)


-----------------------------------

Previous posts on the resurrection:

Easter - The Sign of the Prophet Jonah (2011)

Earth Shaking Easter - a wake up call (2010)


-------------------------------------

photo from everystockphoto.com: Happy Easter

Saturday, November 19, 2011

America's Story (part 2) - Savages!



November, many of us Americans may reflect on Thanksgiving.

It is the quintessential American holiday. English pilgrims, seeking religious freedom, boarded the Mayflower at Plymouth, England to go west - crossing the Atlantic. And they landed at Cape Cod (Massachusetts) on Plymouth Rock in 1620.

Half did not survive the winter. But with the providential help of Squanto from the Wampanoag tribe, the pilgrims cultivated the land and forged an alliance with the Native Americans - one that would last for more than 50 years.

In 1621, the pilgrims celebrated the harvest with a feast - considered America's first Thanksgiving - where they invited their Native American allies. Two very different cultures - for a time - were at peace.

But 13 years before the Mayflower ...

In 1607, English people settled near Tidewater, Virginia (future birth place of George Washington) in Jamestown.

John Smith, who had become known as a troublemaker, was put in irons during most of the voyage to America. Most ironic for his countrymen, the lock box when opened in the New World revealed that John Smith was to be one of the seven leaders chosen by the Virginia Company, whom King James I had granted the charter to colonize Virginia. Later, John Smith was elected as the president of the colony. He really showed them.

Among John Smith's adventures, which he recorded later in 1624, was that he and two English companions had been ambushed by the Native American Indians and held captive for two months. Powhatan, the chief, had condemned John Smith to be clubbed to death, whereas the chief's daughter Pocahontas thwarted the plan - throwing herself between Smith and his attackers, causing her father to relent. Though many doubt this exact story - there were no other corroborating accounts, the Pocahontas legend lived on to this day in American and Native American folklore.

Pocahontas was later kidnapped, then married an English tobacco farmer John Rolfe, and they had a child, Thomas. She died in England in 1617, but her descendants include relatives of American presidents. Among them are Thomas Jefferson's son-in-law, Thomas Mann Randolph, Jr., and Edith Wilson, the wife of President Woodrow Wilson.

In the late 20th century, the legend of John Smith and Pocahontas - wouldn't you know - was made into a feature length Disney cartoon -

Pocahontas.

Based on some true historic events, this kid's movie took much artist license, such as a gorgeous Native American Indian princess with a cute raccoon sidekick regularly conversing with Grandmother Willow, a tree, for sage advice. Yet, the legend was a good yarn and Disney often places great truths in its movies so us big kids as well as the young ones can digest them.

The following video clip dramatizes the reaction of the capture of John Smith and his pending execution:


They are not like us!

This worldview (both of the English and Native Americans in the clip) is the justification for much of the conflict in this world as well as the rationalization for other bad behavior. Xenophobia often runs the gamut from simply shunning a classmate who is different to the outright genocide of a people .

In William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, the differences between people - not like us, yet much like us - is eloquently put in Shylock's speech from Act 3, Scene 1

I am a Jew.
Hath not a Jew eyes?
hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?
fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means,warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is?
If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh?
if you poison us, do we not die?

And in this video clip, the legendary Pocahontas has the solution ....

Love.

The God revealed in the Bible - both Old Testament and New Testament - is a God of love.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He did not pick one of the Ten. But He quoted from the Law of Moses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22 (NIV)

Talking about these same verses from the Law of Moses on a different occasion, a man asked Jesus - “And who is my neighbor?”

This was the lead into the story of the Good Samaritan ... someone, who in the eyes of the Jews of that day was despised because - he was not like them. As for those who are familiar with this story know, the despised person of the "wrong" religion, a "half breed" race of Jew and pagan, helped the man in need, a victim of assault and robbery, while the victim's own countrymen (a priest, a Levite) chose not to get involved.

At the end of the parable, Jesus asks -

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10 (NIV)

The story of Pocahontas is one of the triumph of love and mercy shown to those who are not like us. She is truly a role model and a great heroine.

And the legend of John Smith and Pocahontas as well as the first American Thanksgiving are part of America's Story, which is

to be continued ...

----------------------------
----------------------------

Previous post in the America's Story series:

America's Story (part 1) - The Speech that redefined us, November 19, 1863 (2011)


---------------------------

Another Thanksgiving post:

Timeless Thanksgiving (2009)


... and some great Thanksgiving eCards from DaySpring.com:

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect

Blessings of freedom

The first Thanksgivng

---------------------------

Other posts on Disney films:

(In my opinion, the Disney version of Mary Poppins, when the kid stuff of magic and silly songs was stripped away, had a serious message about the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. And as you see I blogged much about it.)

Mary Poppins (Part 1) - from 1910 to 2010

Mary Poppins (Part 2) - It's a Wonderful Life?

Mary Poppins (Part 3) - Take your kids to work day?

Mary Poppins (Part 4) - Go Fly a Kite!


---------------------------

Photo from:

Wikipedia Commons: Pocahontas saves Smith

Saturday, November 12, 2011

America's Story (part 1) - The Speech that redefined us, November 19, 1863



One hundred fifty years ago, Civil War broke out in the United States. In my opinion, this war was the worst war in our 235 + year history. It divided us as a people on many issues - slavery only one of them. The casualties - including both the Union and Confederate soldiers - were the greatest of any of our wars - even the American casualties during World War II - the worst war of the 20th century.

The song below give a sense of the intensity of the fighting during the Civil War:




The turning point in favor of the Union, some historians believe, was the Battle of Gettysburg. The causalities for both the Union and the Confederates was 51,000 in this one battle alone over three days of fighting (July 1 to July 3, 1863). Compare these causalities to the 58,000 deaths over 20 years in the Vietnam War (1955- 1975). Gettysburg was a terrible battle.

On November 19, 1863 - almost 150 years ago - Abraham Lincoln read a few words at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He spoke for only two minutes. But these few words redefined us as a people and became a balm to begin healing the wounds that had so grievously divided us.

Many voices have re-read this speech since then. The version below, eloquently read by Johnny Cash, displays iconic images in American history spanning four centuries - 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st.




Some rank this speech as one of the greatest speeches in American history, if not in the top ten of the greatest historic speeches of all time ... and we are still talking about. And this speech was first given by the 16th president of the United States on November 19, 1863.

The Gettysburg Address is part of America's Story, which is

to be continued ...

----------

Previous posts on similar subjects:

America in Decline?! (2011)

3 birthdays, 3 presidents, 3 centuries, 3 defining wars ... (2011)

Memorial Day - Do we know how much they suffered? (2010)

July 1776 & July 1863 (2009)

----------

Photo from:

Wikipedia Commons: Battle of Gettysburg

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011 - final homecoming of the WWI vets



It happened almost a hundred years ago - the Great War, the World War - now known as World War One, as there would be more than one great world war in the 20th century.  For many of us, our great grandparents, grandparents, and even parents may have fought in this war.  To all of us still living, the Great War seems like ancient history.

Volumes were written about this war, which H.G. Wells called -  "The War That Will End War."   For a summary, below is a brief history of the First World War:




The "armistice" to end the war took effect on  November 11, 1918 - at the 11th hour of 11th day of 11th month.  And became known as - Armistice Day ... later Veteran's Day.

.... 11/11/11 ....

But this year - 2011 - marks a milestone as the the last of the World War One veterans have passed away.

Frank Buckles
 

The last living U.S. World War I veteran, Frank Buckles, passed away in February this year at the age of 110 - his story.  He served in both World Wars.   During WW1, he was an ambulance driver.  In WW2, he was a POW, captured by the Japanese.

Rest in peace and we are grateful for your service to our country


Claude 'Chuckles' Choules

The last of the front line World War One veterans, Claude 'Chuckles' Choules, passed away in May this year, also at the age of 110 - his story  He also served in both World Wars.  In WW1, he was a sailor in the Australian Royal Navy; WW2  a demolitions officer in Australia .
  
May you rest peacefully as your countrymen are grateful for your service to your country as well as your service to all your allies.
 
For all Veterans, Thank You!

May you all enjoy the Veterans' Homecoming:





-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ecards for Veterans Day -


* Veteran's Day prayer

* Making a difference

* The service of veterans

* Veteran's Day blessing

* Honor is Due

* Never Forget

-----------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------

Previous post on Veterans Day:

Veterans Day - World War One Soldiers Remembered (2009)

-----------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------

Related posts:

3 birthdays, 3 presidents, 3 centuries, 3 defining wars ...  (2011)

A kiss immortalized in August 14, 1945  (2010)

The Story Behind the Star Spangled Banner  (2010)

Remembering D-Day - June 6, 1944  (2010)

Welcome Home, Troops! (2010)

Christmas 1776 - the gift of freedom (2009)

Pearl Harbor Day, 1941 - World War Two Soldiers Remembered (2009)

July 1776 & July 1863 (2009)

-----------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------

Photos from:

 everystockphoto.comgreat-grandfather in WWI military uniform

 wikipedia commons@

----------------------------

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anastasis (part 1) - The Forbidden Book Concealed

 
 
I am pleased to introduce the first book in the Christian historical fantasy series, The Forbidden Book and the Upside Down Kingdom:


Anastasis - The Forbidden Book Concealed
 

What happens when ...
 
Providence moves a Bishop, a Queen, and a Lord to shine the Light revealed in the Forbidden Book in the Dark Ages?
 

--------------------------------------------------------------
   

In anno Domini 1375, Queen Anastasia reigned in the rich little kingdom of Opulentia. And her favorite courtier, Lord Adryan Crippen had the world within easy grasp - his handsome looks, exalted position, and the heart of the Queen. Then Adryan’s dreams evaporated as the enemy within attempted to destroy him.
   

 Yet Providence put Adryan in hiding within St. Luke’s Infirmary where the elderly Bishop Sinjin labored on a translation of the Forbidden Book. When a conspiracy to usurp the throne comes to light, will the Bishop and Adryan be able to save the Queen? Will the Bishop fulfill his calling to shine the Light revealed in the Forbidden Book into the spiritual darkness of the age?

Anastasis. Will the fallen stand up, again?
  

  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Even the Dark Ages could not extinguish the Light ...



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now available at:



Also check out:

*  AuthorsDen

*  smithsk.com


Question: What does Anastasis mean? And why it is important in the New Testament?