2017/12/07

The World is on Fire

Da Goddess @ 10:15

While it may not be the world world, it’s getting quite a bit more of my world involved.

Southern California is, once again, ablaze. Some keep referring to the fires as *brushfires*. These are most decidedly NOT mere brushfires. These are deadly wildfires.

Raging out of control, aided by strong Santa Ana winds, which are expected to kick up to gusts up 90mph in some areas.

We are safely away from the fires. All I can do, all any of us can do, is to pray for the safety of those in harm’s way.

May all y’all be sheltered in a safe location as your neighborhood is evacuated. May the firefighters and police and pilots be safe as they fight the fires and help evacuate communities go up in flames.

Praying this all ends quickly and with minimal loss of life.

Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance

Da Goddess @ 09:55

Today is the day America officially entered the war against Japan 76 years ago. At 07:55. A morning that sparked a battle that lasted years, caused neighbors to look upon neighbors with suspicion if they were of Asian descent. So many of the military families had Japanese or Filipinos working in the homes or yards. Suspicion grew as the day wore on. As the attacks continued, many of these Pacific Islanders were asked to either stay under the protection of their employers or were picked up and held as possible conspirators in attacks.

I still recall the story our friend Jodie told us, one of being a little girl out playing in the yard, awaiting her friend and her friend’s family so they could go to church. Jodie was outside, playing in the yard, full of joy and unconcerned about a single thing. That is, until a low flying jet flew low over the house. The plane was low enough for he to look into the pilot’s eyes. Jodie ran into the house, calling for her dad, waking him and her mom, telling them what she saw. It wasn’t until she mentioned the markings on the plane that her father leapt out of bed and started calling out orders: “stay indoors! Call all the other families, tell them to do the same, and have them ready to send their men down to the harbor!”

As much as Jodie knew, this was no longer a drill. This was what was necessary to be as safe as possible in the middle of a war on paradise.

The weeks that followed were fraught with real, true fear.

Can you imagine a life like this?

America was now fully entrenched in World War II.

Thankfully, Jodie and her family and friends supported their Navy brethren. Everyone had one goal in mind: to live! To not have to fight off Intruders in the home.

Thankfully, the majority of the people of Asian descent were just there, trying to make their own lives better. But for those who were engaged in espionage, they were rounded up and dealt with by the Navy.

There’s so much more to Jodie’s. So much I cannot recall at this time.

More than 2,400 Americans sailors, soldiers, and civilians died during the attack and another 1,000 were wounded.

For A Day That Will Live in Infamy, it has lived up to that moniker.

Remembering all who lost their lives and those whose lives were turned upside down because of the attack on Pearl Harbor. If you see a vet, thank them with the utmost respect and sincerity.

2017/09/11

September 11 Remembered

Da Goddess @ 00:01

From September 11, 2014

There is an unease in my heart today. I cannot forget the morning of September 11, 2001. I cannot forget waking up and watching the world fall apart. I cannot forget the confusion on the face of my children. I cannot forget the pain on the faces of those who lost loved ones. I cannot forget the way neighbors came together in sadness and shock to offer comfort to one another, whether or not they knew them. I cannot forget. There is unease in my heart today as I remember how strong we rose from the ashes of tragedy and how easy it has been for some to forget, for them to contort reality into something other than what it was and is. There is unease in my heart today.

Never forget! Never forget the lives lost. Never forget how we turned toward one another instead of away from one another.

Never forget! Never forget that freedom is not easily won, nor is it easily kept. Those who have it must protect and nurture it. Those who don’t have it will always try to rip it away from those who do.

Never forget! We cannot pretend events were anything but what they were. Lives were lost. Hearts were broken. Never forget!

There is an unease in my heart today because I cannot forget. Because I will never forget.

A few posts from the past, with videos and important links:

Remembering 9/11

Never Forget

September 11 – We Never Forget

11 Years Later

Count To 3,000 and Keep Going – September 11 Remembered

Even while we continue to heal, we must never forget.

2017/05/28

Memorial Day 2017

Da Goddess @ 17:52

I miss those weekends with Little Dude. The weekends we spent at Ft. Rosecrans, planting flags before graves of those who served. I still get misty as I think of how seriously L.D. took his duties, how we’d stick around after everyone else left, walking amongst the tombstones. It was a sacred practice for us and precious, too.

Gardens of Stone - Fort Rosecrans

Gardens of Stone sit in stillness
The lives of those buried here are mostly forgotten
They whisper to us, but rarely do we listen
And yet they speak volumes

In Gardens of Stone there reside
Those who served, at home and on the front
The wind scatters leaves and secrets
Speaking volumes of those who can no longer speak for themselves

In Gardens of Stone names are carefully etched
For family and friends to visit for a while
After many years, the visits taper off
Speaking volumes of our commitment to those who have died

In Gardens of Stone some of us wander
Searching for clues
Honoring the dead
Praying for their souls

In Gardens of Stone on this weekend
Everywhere you turn
You will see flags and flowers
Speaking volumes that we still care

In Gardens of Stone we pray
For those who continue the tradition
The sacred honor of protecting our way of life
We pray their service speaks volumes that war may
Someday be unnecessary

Until that time, we walk in Gardens of Stone
We gather to remember for those who cannot
For those who will not
Because the next to lie here will someday be just
Another name etched carefully in granite

In Gardens of Stone we are never alone
In Gardens of Stone we must continue
To pray and remember and learn
So that someday there may be smaller Gardens of Stone

__________________________________

For every name upon a stone that might ring familiar, there thousands more which we may not recognize nor find in any book. Their names, if we look long enough, become familiar to us, become part of our extended family. For they are the ones who secured our freedoms and allowed us the rights we enjoy today. The protesters on the street can do so because of these men and women. Those who cry out for freedom from religion (we’re guaranteed freedom of religion — to worship [or not] as we so choose) can do so because of these men and women. Those who demand this and demand that are able to do so because of these men and women. We can stand up and publicly deride our leaders because of these men and women. We are free to speak in English or any other language we chose because of those who lie in the Gardens of Stone.

Most will never have monuments. Most will never have books written about them. We can, however, take the time to remember, even if in general terms.

___________________________________

Memorial Day is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, the gatherings of friends and family, the drinks passed around the campfire. We’re free to do so, yes, but it is due to the sacrifices made by people whose names we’ll likely never know.

Please take a moment this weekend to give thanks to those who have served, to those who continue to serve, and honor them with a moment of silence. That’s the least we can do for them.

Gardens of Stone - Fort Rosecrans

2016/09/11

15 Years After: Life Post-9/11

Da Goddess @ 05:39

After 15 years, my heart still beats a little too fast, my chest feels too tight, and I remember that sense of disbelief as if it were yesterday.

I also remember my neighbors gathering, not so much to talk, but more just needing to be together with others.

My children had questions. I had questions, too. But parents had to be strong and talk the kids through the scary news. We could only panic or cry in private. The kids needed us adults to be their safe haven. So we were.

I remember Mr. Rogers saying during times like these, when you’re frightened or feeling lost to look for the helpers. I keep thinking about that now. How many of us remember that? How many of us have become helpers?

I’ve been a helper and I have to say, helping others during terrible moments makes you stronger. It truly does.

I try not to be one who needs a helper now. I do what I can to be there for those who have no one else, who don’t know where to turn, who maybe just need a hand to hold onto.

I try. And I try very hard to support the helpers whose jobs require the support of the community. Whatever we can’t do, they are out there making sure it gets done. They work harder and longer than everyone else. And they need us to be there for them when all is said and done.

Today I think of the lives lost 15 years ago. I think, too, of those who have since died because of the work they did to put out fires, find survivors in the wreckage, or to reclaim the remains of the dead. I think of those who have flown over, sailed around, or walked in foreign lands in the name of securing our freedom, chasing down the evil minds behind the attacks on us. I think of all the innocents who’ve been caught in the crossfire.

Mostly, I think. I remember. I hurt. And I give thanks for all that remains.

Some far off day, long in the future, there will be no one left alive who remembers the attacks on American soil. It’ll be one more story in a history book. Until that happens, I will remember and I will speak of that day. I have to. I cannot forget, nor should I.

Never. Forget. Never forget. NEVER FORGET. NEVER. FORGET.

2014/12/22

9th Day of Christmas Songs

Da Goddess @ 01:01

I know for certain I’ve never posted this video before. Behold: Wizzard!

2014/11/11

Veterans Day

Da Goddess @ 16:45

Today I watched Taking Chance again. I began crying even before opening credits, continued on throughout the movie, and then King Arthur and I spent time talking about the movie, our military, and the importance of recoginizing the service of those who choose to enter the military. As I thought about it after, I realized I hadn’t posted anything today. I couldn’t let the day pass without posting. We MUST recognize those who serve, whether overseas or at home, military or civilian. And so, here is my Veterans Day post from 2012.

—-

We owe our Freedoms to those who give their lives to military service. Our veterans do this despite low pay and lack of recognition. Their families are left alone for long stretches of time. Veterans Day is: “A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

The very least we can do is take a moment and give special thanks to those who serve.

In case you aren’t familiar with how Veterans Day came to be, here is part of the story from the VA’s website:

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”

This is part of our American heritage. We should know this. We should acknowledge the sacrifices our military community makes on our behalf.

Please take a moment to thank a Veteran today.

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

2014/05/25

Memorial Day 2014

Da Goddess @ 23:24

Gardens of Stone - Fort Rosecrans

Gardens of Stone sit in stillness
The lives of those buried here are mostly forgotten
They whisper to us, but rarely do we listen
And yet they speak volumes

In Gardens of Stone there reside
Those who served, at home and on the front
The wind scatters leaves and secrets
Speaking volumes of those who can no longer speak for themselves

In Gardens of Stone names are carefully etched
For family and friends to visit for a while
After many years, the visits taper off
Speaking volumes of our commitment to those who have died

In Gardens of Stone some of us wander
Searching for clues
Honoring the dead
Praying for their souls

In Gardens of Stone on this weekend
Everywhere you turn
You will see flags and flowers
Speaking volumes that we still care

In Gardens of Stone we pray
For those who continue the tradition
The sacred honor of protecting our way of life
We pray their service speaks volumes that war may
Someday be unnecessary

Until that time, we walk in Gardens of Stone
We gather to remember for those who cannot
For those who will not
Because the next to lie here will someday be just
Another name etched carefully in granite

In Gardens of Stone we are never alone
In Gardens of Stone we must continue
To pray and remember and learn
So that someday there may be smaller Gardens of Stone

__________________________________

For every name upon a stone that might ring familiar, there thousands more which we may not recognize nor find in any book. Their names, if we look long enough, become familiar to us, become part of our extended family. For they are the ones who secured our freedoms and allowed us the rights we enjoy today. The protesters on the street can do so because of these men and women. Those who cry out for freedom from religion (we’re guaranteed freedom of religion — to worship [or not] as we so choose) can do so because of these men and women. Those who demand this and demand that are able to do so because of these men and women. We can stand up and publicly deride our leaders because of these men and women. We are free to speak in English or any other language we chose because of those who lie in the Gardens of Stone.

Most will never have monuments. Most will never have books written about them. We can, however, take the time to remember, even if in general terms.

___________________________________

Memorial Day is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, the gatherings of friends and family, the drinks passed around the campfire. We’re free to do so, yes, but it is due to the sacrifices made by people whose names we’ll likely never know.

Please take a moment this weekend to give thanks to those who have served, to those who continue to serve, and honor them with a moment of silence. That’s the least we can do for them.

Gardens of Stone - Fort Rosecrans

2014/03/27

20 Minutes: Wounded Warrior Project

Da Goddess @ 17:38

I love the Wounded Warrior Project and all it does to help our injured military personnel adapt to life and take charge of their world. Here’s a video that’s worth every second of your time.

2014/03/06

TJH: Inspire – Ghost Ship

Da Goddess @ 00:13

When I had to go into court against the insurance company a couple weeks ago, we saw a naval ship off the coast at Camp Pendleton, practicing loading and offloading of gear. The haze and the sun and the angle of our vehicle made it look rather ghostly, as if it were floating up in the thin clouds. By the time we pulled over at the rest stop, it looked a little less ghostly, but I took a few photos anyway.

ghost ship

ghost ship

I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I separated myself from the crowd (who were also out shooting with cameras and snapping with cell phones), wandered behind the one tree that stood off to the side, and figured I’d play NCIS agent to get the next two shots. King Arthur had the same idea and was trying to find me certain angles, which didn’t work so well because he’s taller and, guess what? I’m not. So I stuck with my range of view.

if I were a spy

if I were a spy

Yeah, I’m a total geek when it comes to making something easy a lot more difficult. I think they turned out okay. Sadly, I had no DiNozzo to slap upside the head, although I think I called KA “probie” in keeping with the NCIS theme. (I’ve already admitted I’m weird. No need to say it again, unless you absolutely must.)

2012/12/07

December 7, 1941

Da Goddess @ 03:19

Our friend JoedyPearl Harbor, Hawaii. 1941.

All hell broke loose. America changed forever.

A young girl had awakened early for church. Her parents were still in bed, trying to get a few extra minutes of sleep. They were rustled from their slumber when the girl came in and told them of the plane that almost hit their home. The girl’s father asked her if it was one of “our” planes. The girl would know; she was the daughter of a Naval officer. Had been all her life. The girl told her father about the red dot she’d seen on the plane and her father bolted out of bed. He raced down to work, where total chaos reigned: ships were sinking, buildings were burning, bodies were broken. America was now, without question, at war. The attack was deliberate. The fight was brought to our shores.

That girl grew up to become a Naval officer’s wife, a nurse, a historian, a champion of all those who were at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day, and a role model for many. She later became a family friend. (Somewhere, deep in the “lost” archives of 2008, are entries about her and her remarkable family, her connection to LD and me. If ever I unearth these posts, I will link them here.) I’ve not heard from this dear woman in a couple years and fear she has passed, but today I shall reach out to her (and her son) and find out for certain. I pray she’s still with us.

I think of her stories, her incredible life, the lives of those lost on this day, and how America fought back…I remember the lessons we learned, not just through history books, but through those who survived and shared their experiences with us.

We must listen. We must learn. We must remember.

2012/11/12

What It Means To Be a Hero

Da Goddess @ 09:39

Author Michael Connelly writes about his trip to visit the troops for CNN.

2012/11/11

108 Hours

Da Goddess @ 17:25

Watching 108 Hours with my dad. It’s an amazing story.

Blackfive wrote about it last year. It is an honor to know some of the people who helped make this father’s journey happen, even if the ultimate goal wasn’t met. Sometimes our greatest journeys and lessons come in the form of answers to questions you didn’t ask.

Veterans Day

Da Goddess @ 00:02

We owe our Freedoms to those who give their lives to military service. Our veterans do this despite low pay and lack of recognition. Their families are left alone for long stretches of time. Veterans Day is: “A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

The very least we can do is take a moment and give special thanks to those who serve.

In case you aren’t familiar with how Veterans Day came to be, here is part of the story from the VA’s website:

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”

This is part of our American heritage. We should know this. We should acknowledge the sacrifices our military community makes on our behalf.

Please take a moment to thank a Veteran today.

2012/11/10

Happy 237th Birthday, Marines!

Da Goddess @ 01:15

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