Posted by Kendall Harmon

The shooting was the third major gun attack at a U.S. military installation in five years, leaving the nation grappling with the prospect of yet more flag-draped funerals for troops killed on the homefront. A government contractor went on a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard in September, leaving 12 people dead. In 2009, Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan opened fire on a group of soldiers at Fort Hood preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30.

Doctors at the Scott & White hospital in Temple, Tex., said Wednesday that they have treated eight of the wounded and that one more was on the way. Three of the patients were in critical condition in the ICU, and five were in serious condition. Seven of them were male, and one was female. Their injuries ranged from mild to life-threatening, a majority of them caused by single-gunshot wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen.

President Obama said he was “heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.” Speaking during a fundraising trip to Chicago, he pledged “to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychologyMental IllnessStressViolence* Economics, PoliticsIraq War* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeremiah A. Denton Jr., a retired Navy rear admiral and former U.S. senator who survived nearly eight years of captivity in North Vietnamese prisons, and whose public acts of defiance and patriotism came to embody the sacrifices of American POWs in Vietnam, died March 28 at a hospice in Virginia Beach. He was 89.

The cause was complications from a heart ailment, said his son Jim Denton. Adm. Denton was a native of Alabama, where in 1980 he became the state’s first Republican to win election to the Senate since Reconstruction.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralSenate

2 Comments
Posted March 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Monday, 105 lawmakers from both parties sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, urging him to change a relatively obscure uniform requirement for the U.S. armed forces that some argue infringes on religious beliefs.

People who observe religions that require specific hair or dress traditions have to seek an accommodation from a superior to break the Defense Department's uniform requirements.

Dr. Kamal Kalsi was the first observant Sikh to apply for the accommodation since the rule took effect in the 1980s. As a devout Sikh, Kalsi doesn't cut his hair. He wraps his hair up in a turban and doesn't shave his beard. Keeping his hair long is an obligatory article of his Sikh faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths

0 Comments
Posted March 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Chair of the Commission, Bishop Stephen Platten said:

"It is hard to underestimate the significance of the First World War for our national life. The Liturgical Commission is conscious that people will wish to commemorate its centenary in a number of ways. There will of course be national events such as the planned Vigil Service in Westminster Abbey on the evening of Monday 4 August, but many will want to hold local commemorations in a range of contexts. It is with these in mind that the Commission has prepared these resources, specifically with parish clergy and other worship leaders in mind. It is timely to launch them on the eve of the official commemoration of the Revd Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy ('Woodbine Willie'), remembered for his outstanding service as a military chaplain in the First World War."

Read it all and follow the links.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted March 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Through US Africa Command (AFRICOM), US Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA), and the Office of Security Cooperation in the US Embassy in Abuja, the United States will be helping stand up the NASOC by providing training and a limited amount of equipment.

From the information I have, it sounds like NASOC will have a force up North to deal with Boko Haram, a force in the South to deal with security in the Niger Delta, a headquarters force to focus on hostage rescue, and an expeditionary force for external use – perhaps to contribute specialized capabilities for peacekeeping operations.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the precise size of NASOC or of its component forces.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeriaAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

God may well be an equal opportunity deity, but that’s never stopped political leaders and clergy from claiming the Creator favors their side over the other in armed conflicts. Indeed, the use and abuse of God and religion were never more evident than during the “War to End All Wars,” World War I, which began 100 years ago in 1914.

In his 2010 book “Faith in the Fight: Religion and the American Soldier in the Great War,” University of Illinois professor Jonathan Ebel examines American soldiers’ many attempts to find religious meaning in the midst of a perplexing and catastrophic war.

America didn’t enter the fighting until 1917, but when Woodrow Wilson, the son of a Presbyterian minister, urged Congress to declare war on Germany, the president used traditional religious language: “The day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness … God helping her, she can do no other.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEurope* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

3 Comments
Posted January 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When President Goodluck Jonathan announced new leaders for the defense department, the army, the navy and the air force on Thursday, he did not give a reason. But political consultant Fabian Ihekweme said it appears the president is trying a different approach to the security crisis.

“You may recall a few days ago that a new anti-terrorist outfit has been created out of the Nigerian military. So it is the same new strategy being developed by the president to tackle the Boko Haram menace,” said Hekweme.

Human Rights Watch said 40 people were killed and 50 were injured Tuesday when a car bomb exploded outside a post office in Maiduguri, the original home of the Islamist militant group known as Boko Haram.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Diaries from British soldiers describing life on the frontline during World War One are being published online by the National Archives.

Events from the outbreak of war in 1914 to the departure of troops from Flanders and France were recorded in official diaries of each military unit.

About 1.5 million diary pages are held by the National Archives and a fifth have been digitised so far.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEurope

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Army Ranger Joshua Hargis lay braced, tangled and constrained by tubing in his hospital bed. Yet bound by duty, he managed to raise his hand in full salute as his commander awarded him the Purple Heart.

"At that point, I knew what I was supposed to do," Hargis said as recounted the moment to NBC News. "So I hold my arm up. It felt stuck a little bit, so I started tuggin' on it and I pulled it all the way up and, you know, presented my salute as best as I could."

The moment made grown men at his hospital bedside weep and it instantly became viral after Hargis’ wife, Taylor, shared the photo on her Facebook page.

Read it all (video highly recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

THE Bishop of Osun North Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Right Reverend A.T Olaoye, at Okuku, has called on the Federal Government to be wary of the military and the police, saying that some of the security agents were thwarting government’s efforts in the fight against insurgency in the country, just as he cautioned the Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, to exercise caution in the implementation of the new education policy for the state.

Olaoye lamented that “it is worrisome to note that we are still battling with the terrorists’ attacks till now”, accusing some officers in the military and the police for allegedly leaking intelligence reports to members of the Islamic group, thereby thwarting the efforts of the federal government in restoring peace in some troubled states in the North.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism

0 Comments
Posted December 16, 2013 at 5:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

May 11, 1942: Five months into World War II, a young Coast Guardsman from Iowa was shown in a photo feature exhibiting the “typical actions and reactions of the thousands of service men from small towns who, since the war began, have made their maiden journey to the ‘big city.’”

Check it out.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesUrban/City Life and IssuesYoung Adults

4 Comments
Posted December 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Father Jerry Sherbourne, an active-duty U.S. Army Chaplain, and former Anglican priest, was ordained a Catholic priest Sunday, December 8, 2013 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Through the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the imposition of hands, Archbishop Broglio ordained him during a 10:00 a.m. Mass.

Father Sherbourne is now a Catholic priest, incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a special Church jurisdiction established by Pope Benedict XVI for Anglicans entering full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining distinctive elements of their theological, spiritual, and liturgical patrimony.

In preparation for his transition from Anglican to Catholic, Father Sherbourne underwent a two-year formation program approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See, a process that included his ordination as a transitional Catholic deacon.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted December 11, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Sir Nicholas Winton organized the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport.

After the war, Nicholas Winton didn’t tell anyone, not even his wife Grete about his wartime rescue efforts. In 1988, a half century later, Grete found a scrapbook from 1939 in their attic, with all the children’s photos, a complete list of names, a few letters from parents of the children to Winton and other documents. She finally learned the whole story.

In the video [at the link] the survivors gathered to give him a wonderful surprise. Watch it all (Hat tip DR).


Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKEuropeCzech RepublicGermany* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsJudaism

1 Comments
Posted November 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite this relative calm in urban areas, Boko Haram killings and kidnappings have not diminished. Recent analysis of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker indicates that they have in fact increased.

Fighting has instead shifted to rural areas. The media reports Boko Haram efforts to cut off access on the road between Kano and Maiduguri by targeting truck drivers, whom they behead using chain saws.

There are also media reports of Boko Haram carrying out forced conversions to Islam in rural areas, with the alternative being death.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In Maiduguri, the prisoner tells journalists that foreign fighters from three neighboring countries were among the insurgents in the Islamist rebellion, fueling widespread fears of the violence spreading beyond Nigeria.

"We do have members of the group from Chad, Cameroon and Niger who actively participate in most of our attacks," he says.

Boko Haram boasts of links to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, adding to the fears of a nation already prone to deadly explosions of tribal and sectarian violence.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 20, 2013 at 7:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Filmmaker Ken Burns, author David McCullough, actors Sam Waterston, Matthew Broderick, Stephen Lang, and Medal of Honor recipient Paul W. Bucha recite one of the most famous speeches in American history.

Musical Score by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams....

You may find the video here.

Listen to it all--still amazing, still so important; KSH (Hat tip: Jeff Miller).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted November 19, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the gloom of a hilltop cave in Nigeria where she was held captive, Hajja had a knife pressed to her throat by a man who gave her a choice - convert to Islam or die.

Two gunmen from Boko Haram had seized the Christian teenager in July as she picked corn near her village in the Gwoza hills, a remote part of northeastern Nigeria where a six-month-old government offensive is struggling to contain an insurgency by the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group.

In a new development, Boko Haram is abducting Christian women whom it converts to Islam on pain of death and then forces into "marriage" with fighters - a tactic that recalls Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in the jungles of Uganda.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & CultureViolenceWomen* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Harold Jellicoe Percival died aged 99 without close friends or relatives at hand at a nursing home, where staff worried no one would be at his funeral to mark his passing.

But after a public appeal in The Gazette and on social networks for the Second World War veteran, roads were blocked with traffic and the crematorium unable to hold the numbers of mourners at his funeral, poignantly beginning at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

As millions marked Armistice Day across the world, members of the public, old soldiers and serving servicemen and women, stood in silence for the arrival of Mr Percival’s funeral cortege at the crematorium in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, in keeping with the Ode of Remembrance, “We will remember them”.

Read it all from the Blackpool Gazette (and the video is very moving).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted November 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Do take the time to look at all of them (and note that the arrow to go to the next picture is the dark one nearest the picture not the white one outside the picture [which will take you to another story in the paper]). My personal favorites were the Vietnam Memorial with the wonderful fall colors behind it, and the 93 year old veteran in Texas singing the national anthem--KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* General InterestPhotos/Photography

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Remembrance Day is one of the most important days we have on our national calendar – a time, as the leaves fall and take us into winter, to reflect back on the men and women who have given it all for their country, community, family and friends.

It’s a tribute to a simple truth in life: Ordinary men and women are what make a difference in the world, in big and small ways.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryCanada

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished – tone and tint. They have gone glimmering through the dream of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen vainly, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, honor, country.”

— General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, at the U.S. Military Academy, May 12, 1962

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMediaMilitary / Armed Forces* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is a fabulous resource for this courtesy of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. There are many themes from which to choose, and various letters to see the text of and listen to. Take a moment a drink at least one in, and, if you have a moment, tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

1 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

–Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve–KSH.

P.S. The circumstances which led to this remarkable poem are well worth remembering:

It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915 and to the war in general. McCrea had spent seventeen days treating injured men -- Canadians, British, French, and Germans in the Ypres salient. McCrae later wrote: "I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days... Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done." The next day McCrae witnessed the burial of a good friend, Lieut. Alexis Helmer. Later that day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the field dressing station, McCrea composed the poem. A young NCO, delivering mail, watched him write it. When McCrae finished writing, he took his mail from the soldier and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the Sergeant-major. Cyril Allinson was moved by what he read: "The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene." Colonel McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem, and tossed it away. A fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915. For his contributions as a surgeon, the main street in Wimereaux is named “Rue McCrae”.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesPoetry & Literature* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* TheologyEschatology

3 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

-- On many memorials to the dead in war worldwide, as for example that for the British 2nd Division at Kohima, India; there is a debate about its precise origins in terms of who first penned the lines

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Concert and Two Minutes Silence from Trafalgar Square this morning

Matins and Act of Remembrance from Trinity College Cambridge [click second item 'Liturgy' to play]

Faure's Requiem and Communion from Trinity College, Cambridge

Remembrance Service held in Camp Bastion

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Veteran Chris Delplato wanted to be a firefighter for a long time.

"Ever since I was a little kid — [toy] truck and everything," Delplato says. But he only just got his dream job, after first joining the Navy and cruising around the Persian Gulf.

He was hired by New Jersey's North Hudson Fire Department, which brought on 43 veterans this year.

Read or listen to it all and also enjoy all 9 pictures.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[92 year old] Arthur Cobert remembers what it was like to be flying high above China, scanning for Japanese Zeroes.

Perched in the top turret of a B-25 bomber, the terrain below varied from mountains to jungles and the beaches of the South China Sea.

But when the Japanese planes pounced, the beauty of the Asian landscape was soon forgotten as Cobert’s attention turned to the hundreds of rounds of ammunition ready to be fed into his twin .50-caliber machine guns.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Flashbacks and post-traumatic stress from combat were trapping one Ohio female veteran in her home.
Judy Sallerson, whose Army unit was hit by a series of mortar attacks in Iraq, had been sent to Walter Reed Medical Center outside Washington in 2010 where she recovered for two years. For nearly a year of that time she didn't do much at all and stayed inside, she said.
But with the help of a therapist, Sallerson finally started to venture out and even signed up to be a mentor in a local court.
“I felt like I couldn’t go anywhere because I was afraid someone would see and judge me,” said Sallerson.

Read it all and watch the video report.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychologySportsWomen* TheologyAnthropologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 6:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My favorite resource--read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You can find four pages of graphs here. There is also a very helpful interactive state by state map there. There are approximately 421,500 Veterans in South Carolina where I live--check the numbers for your state if they apply.

There is also a map to find Veterans Day events near where you live.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a world tormented by tension and the possibilities of conflict, we meet in a quiet commemoration of an historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. The resolution of the Congress which first proclaimed Armistice Day, described November 11, 1918, as the end of "the most destructive, sanguinary and far-reaching war in the history of human annals." That resolution expressed the hope that the First World War would be, in truth, the war to end all wars. It suggested that those men who had died had therefore not given their lives in vain.

It is a tragic fact that these hopes have not been fulfilled, that wars still more destructive and still more sanguinary followed, that man's capacity to devise new ways of killing his fellow men have far outstripped his capacity to live in peace with his fellow men.Some might say, therefore, that this day has lost its meaning, that the shadow of the new and deadly weapons have robbed this day of its great value, that whatever name we now give this day, whatever flags we fly or prayers we utter, it is too late to honor those who died before, and too soon to promise the living an end to organized death.

But let us not forget that November 11, 1918, signified a beginning, as well as an end. "The purpose of all war," said Augustine, "is peace." The First World War produced man's first great effort in recent times to solve by international cooperation the problems of war. That experiment continues in our present day -- still imperfect, still short of its responsibilities, but it does offer a hope that some day nations can live in harmony.

For our part, we shall achieve that peace only with patience and perseverance and courage -- the patience and perseverance necessary to work with allies of diverse interests but common goals, the courage necessary over a long period of time to overcome...[a skilled adversary].

Do please take a guess as to who it is and when it was, then click and read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

2 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Governor of Nations, our Strength and Shield:
we give you thanks for the devotion and courage
of all those who have offered military service for this country:

For those who have fought for freedom; for those who laid down their lives for others;
for those who have borne suffering of mind or of body;
for those who have brought their best gifts to times of need.

On our behalf they have entered into danger,
endured separation from those they love,
labored long hours, and borne hardship in war and in peacetime.

Lift up by your mighty Presence those who are now at war;
encourage and heal those in hospitals
or mending their wounds at home;
guard those in any need or trouble;
hold safely in your hands all military families;
and bring the returning troops to joyful reunion
and tranquil life at home;

Give to us, your people, grateful hearts
and a united will to honor these men and women
and hold them always in our love and our prayers;
until your world is perfected in peace
through Jesus Christ our Savior.

--The Rev. Jennifer Phillips

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2013 at 4:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Clearly, the nation's two largest churches {Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist] do play crucial roles in the chaplaincy program. A mere 234 priests serve the 25 percent of all military personnel who are Catholics. The Southern Baptist Convention has more than 1,500 approved chaplains, more than any other faith group.

America's military leaders will have to decide if doctrinally conservative chaplains will be allowed to honor their religious vows or not, said the Rev. Russell Moore, leader of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in a forum last week.

The current trend, Moore said, is to view chaplains as "carriers of the American civil religion, in a way that seeks to counsel and to do some religious duties but not to actually be Roman Catholics or Evangelicals or Latter-day Saints or Muslims or what have you. I think that is troubling. ... I believe in religious pluralism in the public square where everyone comes as he or she is into the public square for more dialogue and not less."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted October 31, 2013 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Realism is used to dismiss pacifism and to underwrite some version of just war. But it is not at all clear that the conditions for the possibility of just war are compatible with realism. At least, it is not clear that just war considerations can be constitutive of the decision-making processes of governments that must assume that might makes right. Attempts to justify wars begun and fought on realist grounds in the name of just war only serve to hide the reality of war.

Yet war remains a reality. War not only remains a reality, war remains for Americans our most determinative moral reality. How do you get people who are taught they are free to follow their own interests to sacrifice themselves and their children in war? Democracies by their very nature seem to require that wars be fought in the name of ideals that make war self-justifying. Realists in the State Department and Pentagon may have no illusions about why American self-interest requires a war be fought, but Americans cannot fight a war as cynics. It may be that those who actually have to fight a war will - precisely because they have faced the reality of war - have no illusions about the reality of war. But those who would have them fight justify war using categories that require there be a "next war."

Pacifists are realists. Indeed, we have no reason to deny that the "realism" associated with Augustine, Luther and Niebuhr has much to teach us about how the world works. But that is why we do not trust those who would have us make sacrifices in the name of preserving a world at war. We believe a sacrifice has been made that has brought an end to the sacrifice of war.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastSyria* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologySeminary / Theological Education

0 Comments
Posted September 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The United States military chaplaincy program has a proud heritage that stretches all the way back to the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

"They are rabbis, ministers, imams and priests who serve our nation's heroes and their families as committed members of the U.S. Army," according to one video produced by the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.

But are they ready for an atheist chaplain?

Read or listen to it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted August 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If Jason Heap has his way, he’ll trade his Oxford tweeds for the crisp whites of a newly minted U.S. Navy chaplain.

This is my chance to give back to my country,” said Heap, 38. “I want to use my skills on behalf of our people in the service. Hopefully, the Navy will see where I can be useful.”

But Heap’s goal is not assured. He fits the requirements— with master’s degrees from both Brite Divinity School and Oxford University. His paperwork is complete. He passed the physical tests and has been interviewed by a Navy chaplain. The only thing he does not have is an endorsement from a religious organization approved by the Navy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsSecularism

3 Comments
Posted July 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Photographer Lalage Snow photographed and interviewed members of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland before they were sent to Afghanistan, after three months' service, and days after they returned home. Their faces show the toll that fighting in Afghanistan takes on our troops.

Read it all and look at all thirteen images.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesViolence* Economics, PoliticsWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

1 Comments
Posted May 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Call it freedom of religion vs. freedom from religion: The Defense Department was engulfed in a firestorm over religious expression last week, caught in the middle of a tit-for-tat fight between Mikey Weinstein, the former Air Force officer and lawyer at the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, a senior official with the conservative Family Research Council.

Weinstein met with Air Force officials April 24demanding that the Air Force take stiffer action to stop the intrusion of religion in the work place. The only way to do that, he contends, is to slap offenders with nonjudicial and judicial punishment — including courts-martial.

That was enough to light up the opposition....

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments
Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
The ivy-covered walls have insulated John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, from understanding the fact that the majority of Americans are unable to engage in the "deep and candid dialogue" he is promoting ("Persuasion as the Cure for Incivility," op-ed, Jan. 9).

They cannot frame a decent, reasoned argument because they have neither the verbal skills nor a daily educational stimulus to do so.

I would suggest that he watch one hour of "Buckwild" followed by an hour of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" then conclude his seminar with a perusal of highlights from "Moonshiners."

Father Jenkins will then see that bluntness and coarseness have permeated all levels of American society. These elements have forever supplanted the civility he is seeking.

.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted January 15, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, and then to football as a walk on--my goodness. Watch it all (about 5 3/4 minutes). I caught this by happenstance this morning while exercizing--deeply moving; KSH.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationMarriage & FamilyMenMilitary / Armed ForcesSportsYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There’s a common military expression: “Somewhere out there is a bullet with your name on it.” Both soldiers in the line of fire and those farther from the front lines need spiritual counsel from people who understand the high-risk, high-stress environment of military life. The people who provide pastoral care and support for those who put their lives on the line for their country—and their families—are military chaplains.

Several dozen Candler alums serve as military chaplains, among them Chaplain Matthew T. Stevens 94T, who serves in the U.S. Navy. He says that chaplains must maintain “an active, visible, constant presence with the people they serve.”

“Even when things are at their worst, a chaplain being there represents God’s presence,” says Stevens. “It reminds people that God will never leave them or forsake them, that God will always be there with them. Chaplains are a visible representation of that.”

Read it all and join me today in prayer for military chaplains worldwide--KSH.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

1 Comments
Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Not many]...days ago, the citizens of this great land decided who would have the privilege of leading our Nation for the next four years. It is a time-honored process reflecting both the wisdom and the power of the American people. Today, America honors the men and women whose profound acts of citizenship — service in the armed forces of the United States of America — have safeguarded our country for 237 years and guaranteed our rights as Americans to choose our leaders.

Twenty-two million living Americans today have distinguished themselves by their service in uniform. Their devotion and sacrifice have been the bedrock of our sovereignty as a Nation, our values as a people, our security as a democracy, and our offer of hope to those in other lands, who dream our dreams of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

For the past 11 years, the men and women of our armed forces have stood watch in Iraq, in Afghanistan, Europe, Korea, and more than 150 other countries around the globe. More than 1.5 million Veterans have served in the combat theaters of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. Since 9/11, nearly 3 million Veterans have departed the military, having fulfilled their duty to the Nation, and become eligible for the benefits and services we offer here at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General

0 Comments
Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In a world tormented by tension and the possibilities of conflict, we meet in a quiet commemoration of an historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible. The resolution of the Congress which first proclaimed Armistice Day, described November 11, 1918, as the end of "the most destructive, sanguinary and far-reaching war in the history of human annals." That resolution expressed the hope that the First World War would be, in truth, the war to end all wars. It suggested that those men who had died had therefore not given their lives in vain.

It is a tragic fact that these hopes have not been fulfilled, that wars still more destructive and still more sanguinary followed, that man's capacity to devise new ways of killing his fellow men have far outstripped his capacity to live in peace with his fellow men.Some might say, therefore, that this day has lost its meaning, that the shadow of the new and deadly weapons have robbed this day of its great value, that whatever name we now give this day, whatever flags we fly or prayers we utter, it is too late to honor those who died before, and too soon to promise the living an end to organized death.

But let us not forget that November 11, 1918, signified a beginning, as well as an end. "The purpose of all war," said Augustine, "is peace." The First World War produced man's first great effort in recent times to solve by international cooperation the problems of war. That experiment continues in our present day -- still imperfect, still short of its responsibilities, but it does offer a hope that some day nations can live in harmony.

For our part, we shall achieve that peace only with patience and perseverance and courage -- the patience and perseverance necessary to work with allies of diverse interests but common goals, the courage necessary over a long period of time to overcome...[a skilled adversary].

Do please take a guess as to who it is and when it was, then click and read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

1 Comments
Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Governor of Nations, our Strength and Shield:
we give you thanks for the devotion and courage
of all those who have offered military service for this country:

For those who have fought for freedom; for those who laid down their lives for others;
for those who have borne suffering of mind or of body;
for those who have brought their best gifts to times of need.

On our behalf they have entered into danger,
endured separation from those they love,
labored long hours, and borne hardship in war and in peacetime.

Lift up by your mighty Presence those who are now at war;
encourage and heal those in hospitals
or mending their wounds at home;
guard those in any need or trouble;
hold safely in your hands all military families;
and bring the returning troops to joyful reunion
and tranquil life at home;

Give to us, your people, grateful hearts
and a united will to honor these men and women
and hold them always in our love and our prayers;
until your world is perfected in peace
through Jesus Christ our Savior.

--The Rev. Jennifer Phillips

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

2 Comments
Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

His resignation Friday as CIA director because of an acknowledged extramarital affair aborts an almost four-decade-long career in public service defined by boundless ambition, political savvy and strategic acumen. And it almost certainly tarnishes the legacy of a man seen by many as the nation’s preeminent military leader in the post-Sept. 11 world, a commander who turned around the failing Iraq war and dealt the Taliban a bloody punch in Afghanistan.

He falls from a self-built pedestal that was based on more than battlefield heroics. As a general, his principal message to the troops under his command was not just about military tactics and high-concept strategy. He preached individual leadership above all else, often telling his charges that character meant doing the right thing when nobody was watching.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Watch it all--if it doesn't bring tears to your eyes, something is wrong.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market

2 Comments
Posted June 5, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday ordered the entire U.S. military to scour its training material to ensure it doesn’t contain anti-Islamic content, Danger Room has learned. The order came after the Pentagon suspended a course for senior officers that was found to contain derogatory material about Islam.

The extraordinary order by General Martin Dempsey, the highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. armed forces, was prompted by content in a course titled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” that was presented as an elective at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. The course instructed captains, commanders, lieutenant colonels and colonels from across all four armed services that “Islam had already declared war on the West,” said Lt. Gen. George Flynn, Dempsey’s deputy for training and education.

“It was inflammatory,” Flynn told Danger Room on Tuesday. “We said, ‘Wait a second, that’s really not what we’re talking about.’ That is not how we view this problem or the challenges we have in the world today.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

1 Comments
Posted April 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite high rates of alcohol abuse, the Army has delayed for nearly three years a plan to offer all soldiers access to confidential counseling for drinking problems, a move that leaders in alcohol abuse treatment say is a mistake.

The Army began a pilot program in 2009 for confidential treatment, but it continues debating what to do next because of a high dropout rate.

One in four GIs now have a drinking problem, and alcohol has been linked to record numbers of suicides, sexual assaults and domestic abuse cases, Army research shows.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAlcohol/DrinkingChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

2 Comments
Posted March 15, 2012 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Glorious God, we give thanks not merely for high and holy things, but for the common things of earth which thou hast created: Wake us to love and work, that Jesus, the Lord of life, may set our hearts ablaze and that we, like Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, may recognize thee in thy people and in thy creation, serving the holy and undivided Trinity; who livest and reignest throughout all ages of ages. Amen.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesPoetry & LiteratureReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted March 8, 2012 at 4:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsHealth & MedicineMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* General InterestAnimals

2 Comments
Posted January 31, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Episcopalians make up one of the smaller mainline church denominations in Kansas, with about 15,000 members statewide.

For that reason alone, the Rev. Don Davidson said he found it highly unusual that Episcopal clergymen have been selected three times in a row for the post of state chaplain of the Kansas National Guard.

“That is weird,” Davidson said, “because the Army doesn’t care if a chaplain is a Baptist, a rabbi or an imam.”

He said, only half-jokingly, that Episcopalians make up only about “0.0002 percent of the population of Kansas.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces

6 Comments
Posted January 11, 2012 at 11:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The families of soldiers from Yorkshire killed in action or seriously injured in Afghanistan joined The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu at a special service of remembrance and thanksgiving at Bishopthorpe Palace in York...[this past Friday].

The service, which was held in the chapel at Bishopthorpe Palace, was attended by over 50 parents and partners, brothers and sisters, Visiting and Welfare Officers from across the York Diocese.

The Archbishop said: “We should not forget our brave servicemen and women, who put their lives on the line on a daily basis. We have the best and bravest troops in the world and it is important that they know how highly they are thought of by this nation.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted December 19, 2011 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[George] Hursey, originally from North Carolina, was 21 years old at the time of the Dec. 7 attack. Hursey and the 130 others in his unit - Battery G of the 64th Coast Artillery - jumped into action when the strikes began at 7:55 a.m.

“Nobody was scared,’’ he said. “We had a job to do. It’s what we were trained to do....’’

Hursey worries that national leaders have forgotten past events like Pearl Harbor, which he believes leads to events like the terrorist attacks of 2001.

“The worst thing that happened to this country is 9/11,’’ he said. “Soldiers are supposed to die, we get paid for it. There were so many people who weren’t supposed to die in those attacks.’’

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted December 7, 2011 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For more than half a century, members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gathered here every Dec. 7 to commemorate the attack by the Japanese that drew the United States into World War II. Others stayed closer to home for more intimate regional chapter ceremonies, sharing memories of a day they still remember in searing detail.

But no more. The 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will be the last one marked by the survivors’ association. With a concession to the reality of time — of age, of deteriorating health and death — the association will disband on Dec. 31.

“We had no choice,” said William H. Eckel, 89, who was once the director of the Fourth Division of the survivors’ association, interviewed by telephone from Texas. “Wives and family members have been trying to keep it operating, but they just can’t do it. People are winding up in nursing homes and intensive care places.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapanEurope

0 Comments
Posted December 7, 2011 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsWar in Afghanistan

0 Comments
Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



You just have to love it, watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* General InterestAnimals

2 Comments
Posted November 25, 2011 at 5:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cpl. Heinz Arnold of Patchogue, N.Y., played "Onward Christian Soldiers" on the mighty coronation organ. With stately strides, Sgt. Francis Bohannan of Philadelphia advanced up the center aisle carrying a huge American flag. Behind him came three chaplains, the dean of the Abbey, and a Who's Who of top American admirals, generals and diplomats. On the high altar, other soldiers draped an even larger American flag.

Their faces "plainly reflected what lay in their heart," one reporter noted, as the visitors sang "America the Beautiful" and "Lead On O King Eternal." The U.S. ambassador to Britain, John G. Winant, read a brief message from President Franklin D. Roosevelt: "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord. Across the uncertain ways of space and time our hearts echo those words." The Dean of Westminster and one of the Abbey's chaplains also spoke. "God has dealt mercifully and bountifully with us," the chaplain said. "True, we have had our difficulties . . . but all of these trials have made us stronger to do the great tasks which have fallen to us."

Throughout Britain, the first global Thanksgiving gave men and women from the New World and the Old World a much-needed feeling of spiritual solidarity. Let us hope that today's overseas service men and women can have a similar impact on a troubled and divided world. Happy Thanksgiving—and our nation's sincerest thanks— to them all, wherever they may be deployed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK

0 Comments
Posted November 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As I write this, the majority of Americans are tucked safely into bed in anticipation of the next day’s food and festivities. Here in Afghanistan, Soldiers are beginning to wake up. Breakfast is just being served and others are out exercising. I want to take a moment and just tell you what I’m thankful for this year.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for a forgiving God. I’m thankful for the atonement of his Son, Jesus Christ, that made it possible for me to live again in spite of my sins and shortcomings. Though many, I have been provided with opportunity and grace through humility and repentance.

I’m thankful for my life. As some of you know, I had a close call last year and the past 18 months have been rebuilding and strengthening my mental and emotional well-being. It’s been a rough journey for me and especially my family. Which leads me to my next thanksgiving.

May all who serve and their families be remembered this day--read it all (and do not miss the picture).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted November 24, 2011 at 11:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ROBERT BENTLEY: My father never talked about it until he joined the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. We were in school. If we were studying World War II, you ask him a question about it, he said, read your history book. That was the only answer we got.

SWEENEY: I hear a lot of this from family members here, who say the survivors group gave their fathers and husbands a place where they could finally open up and begin to heal.

This group plans to continue to meet unofficially as the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors. Al Pomeroy is another of these sons. He says keeping the group going is a matter of respect.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments
Posted November 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Sebastian] Junger said the trips help the soldiers make sense of what they've been through.

"It takes vets and it takes them to some of the most rugged and beautiful parts of America, of that country they were defending," Junger said.

The trips also help remind the men of teamwork and the challenges of the natural world. It gives them a place, away from society, to bond again and to be understood by people who have been through the same thing.

"When I was in Afghanistan, I watched people literally die for each other, and then I come back to a society that honks at me if I've taken too long to make a right-hand turn," said Brendan O'Byrne, another veteran from the 173rd Airborne who was on the trip.

Read it all (the video is terrific if you have time).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryIraq WarWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted November 14, 2011 at 6:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the nation prepares to welcome home some 45,000 troops from Iraq, most Americans have little or nothing in common with their experiences or the lives of the 1.4 million men and women in uniform. The past decade of war by volunteer soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines has acted like a centrifuge, separating the nation's military from its citizens. Most Americans have not served in uniform, no longer have a parent who did and are unlikely to encourage their children to enlist.

Never has the U.S. public been so separate, so removed, so isolated from the people it pays to protect it.

Every day, U.S. troops fight and work on all seven continents, but in most ways the nation has moved on to new challenges: the economy and a looming presidential campaign in which the wars bump along at the bottom of a list of public concerns topped by jobs, debt, taxes and health care. Over the past generation, the world's lone superpower has created--and grown accustomed to--a permanent military caste, increasingly disconnected from U.S. society, waging decade-long wars in its name, no longer representative of or drawn from the citizenry as a whole. Think of the U.S. military as the Other 1%--some 2.4 million troops have fought in and around Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11, exactly 1% of the 240 million Americans over 18. The U.S. Constitution calls on the people to provide for the common defense. But there is very little that is common about the way we defend ourselves in the 21st century.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychologyYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsIraq WarPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

4 Comments
Posted November 14, 2011 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is a fabulous resource for this courtesy of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. There are many themes from which to choose, and various letters to see the text of and listen to. Take a moment a drink at least one in, and, if you have a moment, tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

0 Comments
Posted November 11, 2011 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite the marketing pitch from the armed forces, which promises to prepare soldiers for the working world, recent veterans are more likely to be unemployed than their civilian counterparts.

Veterans who left military service in the past decade have an unemployment rate of 11.7 percent, well above the overall jobless rate of 9.1 percent, according to fresh data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The elevated unemployment rate for new veterans has persisted despite repeated efforts to reduce it.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Iraq WarWar in Afghanistan

0 Comments
Posted October 17, 2011 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Marine Sgt. Craig] Santos, an Air Control Squadron 2 aviation supply specialist at the base in Beaufort, had tried Twitter and Craigslist and gotten nothing. He was running out of time. Angela was getting weaker.

Santos put an ad for a kidney donor on a website called beaufortyardsales.com.

Cpl. Stephanie St. Laurent, a Fighter Attack Squadron 533 jet mechanic, saw the ad and stepped forward.

"A Marine was helpless," she said after the operation. "His wife was dying and he needed help."

Read it all from today's local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* South Carolina

0 Comments
Posted September 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Inside the narrow valley, Taliban insurgents were dug into the high ground and hidden inside a village, pouring down deadly fire at Afghan forces and their American advisers. Armed militants swarmed the low ground to try to finish off the troops.

[Marine Cpl. Dakota] Meyer's team was pinned down near the village. He wasn't going to wait and see whether they would get out. Defying orders to stay put, Meyer set himself in the turret of a Humvee and rode straight into the firefight, taking fire from all directions. He went in not once, but five times, trying to rescue his comrades.

During about six hours of chaotic fighting, he killed eight Taliban militants and provided cover for Afghan and U.S. servicemen to escape the ambush, according to a Marine Corps account of the events.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentWar in Afghanistan

1 Comments
Posted September 7, 2011 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Sunday 4th September, the Archbishop of York will lead the Forces Commemoration Service for the 14 service personnel who lost their lives on a Nimrod in Afghanistan in 2006.

The Archbishop is visiting the Yorkshire Air Museum to lead the Forces Commemoration Service dedicated in honour of the 14 service personnel who lost their lives on Nimrod XV230 in Afghanistan 5 years ago on September 2nd 2006. The Yorkshire Air Museum is home to the Allied Air Forces Memorial, which recognises and commemorates the achievements and sacrifice of allied airmen and women in all conflicts.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of York John Sentamu* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted September 1, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

He is still standing guard--take a look.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

4 Comments
Posted August 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This week a federal grand jury indicted Army soldier Naser Jason Abdo, age 21, on three charges related to a plot to attack soldiers near Fort Hood, Texas. When authorities arrested him, they found in his possession bomb-making materials, a gun, ammunition, and the article "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," from a recent issue of al-Qaeda's English online journal Inspire. Initial questioning of Abdo indicates that his intended targets were U.S. military personnel....

Any effort to make sense of this troubled young man will need to include understanding how he chose to approach and interpret his religion, and perhaps most importantly, why he adopted the interpretation he did. Any effort to understand Abdo without considering this question would be profoundly incomplete.

Yet tucked away, often near the closing paragraph of the articles about this case, is mention of an issue that I believe warrants more attention than it has received in the past decade of terrorism studies: namely, pornography. And in Abdo's case, child pornography.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesPornographyPsychologyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryTerrorism* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

0 Comments
Posted August 12, 2011 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, said on Wednesday that riots in Manchester and Salford on Tuesday night were acts of “thuggery, vandalism, and theft”. Greater Manchester Police said that its officers had faced “un­precedented violence”.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Bishop McCulloch, who had been in Manchester city centre since 7 a.m., said: “Here in the Manchester area we have young people out fighting in Afghanistan, putting their lives on the line for our freedom, and here we have these kids in a society that has put self-interest above everything else.”

He said that one of the lessons that had been learnt after previous episodes of violence in Manchester — including the IRA bomb in 1996 — was that “it is crucial for local morale that by the time people come in the next morning the city is looking as normal as can be.” He said that it was “heartening” to see hundreds of young people who had come to the city centre with brushes and pans, having been alerted on Twitter, the social-networking site. “It shows the majority of young people are law abiding.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

4 Comments
Posted August 12, 2011 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A concert event organized by atheist, agnostic and other non-theist soldiers has been cleared by the Army to take place next spring at Fort Bragg, concert organizers and a spokesman for the post said Monday.

Organizers planned to hold the Rock Beyond Belief event this year, but they canceled after saying Bragg leadership was not providing the same support it gave to an evangelical Christian concert last fall.

Supporters hailed the Army’s decision.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism

10 Comments
Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:04 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

George Krowska traveled to Myrtle Beach this spring after a relationship went sour.

He had been staying in a Colorado shelter for a couple of months, the first time in his life the 62-year-old Army veteran was homeless. But in Myrtle Beach, he was abandoned, he said.

Krowska has a heart blockage that qualifies him for disability benefits and requires a certain proximity to a VA hospital, so he hitchhiked to Charleston. At the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, he received treatment, learned about Crisis Ministries, the area's homeless shelter and got a bus pass.

The former construction worker is living off of $923 a month, but cannot work because of his heart. More than two months into a maximum 90-day stay, he said he's growing worried about where he'll go next.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

0 Comments
Posted July 28, 2011 at 11:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 10,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are homeless or in programs aimed at keeping them off the streets, a number that has doubled three times since 2006, according to figures released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The rise comes at a time when the total number of homeless veterans has declined from a peak of about 400,000 in 2004 to 135,000 today.

"We're seeing more and more (Iraq and Afghanistan veterans)," says Richard Thomas, a Volunteers of America case manager at a shelter in Los Angeles. "It's just a bad time for them to return now and get out of the military."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed ForcesPoverty* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

1 Comments
Posted July 27, 2011 at 5:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Major [David] Bowlus is part of a cohort of military chaplains who have gone through the same kind of multiple deployments as American soldiers in nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and suffered similar emotional aftershocks.

“I found myself at a crossroads of giving and pouring out and having to find a way to refill my reservoir,” Major Bowlus said in an interview last month, recalling his lowest ebb. He continued a few moments later: “I realized my passion for God and my love for people was waning. I cared, but I didn’t care as much as when I first went in. I was lovingly going through the motions.”

Major Bowlus’s challenges, his struggle and his ultimate recovery — to the point that he now instructs chaplains at the military’s school for them at Fort Jackson — exemplify the experiences of his peers. And it sets this group of military chaplains apart from their predecessors in the Vietnam War era, the last period of sustained American combat overseas.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryIraq WarTerrorismWar in Afghanistan* TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments
Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all--please.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsChildrenHealth & MedicineMilitary / Armed ForcesPsychology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military

4 Comments
Posted July 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Try to picture these little Fort Apaches on this day: It is ferociously hot; the food is bad; the sanitation is often little more than a hole in the ground. For a feel of the battle “outside the wire,” listen to Master Sgt. Stephen Light of the 870th Military Police Company. He’s describing how he and two other American soldiers fought alongside Afghan police to take out four Taliban suicide bombers on May 22. It’s a heroic tale, but told in the flat, unemotional voice of soldiers everywhere. What’s intense is the look of mutual respect when Light’s eyes meet those of the Afghan cops who fought alongside him.

We think on the Fourth of July not just of soldiers but also their families. On this trip, I met several military women who had left young children back home during their year-long deployments. Many moms have trouble leaving their little ones for 24 hours. Try 12 months. One woman said she had stopped making Skype calls to her 4- and 5-year-olds. It was just too hard.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted July 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The letter arrived out of the past, addressed to former G.I. William Graver.

In a one-page note, the government of South Korea told Graver he was a hero and the country wanted to recognize his service fighting there in 1953. They were offering a flight back to Korea where he would join other aging soldiers as national guests.

"We hope that you will see what you made possible," the kind note said. "And hope that your families will feel renewed pride in what you did for us many years ago."

Read it all from the local paper.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaKorea

0 Comments
Posted July 4, 2011 at 11:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Today we stand on an awful arena, where character which was the growth of centuries was tested and determined by the issues of a single day. We are compassed about by a cloud of witnesses; not alone the shadowy ranks of those who wrestled here, but the greater parties of the action--they for whom these things were done. Forms of thought rise before us, as in an amphitheatre, circle beyond circle, rank above rank; The State, The Union, The People. And these are One. Let us--from the arena, contemplate them--the spiritual spectators.

"There is an aspect in which the question at issue might seem to be of forms, and not of substance. It was, on its face, a question of government. There was a boastful pretence that each State held in its hands the death-warrant of the Nation; that any State had a right, without show of justification outside of its own caprice, to violate the covenants of the constitution, to break away from the Union, and set up its own little sovereignty as sufficient for all human purposes and ends; thus leaving it to the mere will or whim of any member of our political system to destroy the body and dissolve the soul of the Great People. This was the political question submitted to the arbitrament of arms. But the victory was of great politics over small. It was the right reason, the moral consciousness and solemn resolve of the people rectifying its wavering exterior lines according to the life-lines of its organic being.

"There is a phrase abroad which obscures the legal and moral questions involved in the issue,--indeed, which falsifies history: "The War between the States". There are here no States outside of the Union. Resolving themselves out of it does not release them. Even were they successful in intrenching themselves in this attitude, they would only relapse into territories of the United States. Indeed several of the States so resolving were never in their own right either States or Colonies; but their territories were purchased by the common treasury of the Union. Underneath this phrase and title,--"The War between the States"--lies the false assumption that our Union is but a compact of States. Were it so, neither party to it could renounce it at his own mere will or caprice. Even on this theory the States remaining true to the terms of their treaty, and loyal to its intent, would have the right to resist force by force, to take up the gage of battle thrown down by the rebellious States, and compel them to return to their duty and their allegiance. The Law of Nations would have accorded the loyal States this right and remedy.

"But this was not our theory, nor our justification. The flag we bore into the field was not that of particular States, no matter how many nor how loyal, arrayed against other States. It was the flag of the Union, the flag of the people, vindicating the right and charged with the duty of preventing any factions, no matter how many nor under what pretence, from breaking up this common Country.

"It was the country of the South as well as of the North. The men who sought to dismember it, belonged to it. Its was a larger life, aloof from the dominance of self-surroundings; but in it their truest interests were interwoven. They suffered themselves to be drawn down from the spiritual ideal by influences of the physical world. There is in man that peril of the double nature. "But I see another law", says St. Paul. "I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind."

--Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914)

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

16 Comments
Posted July 4, 2011 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When Kasey Sands and her family returned home last month a few days after a tornado flattened much of Joplin, Mo., a dozen strangers were removing trees toppled in their yard.

"I asked them who they were, and they said they were veterans," says Sands, 27. "They said they like to help with peace and not just with war."

They were Team Rubicon, a non-profit group of veterans formed after the 2010 Haiti earthquake to help in the immediate aftermaths of disasters. They also raced in after tornadoes struck Alabama in April and following earlier crises in Chile, Burma, Pakistan and Sudan. More than 500 people have volunteered; 25 were in Joplin for a week.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsMilitary / Armed Forces* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

0 Comments
Posted June 16, 2011 at 6:33 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A new study may help explain why some military personnel exposed to blasts have symptoms of brain injury even though their CT and M.R.I. scans look normal.

Using a highly sensitive type of magnetic resonance imaging, researchers studied 63 servicemen wounded by explosions in Iraq or Afghanistan and found evidence of brain injuries in some that were too subtle to be detected by standard scans. All the men already had a diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury (synonymous with concussion), based on symptoms like having lost consciousness in the blast, having no memory of it or feeling dazed immediately afterward.

About 320,000 American troops have sustained traumatic brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them mild, according to a 2008 report by the RAND Corporation. The injuries are poorly understood, and sometimes produce lasting mental, physical and emotional problems.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineMilitary / Armed ForcesScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryIraq WarWar in Afghanistan

0 Comments
Posted June 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out, especially fitting the week of Memorial Day.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted June 1, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leader: Let us give thanks to God for the land of our birth with all its chartered liberties. For all the wonder of our country’s story:

PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.

Leader: For leaders in nation and state, and for those who in days past and in these present times have labored for the commonwealth:

PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.

Leader: For those who in all times and places have been true and brave, and in the world’s common ways have lived upright lives and ministered to their fellows:

PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.

Leader: For those who served their country in its hour of need, and especially for those who gave even their lives in that service:

PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.

Leader: O almighty God and most merciful Father, as we remember these your servants, remembering with gratitude their courage and strength, we hold before you those who mourn them. Look upon your bereaved servants with your mercy. As this day brings them memories of those they have lost awhile, may it also bring your consolation and the assurance that their loved ones are alive now and forever in your living presence.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces

1 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them.

Yet, we must try to honor them -- not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice.

--President Ronald Reagan in remarks at Memorial Day Ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in 1982

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain…”

–Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the flowers rest on the decorated graves and the sunlight shines on the beautiful sailboats, Uncle Sam whispers in my ear about how we should care for the soldiers and remember the ones that have died. Swimming pools open, BBQs fry. Today is the day to think of what they have done for us. There are blurs of red, white and blue marching down the street and flags are lowered at half-mast. But we should always remember and never forget what set us free, from this very day on.

--From Ali M. in 2001, a 3rd Grader at Academy Elementary School, in Madison, Connecticut

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed ForcesMusic

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check out all 31.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Perhaps it is because both my parents were teachers, but this is my favorite scene from the movie. Watch it all--KSH. (It ties in with the finale as those of you who know the movie well know; it can be found here).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchEducationMilitary / Armed ForcesMovies & TelevisionYoung Adults

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I walk down the garden-paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jeweled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden-paths.
My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the splashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover.
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon--
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
"Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se'nnight."
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
"Any answer, Madam," said my footman.
"No," I told him.
"See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer."
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, "It shall be as you have said."
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

--Amy Lowell (1874 - 1925)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesPoetry & Literature

4 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 11:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As a boy I had a vague appreciation for Memorial Day because my father, a Vietnam veteran, treated it as sacrosanct. After watching the morning parade in our home town, he spent time alone, somber and distant, while my friends flocked to the beaches and malls with their families to celebrate the beginning of summer.

Were they wrong to celebrate, I wondered.

I didn’t know. My father rarely spoke about his five years in the Marines. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized he still carried the war with him every day, along with the faint scar across his cheek from an enemy bullet that somehow didn’t kill him in a jungle 13 years before I was born....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

2 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Absolutely not to be missed--made me cry.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While scores of veterans die each year in a military community like Charleston, only about a half-dozen buglers are available to honor them, according to Coates. He served at about 75 funerals last year and played taps at about 50 of them.

Coates, 53, is a Navy veteran who works full time as a welder and metal fabricator. He's been playing trumpet since the third grade and plays taps on the trumpet.

A trumpet has valves, while a bugle does not. Both are hard to play when it's hot or cold or emotions are running high.

"As a bugler, I have to tune all of the emotion out of it," Coates said. "More than once I have bugled for friends and acquaintances, and that is hard. Also, it's hard when the crowd is very emotional. In order to be professional, sometimes you have to mentally leave that service for a while and think about something else, bad as it sounds, because with a friend you want to be a part of it."

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesMusic

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Watch it all--wonderful stuff.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

1 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:14 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend activities at VA's national cemeteries, with color guards, readings, bands and choir performances. Events will honor more than one million men and women who died in military service during wartime, including more than 655,000 battle deaths.

At Rock Island National Cemetery in Illinois, Rep. Bobby Schilling will present the son of a deceased World War I veteran with his father’s Silver Star certificate....

On May 29, at Riverside National Cemetery in Southern California --VA’s busiest -- volunteers will read aloud the names of more than 5,000 people who were buried there since last year’s Memorial Day....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

1 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 8:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Nashville VA Cemetery is home to a unique monument where long forgotten history is now being honored. The cemetery has been home to war monuments for decades, but the latest statue, erected to honor the nearly 2,000 U.S. Colored Troops from the Civil War who are buried there, is unlike any other in the country.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed ForcesRace/Race Relations

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“My Fellow Americans:

“Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

“And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

“Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

“They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

“They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

“For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.&

“Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

“And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

“Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

“Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

“And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

“And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

“With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

“Thy will be done, Almighty God.

“Amen.”

You can listen to the actual audio if you want here.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President

2 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Actor Joe Mantegna, co-host of the annual event Memorial Day concert at the U.S. Capitol, shares his feelings about this very special holiday as a time of remembrance to honor those who've died serving our country -- as well as to show appreciation for our nation's military and its Veterans.

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

• NCA currently maintains nearly 3.1 million gravesites at 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico, as well as in 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites.

• Approximately 340,000 full-casket gravesites, 93,000 in-ground gravesites for cremated remains, and 111,000 columbarium niches are available in already developed acreage in our 131 national cemeteries.

• There are approximately 19,968 acres within established installations in NCA. Nearly 60 percent are undeveloped and – along with available gravesites in developed acreage – have the potential to provide approximately 6.0 million gravesites.

• Of the 131 national cemeteries, 71 are open to all interments; 19 can accommodate cremated remains and the remains of family members for interment in the same gravesite as a previously deceased family member; and 41 will perform only interments of family members in the same gravesite as a previously deceased family member.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryMilitary / Armed Forces

0 Comments
Posted May 30, 2011 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)