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The Importance of History

By Dahni & Various Artists
© 2020, all rights reserved

History is like a map of where you are, where you are going and where you hope to end up. It is in essence, memory. Having no memory is like going somewhere without a map, without eyes and ears and feelings especially, but all the senses including taste and smell.

Growing up, I recall very little stored in my memory about American History. It was quite simple really, I just wasn’t into it, not interested in it. Ancient Greek and Roman History suited me better, but in a way, what was the practical side of those to me, they were not about me or where I lived; not my history.

I had another problem with learning American History, any history really and for the most part, any subject, anything. The simple cause for this was, I just did not have a very good memory. But I noticed a couple of curios things;

1. If a teacher made something interesting or I was interested, I could learn it and remember it later, IF…
2. IF, I spent a lot of time (maybe more so than most), and the more detail I could find and add to it, the easier it was to retain it and recall it later.

Having neither the blessing or the curse of a photographic memory, I could only learn to train what memory I had and like working any muscle, strengthen it over time. Repetition is important. Presentation is important, like who gives it and how it is presented. It should be interesting. It should have a purpose. It should be shared in order for it to continue. These all could be seen as just aids to memory, but most important of all, is the content. Is something a fact like 100 years ago there was no such thing as the Internet like today? When this nation was forming, the founders did not have email, cell phones, GPS, social media and such things as we may take for granted and these are facts. Facts come and go. Truth or principles are timeless. If it is truth or built on principle, what worked in the past will work today and any time, for anyone. WE the People are still, created equal, and still endowed with certain unalienable rights.

If all of these things or none of these things are not taught and continued, history is or will be lost. With human nature and without history, the mistakes of the past, are likely destined, to be repeated.

Our nation and our Constitution is based on the Declaration of Independence’s declaration that all are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain rights that cannot be bought, sold, transferred, bartered or taken under any circumstances. Among those are the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. If these rights have not come from God, then they are inventions of the human mind. If this is so, then therefore, rights could be bought, sold, bartered, transferred and taken. Whether you or I believe in God from a “rights” point of view, these “rights” did not come from the mind of mankind and are therefore universal, not exclusive to just these United States of America. And these “rights” are, built into a written document, our Constitution, ideally and idealistically, for their future continuance. The words in the preamble declare it authority, it authors, “WE the People” and its goal, “in order to form a more perfect union.” It does not say a perfect union or a union beyond perfection, more perfectly perfect, and perfection, but it is a view towards progress, a constant motion, always and ever, striving for excellence. This again affirms, the importance of history.

Symbols are important. They aid in relating and recalling from its stores of memory. Our United States flag is such a symbol. From Betsy Ross sewing a flag with 13 stars representing the then thirteen colonies (not yet states), to its present day, it is still a symbol. No matter how you and I might feel about spitting on, tearing, and burning this flag, this symbol of the United States, just remember that we live in a country that is free to do these things. And we are also free, not to and to respect this symbol, for what it represents. We are free to share these things, teach these things; to preserve and protect our history, of being free.

History is like a map.

“History is like a map— it shows us where we have been, where we are and where we desire to go!”

-dahni-

So, I have found and will share here in chronological order, lyrics and videos about our our history, love of country and our flag. When and where possible, I will share who wrote and/or is presenting them. I will when possible, share some background about each one. All of these things will help or aid the memory. But most importantly, are they mere facts for only a certain time or are they relevant today? Are they based on truth? Are they timeless? It begin with, ‘The Pledge of Allegiance’.

This piece was presented to CBS by Red Skelton, for possible airing on his comedy/variety show with them. CBS initially rejected the proposal. Even then, they did not want to be seen as being in favor of what they viewed as political. They did however, say that if it was from a third party and not Red Skelton or CBS, they would be OK with it. In order for it to pass the CBS censors and top brass, Red Skelton made up a story about a schoolteacher in Indiana, who had taught this to his students. CBS approved and it was aired.

 

 

‘The Pledge of Allegiance’ (text)

Written and presented by Red Skelton, 1969

“I’ve been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?”

I – Me, an individual, a committee of one.

Pledge – Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

Allegiance – My love and my devotion.

To the flag – Our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there’s respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job!

United – That means that we have all come together.

States – Individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that’s love for country.

And to the Republic – A state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands, one nation – One nation, meaning, “so blessed by God”

Indivisible – Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty – Which is freedom — the right of power to live one’s own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice – The principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.

For All – Which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to The Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance…

Under God – Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?”

 

‘America Why I love Her’ (text)

Written by Robert Mitchum (yes the actor), in 1973
Presented by John Wayne (yes the actor)

You ask me Why I Love Her?
Well, give me time. I’ll explain.
Have you seen a Kansas sunset
Or an Arizona rain?
Have you drifted on a bayou
Down Louisiana way?
Have you watched a cold fog drifting
Over San Francisco Bay?
Have you heard a bobwhite calling
In the Carolina pines,
Or heard the bellow of a diesel
At the Appalachia mines?
Does the call of Niagara thrill you
When you hear her waters roar?
Do you look with awe and wonder
At her Massachusetts shore…
Where men who braved a hard new world
First stepped on Plymouth’s rock?
And, do you think of them when you stroll
Along a New York City dock?
Have you seen a snowflake drifting
In the Rockies, way up high?
Have you seen the sun come blazing down
From a bright Nevada sky?
Do you hail to the Columbia
As she rushes to the sea?
Or bow your head at Gettysburg
At our struggle to be free?
Have you seen the mighty Tetons?
Have you watched an eagle soar?
Have you seen the Mississippi
Roll along Missouri’s shore?
Have you felt a chill at Michigan
When on a winter’s day
Her waters rage along the shore
In thunderous display?
Does the word “Aloha” make you warm?
Do you stare in disbelief
When you see the surf
Come roaring in at Waimea Reef?
From Alaska’s cold to the Everglades,
From the Rio Grande to Maine,
My heart cries out, my pulse runs fast
At the might of her domain!
You ask me why I love her?
I’ve a million reasons why —
My Beautiful America,
Beneath God’s wide, wide sky.


 

Ragged Old Flag

By Johnny Cash, 1975, music and lyrics

About this song in his own words:

Ragged Old Flag (lyrics)

By Johnny Cash, 1975

I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin’ there.
I said, “Your old court house is kinda run down,
He said, “Naw, it’ll do for our little town”.
I said, “Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit,
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hangin’ on it”.
He said, “Have a seat”, and I sat down,
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town”
I said, “I think it is”
He said “I don’t like to brag, but we’re kinda proud of
That Ragged Old Flag

“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
and It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
writing “Say Can You See”
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
tugging at its seams.
and It almost fell at the Alamo
beside the Texas flag,
But she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville,
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag

“On Flanders Field in World War I,
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp, and low, a time or two,
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent
by her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
and now they’ve about quit wavin’ back here at home
in her own good land here She’s been abused,
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied an’ refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she’s getting thread bare, and she’s wearin’ thin,
But she’s in good shape, for the shape she’s in.
Cause she’s been through the fire before
and i believe she can take a whole lot more.

“So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don’t let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought
I *do* like to brag
Cause I’m mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag”

 

Robin Williams as The American Flag

Written and Performed By Robin Williams, 1977

 


My Name is Old Glory

Note: There have been at least three individuals that attest to have written this poem and thre exists three U.S. Copyright registration numbers. So who actually wrote it? Should it be assumed that the one who registered it first, is the original author? Perhaps not? Perhaps the original author did not get around to registering it with the U.S. Copyright Office until after someone else had? Here is all I was able to find:

“My Name is Old Glory” under the following names and registration numbers from the United State Copyright Office: Don Stewart Miller, PAu000540162 / 1983-08-29, and Ray M. Coach, TXu000350470 / 1988-12-19. Howard Schnauber’s copyright registration number is at TXu000695891 / 1995-08-28.

Who wrote “My Name is Old Glory”? I do not know, but it is a great poem, still used in the military and is still presented currently.

 

My Name is Old Glory (text)

By author unknown

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I fly majestically over great institutes of learning.
I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world.
Look up! And see me!

I stand for peace – honor – truth and justice.
I stand for freedom
I am confident – I am arrogant
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners
My head is a little higher
My colors a little truer.

I bow to no one.
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped – I am saluted – I am respected
I am revered – I am loved, and I am feared.

I have fought every battle of every war for more than 200 years:
Gettysburg, Shilo, Appomattox, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy,
the deserts of Africa, the cane fields of the Philippines,
the rice paddies and jungles of Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Vietnam,
Guadalcanal New Britain, Peleliu, and many more islands.

And a score of places long forgotten by all but those who were with me.
I was there.
I led my soldiers – I followed them.
I watched over them.
They loved me.
I was on a small hill in Iwo Jima.
I was dirty, battle-worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me,
and I was proud.

I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of
countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my country,
and when it is by those with whom I have served in battle – it hurts.
But I shall overcome – for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stand watch over the
uncharted new frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have been a silent witness to all of America’s finest hours.

But my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips to
be used for bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle,
When I fly at half mast to honor my soldiers,
And when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving
mother at the graveside of her fallen son.

I am proud.

My name is Old Glory.

Dear God – Long may I wave.

Note: Presentation by Vann Morris. Evangelo “Vann” Morris, is a combat veteran turned motivational speaker & narrator. This retired Navy officer LOVES America and was born to inspire! He has visited 45 countries and has made hundreds of speeches in 20 years. His is, a Veteran owned business.

 


God Bless the USA (lyrics)

Written (music & lyrics), and performed by Lee Greenwood and others

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife
I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin’ here today
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA
Well, there’s pride in every American heart
And it’s time we stand and say

That I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

 

Our flag is like a map too.

“History & Our flag is like a map— it shows us where we have been, where we are and where we desire to go!”

-dahni-

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By Dahni
© July 4th, 2016, all rights reserved

 

Them that feign the words or refrain from the deeds of true words spoken, do not diminish the true!

Oh, Messenger— Be the Message and if not then still,
Let it Be Written;
Let it Be Read;
Let it Be Spoken and
Let it Be Lived

HAPPY 240th 4th of July!

image

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by Dahni
© 2015, all rights reserved

 

Dedicated to: Janet

 

Sometimes, you find inspiration from something as simple as, a Facebook post from a friend. And sometimes that inspiration brings something beautiful to mind and reminds you and causes you to dig deeper. Why does Our Lady, Lady Liberty stand? Not on a pedestal, but for what reason does she stand? Why does she hold a torch? Why does she, hold Our Declaration of Independence inscribed, July 4th, 1776? Why do her feet trod upon the broken chains of bondage? Why does she speak these words of Emma Lazarus’ poem –

 

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

Excerpt from ‘The New Colossus’ by Emma Lazarus

In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of, the Statue of Liberty. 

The simple answer to all the above is the same as her name – LIBERTY!

When I was a young boy, every single day in school, I took ‘the pledge of allegiance.’

Pledge

 

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

 

OMG, I wrote the word God. Yes, because that’s exactly what it says and what it means and what I meant and what I mean.

And I said it standing up, without a hat on my head and my right hand over my heart.

But that was then and this is now. Schools don’t say the pledge of allegiance much anymore, if at all or ever. This is a very sad thing, but I think I know why, I don’t understand it, but I think I know why. The reason, for it’s removal is due to, three groups:

the non-religious – the religious – and the legal beagle (yep, like a dog on a pork chop, hell bent on not keeping the law, but interpreting the law).

The non-religious, or those that do not believe in God were and are offended. OK, go sit somewhere else, provided for you, while those that want to say this pledge may, but NO, strike it out, altogether!

Some, religious, were and are offended because, they have no allegiance, except to God. OK, go sit somewhere else provided, for you, while those that want to say this pledge may, but NO, strike it out, altogether!

And the lawyers and the judges and the courts got involved and said, “You can’t make people say this pledge,” (never knew I had to)! OK, go sit somewhere else provided, for you, while those that want to say this pledge may, but NO, strike it out, altogether!

So you don’t want to say this pledge and are offended. Well, I’m offended that you wouldn’t want to! OK, go sit somewhere else provided, for you, while those that want to say this pledge may, but NO, strike it out, altogether! So much for my pursuit of happiness, but just as long as you’re happy, I should be?

Now I’ve heard, ‘Separation of Church and State,’ until I’m blue in the face. If it’s not God, from which we were endowed with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, then where do they come from? What is Life without Liberty? What Happiness can be pursued without Liberty?

We separated from England and declared it in, 1776. We won our independence, but it seems like some, have been busy ever since, trying to separate us, from each other. The Declaration of Independence is, separate from, Our Constitution. The Preamble to the Constitution is, separate from, the Constitution. Separation of Church and state is, separating us, from God and State. But our founding documents really have, a different view. These views are like our home.

You don’t build a house, without a foundation. It has to be there, before you build the rest of the house. Our foundation is, the Declaration of Independence. Most houses have some kind of heating and cooling system, an energy source to keep it warm, cool and balanced and running. Our furnace is, The Constitution of The United States of America. In every home there are rooms. Our rooms are our rights, The Bill of Rights. Every home has a deed, an owner. Our deed is, the Preamble to the Constitution. WE the People, own this house! Most homes have a roof. The roof covers the whole house to protect it and its contents. Our roof is, God! Now before you might go and hit the roof, please allow me to show why, this is so.

 

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…”

 Excerpt from: The Declaration of Independence, 1776

 

Did you read that our separate and equal station comes from, the, “Laws of Man” or “of Nature’s Man?” NO! Before this was written, our founders already had those and they wanted something more like, LIBERTY!

When it came time to build our house, we already had a foundation.

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

 Excerpt from: The Declaration of Independence, 1776

 

This same foundation, provides a foundation, a purpose, a reason or a preamble, to the Preamble to, Our Constitution and the Constitution.

 

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Excerpt from: The Declaration of Independence, 1776

 

Who are these men (all inclusive noun – men and women of legal age to govern) and whose consent is required, for our servants to govern?

 

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Preamble to the Constitution

 

“We the People of,” the Preamble to the Constitution are the same “We,” which hold these truths from, the Declaration of Independence. What truths – all…are created equal…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..!

What are the “blessings of Liberty” from the Preamble to the Constitution – unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..! 

And where do those,  “blessings of liberty,”  come from – the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…,” from, the Declaration of Independence.

 

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

 Amendment V, Bill of Rights, The United States Constitution

 

Now the fifth amendment uses the word “property” instead of “happiness,” from the Declaration of Independence.  “Property” is, the result of, the “Pursuit of Happiness,” whether it is intellectual, emotional, artistic, spiritual, financial, real or whatever it is that makes one happy to pursue and to obtain. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, secures, protects and preserve the rights, for the individual to pursue them. It offers no guarantee that any and all will obtain, only that they have such rights as, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, to pursue them!

The Declaration of Independence, The Preamble to the Constitution, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are all, parts of the Whole. And the whole roof of, the whole house is, from Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…”

None of these documents define who or what God is, but they clearly bind US, We the People together and Our rights are clearly, distinctly NOT, from man (humanity) For what man (humanity) gives, it can take away and this is a direct opposite of, “Unalienable rights,” rights which cannot be taken, forfeited, bought, sold bartered or surrendered!

Now read the pledge of allegiance again.

 

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

 

How could any one of Us, WE the People, ever be offended in taking this pledge or saying it out loud? As this began, I still think I know why, but I still don’t understand it!

I’m one that freely, but solemnly makes this pledge. I am not forced or compelled to. I pledge to be loyal to, committed to, not perfect, but faithful to, not some idolatrous thing, royal or a man, and not really some flag, but what it represents. It represents the United States of America, which is not a monarchy, theocracy, democracy (rule by majority), anarchy or tyranny, but a Republic (rule of law), the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” for which it stands (not falls). It is one nation, not another or other nations. And it is ONE nation “under God,” “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” And by this it is indivisible, with  Liberty and justice for all (you and I and everyone) of Us, WE the People!

The absolute best explanation, for this pledge that I have personally ever heard was, a presentation by, Red Skelton, on January 14, 1969, a little over 46 years ago! If you have never seen this before or even if you have, I invite you to see and hear this on the You Tube video to follow. Whether this is your first time or something you recall, please view it from start to finish. And in following this, I might have a surprise, for each of you! 🙂

 

 

 

Now for your surprise (maybe)? What you may or may not know is, Red Skelton wrote this, the whole thing. And he wrote it about two and half years before, it was first presented on TV, in 1969. He fought, for this presentation, with CBS, for 2 1/2 years. Even before he wrote this, some non-religious and some religious folk were offended by the idea of allegiance or raising your arm to take this pledge.  To many, especially during WWII, it looked too much like the German salute to Hitler. So that was changed to placing your right hand over your heart or with a military salute if, applicable. And when the words “under God,” were added, even more people were offended and CBS did not want to take any heat. It was OK, to tell a story though, if it was from a third party, not yourself. So, Red Skelton made up the whole story and the teacher, Mr. Laswell. What school age child could ever remember, the entire words of this explanation? But, CBS would NOT budge. Red waited and waited for 2 1/2 years. Then the opportunity presented itself as chance. It so happened that CBS needed time to fill on the air and asked Red, to just tell a story. He did! And that is the truth, it was a story.

The all connecting parts of Our whole home, the home of US, WE the People, are, The Declaration of Independence, The Preamble, The Constitution, the Bill of Right and the roof of Liberty was built by, the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…” This is the purpose for, the pledge of allegiance and for, Red Skelton’s presentation and explanation. And like the radio commentator, Paul Harvey, always used to say, “Now you know, the rest of the Story!”

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