I was going to do up a post with flags, but since the lovely and articulate Michelle Malkin made such a great post about it and that today is also the Army’s birthday, go see!
I was going to do up a post with flags, but since the lovely and articulate Michelle Malkin made such a great post about it and that today is also the Army’s birthday, go see!
The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between Nazi Germany in Western Europe and the invading Allied forces as part of the larger conflict of World War II. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Allied invasion of northwest Europe, which began on June 6, 1944, and ended on August 19, 1944, when the Allies crossed the River Seine. Over sixty years later, the Normandy invasion still remains the largest seaborne invasion in history, involving almost three million troops crossing the English Channel from England to Normandy.
The primary Allied formations that saw combat in Normandy came from the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada. Substantial Free French and Polish forces also participated in the battle after the assault phase, and there were also contingents from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway.
The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, naval bombardments, and an early morning amphibious phase began on June 6. The “D-Day” forces deployed from bases along the south coast of England, the most important of these being Portsmouth. The battle for Normandy continued for more than two months, with campaigns to establish, expand, and eventually break out of the Allied beachheads, and concluded with the liberation of Paris and the fall of the Falaise pocket in late August 1944.
Keep them in mind while frying burgers and hot dogs.
“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.” -Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 1776
Here at Reality and Sanity, Independence Day marks the birth of, to quote Michael Medved, “the Greatest Nation on God’s Green Earth.”
Here is the text of this wonderful document (thanks to USHistory.org for text and image):
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the
thirteen united States of America
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 entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
— John Hancock
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
We honor the sacrifices made by those brave men who signed the document, and by those soldiers who fought and gave their lives to make this document more than just a scrap of parchment. Booker T. Stallworth writes about the courage and sacrifice of the Founders (and yes, I stole the opening quote Stallworth used to start this post):
Too often, it is forgotten that this tradition of sacrifice started with our Founding Fathers. Like the many brave men and women in uniform today, our nation’s founders pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” for the cause of freedom.
Most of our Founders were men of means: wealthy land owners and lawyers—men with much to lose. They knew that by signing the Declaration of Independence, they were, in essence, signing their own death warrants. Before the document was even fully signed, 42,000 British troops were waiting off the coast, ready to bring down the full might, fury, wealth and power of the British Empire on those they viewed as traitors.
The 56 signers of the Declaration were hunted like dogs. Those in British (and loyalist) controlled areas like New York were forced to flee for their lives immediately. The rest went about the work of liberation, serving their country, as their families went into hiding or faced British abuse. Several died from the wounds or the travails of the subsequent war or were jailed and tortured as traitors. Wives, children, families and friends of these great men were killed, imprisoned, harassed, and their personal wealth plundered. Thirty percent of the signers were stripped of all their possessions.
The signers never doubted the high price they would pay for their country’s liberty. John Hancock of Massachusetts, after making his famously large signature, even declared: “There! His Majesty can now read my name without spectacles, and can now double his reward of 500 pounds for my head. That is my defiance.”
Freedom has never been free, but from those brave souls of 1776 to those showing their “defiance” against terror today, Americans have always been willing to pay the necessary price. The freedom we enjoy today has been purchased not only with treasure, but with generations of blood, sweat and tears.
Paine was right: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.” But the freedom we enjoy is the glorious triumph of our patriots’ work. As we mark the birth of our nation—and the birth of freedom in nations that have never truly known it—let us not forget the love of country and willingness to sacrifice that marked their difficult labors.
We cannot fully appreciate our nation’s birth without remembering those who risked it all to make it happen, and those today who do the same to protect it.
Cox & Forkum illustrate yesterday and today in their unique style:
They also have links to the national archives where you can get a high-resolution image of the Declaration of Independence.
The NY Times comes out in favor for campaign contribution limits, applauding the Supreme Courts decison to leave intact Vermont’s tiny thresholds intact: Campaign Finance Reform Survives.
The Supreme Court struck down Vermont’s reform-oriented campaign finance system yesterday. But more important was what it did not do. The court, ruling on the issue for the first time since the arrival of two new justices, declined to overturn 30 years of precedents upholding limits on campaign contributions. That makes the decision a setback for the anti-reform forces who want to open the spigots for corporate and special-interest money to flood into American politics.
Open the spigots for corporate and special-interest money to flood into American politics?
You’d think these guys have never heard of 527s, MoveOn.org or George Soros.
The decision striking down Vermont’s system was not unexpected. Vermont’s limits were the lowest in the nation — an individual could give just $400 to a candidate for governor or $200 to a candidate for state representative. Even some strong supporters of campaign finance laws worry that such low limits stack the deck in favor of well-known incumbents.
Hah. McCain-Feingold does that now, which is why I have long called it The Incumbency Protection Act.
Another part of Vermont’s law restricted how much candidates could spend, an approach that had already been struck down in Buckley.
Big-money interests that are challenging campaign contribution limits may be heartened by the fact that one state’s attempt to reform its campaign finance system has been rejected. But taken as a whole, the ruling is a strong reaffirmation of the principle that the Constitution permits reasonable limits designed to prevent what the court has called “corruption and the appearance of corruption.”
Actually, there is a far simpler way to handle “corruption and the appearance of corruption” in political donations. First, do away with all limits on contributions; anybody can give as much as they want, with this caveat: all donations recieved must be made public. All candidates for any office throughout the land must reveal the identity of the donor and the amount of cash involved. Everyone would know who gave what to whom, and voters could easily see any campaign awash in “corruption and the appearance of corruption.”
This is the statement by an Iraq War veteran profiled in the Palm Beach Post. You have to read all the way to the end, and wade through criticism of the military flotsam, the obligatory war statisitic jetsam and a recounting of the ordeal of dealing with the wounds he suffered, but there is a telling statement of the attitude shared by most of the troops:
On May 28, 2004, three weeks after the attack, [U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jim] Nappier reenlisted at the Naval Reserve Center in West Palm Beach."I practiced keeping my fingers straight to take the oath," he says. But then, on July 31, 2005, he was officially "boarded out" — retired for medical reasons.
"I'd go back in a heartbeat, if they'd take me," Nappier says. "I believe in the mission. If we weren't there, they'd be hitting us here."
Thank you for your service.
(Hat tip: Free Republic)
There are those that only want to remember the sacrifice of those soldiers in the current Iraq war since it fits their agenda. Memorial Day is to remember ALL soldiers that gave thier lives so we could have the freedom to be such ignoramuses.
Here's a sampling of how Memorial Day was viewed years ago; images provided by Snapshots of the Past.
Remember to honor the sacrifice of every soldier while grilling those burgers and brats today.
Instead of burgers and brats combined with a sunny day, check out this image of Arlington National Cemetery from Drinker Durrance Graphics:
From the always direct-to-the-point-with-no-BS Cox & Forkum: