Category: America



Declaration-of-Independence

 

Annotated text of the engrossed Declaration

The Declaration is not divided into formal sections; but it is often discussed as consisting of five parts: Introduction, the Preamble, the Indictment of George III, theDenunciation of the British people, and the Conclusion.

Introduction

Asserts as a matter of Natural Law the ability of a people to assume political independence; acknowledges that the grounds for such independence must be reasonable, and therefore explicable, and ought to be explained.

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.

Preamble

Outlines a general philosophy of government that justifies revolution when government harms natural rights.

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.
Indictment

A bill of particulars documenting the king’s “repeated injuries and usurpations” of the Americans’ rights and liberties.

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 of 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 states

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.

Denunciation

This section essentially finished the case for independence. The conditions that justified revolution have been shown.

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.
Conclusion

The signers assert that there exist conditions under which people must change their government, that the British have produced such conditions, and by necessity the colonies must throw off political ties with the British Crown and become independent states. The conclusion contains, at its core, the Lee Resolution that had been passed on July 2.

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.
Signatures

The first and most famous signature on the engrossed copy was that of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. Two future presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and a father and great-grandfather of two other presidents, Benjamin Harrison, were among the signatories. Edward Rutledge (age 26), was the youngest signer, and Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest signer. The fifty-six signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows (from north to south):[78]

 

Us_declaration_independence_signatures

747px-Portraits_&_autographs_of_the_signers_of_the_Declaration_of_Independence_(USA)


imagesWe are excited to see the flags go up at the City Office in Old River-Wifree.  We missed them on Flag Day, so this is a happy time to see them up.

We are also seeing land owners and home owners along FM 1409 just North of FM 565 show their patriotism.  I’m sure more are to come!

Show your patriotism, fly your American Flag!

 

 

americavets

 

 


 

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Local Observances Claim To Be First Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.

Today, cities in the North and the South claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1866. Both Macon and Columbus, Ga., claim the title, as well as Richmond, Va. The village of Boalsburg, Pa., claims it began there two years earlier. A stone in a Carbondale, Ill., cemetery carries the statement that the first Decoration Day ceremony took place there on April 29, 1866. Carbondale was the wartime home of Gen. Logan. Approximately 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, many of them in the South where most of the war dead were buried.

Official Birthplace Declared In 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff. Supporters of Waterloo’s claim say earlier observances in other places were either informal, not community-wide or one-time events.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. State legislatures passed proclamations designating the day, and the Army and Navy adopted regulations for proper observance at their facilities.

It was not until after World War I, however, that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.

Some States Have Confederate Observances Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April, and Georgia on April 26. North and South Carolina observe it on May 10, Louisiana on June 3 and Tennessee calls that date Confederate Decoration Day. Texas celebrates Confederate Heroes Day January 19 and Virginia calls the last Monday in May Confederate Memorial Day.

Gen. Logan’s order for his posts to decorate graves in 1868 “with the choicest flowers of springtime” urged: “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

The crowd attending the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was approximately the same size as those that attend today’s observance, about 5,000 people. Then, as now, small American flags were placed on each grave — a tradition followed at many national cemeteries today. In recent years, the custom has grown in many families to decorate the graves of all departed loved ones.

The origins of special services to honor those who die in war can be found in antiquity. The Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the fallen heroes of the Peloponnesian War over 24 centuries ago that could be applied today to the 1.1 million Americans who have died in the nation’s wars: “Not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions, but there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men.”

To ensure the sacrifices of America ’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.


The American PEOPLE will never forget your sacrifice and that of your families who waited and those who still wait!!

 


This is a MUST see!  Great job kids!

 


No matter your political leanings, an American President was assassinated on this day in 1963.

The 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy was murdered exactly 50 years ago today.

The Announcement by Walter Cronkite is etched into the memory of a generation.

tumblr_m1tidyQpph1qeu6ilo1_400


2013 run smallThank a Veteran and Fly Your Flag Tomorrow!

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts

On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.

In 1958, the White House advised VA’s General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee’s chairman.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.


While you are at ORWFD, be sure and visit the Hospitality Room in the ORW Community Building. Chairman Tracie Comeaux will be on hand with fresh coffee, while you stroll around the exhibits of Boyce Morris, Jr. ORWFD Historian! Below is a sampling of the Historical Artifacts of our area Boyce has, through his on blood, sweat, and tears, brought up from the ground surrounding the Old River. You will want to see this! Thanks Boyce for all you do!

You will be amazed at what Boyce has discovered about our history in Old River-Winfree and the Beauty of the river that runs through us, Old River.

We are unique in our name, our heritage, and our bond to each other.  Old River and Winfree, Texas come see your history!

284589_10150241146927338_4171638_n


T-Shirt frontThe Official 2013 ORWFD 5K Run/Walk Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project in Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs T-Shirt.

Here is the front with the George Washington quote of 1781, 232 years ago.

The T-Shirt is the Runner’s style Wicking T-Shirt which is 100% polyester wicking knit

·         Wicks moisture away from the body *

·         Color is “Barbers Hill” Blue

All American T–Shirts in Old River-Winfree is the Official Old River-Winfree Founders Day T-Shirt Vendor.

T-Shirts are $10 at City Hall and $14.95 plus $5.95 shipping online.  They are $14.95 online to defer any shopping cart charges.

Read and find out more about Pfc Wesley R. Riggs t http://www.orwfoundersday.com/Pfc-Wesley-R-Riggs.htm

To Donate in Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Name: Go to http://www.orwfoundersday.com/Online-Payment.html and donate the amount you want.

To Drop any entry off go to:  City Hall is at 4818 FM 565N.  Sign is out front.  The single glass door to the left is the City Offices open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., closed from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. for lunch.

If no one is there, simply drop your entry form and payment inside the metal door to the right of the single glass door.  There is a mail slot there.

To Enter by Mail:  Go to the Events or http://www.orwfoundersday.com/Old-River-Winfree-Run-Walk-Registration.htmlpage and click on Print out the the Entry Form and mail to:\

ORWFD-WWP
City of Old River-Winfree
4818 FM 565 N
Old River-Winfree, TX  77523
 

To Pay Online:  Go to the Events page and click on Click here to Register Online http://www.orwfoundersday.com/Online-Payment.htmland follow the instructions.  You may enter 1 person or multiple person’s all in one payment.

Extend a hand to a Warrior that needs you.  Enter or Donate in Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Name today!

 


They were not warriors, but they became heroes.  Everyday people, just like you and me, whose only crime was to simply go to work or get on a plane to see family, go on vacation, or to a business meeting.

************************************************************

Source:  AP On September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda launched a series of coordinated and deadly terror attacks on American soil that struck the heart of the country’s military and financial power centers. 

North Tower Hit

8:45 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the North World Trade Center tower. Flight 11 departed Boston bound for Los Angeles at 7:59 a.m., carrying 92 people including 5 hijackers.

South Tower Hit

9:03 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the South World Trade Center tower. Flight 175 departed Boston bound for Los Angeles carrying 65 people including 5 hijackers.

President Bush Informed

9:05 a.m.: President George W. Bush, speaking to students at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., is interrupted by Chief of Staff Andrew Card about a second plane crashing into the South Tower.

Fighter Jets Deployed

9:13 a.m.:  Two F-15 fighter jets from Otis Air National Guard Base leave military airspace on Cape Cod and head for Manhattan. Minutes later, the Federal Aviation Administration bans takeoffs nationwide for flights heading to the New York area.

Bridges Closed

9:21 a.m.: All bridges and tunnels into Manhattan are closed. Residents and workers in lower Manhattan take to the streets to get away from the ash filling the air.

Pentagon Hit

9:40 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the west side of the Pentagon, killing all 64 people on board and 125 Pentagon personnel.

White House Evacuated

9:43 a.m.: The West Wing of the White House and the U.S. Capitol building are evacuated and closed.

South Tower Collapses

9:59 a.m.: The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

United 93 Crashes

10:03 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pa., following a passenger revolt against the hijackers. All 44 people on board, including 4 hijackers, were killed.

North Tower Collapses

10:28 a.m.: The North Tower collapses approximately 30 minutes after the South Tower.

Mayor Giuliani Orders Evacuation

10:49AM: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani orders an evacuation of Lower Manhattan.

Firemen Raise the Flag

5:00 p.m.: As rescue workers continue to go through the rubble, New York City firemen hoist an American flag at the site of the World Trade Center — an iconic image often compared to the World War II photo of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.

Bush Speaks

8:30 p.m.: President Bush addresses the nation from the White House. Members of Congress are told that the administration has enough evidence indicating Usama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist network are responsible for the attacks.

May God Bless America and America Continue to Bless God!


Editor’s note:  This is a tribute to Ken “The Dauber” Pridgeon, a War Veteran himself, (serving from the age of 19 to the age of 27), Portrait of a Warrior Memorial Gallery, our Fallen Heroes, all American Veterans, and those who serve today or those who stand ready to go to battle for American Freedom. You must go, if you haven’t already.  Take the kids, the grandkids, grandparents, Veterans in your family; it is a must see!

FIRST:  When I walked into the Portrait of a Warrior Memorial Art Gallery, I thought of the famous “Jaws” movie line “WE’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BOAT!”

BACKGROUND:

kenpridgeonmural4webI met Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon when Old River-Winfree Founders Day was looking for someone to paint a roadside mural for our Founders Day.  Ken is famous for the mural at the Baytown Museum and I thought, that’s our guyI

I remember going to his house in early to mid 2009 and saw the work he does. We did commission Ken to do our Roadside mural.  

Go to this ORW Community News posting to see Ken painting our mural:  http://orwfd.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/commissioning-history/

It was months after that, I felt led to ask Ken to do a portrait of Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs for Founders Day.  Ken says when do you need it…..  Ken tells the story that it was on a Wednesday I asked him to paint the portrait.  He remembers me saying, Saturday, of course!  That was two days away!

20100717_68Ken came to Founders Day that Saturday, sat in Mayor Joe Landry’s chair, and painted away on the portrait.

(This portrait of Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs turned out to be the FIRST portrait in the long line of Portraits of our Fallen Heroes that Ken has done since that day.  It started Ken on a Journey of a lifetime, blessed by God.)   As Ken set there painting, we didn’t know that another soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Jesse W. Ainsworth, was being escorted by the Patriot Guard going north on Hwy 146 taking him back to his final resting place in Dayton, Texas.  Staff Sgt. Ainsworth was the second portrait.  The rest is history.

I see Ken when he comes back to where it all began at Old River-Winfree Founders Day and follow his posts on Facebook,  but, I had never been to the Memorial Gallery.

August 30, 2013

Yesterday, I was dropping off flyers for the ORWFD 5K Run/Walk Benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project in Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs and I put the Gallery and Ken on my list of places to stop.

I shot pictures up a storm outside, making sure that all of those who saw this post would feel as it they were with me on this visit.  I was a happy little camper; hot , but happy.

I then opened the door to go into the Gallery.  It was then the 6 senses we are all born with, normally, took over.

First was the gift of sight:  My eyes opened wide at the color they were viewing, brilliant in red, white and blue.  The Red, White, and Blue of our Fallen Heroes.  When my eyes started going from left to right around the Gallery, my thoughts were, “So many portraits”.  Meaning, so many lost lives.  I took in the portraits that go from ceiling to floor and my eyes started misting up and tears flowed gently down my face.

Mind you, I’m not out of the doorway yet.  I’m just standing there taking it all in.  

Then my hearing took over and I could hear music, Patriotic Country Music coming from a radio in the back; and, something else;  a voice, and I realized and recognized Ken singing at the top of his lungs along with the radio.

I could smell the very faint aroma of paint and started taking pictures to make sure you were seeing what I saw.

I worked my way back toward the music and Ken, all along snapping pictures and just looking at the lives affected by our last two wars and beyond.  As I neared Ken, I saw him with his paint brush up, just a painting away on another portrait of a hero, a special kind of hero.

I called to Ken and approached him as he sat and we greeted one another.  I turned around from him, telling Ken how wonderful the Gallery is, and I spotted it.

Right behind where Ken paints is his first Portrait, the portrait of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs son of my friend, Daniel Riggs.   I’m an emotional person, but it seemed like Wes was there cheering Ken on and watching over the work.  Right by Wes was Staff Sgt Ainsworth, Ken’s second portrait.

Ken and I started talking and I continued my way snapping pictures, sharing with Ken, reminiscing, and talking about the upcoming 2013 ORWFD on October 12, 2013.

We talked and I saw soo much more, like the Vietnam jacket pictured in the video below.  SO much more to see.

But, YOU will have to go find out the rest of the story on your on.  Ken is getting older and his health seemed off to me, he seemed tired.  But when he starts talking about his “boys and girls” his face lights up and it’s a beautiful transformation.

Go….. go soon, to see Ken “the Dauber” Pridgeon, a Texas Icon!


In Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs, who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and all that have served and are serving today, who fought and fight FOR FREEDOM!

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts 

On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.

In 1958, the White House advised VA’s General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee’s chairman.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.


Just in case people forget, there are Amazing Soldiers  standing at the Tomb through this craziness. This a picture from this morning, 10-29-12.

Some posts are never abandoned. The “Old Guard” will continue to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier throughout Sandy.

The Tomb of the Unknowns, near the center of the cemetery, is one of Arlington’s most popular tourist sites.

The Tomb contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict and (until 1998) the Vietnam War. Each was presented with the Medal of Honor at the time of interment and the medals, as well as the flags which covered their caskets, are on display inside the Memorial Amphitheater, directly to the rear of the Tomb.

The Tomb is guarded 24-hours-per-day and 365-days-per year by specially trained members of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard).

The Memorial Amphitheater has been the scene of the funerals of some prominent Americans (such as General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing) as well as the site of both Memorial Day and Veterans Days celebrations.

Find out more at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2012
www.texasattorneygeneral.gov
Subscribe to E-News
CONTACT
Press Office at
(512) 463-2050
 

Attorney General Abbott Lauds Victory for Cheerleaders in the Fight for Religious Liberty

Hardin County Judge agrees that cheerleaders may continue to use bible verses on game day banners

AUSTIN — Attorney General Abbott made the following comments after a Hardin County judges’ decision to continue to allow cheerleaders the opportunity to express their religious beliefs:

Today’s decision is an important victory for the cheerleaders’ freedom of religion. The Constitution has never demanded that students check their religious beliefs at the schoolhouse door. Students’ ability to express their religious views adds to the diversity of thought that has made this country so strong. Texas law supports students’ right to freely express their religious beliefs without discrimination. We will not allow groups or individuals to wage a war on religion by trying to intimidate students into embracing a secular mindset.

Media links
District Court’s Order

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is legally wrong when it tries to bully schools into denying students their First Amendment right to share their religious beliefs. Just as schools cannot command students to support a particular belief, those same schools cannot silence a student’s religious belief. The Constitution does not give preference to those who have no religious beliefs over those who do.

FOR OTHER ITEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS, ACCESS OAG NEWS RELEASES ONLINE AT WWW.TEXASATTORNEYGENERAL.GOV


 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2012
www.texasattorneygeneral.gov
Subscribe to E-News
CONTACT
Press Office at
(512) 463-2050

Texas Attorney General’s Office Defends Constitutionality of the Texas Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act

State intervenes in Kountze ISD case to defend Texas law, support Kountze cheerleaders

 

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued the following statement after the State of Texas intervened in the Kountze cheerleaders’ lawsuit to defend the Texas Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act:

“After receiving a menacing letter from an organization with a reputation for bullying school districts, the Kountze ISD improperly prohibited high school cheerleaders from including religious messages on their game day banners. Those banners, which the cheerleaders independently produce on their own time with privately funded supplies, are perfectly constitutional. The State of Texas intervened in this case to defend the cheerleaders’ right to exercise their personal religious beliefs – and to defend the constitutionality of a state law that protects religious liberties for all Texans.”

Media links
Texas Attorney General’s petition to intervene

The State of Texas intervened in the case because the Kountze ISD’s court filing affirmatively questioned the constitutionality of state laws enacted by the Texas Legislature. In documents filed with the state district court in Hardin County, the Attorney General’s Office explained that the Texas Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act requires school districts to treat a student’s voluntary expression of religious views in the same manner that the district treats a student’s expression of any other point of view. The Act authorizes students to express themselves individually – or in groups – in the same manner as students involved in secular or non-curricular activities. Neither the Act – nor the U.S. Constitution – allows government officials to ban all references to religion from the public square. As such, the State is urging the court to dismiss Kountze ISD’s argument that the Act – or the religious messages cheerleaders displayed during football games – violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The State’s action in the Kountze ISD case reflects Attorney General Abbott’s latest effort to defend public acknowledgments of religion. The State’s religious liberties cases include:

• In 2011, the Attorney General’s Office submitted a legal brief asking a federal appeals court to uphold Medina Valley High School graduates’ constitutional rights to freely express their religious beliefs during graduation ceremonies.
• In January 2009, after Attorney General Abbott submitted a legal brief joined by all 50 state attorneys general, a federal judge cleared the way for President Barack Obama to include references to religion during his Presidential Inauguration.
• In 2007, Attorney General Abbott defeated a lawsuit that attempted to remove the words “under God” from the Texas Pledge of Allegiance.
• In 2005, Attorney General Abbott appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court and defended the State’s Ten Commandments monument, which stands on the Texas Capitol grounds. In that case, Van Orden v. Perry, the plaintiff sought to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the Capitol grounds, but Attorney General Abbott successfully argued that the monument was entirely constitutional.

FOR OTHER ITEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS, ACCESS OAG NEWS RELEASES ONLINE AT WWW.TEXASATTORNEYGENERAL.GOV.


They were not warriors, but they became heroes.  Everyday people, just like you and me, whose only crime was to simply go to work or get on a plane to see family, go on vacation, or to a business meeting. ************************************************************

Source:  AP On September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda launched a series of coordinated and deadly terror attacks on American soil that struck the heart of the country’s military and financial power centers. 

North Tower Hit

8:45 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the North World Trade Center tower. Flight 11 departed Boston bound for Los Angeles at 7:59 a.m., carrying 92 people including 5 hijackers.

South Tower Hit

9:03 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the South World Trade Center tower. Flight 175 departed Boston bound for Los Angeles carrying 65 people including 5 hijackers.

President Bush Informed

9:05 a.m.: President George W. Bush, speaking to students at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., is interrupted by Chief of Staff Andrew Card about a second plane crashing into the South Tower.

 

Fighter Jets Deployed

9:13 a.m.:  Two F-15 fighter jets from Otis Air National Guard Base leave military airspace on Cape Cod and head for Manhattan. Minutes later, the Federal Aviation Administration bans takeoffs nationwide for flights heading to the New York area.

Bridges Closed

9:21 a.m.: All bridges and tunnels into Manhattan are closed. Residents and workers in lower Manhattan take to the streets to get away from the ash filling the air.

Pentagon Hit

9:40 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the west side of the Pentagon, killing all 64 people on board and 125 Pentagon personnel.

White House Evacuated

9:43 a.m.: The West Wing of the White House and the U.S. Capitol building are evacuated and closed.

South Tower Collapses

9:59 a.m.: The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

United 93 Crashes

10:03 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pa., following a passenger revolt against the hijackers. All 44 people on board, including 4 hijackers, were killed.

North Tower Collapses

10:28 a.m.: The North Tower collapses approximately 30 minutes after the South Tower.

Mayor Giuliani Orders Evacuation

10:49AM: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani orders an evacuation of Lower Manhattan.

Firemen Raise the Flag

5:00 p.m.: As rescue workers continue to go through the rubble, New York City firemen hoist an American flag at the site of the World Trade Center — an iconic image often compared to the World War II photo of the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima.

Bush Speaks

8:30 p.m.: President Bush addresses the nation from the White House. Members of Congress are told that the administration has enough evidence indicating Usama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist network are responsible for the attacks.

May God Bless America and America Continue to Bless God!


“We have a few settlers looking for a great place to settle and call home.I hear there is a nice river to our West!We are out about a month away!We hear their are indians near and troubles,we are prepared and will be there soon!!! “

Signed, Billy Wallace, III

The Historical Reenactment, Historical Artifacts, Historical Living, and, this year, the Chambers County Historical Commission really add so much to Old River-Winfree Founders Day.  

How they lived, the tools they used, their living conditions are displayed so beautifully, you will run out of film in that camera.

Billy Wallace, III and his posse add to the excitement with their Historical Reenactment.

We have everything at Old River-Winfree Founders Day and it’s all FREE except for the contests!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Old River-Winfree Founders Day is a City of Old River-Winfree Event.  The 5K Run/Walk Exclusively Sponsored by Barbers Hill Bank is a run for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The following article was co-written by Kenneth Collier, Old River-Winfree Resident and Race Manager of the 2012 5K Run/Walk Benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project in Memory of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs and Colleen Fontenot, Old River-Winfree Resident and President of Old River-Winfree Founders Day.

Old River-Winfree Founders Day is backed by a host of volunteers working hard to make this event and all events at Founders Day a Day to remember!

Please take the time and read below.  Join us in the magnificent Run for this generations Warriors!


The July 2012 Q2 Small Business Survey is the fifth consecutive small business survey released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The quarterly surveys are designed to track the small business community’s outlook on their business, the local economy, and the national economy over time. Small business owners are polled nation-wide, and respondents include U.S. Chamber members and non-members.

http://www.uschambersmallbusinessnation.com/community/small-business-outlook-survey-2012-q2

Quarter 2
Small Business Outlook Survey – July 2012
Key Findings
Flat Economic Growth and Uncertainty Continue to Limit Hiring

  • Eight-out-of-ten small businesses continue to think the national economy is off on the wrong track and more than half (53%) of small businesses surveyed cite economic uncertainty as their top concern.  Only 14% say the national economy is on the right track.
     
  • Forty-five percent of small business owners surveyed are not sure if their business’s best days are ahead of or behind them. In addition, only 34% of small business owners say the business climate over the next two years is likely to greatly or somewhat improve.
     
  • Small business owners’ concerns about the future are impacting their hiring.  Since March, the number of small businesses who expect to lose employees over the next year has grown from 8% to 12%.  Only one-in-five (20%) of small businesses surveyed expect to add staff in 2013.  The majority of small businesses say they are likely to keep the same number of employees over the next year – meaning there is likely to be little change in overall unemployment figures.
     

 

Health Care Continues to Be a Top Impediment to Growth

  • Following the Supreme Court’s decision on the President’s health care law, only 3% of small business owners report that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law will make them more likely to hire new employees. The vast majority said they would be less likely to hire or that their workforce would stay the same size.  When asked directly what the impact would be, 72% said that the health care law will make it harder for their business to hire.
     
  • Support for the law is very low among small businesses surveyed (21%), and almost eight-out-of-ten (77%) of small businesses surveyed support its repeal. 

 

 

Missy
Melissa G. Malechek, IOM
President, West Chambers County Chamber of Commerce
Office:  281-576-5440    Cell:  281-831-6382
Missy@TheWCCCC.com

Happy Fourth of July! It’s my distinct pleasure to be in Big Sandy.

I’m not saying anything bad about Austin, you understand, but as someone born and raised in a small town, sometimes it’s nice to get away to a place where you can breathe a little.

I’m also happy to be a part of your efforts to raise money to fund scholarships for the kids of Big Sandy.

There’s no better way to spend a holiday, and this truly is a special holiday for people across our great nation.

These are the days we remember, as we reconnect with people we haven’t seen in a while and find out how much that niece or nephew has sprung up over the last few months.

Of course, any opportunity to gather with family and friends, whether it’s for waffles in the morning or maybe for something off the grill later in the afternoon is a special opportunity.

For me, though, Independence Day has always had a unique meaning, even beyond the warmth we enjoy in the company of loved ones.

Today, we remember and celebrate the wisdom and the courage of our founding fathers who faced adversity and created a new nation, the greatest nation.

It’s important to remember this was a group of individuals from wildly different backgrounds, holding divergent viewpoints with very different ideas about how to do things.

Despite these differences, on July 4, 1776, they came together in Philadelphia and presented a united front to the King of England, the most powerful man in their world.

They were farmers, merchants and jurists, and had gathered in Pennsylvania to represent the people back home, in Rhode Island, Georgia and Virginia.

These were Americans who had grown tired of being victimized and intimidated by the crown and had dreams of living their lives in freedom and liberty.

Together, they stood as one and declared to King George that they were independent and free, free from his rule and free from his tyranny forever.

Sometimes it’s hard to understand just what an act of courage that was.

We all have the benefit of hindsight, but when they put pen to paper that summer day 236 years ago today, they were risking everything they had, everything they were to earn their freedom.

We were many hard-fought years from victory, and they knew they’d be brought up on treason charges if the Revolution failed.

Yet they put their names and their lives on the line.

Such was their belief in freedom and their belief in liberty and democracy.

Another revolutionary of that time, Patrick Henry, perhaps summed up their attitude best more than a year earlier with a simple, and now eternal phrase: Give me liberty or give me death.

Those weren’t just words in 1776, either, death was a real possibility.

By standing up to tyranny, they all set the example we’ve followed in the years since, none more so than the members of our military.

Like our founding fathers, the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces have time and again demonstrated a commitment to the ideals written in the Declaration of Independence.

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.

From Valley Forge to the Battle of New Orleans, from the trenches of World War I to the Battles of Fallujah, our nation’s best and brightest have answered the call to defend freedom, and the American way, against all threats.

If there are any veterans here with us today, I hope you will raise your hand and let us know, so we can honor you with our applause and cheers. God bless you all.

I would go so far as to say that there is no higher form of public service than wearing the uniform of one’s country.

If you came of age during the Vietnam War, like I did, you probably remember a time when many members of our generation believed the opposite and made sure everyone knew it, including our military.

Fortunately, America has turned the corner on how we treat the members of our armed forces and does a much better job showing them the respect they deserve for their willingness to risk their lives in our defense and to set others free.

Today, we understand that it was only thanks to our veterans’ valiant efforts that the “Great Experiment” that is the United States has succeeded for more than two centuries.

We’ve proven it can be done.

We’ve survived to inspire others, and spread the principles that have made our republic the greatest nation on earth.

Today, people from around the world look to the United States as a bastion of liberty, a nation where everyone has a chance to build their dreams.

It’s a nation where anyone, regardless of background, can go as far as their desire and determination can take them from innovative idea to marketplace leader or from the mailroom to the CEO’s office.

There’s a reason people around the globe know what you mean when you say “The American Dream.”

Our nation has endured because our people are good, our principles are sound, and our purpose is unchanged.

As Americans, it’s our responsibility to remain dedicated to those principles, those values, that have made our country great in the good times, and the bad.

We are all blessed by being Americans, whether by birth or naturalization, but with those blessings comes responsibility.

We owe it to those who follow us, our children and our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to leave behind an America that’s not only as strong and moral and the one we found, but stronger, in all facets.

We owe it to them to keep America on the path of faith and morality that has served our nation so well for so long.

To paraphrase the great Irving Berlin, even in the dark of night, we have to call upon our Creator to walk beside us and guide us with light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.

May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas and this nation we love so much.

%d bloggers like this: