DNC Reflections

I realize at times that I am a bit of a “flag-waver,” but, if you heard President Obama last evening in his speech to America at the DNC, you would understand what is beneath that deep pride I feel in being an American — living in the greatest country on Earth!

And if you ever wondered what motivates our President — he showed you last night.  I felt his deep love and deep compassion for the people of America.

This is a man who has been there with us — every step of the way — making all the hard decisions — for the benefit of all of us.  Who among us would step up to do that?

I am one of those people who get up every day and go to work, hoping that what I can contribute will be enough to make some small difference in someone’s life.  I am proud to have the freedom to achieve that every single day.

When I hear Donald Trump, I am instantly appalled.  His choice of words, his actions and his alliances raise every alarm bell within me.  President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are right.  This isn’t who we are.  This isn’t the face we want our allies to see.  The all-out childish behavior — the sheer selfishness and “what’s in it for me” attitude — it only contributes to the negative “Ugly American” image.

We are better than that. And we are smarter than that.

For the sake of America, start thinking about our future.  Think about your children and their children.  Don’t they deserve a chance to live the same lives we have? Or live in a better world?  What legacy will you be proud to have left them?

People, this is your chance. Get out there and vote this November.  Make your voices heard. Make a difference in our future.

Everything you do will determine how we live the next four years — with honor and grace in a global world — or living in a deeply dark, divisive and destructive world.

The choice is yours ….

Get Ready to Welcome the USS Detroit!

Something new is on the horizon!

The USS Detroit has just completed its acceptance trials — a necessary step before it can be presented to the US Navy.  So far, it has proved itself on launch and recovery missions and surface and self-defense exercises.

Photo: Michael Rote/Lockheed Martin Corp.
Photo: Michael Rote/Lockheed Martin Corp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This ship is the fourth steel littoral combat ship and seventh in its class (LCS 7)  — able to operate in as little as 14 feet of water — and is only 389 feet long.  Size doesn’t mean a thing here!  It can travel at 40-plus knots and is capable of being configured for submarine warfare, surface or anti-surface warfare and mine countermeasures.

Joe North, Vice President of Littoral Ships and Systems at Lockheed Martin was quoted in The Detroit News as saying, “When commissioned, LCS 7 will provide presence where and when needed, with a level of force that will deter and defeat threats.”

It is capable of carrying two MH-60R Romeo helicopters — or one manned helicopter and three unmanned helicopters.

Photo: Michael Rote, Lockheed Martin Corp.
Photo: Michael Rote/Lockheed Martin Corp.

 

After commissioning, the USS Detroit (LCS 7) will sail to its new home port in San Diego, where it meet with its sister ships USS Freedom, USS Fort Worth and USS Milwaukee.

On board the USS Kitty Hawk on June 6, 1963, President John F. Kennedy once said:

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction. ‘I served in the United States Navy.’”

To those who will proudly serve her:

May the wind always be at your back and the sun always upon your face.

Sail on!

 

[Reference credits to: Breana Noble, The Detroit News, Beth Dalbey, patch.com; Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press]

Random Acts

Random acts of violence … something no one can prepare for.  No one can anticipate.

What can we do?

We can ask that our law enforcement men and women receive better training on how to apprehend an armed individual.  Surveys say there are over 300 million guns in America — one third of adults say they own one.  Our law enforcement needs to be better prepared and have better protection.

We can make our voices heard — with peaceful protests — and not provide a fertile playground to those whose motivations are provocative and self-serving.

We can stop reacting.

We can start thinking about how to solve our issues — without violence.

We can put more pressure on our Congressmen and women — and our Senators — to put away their childish, political agendas and concentrate on doing the job they were elected to do … and that would be to lead.  After all, weren’t you the ones with the unending rhetoric during your campaigns that assured us that you could make a difference?  That you could change Washington’s politics?  Well, why aren’t you doing it?

Living in a democracy is, at best, challenging and difficult.  Everyone has a voice.  Everyone deserves to be heard. Everyone has an opinion.

But no one deserves to be the recipient of mindless violence.

Pray for understanding.

Pray for peace.

 

 

May Our Flag Forever Wave

May It Forever Wave
May It Forever Wave

Who doesn’t look at our national flag and feel a swell of pride in their hearts?

Who doesn’t feel that lump in one’s throat, humbled by all of those who went before us and all they did to ensure our freedom — to ensure that our flag would forever wave?

As we celebrate today, I was reminded of the pride — and joy — that John Adams felt when he wrote on July 3, 1776: “The Second Day of July 1776 [the day Continental Congress voted in Philadelphia to declare independence from Britain] … ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

James Madison had an even broader vision that he expressed years later, on January 19, 1788, when he stated: “Every man who loves peace, every man who loves  his country, every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it.”

So, perhaps today is a mix of these two visions: one of joy and appreciation and one that acknowledges the gravity of our obligations and responsibilities as we move forward.

We are also reminded that the authors of the Declaration of Independence, when declaring our independence from Britain, defiantly wrote:  … “That as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, [we] 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.”

To all of our fellow countrymen — and allies from abroad — that have believed in our forefathers’ visions and commitments, we honor you — and thank you — for your allegiance and your courage.

May God always bless the United States of America.