Saturday, May 27, 2017

..........MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2017..........

Updated:  the "official" Memorial Day, May 29, 2017

104 Stark Countians Died in Vietnam

As Donald J. Trump was graduating from New York Military Academy, I was completing a four year tour of duty in the United States Air Force having served one year in the Republic of South Korea.

I recall vividly standing in formation in front of base headquarters at Kunsan, Korea on November 23, 1963 in honor of President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald.

During my first permanent duty station assignment (November, 1960 through January, 1963, Great Falls, Montana [Malmstrom AFB]), I recall the tenseness we all experienced, especially those of us in the military,  as President Kennedy and the American nation went eye-to-eye with Nikita Khrushchev and the-then Soviet Union in what we now call the Cuban Missile Crisis during the period of October 16 through October 28, 1962.

Now I am the father of a USAF medical doctor currently serving in Honolulu, HI and a USAFR public relations officer.

The Olson family believes in personal sacrifice in service of the well being of the nation. 

It appears to me Donald Trump was having none of that and, in my view, continues to way, way excessively look out for himself over the interests of Americans as a whole.

It certainly seems to be an ironic draft deferment sham that New York Military Academy graduate Trump went on to receive five (5) deferments.  Four for education reasons, and one medical deferment (Y-1; which totally excused him from military service during the Vietnam War era).

One would think that a person with a scintilla of humility would be loathe to criticize any U.S. military connected family.  We all remember Trump's over-the-top reaction of the Kahn family (Muslim American family whose son paid "the ultimate sacrifice") criticism of Trump's deferment record.    Here is a LINK to a recounting of the feud between the Kahns and then-political-presidential-candidate Donald J. Trump.

To be an equal opportunity critic, I single out Democrat William Jefferson Clinton (president from January 20, 1993 through January 20, 2001) as also having a draft-dodging personal deferment history.

And, of course, there is Democrat president Lyndon Baines Johnson whom I cleary recall saying in the 1964 presidential campaign (216 battlefield deaths) that under his watch "no American boy [was] going fight an Asian boy's war."  Four years later there were 16,899 "American boy" deaths (3,094 Ohioans).

Here is a LINK to a website which lists 63 Cantonians as having lost their lives in Vietnam including nurse Sharon Lane who was a Canton South and Aultman School of Nursing graduate.  Lane was the only nurse death owing to hostile action.

From the outstanding website (Virtual Wall), a collective list of those from Canton who died in Vietnam.  By going to the website, one can click on a name to get a more detailed listing of the deceased soldier's military service (see Sharon Lane abbreviated sample as presented above.)

And here is an accounting (41) of those from other parts of Stark County who lost their lives in Vietnam.

Using the two foregoing sources, the SCPR counts 104 Stark Countians as having died serving in Vietnam.

So today's blog is owing to the respect for the office of president of the United States of  America as the position of commander-in-chief of United States Armed Forces; not for the current Republican holder of the office who The Stark County Political Report thinks is not worthy—on the draft deferment issue in and of itself—of holding these titles.

Had I been writing this blog in the Clinton years, he would have gotten the same treatment at the hand of the SCPR.





Memorial Day is our Nation's solemn reminder that freedom is never free.  It is a moment of collective reflection on the noble sacrifices of those who gave the last measure of devotion in service of our ideals and in the defense of our Nation.  On this ceremonious day, we remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights.

This year, we commemorate the centennial anniversary of America's entry into World War I.  More than 4.7 million Americans served during The Great War, representing more than 25 percent of the American male population between the ages of 18 and 31 at the time.  We remember the more than 100,000 Americans who sacrificed their lives during "The War to End All Wars," and who left behind countless family members and loved ones.  We pause again to pray for the souls of those heroes who, one century ago, never returned home after helping to restore peace in Europe.

On Memorial Day we honor the final resting places of the more than one million men and women who sacrificed their lives for our Nation, by decorating their graves with the stars and stripes, as generations have done since 1868.  We also proudly fly America's beautiful flag at our homes, businesses, and in our community parades to honor their memory.  In doing so, we pledge our Nation's allegiance to the great cause of freedom for which they fought and ultimately died.

In honor and recognition of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer.  The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 29, 2017, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.

I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

I also request the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control.

I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.


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