Memorial Day 2018

Posted May 25, 2018 by Bob Anderson

Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering the people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, will be held on May 28, 2018. Memorial Day traces its roots back to the American Civil War.

Under the terms of surrender for the Army of Northern Virginia at the Appomattox Court House at on April 10, 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant stipulated that “each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside”.

On May 5, the parole was extended so that soldiers from the eleven Confederate states and West Virginia, would be allowed to return home on their paroles but that “all who claim homes in the District of Columbia and in States that never passed the Ordinance of Secession (Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri included) have forfeited them and can only return thereto by complying with the Amnesty Proclamation of the president and obtaining special permission from the War Department.”

Sadly, today, many think it is simply a time for cookouts and time away from work.

Veterans Day is a federal holiday that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It is held on November 11 each year. It was called Armistice Day until 1954 and marked the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the First World War officially ended. Sadly today, many think it is simply a time for cookouts and time away from work.

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of the summer vacation season. Labor Day marks its end. You might not know it, but both Union and Confederate soldiers are considered U.S. veterans under federal law, and that the Confederates are entitled to the same benefits as Union soldiers today. A federal law passed in 1958 listed the spouses and children of all Civil War veterans — Confederate and Union — as eligible for federal pensions. The last known Civil War veteran died in 1956, and the last known widow of a Civil War veteran died in 2003 at age 93. But there were surprisingly two children of Civil War veterans who were still receiving benefits in 2012, U.S. News.

Whenever there is no surviving spouse entitled to pension under section 1532 of this title, the Secretary shall pay to the children of each Civil War veteran who met the service requirements of section 1532 of this title a pension at the monthly rate of $73.13 for one child, plus $8.13 for each additional child, with the total amount equally divided.

It’s also true that federal law makes Confederate soldiers eligible for burial in national cemeteries and for taxpayer-funded headstones, just like Union soldiers. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, only Union soldiers were eligible for military benefits. It wasn’t until the 1930s that Confederate soldiers began receiving pensions from the federal government. Prior to that, confederate soldiers could apply for benefits through the state they resided in.

Today public opinion and political correctness have forced the removal of many Confederate statues and memorials. How sad this is in my opinion. History, popular and unpopular history, is part of the fabric of a nation. Mistakes that are made and repaired tell the strength of a country and its people.

The philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist George Santayana once stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” As I was growing up, this saying was one of the most repeated in my schools and social groups. Unfortunately, today… citizens of America – and a great number of people who are not citizens – are working very hard to destroy the memories of our past.

There is not time to debate this situation today. I ask simply that while we still have the memories… on this Memorial Day… while you are enjoying the day off… while you are cooking out… take a moment to remember the people who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.

They are the ones that gave you this time with your family, this day off and the chance to cook out.

(photo credit:

Remembering on Memorial Day

Bob Anderson, Ph.D., CMSgt.(Ret.)

For many this will be the first Memorial Day to have apersonal meaning. For others, it will be another chance to remember a father,mother, brother, sister or friend that paid the ultimate sacrifice for thiscountry.

For many it will simply be a time to grill a steak, drink abeer and have time off.

In the early days, it was called Decoration Day and itcommemorated U.S.soldiers who died while in the military service. It was first enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American CivilWar and then extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in allwars.

By 1865 the practice of decorating soldiers’ graves hadbecome widespread in the North. The first known observance was in Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866, and each year thereafter.

It was the friendship between General John Murray andGeneral John A. Logan, that helped bring attention tothe event nationwide and a factor in the holiday’s growth.

By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion formore general expressions of memory. Ordinary people visited the graves of theirdeceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not.

Today it has become simply a long weekend increasinglydevoted to shopping, family get-togethers, fireworks, trips to the beach, andnational media events. And that is okay.

However, the purpose of Memorial Day is to help us rememberthe sacrifices made by military members of allages, all conflicts and all branches of service.

To remember that our Freedomis not .

A veteran is someone who has served our country inmilitary service whether they are in the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guardor Army. With that thought in mind, someone penned the following poem:

It was the Veteran
not the preacher,
who gave us freedom of religion.

It was the Veteran,
not the reporter,
who gave us freedom of the press.

It was the Veteran,
not the poet,
who gave us freedom of speech.

It was the Veteran,
not the campus organizer,

gave us freedom to assemble.

It was the Veteran,

the lawyer,
who gave us the right to a fair trial.

It was the Veteran,

the politician,
who gave us the right to vote.

It was the Veteran who saluted the Flag, who served under the Flag, whogave his oath to support and defend the Constitution and Our Nation against allEnemies, Foreign and Domestic;

willing to give his life to protectyour freedoms and mine; whose coffin is draped by the flag,

allows the protester to burnthe flag.


If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it inEnglish, thank a Veteran!


HoiB. Tran on The Viet Nam War series by Ken Burns

To my dear Brothers-in-Arms, Vietnamese & AmericanVeterans of the VN War,

In mid-September2017, I was extremely excited turning my TV on to watch the new Viet Nam Wardocumentary directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novickthat my son informed me the previous week. Sadly, after watching only the firstepisode, I already had real bad impression with this new documentary film andwanted to quit. But I realized it would be unfair if I rate the entire 10episodes through only the first one. So I tried hard to overcome mydisappointment and to stay patient to watch the remaining 9 episodes in orderto have a full understanding of this VN War film before expressing myfeeling/opinion of its contents. After having watched all 10 episodes, I feelcomfortable now to make some honest comments on this film.

I’ll be happy andready to discuss with anyone, Vietnamese or American, who wants to refute thefacts cited in my comments below including Ken Burns or Lynn Novick.

Comments on the newVN War series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick throughthe eyes of a veteran of the Armed Forces of the Republic of (South) Viet Nam.

HoiB. Tran – Oct 1, 2017

It is no secret that the Viet Nam War was themost controversial and misunderstood war that the U.S was involved in. It was awar that deeply and bitterly divided the America. It was also a war that U.Sveterans were denigrated and mistreated when returning home from Viet Nam aftertheir tour of duty.I remember that thelate U.S Pres. Richard M. Nixon said in his book No More Vietnams published in 1985 as follows, and I quote: No event in American history is moremisunderstood than the Viet Nam War. It was misreported then, and it ismisremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much.Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic. Endof quote.

As a soldier, I fought in both Viet Nam wars.From the Bien battle in the North to the long war in the South in various capacities. Now as aliving witness, I feel compelled torefute the shameless lie by this Viet Nam War series when they praised and glorifiedHo Chi Minh as a dedicated nationalist patriot. Additionally, I also want toerase the unjust stains smeared upon the U.S military annals by the bold-facedVietnamese communist propaganda machine in North Viet Nam stupidly backed bythe ignorant, left leaning news media and film makers in the U.S.

1 – Was Ho Chi Minh a true Vietnamese nationalist patriot whofought and ousted the French & restored independence for VN?

On March 9th, 1945 Japanese Imperial forcesin North Viet Nam staged a coup d’état and ousted the French Colonists, not HoChi Minh. The following day a Japanese envoy met Emperor Dai and granted Viet Nam her independence within Japan’s Greater East AsiaCo-Prosperity Sphere. Following this joyful event, Emperor Dai appointed Prof. Tran Trong Kim to form alegitimate government. While the Vietnamese were enjoying their independence,the US dropped two atom bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki in early August 1945forcing Japan to surrender to the Allied forces unconditionally on August 14,1945.The capitulation of Japan createda political chaos in North Viet Nam.HoChi Minh promptly exploited the chaotic situation and used his armed propagandaunits embedded in Ha to seize power.On Aug 28, 1945, he formally declared thecountry to be the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (DRV), an independent nation& proclaimed himself President and Minister of Foreign Affairsconcurrently. The following week, he had his cadres convened a meeting at the Square to introduce hisgovernment and cited the Declaration of Independence. During this time I was anaïve 10 year-old Vanguard Youth Troop in Ha ,North Viet Nam. Along with my group I was very happy singing patriotic songs asindoctrinated by communist cadres to praise Ho Chi Minh in many events.

After becoming President of the DRV, Hoshowed his true colors as a vicious communist and a boldfaced traitor. Hooverzealously followed Maoist’s doctrine and launched the inhumane Land ReformCampaign that slaughtered at least from 60,000 to 150,000 landowners that theylabeled as wicked landlords and about 50,000 to 100,000 were imprisoned.And with his death squads, Ho liquidated allpolitical opponents if these people were nationalists or non-communistpatriots.

The above facts shows that Ho Chi Minh andhis ragtag militia forces, the Viet Minh, and his so-called armed propagandaunits in North Viet Nam contributed absolutely nothing in expelling of theFrench forces from Viet Nam and to end French colonial rule in 1945.

Ho Chi Minh was a traitor, a treacherous egomaniac, nota patriot!

Afew months after extorting power from Tran Trong Kimgovernment Ho showed his traitorous, egoistic character. On March 6, 1946, Hocompromised and signed an agreement allowing French forces to return to VietNam for five years and, in return France would recognize his DRV government.

Through this wily move, nationalistVietnamese people considered Ho a traitor to the cause of revolution. If Ho ChiMinh did not sign that agreement, of course, French forces were not allowed toreturn to North Viet Nam.If Frenchforces were not in Viet Nam, there would have been no Bien battle in 1954 and Viet Nam was not dividedat the 17th parallel after Ho’s forces, the Viet Minh, defeatedFrench forces at Bien garrison. The fall of Bien garrison was because Gen. Henri Navarre, Commander in Chief of the FrenchExpeditionary Forces in the Indochinese Theater, was not aware that the ragtagViet Minh forces received two hundred heavy artillery pieces and the deadlySoviet built rocket launchers “Stalin Organs”, military advisors, technicians,gunners and troops from the PRC.

The reason Ho Chi Minh received substantialmilitary supplies and manpower from the PRC was because Ho kowtowed to MaoZedong since Mao won the war and established the PRC in mainland China inOctober of 1949. Ho Chi Minh wasted no time and immediately sent hisrepresentatives to China asking for support and assistance. By January 1950,the PRC and Russia recognized Ho’s government and the PRC began to help Ho withmilitary advisors, weapons and troops to ensure their satellite in Viet Namwould survive

The bottom line is: If Ho Chi Minh had been atrue nationalist patriot, he should have contented with the independence that VietNam inherited bloodlessly at the departure of the Japanese after they weredefeated by the US.Ho must have knownthat he was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time to, all of asudden, become president of the DRV.Under the circumstances, he should live peacefully in North Viet Nam andcommitted all resources into rebuilding the war ravaged country as well as thedying economy in North Viet Nam at the time. He must have known that if he didnot allow French forces to return to North Viet Nam, there was no Bien battle. Without the Bien battle, VietNam was not divided at the 17th parallel. Even after Viet Nam wasdivided, if he had a decent conscience, he should have recognized the RVN inthe South as a separate, independent country like East and West Germany orNorth and South Korea. He should not be too egoistic, too greedy wanting togobble up the South to satisfy his hegemonic dream. But as a devout communistand a power-hungry man, Ho Chi Minh fervently wanted to take over the South andplace it under his control to satisfy his big patrons, the PRC and Russia.

3 – Sullied theUnited States and the Republic of Viet Nam (RVN).

During the war to conquer the RVN, Ho Chi Minh and theapparatchiks in North Viet Nam employed this motto incessantly on theirpropaganda machine to push people to go to war: Fighting the Americans to save our country”and “Liberate our people in the Southfrom the neo-colonial rule of the American Imperialist”. Theysmeared the RVN government and its Armed Forces as puppets or servants of the“American Imperialists.” They always portrayed the RVN government as a despoticand corrupt regime and the U.S as imperialist. In summary, the North Vietnamesecommunist leadership had endlessly tried their utmost best to vituperate, sullythe U.S, the RVN and people in the South.

Fortunately, history has eyes and time has certain way to bringtruth to the surface.Although the longoverdue truth could not heal the profound psychological and physical wound the RVNand her ally, the U.S had to suffer. But thetruth did prove that the RVN and the U.S were not as bad as propagated by thecommunist and distorted by the liberal U.S. news media and film makers.

Only a few years in the post-war era, theworld had a better understanding and a clearer judgment about the ability togovern, the morality and virtue of the North Vietnamese communists after theydropped their mask and exposed their true evil color. After the end of the warthey could not survive with their communist doctrine and their dying economyand they shamelessly begged the “American Imperialists” for help.At the present time in shopping malls, travelagencies, restaurants and hotels in Viet Nam most advertising signs are writtenin English, not in Chinese or Russian.In Viet Nam, girls and boys everywhere, from the metropolitan area tothe rural countryside, are mixing in their day to day conversation with thewords OK and Bye-Bye to be in vogue.They also celebrate Valentine Day and sing Happy Birthday in English tobe fashionable.

The communist propaganda machine and the leftleaning U.S news media always accused the former RVN as a corrupt regime. To befair and honest, no one could deny that every country on this planet earth doeshave certain form of corruption. But if we compare the corruption between theformer RVN and the communist party members and their cronies in the post-waryears, the RVN appears amateurish.The communistparty members are much more skillful in bringing corruption up multifoldthrough foreign aid and investments, kickbacks from newly authorized businessesand land expropriation!They are muchbetter than the RVN in that they invented the super human traffickingnetworks.Under the skillful managementof the communist regime, Viet Nam is now known as the largest source ofproviding girls and women to neighboring countries as sex slaves.They sneered at the culture, all form ofliterary arts, books and music in the South as depraved and were aggressivelyscouring everywhere to confiscate these materials to discard and destroythem.Sadly, after they took over theSouth, morality, good old Vietnamese traditions and virtues went intoextinction! Prostitution, pornographicmaterials, venereal diseases, HIV and drugs went rampant in this amoral,depraved society! Communist members areno longer poor communists.They have allbecome Red Capitalist!These RedCapitalists and their children are living an ultra-luxurious life over their miserableand poor people in Viet Nam.Never inthe former RVN did I see politicians and high-ranking generals havemulti-million dollar mansion or vacation houses like today’s RedCapitalists.Never did I see children ofhigh-ranking officials of the RVN driving cars that even in the U.S. only someaffluent people could afford like Rolls Royces,Ferraris and Maseratis!Just out of curiosity, I was wondering whereare those journalists of the 1960 Why don’t they come out to criticize thecurrent cruel communist dictators, the corrupt and immoral Red capitalists likethey did during the Ngo Diem or Nguyen Van Thieu government?Where have these hypocrites been hiding?

Now, as a veteran of theformer RVN who partook in the war, I want to say it clear to all my Vietnameseand American brothers-in-arms that the U.S were never defeated militarily bythe ragtag army of the North Vietnamese Communist. Through political negotiationin Paris our politicians settled with major world powers and the partiesinvolved to end the war in Viet Nam politically.Following orders, you must withdraw from VietNam. The last U.S. military unit left Viet Nam in March 1973.The final collapse of the RVN occurred onApril 30, 1975.There is absolutely nodoubt in my mind that the U.S. did not lose the war in Vietnam militarily. Youhave fulfilled the call of duty admirably and you have fought gallantly.We salute you.We thank you for your service and for helpingus in Viet Nam.Ironically, politicsdictated the outcome.Don’t be bothered;only ignorant or misled individuals would buy into the notion that America lostthe war in Viet Nam militarily.Iclearly remember President Richard M. Nixon had said in his November 3, 1969speech about the Vietnamization of the war: “Let us be united for peace. Let usalso be united against defeat. Because let us understand: North Vietnam cannotdefeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.”I cannot agree more with the latePresident.

It is outrageous to seesome unconscionable people who reaped benefits and opportunities Americaafforded them to become rich and famous, yet for one reason or another theyturned anti American. To these sick people, everything America does is wrongand the enemy is always right. The last advice I wish to convey to my youngergeneration is: “Never trust theVietnamese Communists”!!!They havebeen proven to be evils of the worst kind all through the last half of the 20thCentury until the present! They have changed their name from the VietnameseCommunist Party to the Vietnamese Workers Party and from the DemocraticRepublic of Viet Nam to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.They have transformed from poor peasantsbefore 1975 to multi-millionaires and billionaires through plundering andstealing after April 30, 1975.In thebottom of their soul, they have not changed.They are still the inhumane, immoral, deceptive, dangerous cruel andunpredictable communists. Don’t ever trust or believe them regardless of howsweet or conciliatory they try to convince you.

Hoi B. Tran


28September 2017 – by Lewis Sorley

Nowwe have seen the Burns Vietnam epic, or at least some of us have. What are weto think of it?

+The story line is not very complicated:

Waris hell.

Americanswho opposed the war: good.

Americanswho fought in it: inept, pitiable.

NorthVietnamese: admirable.

SouthVietnamese: hardly worth mentioning.

Waris hell.

Let’sall make nice.

Probablydidn’t need 18 hours to tell that story. But there was always one moreexplosion to feature, one more bloody body to examine, more anti-war riot to recall.

Hadthere been somewhat greater economy in telling the Burnsversion of the story, there might havebeen room to recall that:

 was aggression by the North Vietnamese communiststhat led to all this bloodshed and agony.

 communist way of war deliberately featured bombsin schoolyards and pagodas, murder of schoolteachers and village officials,kidnapping and

impressment of civilians,indiscriminate rocketing of cities.

Under communist rule today Vietnam is one of theworld’s most repressive and corrupt societies.

 “boat people” and other émigrés now living inAmerica and elsewhere in the free world have with great courage and industrymade new lives for themselves and their families.

 list could be extended almost indefinitely.

+What of the filmmaker’s outlook?

Burnsand his associates have appeared at a large number of preview events. At onesuch session at the Newseum here in Washington(billed by them as an “influencer event”) one could not help but be impressedby their self-regard and self-satisfaction. They apparently now view themselvesas the premier historians of the Vietnam War. And they are candid in statingtheir most basic conclusions.

“Youcan find no overtly redeeming qualities of the Vietnam War,” Burns opined. Ihope I may be forgiven for stating my own conviction that he is in thatprofoundly wrong, as he was in referring disparagingly to what he calledAmericans’ “puffed-up sense of exceptionalism.” Clearly Burns does not muchlike America, an outlook that permeates his work.

+What of the research? We are told the Burns team spent ten years on thisproject, and that in the course of it they interviewed more than 80 people. Iknow writers, working alone, who have interviewed several hundred people for asingle book. The Burns team averaged 8 interviews a year, an interview everymonth and a half, over the decade. Not impressive, at least to me, certainlynot comprehensive.

Crucialomissions are a damaging flaw in the Burns opus. The great heroes of the war,in the view of almost all who fought there (on our side), were the Dustoff pilots and the nurses. We don’t see much of them.Instead we see repeatedly poor Mogie Crocker, who weknow right away isdestined to get whacked. We seeover and over again the clueless General Westmoreland, but learn nothing of hisrefusal to provide modern weaponry to the South Vietnamese or disdain forpacification. We see precious little of his able successor, General Abrams. Wesee (and hear) almost nothing of William Colby. And so on. These are seriousfailings in a film that bills itself as “a landmark documentary event.

”Burnsand company are said to have made a decision not to interview former governmentofficials for the film. That’s like going to an opera and listening only to thechorus, and them one at a time, with the diva and the tenor silenced andignored. How does that contribute to an understanding of the war writ large?

Burnsrepeats in all the materials he distributes the mantra “There Is No SingleTruth in War.” But there is such a thing as objective truth, elusive though itmay be. What we have here is preferred “truth” as seen through the Burns prism.

Finally,the idea that this deeply flawed version of the war and those who fought itmight somehow facilitate “recon-ciliation,” asclaimed by Burns, can only be viewed as fatuous. There is no middle ground, andthe Burns film demonstrates, if nothing else, how deep and unbridgeable thedivide remains.

Memorial Day 2017

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Image result for memorial day images free from 123

We are immensely grateful and respectful for the noble sacrifices my fellow
patriotic Americans have given to defend America and those who are fighting,
sacrificing now in a land so far away to make America a great nation.