Daily Archives: December 7, 2009

Pearl Harbor, How Soon We Forget


December 7, 1941, 68 years ago today is a date that was slated to “live in infamy.” Then president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, addressed Congress and the nation with a speech that began,

“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

This date marked our country being drawn into the already ongoing war that would now and forever be known as World War Two, the bloodiest conflict in the recorded history of our planet. After the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, we as a country came together with resolve to end the tyranny of the Nazi’s, Fascist and Imperial Japanese.

In time, the allied forces drew the conflict to a victorious close. Life began anew as war weary Veterans came home and began raising families and building businesses. Memorials were erected across the nation to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice to beat back the enemy and grant even them the freedom to rejoin the nations of the world.

One such Memorial still rests on the bottom of Pearl Harbor. The rusting hulk of the United States Battleship, USS Arizona with over one thousand of her crew forever entombed within her hull.

Each year, fewer and fewer aging Veterans travel to her to pay homage to their fallen heroes, their numbers dwindling at a rapid rate today. Former enemies stand together in respect of the crew and others who gave their lives to bring freedom back to the world. Some have difficulty facing each other, old wounds coming up just below the surface of these men, but they all show respect for those who paid the ultimate price of freedom.

General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, in accepting the unconditional surrender of the Japanese aboard the decks of the Battleship USS Missouri said in part,

“It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past — a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.”

America vowed to never be caught off guard like that again as we began a peacetime draft of a war ready Military with around the clock watches worldwide as a former ally returned to their villainous conquest of free nations.

Nearly 5 decades later, that “evil empire,” the communist Soviet Union imploded and collapsed upon itself, freeing even more nations from oppression.

During the 5 decades of the “Cold War,” voices that before were marginalized and ignored gained favor and were accepted wherever they spoke against our resolve to remain a free people. Agents of the Soviet Union successfully infiltrated and fed leftist groups sympathetic to the Soviet Cause and convinced all too many that standing for freedom was no longer noble, but a suckers game.

Where our resolve saw us through in keeping South Korea free from Communist aggression, these anti-war voices misled the populace, causing many to look upon the brave sacrifices of our Troops in standing up against Communist aggression in another Southeast Asian county with scorn.

They had us abandon that country to the dark days of years of Communist oppression, millions of their citizens just disappearing.

Elected leaders who spoke out against this evil empire of communism were ridiculed, scoffed at and undermined, some being driven from office and replaced by more leftist who had no resolve to protect the country, falsely believing all we needed to do was appease enemies to avoid war, ignoring that appeasement did not stop the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor long ago.

But, those officials stood fast. They faced communist leaders and the empire collapsed.

Almost immediately, those who favor appeasement began dismantling our around the clock guarding of the country. They spoke of a “peace dividend” and an end to war.

They lulled the nation back to sleep, almost as it was prior to that fateful day in December 1941. The growing threat of another enemy to mankind, even more brutal and savage than before seen was ignored, in spite of nearly three decades of attacks.

They were treated as criminal matters, marginalized as random events or excused as retribution for our own foreign policies from long ago.

Small skirmishes or limited missile strikes were launched in half-hearted strikes against the threat, but it did not deter this new enemy, it only gave them the resolve to continue coming as they saw this powerful nation as on its knees, merely a “paper tiger” now.

Our Military’s were “down sized” and intelligence agencies gutted.

Forgotten was the lesson of needed vigilance learned by an earlier generation at Pearl Harbor as yet another early day saw our country once again “suddenly and deliberately attacked” by high jacked airliners flown into civilian buildings occupied by thousands of innocent people just beginning their days ritual of work.

The death toll of September 11, 2001 exceeded that of the Pearl Harbor Attack as the country rallied behind our president and Troops as once again we went to war to push back an enemy that threatens the peace.

Unlike 1941 though, the country’s resolve for victory was short lived as opportunistic politicians began seeing their chance at seizing political power.

Instead of fighting the radical Jihadists, calls for investigation of the president permeated the air in efforts to have him removed from office. Some of the most ludicrous conspiracy theories were advanced as truths with little or no evidence.

Our Troops were sent off to battle and as we saw in Southeast Asia, prevented from engaging the enemy by “rules of engagement” as politicians decided we must play “nice” with those who would brutally behead our people they captured.

The same “anti-war” voices granted voice in the 1960’s regained their voices and actively hamper the effort at defeating this enemy drowning out the resolve shown shortly after September 11, 2001.

President Roosevelt genuinely felt that December 7, 1941 was a “date that will live in infamy.” He didn’t count on a loud voice from within that cannot even remember September 11, 2001 68 years after.

President Roosevelt told the country,

“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”

In the midst of the Cold War, then President John F. Kennedy told us,

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001 former President George W. Bush said,

“This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.”

Current President Barack H. Obama, after delaying nearly 3 months, announces fewer Troops to the war effort than sought and gives a date he intends to begin to quit.

Gone is that resolve for victory, replaced by talk of limited engagement, exit strategy or it costs too much.

Sorry President Roosevelt, but that day you thought would “live in infamy” does seem largely forgotten today.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Get Ready for the CO2 Police

In a move to burnish the record of President Obama before he goes to the Copenhagen Global Warming Conference, the EPA declared that CO2, as well as some other “greenhouse” gases, are “dangerous.”
While the Competitive Enterprise Institute and others are suing to stop this,  this finding may be instituted in the meantime. 
This allows the EPA to control the extent to which you emit CO2, methane–you name it–into the air.
As the WSJ reports here this is an even worse result than cap and tax:

An “endangerment” finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions — even if Congress doesn’t pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy more directly, and more quickly, than any global deal inked in the Danish capital, where no binding agreement is expected.

The EPA claims it will be prudent in enforcing the CO2 ruling, but you don’t really believe that, do you? Read this passage and then look at how one’s “Carbon Footprint” is calculated following the passage. You see, don’t you, how much control the folks in DC will have over your life? From what you drive, to how to how wash your clothes, to IF you drive, to what you eat. Nothing will be too trivial for the feds to concern themselves with. Add that to the spies the local governments want to have in each neighborhood to watch everyone’s carbon footprint and, voila! tyranny.

An endangerment finding would allow the EPA to use the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions, which are produced whenever fossil fuel is burned. Under that law, the EPA could require emitters of as little as 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year to install new technology to curb their emissions starting as soon as 2012.

This Is Your Annual Carbon Footprint


Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Secretary Gates Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

Defense Secretary, Robert M. Gates has landed in Kabul Afghanistn in an unannounced visit to the war-torn country.

His trip has 2 purposes.

He’s there to tell the Troops “we are in this thing to win” and to “stress to President Hamid Karzai and other Afghan officials that the United States will not abandon them as it did in 1989.”

It seems Obama has forgotten to make mention any such intent.

Washington Post

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

PEARL HARBOR ATTACK: A VETERAN REMEMBERS By REES LLOYD

The horror of Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, a day  President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would “live in infamy,” may have faded for many Americans, but not for the veterans who survived it.
 
“How can anyone forget Pearl Harbor? So many good American kids killed, wounded,  maimed for life. We were unprepared. I hope Americans never forget,” said US Army Air Corps veteran Ed Cogan of Portland, who survived Pearl Harbor and later the Normandy Invasion, where he was nearly killed as a Glider Pilot.
 
Pearl Harbor was the worst attack on American soil before the jihadist terror attack of September 11, 2001. Some 2,403 American sailors, soldiers, marines, and civilians were killed. Another 1,178 were wounded. The Navy losses included eight battleships, three light cruisers, three destroyers, and four auxiliary craft. The Arizona, which still lies beneath the waters at Pearl Harbor,  was struck by torpedoes and at least eight bombs, causing the death of all but 200 of the 1,400 crew members. Only a few American planes survived as the Japanese bombed and strafed  inadequately protected airfields.
 
Ed Cogan was asleep in his bunk in the Army Air Corps barracks at Hickam Field on that peaceful Sunday morning when,  about 7:55 a.m.,  the Japanese armada of  350 heavy bombers, dive bombers, and fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor, their commander exulting “Tora!Tora!Tora!” on his radio to signal that the American forces had been taken by complete surprise.
 
“At first I didn’t know what was happening, then I realized – we’re under attack!” Cogan recalls. “I jumped up, pulled on my pants, and ran out of the barracks. I couldn’t believe it – the Japanese were bombing and strafing the airfield, the planes, the hangers, the barracks. We didn’t have any planes in the air and no effective anti-aircraft fire. We could see and hear the attacks on the ships in the harbor.
           
“We were running all over the place, trying to save the planes and not get killed. I was amazed at how low the Japanese were diving. They were so low and close, that a pilot made direct eye contact with me—and smiled. Laughing as he fired,” Cogan recalls.
 
“The initial attack broke off– but then there was a second wave. We had no defenses. We were shooting rifles and hand guns at dive bombers and fighters. We saved only 3,4 planes.  We lost a lot of good men. We were unprepared. It was awful.”
 
Cogan, a native of Bath, Maine, the son of a cantor who served the small Jewish community there, had enlisted in the peacetime Army Air Corps in 1940 because he dreamed of flying. He considered himself lucky not to be hit in the attack. But in the Normandy Invasion almost three years later, as a Glider pilot, his luck would run out.
           
On June 24, 1944, D-Day+18, his first and last combat mission ended as so many glider landings ended—with a terrible, deadly crash, Glider pilots having one of the highest casualty rates in WWII.           
 
Cogan suffered near fatal injuries, almost every major bone in his body broken. He awoke from a month-long coma in an English hospital, with no memory of anything after the crash itself. He was informed his co-pilot was killed.           
 
He was transferred to an Army hospital in Massachusetts. While there, he saw a beautiful young woman named Annette working in the PX, and “it was love at first sight,” Cogan says. “Seven days later I proposed; she accepted;  and we were married.”
           
After two more years of treatment at various hospitals, Cogan was found totally disabled and medically discharged.
 
He and Annette moved to California, founded a successful book distribution business, and raised two daughters, before retiring and moving to Portland, OR, to be nearer to the family of one of their daughters.
           
As Pearl Harbor Day is again remembered, does Cogan, now 88, regret the military service which nearly killed him, disabled him, and left him with a lifetime of pain?
           
“Oh, no. Never. I consider myself extremely lucky,” says Cogan, a warm and friendly man with a very large smile.
           
“ First, I’m lucky to be alive. Second, I had the chance to defend my country with some really great guys. And,” he adds with a twinkling eye and broad smile while nodding toward Annette, his bride of some 65 years: “Just look at the great girl I got.”
 
[Rees Lloyd  is a longtime civil rights attorney, and an activist in veterans affairs]

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Video of Delegates Arriving At Copenhagen

UK Telegraph: Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges

Of particular note, these people that wish to limit what we may drive or where we set out thermostats, limousines are having to be driven in from Germany and Sweden as there are not enough in Copenhagen to satisfy the demand from these hypocrits.

Only 5 electric or hybrid cars being used.

At least the hookers are offering delegates their services for free.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pearl Harbor, How Soon We Forget


December 7, 1941, 68 years ago today is a date that was slated to “live in infamy.” Then president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, addressed Congress and the nation with a speech that began,

“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

This date marked our country being drawn into the already ongoing war that would now and forever be known as World War Two, the bloodiest conflict in the recorded history of our planet. After the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, we as a country came together with resolve to end the tyranny of the Nazi’s, Fascist and Imperial Japanese.

In time, the allied forces drew the conflict to a victorious close. Life began anew as war weary Veterans came home and began raising families and building businesses. Memorials were erected across the nation to honor those that paid the ultimate sacrifice to beat back the enemy and grant even them the freedom to rejoin the nations of the world.

One such Memorial still rests on the bottom of Pearl Harbor. The rusting hulk of the United States Battleship, USS Arizona with over one thousand of her crew forever entombed within her hull.

Each year, fewer and fewer aging Veterans travel to her to pay homage to their fallen heroes, their numbers dwindling at a rapid rate today. Former enemies stand together in respect of the crew and others who gave their lives to bring freedom back to the world. Some have difficulty facing each other, old wounds coming up just below the surface of these men, but they all show respect for those who paid the ultimate price of freedom.

General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, in accepting the unconditional surrender of the Japanese aboard the decks of the Battleship USS Missouri said in part,

“It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past — a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.”

America vowed to never be caught off guard like that again as we began a peacetime draft of a war ready Military with around the clock watches worldwide as a former ally returned to their villainous conquest of free nations.

Nearly 5 decades later, that “evil empire,” the communist Soviet Union imploded and collapsed upon itself, freeing even more nations from oppression.

During the 5 decades of the “Cold War,” voices that before were marginalized and ignored gained favor and were accepted wherever they spoke against our resolve to remain a free people. Agents of the Soviet Union successfully infiltrated and fed leftist groups sympathetic to the Soviet Cause and convinced all too many that standing for freedom was no longer noble, but a suckers game.

Where our resolve saw us through in keeping South Korea free from Communist aggression, these anti-war voices misled the populace, causing many to look upon the brave sacrifices of our Troops in standing up against Communist aggression in another Southeast Asian county with scorn.

They had us abandon that country to the dark days of years of Communist oppression, millions of their citizens just disappearing.

Elected leaders who spoke out against this evil empire of communism were ridiculed, scoffed at and undermined, some being driven from office and replaced by more leftist who had no resolve to protect the country, falsely believing all we needed to do was appease enemies to avoid war, ignoring that appeasement did not stop the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor long ago.

But, those officials stood fast. They faced communist leaders and the empire collapsed.

Almost immediately, those who favor appeasement began dismantling our around the clock guarding of the country. They spoke of a “peace dividend” and an end to war.

They lulled the nation back to sleep, almost as it was prior to that fateful day in December 1941. The growing threat of another enemy to mankind, even more brutal and savage than before seen was ignored, in spite of nearly three decades of attacks.

They were treated as criminal matters, marginalized as random events or excused as retribution for our own foreign policies from long ago.

Small skirmishes or limited missile strikes were launched in half-hearted strikes against the threat, but it did not deter this new enemy, it only gave them the resolve to continue coming as they saw this powerful nation as on its knees, merely a “paper tiger” now.

Our Military’s were “down sized” and intelligence agencies gutted.

Forgotten was the lesson of needed vigilance learned by an earlier generation at Pearl Harbor as yet another early day saw our country once again “suddenly and deliberately attacked” by high jacked airliners flown into civilian buildings occupied by thousands of innocent people just beginning their days ritual of work.

The death toll of September 11, 2001 exceeded that of the Pearl Harbor Attack as the country rallied behind our president and Troops as once again we went to war to push back an enemy that threatens the peace.

Unlike 1941 though, the country’s resolve for victory was short lived as opportunistic politicians began seeing their chance at seizing political power.

Instead of fighting the radical Jihadists, calls for investigation of the president permeated the air in efforts to have him removed from office. Some of the most ludicrous conspiracy theories were advanced as truths with little or no evidence.

Our Troops were sent off to battle and as we saw in Southeast Asia, prevented from engaging the enemy by “rules of engagement” as politicians decided we must play “nice” with those who would brutally behead our people they captured.

The same “anti-war” voices granted voice in the 1960’s regained their voices and actively hamper the effort at defeating this enemy drowning out the resolve shown shortly after September 11, 2001.

President Roosevelt genuinely felt that December 7, 1941 was a “date that will live in infamy.” He didn’t count on a loud voice from within that cannot even remember September 11, 2001 68 years after.

President Roosevelt told the country,

“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”

In the midst of the Cold War, then President John F. Kennedy told us,

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001 former President George W. Bush said,

“This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.”

Current President Barack H. Obama, after delaying nearly 3 months, announces fewer Troops to the war effort than sought and gives a date he intends to begin to quit.

Gone is that resolve for victory, replaced by talk of limited engagement, exit strategy or it costs too much.

Sorry President Roosevelt, but that day you thought would “live in infamy” does seem largely forgotten today.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Get Ready for the CO2 Police

In a move to burnish the record of President Obama before he goes to the Copenhagen Global Warming Conference, the EPA declared that CO2, as well as some other “greenhouse” gases, are “dangerous.”
While the Competitive Enterprise Institute and others are suing to stop this,  this finding may be instituted in the meantime. 
This allows the EPA to control the extent to which you emit CO2, methane–you name it–into the air.
As the WSJ reports here this is an even worse result than cap and tax:

An “endangerment” finding by the Environmental Protection Agency could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions — even if Congress doesn’t pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy more directly, and more quickly, than any global deal inked in the Danish capital, where no binding agreement is expected.

The EPA claims it will be prudent in enforcing the CO2 ruling, but you don’t really believe that, do you? Read this passage and then look at how one’s “Carbon Footprint” is calculated following the passage. You see, don’t you, how much control the folks in DC will have over your life? From what you drive, to how to how wash your clothes, to IF you drive, to what you eat. Nothing will be too trivial for the feds to concern themselves with. Add that to the spies the local governments want to have in each neighborhood to watch everyone’s carbon footprint and, voila! tyranny.

An endangerment finding would allow the EPA to use the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions, which are produced whenever fossil fuel is burned. Under that law, the EPA could require emitters of as little as 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year to install new technology to curb their emissions starting as soon as 2012.

This Is Your Annual Carbon Footprint


Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

PEARL HARBOR ATTACK: A VETERAN REMEMBERS By REES LLOYD

The horror of Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, a day  President Franklin D. Roosevelt said would “live in infamy,” may have faded for many Americans, but not for the veterans who survived it.
 
“How can anyone forget Pearl Harbor? So many good American kids killed, wounded,  maimed for life. We were unprepared. I hope Americans never forget,” said US Army Air Corps veteran Ed Cogan of Portland, who survived Pearl Harbor and later the Normandy Invasion, where he was nearly killed as a Glider Pilot.
 
Pearl Harbor was the worst attack on American soil before the jihadist terror attack of September 11, 2001. Some 2,403 American sailors, soldiers, marines, and civilians were killed. Another 1,178 were wounded. The Navy losses included eight battleships, three light cruisers, three destroyers, and four auxiliary craft. The Arizona, which still lies beneath the waters at Pearl Harbor,  was struck by torpedoes and at least eight bombs, causing the death of all but 200 of the 1,400 crew members. Only a few American planes survived as the Japanese bombed and strafed  inadequately protected airfields.
 
Ed Cogan was asleep in his bunk in the Army Air Corps barracks at Hickam Field on that peaceful Sunday morning when,  about 7:55 a.m.,  the Japanese armada of  350 heavy bombers, dive bombers, and fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor, their commander exulting “Tora!Tora!Tora!” on his radio to signal that the American forces had been taken by complete surprise.
 
“At first I didn’t know what was happening, then I realized – we’re under attack!” Cogan recalls. “I jumped up, pulled on my pants, and ran out of the barracks. I couldn’t believe it – the Japanese were bombing and strafing the airfield, the planes, the hangers, the barracks. We didn’t have any planes in the air and no effective anti-aircraft fire. We could see and hear the attacks on the ships in the harbor.
           
“We were running all over the place, trying to save the planes and not get killed. I was amazed at how low the Japanese were diving. They were so low and close, that a pilot made direct eye contact with me—and smiled. Laughing as he fired,” Cogan recalls.
 
“The initial attack broke off– but then there was a second wave. We had no defenses. We were shooting rifles and hand guns at dive bombers and fighters. We saved only 3,4 planes.  We lost a lot of good men. We were unprepared. It was awful.”
 
Cogan, a native of Bath, Maine, the son of a cantor who served the small Jewish community there, had enlisted in the peacetime Army Air Corps in 1940 because he dreamed of flying. He considered himself lucky not to be hit in the attack. But in the Normandy Invasion almost three years later, as a Glider pilot, his luck would run out.
           
On June 24, 1944, D-Day+18, his first and last combat mission ended as so many glider landings ended—with a terrible, deadly crash, Glider pilots having one of the highest casualty rates in WWII.           
 
Cogan suffered near fatal injuries, almost every major bone in his body broken. He awoke from a month-long coma in an English hospital, with no memory of anything after the crash itself. He was informed his co-pilot was killed.           
 
He was transferred to an Army hospital in Massachusetts. While there, he saw a beautiful young woman named Annette working in the PX, and “it was love at first sight,” Cogan says. “Seven days later I proposed; she accepted;  and we were married.”
           
After two more years of treatment at various hospitals, Cogan was found totally disabled and medically discharged.
 
He and Annette moved to California, founded a successful book distribution business, and raised two daughters, before retiring and moving to Portland, OR, to be nearer to the family of one of their daughters.
           
As Pearl Harbor Day is again remembered, does Cogan, now 88, regret the military service which nearly killed him, disabled him, and left him with a lifetime of pain?
           
“Oh, no. Never. I consider myself extremely lucky,” says Cogan, a warm and friendly man with a very large smile.
           
“ First, I’m lucky to be alive. Second, I had the chance to defend my country with some really great guys. And,” he adds with a twinkling eye and broad smile while nodding toward Annette, his bride of some 65 years: “Just look at the great girl I got.”
 
[Rees Lloyd  is a longtime civil rights attorney, and an activist in veterans affairs]

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

A Tribute to Medal of Honor Winner, Sgt. Leonard B. Keller

Written by Congressman Jeff Miller,  (R-Fla., 1st Dist.), submitted by Rees Lloyd


Many Americans woke up this morning and turned on the television or searched the internet to find out the latest on Tiger Woods and his wrecked black Cadillac Escalade.  However, on this rainy morning in Northern Virginia, another black Cadillac meandered through rolling hills on hallowed ground.   This vehicle carried Medal of Honor recipient, Sergeant Leonard B. Keller, to his final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.
While a high profile athlete remained ensconced in his luxury mansion behind the walls of his gated community, a caisson with six black horses slowly walked along the rain soaked asphalt.  Family members followed, huddled close to each other beneath umbrellas trying to shield themselves from the rainy and dreary cold morning. They came to pay tribute to a father, grandfather, brother, and friend. As the cars drove past on State Road 110 and planes flew overhead leaving Reagan National Airport, I am sure no one knew who was being buried, their name, age, or hometown.  On this day it was a man who showed uncommon valor in the jungles of Vietnam.
On May 2, 1967, Sergeant Leonard B. Keller and his unit were sweeping through an area in Vietnam where an enemy ambush had occurred earlier. The unit suddenly came under intense automatic weapons and small-arms fire from a number of enemy bunkers and numerous snipers in nearby trees. Sgt. Keller quickly moved to a position where he could fire at a bunker from which automatic fire was received, killing one Viet Cong who attempted to escape. Leaping to the top of a dike, he and a comrade charged the enemy bunkers, dangerously exposing themselves to the enemy fire. Armed with a light machine gun, Sgt. Keller and his comrade began a systematic assault on the enemy bunkers. While Sgt. Keller neutralized the fire from the first bunker with his machinegun, the other soldier threw in a hand grenade, killing its occupant. Then he and the other soldier charged a second bunker, killing its occupant. A third bunker contained an automatic rifleman who had pinned down much of the friendly platoon. Again, with utter disregard for the fire directed to them, the two men charged, killing the enemy within. 
Continuing their attack, Sgt. Keller and his comrade assaulted four more bunkers and eliminated the enemy threat. During their furious assault, Sgt. Keller and his comrade had been almost continuously exposed to intense sniper fire as the enemy desperately sought to stop their attack. The ferocity of their assault had carried the soldiers beyond the line of bunkers into the tree line, forcing snipers to flee. The two men gave immediate chase, driving the enemy away from the friendly unit. When his ammunition was exhausted, Sgt. Keller returned to the platoon to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. The two-man assault had driven an enemy platoon from a well prepared position, accounted for numerous enemy dead, and prevented further friendly casualties. Sgt. Keller’s selfless heroism and indomitable fighting spirit saved the lives of many of his comrades and inflicted serious damage on the enemy.
People fall from grace from time to time — politicians, athletes, pastors, and others.  We are human and far from perfect.  Why is it that so many are more interested in the tabloid news of today than the true life stories of real Americans, real heroes?  Those who always give more than they take. Those who are determined to leave this world a better place than they found it.

This morning a man was buried in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery.  A man of simple means.  Not a billionaire or a star athlete.  Too often we put more attention on work or the material things a person has rather than the things a person does.
 As I stood at the gravesite this morning and watched the four other Medal of Honor recipients in attendance salute as soldiers slowly folded the American flag that draped Sgt. Keller’s casket, I was reminded of the thousands of men and women who make tremendous sacrifices defending this great nation.  Sgt. Keller and the 92 living Medal of Honor recipients are heroes in every sense of the word.  They have all answered the call of duty, but more than that, they have placed the lives of others and the liberty of an entire nation above their own lives.  They were all willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that we may all enjoy the fruits of freedom.  On this week after Thanksgiving, I am thankful for heroes like Sgt. Leonard B. Keller.  May God Bless Sgt. Keller and his family.  Sgt Leonard Keller served with A/CO 9th I D.
______________________________________________
FURTHER TRIBUTE BY KEN DELFINO, NAVY “RIVER RAT” AND PURPLE HEART VETERAN: 
The other end of the spectrum…..
9ID stands for the 9th Infantry Division that operated in the Mekong Delta of South Viet Nam. The  river patrol force often worked with the 9th and its own naval unit, the Mobile Riverine  Force on Delta operations.
BRAVO ZULU SGT Keller
I wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas…

[Posted by Rees Lloyd with gratitude for the service and sacrifice of Sgt. Leonard Keller, and his family.]


Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com