For Every Soldier: A Flag And A Nation’s Gratitude

May 31, 2010

The soldiers came in a convoy
And each one had a bag
The mission: to make certain
Every headstone had a flag

The soldiers who lay silent
From wars that had come and gone
Awaited our remembrance
On Memorial Day’s bright dawn.

For once a year we gather
It’s an honor, not a task
To show our gratitude to them
Is that too much to ask?

For all the freedom given us
It came at such a cost
The soldiers laying here today
Remind us of our loss.

It’s not just to remember
But to thank them once a year
To let them know we cherish them
And their memory we hold dear.
There’s no excuse acceptable
To turn our backs today
Without these brave young soldiers
There would be no USA.

It isn’t just a holiday
But then again to some
They need to be reminded just
How freedom’s prize is won.

But to all of you who know that
Freedom’s fight is never done
Trace Adkins now reminds us why
We all come to Arlington…

(Click to play)

Gerry Ashley – Memorial Day 2010
(Photos: Screen Shots from CNN Video)

Update: After I had written and posted this piece, I noticed that Michelle Malkin has the same good taste in music. See her contribution here

Flanders Fields Are Not Just In Belgium

May 30, 2010

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army


UPDATE: Memorial Day 2009

Why Obama’s Dismissal Of Arlington Is Unforgivable

May 28, 2010

I hear that Barack Obama has better things to do than leading the tradition of honoring the soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery (as is normally the case for a President each year). It’s especially significant during the years we are at war.

And I hear that Barack Obama will stop by a cemetery while he’s on vacation in Chicago. Make no mistake, he will undoubtedly have the Press Corps with him.  Hell, he might even have “Teleprompter One” with him so he can say some well-rehearsed “impromptu” comments which, we all know, won’t really be heartfelt except for how it might help his image.

Maybe this is because Obama has no investment in our freedom.

I detest the message Obama’s actions send our youth. “It’s just another tradition, kids… nothing important.” Especially to someone who apparently finds it necessary to travel the world (at our expense) living lavishly while he trashes the very country he purports to lead. The very country so many hundreds of thousands of young men and women have died in order that the country may endure. It’s more than “just a tradition…” Some traditions are important as reminders to all, and this is one of them.

A real leader doesn’t ignore the thousands of neatly rowed crosses marking the final resting places of young men and women who never got to share the promise of America… but whose sacrifices made sure WE did.

And Obama apparently doesn’t see the importance in that. I do. I have friends lying there. I resent – and I want to emphasize that… I RESENT a President who  chooses not to be there on the one day we set aside to stop and remember the years of life each one sacrificed. It just doesn’t seem right. And do you know why it doesn’t seem right? Because it isn’t. It speaks volumes about his lack of respect for this country… and that lack of respect will continue until he re-makes America into his vision.

The arrogance

But Obama will undoubtedly make a speech wherever he is. No doubt he’ll be impressed with himself. But fewer and fewer of Americans are. And this snub of our heroes will only make it worse. At least it should.

There’s a scene at the end of “Saving Private Ryan” where a now-retired James Ryan travels back to France to visit the grave of Captain John Miller who died making sure Ryan was safely returned to his family… a family that had already  lost  3 sons in World War II. It is a most moving moment that sums up what it’s like for those of us who did survive and got to live our lives because of the sacrifice of others. It also shows the reverence we should all have… especially the President of the United States.

To all of you who have served in the military and, like me, was lucky enough to complete your tour of duty, you know what this week-end means to me, because it means the same to you. Thank you, brothers and sisters.

To those of you who have relatives serving today, thank you and your loved ones. May they come home soon and safe.

And to all of those who never made it home, thank you for your service and may God hold you always.

One final thought: We have been given the gift of freedom thanks to the sacrifice of so many. But it is still up to each one of us to EARN it by being respectful of each other. By being respectful of those who fought, and sometimes died on our behalf.  Live GOOD lives, lives with meaning. Because you/we are not just living our lives, but carrying their share of the American dream on our shoulders. Earn what we’ve been given, so when we pass it on to the next generation, they too will understand and appreciate how special freedom is. And next time, maybe we can elect a President who understands what an HONOR it is to attend the ceremonies in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day and to be the one to lead the display of respect and appreciation.

Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day Week-end. Please find a way to show respect and appreciation for our men and women in the service of our country.

Gerry Ashley (Veteran, USAF)

Update: Michelle Malkin has a number of moving articles in honor of Memorial Day. Start here.

Department of Homeland Incompetence

May 27, 2010


Good for a chuckle on a Thursday morning.

It sure would be scary if there really were walls between our intelligence gathering agencies! But that could never happen, right?


R.I.P. Art Linkletter

May 26, 2010


Art Linkletter, a longtime television and radio host, passed away today at the ripe old age of 97. In the 50s and 60s, he hosted the well-known variety show, “Art Linkletter’s House Party“, which featured conversation with celebrities of the day. But he may be best remembered for the wonderful interactions betweeh himself and an amazing assortment of children on his show, “Kids Say the Darnest Things“.

Mr. Linkletter showed himself to be an affable host, and clearly had a terrific rapport with his young visitors. I have vague memories of seeing the show (in flickering black & white) as a child and wishing I could be one of his guests. In the clip below, you get a brief sense of the man, and you can simply feel the good humor, joy, and love he radiated.

Go with God, Mr. Linkletter.


The Fly on the White House Wall: Obama and Sestak Part II

May 26, 2010

After eavesdropping on a call between the President and Joe Sestak yesterday, the Fly now finds himself on the wall of the White House Press Briefing Room, as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and a familiar figure enter: 






Gerry Ashley

The Fly on the White House Wall: Obama and Joe Sestak

May 25, 2010


In her recent article addressing the White House and its possible bribe offer to Rep. Joe Sestak, Michelle Malkin wrote:

“Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the offices of Joe Sestak and the White House spin shop right now…”

Fortunately, Grand Rants’ own “White House Fly” was on the scene. We’ve gotcha covered, Michelle:






Gerry Ashley

Illegals–They’re Everywhere, Even Massachusetts!

May 24, 2010

While not nearly as horrifying as the Edmonds, WA rapist who had been deported nine times, even the People’s Republic of Massachusetts has its own problems with illegals. According to Fox Boston:

State Rep. Mike Moran of Brighton was rear-ended by a suspected illegal immigrant this week. The suspect was wearing a Mexican costume at the time of the crash where he slammed into Moran at 60 mph.

The suspect, 27-year-old Isaias Naranjo, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a valid license. According to the report, when told of the serious charges he would be facing, he just laughed.

But because of action taken by Gov. Deval Patrick, state police were unable to notify immigration authorities that Naranjo might be illegal.

That “action taken” by good ol’ “Coupe” Deval happened exactly one week after he took office on January 4, 2007; he rescinded previous Governor Mitt Romney’s agreement with federal authorities to allow State Police to arrest suspected illegals, and replaced it with a much weaker compromise:

“…Steven A. Camarota , director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, said that Romney’s approach was better than Patrick’s because Massachusetts police officers have few options if they come across individuals they believe may be illegal immigrants.

“If you’re only letting correction officers do [immigration enforcement], then you’re only doing it after someone’s been incarcerated, not when someone is on the street,” he said. “It’s a very poor substitute for what Romney had proposed.”

And so, a drunk illegal fugitive from a mariachi band, with a blood alcohol level of .25 going 60mph rear-ended a state official’s car. And when the police tried to explain to Naranjo what kind of trouble he was in, he just laughed, understanding exactly how toothless Mass immigration laws are, and replied that he was going back to “my country, Mexico. Nothing is going to happen to me, man.”

What are the chances that now, someone will sit up and take notice?

Well, it won’t be the crash victim, Rep. Mike Moran. He is solidly for Massachusetts taxpayers shelling out for illegals:

Checking Moran’s legislative record at local news reports and Project Vote Smart, we see he voted to “delay indefinitely” a proposal to “require the state to verify that anyone over 18 who applies for state benefits is legally in Massachusetts”:

The proposal would require a person seeking benefits to produce proof that he or she is here legally by providing either a valid Massachusetts driver’s license or identification card, U.S. military card, Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card, military dependent’s identification card or Native American tribal document…

Not only that, Moran voted in favor of “In State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants”…

Do you think Massachusetts will take a page from Arizona’s book of laws?

Nah, me neither.


Calderon Gets Well-Deserved Smack-Down

May 21, 2010


Let’s hear it for Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) for his stirring rebuttal to Mexican President Calderon’s shameless (and shameful) address to Congress yesterday. This made me want to stand up and shout “Hurray!”

Thank you, Rep. McClintock, for saying to Congress what so many of us were shouting at our televisions and computer screens yesterday.



The Fly On The White House Wall: The AZ Illegal Alien Legislation

May 21, 2010


Last week, President Obama met with his top advisors: VP Joe Biden, AG Eric Holder, Homeland Security Sec Janet Napolitano, and SecDef Robert Gates, to discuss Arizona’s new law:






Gerry Ashley

Update:  Even though the President of the United States and, apparently, his cabinet couldn’t be bothered to actually read this legislation before trashing it, you can read it for yourself by clicking here.