Wednesday, August 20, 2014


What is Patriotism to you?  Is it putting a flag in your yard on holidays to show your allegiance to your country?  Is it your willingness to serve at all costs in the armed services to protect your country and defend others' human rights to live in freedom?  Is it loving your country by loving your countrymen and loving the rest of the world by loving your country first?  Is it blindly following the leaders of your country, or the freedom of practicing your 1st amendment right to speak your mind and object if you believe your government is hurting your country?

Many a great mind have spoken on the subject of Patriotism.  These are just a few of the many quotes made by patriots whether you agree with them or not.  They did practice their right to speak on the subject.

"Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance.  It is also owed to justice and to humanity.  Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong." - Bryce James

"The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree." -Campbell Thomas

"A thoughtful mind, when it sees a Nation's flag, sees not the flag only, but the Nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the Government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the Nation which belongs to the Nation that sets it forth." -Henry Ward Beecher

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." -Abbey Edward

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country."  -Calvin Coolidge

"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle; and patriotism is loyalty to that principle."  -George William Curtis

"True Patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else."  -Clarence Darrow

"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated, and scorned.  When his cause succeeds however, the timid join him.  For then it costs nothing to be a patriot."  -Mark Twain

"A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works."  -Bill Vaughn

"We stand for freedom.  That is our conviction for ourselves;  that is our only commitment to others."  -John F. Kennedy

"He is a poor patriot whose patriotism does not enable him to understand how all men everywhere feel about their altars and their hearthstones, their flag and their fatherland."  -Harry Emerson Fosdick

"Are you a politician who says to himself, 'I will use my country for my own benefit?'  Or are you a devoted patriot, who whispers in the ear of his inner self, 'I love to serve my country as a faithful servant?"  - Kahil Gibran

"A politician will do anything to keep his job, even become a patriot."  William Randolph Hearst

"Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't.  You cannot shirk this and be a man.  To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may."  -Mark Twain

"What we need are critical lovers of America.  Patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it."  -Hubert H. Humphrey

Wikipedia describes Patriotism as, "Patriotism is, generally speaking, cultural attachment to one's homeland or devotion to one's country, although interpretations of the term vary with contest, geography and political ideology.  It is a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism."  

How would you describe it?

Monday, August 4, 2014

70 Years Since Anne Franks Last Diary Entry

This month is the 70th anniversary of the last diary entry of Anne Frank.  For me, she has been the number one reflection of all that is good and evil in this world.  Anne herself being the good and pure of heart in the world, and the Nazis' and all others who, through their hatred, wish to destroy anyone who is not just like them being the pure evil in the world.

In her last entry Anne wrote, "I'm afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side.  I'm afraid they'll mock me, think I'm ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously.  I'm used to being taken seriously, but only the 'lighthearted' Anne is used to it and can put up with it. The 'deeper' Anne is too weak."  Three days later on Aug. 4, 1944 she and all eight who were hiding with her were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Below is the blog I wrote about her on Aug. 8, 2012.  Nothing much has changed in the world.  Two years later the fighting continues in Syria and has spread through out the Middle East.

Aug. 8, 2012

Watching the news on the Syrian Civil War, or Syrian Uprising as they prefer to refer to it, makes me think back to news of World War II and what Hitler did to the Jews and any other class of people he felt were inferior.  All world leaders, religions, and the everyday people on the streets said never would such heinous acts be allowed to be perpetrated on man again.  Then I look at the news and what do I see?  A government slaughtering its own people, men women and children, to the tune of over 10,000 killed, 1.5 million displaced internally, and with several thousand fleeing into neighboring countries.

I would like to pay homage by putting a brief story about Anne Frank on our blog.  We do not have the stories of the innocents being murdered in Syria yet, but one day those stories will come out.   Will we help or once again look back and say, never again?  Is history just going to repeat itself?

-Acting on a tip from a Dutch informer, the Nazi Gestapo captured 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The Franks had taken shelter there in 1942 out of fear of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp. They occupied the small space with another Jewish family and a single Jewish man, and were aided by Christian friends, who brought them food and supplies. Anne spent much of her time in the "secret annex" working on her diary. The diary survived the war, overlooked by the Gestapo that discovered the hiding place, but Anne and nearly all of the others perished in the Nazi death camps.

Annelies Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on June 12, 1929. She was the second daughter of Otto Frank and Edith Frank-Hollander, both of Jewish families that had lived in Germany for centuries. With the rise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in 1933, Otto moved his family to Amsterdam to escape the escalating Nazi persecution of Jews. In Holland, he ran a successful spice and jam business. Anne attended a Montessori school with other middle-class Dutch children, but with the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940 she was forced to transfer to a Jewish school. In 1942, Otto began arranging a hiding place in an annex of his warehouse on the Prinsengracht Canal in Amsterdam.

On her 13th birthday in 1942, Anne began a diary relating her everyday experiences, her relationship with her family and friends, and observations about the increasingly dangerous world around her. Less than a month later, Anne's older sister, Margot, received a call-up notice to report to a Nazi "work camp." Fearing deportation to a Nazi concentration camp, the Frank family took shelter in the secret annex the next day. One week later, they were joined by Otto Frank's business partner and his family. In November, a Jewish dentist, the eighth occupant of the hiding place, joined the group.

For two years, Anne kept a diary about her life in hiding that is marked with poignancy, humor, and insight. The entrance to the secret annex was hidden by a hinged bookcase, and former employees of Otto and other Dutch friends delivered them food and supplies procured at high risk. Anne and the others lived in rooms with blacked-out windows, and never flushed the toilet during the day out of fear that their presence would be detected. In June 1944, Anne's spirits were raised by the Allied landing at Normandy, and she was hopeful that the long-awaited liberation of Holland would soon begin.

On August 1, 1944, Anne made her last entry in her diary. Three days later, 25 months of seclusion ended with the arrival of the Nazi Gestapo. Anne and the others had been given away by an unknown informer, and they were arrested along with two of the Christians who had helped shelter them. They were sent to a concentration camp in Holland, and in September Anne and most of the others were shipped to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. In the fall of 1944, with the Soviet liberation of Poland underway, Anne was moved with her sister Margot to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Suffering under the deplorable conditions of the camp, the two sisters caught typhus and died in early March 1945. The camp was liberated by the British less than two months later.

Otto Frank was the only one of the 10 to survive the Nazi death camps. After the war, he returned to Amsterdam via Russia, and was reunited with Miep Gies, one of his former employees who had helped shelter him. She handed him Anne's diary, which she had found undisturbed after the Nazi raid. In 1947, Anne's diary was published by Otto in its original Dutch as Diary of a Young Girl. An instant best-seller and eventually translated into more than 50 languages, The Diary of Anne Frank has served as a literary testament to the nearly six million Jews, including Anne herself, who were silenced in the Holocaust.