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Memorial Day

The dog days of summer came early this year.  It’s only May and temps have already soared into the mid to upper nineties.  We haven’t had any significant rainfall in a few weeks either so it’s not only hot, it’s hot AND dry.  I love it.  Anyhow, my wife and I were sitting in the porch swing one evening and we decided to hop into the jeep and ride up town to get a Wendy’s Frosty.  In the drive-thru, the lady in the car in front of us waved as she was pulling away with her food.  We waved back, but we did not recognize her and just assumed she thought we were someone else.  When we pulled up to the window to pay, the girl working there handed us our Frosties and told us they were paid for.  I asked her if it was the car in front of us that paid for it, and she smiled and nodded.  I think I’ve mentioned it before and if I have, it’s because that happens a lot in our sweet little hometown of Pickens.

I remember when the BLM rallies were being held in cities and towns across the country and a lot of them turned violent with rioters looting and destroying businesses and properties.  There was even a protest held here in our peaceful little town, right on the courthouse steps on Main Street.  There were no riots here and there never will be because we love our town, and we will defend it tooth and nail.  You see, our sweet little hometown of Pickens is the county seat and Pickens County has more congressional medal of honor recipients per capita than any other county in the nation.  We’re all about God, Family, and Country here, and we very strongly support and defend the first amendment because many of our sons and daughters have paid the ultimate sacrifice for that freedom.

What happened at the BLM protest in Pickens?  A handful of protesters showed up and an army of hometown folks showed up too.  Were there any confrontations?  Nope.  They peacefully protested (as protests should be) and all the hometown folks stood quietly by and let them protest.  There was no yelling, no name calling, and no confrontations what-so-ever.  When the protesters went home, so did all the hometown folks who showed up to protect the town should anything get out of hand. 

Isn’t it ironic how we spend a large portion of our lives raising our children, teaching them to behave (no yelling, no hitting, no name-calling, etc.) and then when someone doesn’t share our political values and beliefs, we resort to the very same tactics that we teach our children abstain from?  I’m a firm believer in spare the rod and spoil the child.  My parents spanked me, and I turned out fine.  My wife and I spanked our kids and they turned out fine.  Sometimes I think a trip to the woodshed is needed for these adults who act like spoiled brats when someone disagrees with them. 

Anyhow, this Memorial Day, shine a light into the darkness by practicing one random act of kindness.  You never know how much a simple deed that might seem insignificant to most, might lift one’s spirits.  There’s an old proverb called “For Want of a Nail” that reminds us that seemingly unimportant acts or omissions can have grave and unforeseen consequences that are bad.  The reverse of that is true too; seemingly unimportant acts of kindness can have great and unforeseen consequences that are good. 

Lastly, as next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, I want to recognize the four congressional medal of honor recipients from Pickens County.  The following is taken from an article written by Logan Nye and posted on http://www.wearethemighty.com.

PFC Charles Barker slowed an enemy advance with hand-to-hand fighting. 

Army Pfc. Charles Barker was part of a platoon in Korea that came upon enemy soldiers digging emplacements on a slope June 4, 1953. The patrol engaged the diggers but found itself facing heavy enemy resistance. As mortars began to fall on the platoon, the platoon leader ordered a withdrawal. Barker volunteered to cover the platoon move and was last seen engaged in hand-to-hand combat.

Pfc. William McWhorter absorbed an explosive blast to save his assistant gunner.

Army Pfc. William McWhorter was manning a heavy machine gunner in combat on Leyte Island in the Philippines on Dec. 5, 1944 when an enemy demolitions squad rushed his position. McWhorter and his assistant gunner successfully killed some of the attackers, but one managed to throw a fused demolition charge into the trench. McWhorter grabbed it and pulled it into his body just before it exploded. His actions saved the life of the assistant gunner who was able to continue fighting.

Lance Cpl. James “Donnie” Howe jumped on a grenade to save another Marine.

Marine Lance Cpl. James “Donnie” Howe was in a defensive position on a beach bordering bamboo thickets in Vietnam on May 6, 1970. A group of enemy sappers crept unnoticed to the position in the dark of early morning and launched a grenade attack. Howe and two others moved to a better position and began suppressing the enemy. When another grenade landed in the middle of the group, Howe jumped on it and saved the others.

Pvt. Furman Smith single-handedly held off an enemy counterattack.

During the Allied advance in Italy in World War II, Army Pvt. Furman Smith was part of an infantry company attack on a strong point. Smith was in the lead element when an attack by 80 Germans succeeded in wounding two men. While the rest of the lead element pulled back to the company’s position, Smith rushed forward. He recovered the wounded and placed them in shell craters that provided some cover. He then took a position nearby and held off the Germans with rifle fire until he was ultimately overrun.

Happy Memorial Day!

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.  If you’re reading it in English, thank a soldier.”  ~ bumper sticker

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