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Thread: 11 November

  1. #16
    Officer of Engineers
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    11 November

    In Flanders Fields


    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...

    LCol John McCrae RIP




    Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, I will see you on parade at 11:00 hours.

  2. #17
    Military Professional BadKharma's Avatar
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    Very nice poem Office of Engineers

    Heroes aren't athletes who set new sports records or Hollywood actors who make daring films or politicians who make bold promises. Heroes are people who place themselves at risk for the benefit of others.

    My Heroes wear flak jackets, flight suits and combat boots, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. America enjoys freedom today because our true heroes, the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, are willing to sacrifice their tomorrows for us.

    Thought I would share some words and a picture I made on this day.

  3. #18
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    WW1.
    Population: 1.1 million
    Served: 103,000, excluding those who served in British or other dominion forces.
    Killed: 18,050
    Wounded: 41,317
    42 percent of men of military age served, with a casualty rate of 58 percent.

    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

    Gottfried Leibniz

  4. #19
    Herodotus
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    Happy Veterans' and Armistice Day to all the members of the armed forces in WWI. New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, France, US, Italy, Russia, thank you for your service and sacrifice. You shall never be forgotten, for as long as the grass grows, as long as the sun still shines, as long as man draws breath, and walks upon the Earth. The memory of you will pass down through the ages, and shall strengthen the resolve of future generations still to come. (Actually that goes for all veterans of all wars.)

  5. #20
    Pocket Ashley's Mom Military Professional Southie's Avatar
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    Thank you and thanks to all that have served and are serving our country now!
    “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. #21
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    God Bless and Thankyou

  7. #22
    Military Professional T_igger_cs_30's Avatar
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    To all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice then and now, no matter where you lay may your God be with you RIP........................FEAR NAUGHT
    <img src=http://C:\Documents and Settings\Wayne Smith\My Documents\002...My Pictures border=0 alt= />FEAR NAUGHT

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  8. #23
    Military Professional Shiny Capstar's Avatar
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    They shall never grow old

    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.

    Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
    There is music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England’s foam.

    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;

    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
    As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end, they remain.
    Nulli Secundus
    People always talk of dying for their country, and never of making the other bastard die for his

  9. #24
    Senior Contributor smilingassassin's Avatar
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    Thanks to those who gave up their today's so that we could enjoy our tommorrows.
    Facts to a liberal is like Kryptonite to Superman.

    -- Larry Elder

  10. #25
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    WWII Vet breaks his silence.

    LOMA LINDA, California (CNN) -- Anthony Acevedo thumbs through the worn, yellowed pages of his diary emblazoned with the words "A Wartime Log" on its cover. It's a catalog of deaths and atrocities he says were carried out on U.S. soldiers held by Nazis at a slave labor camp during World War II -- a largely forgotten legacy of the war.


    Anthony Acevedo served as a medic during World War II. He was captured and sent into a Nazi forced labor camp.

    Acevedo pauses when he comes across a soldier with the last name of Vogel.

    "He died in my arms. He wouldn't eat. He didn't want to eat," says Acevedo, now 84 years old. "He said, 'I want to die! I want to die! I want to die!' "

    The memories are still fresh, some 60 years later. Acevedo keeps reading his entries, scrawled on the pages with a Schaeffer fountain pen he held dear. See inside Acevedo's diary »

    He was one of 350 U.S. soldiers held at Berga am Elster, a satellite camp of the Nazis' notorious Buchenwald concentration camp. The soldiers, working 12-hour days, were used by the German army to dig tunnels and hide equipment in the final weeks of the war. Less than half of the soldiers survived their captivity and a subsequent death march, he says.

    Acevedo shows few emotions as he scans the pages of his diary. But when he gets to one of his final entries, the decades of pent-up pain, the horror witnessed by a 20-year-old medic, are too much.

    "We were liberated today, April the 23, 1945," he reads.

    His body shakes, and he begins sobbing. "Sorry," he says, tears rolling down his face. "I'm sorry." Watch Acevedo's emotional account of being freed »

    Acevedo's story is one that was never supposed to be told. "We had to sign an affidavit ... [saying] we never went through what we went through. We weren't supposed to say a word," he says.
    The U.S. Army Center of Military History provided CNN a copy of the document signed by soldiers at the camp before they were sent back home. "You must be particularly on your guard with persons representing the press," it says. "You must give no account of your experience in books, newspapers, periodicals, or in broadcasts or in lectures."

    The document ends with: "I understand that disclosure to anyone else will make me liable to disciplinary action."

    The information was kept secret "to protect escape and evasion techniques and the names of personnel who helped POW escapees," said Frank Shirer, the chief historian at the U.S. Army Center for Military History
    .

    Acevedo sees it differently. For a soldier who survived one of the worst atrocities of mankind, the military's reaction is still painful to accept. "My stomach turned to acid, and the government didn't care. They didn't give a hullabaloo."

    It took more than 50 years, he says, before he received 100 percent disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Despite everything Acevedo endured during the war, little had prepared him for his own father's attitude toward his capture. "My dad told me I was a coward," he says.

    "I turned around and got my duffel bag, my luggage, and said, 'This is it, Father. I'm not coming back.' So I took the train the following day, and I didn't see my parents for years, because I didn't want to see them. I felt belittled."

    For decades, Acevedo followed the rules and kept his mouth shut. His four children didn't know the extent of his war experience. He says he felt stymied because of the document he signed. "You never gave it a thought because of that paper."

    Now, he says it's too important to be forgotten. In recent years, he's attended local high schools to tell his story to today's generation.

    "Let it be known," he says. "People have to know what happened."

    Born July 31, 1924, in San Bernardino, California, Anthony C. Acevedo is what is known in today's parlance as a "citizen child" -- one who was born in the United States to parents from Mexico. iReport: Tell us your war stories

    A Mexican-American, he was schooled in Pasadena, California, but couldn't attend the same classes as his white peers. "We couldn't mix with white people," he says. Both of his parents were deported to Mexico in 1937, and he went with them.

    Acevedo returned to the States when he was 17, he says, because he wanted to enlist in the U.S. Army. He received medical training in Illinois before being sent to the European theater.

    A corporal, he served as a medic for the 275th Infantry Regiment of the 70th Infantry Division. Acevedo was captured at the Battle of the Bulge after days of brutal firefights with Nazis who surrounded them. He recalls seeing another medic, Murry Pruzan, being gunned down.

    "When I saw him stretched out there in the snow, frozen," Acevedo says, shaking his head. "God, that's the only time I cried when I saw him. He was stretched out, just massacred by a machine gun with his Red Cross band."

    He pauses. "You see all of them dying out there in the fields. You have to build a thick wall."

    Acevedo was initially taken to a prison camp known as Stalag IX-B in Bad Orb, Germany, where thousands of American, French, Italian and Russian soldiers were held as prisoners of war. Acevedo's diary entry reads simply: "Was captured the 6th of January 1945."

    For the next several months, he would be known by the Germans only as Prisoner Number 27016. One day while in Stalag IX-B, he says, a German commander gathered American soldiers and asked all Jews "to take one step forward." Few willingly did so. Watch Acevedo describe being selected as an "undesirable" »

    Jewish soldiers wearing Star of David necklaces began yanking them off, he says. About 90 Jewish soldiers and another 260 U.S. soldiers deemed "undesirables" -- those who "looked like Jews" -- were selected. Acevedo, who is not Jewish, was among them.

    They were told they were being sent to "a beautiful camp" with a theater and live shows.

    "It turned out to be the opposite," he says. "They put us on a train, and we traveled six days and six nights. It was a boxcar that would fit heads of cattle. They had us 80 to a boxcar. You couldn't squat. And there was little tiny windows that you could barely see through."

    It was February 8, 1945, when they arrived. The new camp was known as Berga am Elster, a subcamp of Buchenwald, the Nazi concentration camp where tens of thousands of Jews and other political prisoners were killed under Adolf Hitler's regime. See the horrors of Buchenwald »

    Acevedo says he was one of six medics among the 350 U.S. soldiers at Berga. Political prisoners from other countries were held at Berga separate from the Americans. "We didn't mingle with them at all," he says, adding that the U.S. soldiers worked in the same tunnels as the other political prisoners.

    "We were all just thin as a rail."

    The U.S. prisoners, Acevedo says, were given 100 grams of bread per week made of redwood sawdust, ground glass and barley. Soup was made from cats and rats, he says. Eating dandelion leaves was considered a "gourmet meal."

    If soldiers tried to escape, they would be shot and killed. If they were captured alive, they would be executed with gunshots to their foreheads, Acevedo says. Wooden bullets, he says, were used to shatter the inside of their brains. Medics were always asked to fill the execution holes with wax, he says.

    "Prisoners were being murdered and tortured by the Nazis. Many of our men died, and I tried keeping track of who they were and how they died."

    The soldiers were forced to sleep naked, two to a bunk, with no blankets. As the days and weeks progressed, his diary catalogs it all. The names, prisoner numbers and causes of death are listed by the dozens in his diary. He felt it was his duty as a medic to keep track of everyone.

    "I'm glad I did it," he says.

    As a medic, he says, he heard of other more horrific atrocities committed by the Nazis at camps around them. "We heard about experiments that they were doing -- peeling the skins of people, humans, political prisoners, making lampshades." Watch Acevedo talk about Nazi atrocities »

    He and the other soldiers were once taken to what Acevedo believes was the main camp of Buchenwald, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Berga. They noticed large pipes coming from one building.

    "We thought we were going to be gassed when we were told to take our clothes off," he says. "We were scared. We were stripped."

    "Rumors were around that this was where the political prisoners would be suffocated with gas." It turned out to be a shower, the only time during their captivity they were allowed to bathe.

    The main Buchenwald camp was officially liberated on April 11, 1945. But the camp and its subcamps were emptied of tens of thousands of prisoners as American troops neared. The U.S. troops held at the Berga compound were no exception.

    "Very definite that we are moving away from here and on foot. This isn't very good for our sick men. No drinking water and no latrines," Acevedo wrote in his diary on April 4, 1945.

    He says they began a death march of 217 miles (349 kilometers) that would last three weeks. More than 300 U.S. soldiers were alive at the start of the march, he says; about 165 were left by the end, when they were finally liberated.

    Lines of political prisoners in front of them during the march caught the full brunt of angry Nazi soldiers.

    "We saw massacres of people being slaughtered off the highway. Women, children," he says. "You could see people of all ages, hanging on barbed wire."

    One of his diary entries exemplifies an extraordinary patriotism among soldiers, even as they were being marched to their deaths. "Bad news for us. President Roosevelt's death. We all felt bad about it. We held a prayer service for the repose of his soul," Acevedo wrote on April 13, 1945.

    It adds, "Burdeski died today."

    To this day, Acevedo still remembers that soldier. He wanted to perform a tracheotomy using his diary pen to save Burdeski, a 41-year-old father of six children. A German commander struck Acevedo in the jaw with a rifle when he asked.

    "I'll never forget," he says.

    On a recent day, about a dozen prisoners of war held during World War II and their liberators gathered at the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. Many applauded Acevedo for his heroics.

    "Those of us in combat have our own heroes, and those are the medics. And that's Antonio. Thank you, Antonio," one of the men said.

    The men gathered there nodded their heads. Two stood to shake Acevedo's hand.

    "The people that are in this room really are an endangered species," another man said. "When they're gone, they're gone. ... That is why they should be honored and put in history for generations to come, because there are not that many of them left."

    Donald George sat next to Acevedo. The two were captured about a half-mile apart during the Battle of the Bulge. "It's hard to explain how it is to be sitting with a bunch of people that you know they've been through the same thing you've been through," George said.

    "Some of us want to talk about it, and some of us don't. Some of us want to cry about it once in a while, and some of us won't. But it's all there," he said.

    "We still like to come and be together a couple times a month," George added, before Acevedo finished his sentence: "To exchange what you are holding back inside."

    Acevedo says the world must never forget the atrocities of World War II and that for killing 6 million Jews, Hitler was the worst terrorist of all time. He doesn't want the world to ever slide backward.


    His message on this Veterans Day, he says, is never to hold animosity toward anybody.

    "You only live once. Let's keep trucking. If we don't do that, who's going to do it for us? We have to be happy. Why hate?" he says. "The world is full of hate, and yet they don't know what they want."


    *And thus is why you dont question them nor their service...Only listen to what they have to say if they are kind enough to share such words with you in conversation. Honor speaks for itself in silence if you are willing to listen.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 11 Nov 08, at 17:35.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  11. #26
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Gentlemen, an error on my part. That "Thank you" goes out to ALL not just U.S. soldiers and Vets. Sorry for the political un-correct-ness.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  12. #27
    Military Professional T_igger_cs_30's Avatar
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    leaving now for the cenotaph...........I live 5 minutes walk from there
    <img src=http://C:\Documents and Settings\Wayne Smith\My Documents\002...My Pictures border=0 alt= />FEAR NAUGHT

    Should raw analytical data ever be passed to policy makers?

  13. #28
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7thsfsniper View Post
    Hey RB!

    How'd the "other" issue turn out wth your parade? The war protesters.
    They were granted the title of "Civilian Freedom March" and given a position at the very end of the parade.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    They were granted the title of "Civilian Freedom March" and given a position at the very end of the parade.
    Hmm. It would be interesting to know how that turns out.

  15. #30
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7thsfsniper View Post
    Hmm. It would be interesting to know how that turns out.
    Actually, from my point of view, it turned out all right. We were near the head of the Parade with the Nevada in tow and had to make a real tricky U-turn at 56th street to go North after our Southbound march. But we did it without backing up as the Navy unit ahead of us with a prime mover and a trailer loaded with mines and torpedos. By the time we got back up to Houghton Avenue to turn right for destaging, the Freedom marchers were just passing us on their Southbound leg. There was no screaming, ranting or raving from either them or the on-lookers.

    However, many of the on-lookers were already dispersing to either go home or go to Houghton Park where Military bands (including a Civil War band from Long Beach City College) were to entertain us. There were a number of booths set up for various city agencies and some food concessions. The Lieutenant Governor was there and mixing among the people, especially the reinactors in vintage uniforms.

    Overall, it was a good parade.

    YES! I did put up our flag today on a 15-foot high flagpole I have near the corner of our house.
    Last edited by RustyBattleship; 11 Nov 08, at 19:26.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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