Thursday, November 24, 2011



This comes from my friend, Brett Axton. GREAT cause. Please do what you can to help.

This year, on December 7, at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Mr. Donald Stratton will stand for the 1,177 who died aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941. This event will mark the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Mr. Stratton is currently one of only approximately 19 men still living today who were stationed aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941.

Mr. Stratton is an amazing individual, as were all of the Greatest Generation, and is alive to share his story with those of us who were not there on that horrible day. He was burned over 60 percent of his body in the attack, spent a year in the hospital, rehabbed and then reenlisted and continued to fight the remainder of WWII.

(I will put some links to some video and written stories on the RMR website so you can see who we are helping….just go to our website and access the NEWSLETTERS and November 10 News for some pictures and stories)

RMR is putting the effort together to raise enough money to send Mr. Stratton, along with his wife, to Pearl Harbor this year to join in the annual ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial. Our goal is to reimburse him for the expenses he has already paid in preparation for the trip. Additional money raised beyond his expenses will be donated to help the wounded warriors at LifeQuest Transitions here in Colorado Springs.

If you would like to help send Mr. Stratton and his wife to this historic reunion, you can send a check in any amount to:

Bank of Colorado
c/o Donald Stratton
421 N Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Interview with Donald Stratton: USS Arizona Survivor's Tale
Published Online: December 06, 2006

Bored with Depression-era life in a small Nebraska town, Donald Stratton was just the sort of youngster the U.S. Navy was looking for prior to World War II. Stepping into the local post office in 1940, Stratton was all ears when a recruiter began what became a successful sales pitch. The recent high school graduate traded his civvies for blues and eventually found himself reporting for duty at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to board his first ship: the battleship Arizona (BB-39), pride of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

World War II: Commissioned in October 1916, the battleship Arizona was a 31,000-ton behemoth that was home to more than 1,700 men. It must have been a remarkable sight for someone from Red Cloud, Neb. What was your first impression of the ship?

Stratton: They were working on it at dockside. There were so many hoses…saltwater hoses, welding cables, everything all over the decks. They brought us aboard and assigned us to different divisions — we were standing fire watch pretty near every night when the welders were working onboard. I remember thinking at the time, 'Oh boy, this [isn't] really what I anticipated.' But the chaplain [Captain Thomas L. Kirkpatrick] came around and said, 'This isn't always the way it is….My friend, when we get out to sea you'll notice quite a bit of difference.' And sure enough, we did. After a few days in the shipyard, they put her in dry dock. We had to go over the sides and scrub it down and paint it. To an old flatlander like me, when I saw the battleship out of the water it was quite a sight. I was awestruck.

WWII: To which division were you assigned on the ship? What were its responsibilities?

Stratton: The 6th Division. That was a boat deck division on the port side. In the Navy, the starboard side is always assigned to the odd-numbered divisions; port, the even ones. Most of our time was spent scraping and cleaning some of the boats. We had to holystone the decks and keep everything shipshape. We had two 50-foot motorboats, two 40-foot launches, whaleboats, the captain's gig and the admiral's barge on the boat deck. That was a deck behind the smokestack. I was assigned to clean up the foremast. The stack was right there, and when they blew tubes the smoke would gather on the paint in the yardarms and the foremast, and we'd have to scrub it down.

WWII: The refit on your ship was completed in January 1941, and you set sail for Hawaii on January 23. Were you excited about going to Pearl Harbor?

Stratton: Sure, it was an experience. I'd never been there before. A lot of people had never been there, and it was just something you could talk about.

WWII: Keeping a battleship in fighting trim was a constant job. The entire crew must have been kept pretty busy on the voyage to Pearl Harbor.

Stratton: Yes. We had our usual duties, but I also had a chance to become familiar with some of the ship's armament. It had a 5-inch .25[-caliber] anti-aircraft gun that I was assigned to. We practiced loading and firing. We actually didn't fire, just practiced loading. The shells were all fixed ammunition, and they weighed probably 70 or 80 pounds. The loader had to load them into the breech and then the rammer had to ram them home. My job was as a sight setter for the gun. My battle station was in the director [room] on the foremast.

WWII: With the threat of war, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was moved from San Pedro, Calif., to Pearl Harbor in May 1940, representing the greatest concentration of military might the United States possessed at that time. Eight battleships, three aircraft carriers and countless cruisers, destroyers and other smaller craft were anchored at Pearl. It must have been quite a spectacle.

Stratton: It was very impressive. Almost the whole crew was topside as we came in. The place was lush and green, and with memories of the Dust Bowl still pretty vivid I remember thinking that the folks back home just wouldn't believe this.

WWII: Did you ever consider the possibility of war with Japan?

Stratton: I don't think anyone really thought about it. I think the first inkling we got was when we went on maneuvers for a couple of months or so and they only allowed us five gallons of water every day. We figured something must be up because they were seeing what would happen if they did [have to] ration the water.

WWII: Duties onboard ship started pretty early, even on a Sunday. How did your day begin on December 7, 1941?

Stratton: My quarters were in what they called the casemates, near where the 5-inch broadside guns were. There were four of these quarters on the port side, and that is where I was when reveille was sounded. After cleaning up a bit, I went for breakfast around 7 a.m. Most of the crew was wearing shorts and T-shirts. That was the uniform of the day, except for the Marines and the boat crews. After breakfast I [headed] to the sickbay to visit my friend, Harl Nelson.

Editor's note: Harl Coplin Nelson, seaman first class, was among the 1,177 to die onboard Arizona that morning.

WWII: What sort of relationship did you have with Harl?

Stratton: He was just another sailor in the 6th Division. He and I had been working on the incinerator. Everyone was temporarily assigned these sorts of duties. It usually lasted for three months. Harl and I met burning garbage.

WWII: Were you able to visit Harl before the attack started?

Stratton: No. I had just stepped out of the mess area near the casemate on the bow of the ship when I could hear sailors yelling and hollering. I took a look and they were all pointing at Ford Island. We could then see all sorts of planes. Then I saw either the dive tower or the water tower on Ford Island go over. The planes would peel off, and we could see their Rising Sun insignias and then we could see bombs bursting. I asked myself, 'What the hell is going on?'

WWII: It was just after 8 a.m. when the Japanese attack began. When you realized this was no drill, what did you do?

Stratton: I made an about-face and started for my battle station, which was one deck above the bridge. First I went up the ladder to the radio shack, and from there took another ladder to the bridge and finally a third ladder to get up to the sky control platform. I must have been quick because I was already there when General Quarters finally sounded.

WWII: You were finally facing an enemy in earnest. What was happening at your battle station?

Stratton: There was a gunnery officer up there. There was a port on top of the director where you could look out to get a visual picture and try to set the range and flight path of the target. My job was to crank whatever the gunnery officer would say into this gauge I had in front of me and send the estimated coordinates to the gun crew below. Once the coordinates were set, the crew would switch the gun to automatic so it would point to wherever the director told it. I was responsible for four of the 5-inch guns.

WWII: There were a tremendous number of guns on the ship. How many of you were spotting up there?

Stratton: There was a starboard director on the other side with the same amount of men. It took about eight or nine men to man the inside of my director, and they had all kinds of sailors with binoculars sighting planes coming in. The big gun director was on the same level for the 14-inch guns. There were probably at least 50 men in the port director and a similar number on the starboard side.

WWII: Did you go right into action?

Stratton: Yes. It was all happening very quickly and I didn't have much time to think. We were firing. There were only 50 rounds of ammunition in the ready box behind each gun, and I could see that some of the crews had to break the locks off the boxes to load their guns. We were firing at the planes — more or less at the high altitude bombers. We knew that the torpedo bombers and the dive bombers would be covered by the .50-caliber machine guns. We worried about the high altitude bombers, [but] we couldn't reach them. Our shells were bursting before they ever reached their altitude.

WWII: At approximately 8:10 a.m., Arizona was hit by an 800-kg armor-piercing bomb just forward of No. 2 turret. The bomb penetrated the ship's deck and went off a few seconds later in the forward powder magazine. The subsequent blast gutted the ship, and the foremast and forward superstructure began to collapse. What do you remember of this blast?

Stratton: We were hit once before — aft on top of No. 3 turret — and it bounced over the side. One went through the afterdeck and didn't explode. Then one hit up above on the starboard side — it was big. It shook the ship like an earthquake. Then all at once there was a big explosion, which just raised the ship pretty near clear up out of the water and then back down. There was a ball of flame that went about 500 to 600 feet in the air, and it just engulfed the whole foremast up there where we were and the whole bow of the ship.

WWII: What happened inside the director at this point?

Stratton: It just rattled us around like we were inside of a tube or something. As soon as I came to my senses, I tried to hide under some of the equipment to keep away from the blaze, but I still got burned. The fire came right into the director.

WWII: Did you or anyone else try to escape the fire by going outside onto the platform?

Stratton: No, we stayed in there for a little protection. A couple of the people in the director jumped out and I never did see them again.

WWII: How long was it before you went onto the platform?

Stratton: When the fire kind of squelched down a little bit. There was a little sea breeze that blew the smoke away. The fire control director and I got out on the platform. All the deck…inside of the charthouse and the ready boxes: Everything was red-hot. We couldn't lay or sit down.

WWII: From your director, you were one of only two survivors of the blast. Were you injured?

Stratton: Yes. I knew I had been burned and was in terrible pain. My legs were burnt from my thighs clear to my ankles. My T-shirt had caught on fire, and my back, both my arms and left side were burned pretty bad — so was my face. All the hair on my head was burned off, and part of an ear was gone.

WWII: Could you see what was happening below you on the rest of the ship?

Stratton: [Pause.] I'm not going to say anything. That was so terrible I don't even want to say anything about it.

WWII: With your injuries and the condition of the ship, it is something of a miracle that you survived. How did you get off the ship?

Stratton: Vestal was tied up alongside and we got this sailor's attention [Jon Georg]. He threw us a heaving line and then attached another heavier line to it so we could pull ourselves across to safety. I was all burned to hell, and I remember that as we got ready to leave I grabbed the skin on my arms and just pulled it off like a big long sock and threw it on the deck.

WWII: Crossing over to a ship like that must be difficult, even under the best of circumstances. How did you do it?

Stratton: Well, you know, you're 40 feet in the air and the water below you is on fire. It was about 60 to 70 feet across to Vestal. I didn't have much choice, so I just started pulling myself hand over hand. I had to have a lot of help from up above, the good Lord. It was quite a feat, especially when your hands were as raw as mine were.

WWII: Do you know if any others onboard the ship used this lifeline to reach safety?

Stratton: I think there were only six of us. I was either the third or fourth to go over. Two of the others who crossed died of their wounds that night.

WWII: Do you remember how long it took the group to get across?

Stratton: No. I would have no idea at all. Vestal was lower than we were as a ship, so we were going kind of downhill a little bit. You have to realize that Arizona sank to the bottom, too, and was at about 18 feet. That brought us down a little bit to the level, but still going downhill a little bit. When you get to the middle of a line going across like that, with the weight you start going back uphill again. The last 10, 15 or 20 feet were the hardest.

WWII: What happened once you finally made it aboard Vestal?

Stratton: Nothing really. We just kind of all huddled together for a little while. They were trying to figure out how to get us off the ship to a hospital on shore. We were there for quite a little bit. Finally a shore boat came alongside. We were loaded on and taken to the pier.

WWII: When the shore boat arrived at the pier, what did

you do?

Stratton: We had to get up on the dock, which was kind of a chore because the tide was down some. We reached up and grabbed with our hands — burns and all — to get ashore. Then they put us in an open-air truck and took us to the…naval hospital there on the island.

WWII: Up to that point, it seems as if, despite your wounds, you were looking out for yourself. Did the situation improve at the hospital?

Stratton: It was kind of chaotic, but the staff was pretty well organized. They were doing a good job when they finally got to us. There was a lot of damage to a lot of people; a lot of things going on.

WWII: What was the extent of your injuries, and what type treatment did you receive?

Stratton: Over 70 percent of my body was burned. I got the best treatment they could provide for such injuries. There were lots of sulfa drugs and morphine. One problem was that we were so badly burned the nurses and orderlies could not tell who had been given a shot of morphine and who hadn't. Finally, some nurse figured out to use lipstick to mark us. They'd put an 'X' on you once you had been given a shot and then put down what time it had been given. There were so many people in my condition, it was hard to keep track of all of it.

WWII: How long was your treatment at the hospital?

Stratton: Not long after we had first been treated, someone came into the room and said, 'Some of you people are going to go to the States.' 'I'll go,' I called out. 'No,' he answered, 'we don't think you can, you're not in good enough shape to make it. You probably wouldn't survive the trip.'

WWII: So did you stay?

Stratton: No. I told the man I could make it easy. 'Well,' he said to me, 'if you can stand up while we change the linen, we'll think about it.' So I stood up while they changed the linen. I didn't get up for a long time after that. They sent me back to the States. I arrived on Christmas Day and was taken to a burn unit at Mare Island Naval Hospital [Calif.]. I was glad to be back in the States. All of us were. I think we had peas and other stuff for our Christmas dinner.

WWII: What was your treatment like at Mare Island?

Stratton: They gave me a lot of antibiotics. After a while they decided saltwater baths would help. They would put double sheets under me and take me to the bathroom. Then they would get four corpsmen, one on each corner of the sheets, who would pick me up and set me down in this tub of saltwater. It seemed to help. The first time was a little rough, but after two or three you'd start to look forward to it. It was still tough. I couldn't move. I couldn't feed myself. I couldn't do anything. They had a canopy over my bed to keep me warm, but no sheets or blankets; all the burns were left exposed to the open air.

WWII: How many men were in that burn unit? Were they all from Arizona?

Stratton: I don't know how many beds there were, probably 20. They were all full. The guys were from different places, though, not just my ship.

WWII: How long were you in the burn unit?

Stratton: For about nine months. Then I was transferred to Corona, Calif., where the Navy had taken over a hotel for convalescence. It was nice. We had a golf course, swimming pool and mineral baths. It was very enjoyable once I could stand up and get around. When I first got on a scale, I weighed 92 pounds. I had weighed 165 or 170 on the morning of the attack.

WWII: Were any of your family able to visit you while you were at Mare Island or Corona?

Stratton: No. The fact is I didn't want them to come out. They knew I had been burned. Some of the nurses would write letters for us. It had been pretty rough on my parents. First they got a notice that I was lost, and then they finally got one saying I was in the hospital but had been badly burned.

WWII: Did you return to service after your convalescence?

Stratton: I was medically discharged in September 1942. My whole left side was kind of disabled. My left arm was in pretty bad shape, and my left leg as well. After being back home for a little over a year, though, everything was in pretty good shape, so I decided to go back into the Navy. The only way I could get in was through the draft. I had a couple of friends on the draft board and they signed me up, and the Navy sent me to Omaha.WWII: Why did you want to get back into the Navy?

Stratton: There was just not a lot going on at home and, you know, it wasn't any different from 1940 when I graduated, as far as jobs were concerned. There may also have been a little bit of wanting to get revenge, you know. I went to boot camp in January 1944. I did well at the camp and they wanted me to stay there, but I wanted to go back to sea. After graduation they sent me to Treasure Island, where I was when they received a request from USS Stack [DD-406] for gunner's mate third class. The destroyer…needed crew. I was picked and eventually reported aboard.

WWII: Like most ships that fought in the Pacific, Stack stopped at Pearl Harbor en route. What was it like for you when you passed Arizona's remains?

Stratton: Well, it was just one of those things. I welled up a little bit; I still do even now when I think about it. It's quite a memory — a sad memory.

WWII: You were headed for a war zone. Given what you had already experienced, were you at all worried about that?

Stratton: I don't know that I thought a lot about it. It was just one of those things you did when you're in the Navy, the Army, the Marines. I participated in quite a few of the landings. I was part of the invasions of New Guinea, two in the Philippines and at Okinawa.

WWII: Does anything in particular stand out in your mind regarding your time aboard Stack?

Stratton: We had submarine contact several times while I was onboard. One time when General Quarters sounded, I jumped out of my bunk, and just as I got topside there was a big flash right in front of my face. My first thought was, 'Oh man, we're hit again.' It was like a flashback. It was kind of spooky. Once I calmed down, I found out it was an impulse charge that had launched a depth charge over the side.

WWII: The U.S. destroyers were pretty busy during the Okinawa operation, supporting the landings and providing pickets for the fleet. Several ships were attacked by kamikazes. How was it for you?

Stratton: We were on picket patrol between Okinawa and Japan for quite a number of days. We were losing quite a few destroyers to kamikazes. We had radar and would make contact with the planes coming in and contact for other ships and tell them what was on the way. We survived, but I remember they got four or five destroyers one night.

WWII: How did it all end for you?

Stratton: In October 1945, I was transferred to electric-hydraulic school and was discharged on December 4, 1945. Given everything I had seen, I probably should have been more excited, but I seem to remember it as just one of those days. Nothing more to do — the war was over, so let's get out of this United States Navy and do something else.

WWII: You had quite a remarkable experience during nearly four years in the Navy. Although it has been more than 60 years, do you still think about it?

Stratton: I think about it every day. I have no animosity against the Japanese people, but I can't forget what happened. When I go to these reunions and there are Japanese pilots there that were doing the bombing, they ask if I'll get up there and shake hands with them. I don't do that. I never will do that. You have to understand my position. There's a thousand men down on that ship that I was on and I'm sure they wouldn't do that, and I'm sure they wouldn't want me to do it. I know that I'm very fortunate to be here. I just can't help but think people should be more aware of what happened that day and how many lives were taken. How many of those sailors and Marines onboard that ship right now don't even know what happened to them or why it happened or who it was? It seems like an awful, awful waste of life for something that people are going to forget about. We have so many people [today] who don't appreciate their liberty and wouldn't fight for it.

A total of 1,177 men were lost when Arizona sank on the morning of December 7. Many of the 334 crewmen who survived were ashore when the attack began. Donald Stratton is one of only six men onboard the doomed ship still alive to tell his story.
This article was written by David Lesjak and originally appeared in the December 2006 issue of World War II magazine.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


You can count on Mayor Steve Bach joining me once a month to talk about the issues that are important to you, and to take your calls.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Ian Ahrendsen

Financial Representative

Colorado Springs Office
7350 Campus Drive, Suite 300
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Phone: (719)388-7196
Fax: (719)593-7731

Joining New England Financial was a natural fit for Ian as he is a 3rd generation financial services representative. Following in his grandfather and father’s footsteps, he enjoys working with business owners to find solutions on employee benefits, wealth accumulation and retirement options. On a more personal scale, he can identify life insurance needs and put together a full financial game plan for families.

Ian is active in the Rising Professionals branch of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and supports the local group with the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (NAIFA). When not in the office, Ian lives the full “Colorado outdoor lifestyle.” He plays squash, golf, baseball, hikes, and enjoys travel, playing the guitar and is a proud coach of youth football and baseball (helping Richard Randall to guide the Rays baseball team to the playoffs).

He attended Colorado State University and his prior work experience includes Guardian Life Insurance and Park Avenue Securities and holds his Series 6 license. He is licensed in CO to sell life & health insurance and is looking forward to a long career in the financial industry.



I was proud to be a part of this wonderful event. Great people doing great work. Richard

p.s. here is more info:

Springs Rescue Mission
5 W Las Vegas Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
(719) 632-1822

Donate Food, Clothing, and Furniture
(719) 632-1822

Donate a Vehicle
(719) 314-2379 or (719) 314-2368

Schedule a Donation Pick Up
(719) 314-2364

Volunteer Opportunities
(719) 632-1822

Receive Food, Clothing, and Furniture Information / Evening Meals Information
(719) 632-1822

Financial Donation / Donor Account Information
(719) 314-2346

(719) 314-2359

Men's New Life Program (Recovery)
(719) 314-2341

Catering Program Information / Request Catering Service
(719) 314-2360

Culinary Arts Program Coordinator
(719) 314-2361

Direct Services Department
(719) 667-0564

Resource Advocate Program
(719) 314-2376

Finance Department / Accounts Payable
(719) 314-2340

Joe Vazquez, Chief Executive Officer
(719) 314-2351

Russ Gosselin, Chief Operations Officer
(719) 314-2342

Larry Yonker, Chief Development Officer
(719) 314-2350

Bob Hughes, Chief Programs Officer
(719) 314-2354

Tim Hromadka, Chief Financial Officer
(719) 314-2357

Springs Rescue Mission is a non-profit, faith-based charity

We serving the homeless and needy of Colorado Springs. We are interdenominational and work with a wide range of churches, organizations, donors, and volunteers.

No one is denied services because of race, color, creed, sex, or national origin.

Springs Rescue Mission is a member of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM). The first rescue mission started in 1876. Today, AGRM consists of over 300 member ministries around the globe.

Our Mission

"To partner with and engage the local church and community to serve the poor and homeless, feed the hungry, and minister to the addicted with the transforming message of the Gospel."

Core Values

Christ-Centered - Christ is our foundation and our purpose; this ministry belongs to Him. In all things will we be Christ-honoring, committed to ongoing transformation, and to pursuing Christ-likeness.

Service - We commit to serve one another, our clients, the community and donors with encouragement, respect, compassion, grace, and honesty.

Teamwork - We acknowledge and celebrate our differences and the unique way in which Christ made us. Individually, we purpose to fully give of our talents in order to strengthen the ministry team and to honor Jesus Christ. We agree to consistently act and speak in a manner that is edifying and promoting of a unified body.


When you envision signing up for the US Army, what's the picture that comes to mind? Green fatigues and dress blues that match your fellow soldiers? Or wearing any darn thing you please?

The military is pretty well known for requiring uniformity in uniforms. So news that a Muslim teenager has been told she can't wear her headscarf when she marches with her high school's junior ROTC, a youth offshoot of the Army, isn't terribly surprising. And it's not discrimination either.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has come out to say that Demin Zawity, a 14-year-old cadet from Tennessee, has been treated unfairly because her ROTC commander told her she couldn't wear her traditional headscarf with her uniform if she wanted to march in a homecoming parade with the rest of the cadets. Although they didn't call it Islamophobia, the undertones of their complaints are clear: they think the Army needs to change its rules.

But ROTC regulations do allow for the headscarves worn by Muslim women for religious reasons to be worn, so long as they're "completely covered by standard military headgear." She wasn't told no. She was told "yes, but ... "

But Zawity wanted a special dispensation -- something that takes time to make its way through the proper channels -- and she only learned her scarf was inappropriate the day before the parade.

Or so she says.

It's not that I think she's lying, per se. But as a Muslim American who wears her headscarf on a daily basis, I find it hard to believe that this is the first time Zawity was ever faced with the notion that some people don't wear headscarves. As a 14-year-old, I'm finding it hard to believe that she can't fathom the concept of "uniforms."

There are dozens, maybe hundreds of jobs that are known for requiring their employees to match. She has to have seen police officers, chefs, nurses, basketball players ... the list could go on. But in particular, Zawity chose to join a military organization, where the uniform rules are widely known for being stringent.

Join the Army -- or in this case, the ROTC -- and you pledge to live by their rules. She signed up for that, not the other way around.

This is the demarcation between what represents discrimination in this country and what allows for the freedoms we so enjoy as Americans. We all have the right to take a job that carries strict rules for its employees or join an organization with specific expectations, and we all have the right to say, "You know, that job isn't for me."

Liberal teenagers don't join the Young Republicans. Evangelical kids don't join the Gay/Straight Alliance. It's all about choice, something we as Americans are lucky to have.

This Muslim teenager chose to join an organization that accepted her, and gave her an ability to merge her religious background with their strict standards. She, in turn, asked for special treatment. That doesn't mean she's been discriminated against. It means she picked the wrong organization to join.


"Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate." -- Anonymous
"The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation." -- Ray L. Wilbur
“Children are great imitators of others' behavior. When they are surrounded by people who love them and respond to them respectfully, and with empathy, they respond this way to others, too.” -- Tamara Parnay
"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see." -- Unknown
"Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories." -- John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
"To bend bamboo, start when it is a shoot." -- Malaysian Proverb
"It's a great mistake, I think, to put children off with falsehoods and nonsense, when their growing powers of observation and discrimination excite in them a desire to know about things." -- Anne Sullivan
"The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth." -- Maria Montessori
"It is amazing how quickly the kids learn to drive a car, yet are unable to understand the lawnmower, snow-blower, or vacuum cleaner." -- Ben Bergor
"Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have. Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life. Let us be outraged, let us be proud, let us be bold." -- Brad Pitt
"Children and drunks always speak the truth." -- Proverb
"Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them." -- Oscar Wilde
"With children ... it is a face that most parents criticize children more than they laud our congratulate them. We tend to be quick to criticize, slow to praise. We should be careful to keep the praise and the expectations far ahead of the criticism." -- Unknown
"Your top job as a new parent is to love your baby like crazy. After showering her with affection, your next two important jobs are to feed her and to calm her when she cries." -- Harvey Karp
“Of all things love is the most potent.” --Maria Montessori
"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." -- Franklin P. Jones
"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." -- Lady Bird Johnson
"The best way for a man to train up a child in the way he should go is to travel that way himself." -- Unknown
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." -- James Baldwin
"Children are a great comfort to us in our old age, and they help us reach it faster too." -- John Ruskin
"The soul is healed by being with children." -- Proverb
"No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure." -- Emma Goldman
"Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves." --Marcelene Cox
"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." -- Sophia Loren
"I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child, well nursed, is at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or broiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout." -- Jonathan Swift
"Children wish fathers looked but with their eyes; fathers that children with their judgment looked; and either may be wrong." -- Shakespeare
“A child enters your home and for the next twenty or so years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. Then the child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad.” -- John Andrew Holmes
"Children need models rather than critics." -- Joseph Joubert
"You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way." -- Barbara Bush
"There is no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." -- Nelson Mandela
"Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression." -- Dr. Haim Ginott
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” --Maria Montessori
"It's not 'empty nest syndrome' until all of their crap is our of your basement." --via a bumper sticker
"Children will not remember you for the material things you gave them but for the feeling that you cherished them." -- Richard L. Evans
"Childhood: The period of human life intermediate between the idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth -- two removes from the sin of manhood and three from the remorse of age." -- Ambrose Bierce
"So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world." -- Isadora Duncan
"Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them, all of it has always been big stuff." -- Catherine M. Wallace
"It is the nature of the child to be dependent, and it is the nature of dependence to be outgrown. Begrudging dependency because it is not independence is like begrudging winter because it is not yet spring. Dependency blossoms into independence in its own time." -- Peggy O’Mara
"It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." -- Frederick Douglass
"Most parenting information out there puts parents in a very narcissistic role. The focus is on meeting the parent's needs only. The parent's needs for quiet, uninterrupted sleep, compliance, and obedience. If children learn what they live, this speak volumes as to why so many in our culture are so self-focused. A culture of peace and respect starts with living in partnership with our children." -- Dayna Martin
"If family violence teaches children that might makes right at home, how will we hope to cure the futile impulse to solve worldly conflicts with force?" -- Letty Cottin Pogrebin
"Wherever I look, I see signs of the commandment to honor one's parents and nowhere of a commandment that calls for the respect of a child." -- Alice Miller
"There never was a child so lovely, but his mother was glad to get him asleep." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The most effective form of birth control I know is spending the day with my kids." -- Jill Bensley
"Alas! Regardless of their doom, the little victims play! No sense have they of ills to come nor care beyond today." -- Thomas Gray
"Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist." -- Michael Levine
"At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent." -- Golda Meir
"One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade." -- Chinese proverb
"Becoming responsible adults is no longer a matter of whether children hang up there pajamas or put dirty towels in the hamper, but whether they care about themselves and others -- and whether they see everyday chores as related to how we treat this planet." -- Eda LeShan
"Making the decision to have a child -- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body." -- Elizabeth Stone


Obama pretends to be a new FDR... though I disagree with FDR on much, he certainly got it right on the prayer that Obama doesn't want included at the memorial. Once again, shame on this President and his administration.


Roosevelt asked the nation to join him in prayer as U.S. and allied troops launched the invasion that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany. He asked God to give the allied troops courage and faith, saying, "With thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy."

But Robert Abbey, the director of the Bureau of Land Management, said any plaque or inscription of the prayer would "dilute" the memorial's central message and therefore "should not be altered."

"It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration, simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in HR 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial's central message and its ability to clearly convey that message to move, educate, and inspire its many visitors," Abbey said in written testimony.
Abbey explained to lawmakers that altering the memorial would be contrary to the Commemorative Works Act -- a law that prohibits "encroachment by a new commemoration on a existing one." It also respects the design of the "completed work of civic art without alteration or addition of new elements."

"For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. "

Franklin Roosevelt's D-Day Prayer

June 6, 1944

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas -- whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them--help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Event is Nov. 11th from 6:30-9:30 at UCCS. Benefits World War Two Vets and Honor Flight Of Southern Colorado. contact Lt. Col. Misti Stowell at 1-719-637-7609 or

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization created solely to honor America's Veterans for all their sacrifices. Honor Flight transports our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior Veterans who may be terminally ill.

Of all the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation-and as a culturally diverse, free society.

HONOR FLIGHT Network is our way of paying a small tribute to those who gave so much to fight for our freedoms, a memorable, safe, and rewarding TOUR of HONOR!!!

Phone: 719-287-6095
6547 N. Academy Blvd, #553
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918