November ’12 Patriotic Instruction

The Gettysburg Address

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” – Abraham Lincoln 19 Nov 1863

After 149 years, what lessons still may be learned from a ten sentence speech that lasted only minutes?

Following an election period which was so tense, and (per the popular vote) close, with more partisan politics than in many years, are we increasing our “devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion”?

What are you doing to help our nation move forward?  What are you doing to reduce the amount of political friction? What are you doing to help find solutions in your community?

What have we learned? What can we still learn?

October 2012 – Patriotic Instruction

October 2012 Patriotic Instruction
John W. Bates National
Patriotic Instructor

Our Nations Glory: The Congressional Medal of Honor What it means Then and Now

As many in our fraternity know, The Civil War established many things that we can identify with today. Among these items, The Congress of The United States Resolved in 1862 that “Medals of Honor” would be presented ,”In the name of Congress to such non-commissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection(Civil War). President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law on July 12, 1862.

The First Civil War action that resulted in A Medal Of Honor was presented to Army Private Francis Edwin Brownwell for his gallantry on May 24,1861 at Alexandria Virginia. Incredible at it may seem, 120 Medals of Honor are awarded for bravery at The Battle of Vicksburg on 22 May 1863. This represents the highest one day total in The Medals entire History. In fact, over 1500 Medals of Honor were awarded during The Civil War.
Today, there are Soldiers today who continue to be awarded The Medal of Honor. The Criteria has been very well defined and Limited to Those who act bravely and selflessly to save others and defend our way of life. Perhaps that is what the true meaning of these individual acts of bravery really mean.

The average man or woman who puts themselves in harms way to save others.The Union Soldiers in The Civil War laid a foundation for us all to honor and remember. Put our Nation and its survival before themselves. This is a gift they gave to their comrades as well as to us their descendants, and for all Americans for all time to come. When you can, as a Brother of the SUVCW, tell others about these stories of Valor.
Tell Kids at school, tell your friends at work, show family members examples of how they stood up for our way of life. This is the greatest thing we can do to honor not only Medal of Honor Recipients,but also all Civil war Veterans and all Veterans of our Country.

LEST WE FORGET! We need to honor them and remember what they did for us all. Spread the stories, one at a time to all you can. Let it be so.

The Flag at Half Staff

Flying the flag at half-staff (or for those with Naval backgrounds, half-mast) began in the 1700’s.  In the British tradition, the flag would be flown one flag’s length lower than normal to leave room for the invisible “Death’s Flag” that would rise above it.  Over time, the tradition of showing respect and mourning by a country for it’s lost citizens has been adopted by many countries.

The challenge is, are we becoming frivolous with this act that was once used only rarely?

We see that the President of the United States is directed to fly the American Flag at half-staff for the death of principle figures of the United States.  Specifically, it is to be flown for

  • President (including former)
  • Vice-Presidents (including former),
  • the Chief Justice (including retired)
  • the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
  • Secretaries of executive/military departments,
  • Governors of states, territories, or protectorates
  • current Members of Congress
  • and, Peace Officer Memorial Day

The President has discretion to fly the flag for other officials or foreign dignitaries.  Meanwhile, the Governor of a State can order the American Flag to half-staff for the principle figures of the state, as well as, citizens of the state who die while on active duty to our military.

And yet today, we see political figures across the spectrum, from mayors to the President, and local organizations flying flags at half-staff for various other losses.  Universities are ordering flags to half-staff.  It’s flown for mass shootings, dead music celebrities, and dead faculty.  Ultimately, it is Flag Code, so there is no penalty for doing it wrong.

With this in mind, again, I ask you to consider if we are beginning to use this honor to casually.  Like Memorial Day, it has begun to lose some of it’s original meaning.  We learn from Ecclesiastes 3:1. There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2a time to be born and a time to die,… 4a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,… 8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.  Are we spending too much time as a nation and community focused on mourning?  Is it time to laugh, dance, love, and be at peace?


When hoisting a flag that is to be displayed at half-staff, it should be hoisted to the finial for an instant, then lowered to half-staff. Likewise when it is lowered at the end of the day, it is to be hoisted to the finial for an instant, and then lowered.  If a flag cannot be lowered (e.g. on a fixed staff), a mourning ribbon may be secured to the finial

A current and historical listing of executive orders may be found at: http://www.halfstaff.us/


The United States Flag code states:

4 USC § 7 (m) The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. When the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia, issues a proclamation under the preceding sentence that the National flag be flown at half-staff in that State, territory, or possession or in the District of Columbia because of the death of a member of the Armed Forces, the National flag flown at any Federal installation or facility in the area covered by that proclamation shall be flown at half-staff consistent with that proclamation. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection—
(1) the term “half-staff” means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
(2) the term “executive or military department” means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
(3) the term “Member of Congress” means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.

August 2012 – Patriotic Instruction

In 1895, 30 years after the end of the American Civil War, Alfred Rose Eldred was born.

On 21 Aug 1912 Alfred Rose Eldred became the the first Eagle Scout of the Boy Scouts of America.  50 years after the end of the Civil War.

Aim of the Scout Movement
By John L. Alexander, Boy Scouts of America

The aim of the Boy Scouts is to supplement the various existing educational agencies, and to promote the ability in boys to do things for themselves and others. It is not the aim to set up a new organization to parallel in its purposes others already established. The opportunity is afforded these organizations, however, to introduce into their programs unique features appealing to interests which are universal among boys. The method is summed up in the term Scoutcraft, and is a combination of observation, deduction, and handiness, or the ability to do things. Scoutcraft includes instruction in First Aid, Life Saving, Tracking, Signaling, Cycling, Nature Study, Seamanship, Campcraft, Woodcraft, Chivalry, Patriotism, and other subjects. This is accomplished in games and team play, and is pleasure, not work, for the boy. All that is needed is the out-of-doors, a group of boys, and a competent leader.

What Scouting Means

In all ages there have been scouts, the place of the scout being on the danger line of the army or at the outposts, protecting those of his company who confide in his care.

The army scout was the soldier who was chosen out of all the army to go out on the skirmish line.

The pioneer, who was out on the edge of the wilderness, guarding the men, women, and children in the stockade, was also a scout. Should he fall asleep, or lose control of his faculties, or fail on his watch, then the lives of the men, women, and children paid the forfeit, and the scout lost his honor.

But there have been other kinds of scouts besides war scouts and frontier scouts. They have been the men of all ages, who have gone out on new and strange adventures, and through their work have benefited the people of the earth. Thus, Columbus discovered America, the Pilgrim Fathers founded New England, the early English settlers colonized Jamestown, and the Dutch built up New York. In the same way the hardy Scotch-Irish pushed west and made a new home for the American people beyond the Alleghanies and the Rockies.

These peace scouts had to be as well prepared as any war scouts. They had to know scoutcraft. They had to know how to live in the woods, and be able to find their way anywhere, without other chart or compass than the sun and stars, besides being able to interpret the meaning of the slightest signs of the forest and the foot tracks of animals and men.

(Boy Scouts Handbook,  The First Edition, 1911)

Having found no real connection with the Civil War (as his father died early in his life, and he was raised by his mother)… One might ask what does this post have to do with a “Patriotic Instruction”?  From their founding, the Boy Scouts of America have not been a military organization (…don’t let the uniforms fool you!…  and yes, I know the first uniforms were produced at a manufacturer that produced uniforms for the U.S. Army and National Guard…)

Consider this, as a Patriotic Organization, one of our ‘many goals and purposes’ is to recognize Eagle Scouts.  Is your camp supporting this effort?

Consider also, we share a goal with the Boys Scouts of America.  Are we working to teach Patriotism to our youth?  Do you have a son, grandson, nephew, etc. who could / should be a Junior?  In what ways can you and your camp incorporate youth into your programs?

Summer 2012 – Patriotic Instruction

Independence Day – 1862

At times one wonders at what happened at certain times in the past. As we approach Independence Day, it is good to stop and remember that we are 236 years past the first time we declared that session from Britain. Some little know facts are that the Second Continental Congress actually made the declaration on 02 July 1776. The Declaration of Independence as a document was completed on 04 July, and was completely signed by 02 Aug 1776 [ed. note: I move that the period from 02 July – 02 Aug be declared a National Holiday (it would be nice to be off a month before my birthday…)]

150 years ago, the country was again consumed with conflict. Federal forces had begun to work their way into the south, and the illusion of what was going to be a quick and easy suppression was gone. Ft. Henry, Ft. Donelson, Ft. Defiance, Nashville, Pickwick Landing (Shiloh), New Orleans, Memphis, and others had all reverted to Federal control in the West. Yet, in the East the Federal forces were not fairing nearly so well. They had been unable to take Richmond as planned. Some potential for hope occurred during the Seven Days Battles in Virginia, except that General McClellan kept retiring northward.

And yet, people still remembered that some 86 years prior – we had chosen to separate from England…

In the stereocard seen above (ref. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2005686106/), Mr. James Hunter’s family in Hestonville Pa celebrates the holiday with a picnic.

Meanwhile from Corinth, MS, Thomas D. Christie writes home about the holiday (http://www.mnhs.org/library/Christie/letters/0704621.html)

Corinth, July 4, 1862

Dear Father,

I have put off writing to you for several days in hopes of receiving a letter from some of the family to answer. I do not understand the reason of your long silence: we have got nothing from home for 10 days and begin to think something is wrong in that quarter.  However, we hope to get a letter tonight and I will keep this open until that time.

We have had a celebration here today that has convinced the citizens at least that we have not forgotten the Birthday of our Nation. The Batteries of our Division fired a National Salute of 34 guns at noon amid the cheers of the assembled Infantry. After this, our piece which had a Hotchkiss shell in it, put in on the evening of the 7th April, was discharged at a white oak 30 inches through and distant 100 yds. The shell passed into the heart of the tree and there burst, driving the forward half through and about 50 yds beyond, and leaving the base in the tree, it was a most splendid shot and showed the tremendous force and precision of this kind of projectile. The Hotchkiss shell is used exclusively for rifled 6 p’d’rs and weighs 12 pounds being cylindrical for half its length and conical the other half. A heavy charge of powder fills a tube running the whole length of its interior and at the upper end this tube is capped with a large percussion cap. The hole in the upper end of the shell is stopped by a large screw whose lower end nearly touches the percussion cap, a small piece of paper only intervening. To prepare the shell for firing this paper is taken out and the screw screwed tightly down. It will then explode the moment its motion is checked, by the throwing forward of the tube on the screw. It is coated with lead to prevent the rifles of the gun from being hurt by contact with the iron, there is also an arrangement by which the lead is forced into the grooves at the moment of explosion.

Celebrations that seem so normal and yet so strange.

Have a Happy Independence Day!

May 2012 – Patriotic Instruction

A different tack this year… Let’s review U.S. code regarding Memorial Day… (highlights provided by this editor)

Help support the return of Memorial Day to it’s original day of Obervance (http://www.usmemorialday.org)


 

36 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 36 – PATRIOTIC AND NATIONAL OBSERVANCES, CEREMONIES, AND ORGANIZATIONS
Subtitle I – Patriotic and National Observances and Ceremonies
Part A – Observances and Ceremonies
CHAPTER 1 – PATRIOTIC AND NATIONAL OBSERVANCES
Sec. 116 – Memorial Day
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

§116. Memorial Day

(a) Designation.—The last Monday in May is Memorial Day.

(b) Proclamation.—The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation—

(1) calling on the people of the United States to observe Memorial Day by praying, according to their individual religious faith, for permanent peace;

(2) designating a period of time on Memorial Day during which the people may unite in prayer for a permanent peace;

(3) calling on the people of the United States to unite in prayer at that time; and

(4) calling on the media to join in observing Memorial Day and the period of prayer.

(Pub. L. 105–225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1257.)
Historical and Revision Notes Revised

Section
Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
116 36:169g. May 11, 1950, ch. 182, 64 Stat. 158.

In subsection (a), the designation is added, and the words “last Monday in May” are substituted for “May 30” in the Act of May 11, 1950 (ch. 182, 64 Stat. 158), because of section 1(b) of the Act of June 28, 1968 (Public Law 90–363, 82 Stat. 250).

In subsection (b)(4), the word “media” is substituted for “newspapers, radio stations, and all other mediums of information” to eliminate unnecessary words.
National Moment of Remembrance

Pub. L. 106–579, Dec. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 3078, as amended by Pub. L. 110–161, div. H, title I, §1502(e), Dec. 26, 2007, 121 Stat. 2250, provided that:
“SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

“This Act may be cited as the ‘National Moment of Remembrance Act’.
“SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

“Congress finds that—

“(1) it is essential to remember and renew the legacy of Memorial Day, which was established in 1868 to pay tribute to individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States and their families;

“(2) greater strides must be made to demonstrate appreciation for those loyal people of the United States whose values, represented by their sacrifices, are critical to the future of the United States;

“(3) the Federal Government has a responsibility to raise awareness of and respect for the national heritage, and to encourage citizens to dedicate themselves to the values and principles for which those heroes of the United States died;

“(4) the relevance of Memorial Day must be made more apparent to present and future generations of people of the United States through local and national observances and ongoing activities;

“(5) in House Concurrent Resolution 302, agreed to May 25, 2000, Congress called on the people of the United States, in a symbolic act of unity, to observe a National Moment of Remembrance to honor the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace;

“(6) in Presidential Proclamation No. 7315 of May 26, 2000 (65 Fed. Reg. 34907), the President proclaimed Memorial Day, May 29, 2000, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as the time to join in prayer and to observe the National Moment of Remembrance; and

“(7) a National Moment of Remembrance and other commemorative events are needed to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble event that that day is intended to be.
“SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

“In this Act:

“(1) Alliance.—The term ‘Alliance’ means the Remembrance Alliance established by section 9(a).

“(2) Commission.—The term ‘Commission’ means the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance established by section 5(a).

“(3) Executive director and white house liaison.—The term ‘Executive Director and White House Liaison’ means the Executive Director and White House Liaison appointed under section 10(a)(1).

“(4) Memorial day.—The term ‘Memorial Day’ means the legal public holiday designated as Memorial Day by section 6103(a) of title 5, United States Code.

“(5) Tribal government.—The term ‘tribal government’ means the governing body of an Indian tribe (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
“SEC. 4. NATIONAL MOMENT OF REMEMBRANCE.

“The minute beginning at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day each year is designated as the ‘National Moment of Remembrance’.
“SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF WHITE HOUSE COMMISSION ON THE NATIONAL MOMENT OF REMEMBRANCE.

“(a) Establishment.—There is established a commission to be known as the ‘White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance’.

“(b) Membership.—

“(1) Composition.—The Commission shall be composed of the following:

“(A) 4 members appointed by the President, including at least 1 representative of tribal governments.

“(B) The Secretary of Defense (or a designee).

“(C) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (or a designee).

“(D) The Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (or a designee).

“(E) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (or a designee).

“(F) The Administrator of General Services (or a designee).

“(G) The Secretary of Transportation (or a designee).

“(H) The Secretary of Education (or a designee).

“(I) The Secretary of the Interior (or a designee).

“(J) The Executive Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellows (or a designee).

“(K) The Secretary of the Army (or a designee).

“(L) The Secretary of the Navy (or a designee).

“(M) The Secretary of the Air Force (or a designee).

“(N) The Commandant of the Marine Corps (or a designee).

“(O) The Commandant of the Coast Guard (or a designee).

“(P) The Executive Director and White House Liaison (or a designee).

“(Q) The Chief of Staff of the Army.

“(R) The Chief of Naval Operations.

“(S) The Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

“(T) Any other member, the appointment of whom the Commission determines is necessary to carry out this Act.

“(2) Nonvoting members.—The members appointed to the Commission under subparagraphs (K) through (T) of paragraph (1) shall be nonvoting members.

“(3) Date of appointments.—All appointments under paragraph (1) shall be made not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 28, 2000].

“(c) Term; Vacancies.—

“(1) Term.—A member shall be appointed to the Commission for the life of the Commission.

“(2) Vacancies.—A vacancy on the Commission—

“(A) shall not affect the powers of the Commission; and

“(B) shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment was made.

“(d) Initial Meeting.—Not later than 30 days after the date specified in subsection (b)(3) for completion of appointments, the Commission shall hold the initial meeting of the Commission.

“(e) Meetings.—The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson.

“(f) Quorum.—A majority of the voting members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may hold hearings.

“(g) Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.—The Commission shall select a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson from among the members of the Commission at the initial meeting of the Commission.
“SEC. 6. DUTIES.

“(a) In General.—The Commission shall—

“(1) encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity;

“(2) encourage national, State, local, and tribal participation by individuals and entities in commemoration of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance, including participation by—

“(A) national humanitarian and patriotic organizations;

“(B) elementary, secondary, and higher education institutions;

“(C) veterans’ societies and civic, patriotic, educational, sporting, artistic, cultural, and historical organizations;

“(D) Federal departments and agencies; and

“(E) museums, including cultural and historical museums; and

“(3) provide national coordination for commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

“(b) Reports.—

“(1) In general.—For each fiscal year in which the Commission is in existence, the Commission shall submit to the President and Congress a report describing the activities of the Commission during the fiscal year.

“(2) Contents.—A report under paragraph (1) may include—

“(A) recommendations regarding appropriate activities to commemorate Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance, including—

“(i) the production, publication, and distribution of books, pamphlets, films, and other educational materials;

“(ii) bibliographical and documentary projects and publications;

“(iii) conferences, convocations, lectures, seminars, and other similar programs;

“(iv) the development of exhibits for libraries, museums, and other appropriate institutions;

“(v) ceremonies and celebrations commemorating specific events that relate to the history of wars of the United States; and

“(vi) competitions, commissions, and awards regarding historical, scholarly, artistic, literary, musical, and other works, programs, and projects related to commemoration of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance;

“(B) recommendations to appropriate agencies or advisory bodies regarding the issuance by the United States of commemorative coins, medals, and stamps relating to Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance;

“(C) recommendations for any legislation or administrative action that the Commission determines to be appropriate regarding the commemoration of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance;

“(D) an accounting of funds received and expended by the Commission in the fiscal year covered by the report, including a detailed description of the source and amount of any funds donated to the Commission in that fiscal year; and

“(E) a description of cooperative agreements and contracts entered into by the Commission.
“SEC. 7. POWERS.

“(a) Hearings.—

“(1) In general.—The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out this Act.

“(2) Public participation.—The Commission shall provide for reasonable public participation in matters before the Commission.

“(b) Information From Federal Agencies.—

“(1) In general.—The Commission may secure directly from a Federal agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out this Act.

“(2) Provision of information.—On request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of the agency shall provide the information to the Commission.

“(c) Postal Services.—The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other agencies of the Federal Government.

“(d) Gifts.—The Commission may solicit, accept, use, and dispose of, without further Act of appropriation, gifts, bequests, devises, and donations of services or property.

“(e) Powers of Members and Agents.—Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action that the Commission is authorized to take under this Act.

“(f) Authority To Procure and To Make Legal Agreements.—

“(1) In general.—Subject to the availability of appropriations, to carry out this Act, the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson of the Commission or the Executive Director and White House Liaison may, on behalf of the Commission—

“(A) procure supplies, services, and property; and

“(B) enter into contracts, leases, and other legal agreements.

“(2) Restrictions.—

“(A) Who may act on behalf of commission.—Except as provided in paragraph (1), nothing in this Act authorizes a member of the Commission to procure any item or enter into any agreement described in that paragraph.

“(B) Duration of legal agreements.—A contract, lease, or other legal agreement entered into by the Commission may not extend beyond the date of termination of the Commission.

“(3) Supplies and property possessed by commission at termination.—Any supply, property, or other asset that is acquired by, and, on the date of termination of the Commission, remains in the possession of, the Commission shall be considered property of the General Services Administration.

“(g) Exclusive Right to Name, Logos, Emblems, Seals, and Marks.—

“(1) In general.—The Commission may devise any logo, emblem, seal, or other designating mark that the Commission determines—

“(A) to be required to carry out the duties of the Commission; or

“(B) to be appropriate for use in connection with the commemoration of Memorial Day or the National Moment of Remembrance.

“(2) Licensing.—

“(A) In general.—The Commission—

“(i) shall have the sole and exclusive right to use the name ‘White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance’ on any logo, emblem, seal, or descriptive or designating mark that the Commission lawfully adopts; and

“(ii) shall have the sole and exclusive right to allow or refuse the use by any other entity of the name ‘White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance’ on any logo, emblem, seal, or descriptive or designating mark.

“(B) Transfer on termination.—Unless otherwise provided by law, all rights of the Commission under subparagraph (A) shall be transferred to the Administrator of General Services on the date of termination of the Commission.

“(3) Effect on other rights.—Nothing in this subsection affects any right established or vested before the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 28, 2000].

“(4) Use of funds.—The Commission may, without further Act of appropriation, use funds received from licensing royalties under this section to carry out this Act.
“SEC. 8. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.

“(a) Compensation of Members.—

“(1) Non-federal employees.—A member of the Commission who is not an officer or employee of the Federal Government may be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which the member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

“(2) Federal employees.—A member of the Commission who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall serve without compensation in addition to the compensation received for the services of the member as an officer or employee of the Federal Government.

“(b) Travel Expenses.—A member of the Commission may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

“(c) Staff.—

“(1) In general.—The Chairperson of the Commission or the Executive Director and White House Liaison may, without regard to the civil service laws (including regulations), appoint and terminate such additional personnel as are necessary to enable the Commission to perform the duties of the Commission.

“(2) Compensation.—

“(A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Chairperson of the Commission may fix the compensation of the Executive Director and White House Liaison and other personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates.

“(B) Maximum rate of pay.—The rate of pay for the Executive Director and White House Liaison and other personnel shall not exceed the rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which the member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

“(d) Detail of Federal Government Employees.—

“(1) In general.—In addition to the details under paragraph (2), on request of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson, or the Executive Director and White House Liaison, an employee of the Federal Government may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement.

“(2) Detail of specific employees.—

“(A) Military details.—

“(i) Army; air force.—The Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Air Force shall each detail a commissioned officer above the grade of captain to assist the Commission in carrying out this Act.

“(ii) Navy.—The Secretary of the Navy shall detail a commissioned officer of the Navy above the grade of lieutenant and a commissioned officer of the Marine Corps above the grade of captain to assist the Commission in carrying out this Act.

“(B) Veterans affairs; education.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Education shall each detail an officer or employee compensated above the level of GS–12 in accordance with subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code to assist the Commission in carrying out this Act.

“(3) Civil service status.—The detail of any officer or employee under this subsection shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

“(e) Procurement of Temporary and Intermittent Services.—The Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services in accordance with section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

“(f) Cooperative Agreements.—

“(1) In general.—The Commission may enter into a cooperative agreement with another entity, including any Federal agency, State or local government, or private entity, under which the entity may assist the Commission in—

“(A) carrying out the duties of the Commission under this Act; and

“(B) contributing to public awareness of and interest in Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance.

“(2) Administrative support services.—On the request of the Commission, the Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, any administrative support services and any property, equipment, or office space that the Commission determines to be necessary to carry out this Act.

“(g) Support From Nonprofit Sector.—The Commission may accept program support from nonprofit organizations.
“SEC. 9. REMEMBRANCE ALLIANCE.

“(a) Establishment.—There is established the Remembrance Alliance.

“(b) Composition.—

“(1) Members.—The Alliance shall be composed of individuals, appointed by the Commission, that are representatives or members of—

“(A) the print, broadcast, or other media industry;

“(B) the national sports community;

“(C) the recreation industry;

“(D) the entertainment industry;

“(E) the retail industry;

“(F) the food industry;

“(G) the health care industry;

“(H) the transportation industry;

“(I) the education community;

“(J) national veterans organizations; and

“(K) families that have lost loved ones in combat.

“(2) Honorary members.—On recommendation of the Alliance, the Commission may appoint honorary, nonvoting members to the Alliance.

“(3) Vacancies.—Any vacancy in the membership of the Alliance shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.

“(4) Meetings.—The Alliance shall conduct meetings in accordance with procedures approved by the Commission.

“(c) Term.—The Commission may fix the term of appointment for members of the Alliance.

“(d) Duties.—The Alliance shall assist the Commission in carrying out this Act by—

“(1) planning, organizing, and implementing an annual White House Conference on the National Moment of Remembrance and other similar events;

“(2) promoting the observance of Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance through appropriate means, subject to any guidelines developed by the Commission;

“(3) establishing necessary incentives for Federal, State, and local governments and private sector entities to sponsor and participate in programs initiated by the Commission or the Alliance;

“(4) evaluating the effectiveness of efforts by the Commission and the Alliance in carrying out this Act; and

“(5) carrying out such other duties as are assigned by the Commission.

“(e) Alliance Personnel Matters.—

“(1) Compensation of members.—A member of the Alliance shall serve without compensation for the services of the member to the Alliance.

“(2) Travel expenses.—A member of the Alliance may be allowed reimbursement for travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

“(f) Termination.—The Alliance shall terminate on the date of termination of the Commission.
“SEC. 10. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND WHITE HOUSE LIAISON.

“(a) Appointment.—

“(1) In general.—The Director of the Committee Management Secretariat Staff of the General Services Administration shall appoint an individual as Executive Director and White House Liaison.

“(2) Inapplicability of certain civil service laws.—The Executive Director and White House Liaison may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service.

“(b) Duties.—The Executive Director and White House Liaison shall—

“(1) serve as a liaison between the Commission and the President;

“(2) serve as chief of staff of the Commission; and

“(3) coordinate the efforts of the Commission and the President on all matters relating to this Act, including matters relating to the National Moment of Remembrance.

“(c) Compensation.—The Executive Director and White House Liaison may be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which the Executive Director and White House Liaison is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Commission.
“[SEC. 11. Repealed. Pub. L. 110–161, div. H, title I, §1502(e), Dec. 26, 2007, 121 Stat. 2250.]
“SEC. 12. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

“There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act, to remain available until expended—

“(1) $500,000 for fiscal year 2001; and

“(2) $250,000 for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2009.
“SEC. 13. TERMINATION.

“The Commission shall terminate on the earlier of—

“(1) a date specified by the President that is at least 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 28, 2000]; or

“(2) the date that is 10 years after the date of enactment of this Act.”

[For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.]

April 2012 – Patriotic Instruction

Brothers,

I apologize, but this season has been a challenging one.  As such, I have been remiss in my Patriotic Instruction duties.  As a make up…

Thank you to Br. Scott Holmes for submitting the following:

Robert J. Holmes, Musician, Company B, 16th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry

First, they enlisted voluntarily.  Robert J. Holmes was the first American-born Holmes in our family, his parents being immigrants from Ireland in the 1830s.  He didn’t have to enlist, but he and hundreds of others did, and off to war they went.  Three weeks after mustering into service, he and his regiment found themselves at the Battle of Antietam, a hard way experience battle for the first time.

Fast forward to April 1864, at the Siege of Plymouth, North Carolina, he and about 1,600 others were captured at Plymouth and were imprisoned at Andersonville.  They entered the gates of Andersonville in early May, 1864.  In early September (when Atlanta fell) those prisoners that were healthy enough to move were moved to Charleston SC and then to a new stockade at Florence SC.  Hundreds of his regiment died the most horrible of deaths, from disease and starvation, in prison.

In the summer, the Confederates requested that the prisoners form a commission to go to Washington and plead for their exchange.  The Sergeants of Nineties who were responsible for the men were general disposed favorable toward asking for an exchange (recall that the Union had stopped exchanging prisoners).  The men took a vote, and the proposition was quite overwhelmingly voted down by the men.

In 1907, the State of Connecticut dedicated a monument at Andersonville to the men of the state who had been prisoners of war.  All veterans of Andersonville who were alive and able to travel were invited to attend the dedication ceremony at Andersonville, and Robert J. Holmes was among them.  A book was published by the State of Connecticut about the trip, which was chronicled by a veteran.   In the book are a couple of passages that are quite poignant regarding what it means to be a patriot.

The following is excerpted from the book.  (ed. note: bold emphasis from author)

DEDICATION OF THE MONUMENT AT ANDERSONVILLE GEORGIA , October 23 1907, IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF CONNECTICUT WHO SUFFERED IN SOUTHERN MILITARY PRISONS 1861-1865; HARTFORD: Published by the State, 1908.
[The following was written about the veterans men when they first came upon the prison site after an absence of 43 years]…
Leaving it behind, breakfast over, let us follow the old survivors over the stockade grounds, eager to once more stand on the very spot so associated with painful but precious memories to them. Conveyances of all sorts were on hand, their drivers out to make all there was in it, but while some rode many walked, especially the ex-prisoners, who wanted to go in just as they did before, ” on foot.

How it did all come back to us! There was where the 16th Connecticut men slept the night before they entered the prison, near the depot. Here is the old dirt road with its forks to the south and north gates of the stockade just where the brook crosses. On the left, going over, are the remains of the earthworks battery whose guns were trained on the great south gate of the prison. There is the covered way, by which troops were to be moved unseen to head off possible outbreaks from within, or to defend against attacks from without. But what is this? There is a difference, after all, thank God! No “stars and bars” wave from that tall flag-staff on the north hillside of the old stockade, but “Old Glory” swings out clear and fine in the bright morning sunlight.  How good it looks, right there!   Take a good look at it, and then well go on.  How the boys scatter, a group here and a group there, all eager  to see points of special interest!

The first point of interest with most was “Providence Spring,” still flowing in all its God-given purity and sweetness, and to this place all returned again and again. The words of Lincoln, “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” engraved on the marble tablet through which its waters flow, fitly express the spirit of the place. Close by it is the old stockade line, the correctness of its location post being proven by one of the old stumps which one of our party uncovered by digging a few inches under the surface, but none of which now remains standing. Inside that some twenty feet are the posts which mark the old “dead line,” to trespass on which brought an instant shot from the ready sentry. Over there on the south hillside was the great gate through which our boys entered the prison, and its main street, on which the ration wagons came in and the dead were carried out, and here on this street, about the center of the south hillside, the six “raiders” were hung in full view of thousands.

[Later in the book, the writer was discussing the Connecticut men]…

Solicitations to enter the military service or civil employment of the Southern Confederacy were turned aside with scorn by them, though acceptance meant instant release from the fate that now so clearly stared them in the face.

But the daily arrival of new prisoners brought constant information from the battlefields, with a clearer understanding of the real nature of the mighty conflict that was being waged  and the importance of their passive part in it. This was evidenced by the action of Connecticut men, – who, almost to a man, voted solidly against the proposal (originating with the Confederate authorities) for sending a commission through the lines to urge Union authorities to bring about an exchange of prisoners. They knew that at that time such an exchange practically meant a reinforcement of 50,000 able-bodied men to fill the depleted ranks of the Confederates. Numbers of our brave Connecticut boys, too weak to stand, crawled to their place in line to cast their votes against the proposition, well knowing that they would probably die in prison if not soon released, as in fact most of them did.

As the days of that fateful summer slowly passed, it was seen that our men were indeed fighting a losing battle. The constant and long-continued exposure to rain and sun and heat and cold, the poor and scanty rations, the disease-breeding filth, the heart sickness of hope deferred, all helped to break down resistance, and the death roll lengthened every day. One by one our brave boys gave up the fight and passed away, until more than 300 of them were quietly sleeping in this place, so remote from their New England home and all that they held dear. The inspired writer has said that ‘they that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger, for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field. ‘ [This is a biblical reference to Lamentations 4:9, which says: “They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.”].   It was not in the heat and excitement of the battle that these men gave up life.  No cheer of victory roused them as their souls took flight, but in the loneliness of a multitude, with a comrade only by their side, within an enemy’s lines and under a hostile flag, these sons of our beloved State passed to their great reward. Truly they were faithful unto death; faithful to their state whose citizens they were; faithful to their country whose flag they loved; faithful to the best that was in themselves.  God bless them !

These guys:
1.    Enlisted voluntarily to serve their flag and country
2.    Refused to galvanize when offered the opportunity
3.    Voted against requesting their government to exchange them (even as they languished in misery)
4.    Died slowly and agonizingly; they “pined away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.”
5.    Those that survived loved their flag and said as much upon their return to the prison site.
I can’t think of a more dramatic example of patriotism!

December 2011 – Patriotic Instruction

Brothers,

I hope the advent season find you and your families well. In the spirit of the season, the following is offered as a thought for your holiday.

In 1864 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned the following poem which became the Christmas carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”

“Christmas Bells”

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

 

Merry Christmas Brothers!

 

In F, C and L,

 

George Andrew Huttick
Patriotic Instructor
Fort Donelson, Camp #62
Department of Tennessee

November 2011 – Patriotic Instruction

Brothers,

To reflect upon, prior to the consumption of large quantities of the bounty…

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

 

In F, C an L,

 

George Andrew Huttick
Patriotic Instructor/Graves Registration Officer
Fort Donelson Camp #62

September 2011 – Patriotic Instruction

The Loyalty Of Citizenship : Sept 1861 Sept 2001 Sept 2011

 

In the Spring and Summer of 1861, The United States of America was literally divided among its various states in a war for survival. The election of Abraham Lincoln as Chief Executive had begun a process of disloyalty to the established Federal Union by several Southern States. The Country faced its greatest challenge then (or Now) as to whether it would continue, or fail to remain together. The Citizens of that era who were loyal to the Constitution and The Union decided to act and respond to the Call of President Lincoln to take arms and defend our Great Land. The needs of the individual were swept aside and sacrificed to attempt to achieve a higher goal: The Continuation of The Union as established by the Founding Fathers 85 years previous on July 4, 1776. With the attack on Fort Sumter, The Battle began for Survival. It would take four long years, at the cost of more than half a million casualties to settle the issue, or at least cause the fighting to end.

 

I am constantly amazed at the dedication of the average citizen who responded then, and continues to respond today. The great call to loyal citizens resulted in great response. The millions who eventually responded were a true definition of the meaning of citizenship. Patriots were they all, and this in effect defined who they were and what they stood for. Recently, I came across a reminder of this loyalty.In Sept of 1861, The Officers and workmen of The United States Mint were asked to take an Oath of allegiance to the Union. As evidenced by a Medal I recently acquired, it is a lasting reminder and memorial of the effect of The American Civil War upon the average Citizen of the time.The evidence of their actions is also well known as Millions of Men (and some Women) Volunteered their Lives and “Sacred Fortunes” in service to The Republic. Their Dedication to keeping the United States as “one” is somewhat beyond belief as we know their sacrifices, From Antietam , Gettysburg, The Wilderness , and Thousands of other sites recalls Those Americans who proved their mettle.

 

Ten Years ago Today, The United States again showed its faith in its Citizens and its ability as a country to respond and prevail. The Horrifying attack on The World Trade Center in New York,The Pentagon in Washington D.C. and The Path of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania again showed the world that under the most difficult circumstances, Americans would do what is needed to prevail. The Policeman, Firemen, Medics and other First Responders gave great example to us all as to what Bravery and Courage really mean. These Brave souls, all Citizens put their needs,fears,and often lives aside to help save others who needed their help. We remember them today and on all days as those Loyal Citizens who put others before themselves. We should all take these actions to heart and ask ourselves “Can we live their example?” Truly these folks along with countless others are real American Heroes. Let us always remember them and what they did for our Nation and its Posterity.

 

Today, Ten Years after this Tragic event, we as a nation can look back and offer to our descendants the same type of dedication that our Fathers and Mothers gave us. As President John F. Kennedy said “Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what you can do for your Country”. We can show them and the world that we will” pay any price, bear any Burden” to keep our Land safe and free. However, Freedom is not free, as evidenced by the countless Sacrifices by our The Nations Armed Forces, now and then. They are made up of average Citizens who are willing to put themselves in harms way to defend the rest of us. What greater Sacrifice is there?

 

The Sons of Union Veterans of The Civil War salute all Citizens of our Countries History who have answered the call for its defense. All are our Citizens, and we are very proud of each and every one of them. God Bless them all.

 

John W. Bates National Patriotic Instructor