Life Advice

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Portrait by Charles Willson Peale, 1785 (source)

“Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned.  Be industrious and frugal and you will be rich.  Be sober and temperate and you will be healthy.  Be in general virtuous and you will be happy.”

– Benjamin Franklin,
letter to John Alleyne, 1789

Weekend Reading

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Mercy Otis Warren may not be one of America’s most well-known “Founding Mothers”, but she certainly had a lot to say about our break with the motherland and the necessity of liberty: Conscience of Great Causes.

Speaking of mothers, I enjoyed this peek into the daily life of an American homemaker from the 1940s.  Times certainly have changed…

 

*Cultural Contemplations is a private blog and is not affiliated with any particular institution or organization.

Purple Heart Day

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Badge awarded to Sgt. Elijah Churchill on May 3rd, 1783 (source)

The Badge of Military Merit, which would later be succeeded by the Purple Heart Medal in 1932, was created by General George Washington on August 7th, 1782.  While armies in Europe had traditionally awarded medals only to officers in the military’s upper ranks, General Washington sought a way in which to honor the bravery and service of America’s common soldiers.  As he wrote on that day:

“The General ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth, or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding.  Not only instances of unusual gallantry, but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way shall meet with a due reward.  Before this favour can be conferred on any man, the particular fact, or facts, on which it is to be grounded must be set forth to the Commander in chief accompanied with certificates from the Commanding officers of the regiment and brigade to which the Candadate for reward belonged, or other incontestable proofs, and upon granting it, the name and regiment of the person with the action so certified are to be enrolled in the book of merit which will be kept at the orderly office.  Men who have merited this last distinction to be suffered to pass all guards and sentinals which officers are permitted to do.  The road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus open to all.  This order is also to have retrospect to the earliest stages of the war, and to be considered as a permanent one.”

You can learn more about the Merit Badge and Purple Heart here and here.

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Deadly Consequences

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Deadly Consequences: How Cowards are Pushing Women into Combat
by Robert L. Maginnis (Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, retired)

Deadly Consequences provides a sobering look at the destructive effect that social engineering has had on the world’s greatest fighting strength: the American military.  Prevalent throughout is the opinion that if our nation’s leaders truly cared about women, they would do everything in their power to prevent women from having to bear the physical, emotional, and mental toll that combat can have on them.  Although the author is well-qualified to speak about such an issue, he interviews female soldiers who are now suffering the effects that combat has had on their bodies.  Hear also from male soldiers who share how the presence of women in their ranks has not only caused distractions, but has hindered their ability to carry out missions.

Because of today’s politically-correct culture, most people would consider this view not only old-fashioned, but downright demeaning to women.  In reality, however, it has nothing to do with the abilities of women; rather, it has to do with the principles on which our country was founded.  For America’s military to remain the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth, we must accept the reality that men and women are created equal but different.  Because of this, men, from the beginning of time, have been given the moral responsibility of protecting and defending women and children.

The current state of affairs is summed up well by the author:

“Perhaps, in the final analysis, it is no surprise that a culture that so degrades and devalues women is untroubled by sending them into combat.  Americans once held women with high esteem, but, today, chivalry is practically dead. . .

“Whatever one might attribute public opinion to, sending women into combat is not good for women, and it’s not good for our national security.  Americans are falling for a historic deception.”

 

*Note: I realize that many women have honorably served our country since her founding, whether as camp followers, nurses, Auxiliary members, or in other noncombatant roles.  Due to the nature of modern warfare, many women serving in these positions have found themselves unintentionally fighting on the front lines.  I am grateful for these women’s sacrifice on behalf of our freedom as Americans, and am by no means trying to diminish their service.

Weekend Reading

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Even though America is a land of religious freedom, Judeo-Christian values have had a profound impact on her founding.  Take some time to read The Book that Made America to find out how the Bible has influenced our heritage.

Given the fact that less than half of 1% of America’s population is currently serving in our military’s active duty ranks, this article was an eye-opening read as to the gap between those who serve and those who don’t: What does the civil-military divide mean for America?

*Cultural Contemplations is a private blog and is not affiliated with any particular institution or organization.

*Photo source

A Good Citizen

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Col. Theodore Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders” on San Juan Hill, July 1898 (source)

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight; that he shall not be a mere passenger, but shall do his share in the work that each generation of us finds ready to hand; and, furthermore, that in doing his work he shall show, not only the capacity for sturdy self-help, but also self-respecting regard for the rights of others.”

– Theodore Roosevelt,
“Speech at New York” (November 11th, 1902)