Armed Forces Day 2017

AFDPoster2017

“Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man.  For it is he – the soldier, the sailor, the Airman, the Marine – who has fought to preserve freedom.  It is his valor that has given renewed hope to the free world that by working together in discipline and faith our ideals of freedom will always prevail.”

– Admiral Forrest P. Sherman

*Picture source

America Believes in Prosperity

dollar-943737_1920

“The time is arriving when we can have further tax reduction, when, unless we wish to hamper the people in their right to earn a living, we must have tax reform.  The method of raising revenue ought not to impede the transaction of business; it ought to encourage it.  I am opposed to extremely high rates, because they produce little or no revenue, because they are bad for the country, and, finally, because they are wrong.  We can not finance the country, we can not improve social conditions, through any system of injustice, even if we attempt to inflict it upon the rich.  Those who suffer the most harm will be the poor.  This country believes in prosperity.  It is absurd to suppose that it is envious of those who are already prosperous.  The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be successful.  The verdict of the country has been given on this question.  That verdict stands.  We shall do well to heed it.”

– Calvin Coolidge,
from his inaugural address on March 4th, 1925

Mother’s Day 2017

vintage-1706202_1920

“I shall Esteem it a happiness indeed if I can acquit myself of the important Charge (by providence devovled on Every Mother), to the approbation of the judicious Observer of Life, but a much more noble pleasure is the Conscious satisfaction of having Exerted our utmost Efforts to rear the tender plant and Early impress the youthful mind, with such sentiments that if properly Cultivated when they go out of our hands they may become useful in their several departments on the present theatre of action, and happy forever when the immortal mind shall be introduced into more Enlarged and Glorious scenes.

I have ever thought a careful Attention to fix a sacred regard to Veracity in the Bosom of Youth the surest Gaurd to Virtue, and the most powerful Barrier against the sallies of Vice through Every future period of Life.  I cannot but think it is of much the most importance of any single principle in the Early Culture, for when it has taken deep root it usually produces not only Generosity of mind but a train of other Exelent qualities.  And when I find a heart that will on no terms deviate from the Law of truth I do not much fear its Course will Ever Run very Eccentrick from the path of Rectitude, provided we can obtain any degree of that Childs Confidence: A point at which I think Every mother should aim.”

– Mercy Otis Warren,
selections from her letter to Abigail Adams on July 25th, 1773,
regarding advice for raising children

*Illustration by Arthur Rackham

Weekend Roundup

pexels-photo-132829

It has been said that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (George Santayana).  Along the same lines, “Never forget” is the message that this Holocaust survivor and his liberator are sharing with others, as they tell about their experiences during that tragic event in history.

May 8th, 1945, also known as Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day), celebrated the end of World War II in Europe.  In the following video, re-live some of the distinguishing moments that took place during the last 11 months of the war.

 

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

National Day of Prayer 2017

pexels-photo-27633

“At every crucial turning point in our history Americans have faced and overcome great odds, strengthened by spiritual faith.  The Plymouth settlers triumphed over hunger, disease, and a cruel northern wilderness because, in the words of William Bradford, ‘They knew they were pilgrims.  So they committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed.’

George Washington knelt in prayer at Valley Forge and in the darkest days of our struggle for independence said that ‘the fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.’

Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the wisest of our Founding Fathers, had no doubt about the source from which our cause was derived.  ‘The God who gave us life,’ he declared, ‘gave us liberty…’

And nearly a century later, in the midst of a tragic and at times seemingly hopeless Civil War, Abraham Lincoln vowed ‘that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.’

It’s said that prayer can move mountains.  Well, it’s certainly moved the hearts and minds of Americans in their times of trial and helped them to achieve a society that, for all its imperfections, is still the envy of the world and the last, best hope of mankind.

And just as prayer has helped us as a nation, it helps us as individuals.  In nearly all our lives, there are moments when our prayers and the prayers of our friends and loved ones help to see us through and keep on the right path.  In fact, prayer is one of the few things in this world that hurts no one and sustains the spirit of millions.

The Founding Fathers felt this so strongly that they enshrined the principle of freedom of religion in the first amendment of the Constitution.  The purpose of that amendment was to protect religion from the interference of government and to guarantee, in its own words, ‘the free exercise of religion.’ ”

– President Ronald Reagan,
excerpts from his “Radio Address to the Nation on Prayer”, 1982