The War on Christmas (and religion) verses the Spirit of Christmas Series at AskMarion – 17
Barracuda Brigade – Honoring American Heroes Across America:
Video: Wreaths Across America
BARE NAKED ISLAM
Volunteers fanned out across Arlington National Cemetery Saturday to place more than 143,000 balsam remembrance wreaths on the graves of America’s fallen as part of the Wreaths Across America program.
Stars & Stripes A total of 540,000 wreaths were placed at 908 locations across the U.S., including Arlington, through the 2013 effort.
Morrill Worcester, who started the program in 1992, said the goal is to place a wreath at every grave in Arlington next year “to honor this place, and the brave men and women laid to rest here.”
The nonprofit had been plagued by funding shortfalls, due to an increased demand for wreaths at other veterans’ cemeteries across the country, but last-minute contributions by Google and other private donors enabled Wreaths Across America to meet and exceed its goals.
Merry Christmas, My Friend
By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporal
stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1986
Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live
As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.
I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.
He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.
Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”
With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight
Camouflage and Christmas Lights
Two great new books for the holidays: ‘Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas’ (Kindle) and The Romney Family Table: Sharing Home-Cooked Recipes & Favorite Traditions (Kindle) Plus: Losing Our Religion(Kindle) by atheist S. E. Cupp