December 21, 2012
John Donne--- For Whom The Bell Tolls---
No Man Is an Island Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death dimninishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
A short time ago, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, The church bells of the Trinity Church in Newtown, CT. tolled 26 times. These were joined across the Nation by other states and their churches, including here in Massachusetts.
They tolled to the memories of those 20 children and 6 Teachers who are now more of the Good Lord's Angels, for their heroism last Friday as victms of that inexplicable and Evil Horror that took their lives.
John Donne's poem may NOT ever have a more profound meaning to this Nation as it does now. Have we not suffered enough of these mass killings in Malls, and Theaters and other schools, to now allow it to enter our defenseless Elementary Schools?
No one is more attuned to or reliant on as a citizen of this Nation, as I am, So when I say that the 2nd Amendment is not about banning Guns and keeping them from legitimate Citizens, but Assault Weapons and Body Armor and Bomb Making tools MUST come under the Government's control for EVERYONE'S benefit.
I am also not an exponent of BIG Government (hello my friend Tom Jefferson), but it is our Constitution that mandates that this same BIG Government protect us and our Safety and Health and well being. People who have Mental Health problems, Criminals, and rthose who have shown a documented behavior toward violence CANNOT get anymore.
I realize that this also applies to the Internet and all of the Social Network sites, but we already do have limitations on Free Speech and other Mailing resources, but so be It!!!
We must also remember that we have a "violence culture" in our movies, Television, Video Games, and Music indiustry and many of our Athletes. So this change will take many, many years and a lot of work to accomplish.
David L. Smith
David L. Smith 3 Waverley Oaks Rd. #202
Waltham, Ma. 02452-6274
President, The Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston
please visit www.cwrtgb.com
"Where Do I Sign Up?*** (Subject to space linmitations) I will publish submissions without editing or censorship as Op-Eds, Letters To The Editor, Criticisms........................ .
STAND STILL AND UNDERSTAND AMERICA---------------May 24, 2006
May 24, 2006................On Friday morning, May 19, 2006 at 10:15 a.am., I led three other gentlemen on a path to Honor and Humility. We were walking down the steps of The Tomb Guards Sentinel Quarters toward the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and led by The Sergeant of the Guard (HOST) of the 3rd U.S. Army Infantry, known as the "Old Guard"....The men with me were Dexter Bishop, President of The CWRT of Northshore/Lynn, Tom Bailey, President of The North Worccester County CWRT, and Ernest Kenney of The Cape Cod CWRT. I was there as President of The CWRT of Greater Boston (est. 1957), and we were all there to place a Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns to Honor ALL fallen Americans in ALL Military actions. While we have been here on many occasions for the Guard Changing Ceremonies, this Ceremony, and this Four Days In May Battlefield Tour (our 26th annual), will begin the celebration of our 50th birthday next year.....This Tour included our usual membership from our Association of CWRTs, including our Virginia member, Janet Greentree, who joins us each year, and two members, Jim & Sue Piro, who recently moved to Tennessee, a few new folks who asked to join us, and Steve Lawrence, a member of The Rhode Island CWRT. We also had our 13 year old member Samuel Gilvarg, and the Kenneys 14 year old grandson. Matthew. According to information that I received from many sources, including Ed Bearss, the #1 Historian in all of the Land, we may be the first CWRT ever to place a Wreath, which is another great Honor.....The walk was quiet and dignified and somber as befitting this event. We had been briefed for a few minutes prior to this by a mid-20s Sentinel. He also asked about what we do as an organization, and after finding out that we try to Preserve as much History as we can, and how we go into the schoolsystems to talk to students about History and America, he thanked us again. You cannot imagine my difficulty in trying to thank him and his colleagues for their 'heroism' after this......We walked to the gray stone point in front of the long black mat where the Sentinels march, stopped and waited. After a few seconds (or was it years), we took another two steps forward, the Host gave the Wreath to myself and Dexter Bishop, and we placed it on the easel before us, and then took the two steps back.....At his command of Present Arms, our right hands were all placed on our hearts, and the Bugler began to play Taps. For those next few moments (or was it years), I could not feel my heart beating, and held back a rush of tears from breaking through. He then said Order Arms and we did an About Face and marched back up the stairway.......The rest of this day would include visits to the World War 2 Memorial, The Women In Service Memorial, another graveside Wreath placing for Jim Piro who had a Civil War relative buried there, lunch, and a Tour of Fort Ward, one of the original Civil War defense Forts......The following day we drove to Gettysburg for the usual Tour, and visits to the sites of the proposed Gambling Casino which we strongly oppose, and the recently desecrated monuments from Massachustts, N.Y., amd Pennsylvania, and for which we are still raising monies.....I also shared this Tour with my sister Marilyn and my younger brother Al, who runs these Tours. I know that as I took those steps, my late parents were looking down from Heaven at us with a great deal of pride. Ben and Sonia Smith were the typical immigrants that came through Ellis Island many years ago from a hamlet in Russia called Kishniev (Moldava). They came with a sponsorship and built a life for themselves and their four children. We were fortunate to have them as parents, and to be born here in America..I will never forget this for as long as I live.....They made it their lives to gives us all food in our stomachs, clothes on our backs, an excellent English and Hebrew education, and the best set of values about family, responsibility, and community. Ben gave us the directives of craftmanship and responsibilty, and Sonia gave us a sense of himor and Volunteering. They came here without crossing a border at night and learned to speak fluent English.....I have also seen Ground Zero, stood on board the deck of the U.S.S. Constitution, walked Pickett's Charge, and stood at Battle Green and the North Bridge in Concord, among many other places in History. I also will regularly walk among the the gravesites of many cemeteries and read the headstones and their stories. I have never felt more humbled or more proud to be an American as when I stood there with my right hand on my heart.....For those of you who do understand why you should vote, or your right to pray where you want, or why you have the absolute right to write against or speak out and even sue your Government as a redress of your grievances, I ask you to go to these places and more. Take your children and your grandchildren, and just stand there, and you will understand America, and why no one has ever successfully copied uis.....Submitted Respectfully by David L. Smith.
Emailed this morning to The Congressional Medal of Honor Society (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Boston Globe Editors email@example.com) and Associated Press Editors Heidi.Sullivan@cision.com and Jessica.White@cision.com and Beth.Blanchard@cision.com .....Let them hear from you!!!!
This morning, as I sat down to eat my breakfast and read my copy of The Boston Globe (Wednesday, February 9, 2011), I was met yet again,with another major media source stating that the Medal of Honor was a "WINNER", and not a Recipient!!!! I see and hear this many times and every time it is an unforgiveable error which requires more than just and "ooops we're sorry and promise to never to this again apology".
On Page 2 (bottom left was a small story taken from The Associated Press, with the story of Sgt. Sal Guinta's decision to leave the U.S. Army in June and move to Colorado and pursue his education. Sgt. Guinta recently received his Congressional Medal of Honor from President Obama on National TV.
While the story itself (with a photo) did refer to Sgt. Guinta as a 'recipient', the headline above the story in bigger and bolder print is where he called a "WINNER"!!!
As President of the 13th oldest Civil War Round Table on this planet, and someone who is about to be named to the new Mass. Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, we will remember not only those men and women and events of this profound event in our History, but I have plans to work with several other Veterans organizations to honor those Medal of Honor Recipients from other military Actions.
Here in Waltham, we have one Civil War CMOH Recipient, (George H. Maynard of the 13th Mass. Regt. Vol. Inf.). Mass. also has two (2) living CMOH Recipients (Thomas Kelley and Thomas Hudner), and a record of over two hundred and sixty (260) CMOH Recipients. These would include Sgt. William Carney of the famed 54th Mass. Regt. Vol. Inf. and Sgt. Thomas Plunkett of the Mass. 21st Mass. Regt. Vol. Inf. Sgt. Plunkett's Regimental Flag still hangs in our State House Hall of Flags with his bloodstains still showing.
Having said this, during these times of global Military needs and the
upcoming Sesquicentennial, perhaps it is time for a National reminder of these
men and their contributions by ALL of our National Media, with this type of
mistake permanently erased from their processes.
David L. Smith
3 Waverley Oaks Rd. #202
Waltham, Ma. 02452-6274
President, The Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston