Founder’s Message – Historic Year Ahead
I start this month’s message a bit late due to several positive events in January that I wanted to share. One was the national endorsement of political strategist Dick Morris, who encouraged his newsletter readers to support Honor and Remember. The response on our web site from this has been overwhelming and we thank him for sharing our mission with his audience. The second newsworthy occurrence was a bold move by the Virginia House of Delegates, which voted to adopt the Honor and Remember Flag as an official state symbol recognizing the commonwealth’s fallen heroes. Delegate John Cosgrove passionately introduced HJR137 and it passed with a vote of 97-0.
In the next few weeks, the Virginia Senate will vote on the bill and we pray it will be accepted with equal enthusiasm. If it is, Virginia will become the first state to officially adopt the flag. I believe the historic significance of state adoption not only merits national media attention but also deserves to be shared with every other state in our land.
It is for that reason we are planning “Honor and Remember Across America,” a five-month, 17,000-mile cross-country trip, in the spirit of Kevin Baker (click to read his story) to all 50 states. Our journey will take us to state capitals, churches, veterans groups and community events. We expect to visit with governors, members of Congress, mayors and the great people who make up this country.
The trip will focus on taking the Honor and Remember message to every state with the hope that each state legislature will join Virginia’s lead in officially adopting the flag. We will be giving presentations at various venues where we have been invited to speak, including churches, veterans groups and community organizations. And most importantly, we will look forward to meeting many Gold Star families as we make personalized flag presentations around the U.S. Our goal is to spread the word about the Honor and Remember Flag everywhere possible, to see the flag flying across America and to touch the lives of many families who have lost so much.
Our plan is to leave Virginia just after Memorial Day and spend 23 weeks traveling a route from one state capital to another, heading north then moving west crossing the upper half of the United States, reaching Sacramento by late August. Then we will head south through California and east across the lower half of the U.S., arriving at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010.
The planning and execution of this enormous undertaking will require financial and other resources. To make this a successful reality we need your help. Perhaps you can assist in arranging a meeting with your state’s governor and legislators or help arrange a meeting with your local veterans groups and community organizations. On Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays, as available, we would like to have an opportunity to speak in your church or place of worship.
Our physical needs include the use of an RV (recreational vehicle) with which to make the trip. We are budgeting approximately $80,000 for the entire project, although we hope that we will receive donations of gas, food, lodging, airline tickets and incidentals to offset our costs. Of course, financial donations would be welcome as well.
Corporate sponsorships are also available and I welcome the opportunity to share our vision with companies or organizations who would like to be associated with this vision and lend their name and resources to making this mission successful. This will be an amazing journey of national awareness I hope many will join.
If you can help in any way possible or if you have suggestions for our trip, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will post an itinerary soon on our website. Thanks so much for your continued support,
Sign the Petition ~ Share the Vision ~ Fly the Flag
PS: Please remember to replace your faded or worn our flags.
Our Hero’s Story – Sharon Patterson
In the early morning of Saturday, January 15, 2005, I could not sleep. I went downstairs and these words poured out, as did many tears. I didn’t understand why I was writing a poem that morning, but God did. The poem was not completed with the last stanza until January 15, 2007. I would like to share my heart with you, my precious friends, as I approach the five-year mark of my son’s death.
Praise God that I live in a country that’s free.
I did not know how important that is to me,
Until my son went off to war,
To a far off place; my heartstrings tore.
I remember the scene on that dark night.
It’s hard to describe, it was such a sight.
To see each soldier getting ready to leave;
What was in their minds I couldn’t conceive.
I see the bags packed side by side,
Lying on the ground buckled and tied.
Preparing to go, their spirits soared.
Their families were there to kiss them goodbye, Lord.
Each soldier stood brave on that June day.
As I saw them there, I began to pray.
As God is my witness, with Him on our side.
Protect them all Lord, I cried, I cried.
For many long months the war has gone on.
The troops go bravely and fight from dusk to dawn.
They live for each moment and do what they must.
For what keeps them going is “In God They Trust.”
Did I dwell on the thought that my son might not come home?
When I heard from him in a letter or less often by phone?
No, not ever, HE was coming back
With his gun by his side and carrying his pack.
He said to me Friday that they could see the light.
Shining before them, so true and so bright.
“My guys here are marking the days ’til we leave.
We’re coming to see our loved ones, we believe.”
I remember him saying what good things they’ve done.
“We’re moving out after the elections are run.
We’re keeping our wits; we’re watching our backs,
Always aware of all enemy attacks.”
He said, “I have to go now, I love you so.”
I replied back the same and “I miss you too, you know.”
I wanted to touch him, to see his sweet face
He sounded so close, I could feel his embrace.
I didn’t once think that this was the last…
For the time that we talked went by so fast.
His voice I remember, so strong and so true.
I would see him soon is all I knew.
Why God, why? I ask every day.
Why did you take my son away?
He was so young and had so much to give
We really wanted him to live.
To be here to see his child, precious Claire
She has his blue eyes and his color of hair.
NOTE: Honor and Remember is looking for positive stories about the young men and women who have died serving our country. We would like to share them in this newsletter and on a special page on our web site. The stories should be about 300-400 words in length and contain insights that capture the individual’s personality and celebrate their life and honor their experiences in service, etc. We want to present a snapshot of our young heroes … who they were and how those who loved them remember. Photos are welcome.
Please send to email@example.com
Why I’m on Board – Skip Geisaka
The year 1968 was a difficult time in our nation’s history. Dr. Martin Luther King and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated. Vietnam was on everyone’s mind, with the TET Offensive dealing a deathblow to America’s hopes for victory in an unpopular war. More than 16,500 military personnel lost their lives in 1968, which happened to be the midpoint of the Vietnam War. My Lai had given the world a horrific picture of war and student unrest and protests were becoming more popular.
On a cool fall night and I was sitting on the sand of Virginia Beach with a high school friend who had recently returned from combat. We were talking about life and recent events when he started to open up about an experience that continued to haunt him. He had been on patrol in a clearing when he and the other men in his outfit were ambushed by the enemy. The fight ended quickly but many or his comrades were wounded, including my friend’s squad leader, who was also his best friend while in Vietnam. The squad leaders had been shot in the chest and my friend was holding him as he lay dying.
At this point in the story, my friend broke down and started crying, telling me that with his last words his friend kept asking for his mother. Then, still crying, my friend looked at me with anger and asked does anyone care that his friend died? Other than himself and members of his friend’s family, who would remember his friend’s sacrifice?
With the Honor and Remember Flag flying, we will never forget the price our military heroes have paid so that our Stars and Stripes can fly free and proud. To my friend I say, “I care” and “I will remember.” This is why I am on board with Honor and Remember.
News and Upcoming Events
The 2010 calendar is now filling with ceremonies, trade shows, festivals and presentations. If you would like to consider Honor and Remember in your planning for the year please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the campaign, this summer we are planning a national awareness bus tour and would be privileged to include your event in our schedule if possible. We are planning personalized flags presentations in every state possible. Please write soon so that we can coordinate schedules.
If you know of any company or individual who would be willing to become a trip sponsor, donate the use of an RV or tour bus and/or the painting of a graphic wrap, let us know. Its time to bring this mission to the people. Thank you!
It is with great pride we fly the Honor and Remember Flag as a tribute to all fallen heros. We shall do all we are able to promote Honor and Remember within out state and every where we travel. Thank you. You are a true PATRIOT. (Colville, WA)
I would like to thank all those involved with Honor and Remember. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t stop and think of all our Heroes, my nephew Sgt. Christopher Simpson being one. I continue to hand out Honor and Remember Cards and fliers where ever I go. I will continue to help as much as I can, slowly but surely your mission will be accomplished. (Ontario, NY)
I have a flag I fly on my Harley, am honored to do so as I am a Viet Nam Vet. (Elida, OH)
I am a Gold Star mom, who lost my son, Michael Patrick Pittman, on June 15, 2007 in Baghdad. Thank you for taking the time to support us and our loved ones. (Rock Island, IL)