Six Boys And Thirteen Hands...
Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth grade class from Clinton, WI where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable. On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II. Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, 'Where are you guys from?' I told him that we were from Wisconsin. 'Hey, I'm a cheese head, too! Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story.' (It was James Bradley who just happened to be in Washington, DC, to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who had passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, DC, but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night.) When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his words that night.) 'My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called 'Flags of Our Fathers' which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me. 'Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game. A game called 'War.' But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out, I say that because there are people who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old - and it was so hard that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to their families about it. (He pointed to the statue) 'You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from? New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph...a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. It was just boys who won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men. 'The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank.. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the 'old man' because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, 'Let's go kill some Japanese' or 'Let's die for our country.' He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, 'You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers.' 'The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona ... Ira Hayes was one of them who lived to walk off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, 'You're a hero' He told reporters, 'How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive!! So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried the pain home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down, drowned in a very shallow puddle, at the age of 32 (ten years after this picture was taken). 'The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky .. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, 'Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get down Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows crapped all night.' Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away. 'The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley, from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say 'No, I'm sorry, sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back.' My dad never fished or even went to Canada Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell's soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press. 'You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a combat caregiver. On Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died on Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed, without any medication or help with the pain. 'When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, 'I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back.' 'So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time.' Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless. We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice. Let us never forget from the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism and all the wars in-between that sacrifice was made for our freedom...please pray for our troops. Remember to pray praises for this great country of ours and also ....please pray for our troops still in murderous places around the world. STOP and thank God for being alive and being free due to someone else's sacrifice. God Bless You and God Bless America . REMINDER: Everyday that you can wake up free, it's going to be a great day. One thing I learned while on tour with my 8th grade students in DC, that is not mentioned here is . . that if you look at the statue very closely and count the number of 'hands' raising the flag, there are 13. When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply said the 13th hand was the hand of God.
Take a moment to enjoy what God has done for you.
Made in the image of God, every time you look into the mirror you get a glimpse of your creator.
2012 HERITAGE SERVICE DOGS
Jesse - A Dreamer and His Dream
Let me tell you, Jesse hated this job. And you would too, I imagine, if you had to do it. Jesse was a chicken plucker. That's right. He stood on a line in a chicken factory and spent his days Pulling the feathers off dead chickens so the rest of us wouldn't have to. It wasn't much of a job. But at the time, Jesse didn't think he was much of a person. His father was a brute of a man. His dad was actually thought to be mentally ill and treated Jesse rough all of his life. Jesse's older brother wasn't much better. He was always picking on Jesse and beating him up. Yes, Jesse grew up in a very rough home in West Virginia. Life was anything but easy. He thought life didn't hold much hope for him. That's why he was standing in this chicken line, doing a job that darn few people wanted. In addition to all the rough treatment at home, it seems That Jesse was always sick. Sometimes it was real Physical illness, but way too often it was all in his head. He was a small child, skinny and meek. That sure didn't help the situation any. When he started to school, he was the object of every Bully on the playground. He was a hypochondriac of the first order. For Jesse, tomorrow was not always something to be looked forward to. But, he had dreams. He wanted to be a ventriloquist. He found books on ventriloquism. He practiced with sock puppets and saved his hard earned dollars until He could get a real ventriloquist dummy. When he got old enough, he joined the military. Even though many of his hypochondriac symptoms persisted, the military did recognize his talents and put him in the entertainment corps. That was when his world changed. He gained confidence. He found that he had a talent for making people laugh, and laugh so hard they often had tears in their eyes. Yes, little Jesse had found himself. You know, folks, the history books are full of people who overcame a handicap to go on and make a success of themselves, but Jesse is one of the few I know of who didn't overcome it. Instead he used his paranoia to make a million dollars, and become one of the best-loved characters of all time in doing it! Yes, that little paranoid hypochondriac, who transferred
his nervousness into a successful career,
still holds the record for the most
Emmy's given in a single category.
The wonderful, gifted, talented, and
nervous comedian who brought us
Barney Fife Was Jesse Don Knotts.
NOW YOU KNOW, "THE REST OF
THE STORY" There is a street named
for him and his statue in Morgantown,
West Virginia, his place of birth.
Live simply, love generously, care deeply,
Speak kindly and trust in GOD who loves us.
Q. Will our pets be in heaven?
A. There is no question that animals will be in heaven. In fact, Isaiah 11:6–9 offers a beautiful picture of what heaven will be like.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.
In paradise, every animal could potentially be a pet because none of them will be “wild” — they will not be afraid of people. God does everything perfectly, so in paradise, we will find complete love and happiness, which will include loving companionship with the animals.
But what about our pets from this life? Will they be with us in the new earth? Some argue that such a scenario would be impossible, because the sacrifice of Jesus was to redeem humans, not animals. And it is true that there aren’t any Scriptures that state animals will be resurrected with new bodies.
However, this might not rule out the possibility. God will bless His people with eternal life as a gift of His grace when Jesus comes again (2 Timothy 1:10). So if the all-powerful God of the universe wants to surprise us with the gift of resurrected kittens, puppies, horses, fish, rabbits, birds, turtles, or whatever other critters we love on this earth — He is certainly able to do so.
Remember, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NJKV).
Whatever the answer on this one, I promise no one will be disappointed. We’ll just have to make sure we are there, then wait and see!
Found on Amazing Facts website / Get more Bible answers by clicking here!
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2009-15 HERITAGE SERVICE DOGS
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