AP- WASHINGTON - Families of America’s war dead will be allowed to decide if news organizations can photograph the homecomings of their loved ones, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.
Gates said he decided to allow media photos of flag-draped caskets at Dover Air Force Base, Del., if the families agree. A working group will come up with details and logistics. The new policy reverses a ban put in place in 1991 by then President George H.W. Bush. Some critics contended the government was trying to hide the human cost of war.
I am glad that families now have a choice. However, I believe photographing homecomings should be mandatory. Why, you ask? Simple. Our war dead deserve to be honored and remembered. EVERYONE OF THEM. Many Americans have an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality. They need to be reminded daily of the sacrifice being made by our military personnel. Some will opine that this politicizes the war. EXACTLY! War is politics and bad politics got us into the current quagmire! War is a choice of LAST resort. It is time to bring ALL of our troops home.
It is an ancient custom of the Christian church to hold as a period of fasting and solemnity the forty days preceding Easter, in commemoration of the miraculous abstinence of Jesus when under temptation. From leaglen-tide, a Saxon term for spring (as being the time of the lengthening of the day), came the familiar word for this period—LENT. Originally, the period began on what is now the first Sunday in Lent; but, it being found that, when Sundays, as improper for fasting, were omitted, there remained only thirty-six days, the period was made by Pope Gregory to commence four days earlier namely, on what has since been called Ash Wednesday. This name was derived from the notable ceremony of the day in the Romish church. It being thought proper to remind the faithful, at commencement of the great penitential season, that they were but dust and ashes, the priests took a quantity of ashes, blessed them, and sprinkled them with holy water.
The worshipper then approaching in sack-cloth, the priest took up some of the ashes on the end of his fingers, and made with them the mark of the cross on the worshipper's forehead, saying, Memento, hemo, quia cinis es, et in pulverem reverleris (Remember, man, that you are of ashes, and into dust will return). The ashes used were commonly made of the palms consecrated on the Palm Sunday of the previous year. In England, soon after the Reformation, the use of ashes was discontinued, as 'a vain show,' and Ash Wednesday thence became only a day of marked solemnity, with a memorial of its original character in a reading of the curses denounced against impenitent sinners.
The popular observances on Ash Wednesday are not of much account. The cocks being now dispatched, a thin scare-crow-like figure or puppet was set up, and shied at with sticks, in imitation of one of the sports of the preceding day. The figure was called a Jake-a-lent, a term which is often met with in old literature, as expressive of a small and insignificant person. Beaumont and Fletcher, in one of their plays, make a character say: If I forfeit,Make me a Jack o' Lent and break my shins For untamed points and counters.'
Boys used to go about clacking at doors, to get eggs or bits of bacon wherewith to make up a feast among themselves; and when refused, would stop the keyhole with dirt, and depart with a rhymed denunciation. In some parts of Germany, the young men gathered the girls into a cart, and drove them into a river or pool, and there 'washed them favouredly,'—a process which shews that abstinence from merriment was not there held as one of the proprieties of the day. 'Among the ancient customs of this country which have sunk into disuse, was a singularly absurd one, continued even to so late a period as the reign of George I. During the Lenten season, an officer denominated the 'King's Cock Crones' crowed the hour each night, within the precincts of the Palace, instead of proclaiming it in the ordinary manner of watchmen.' On the first Ash, Wednesday after the accession of the House of Hanover, as the Prince of Wales, afterwards George II, sat down to supper, this officer abruptly entered the apartment, and according to accustomed usage, proclaimed in a sound resembling the shrill pipe of a cock, that it was "past ten o'clock." Taken by surprise, and imperfectly acquainted with the English language, the astonished prince naturally mistook the tremulation of the assumed crow, as some mockery intended to insult him, and instantly rose to resent the affront: nor was it without difficulty that the interpreter explained the nature of the custom, and satisfied him, that a compliment was designed, according to the court etiquette of the time. From that period we find no further account of the exertion of the imitative powers of this important officer: but the court has been left to the voice of reason and conscience, to remind them of their errors, and not to that of the cock, whose clarion called back Peter to repentance, which this fantastical and silly ceremony was meant to typify.'—Brady
I invite you to check out my friend, John's latest blog at One Man's Hike: http://www.stlouisjohn.blogspot.com/especially for all the whiners screaming "socialism" while still maintaining their good Christian ethics!! WWJD or better yet, what would He have to say?
While cooking dinner this evening, I watched the Dr. Phil Show about the octuplet mom and her babies. I am not opposed to in vitro. I know several couples who have used this method and now have or will have beautful children as a result. But WHAT the heck was that doctor thinking implanting 8 eggs??? Obviously he had his head clearly NOT on his shoulders! Knowing the patient and her history, he put 9 lives at risk. What medical difficulties will these babies face because of their premature birth? What about the financial well being of these children? If "mom" doesn't have enough brains to realize that she already has 6 children and some with medical issues, you would think that the physician would have a brain?? Or does that come under the category of requiring common sense? Did he sleep through his oath of "doing no harm?" Or was it just a case of his ego pulling off octuplets? In any event, I would like to see him out of in vitro medical care. As for "mom," she doesn't quality as a fit mother according to my definition. But I'll let others opine about her. God bless the babies and the children for they are innocent ones here.
Our friend from PA, Shel is on the road again! Breakfast with Janis this AM and meeting up with Lee and Kim. Hugs to all! I've spoken with you all on the phone. Someday I hope to meet you in person! Safe journeying, Shel!
Our wonderful rector of over 20 years is retiring on 1 August. All of my Piskie friends know what's in store for our parish for the next year or so. PLEASE keep us in your prayers. If you know of a good priest, please let me know. We haven't started the formal search process yet and of course, we won't until after our rector retires. But any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated!
Happy Presidents' Day! I hope you have the day off from work/school and are enjoying a long weekend. It's just a Monday here... which means I'm doing laundry and cleaning the house. But this afternoon I'm going to read and finish some craft projects.
My Two Cents Worth has moved to this location. I know that the world needs at least one more person opining and/or whinning. Hopefully, we can share a few laughs here. However, today I'm not laughing. I got a speeding ticket on our way home from church. Never mind the fact that I didn't realize I was speeding. Ah... but you know, "ignorance is no excuse" etc. Mind you I haven't had a ticket in YEARS!! But no, El Paso County Sheriff saw fit to write me up. OK. I understand. I was wrong. But I nearly stroked when he handed me the ticket. $177 and 4 points!!!!! Good Lord almighty!!!! The cost and points have sure gone WAY up since my last ticket. If I pay the ticket within 20 days, 2 points are reduced or I can go to court. So I have to decided what to do. Should I TRY to throw myself on the mercy of the court or just suck it up and pay the ticket and take the 2 points?