August 23, 2008

USS New York - made from steel of the World Trade Center

The USS New York was built with 24 tons of scrap steel salvaged from the World Trade Center.

The USS New York is the fifth in a new class of US Navy warships designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. (What goes around comes around) It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Governor George Pataki said of the ship: "This new class of ships will project American power to the far corners of the Earth and support the cause of freedom well into the 21st century. From the war for independence through the war on terrorism, which we wage today, the courage and heroism of the people of New York has been an inspiration. USS New York will play an important role in our Navy's future and will be a fitting tribute to the people of the Empire State." Pataki went on: "The USS New York will ensure that all New Yorkers and the world will never forget the evil attacks of September 11, and the courage and compassion New Yorkers showed in response to terror," said Governor Pataki. "I want to thank Secretary England for taking this extraordinary step and agreeing to pay special tribute to all New Yorkers by giving our name to a ship that will play an important role in the war on terror," the Governor said.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, 'those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,' recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. 'It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.'

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the 'hair on my neck stood up.' 'It had a big meaning to it for all of us,' he said. 'They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back.'

The ship's motto? 'Never Forget'

August 18, 2008

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

On January 14, 1969, Red Skelton touched the hearts of millions of Americans with his "Pledge Of Allegiance", in which he explained the meaning of each and every word. Red Skelton's recitation of the "Pledge of Allegiance" was twice read into the Congressional Record of the United States and received numerous awards.

As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton’s teachers explained the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote down, and eventually recorded, his recollection of this lecture. It is followed by an observation of his own.

RED SKELTON: "I remember this one teacher. To me, he was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time. He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance and he walked over. Mr. Lasswell was his name... He said": "I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge Of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word:

Mr. Lasswell went on “I
Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

My love and my devotion.
To the Flag

Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody's job.
of the United

That means that we have all come together.

Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.
And to the Republic

Republic -- a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands
Pledge of Allegiance - buy this art print at
Pledge of Allegiance
Buy This Art Print At
One Nation

One Nation -- meaning, so blessed by God.

Incapable of being divided.
With Liberty

Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice

The principle, or quality, of dealing fairly with others.
For All

For All -- which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine. And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:”

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?"

Editor's note: sadly, Red Skelton was prescient - the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (the most overturned court in the United States of America) has done exactly that.