BY MIKE HUCKABEE
Good morning! Below is a special Memorial Day Edition of my newsletter. I will resume my regular, lengthy political commentary tomorrow.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Memorial Day Message
My staff and I are taking a break from the news so we can spend time with our families and take part in commemorations of Memorial Day. Don’t worry, we’ll be back tomorrow to catch you up to date on all the insanity of the weekend. But we all need to tune that out for today to concentrate on something more important, and that’s honoring our fallen heroes on Memorial Day.
Here’s a link to our special Memorial Day episode of “Huckabee” on TBN, opening with my Memorial Day monologue and closing with a musical tribute to all the branches of the military by the terrific Andrews Sisters-style vocal group, the Swing Dolls, with Tre Corley and the Music City Connection.
This is a must-see video report on the Poppy Wall honoring fallen military members at the National Mall in Washington, DC:
And from “Huckabee” writer/pop culture guru, Pat Reeder:
My late mother grew up on a tenant farm in Hunt County, Texas, and knew the family of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in history who later became a movie star. One of our favorite YouTube channels that we support on Patreon is “Daze with Jordan the Lion,” and on this video, he visited Hunt County to tour the Audie Murphy museum and monument to him and other veterans. You’ll be moved and inspired not only by the amazing things Murphy did, but also what he said about his comrades who never made it home to receive medals.
The History of Memorial Day
Once a year, on the last Monday in May, we set aside a day to honor our fellow Americans who made the greatest of all sacrifices so that the rest of us could continue to enjoy the blessings of liberty and security. Although we’ve seen a number of tragedies recently, with many innocent victims to mourn, we can’t let this day pass without paying our respects to those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom, both recently and long ago.
Memorial Day was born after the Civil War, when families would take a day to tend and decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers. It soon spread to the North, and became known as Decoration Day. Eventually, it became a national holiday to honor all American military veterans who gave up their homes, their families, their very lives -- everything they had, or ever dreamed of having – all in sacrifice for their country. And just how many have made that ultimate sacrifice? Brace yourself:
From the Revolutionary War to the War of 1812, the Civil War and Spanish American war, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other wars, police actions and rescue missions around the world since 1776, over one million, three hundred and eight thousand Americans have died in uniform.
Imagine if all those soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen could come back to life for a Memorial Day parade. Picture them marching past in rows of ten, each row taking just 10 seconds to pass. That parade would stretch on and on, row after row, 360 rows per hour, for hour after hour, 24 hours a day, for over 15 straight days. That is the enormity of the military casualties America has experienced since 1776. That doesn’t even include the millions more who sacrificed their limbs, their sight, their peace of mind, and the best years of their lives, all for us.
Makes you realize just how ignorant and slanderous it is to claim America's history is built on slavery, racism and selfishness instead of freedom, compassion and sacrifice.
Today's military members, like those before them, risk their lives to protect the cherished American principles of liberty, equality, democracy, fighting tyranny and defending the weak. Previous generations guarded these bedrock principles so that they could be passed down to us. It is now our sacred duty to preserve them for future generations.
Every year, the American Legion sells poppy pins to support veterans and their families. May 26th was National Poppy Day this year (https://www.legion.org/
The poppy became the symbol of Memorial Day, thanks to the famous poem, “In Flanders’ Fields,” by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae. He wrote it in memory of his friend Alexis Helmer, whom he watched die in battle in World War I.
The poem starts, “In Flanders’ fields, the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row…”
You can read the entire poem at the American Legion link above. It's very short, but it conveys a powerful message of the depth of those soldiers' sacrifice and the debt we owe them all.
With the pandemic now over, we can once again gather in most places to show our support for veterans and our gratitude to those who gave their lives to protect our freedom. But even if you’re unable to attend a public commemoration, you can still show your support by proudly flying the American flag today. And we can all offer support to some of the many great veterans’ organizations, such as the VFW and the American Legion.
Another great organization with an especially timely mission is Code Of Vets, founded by Air Force veteran Gretchen Smith. She and a staunch supporter, the late Charlie Daniels, once appeared on “Huckabee” on TBN to talk about the group’s efforts to provide support to veterans who have fallen through the cracks in the VA health care system and prevent them from becoming part of the shockingly high veteran suicide statistics. You can learn more and donate at http://www.codeofvets.com. It’s tax-deductible, and with their 1% operating costs, you can rest easy knowing that 99 cents of every dollar given goes directly to help veterans in need.
And of course, one more thing we can all do from wherever we are is stop for a moment and think of all the rows and rows of crosses in veterans’ cemeteries…say a prayer of thanks to them…and remember that each and every cross represents a genuine American hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.
McCrae’s poem ends, “To you, from failing hands, we throw the torch. Be yours, to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders’ fields.” If you really want to memorialize these greatest of American heroes, then take up the torch they passed to us. Hold it high, and never let it drop.
America the Beautiful
God's creation is all around us. We are blessed with his bounty. Take a moment to enjoy it.
These People are CHANGING and SAVING AMERICA! | FULL EPISODE | Huckabee
RIP Ed Ames
It was announced that actor/singer Ed Ames died last Sunday at his home in L.A. at 95 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Ames’ most famous acting role was as Mingo (trivia: his full name was Caramingo), the Cherokee sidekick to Fess Parker on the 1960s TV series “Daniel Boone.” That also led to his most iconic on-screen moment. He was demonstrating tomahawk-throwing on “The Tonight Show” (he’d actually never done that until he found out the show wanted it, so he got in one day's practice.) His first throw landed with a "thwap!" right on the target’s crotch, setting off what is believed to be the longest recorded laugh in TV history, which Johnny Carson extended by quipping, “I didn’t know you were Jewish.”
Ironically, despite his casting in Native American roles, Ames actually was the son of Jewish Ukrainian immigrants. He was gifted with a stunning baritone voice, and his first career was singing with his older brothers Vic, Gene and Joe. The Ames Brothers were a very successful pre-rock vocal quartet who at one point had eight songs on the Billboard charts at once. Their hits include “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane,” which isn’t really as naughty as it sounds, and the double-sided #1 single, “Rag Mop”/“Sentimental Me.” Ed later went solo, recorded a number of albums in the MOR genre, and had several hits, including “Try to Remember” and “My Cup Runneth Over.” Johnny Carson loved his version of “Try to Remember” so much, he had him sing it on his show every night for a week (sans tomahawk throwing.)
In addition to musical variety shows and nightclubs, Ed Ames performed on theatrical stages and in acting roles in TV shows like “Murder She Wrote” and "The Rifleman."
If you’ve never heard Ed Ames’ music, I highly recommend it. His voice was one of the most powerful ever set to record. While I’ve always loved his versions of “Try to Remember” and “My Cup Runneth Over,” which are easy to find on YouTube or other streaming services, I always like to give you something that other obituaries won’t mention. So let me recommend listening to this single from 1968, “Who Will Answer (Aleluya #1.”)
You might find it moving, inspiring, baffling or just unsettling, but I guarantee you will be astounded by that incredible voice.
Honoring the meaning of Memorial Day
After suffering through the last fews years of lockdowns and record high gas prices and the cold winter months, many Americans are more than ready to get out of the house and hit the beaches and parks to celebrate Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer. But let’s not forget that Memorial Day means far more than that. It’s a day set aside to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to provide for us the unprecedented freedom that we so often take for granted as Americans.
In a story that appeared a couple of years ago in the Epoch Times, veterans talked about the meaning of Memorial Day, and all of them made it clear that it isn’t about them, but about their comrades who never made it back home. One explained the meanings of our military holidays by saying, “Veterans Day is for those who survived and retired. Armed Forces Day is for those who are still serving. Memorial Day is reserved for those who never got to take off their uniform.”
This year, Fox News has a story about something that I hope becomes a widespread tradition: “The Missing Hero Table.” When you gather for your Memorial Day barbecues and picnics, leave an empty chair at the table as a reminder of the missing hero who gave his or her life to secure our freedom to enjoy that dinner in peace, freedom and safety.
Despite the distortions of America’s history that so many people want to force into our schools, the fact is that no people in the history of the world have experienced the liberties, opportunities or prosperity that we have enjoyed as citizens of the greatest country on God’s green earth — the United States of America. I don’t say that as a biased American, but as one who has traveled the world and who can scour the pages of human history and say definitively that no nation has ever given its inhabitants the degree of freedom, security, and pursuit of happiness as has this extraordinary experiment in self-government called the United States.
Our Constitution is a simple, yet profound, blueprint for a government in which the ultimate power rests with the people and not with a king, a tyrant dictator, a military general, or even an elected official (and certainly not a self-appointed Deep State of elitist bureaucrats.) The genius of our nation is that the people have been vested with the highest power, and while we temporarily grant it to those we elect, we don’t give it away (even during a pandemic.) Unfortunately, our leaders often need to be reminded of that, which is what free speech and elections are for, and why some so-called leaders seem so hostile to free speech and election integrity measures.
This great system of self-government with its separation and balance of powers and its accountability to the people has been and continues to be protected against both foreign and domestic threats by those who trade their clothes of choice for a uniform and who trade their personal liberties to accept orders from someone who outranks them.
In the process of providing that protection, in wars and other police actions over more than two centuries, more than one million of those in our military have given their lives for those of us who will enjoy this long weekend. No American should take this for granted nor ignore it. It shouldn’t be left to the Gold Star families alone to take a pause for a somber reminder of the price of our benefits of citizenship. We all owe it to them to show respect in some way for those whose deaths gave us our lives.
This year, May 8 was the 78th anniversary of World War II’s VE Day (Victory in Europe) and August 15 will be the 78th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan.) Even if there are no commemorative events near you, parents should use the Internet to teach kids about VE Day and VJ Day.
For kids who’ve heard derogatory comments about the military and been woefully misled about American history even in their schools, these anniversaries are a golden opportunity to teach them that the rights, freedoms and comforts they take for granted were paid for with the blood of patriots: over a million soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. To cite just one war alone, many people today unconscionably water down the meaning of the term “Nazi” by hurling it thoughtlessly at political opponents.
This Memorial Day, especially in light of the shocking rise of anti-Semitic attacks by those who are ignorant of what World War II was about, please teach your children about the real evils of Nazism and the tens of millions who died because of it. Fly your flag, be proud to be an American, and give thanks and prayers for the 16 million Allied military members in World War II – over 405,000 of them Americans – who heroically gave their lives to stop it.
Food for thought