July 26th All Or Nothing Day

While we all strive to be more and more politically correct and sensitive to each other we must also remember that when we begin to exclude parts of history we then exclude all of history. If we are to forget those moments of history we do not like to remember we also forget those who brought us out of those dark moments. This is the theory of All or Nothing. You can tear down statues of General Lee, “Stonewall” Jackson and all reminders of the Confederacy… but then we lose the importance of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas and the 54th Massachusetts. To remember heroes you must remember what made them heroes, to disregard it is to forget those deeds done by people to change it.

How to celebrate – Don’t disregard history just because you didn’t like it. Choose to remember, not forget. You cannot have a hero without first having a villain.

June 6th D-Day

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156,000 soldiers landed on Omaha, Utah, Gold, Sword and Juno beaches to reclaim Europe from Nazi Germany on June 6th, 1944. Thousands would give their all on this day, Canadians, British, French and Americans. It was the one day in the early part of June that had clear enough weather the Allies could actually attempt the landing, and an attempt it was. The Germans had built up the beach defenses to an extreme and though the Allies were fairly sure they could hold some of the beaches it really was done on a hope and a prayer. The landings were preceded by parachute drops and the resistance causing as much havoc as they could. The landing, requested by the Russian, did succeed however and it was the beginning of the end for the Third Reich.

How to celebrate – Remember all those who served in World War 2 (there aren’t many left). Visit the beaches where many of the wrecks have been left reminding us of the day. Read a book written from those who survived the day.

May 27th Memorial Day

We celebrate all the fallen today that have served our country in military service. It was begun after the Civil War as families went of decorate the graves of those who had fallen. It was commonly known as Decoration Day until 1882 when it became Memorial Day. It always fell on May 30th regardless of the day of the week but in 1971 Congress made Memorial Day the last Monday of May so that families, and government workers, could have a three day weekend. Just something wrong with that… the idea we should all have an extra day when those we are celebrating had no extras days themselves. But I suppose it makes it easier for families to travel where they need to go to pay honor to their fallen family members.

How to celebrate – Remember the reason for the day. Pay homage to those who have given you all that you have. Study your family tree to find out the soldiers who served you directly.

May 26th Sally Ride Day

Sally Ride was the first female astronaut to make it into space. She was a specialist aboard STS-7 on June 18th, 1983. (Man that seems so long ago) Though she passed in 2012, she will live on in history, and the memory of those interested in the American Space Program. We should celebrate anyone who is the first to do anything, but I wonder if she did it to be the first woman in space or just because that was her love and drive. I have to believe, knowing a little of what it takes to become and astronaut, that it was her life, not because she was a male or female. I believe anyone can do what they want in life but do it for the right reasons, not to just get the press.. which in the end means nothing to anyone. Sally Ride was born on May 26th, 1951 and spent her life accomplishing what she wanted from life.

How to celebrate – Study Sally Ride’s accomplishments. Honor the entire space program and all who worked so hard to accomplish it. Be all that you can be.

September 26th Johnny Appleseed Day

Well, we all know about apples. All the varieties, sizes and uses of them. I guess Adam and Eve got us kicked off but no one is better known for their apple adventures than Johnny Appleseed!

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Now Johnny Appleseed was a real character, not a made up comic book one. His real name was John Chapman and he was born on September 26th, 1774. His legend was not as big as the Lone Ranger or the Incredible Hulk but at least he was real. In his lifetime he spread the planting of apple tress across America starting an industry that continues to grow today.

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Now a little of what he did may be somewhat shady. Apparently he planted the trees for free but later came back to claim them after they had grown. Since the owners could not possibly return his trees, he ended up acquiring their land. I am not sure any of that is true, there are always haters out there, but it does sort of make you wonder.

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And there are those who celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day on March 11th, the day it is believed he died in 1845. I guess it sort of depends on whether you see John Chapman as a good guy or a bad guy, If you like him, you probably celebrate his birthday today, September 26th. If you are not too fond of what he did, then maybe you celebrate March 11th.

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Either way, Johnny Appleseed will long be remembered. He did start something, good or bad, letting us enjoy apples every day if we want.

How to celebrate – Have an apple today. Read more about John Chapman. Plant your own apple tree.

March 18th National Supreme Sacrifice Day

The world is made up of many heroes. There have been heroes in the past, there are heroes today and there will always be those who will step up and offer up their own lives to protect those around them.

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We have come to expect this from our soldiers, though we shouldn’t. We often forget about the policemen and the firemen, but every time they put on their uniform they are showing the world that they are prepared to stand between us and danger too.

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Doctors that go into regions with infectious deseases, men and women who make repairs to bridges, even teachers and lifeguards, chemists, lumberjacks, school crossing guards and animal control agents can potentially be heroes. In fact, any of us can potentially be a hero without ever meaning to be.

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I don’t think many of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf started out their day expecting that day would be the last they ever saw. But when the time came, when the choice had to be made, they willingly made the choice. We should remember them if for no other reason than when it came down to it, they remembered us.

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How to celebrate – Honor those who gave their lives for you and your family.

May 29th Memorial Day

All sacrificed some, some sacrificed all. This is the day we should remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free, preserve our human rights and allow America to still be that beacon on the hill.

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It started as Decoration Day following the Civil War.  As families began to recover from the death of loved ones they began to decorate their graves with flowers blooming from the spring as the summer months began to approach. It was the first time in American history when graveyards had been separated for the fallen soldiers as there were simply too many to be sent back home to be buried. It didn’t matter what side they had fought on, all the graves would be decorated.

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In 1882 the name was changed to Memorial Day, remember all those who had fallen in the name of America, and across the world. Families would gather, share a meal near the gravesite and then decorate the graves of their fallen loved ones, friends and even the occasional stranger.

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It seems the least we could do for all they have done, and given, for us. No one wants to be forgotten when they are gone. Unfortunately the list continues to grow. World War 2 created many heroes from men and women that might have lived relatively quiet lives otherwise.

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And Vietnam, while not popular, created a longer list with many more heroes many Americans seemed to try and forget. Like the war or not, the men and women who fought it are to be remembered just as in any war America has fought. In 1971 Congress set Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.

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There will be more wars. There will be more death. Their will be more graves to decorate and more heroes to be born. It is up to us to remember them because you can bet your life, they remembered you.

How to celebrate – Decorate a soldiers grave today. Remember any in your family who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. Be truly thankful for those who have served, not just because you think you should but because you know you should.

July 11th All American Pet Photo Day

It’s fun to dress our pets up and take pictures of them. They can’t get much cuter and while we know down deep they hate it, we love it. They put up with it because they love us and want to please us. Most of the photos are of dogs, as most cats simply won’t put up with it. Occasionally you can get a cat to pose, maybe even put them in some sort of outfit, but be warned, they will get their revenge sometime, somewhere.

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Horses can be used from time-to-time.  Nothing against horses but they don’t really know any better. Give them an apple or a cube of sugar and they will let you do practically anything to them.

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It is the dog that most likely will end up in our All American Pet Photos.

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But maybe there is another reason why they allow us to take their pictures. Maybe in their love for us they become the true patriots amongst us. They don’t ask why, and they may fuss, but they will do what we want and quite often take it a step further, like….

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Chips, a Collie, German Shepherd, Siberian Huskie mix, who was the most decorated dog of World War 2. He won the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and the Distinguished Service medals. Of course the Army took them away but he knew he was a hero. He survived the war, returning home to live out the rest of his life.

Today, dogs serve us in many ways. They are not only our friends and our buddies, they guard our military bases, assist our law enforcement officers, search for drugs and explosives, and provide their special noses in finding those who need rescuing.

So when you are taking your pictures of your cute fuzzies think about it for a moment.

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Maybe we should be taking pictures of ourselves and giving it to them instead. There are times when pets are the true heroes, the true patriots because they do what they do without question, all for the love of their people.

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How to celebrate – Give your dog, cat, horse, or whatever a hug for putting up with you. Make sure to give them a treat for stepping beyond what they have to do. Just love them as much as they love you and they will be happy forever.