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Occasionally something that you looked at many times, but have never seen, suddenly jumps out and changes your whole perspective. For example, I had always thought that as far as the Revolutionary War went, Delaware’s only claim to fame was that the new flag was first flown in battle on Delaware’s soil…….

Not so! Two hundred thirty-six years ago today, things were really jumping in these parts. It may seem like a long time ago to most of us, but in reality it is only a string of three ten year olds who each knew someone who was ninety. In the vernacular, that means that most of us know someone, who themselves knew someone who actually had spoken to someone, who was alive during the Revolutionary War!…… Whoa…….

August 25, 1777 close to 300 ships sailed up the Chesapeake Bay, anchored off off Elk Neck, Maryland, and began disembarking. That has been called the largest fleet ever assembled off either of the America’s coasts. To put that number into perspective, the famous Spanish Armada, consisted of a meager 130 Spanish ships. The most-oft talked about Battle of Trafalger, consisted of a combined total of some 60 ships. Modern historians can get a perspective by comparing those 300 ships to the 700 off of Dunkirk or the 900 off of Normandy…….

It must have been quite a sight to stand on the top Iron Hill and see over 300 tall masts sailing to defeat you. And on board those ships, were 15,000 solders disembarking to begin marching towards your capital city….That’s close to the total number of women living across Greater Newark in 2010.

Were we living 236 years ago, we would all be on edge! Anticipating a major battle on Delaware soil, 11,000 continental troops were moved into Delaware and bivouacked at what used to be known as Red Mill Neck, and now is near the Marshalltown bridge over top of Red Clay Creek.

The British moved in steps, out of Elkton to Gray’s hill, then up the road to Newark. One account said their line stretched from Glasgow to the bridge across the Christiana, where the I 95 and 896 interchange is today. They marched through the village of Newark, and then advanced parallel to today’s Kirkwood highway and camped at Milltown, just two miles from the American Camp in Newport. For one day, they stared each other down. The potential existed for a pitched battle to have occurred on Delaware soil. When no attempt was made by the British, Washington got scared that he was to be flanked to the north. Had General Howe chosen to do so, Washington and the Continental Army would have suffered a catastrophic defeat. At 2 am, the Continentals forced marched north to Chadd’s Ford, thereby occupying the high ground, and then on the following day, occurred the Battle of the Brandywine, the second to last major battle to be fought by Washington until Yorktown, four years latter.

Just a small footnote:  it was in Delaware  where General Pulaski, from Poland, met Washington while in Wilmington and was placed in charge of developing the calvary.

Although only a small skirmish actually occurred in this small state, with just a few things happening differently, a major conflagration could have happened that could have ended the war for the Americans.

Needless to say, it was relatively scary “in these parts” just 11 score and sixteen years ago.

Delaware's Engagement 1777 August 25
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On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the continuous guns fell silent…… After years of incoming artillery’s deep, resonant pounding,…..the quiet began. The rare pop of small arms fire,….. faded away. Cautiously a brave soul or two crawled out and stood on top of the trenches. Turning to the other side, they saw the enemy of just a few minutes before, mirroring their own actions…..It was truly over.

Compared to the rest of Europe, the US fared well. Germany, France, Great Britain lost an entire generation of their young men…..

Some dreamed that surely, after such a waste, there never could, or would be such a war again……

It was only a dream…..as history would soon prove……

On this day, there are 22 verified veterans left….worldwide. Four of these are Americans. Soon the last living memories of this war….. will fade away……….

My brush with living memories happened when I was in High School. What the German war machine failed to do………an insignificant clot accomplished. Those who visited, told stories of the dark, turbulent wrestling within the soul……They whispered of an alert mind, albeit one locked in the year 1917 from which it would ultimately and peacefully escape…. They spoke in hushed tones of an old man, possessing enormous strength, incapable of being subdued by even the hospital’s largest orderlies……They told of the soldier’s enterprising son, who climbing back into those years to be with him, and navigating the treacherous barbed wire memories, peacefully calmed him down, until the old soldier finally accepted that his war was over, and quietly signed his own armistice with God………..

We learned he had suffered from shell shock as they called it then, spending the post-war years in a sanitarium somewhere in occupied Germany, of the bland letters to his wife and unseen child back home, letters whose lack of substance during this vapid time, played rabidly on her fears of another women…..

We heard stories of involuntary reactions, occurring some twenty years later…of a face, framed by white hair, turned scarlet in the middle of a social gathering, when someone absently said, “Oh that was during the war.”

And then there were the personal effects, a letter rapidly written in German by a dying officer, with our hero’s first name mentioned as being the one entrusted to make sure the letter got back to his wife, a letter that said the war would soon be over for him, that the only important thing he hung onto as he crossed over to the the other side, were the times he and she had shared together……..As kids we used to march around in a dough boy’s hat, and a genuine spiked Prussian helmet. (the originals were all black, by the way, no silver.)

And then the youngest son, who came along after our soldier had mellowed somewhat, told of stumbling with his dad, across a model of one battlefield, I think it was Belleau Wood, and how that opened up the memories which, pent up for years, calmly flowed out unrepressed, with no emotional consequences.

Through this, we heard the story of a young officer defying a direct order to attack, solely because the objective was unattainable and trying to attempt it, would wipe out every one of his men….Who opting, instead of facing a firing squad, to have himself crawl into no mans land……accompanied only by his sergeant who had stood steadfast with him during this ordeal only to get ripped apart minutes later, had to lie there for two days protected under the warm, safe body which occasionally absorbed a well placed bullet, kept safe by only the tiniest rise of land preventing a direct shot…..

The story of showing up in France, and leading the AEF’s first attack, upon a fortified hill surrounded by the Meuse, and succeeding…..

Those memories didn’t die….they passed and took seed in another generation. Today they lie embedded in one more, a generation who once again questions the “why” of war.

Like his grandfather before him, this person too was brought up under a religion that seem to question war and tell us to “turn the other cheek.” Like his grandfather before him, this person too believes that sometimes there is no greater duty, than to give one’s life for one’s country……..How are these two, supposedly opposite points of view, ever to be reconciled?

We know that Jesus allowed his disciples to carry swords. During the final days, when he asks the disciples if they have a sword, and Peter shows two, he says that is enough…..But later that night when Peter uses his sword to protect Jesus and cuts off a servant’s ear, Jesus tells him sternly. “Put that away. We will have no more of that…”

Fascinating. This duality starts from the beginning of the Christian religion itself.

Throughout history, the worst wars fought have been religious ones. The longest animosities, the ones considered too hard to bury, are those originally pricked by religion….

When we are told to turn the other cheek, perhaps we are to do that on a personal level…. By doing so, hoping that we show others, just how deeply we believe these principals . Perhaps this line of thought recognizes that we are each small instruments of change; but a change of heart in multitudes of men, can implement massive changes…..Therefore doing a self deprecating act, such as dying for another, or carrying an enemy soldier’s bag an extra mile, can have a much greater impact overall, than another killing and the loss of one dead soldier…..

But as a nation of free people we have another responsibility. That responsibility is to ensure that justice, (or that which is right),… prevails over evil, (or that which is wrong)…. As some of you may note, there is a wide play of interpretation in just exactly what is right, and what is wrong…..

But for a strong nation to appease a despot like Stalin, Hitler, or those tyrants in Burma, does exactly the opposite of performing justice. Instead it shows others, despite our words, that we implicitly support these evil regimes, and in doing so, we fail to send hope and inspiration to those who fight, to right the wrongs caused by their misguided leaders….

War enacted by a political state is sometimes a necessity, the last remaining line of defense against the selfish designs of a demented few. Less pain and suffering worldwide, can be bandaged by enacting war, than by allowing open wounds to fester, rot, and spread their evil infection elsewhere.

Therefore as a nation, the United States must occasionally gamble all of it’s resources in the ultimate test…. One must on occasion risk all, to determine whether all was worthy to be risked……

Any nation is only as good as its foot soldiers,…. its grunts. Those choice veterans I know, with whom I’ve hugged, laughed, and cried, …… continue to reinforce the notion I once had as a child: that based on the quality of people who put their lives on the line for this nation, we are truly the best nation to have ever lived upon this planet……..

Occasionally something that you looked at many times, but have never seen, suddenly jumps out and changes your whole perspective. For example, I had always thought that as far as the Revolutionary War went, Delaware’s only claim to fame was that the new flag was first flown in battle on Delaware’s soil…….

Not so! Two hundred thirty years ago today, things were really jumping in these parts. It may seem like a long time ago to most of us, but in reality it is only a string of three ten year olds who each knew someone who was ninety. In the vernacular, that means that most of us know someone, who themselves knew someone who actually had spoken to someone, who was alive during the Revolutionary War!…… Whoa…….

August 25, 1777 close to 300 ships sailed up the Chesapeake Bay, anchored off off Elk Neck, Maryland, and began disembarking. That has been called the largest fleet ever assembled off any of the America’s coasts. To put that number into perspective, the famous Spanish Armada, consisted of a meager 130 Spanish ships. The most-oft talked about Battle of Trafalger, consisted of a combined total of some 60 ships. Modern historians can get a perspective by comparing those 300 ships to the 700 off of Dunkirk or the 900 off of Normandy…….

It must have been quite a sight to stand on the top Iron Hill and see over 300 tall masts sailing to defeat you. And on board those ships, were 15,000 solders disembarking to begin marching towards your capital city….Thats the total number of women estimated to be in Newark in 1998.

Were we living 230 years ago, we would all be on edge. Anticipating a major battle on Delaware soil, 11,000 continental troops were moved into Delaware and bivouacked at what used to be known as Red Mill Neck, and now is near the Marshalltown bridge over top of Red Clay Creek.

The British moved in steps, out of Elkton to Gray’s hill, then up the road to Newark. One account said their line stretched from Glasgow to the bridge across the Christiana, where the I 95 and 896 interchange is today. They marched through the village of Newark, and then advanced parallel to today’s Kirkwood highway and camped at Milltown, just two miles from the American Camp in Newport. For one day, they stared each other down. The potential existed for a pitched battle to have occurred on Delaware soil. When no attempt was made by the British, Washington got scared that he was to be flanked to the north. Had General Howe chosen to do so, Washington and the Continental Army would have suffered a catastrophic defeat. At 2 am, the Continentals forced marched north to Chadd’s Ford, thereby occupying the high ground, and then on the following day, occurred the Battle of the Brandywine, the second to last major battle to be fought by Washington until Yorktown, four years latter.

Just a small footnote:  it was in Delaware  where General Pulaski, from Poland, met Washington while in Wilmington and was placed in charge of developing the calvary.

Although only a small skirmish actually occurred in this small state, with just a few things happening differently, a major conflagration could have happened that could have ended the war for the Americans.

Needless to say, it was relatively scary “in these parts” just 11 score and ten years ago.

When Johnson fired Edwin Stanton back in ’68, Radical republicans decided that this firing violated the Tenure of Office Act , and politically inspired, they drew up impeachment proceedings against then president, Andrew Johnson. It was 1868. Based on party lines the vote looked good and most republicans were casting straws to see who would become the next president.

Their plans came to a quick end when one of their own, Edmund Ross, refused to lay down the deciding vote. He voted no on impeachment. ” I looked down at my open grave.” is is often commented as saying.

As one commentator remarked, the political climate in ’68 was so divisive that Andrew Johnson would have been impeached for “stepping on a dog’s tale”. The Republicans had been looking for a chance to impeach for over a year and finally had their opportunity. One man, Edmund Ross, went against his party, for a higher ideal. He believed the president should be allowed to hire and fire whom he pleased. He also believed that just because Congress was of a different political stripe, one did not fire the president for a minor trumped up charge.

A similar republican attempt occurred in ’98. This time it was 1998 with Bill Clinton. The charge was masqueraded as a perjury violation, but really it was a political move designed by republicans to sully the most popular president ever. It failed. Furthermore public opinion backfired upon Republicans who themselves heavily lost popularity points and many of those who were instrumental in its prosecution, became the butts of public jokes. Americans refused to buy into the philosophy that their president should be impeached for something that goes on in most American homes every day.

Ironically both times impeachment processes have been initiated in our nation’s history, they were 1) initiated by republicans and 2) done so for purely political reasons……..

With the clear view of hindsight, one could argue that perhaps the republicans knowingly went through the Clinton impeachment process so that their following president could break the law and not have to be impeached. It is unlikely that it was planned as such, but that is exactly what happened.

The best protection Bush/Cheney has against impeachment, is the recent memory of the folly of the last one 9 years ago.

Surely we do not want to go through with that process again. Or do we?

Let’s apprise our current situation and see where we stand.

When one US attorney refused to strip black voters off the registration forms in Missouri, he was removed. His replacement promptly did just that. It was irrelevant. They hate Bush so much in Missouri, that his candidate lost anyway. Manipulating an election. Not a crime.

During the 2000 election huge, monstrous contributions went into the Bush campaign treasury from BP, Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, and Chevron. For this, they were promised exclusive rights to the oil lying just under the sand in Iraq. It was tough but a war was created that put us over top of those sands. We are in the process of getting the Oil PSA’s some cover by having them legitimized by our puppet government, despite total Iraqi opposition. Those PSA’s will allow those companies to extract the oil for free up to amortization, then pay royalties on only 30% thereafter. Bribery perhaps? Not a crime.

Currently a member of the White house staff was forbidden to testify before Congress. Today it was learned that a warning went out: any judge or attorney who attempted to file a contempt of Congress charge on any White House staff member, would be fired………Embarrassing, perhaps? But not a crime.

The language for impeachment is specific. It must be for either “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. ” Precedent has shown that finding a little rule broken, does not constitute a high crime or misdemeanor. If impeachment is to carry, if done by the Democrats, it needs to be done right. Impeachment is a serious action and all its consequences need to be taken seriously.

Do we impeach Bush, or Bush and Cheney. Will the perspective of Pelosi as chief executive hurt, or help Bush’s case before the Senate.

Are the crimes that serious? Impeachment should be reserved for someone who accumulates power and refuses to listen to either 1) Congress, 2) the Judicial Branch, or 3) the American people. When once we have determined that we have a president like that, then it will be time to impeach…………….