Memorial Day: Remember and Give Thanks

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

My father was in the onslaught at Omaha beach. He only spoke of it once – how the bodies where so thick in the ocean where many had drowned, you could almost walk on them. How the sand of the beach was drenched with blood. My father lied about his age so he could join early.

He loved his country and his family and came back from the war forever changed. He was a tender, smiling man, gentle. There wasn’t a baby or animal who didn’t trust him or hesitated to be held in those loving arms.

If you live where you can believe as you want to believe, speak your mind, vote, spend your money as you wish, raise a family, worship as you choose, then don’t forget to thank a Veteran or someone currently serving in the Armed Forces. If you are in McDonald’s or Starbucks and the person in line in front of you is a current service member or law enforcement officer, fire fighter, emergency worker – thank them and buy them a cup of coffee. They do so much for us, the least we can do is say “Thank You”.

Here is a link to a post I did when I was given the Inner Peace Award.  I accepted it in memory of my father.     Have a safe and happy day and remember…

copyright Kanzensakura - my father, far left, Paris, 21st birthday

copyright Kanzensakura – my father, far left, Paris, 21st birthday


Father’s Day and Flag Day: Blood and Honor

I miss my father. Not a day goes by that I do not miss him. Not a day goes by as I remember, not only his contribution to my life, but his contribution to this country and to all nations being smothering under tyranny. He was a sharp shooter during WWII and landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day. And in a round about way, and in my unique way, I will seque to something entirely different but end up back here. And I know you will see the point I am making between our fathers who swear their blood and honor to take us through our lives and protect and guide us, and those soliders, past and present, who swear their blood and honor to protect us and to allow us our freedoms.

A few days ago, I was watching the movie, 47 Ronin. It is a faulty movie and much has been said about all that is “wrong” with it. But there is a scene that tells us, quietly and strongly, all that is right with it. The movie is based on a true story of feudal Japan. A shogun, lord of a province, was wrongly and deceptively killed – no honor by the persons involved. As a result, his samurai, loyal to him and his family and the people of the province they protected, became ronin (samurai without a master, a deep dishonor). Normally, they would have committed seppuku (ritual suicide), but they instead, plotted revenge so their wronged master could rest in peace, his honor restored, and the province united and freed from tyranny.

The leader of samurai, Oishi, brings his men back together to plan for this revenge. In a scene that had tears coursing down my face, they swore to bring honor to their master’s name and each one signed his name. They each pulled their sword enough to cut their thumbs and under their name, pressed their thumb sealing their pledge in their own blood.

Oishi told them, “When a crime goes unpunished, the world is unbalanced. When a wrong is unavenged, the heavens look down on us in shame. We too must die for this circle of vengeance to be closed – there is no other way…” (quote from 47 Ronin).  They pledged their lives to justice, just as countless men and women, through the centuries, have pledged their lives and their sacred honor.  With their inevitable deaths, they knew balance and honor would be restored.

I thought of this putting by of self for a greater calling.  My father did not know if he would live or die.  He only knew there was  a great wrong in the world that must be righted.  His brothers in arms were of like mind.  So are those today who seal their pledge to us with their blood – whether it is shed or whether it still courses in their veins until their hearts cease beating.

Let us honor today, those who do this for us.  I know my father is in heaven looking down on me and smiling.  My American flag will be proudly displayed for Flag Day.  Thank you to our fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins, friends who protect us.

Happy Father’s Day.  Happy Flag Day.  Bless you all.

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