Detailing the Issues

by Robert Shanks

Another Memorial Day weekend, and another Santa Fe Trail Daze have come and gone and I have made some observations.

Memorial Day

As a member of the VFW Honor Guard, I noticed a real lack of thankfulness and patriotism; evidenced by the light attendence at the cemeteries.

However, the few people who did show up were very moved and thankful.

These services are mostly to say thank you to the families of the deceased veterans. Are we really thankful enough?

I was able to see Carrie Coble that Sunday; how great it was to see someone with so much pride and discipline.

Being out here in No man's land, we sometimes forget the sacrifice being made for us each day by our brave troops.

They sure don't do it for the pay; and it can't be for the praise of their countrymen, because they sure don't get much of that. Our service men and women who are currently serving and who have served in the past, did it for a much more important reason, (FREEDOM).


The freedom to bad-mouth our government, freedom to Monday Morning quarterback the decisions made by our leaders, and yes the freedom to attend a rodeo rather than paying our respects to our fallen heros and their families.

Where has the patriotism of 9/11 gone? I remember driving a truck all over the country in September of 2001. I saw flags waving and unity from coast-to-coast, and the sudden rise in church attendance with people looking for answers. Well now the flag-waving has nearly stopped and the church attendance has fallen to pre-attack numbers.

So just what will it take to get this all back again? Another 9/11? I hope not.


Santa Fe Trail Daze

Probably the most up-lifting part of the weekend for me was at Hee-haw, hearing Courtenay Shields sing the National Anthem. She sang it with so much heart, feeling and passion. She didn't try to re-do the song; she sang it the way it was supposed to be sung. It was very beautiful and up-lifting. Thank you Courtenay.


Ronald Reagan

Now to the death of my political hero, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

I remember some of the things he said in the past, like referring to the U.S.S.R. as “The Evil Empire.”

Or “Mr Gorbachav, tear down this wall.”

Or, “The bombing starts in 20 minutes.”

That man didn't take any junk from terrorists or other murderous nations. He stood firm; he loved his country and God.

He made us feel proud to be Americans again.

He asked in his re-election campaign “Are you better off now than four years ago?”

I say the whole world is a whole lot better off and more safe due to the eight years of service. We won the Cold War due to his vision and resolve. I do sometimes wonder where we would be if the nay-sayers had gotten their way in the 80s.

Do you remember? “Let's disarm.” “Let's mothball our fleet.” Let's pull out of foreign lands.” and “Destroy all our nukes?”

Reagan was the leader we needed to lead us away from the dark future that awaited us as a nation. Remember “Trust but verify.” or Peace through strength?”

In a speech on Nov. 5, 1995 President Reagan announced that he had Alzheimer's disease. In part of that speech he said,” “let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that my be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.

“I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.”

I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.”

“Thank you my friends. May God always bless you.”


Well, thank you President Reagan.



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