Monday, 31 May 2021
The History of Memorial Day: 7 Patriotic Facts Every American Should Know
The holiday is about much more than a three-day weekend.
By Emily VanSchmus Updated March 29, 2021
It's easy to associate Memorial Day weekend with weekend barbecues and lake trips, but the holiday is about far more. Memorial Day, which has been a national holiday since 1868, is dedicated to the men and women who have died while serving in a branch of the United States military.
And since social distancing measures may prohibit your traditional Memorial Day activities like remembrance parades or placing flags at gravesites, this year is the perfect time to learn about the origins of the holiday from home. Take some time to learn about the history of Memorial Day and reflect on the sacrifices made by military members
When Is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day 2021 is Monday, May 31. From 1868 to 1970, Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 (regardless of what day of the week it fell on), but since 1971, the holiday has been celebrated on the last Monday of May.
Memorial Day vs. Veteran's Day
Memorial Day is commonly mixed up with other military holidays observed in the United States. So, what's the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Memorial Day observes those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, while Veterans Day, celebrated annually on November 11, honors those who have served or are serving. Armed Forces Day (celebrated on the third Saturday in May) celebrates those who are currently serving in a branch of the military.
How to Celebrate Memorial Day
While Memorial Day barbecues, lake days, and camping trips are common activities for the three-day weekend, make sure you're celebrating the holiday respectfully. Before you fire up the grill, volunteer to place miniature American flags ($8 for 25 flags, Amazon) at military gravesites or in local parks. If you have a flag pole, be sure to fly your flag at half-mast on the holiday as well.
Here are seven more facts you may not know about the history of Memorial Day.
1. Memorial Day Was Unofficially Started by Women
Before the Civil War ended, women's groups got together to decorate the graves of the soldiers who had passed away. On April 12, 1886, the Columbus Ladies Memorial Association in Columbus, Georgia, announced they would dedicate one day a year to decorating graves as a way to remember fallen soldiers. This was one of many events put on by local Ladies Memorial Associations that eventually led to the federal holiday.
2It Was Originally Called Decoration Day
The holiday wasn’t called Memorial Day until 1971: Before that, it was known as Decoration Day. The very first Decoration Day was celebrated on May 30, 1868, as the future president James A. Garfield gave a remembrance speech to thousands of onlookers at Arlington National Cemetery. Over the years, the day began to be referred to as Memorial Day, and for consistency’s sake, it was nationally re-named in 1971.
3It Wasn’t a Federal Holiday Until 1971
In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which proclaimed that Memorial Day would be celebrated on the last Monday each May and gave all federal employees the day off of work. But it wasn’t named an official federal holiday until 1971, more than 100 years after the end of the Civil War.
4Newly Freed Slaves Held One of the First Memorial Day Celebrations
One of the very first Memorial Day celebrations on record was held by newly freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. On May 1, 1865, freed slaves gathered with members of the U.S. Colored Troops to bury and honor fallen Union soldiers. A crowd of 10,000 people formed a parade around an old race track, where they sang hymns and decorated graves.
5Memorial Day includes a National Moment of Remembrance
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the National Moment of Remembrance Act, which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 2000. The act asks all Americans to observe a national moment of remembrance at 3:00 p.m. local time on the afternoon of Memorial Day.
6Flags Are to be Flown at Half-Mast Until Noon
You might think that the American flag should be flown at half-mast all day, but the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that the flag should be flown at half-staff “from sunrise until noon only, then raised briskly to the top of the staff until sunset, in honor of the nation’s battle heroes.” This goes for all flags on government buildings, grounds, and naval vessels, as well as flags flown by private citizens.
7Poppies Are a Symbol of Memorial Day
Poppies have long been used to remember fallen soldiers after the bright red flowers began to bloom on World War I battlefields following the end of the war. Originally a symbol used to honor British soldiers who died in World War I, the flower also became associated with Memorial Day in 1915 when Moina Michael, a Georgia teacher and wartime volunteer, penned the poem "We Shall Keep the Faith" as part of a campaign to make poppies a national symbol of remembrance.
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Posted on 05/31/2021 10:06 AM by Bobbie Patray
Wednesday, 26 May 2021
‘I Plan To Ignore It’: Tennessee Teachers Criticize Critical Race Theory Ban At Public Schools, Say It Will Harm Students
MARLO SAFICULTURE REPORTER
May 11, 20215:19 PM ET
Teachers at Tennessee public schools criticized the state’s ban on Critical Race Theory (CRT) instruction, saying it will hurt their ability to teach students about racism, Chalkbeat reported Monday.
The Tennessee General Assembly banned CRT instruction in early May, preventing schools from teaching students that an individual is inherently a racist or an oppressor because of their race, or that the U.S. is an inherently racist country, the Tennessean reported. Schools that do teach CRT could have funds withheld by the state.
Some teachers plan to continue teaching elements of CRT anyways, while others view the ban as harmful for students who need to be taught about subjects like racism based on the CRT framework because it helps develop critical thinking skills, Chalkbeat reported.
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet teaches students to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
Liz Jarvis, an English as a second language teacher at Cornerstone Prep in Memphis, said she plans to flout the law, which she said favors white children.
“To be frank, the bill will not make it harder for my personal classroom because I plan to ignore it,” Jarvis said, according to Chalkbeat.
“Who’s going to enforce it? This is a bill that viciously favors white children and ignores the needs of children of color. All the reported reasons I read that were given by the lawmakers were to protect the feelings of white children, with no thought or concern to what is best for society as a whole or for children of color,” she added.
Michael Pleasants, a substitute teacher at another Memphis public middle school, said that the bill’s wording doesn’t appear to prevent him from “teaching that redlining is racist, or many cops treat black people worse than white people.”
Travis Vaughn, a math teacher at LEAD Southeast High School in Nashville, said that most of his students face racism.
“Good teachers should be teaching the truth, which is that every system in the U.S. is built on racism and white supremacy,” Vaughn said, according to Chalkbeat.
Gabriel Ares, a social studies teacher at a Memphis public school said that the bill strengthens the idea that history and social studies “should consist of arbitrary facts” without context, and that “facts alone do not hone [childrens’] critical thinking skills.”
Tennessee is one of multiple states to have pushed bans on CRT in 2021. Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill in May prohibiting public schools and universities from teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another” or that someone is “inherently racist, sexist or oppressive” because of their race or sex.
Oklahoma City School Board members also rebuked their state’s bill, with one member saying it was intended to “protect white fragility
The Oklahoma law was signed roughly two weeks after Idaho became the first state to prevent teachers or CRT facilitators from forcing students or other school staff to adopt the ideas in CRT.
Numerous public schools across the country have implemented CRT in their curricula. Buffalo Public Schools reportedly required kindergarten students to participate in a lesson on “racist police and state-sanctioned violence” which involved showing images of black children who have died.
At R.I. Meyerholz Elementary School, part of the Cupertino Union School District in San Jose, Calif., third-grade students were reportedly told to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities in order to understand “power and privilege.”
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Posted on 05/26/2021 3:59 PM by Bobbie Patray
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Commentary: Let’s Talk About the Children
May 21, 2021 Admin
by Don Barnett
According to U.S. government data, 717 “unaccompanied children” had been resettled in 2021 in Tennessee by the end of March. At the rate they are arriving, that number today is well over 1,000. Among states, Tennessee is the 8th most popular destination for placement of the minors.
Ask anyone what they hated most about Trump’s 4 years and it will most likely be something about “children in cages” or Trump’s “family separation policy.” Never mind that those families were offered the chance to return home and instead voluntarily accepted separation from their children who then – for those who claim to be under 18 – would fall into the official category of “unaccompanied children” (UC’s) and get the chance to stay. Never mind that many of the photos of “children in cages” were taken during the Obama administration or that Congress waited for 7 weeks to consider a request from the Trump White House to fund expanded space for the expanding waves of families and teen-aged border crossers caused by congressional policies. Yep, those pictures of children behind chain linked fences really did the trick. “Propaganda is disguised as news” as Stalin’s PR flack Willi Munzenberg liked to say.
The highest single year of UC entrants was during the Trump administration – 69,550 in 2019. Only the Covid border shutdown in 2020 prevented Trump from being the all-time most generous president when it comes to admitting unaccompanied children. That distinction will most likely go to the Biden administration. In March alone 18,890 UC’s crossed the border, the largest monthly number in history.
In post-911 legislation aimed at tightening security for Americans Congress liberalized many aspects of immigration policy. Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Congress transferred the care and custody of UC’s to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within DHHS from the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in order to move away from the adult detention model. In other words, when it comes to certain illegal border crossers under the age of 18, the Department of Homeland Security is no longer responsible for enforcing immigration law. Instead, these minors are to “be promptly placed in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child.”
When UC’s were treated like illegal border crossers, about 5,000 were apprehended annually. Predictably, under the post-911 model, the number for this advantaged category has rocketed skyward and annual admissions in the future will easily top 100,000 unless the Biden administration stops ignoring the problem.
In 2020 the children spent an average of 102 days in ORR care where they get “Routine medical and dental care, family planning services, including pregnancy tests and comprehensive information about and access to medical reproductive health services and emergency contraception, immunizations.” ORR oversees the “Administration of prescribed medications and special diets and appropriate mental health interventions.”
ORR requires that its contractors “maintain a written plan and periodic schedule for exposure to and participation in appropriate cultural events” calculated to ensure the “preservation of ethnic and religious heritage” of the UC’s. And you thought they were trying to leave their country of origin.
Though the UC’s do not have a permanent immigration status and “must eventually appear in immigration court – often 2 years down the road, most are here permanently one way or the other,” according to retired immigration judge Andrew Arthur.
ORR is responsible for finding permanent homes for the children and in recent years about half of the children have been placed with a presumed parent. According to a senior Border Patrol official, DNA testing is very rarely done to verify relationship. No forensic medical testing is done to verify age and border agents report many cases of older individuals getting in by claiming to be minors. Known gang tattoos are not a bar to entry.
Historically, about 15% go into the U.S. foster care system and the rest are placed with a presumed relative (again, as a rule, no DNA testing to confirm relationship).
This is quickly becoming a burden for states and, quite frankly, all of society.
Governor Lee signed on to a May 11 letter to the President with 19 other governors about the crisis at the border, referring specifically to UC’s and stating that the federal government has “circumvented our states altogether by asking private organizations and nonprofits to house unaccompanied migrant children…. Allowing the federal government to place a potentially unlimited number of unaccompanied migrant children into our states’ facilities for an unspecified length of time with almost zero transparency is unacceptable and unsustainable. We have neither the resources nor the obligation to solve the federal government’s problem and foot the bill for the consequences of this Administration’s misguided actions.”
If it continues, the influx will be two to three times greater than the average annual intake of refugees in Tennessee. The refugee program is another humanitarian federal immigration program which has “circumvented our states altogether” and which is run by profit making private organizations and nonprofits. Governor Lee did not support a lawsuit to recover the state costs to “foot the bill” of the federal refugee program. As part of his advocacy for immigration reform he may wish to consider a lawsuit to recover costs in the case of the UC’s.
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Don Barnett is a retired IT professional and freelance writer living in Williamson County.
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Posted on 05/25/2021 12:34 PM by Bobbie Patray
Monday, 24 May 2021
American Airlines Investigating Texas Pilot Who Criticized Critical Race Theory In His Local School
By Tim Pearce • May 18, 2021 DailyWire.com
American Airlines is investigating one of its pilots after he spoke out about critical race theory (CRT) being taught in his local school.
The airline chose to investigate Guy Midkiff, 62, after several social media accounts urged the company to audit Midkiff’s social media history. Midkiff is a resident of Southlake, Texas, who has flown for American for over three decades.
“We are troubled by the allegations made and have launched an investigation into the matter,” an American Airlines representative told the Dallas Morning News last week.
The debate over CRT has raged in Southlake for months, culminating earlier this month is a slew of landslide victories for Republican opponents to CRT to elected positions on the school board and into city offices. The margins of victory were massive, roughly 70% to 30% in each race.
CRT curriculum in Southlake’s Carroll Independent School District was the central issue throughout the election and generated huge interest in the community. The voter turnout for the elections was three times higher than that of years past.
Midkiff was a vocal critic of the school’s proposed CRT-inspired course, called the Cultural Competence Action Plan. Advocates of the proposal accused Midkiff of using his social media accounts, as well as the platform of a podcast he hosts, to harass people. Midkiff has hit back at his accusers, claiming that they are using “bully tactics” to silence him.
Two groups who pushed for CRT to be implemented in the Carroll school district took their complaints about Midkiff to American Airlines over Twitter. The airline acknowledged to complaints and promised to review Midkiff’s social media history.
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Posted on 05/24/2021 3:52 PM by Bobbie Patray
Friday, 21 May 2021
$10M headed to groups helping permanent residents become U.S. citizens
by: Salvador Rivera
Posted: May 21, 2021 / 03:58 AM CDT / Updated: May 21, 2021 / 03:58 AM CDT
SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is providing up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.
The grants are open to organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for U.S. citizenship and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics.
USCIS is getting the money from Congress through appropriations.
“It is critical that we provide immigrants pursuing citizenship and the organizations who help support their efforts with the tools to be successful,” said Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas. “The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program helps those preparing to become U.S. citizens to successfully integrate into American society. This administration recognizes that naturalization is an important milestone in the civic integration of immigrants, and we will continue to provide support for individuals hoping to establish new citizenship in our country.”
Immigration groups launch $50 million effort for citizenship
According to USCIS, it seeks to expand availability of high-quality citizenship and integration services throughout the country under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program:
- Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services: This opportunity will fund public or nonprofit organizations that offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to lawful permanent residents. USCIS expects to award 33 organizations up to $250,000 each for two years through this opportunity. Applications are due by July 16, 2021.
- Refugee and Asylee Integration Services Program: This grant opportunity will provide extended integration services with a focus on individualized programming to former refugees and asylum seekers to attain the skills and knowledge required for successful citizenship. It will also provide other services that foster a sense of belonging and attachment to the United States. The program has expanded eligibility to include lawful permanent residents who were admitted or entered the United States as Cuban or Haitian entrants or individuals admitted on a Special Immigrant Visa. USCIS expects to award six public or nonprofit organizations with experience in serving refugees up to $300,000 each for a period of two years through this opportunity. Applicants must design an integration support program that provides a suite of services to program beneficiaries to promote long-term civic integration and citizenship. Applications are due by July 16, 2021.
Posted on 05/21/2021 7:28 AM by Bobbie Patray
Thursday, 20 May 2021
Ousted Space Force officer says he's been 'misportrayed', received 'thousands' of notes from troops
Lohmeier contends he was speaking out against extremist ideologies, based on a reported February memo from Secretary Austin.
A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Space Force who was relieved of his command told Fox News Digital on Monday he is being "misportrayed" online in regards to the comments about Marxism he made on a podcast earlier this month – and that he has received a private outpouring of support from fellow servicemembers.
Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier, formerly the commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora Colo., was ousted from his position last week; a development first reported by Military.com.
Lohmeier told Fox News he still retains his rank but has been reassigned within the Space Force. The controversy came following Lohmeier's appearance on the "Information Operation" podcast, wherein he promoted his new book, "Irresistible Revolution: Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military."
Lohmeier said there is an ongoing investigation into whether his remarks or actions have been politically partisan – a claim he fervently denies.
SPACE FORCE OFFICER LOST LEADERSHIP POST AFTER DENOUNCING CRITICAL RACE THEORY, MARXISM
"I don’t believe I was being partisan. It is not politically partisan to expose or attack critical race theory or Marxism," Lohmeier told Fox News Monday.
"The reason I say that is because Critical Race Theory and Marxism are antithetical to American values. Critical race theory fuels narratives that attack America's founding documents."
In that regard, Lohmeier said he is and was not attacking any political party or official.
"I'm being misportrayed online – I don't criticize any leader, or any person in the DoD (Department of Defense) or any elected officials – but I try to tee up ideas that I think are toxic," he said.
In February, Lohmeier said, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III issued guidance to every service member which asked them to "stand up for each other" and that every soldier "has a responsibility to say something when they see impermissible behavior."