Today the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag ...

 

 

We're trying out a new way to deliver the 'Beacon of Honor - Awakens Our Flag Moment of Reflection' on Instagram instead of this website.  

So, go to the Beacon of Honor Instagram page to view the daily reflections intended to make the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem more purposeful and meaningful.

 

 

 

 

 

SCROLL DOWN TO FIND REMINDERS FOR JUN 29 - JUL 4

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America (public domain picture)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us these dates, July 2nd to July 4th, the independence of the United States of America was established.  On July 2, John Adams led a committee that voted for independence without any opposing votes.  The committee already had a declaration document drafted, so on July 3rd and 4th they presented it to Congress for a vote.  The Declaration of Independence, ratified by Congress' votes on July 4th, proclaimed that the thirteen American colonies, which had been at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain for more than a year, were now independent sovereign states that formed a new nation - the United States of America.  

In which colonial city did Congress draft and ratify the Declaration of Independence?

 

The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today (or noticing our National Flag flying in the neighborhood this holiday weekend), think about and thank our founding fathers for having the courage to declare our independence - which they ultimately achieved by winning the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)..

 

 

 

The Twenty-sixth Amendment at the National Archives

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that on this date, July 1st of 1971, the 26th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified.  What voting right did this amendment put in place?  

 

The 26th Amendment to the US Constitution gave all citizens 18 years of age and older the right to vote.  This amendment was driven from proposal to ratification by the strength of student activism - politically active college age students asking (protesting to) their representatives in Congress to give them the right to vote.

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today (or noticing our National Flag flying in the neighborhood this holiday weekend), think about student activism and how it enabled this Amendment and continues to work today - even for Ms Wheeler's 6th graders who are actively changing the way schools are alerted to and properly honor half-staff days. 

 

 

Phelps: 1) atop Athens 2004 Olympic podium as National Anthem is played, 2) celebrating another victory at the Olympic pool, and 3) wearing his record 8 Olympic gold medals won at the 2008 Olympic games in China (credit: Boston Globe and Sohu.com 2008)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that on this date, June 30th of 1985, Michael Phelps, was born in Baltimore, Maryland.  He is the most decorated Olympian of all time - being awarded 22 medals in three Olympic Games.  He has stood atop the gold medal podium a record 18 times - each time proudly representing and honoring our country as our National Anthem played.  

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today (or noticing our National Flag flying in the neighborhood), think about how cool it would be to win an Olympic gold medal and stand atop the podium singing the National Anthem as our American Flag is raised and honored.

 

1955 map: The projected status of the Interstate Highway System in 1965 (public domain picture)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that on this date, June 29th of 1956, the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act was enacted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  It approved the construction of 41,000 miles of interstate highway over a 10-year period.  At the time, it was the largest public works project in American history.  

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today (or traveling this holiday weekend), think about the willpower, ingenuity, and hard work of the thousands upon thousands of Americans that helped build this incredible network of roads across the USA. 

U.S. troops in a landing craft approach Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944. (public domain picture)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that on this date, June 6th of 1944, Allied forces launched D-Day - the largest sea-to-land invasion in history.  The invasion, also known as the Battle of Normandy, had 155,000 tropps storming the beaches of Normandy, France.  The Allied soldiers broke through the German defenses that day and began their march to end the war.

 

One of our Beacon of Honor students, Piper, had a great grand-father who was part of D-Day.  You can see her story about him here.

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today, think about the D-Day soliders that sacrificed their lives in order to restore order and bring freedom back to the people of Europe.

[Content submitted by Teacher]

(photo by Sean Sweeney)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that this weekend, Memorial Day weekend, there will be thousands upon thousands of U.S. flags placed at the graves of our soldiers, sailors, airman, and Marines buried at our National cemeteries across the United States.  I highly recommend you visit a National Cemetery this weekend and/or volunteer to help place these flags and spend some time honoring and learning about our fallen military personnel.  Memorial Day was established to pay tribute to our military personnel killed in action - fighting for freedom.  Check-out this site to learn about those who have died fighting in our Global War On Terrorism ('GWOT' as some call it). 

 

  So, when you're singing and/or standing at attention with your hand over your heart during the playing of the National Anthem at a sporting event this summer, don't just daydream.  Listen to the words of the song, and picture in your mind our great country and the actions taken by our forefathers to keep our liberties.  

 

 

This picture of the inside of Redhouse School in Sudbury, MA is believed to be the schoolhouse mentioned in the rhyme. (photo by Dudesleeper at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that on this date, May 24th, in 1830, one of America's most famous poems, by Sarah Josepha Hale, was first published. It is believed to be based on a real event that happened at a schoolhouse in Sudbury, Massachusetts. 

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today, think about Sarah and all the American writers she represents.  American writers then, during the early days of our American history, and now, capture the imagination and spark the motivation of kids of all ages to read, write, learn, and entertain.

[Content submitted by teacher]

(public domain painting)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that on this date, May 23rd, in 1785, Ben Franklin wrote in a letter to a friend that he had invented bifocals - eyeglasses that have two different viewing lenses.  One lens on top to see far objects better and another lens on bottom to see close objects more clearly.  Many historians consider this to be one of the greatest inventions by our Founding Fathers.

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today, think about Ben Franklin and other American inventors.  The power of invention, what some call 'American ingenuity', continues to drive our citizens and nation today.  This is the same as the 'Creativity' of the 4Cs that you, as students, are pursuing and discovering each day in the classroom.

 

[Content submitted by teacher]

(public domain picture)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that on this date, May 20th, in 1927, Charles Lindbergh begins the world's first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in his plane named 'Spirit of St. Louis'.  He takes off from Long Island, New York at 7:52am and lands in Paris at 10:22pm the next day.

 

You can watch a short movie about this historic event here

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today, think about Charles Lindbergh and the innovators of America that have broken and continue to break new barriers today.  This is one of the traits that sets our nation apart and above all others.

 

[Content submitted by Colby]

a LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops (public domain picture)

  Today, the 'Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag' to remind us that on this date, May 19th, in 1943, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D Roosevelt set the date Monday May 1, 1944 for "D-Day".  D-Day was the largest sea-to-land invasion in history.  Due to bad weather in May of 1944, the D-Day attack on the beaches of Normandy, France, happened on June 6, 1944.  

One of my classmates, Piper, had a great grand-father who was part of D-Day.  You can see her story about him here.

 

  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today, think about this being Military Appreciation Month and those like Piper's grandfather who were part of the greatest invasion ever - one that spelled the end for the Nazis in World War II.

 

[Content submitted by Jaden]

Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, at 08:32 PST because photographers, some of who died from the explosion, captured it in real time (public domain pic)

  Today, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that on this date, May 18th, in 1980 Mount Saint Helens, a volcanic mountain in Washington, erupted.  It was the deadliest volcanic event in U.S. History.  57 people, many hikers and professional photographers, were killed near the mountain.

So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today think about America's natural beauty and the photographers who capture it and share it with us - some have even died doing that. 

 

Here's a video about this historic volcano eruption.

 

 

Denver Police Department Memorial (photo credit: Denver PD)

  In case you missed it, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that yesterday, May 15th, was Peace Officers Memorial Day.  A portion of the President's Proclamation to honor peace officers killed in the line of duty reads as such.

 

For generations, the brave women and men of our Nation's law enforcement have answered the call to serve and protect our communities.  Enduring long shifts in dangerous and unpredictable circumstances, our Nation's peace officers embody the courage and honor that represent the best of America.  On Peace Officers Memorial Day and during Police Week, we express our gratitude for the selfless public servants who wear the badge and put themselves in harm's way to keep us safe, and we pay respect for those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2016, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 15 through May 21, 2016, as Police Week.  I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  I also call on the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day.  I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.

 

So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today think about the peace officers you know or may have met, especially the ones protecting our schools.  Thank them for their service when you see them next. 

 

Change this Picture to ... Picture of the beacon cover art designed by Ms Wheeler's 6th grade students (Lexi, Christina and the BoH design team)

  The Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that today, May 13th, is a Never Forgotten Friday.  So, when stating the 'Pledge of Allegiance' today think about the patriot you wrote about in your Beacon of Honor patriot story.  Thanks to your efforts, they will never be forgotten. And, hopefully, your beacon deployment and patriot story will prompt kids at other schools to add their own patriot stories to their school's Beacon of Honor.

 

Mrs. Julie Sweeney (far left) and Mrs. Ellen Sweeney (middle) - were shining examples as military spouses

  The Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that today, May 6th, is Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  On this day we thank military spouses whose countless sacrifices to keep things strong on the homefront are overlooked.  While military personnel are away on deployment overseas, at war, or out on nearby military exercises, spouses are at home working, planning, shuttling, and caring for the family.  The many moves and tranisitions that are part of military life can only be successful with the hard work, diligence, and loving attention of mllitary spouses who are behind-the-scenes making it all look smooth.

So, if you know a current or former military spouse, thank them for their devoted service to our country.  For they, like their military servicemember in the family, have provided a valuable duty to us all.

 

 

  The Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that, on this Patriotic Women Wednesday, we should thank all 15 women of Ms. Wheeler's class (MacKenzie, Elena, Avery, Lexi, Ashley, Christina, Vienna, Anna, AK, Kate, Angela, Carly, Piper, Mrs. Boynton, and Ms. Wheeler), who took a risk, stood up for our flag, and helped their class create a project that is making more informed and inspired student-citizens at Heritage Elementary, across DCSD, and well beyond.  The hard, but really rewarding, work of teaching other schoool's students the value of this service is ahead, but I know you're up for the challenge and will exceed all expectations if you keep your heart in it.  Thanks for being extraordinary good citizen problem-solvers.

  The Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that today, May 3rd, is National Teacher Appreciation Day (and this week is National Teacher Appreciation Week).  So, do something special for your teacher(s) today and this week - write a thank you note, draw a picture of your favoirte moment with your teacher, give him / her a hug, tell them thank you, etc.. 

 

And, for Ms. Wheeler's class, when you state the Pledge of Allegiance today, think of fun, loving, patriotic Ms. Wheeler - who took a risk allowing Mr. Sweeney to start the Beacon of Honor project in her classroom.  Now, her civic-minded actions may reach 1000s to tens of 1000s  of students through YOUR class' passion and drive to enable their 'Beacon of Honor - Awakens Our Flag' project. 

 

Thanks you, Ms. Wheeler for being a bold, inspiring, and caring teacher.

 

  Military personnel representing the 5 branches of our U.S. Armed Forces have just marched on to the stage for 2016 NFL Draft opening ceremony National Anthem to remind us of the NFL's  'Salute to Service' program.  While the 'Star-spangled Banner' is sung by a US Army soldier, the camera pans on the NFL draftees on the stage. 

 

What is wrong in this picture? 

   I saw these 3 potential draft selections, and I believe a total of 5 out of about 25, not rendering proper honors and respect to the National Anthem and our U.S. Flag.  

While I don't believe they meant any harm or disrepect to the U.S. Flag and those it represents, they clearly don't know, and I bet 95% of America does not know that there are laws enacted by Congress to help us conduct properly Patriotic Customs. 

THIS IS A PROBLEM THAT YOUR 'BEACON OF HONOR - AWAKENS OUR FLAG' PROJECT CAN SIMPLY AND EFFECTIVELY HELP TO FIX. ;)

 

  The Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that we do a have 'Flag Laws and Regulations' within the 'United States Code', which contains the general and permanent laws of the United States.  The U.S Code, first enacted by Congress in 1926, has a set of laws for Patriotic Customs (U.S. Code Title 36, Chapter 10), and it states:

 

§171. National anthem; Star-Spangled Banner, conduct during playing

During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should render the military salute at the first note of the anthem and retain this position until the last note. When the flag is not displayed, those present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed there.
Note: A new law was passed on October 30, 2008 that authorizes veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem. This publication is currently being updated to reflect the new law.

 

§172. Pledge of Allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery

Image of people.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.", should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.

 

Excerpt from Section 176:  The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.

 

§177. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag

During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present except those in uniform should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. Those present in uniform should render the military salute. When not in uniform, men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Aliens should stand at attention. The salute to the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

 

   The Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that on this date in 1788 Maryland became the seventh state ot ratify the U.S. Constitution - which is the supreme law of our land establishing the structure of our government and bill of rights as U.S. citizens.

 

BoH challenge:  Where is Maryland and what is its capital?

Resurrection Catholic School (1982)

   The Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that today we combine celebrations for our Patriotic Women Wednesday with National Tell A Story Day by listening to a short story ...

 

Click here to listen.

John James Audubon 1826 (public domain picture)

   Today, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that today we celebrate National Audubon Day in honor of John James Audubon, who was born on this date in 1785.  Audubon was a French-American ornithologist (also known as a person who studies birds), naturalist, and painter who studied and illustrated American birds in their natural habitats.  His greatest work, a book called 'The Birds of America' that contained 435 hand-colored, life-sized prints of 497 North American bird species, is considered one of the greatest ornithological (bird) works ever written.  (courtesy of NationalDayCalendar.com)

 

So, grab some binoculars and a camera and see how many birds you can identify today.

 

Samantha Smith (center) visiting the USSR upon the invitation of General Secretary of the Central Committee of CPSU Yuri Andropov in all-Union Artek pioneer camp on July 1, 1983.

Today, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us on this date in 1983 American schoolgirl Samantha Smith is invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.

(courtesy of Wikipedia)

 

...This sounds familiar doesn't it?  You all have done a similar job of taking your concerns to the top.

Rocky Mountain National Park (photo by: Daniel Mayer)

Today, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that this week we should plan a trip to a National Park because President Obama has proclaimed this to be ‘National Park Week’.  I’m going to read an abbreviated version of his proclamation…

 

NATIONAL PARK WEEK, 2016
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - A PROCLAMATION


Our National Parks have allowed generations to discover history, nature, and wildlife in irreplaceable ways. From the highest peaks of Denali to the lowest dips of the Grand Canyon, families around our country enjoy the splendor of the outdoors. Throughout National Park Week, as we celebrate the ways in which our treasured outdoor spaces enrich our lives and uplift our spirits, the National Park Service will again offer free admission to America's National Parks so more people can explore our country's vast natural beauty.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 16 through April 24, 2016, as National Park Week. I encourage all Americans to visit their National Parks and be reminded of these unique blessings we share as a Nation.
Signed… BARACK OBAMA

 

(Courtesy: Whitehouse.gov)

 

Denver Mint Building - listed on the National Register of Historic Places (photo by: Nv8200p)

Today the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that on this date, April 21st, in 1862, Congress passed legislation establishing a U.S. Mint branch in Denver "exclusively for the coinage of gold."  Strangely, when the Denver Mint opened its doors in March of 1863, it did not produce gold coins as originally planned.  In fact, the Denver Mint did not strike its first coins until February of 1906.  Coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D mark.

(Courtesy: usmint.gov)

 

OKC bombing site (public domain picture)

Today the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that on this date, April 19th, in 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma city was destroyed by a car bomb. The bombing carried out by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, killed 168 people, including 19 children, injured more than 680 others, and damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius.  It was the worst terrorist attack in U.S. up to that point in time.  

(Courtesy: History Channel)

 

Artist drawing of the Battle of Lexington (public domain picture)

Today the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that on this date, April 19th, in 1775, our Revolutionary War against Great Britain began with an American victory in Concord during the Battles of Lexington and Concord.  Famous Patriots involved in these Battles just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, included John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere.  

 

So, when you state the Pledge of Allegiance think of and be thankful for the Patriots who boldly began America's fight for liberty on this day.

 

Artist drawing of Paul Revere's ride (public domain picture)

Today the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that on this date, April 18th, in 1775, occurred Paul Revere's ride.  Paul Revere was an American silversmithengraver, early industrialist, and a Patriot in theAmerican Revolution. He is best known for warning the Colonial militia (army) about the approaching British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord - the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.  

The importance of this day is sustained in Massachusetts with their celebration of Patriots' Day.  The biggest celebration of Patriots' Day is the Boston Marathon, which has been run every Patriots' Day since April 19, 1897.  Paul Revere's famous 'Midnight ride' is forever recalled in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" (1861).

PLAY VIDEO...

(courtesy of Wikipedia.org)

 

Shown in the presidential booth of Ford's Theatre, from left to right, are assassin John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Clara Harris, and Henry Rathbone. (public domain picture)

Today the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that on this date, April 14th, in 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is shot in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth

(courtesy of Wikipedia.org)

 

As a class, proclaim at least two presidential actions that President Lincoln took during his term in office that make him stand out as one of our greatest Presidents. 

Hint:  What brutal war occurred during his term in office?

Today, on our Patriotic Women Wednesday, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that yesterday President Obama made a proclamation that women should receive equal pay for equal work.  

Excerpts of his proclamation read as such...

 

Presidential Proclamation -- National Equal Pay Day, 2016

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Our Nation is built on the basic promise of a fair shot for all our people. Women in the United States still do not always receive equal pay for equal work. When women are paid less for doing the same jobs as men, it undermines our most fundamental beliefs as Americans. Every year, we mark how far into the new year women would have to work in order to earn the same as men did in the previous year, and on this day, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring equal pay for all.

Although small gains have been made in recent years, the typical woman working full-time, year-round earns only 79 cents for every dollar earned by the typical man, and women of color earn even less relative to the typical white, non-Hispanic man -- 60 cents on the dollar for the typical black woman and 55 cents on the dollar for the typical Hispanic woman. Women are increasingly the breadwinners of American households, and when they are not paid equally, or are underrepresented in certain higher-paying occupations, their ability to save for retirement is hindered and hardworking families face greater difficulty meeting their basic financial needs. Pay discrimination puts greater strain on families to cover costs like child care or health care, and it holds our economy back from achieving its full potential.

My Administration is dedicated to reaching a day in which all women are paid equally for their work. Our Nation has taken significant steps toward achieving pay equity over the last 7 years -- from the first piece of legislation I signed as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to challenge unequal pay.  I will continue to call on the Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act -- a commonsense measure that would bolster the ability of women to fight pay discrimination.

When all people know their country is invested in their success, we are all better off. Together, we must rid our society of the injustice that is pay discrimination and restore the promise that is the right of every American: the idea that with hard work, anyone can reach for their dreams and know no limits but the scope of their aspirations. On National Equal Pay Day, we renew our belief in equal pay for equal work, and we rededicate ourselves to building a future in which women are paid based on their merits.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 12, 2016, as National Equal Pay Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize the full value of women's skills and their significant contributions to the labor force, acknowledge the injustice of wage inequality, and join efforts to achieve equal pay.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

(courtesy of Whitehouse.gov)

 

 

 

Roosevelt signing declaration of war against Japan (left) on December 8 and against Germany (right) on December 11, 1941. (public domain pictures)

Today, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that on this day, April 12th, in 1945, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a  massive stroke (cerebral hemorrahage) while in office.  Not only did President Roosevelt suffer from paralysis due to polio, but he had high blood pressure and heart disease from his chain smoking.  President Roosevelt is viewed by many scholars as one of our top 3 Presidents for his accomplishments - along with Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  He steered our nation through the Great Depresssion of the 1930s, led the defeat of the Axis forces during World War II, and is the only President to have ever served more than two terms.  He was elected to office four times, but did not finish his fourth term.  Upon Roosevelt's death, Vice President Harry Truman became President.  

 

 

 

(courtesy of Wikipedia.org and the Constitution Center)

 

 

 

 

Confederate General Robert E. Lee in uniform in 1864 (public domain picture)

Today, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us of a historical event anniversary that occurred this past weekend.  On April 9, 1865, at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to General Ulysses S. Grant - effectively ending the Civil War.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps dog Lucca receives the Dickin Medal for gallantry during her six-year career, with her owner, Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Willingham, at the Wellington Barracks, London. (Photo: David Tett/PDSA)

Today, the Beacon of Honor Awakens Our Flag to remind us that earlier this week, a US Marine Corps dog who lost her leg in Afghanistan was awarded the Dickin Medal for gallantry.  

 

Listen to the story of her heroic actions.

 

A bomb-sniffing German shepherd who lost her leg while protecting allied soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan was honored with the prestigious Dickin Medal — considered the animal equivalent of the British Victoria Cross and USA's Medal of Honor — for protecting the lives of thousands of allied troops during six years of active service in the Middle East. She completed more than 400 missions, and there were no human casualties on her patrols.

On March 23, 2012, Lucca lost her front left leg and suffered burns to her chest, neck and head while searching for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan. Ahead of a foot patrol, she found a weapons cache hidden in a haystack in a poppy field and later discovered a 30-pound IED, which was cleared. But a second IED went off when she was looking for additional dangers in their way. No soldiers were injured in the explosion.

“The explosion was huge, and I immediately feared the worst for Lucca. I ran to her and saw her struggling to get up. I picked her up and ran to the shelter of a nearby tree line; applied a tourniquet to her injured leg and called the medics to collect us,” her handler, Cpl. Juan Rodriguez, said in a news release.

Lucca was evacuated to Germany and then to Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base in California, where her recovery was completed. Rodriguez stayed by her side throughout the entire recovery, saying she had saved his life many times so he had to be there for her.

According to PDSA, she was walking again within 10 days of the blast and now lives in California with Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham, who had trained Lucca and served with her during two tours in Iraq. He credits Lucca with being the only reason he was able to return home to his family and said she helped boost the troops’ morale.

“In between missions, I took the searching harness off and let her play and interact with the troops,” Willingham said in the release. “Due to her personality, demeanor and proficiency as a search dog, Lucca made friends wherever she went. Today, I do my best to keep her spoiled in her well-deserved retirement.”

(courtesy of Michael Walsh of Yahoo! News)

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