The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

USS New York built with steel from the World Trade Center

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” General George S. Patton

A few Veterans Day thoughts:

3 verified veterans are left from the Big Red One.   All allies.  We win.

2,000 veterans of WWII die everyday. Go here to thank them (along with Korea & Vietnam vets) for their service.

Meet 5 Purdue students who put their lives and education on hold to serve their country.

Video for the neocom in all of us:

And one to make you cry:

“You called me strong, you called me weak,
But still your secrets I will keep
You took for granted all the times I
Never let you down
You stumbled in and bumped your head, if
Not for me then you would be dead
I picked you up and put you back
On solid ground
If I go crazy then will you still
Call me Superman
If I’m alive and well, will you be
There holding my hand
I’ll keep you by my side with my
Superhuman might

Kryptonite – 4 Doors Down

Show your thanks:

“Homes for our Troops assists severely injured Servicemen and Servicewomen and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor then coordinates the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently. The homes provided by Homes for Our Troops are given at NO COST to the Veterans we serve.”


Project Valour-IT raises funds for special laptops and other IT equipment for wounded warriors.

Taking Chance is a moving tribute to the men and women who serve, sacrifice and die to protect our great country.

To all veterans…thank you.



Project 2,996 – Alexis Leduc

Most of us know the names (or at least the faces) of the 9-11 murderers. Today, we shed some light on the victims.

Alexis Leduc, 45, was a maintenance supervisor for Franklin Templeton Investments.  He worked on the 97th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center.

Alexis was born into poverty in Puerto Rico.  He created a comfortable, stable and loving home here in Bronx, NY with his wife Isa and children Adolfo, Cindy, Elvis & Alexia.  Alexis’ legacy book site reflects the love and respect of his co-workers and neighbors.  Alexia writes a heartbreaking letter to her father every year.

Alexis loved collecting antique cars, baseball cards, Spawn figurines and McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.

Here is the New York Times portrait of Alexis Leduc from December 2001.

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Being schooled

In 1988 Ronald Reagan spoke to students via C-Span.  His words of wisdom are worth repeating:

“By renewing our commitment to the original values of the American Revolution and to the principles of  “We the People,” we can best preserve our liberty and expand the progress of freedom in the world, which is the purpose for which America was founded. Here, on a continent nestled between two oceans, our country is unique in the world. We have drawn our people from virtually every other nation on Earth, and what we’ve created here as Americans has touched every corner of the globe.

Here in the White House there’s a famous painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And it shows many of the great men of that time assembled in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. But when you look closely at the painting, you see that some of the figures in the hall are just outlines, waiting to be filled in, the faces have not yet been drawn. You see, this great painting isn’t finished. But what the people who gathered in Philadelphia two centuries ago set out to do is not yet finished, either. And that, I suppose, is why the painting is the way it is. America is not yet complete, and it’s up to each one of us to help complete it. And each one of you can place yourself in that painting. You can become one of the those immortal figures by helping to build and renew America.

And we’re entering one of the most exciting times in history, a time of unlimited possibilities, bounded only by the size of your imagination, the depth of your heart, and the character of your courage. More than two centuries of American history — the contributions of the millions of people who have come before us have been given to us as our birthright. All we can do to earn what we’ve received is to dream large dreams, to live lives of kindness, and to keep faith with the unfinished vision of the greatness and wonder of America.

Now it’s time for me to ask you for your questions, but first I’d like to ask you one: What are some of the things that you’re proudest of and some of the things that are best about America?”

Barack Obama’s speech on Tuesday also touched on a similar theme:

“No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country? “

America.  The land of opportunity.

How will you take advantage of all that she offers?

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