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Veterans & Military Commemoration


~~ Veteran & Military Commemoration ~~


Click on the Troops & American Flag (above) to see a touching video on the return of 19 Marines who lost their lives in a battle in the Gilbert Islands and were left in the care of the island natives until being returned to American Soil in 1999.  One of the men was the first Marine recipient of the Medal of Honor in WWII.

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Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" - Introduced for the first time by Kate Smith in 1940
The time was 1940, war was raging in Europe. America was deep in the throws of an economic depression and knew it was only a matter of time before we would be thrown into this war.  As today, it was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.  Frank Sinatra said that there was a million guys who got some dust in their eyes when they heard this song for the first time..... Please enjoy and may God Bless America.

Side Note: At 4:20 into the video, there is a young actor named Ronald Reagan sitting & reading the "Hollywood Variety".

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This video below was created by Lizzie Palmer when she was 15 years old. Have tissue ready... It is one of the most powerful videos .... well, you will see what I mean after viewing it!  God Bless Our Troops & the United States of America!

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Go to additional video created on VJ Day, August 14th, 1945 in Honolulu Hawaii.  This is a great piece of History. It was produced in Kodachrome

This was written by Richard Sullivan: "
65 years ago my dad shot this film along Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki, capturing spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender. Kodachrome 16mm film: God Bless Kodachrome right?. I was able to find an outfit (mymovietransfer.com) to do a much superior scan of this footage to what I had previously posted. So I re did this film and replaced the older version. There are more still images from this amazing day., in color, at www.discoveringhawaii.com"

Also see 15 WW II pictures, many from the attack on Pearl Harbor -
here .

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Military VA Loan Award
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Our Sedona Arizona Connection…

Select the Image below for the Sedona Military Service Park video


On Memorial Day of 2013 - The Sedona Military Service Park was dedication. All Sedona residents who were honorably discharged and have lived in the Sedona one year or more are eligible for an inscription onto the granite plaques. The Sedona Military Service Park is named the “Jack Jamesen Memorial Park”. You can find the Memorial right next to Bank of America at SR 89A and Northview Rd which intersects with Mountain Shadow Dr.

The Sperry Family Military History

Here are three very special family pictures.  I make it personal on special days such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day by pulling out these photos.  I am very proud to be the father of a Marine and the son of a decorated hero of WWII.  My father single handedly re-captured an American machine gun nest that had been abandoned and taken over by the Germans.  For his bravery on the battlefield he received the
Bronze Star which my son Ryan (see picture below) proudly holds today.  Notice the close resemblance of my father and son in these two pictures

Please keep our Veterans, combat troops and all our Armed Forces in your thoughts and prayers every day.  To me, there is no greater privilege or honor than knowing someone who has served our country to protect the rights and freedoms of every American.

The third picture shows Ryan in his uniform heading to Riverside National Cemetery.  I wrote a story in my 'Everyday Journal' titled "Reflections On The Real Meaning Of Memorial Day".  This is story about the people who care for our military heros who have passed on. Combine this story with the story below of the "Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier" and a compelling picture of our selfless military and veteran volunteers will emerge.  These stories are a heartfelt read. 


Staff Sargent Raymond V. Sperry of the Century Combat Division - WW II Photo
Recipient of the Bronze Star
World War II Honoree



Ryan Sperry - Marines 2nd Division - Bahrain - October 14th, 2000



Ryan Sperry Department of Veteran Affairs, Grounds Crew for Riverside National Cemetery

Outstanding Aerial View of Riverside National Cemetery - This stemming video uses a Quad-copter to capture this video. See other aerial videos here.


Kiss Preforms in Iraq - This was filmed in Iraq at a USO Tour of a US Marine Base.


Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the bomb of the Unknown and why?

21 steps: It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 second for the same reason as answer number 1.

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder the entire walk , if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the Tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

They must commit 2 years of life to guard tone Tomb. Live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the Tomb in any way.

After 2 years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as Guard of the Tomb. there are presently only 400 worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. They are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full length mirror. The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft and Joe Lewis (the boxer). Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, Our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.
In God We Trust
A True Story....

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.
'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'
She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'
they thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'
'No, 'she said.
'Maybe it's our behavior.'
She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'
and so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon, television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks our of her room. The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk less classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven U.S Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one crying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how tithe right to at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these dest. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students and to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education Don't ever forget it.'

Our Soldiers past and present, deserve our heart-felt thanks and respect for their honorable service and sacrifice.

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Click on the candle to visit Rick's World special remembrance of our fallen heroes created for the 10th anniversary of the the attack on the World Trade Center in NYC on 9/11/2001.

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Remembering 9-11-01