Posted by: Chief NavyTim | November 7, 2009

Silencing of the Mighty Guns

It has been some time since my last post, for those that followed the deployment to the heat and sand, you can understand my absence. As much as I intended on ‘sabbatical’ from the blogging world, a very troubling story arises which brings me back in. Somewhat fitting that this story about asking the USS Constitution to use “less powder’ or stop shooting all together, turn down the volume so to speak, of both the guns and colors with the National Anthem comes on the heels of the media version of Harry Potter and the Fort Hood murders.  Seems that just like we can not mention “he who shall not be named”, we can not use the terrorist word as that was stricken down from the Homeland Security Director – thus it obviously is a case of workplace violence.  Totally misunderstood.  It’s not like there were signs or anything

If the timing of this story with Old Ironsides were not enough with the murders, it comes days before Veteran’s Day.  What should be a day of remembrance, a day to honestly thank those who heard the call and answered their Nation.  However, a very disturbing trend lately has me realizing that many loose sight of what they have, and the freedom to truly live the way they want -thanks to those who have gone before us, and those who still to this day stand guard on what we chose to preserve.

Too many will walk around that day, not even noticing the date on the calendar, and when they do, the meaning of it.  Not until they see their calendar and notice the odd color of the day, or the notation designating a US Holiday while they then realize “oh, it’s veteran’s day” (lower case emphasized).  It originally was designated to observe the end of WWI, thus Armistice Day.  In 1954 Congress changed it’s designation and to this day is for honoring the near 25 million veterans.  Of course, these same folks that will forget the day are the same ones driving around with the yellow magnets showing their “support our troops” declaration.  I wonder how many eco-friendly cars in Charlestown have them on their trunks, owned by the same protesters for the the oldest commissioned vessel in our Fleet.

So where does that leave us?  Those still serving.  If we take the advice of one of those in the condo’s, we could just modify our standards:

On Sat and Sun, would you be open to eliminating or delaying the morning salute to say 9am?”

Sure, forget tradition.  Forget all those that went before us, and just make it 9am. Heck, let do colors at noon.  Why not?  There really is no more enemy – we’ve already established that from here on out we are dealing with man made disasters. Perhaps we should all just  pack up, go home, turn over the guard, and wish us all the best.  Let’s face it, I missed the entire 6th grade of my son’s life last year while deployed for 13 months.  These condo folks must have it right; everyone loves us again – no more enemies.

What is often heard at a Navy retirement, my brothers and sisters in the Marines, Army, Air Force, and Coasties I am sure could modify to their liking; the message is the same – we stand the Watch.  What happens if we no longer do that?

Aye mates, for many years…

This Man stood the watch.

While some of us lay about our bunks at night sleeping…

This Man stood the watch.

While others were with their loved ones…

This Sailor stood the watch.

While others were attending school…

This Shipmate stood the watch.

And yes, even before many of us were born…

This Shipmate stood the watch.

As our families watched the storm clouds of war, brewing on the horizons of history…

He stood the watch.

Though he saw his family ashore, often needing his guidance…

he knew he must stay…

Because he had the watch.

You silence the guns, you stop our traditions, and you create feel-good terms and think you will still wake-up to the land you love (ok, the land that you presently occupy and  do what you want)?  We serve so that you may enjoy the freedoms that you have.  We don’t do it for recognition, we don’t do it for the medals, the plaques, the money – we swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.  Of course, just knowing that verbatim make us a mobster in some eyes, but we don’t worry.  We stand the watch.  We will die before someone comes over here and tells our children how they will have to live their lives.

We have pride.  We have tradition.  We have standards.  Our colors do no run, and neither do we.  We know the history of where we have been, and will not forget who was before us, and those still with us.

Of course, one thing those in the condos should also remember – we have pretty good aim also, and if the guns get silenced, I hope the final salvo clears all powder in the mags.  Wait, did I just say that out loud ?

We have your back Old Ironsides…

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