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Memorial Day, originally known as “Decoration Day” in the South, was established on May 5, 1868 by the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans. Envisioned as an opportunity for the nation to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead, General John Logan declared May 30th as the official date of commemoration, because flower gardens would be in bloom to supply bouquets to decorate the graves. The first Memorial Day ceremonies were held at Arlington National Cemetery as orphans from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home placed flowers on both Union and Confederate graves while reciting prayers and singing hymns.
Decoration Day may not mean much to people now, as it did to my past generations. Many today look forward to a three-day weekend, the opening of local pools, and retail store sales. The significance is not just remembering the military service and sacrifice of those who have died and passed away, it is in remembering how to honor the dead. Our task is to respect the fallen and pass that respect and deep sense of gratitude onto the generations that come after us, the generations that come after them and so on.
To honor those who died in that war many people in England wear a red poppy. The idea for wearing a poppy came from Lt. Col. John McCrae, a young Royal Canadian Army surgeon, who witnessed first hand the devastating cost of the war in Belgium. Expressing his anguish from the back of an ambulance, McCrae penned his poem, “In Flanders Fields,” in 1915. McCrae was killed in action in 1918, shortly before the war ended. The three stanzas of Flanders Fields charge us to hold their torch of duty and remembrance high:
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
We must never forget the sacrifices from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the War Between the States, World War I & II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Shield/Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan and on a thousand other battlefields around the world. The liberty, justice, and prosperity which generations of Americans enjoy come at a great cost. Liberty is purchased with the blood, sweat, and tears of our military veterans, particularly those who gave their lives in defense of our way of life. These precious freedoms are fragile and easily lost. May we always remember those who gave their last full measure of devotion for America this Memorial Day.
National Day of Prayer
May 2, 2013
Whereas, the Senate of the United States devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation:
And whereas, it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. –National Day of Prayer Proclamation, March 30, 1863
One hundred fifty years later, the sesquicentennial year after this proclamation was given, we convene again for the National Day of Prayer. The above words spoken so deliberately at a transitional time in our Nation’s history give us a roadmap for this year’s Day of Prayer. We have a duty—both national and individually to own our dependence upon Almighty God.
The State of Kentucky has fulfilled that duty this year in beating back the American Atheists lawsuit against the state’s Homeland Security Statute, which declared that the people of the Commonwealth are dependent upon Almighty God and His protection which is vital to the security of the state. Colonel Ron Ray along with First Principles Press and the Institute for Moral Law represented 35 Kentucky Senators and 96 State Representatives in defense of this historic and Constitutional reference to God. FPP continues to support and uphold the Declaration of Independence from which we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights, and over four hundred years of organic utterances of American statesmen, laws, and historic records affirming America’s dependence upon Almighty God for our safety and security.
This year we would request that our friends and supporters pray specifically for the freedom to pray for all Christians in the military. Obama appointed leaders in the Department of Defense have reached a new level of hostility in silencing our chaplains, and labeling Catholics and evangelicals as religious “extremists.” This week the Pentagon announced it would consult with an organization to develop “religious tolerance policies.” That organization has published statements identifying Christians as “gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans.” They accuse Christians of “spiritual rape,” “lust,” “tyranny,” and “treason.” This open hatred of Christianity is being propagated in the highest ranks of our military.
How far we have fallen from the honor and submission given by the men and women who founded the Colonies that would unite as the most powerful and blessed nation on earth! The Virginia charter reads,
We, greatly commending and graciously accepting of their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of His Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God…
And the Charter of Pennsylvania, written by William Penn, directed that Christian leaders would guide the affairs of the colony:
All persons living in this province, who confess and acknowledge the One Almighty and Eternal God to be the Creator, Upholder, and Ruler of the world, and that hold themselves obliged in conscience to live peaceably and justly in civil society, shall in no wise be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion or practice. And that all persons who also profess to believe in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, shall be capable to serve this government in any capacity, both legislatively or executively.
It is still the duty of all patriots on the National Day of Prayer “to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
The Army and Navy Service Book of 1917 gave inspiration to our servicemen during WWI, and gives us a prayer model to fulfill our duty to pray for our nation.
Teach me, O Master, the courage with which Thou didst face Thy every duty and trial, the consecration with which Thou didst make Thy every sacrifice, that heartened by Thy blessed example, I may never waver in duty, danger or sacrifice, but as a good soldier of the Cross be enabled the better to serve the Country that I love; Who livest and reignest, etc.  –Army and Navy Service Book, 1917
Let the sesquicentennial call to duty incite you to pray today. May the Lord, the Just Ruler of the Universe, grant us forgiveness and favor as we call on His name on the National Day of Prayer this year.
 Endowed By Their Creator. A Collection of Historic Military Prayers: 1774-Present. 2nd Edition., First Principles Press, 2013, p. 68.
A Christian Perspective and a Marine in Vietnam
Major Ronald D. Ray, USMC returned from Vietnam on March 21, 1968 with two Silver Stars and a Purple Heart. During his year tour, Ron lived and fought with the South Vietnamese Marines against the North Vietnamese Communists. America was in the midst of a Cold War against Communism and the enemy was engaged in Korea and Vietnam against this foe. Understanding Vietnam became a study for Ron. He came to the conclusion that the fight against Communism is ultimately a fight against materialism and a fight for God. God’s concept of Work is at the core of America’s system of Free Enterprise and is supported by Christian principles.
God ordained work and work ethics in the Garden of Eden. Adam was given the commission to till the Garden and name the animals (Genesis 1:27-30; 2:15-20). The 4th Commandment tells us that we shall labor for six days (Exodus 20:8-9). God gives instructions in Leviticus 25:3 for sowing the fields, pruning the vineyards and gathering the crops, assuring the people that if they follow His decrees and carefully obey His laws they will live safely in the land (Leviticus 25:18).
The writer of Proverbs refers the sluggard to the ant to learn how to work and store food at harvest so that poverty will not come on us (Proverbs 6:6-11). The same author instructs us to work at whatever our hands find to do in Ecclesiastes 9:10.
God’s concept of work carries over into the New Testament as related in the Parable of the Ten Pounds (a pound was about three months wages) (Luke 19:11-27). Don’t miss the part where the man did not put his money to work. His master took it away and gave it to the man who invested his saying; “That everyone which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him” (v. 26). Paul teaches us to give of ourselves fully to the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58), and to “serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” (Ephesians 6:7).
In order to be blameless children of God in a crooked and depraved generation, we must do everything without complaining or arguing (Philippians 2:14). We are to obey our employers by working hard and cheerfully, even when they are not looking (Colossians 3:22-25). Paul continues to drive home his work ethic in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13, calling those who do not work busybodies. He adds that they shall not eat, warning us to stay away from them. Paul gives Timothy guidelines for caring for the extended family, including those who have been widowed. If a man does not provide, especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith (1Timothy 5:8).
The most positive work ethic comes from 2 Timothy 2:15, 24; “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach and not resentful.”
All of our understanding of God’s economy, governmental order and family structure lies foundationally upon the process of transmitting the fruit of man’s labor from one generation to the next. America’s system of free enterprise is bound up in God’s design for man to work. Communism is a system devised by Man in direct opposition to God’s order. The following quotes provide an insight into the Communist view of God and His order:
- “Communism is based upon the granite foundation of materialism dedicated to the liquidation of religion. Communism leaves no room for religion.” The Lexicon of Atheism. Moscow, 1959
- “Marxism is materialism. As such it is with out mercy for religion. Every religious idea, every idea of God, even flirting with the idea of God is unutterable vileness.” Vladimir Lenin
- “Let us drive out the capitalists from earth and God from heaven.” Soviet Slogan
- “Our enemy is God. Hatred of God is the beginning of Wisdom.” The Philosophy of Communism, Fordham, 1952
- “In this revolution we will have to awaken the devil in the people, to stir up the basest passions.” Dzerjinskii, Paris, 1936
- “We do not fight against believers and not even against clergymen. We fight against God to snatch believers from Him.”Moscow Newspaper, 1975
- “The soundest strategy in war is to postpone final military operations until the moral degeneration of the enemy renders the mortal blow both possible and easy.” Karl Marx
Over the years since returning from Vietnam and fighting communists, Colonel Ron Ray struggled to come to terms with the great ironies of the war in Vietnam. He sought out an understanding of God’s law order by becoming a lawyer; he built the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Frankfort, Kentucky; and amassed an extensive collection of over 1,500 books and materials on Communism. Many of the books in his collection were written by witnesses in the second half of the 20th century. Over fifty years have passed and Colonel Ray now understands the fight and the ancient and deep divide between Communism and God’s Christian order. At FPP our goal is to preserve the truth of history to insure that following generations never lose sight of the Communist threat to America’s Free Enterprise system and God’s order for Work in the Kingdom on Earth.
A list of the books in the collection is available upon request. firstname.lastname@example.org
For more documents and more information on American History please visit the American History Restoration Project Archive.
A 1947 propaganda book published by the Catechetical Guild Educational Society warning of the dangers of a communist revolution.
The essence of the Communist movement is the belief that a Utopia can be constructed on earth, and that superior leadership will solve all human problems and enforce its solutions to the ignorant masses. The roots of communism are found in the 18th century in the Age of Reason, and in the 19th century in the Age of Science. These overarching philosophies gave us the delusion that human affairs can be continually improved through social, economic, and psychological knowledge.
John Locke championed the Age of Reason, connecting liberty to knowledge in complete denial of an evil nature within man. The French then forced a violent revolution, all in the name of reason. Karl Marx obliterated the existing order, replacing it with abstract ideas that were completely unhinged from reality. Revolutionaries were taught that terror and dictatorship are the means to be used for the end—the good of all humanity. The takeover of the state by idealists out of touch with reality must always lead to gross inhumanity.
Communism is a fatal attraction to those who are addicted to ideas. Ideas can be as exciting and stimulating as drugs. They rise out of the institutions of high learning which has no accountability to the truth or to reality. The communist believes so completely in the Utopia of the New World Order that he readily embraces mass suffering and murder to get to his ideal. The sacrifice made of millions of nameless, faceless, people are of little concern to the Utopian communist revolutionary. What is the loss of 20 million people in the 20th century to government extermination? It is the means to the Great Society where communists promise no poverty, no want, no crime, and no greed; and since it is the work of man, it is most important to the state that there is no God.
At the heart of communism is the rejection of evil. There is no “good and bad,” only winning and losing. It is embodied in the naiveté of a Jane Fonda embracing the North Vietnamese leaders who were torturing the POW defenders of freedom. It is the historic events of the Cold War that explain to us the extreme legislation, regulation, and centralized power of today’s American Government. If it is idealism unchained from truth, we are truly facing a power grab in the name of hope, in the name of change, and in the name of atheistic communism—a truth left unspoken lest the patriot be labeled conspirator, fanatic, or freak.
If we are to avoid becoming the next million sacrifices in the black book of Communism, we must read and understand the historic foundations of American liberty and the great infiltration of Communist ideology in the twentieth century. The state has a role in ordering society, but when the state has the power to define itself, it becomes an un-ruddered ship. Principled individuals who work to preserve liberty must limit the totalitarian government that is now powerful enough to propagandize the ignorant majority and place a communist ideologue in the White House. America no longer voices concern for the individual. The state will do whatever it takes to survive, and preserving the political power elite is its overriding concern—so much so that the President would declare publicly his intention to inflict the maximum amount of pain on the social structure. He chooses words and actions to create panic in the masses. Fear driven people will easily succumb to the demands to surrender individual liberty to the perceived need to be taken care of by the all powerful social order.
This is the story of today’s America, a rerun of the Cold War stories from Stalin’s Russia, the Weimar Republic, and the Nazi war machine. First Principles Cold War archive contains a multitude of anecdotal evidence of the success of communist revolutionaries in using deception, terror, genocide, and treason to ascend to power.