Our Independence Day, The Fourth of July

Independence Day has always had special meaning to all Americans, a day that commemorates the birth of our nation. I often wonder, in unending amazement, about the courage and the selfless determination of those who gave so much for the freedoms we hold so dear today. This concept was driven like a spike through my being on the day I knelt down on the quiet shores of Omaha Beach; my back to the sea. The ocean was calm. Waves rippled gently washing ashore behind me as I looked up at the bunkers overgrown with vegetation, but still in place.

It is in this context that I would like to share a few moments with you taken from the pages of American History:

“My God!  How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826, the 3rd President of the United States. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence.

“It is easy to take liberty for granted when you have never had it taken from you.” M. Grundler

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790, an American Statesman

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country!” Nathan Hale 1755-1776.  Last words before being hanged by the British. He was 21.

“History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.” Dwight D. Eisenhower (1899-1969). Supreme Commander of Allied Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944. 34th President of the United States

In my own words and quoting from my book, Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America:

“Never forget that much of the hard work has already been done for us. The fertile soil of freedom has been nurtured by generations of Americans willing to sacrifice everything. From Bunker Hill, to Dorchester Heights, to D-Day, to Pointe du Hoc, and to Vietnam, and beyond—the broken hearts, the spilled blood and the endless tears… the price paid in full.”

The America I know cries out to the world with boundless energy, the desire to achieve something greater than personal acclaim or ambition… the American people attempt to leave the world a better place because we live by example. We put out the fires and free those who’ve never known freedom.

Please enjoy The Fourth and take a moment to give thanks to those, some long gone from this life, who sacrificed dearly to give us this day.

A Day to Give Thanks

Memorial Day always means so much to those in attendance as well as those unable to attend… We pay tribute to those who’ve come before us. We honor the veterans; we cherish the ceremonial speeches and the color guards, and look joyfully upon the children waving their flags. Memorial Day is a day filled with pride, a day to give thanks to those who have kept and continue to keep America safe and free. They join the ranks of those who stood tall on the Green at Lexington and the Bridge at Concord. America remains strong because of the courage of so few for so many. God Bless them all!

I didn’t want to leave!

I had the great pleasure of attending the College Club of Boston this past Thursday evening to enjoy a wonderful, “Riches to Rags, and Then Some!” presentation by the extremely versatile concert pianist, Virgina Eskin.
Ms. Eskin brought the best out of the Steinway as she played some of her favorite pieces including, “Deep River and Run, Mary Run,” by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, “Cat & Mouse,” by Aaron Copland, “Fluffy Ruffle Rag,” by Marian Davis, “Nola” by Felix Arndt, and “I Got Rhythm,” by George Gershwin… and many others from the age of Jazz to the classics.
A perfect evening with dinner, drinks and Virginia Eskin! I didn’t want to leave!

Don’t risk your future.

From the Alliance for Excellent Education:

“Every school day, almost seven thousand students become dropouts. Annually, that adds up to about 12 million students who will not graduate from high school with their peers as scheduled. Lacking a high school diploma, these individuals will be far more likely to spend their lives periodically unemployed, on government assistance, or cycling in and out of the prison system.” Issue Brief updated October, 2007.

Today in Miami (Reuters, May 18, 2012), we learn that nearly half of all Florida high school students failed the reading portion of the state’s new standardized test.

According to “The Silent Epidemic,” every 29 seconds another student gives up on school.

In my recently published memoir, “Ticket to Ride, the Promise of America,” (Seawall Books, Inc., Nov. 2010) written to my Army son in Iraq, I detailed for him my life growing up on the South Shore in Massachusetts. I explained why I revealed so much of my personal life, believing, as I do, it may serve the greater good.

If I can reach out personally and through my experiences, to the many young people faced with similar circumstances, they may find their lives have much greater meaning then they realize. The growing epidemic of high school and college dropouts across America is simply staggering – the emerging, “enemy from within,” – which if left unchecked, will continue to fuel the gathering storm of social unrest, threatening the very stability of our country.

Don’t risk your future … stay in school!

Recent Appearances, Grand Success

Special thanks to the Silver Seas Beach Club, Ft. Lauderdale, FL which hosted Don’s poolside book signing from February 13-18, 2012. Warm regards also to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale!

Our tour of Memphis included a wonderful appearance at the Booksellers at Laurelwood on March 16, and a three+ day signing schedule at the Memphis Marriott Downtown.

Next stop, back to Massachusetts for a very busy April with broadcast interviews and book signings.

Thoughts from Don…

On April 4, I will be presenting during “Author Night” at the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, Mass.

On April 7, I will be at  Hanson Public Library in Hanson, Mass from 1pm to 2:30pm. See you then!

Please tune in this Monday, April 30th when I will be interviewed by Senator Robert Hedlund on his popular radio program with airs on WATD Radio in Massachusetts!