Posted by Bob DeMotte in Canada Free Press

4 February 2013

For many adults, the pains of childhood create an impenetrably thick fog. I once felt that having an near-eidetic memory was a blessing. As the years have passed, however, it has become a curse. 

One day, in the winter of 1944, I sat with my mother in a darkened movie theater. At some point, the film was interrupted by what was then called Movie-Tone News. Back in those days, movies had intermissions. 

I distinctly remember a frightening scene in that black and white news segment, of a war ship sinking. The announcer’s voice rambled on about the terrible loss of American sailors. My mother held me close as if to shield me from that horror. 

During those dark days, I remember that we had to cover our windows each night with black cloth. Then candles were lit. Americans living along the East and West coasts were forbidden the use of electric lights at night for fear that an enemy submarine might see it. It was all so far beyond a small boy’s understanding. But, I can easily recall the days of joy when that War was over. 

I was soon a boy of eight. I remember warm summer days when I’d lie in a wild strawberry patch, in a field behind our house. Dragons and flowers drifted back and forth in the billowing, while clouds. Occasionally, a large four-engine DC-6 airliner would reshape a bear or dandelion. Those big planes were headed off to dreamland. I longed to be up there, watching that innocent little boy eating strawberries. 

All too soon, I was forced to grow up. My mother got sick and became bedridden most of the time. I had to run errands, rub her back, and do all the other parental things few children are asked to do at that age. Before school and each evening, I fed our farm animals. 

In the spring of 1951, I was an active boy of eleven. Our class had just returned from a school trip to the Statue of Liberty, and a few other less memorable sites in New York City. Crossing the street in front of our bus, I was hit by a drunk driver. I was so dead that, upon admission to a hospital, I vividly remember watching from above as doctor’s worked on my body. I was told that I was unconscious for fifteen hours. 

Weeks later, I was able to finish Sixth Grade, but my mother was now in the hospital. It was a long summer. In late August, she died. As she lay in that casket I stared at her lifeless body, silently wishing that she would lift just one of her fingers. Just one, to let me know she wasn’t like the rats I’d shot with my .22 rifle, out in the barn. 

Innumerable nights were spent staring out my bedroom window into the night sky. When I saw what I believed to be a star twinkling more than all the others, I’d go back to bed knowing that my mother was watching over me. 

In the middle of my junior year in high school, I began taking flying lessons. I soloed in a beautiful yellow J-3, after just six hours. As I climbed in the cockpit on that cold January day, my flight instructor said, “Don’t go above 2,500 feet and not more than a few miles from the airport.” That was all the encouragement I needed. When I buckled the seat belt between those huge wings, I began to feel that freedom was but a grass-strip away.  

The airfield was several miles out of town, but as my ticket to freedom raced down the runway, I knew my destination. Within no time, I was surveying the familiar countryside at 5,000 feet. God, this was heaven. There was the cemetery where my grandparents lie buried; there’s the road I run every afternoon as I practice for cross-country. 

Soon, I was circling my favorite aunt’s farm. She was the one who listened to my feelings in those dark years after my mother’s death. I was magically pulled there by the distant smell of her pies, made especially for me. Our lunch-time love of Stella Dallas was often interrupted as she asked me to pull weeds around her rose bushes or to mow the lawn. 

Two weeks after graduation, I loaded my meager belongings into my 1953 Plymouth, and escaped the horrors of my first seventeen years. I didn’t know if I’d make it, but I was headed for San Francisco. If the country had been a thousand miles wider, I would have pushed onward. 

Not long after arriving in the City by the Bay, my wandering spirit hitchhiked back and forth across this great land five times. I had incredible adventures as I was picked up by old women, Mexican families migrating across Nevada with their pet chickens, a Calgary businessman who’d gone to Detroit to pick up his brand new ’59 Ford convertible, and so many farmers heading to town. My longest walk was in the middle of the night, between South Lake Tahoe and Reno. A frigid, full moon glistened across snowy fields. I recited The Night Before Christmas over and over to fend off the cold night air. Somewhere south of Reno, a couple of drunks picked me up. Several scary laughs later, we made it to Harrah’s Casino.

I crisscrossed the United States of America, visiting as many national monuments as I could. My eyes filled with tears more than a few times as I stood overlooking Little Big Horn, the Alamo, Gettysburg, Arlington Cemetery, Mt. Rushmore, and the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. I quickly inherited a heart-pounding sense of pride in my country, and the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. I was free to do what people in other countries could only dream of doing, if it ever crossed their minds at all. 

In the ensuing sixty-plus years since those days, I never lost those feelings. So many memories echo through my mind today, but the image that most inspires my national pride is a short black and white film of the Normandy Invasion. Of all the footage taken during the war, the 3-second clip that stands out is that solitary soldier falling face down just after he touched the sand. Only one of 4,500 Americans whose lives ended that day, he died for my flag, my memories, and my freedom.

I’ve always stood up for the little guy. I guess that’s what mature people are supposed to do, having learned from the mistakes of others. As such, I’ve given testimony before state legislatures as well as city commissions. In addition, I’ve written hundreds of letters and newspaper columns, all in an effort to thwart the greed and selfishness of the power-hungry. 

As a parent, I taught my kids to be the best they could be; to work hard for what they have, to be honest in their relationships, to pay their bills, and learn to love and be loved. 

Today, I am 80 years of age. This is, however, the saddest part of my life. It surpasses the loss of my mother, my once-perfect eyesight, my best friends’ deaths, my health, and yesterday’s dreams. 

The America I have been so proud of for all my years is now lost. Lost to a minority who have the need to be nurtured and provided for by something bigger than their own sense of self-respect, their immature lack of patriotism. They’ve sold their souls to those who will, in turn, lay the soul of America on the altar of an impotent United Nations, an International Court, a World Trade Organization, and the insidious Shariah Law. 

Today, I have lost my country. I pray in silence that my children and grandchildren will forgive me for not doing more to protect them. I, like so many others, once believed that America’s best would never let us down. I was wrong. I’m sorry for that. I have no respect for legislators who bow to evil power. This is not unlike the hoards who Seig Heiled a Satanic house painter eighty-five years ago. Within a few years of promising “hope and change,” his country lay in ruin. 

Those brave men who died by the thousands on Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Solomon Islands, Pork Chop Hill, Gettysburg and Trenton, must be rolling over in their coffins. It was for nothing, America. It was all for nothing. My cursed foresight sees an America which will soon witness an alarming increase in murder, suicide, divorce, crime, alcohol and drug abuse as never envisioned. Red Dawn will no longer be just a movie. 

The great numbers who will now swarm and fight for a chance to suckle on the breast of political promises will result in an economic depression far deeper than that in the 1930’s. I predict a huge separation of the races, of those who have and those who have not, of those who wish to thrive and those only wishing to survive. I see walls around great communities with guards to protect the freedom of those within. I see animals beyond, devouring one another. 

My one great sorrow is that I have lived to see this day. At least, I have sweet memories of a strawberry field, Stella Dallas, and a big yellow J-3. Today, I feel like a man without a country.

I beg those who still have the spirit of patriotism to rise up and challenge even the smallest instance of unlawful power. Go to rallies, and stand up for those who gave their all, providing you with the freedom to STAND UP

While I wrote this in 2013, little has changed. Congressional males and females—those who don’t even deserve to known as men or women— are selling their souls for power and money! We can only hope that, come November, those who still feel a sense of pride in the word PATRIOTISM will honor those who died for your opportunity to still vote! Be an American, for God’s sake!!!!!

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