Memorial Day Speech

Excerpts from Bill Rhoads' speech at The Oasis Veterans Club on Memorial Day, 2013 Veterans have been my heroes since I was a young child during WWII. The first veteran I remember was a cousin who had been wounded as a tail gunner on missions over Germany. He was an awesome sight in his uniform with his arm in a sling and walked with a cane. I knew this was a good man. I was 4 - 5 years old and I was hooked. I joined the US Army when I was 17. Our country owes veterans more than can ever be paid. From the Revolutionary War thru Afghanistan, not only have veterans fought for our freedom and way of life, but they have influenced our lives on a daily basis. Veterans woven into the fabric of our society make it strong, make it real, make it more patriotic, honest and good. Veterans influence our morality. People are changed in a positive way when they pause, on days like today, to realize the sacrifices veterans have made for us and our country. Veterans, you contribute in more ways to this society than we will ever fully know. "If you're a veteran, be proud. If you know a veteran, be proud". We also realize that not all veterans are good guys all the time. Some get in trouble. Many have problems because of war. War does awful and different things to different people. There is no good war. Peace is good! Wouldn't we all like to have Peace???? William Saphire, British Prime Minister in the 1800s, said this (paraphrased): "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will have peace." Jimi Hendrix put it in a song. Man has yet to learn this lesson and we still have war. Society will argue about every war - Is it justified? Is it necessary? Is it humane? Let me tell you this about our veterans. "You can question or doubt the value of the war, but you can never question or doubt the value of the warrior!" The American veteran has always done his or her duty and always will. They ask only to be remembered! That is one reason I wrote this song which I'm singing today. (See Lyrics & Download under MUSIC for Remember Me, The Fallen Soldier). Thank you veterans!! I know a man in Sun City who says God has spoken to him - out loud and very clear. He was told to pass a message on to "those who would hear". I don't pretend to know what God had in mind, but I believe it has to do with the division in our country. If our Founding Fathers had been as divided as our current politicians, and not been able to agree, I don't believe we would have a country. Let us not forget this universal truth: Christ said "a house divided against itself cannot stand" (Mark 3:25). Abraham Lincoln used this in a speech concerning slavery in 1858. I ask you to think about who benefits from our division. I believe it's our enemies - those who would tear down our country and our way of life. Here's the message: "The United States will soon face great trials and struggles that will threaten our existence. We will come through alright if we adhere to the Golden Rule." I hope you will hear this message, act on it, and pass it on! Fifty years ago Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. It is starting to come true. I think it's time to add another dream. Let us learn to live by the Golden Rule in Peace and Harmony with God and man. May God bless America. The man from Sun City who heard the message? That man is me...... Since delivering this speech, Bill also wrote the song, God's Golden Rule, Pass It On under MUSIC. It's a free download.

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