Veterans Day alone doesn’t do the members of our armed services justice, especially considering stories like that of legendary United States Marine John Ripley.
Ripley spent 35 years of his life in the armed services, enduring two tours in Vietnam after which he was awarded two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. However, Ripley is most remembered for the time he blew up a 200-meter-bridge by himself, single-handedly saving the lives of hundreds others. He attributes the unbelievable act to two people: God and his mother.
On Easter Sunday, April 2, 1972, an entire North Vietnamese army was preparing an attack on a group of 600 marines when Marine Corps Captain John Ripley felt the need to go beyond the call of duty. The only thing that stood between the hundreds of Marines he was embedded with and certain death was a bridge and, despite being advised against it, Ripley blew that bridge all by himself.
Knowing that his chances of survival were near zero, Captain Ripley grabbed 40 pounds of explosives and got to work climbing hand-over-hand across the bridge with his body suspended below. Ripley monkey-barred his way across the bridge, placing charges along the way while the enemy fired shots at him from across the river the entire time. He pushed his body beyond its limits as he continued to work, chanting “Jesus, Mary, get me there” to keep himself from giving in.
Ripley made five trips back-and-forth under the bridge to get the job done and set the timer to blow the thing, expecting it to explode before he made it back to the other side. Somehow, Ripley was able to climb all the way back to the other side with just moments to spare, because as soon as he started running away the bombs began to explode. He had successfully blown the bridge and escaped with his life, saving hundreds of lives in the process.
Ripley retired as a legendary Colonel after 35 years of service, but he didn’t stop there. He went on to teach at the Naval Academy, train Naval officers at the Virginia Military Institute, and play a huge role in the establishment of the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico. He is undoubtedly one of the most badass Marines to ever live and will never be forgotten.
We need real heroes for perspective when it comes to the likes of Boss Hogg and other proregressives promoted by the media for their heroism.
Semper Fi, Jeff.
In the spring and summer of 1943 in Amsterdam, Johan van Hulst was at the center of a daring scheme to save Jewish children from being sent to a concentration camp.
The children — from infants to 12-year-olds — had been taken from their parents at a deportation center and brought by nursery workers to a nursery next to the teachers’ college where Mr. van Hulst was the principal.
The rescue plan was simple but risky: the children were surreptitiously handed over a hedge between the nursery and the college and hidden in a classroom until they could be smuggled to the countryside by Dutch Resistance groups.
Mr. van Hulst is credited with helping to rescue as many as 600 children, yet he was haunted by what he could not do. With up to 100 children still in the nursery as it was about to be shut down that September, Mr. van Hulst was asked how many more he could smuggle out.
“That was the most difficult day of my life,” he told Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance center in Jerusalem, which in 1972 named him one of the Righteous Among the Nations, a designation for non-Jews who rescued Jews. He is one of 5,595 Dutch people given the honor. Continue reading the main story
“You realize that you cannot possibly take all the children with you,” he said. “You know for a fact that the children you leave behind are going to die. I took 12 with me. Later on, I asked myself, ‘Why not 13?’ ”
Nearly 70 years later, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel visited the Netherlands in 2012, he met Mr. van Hulst and told him: “We say those who save one life saves a universe. You saved hundreds of universes.”
Mr. van Hulst died on March 22 in Amsterdam, the Dutch Senate announced. He was 107.
Mr. van Hulst started teaching at the Reformed Teachers’ Training College in 1938. Two years later, he was named deputy principal. But after the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands began in May 1940, the school came under great financial pressure. The Dutch government eliminated a subsidy for teachers’ salaries, seemingly dooming the school to closing.
But Mr. van Hulst came up with a plan to ask the students’ parents to fund the school, and it succeeded, saving the school and helping him rise to principal.
When Germany invaded the Netherlands, there were about 140,000 Jews, and by September 1944, more than 100,000 of them had been sent to concentration camps, according to Yad Vashem. Jews from Amsterdam were taken to the transit camp in Westerbork, in the Netherlands, before being transported to Nazi extermination centers in Poland like Auschwitz.
The teachers’ college represented one side of the children’s rescue triangle. The deportation center — a former theater — was managed by Walter Süskind, a German refugee. The nursery was run by Henriëtte Pimentel, who asked Mr. van Hulst to let the children play in the college’s garden and take naps in a classroom. Then, as the plan took hold, the children were whisked to safety.
The plan necessitated deception — and led to difficult conversations with parents whose children had been wrested from them.
“Süskind’s role was to let the children disappear from the lists,” Bart Wallet, a historian at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, wrote in an email, referring to the administrative records he altered to help save the children.
Ms. Pimentel, he added, “convinced the parents to let their children be smuggled out. Van Hulst was the one who did the actual smuggling — of course, together with his team of students and fellow resistance workers.”
To avoid suspicion, Mr. van Hulst sent only a few children at a time to safety; not all of them at any given time in the nursery could be saved.
“We had to make a choice,” he told the Dutch broadcaster NOS last year, “and one of the most horrible things was to make a choice.”
Emile Schrijver, general director of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam, said in an email that Mr. van Hulst had demonstrated that “we all have a choice to do the right thing at any time; even in times of enormous trouble; he used the power of disruption; disruption of an evil system and of the arrogance it entailed.”
The teachers’ college where Mr. van Hulst was the principal is now the National Holocaust Museum.
Johan Wilhelm van Hulst was born on Jan. 28, 1911, in Amsterdam, to Gerrit van Hulst, a furniture upholsterer, and the former Geertruida C. Hofman. His education included master’s degrees in psychology and pedagogy from Vrije Universiteit and a Ph.D. in humanities there.
After the war, he continued to teach but also entered politics, serving in the Dutch Senate and the European Parliament.
He was also an accomplished chess player and the chairman of a chess club in Amsterdam. When Jewish members faced restrictions from the Germans, he told the website Chess Vibes in 2010, “we decided to secretly play at their houses instead of at the club.”
“Later this had to stop as well,” he said.
He is survived by his daughters, Diane Schoonemann-van Hulst and Catherine Koot-van Hulst; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His wife, the former Anna Janette Donker, died in 2006.
Mr. van Hulst was interviewed frequently about his wartime activities but was modest in assessing them.
“I was at the center of a particular activity,” he told the Dutch newspaper Het Parool two years ago. “It’s not about me. I don’t want to put myself in the foreground or play Resistance hero. All I really think about is the things I couldn’t do — the few thousand children I wasn’t able to save.”
That's why I and others post these stories.
No Enemy Ever Wronged Me, Whom I Have Not Repaid, In Full
Ammoland Inc. Posted on April 11, 2018 by Ammoland
Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- The “Grass Crown”
“You slick talking-heads may preach, preen, and prattle, but you're damn well not here in the thick of the battle.” ~ Russ Vaughn, 2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
The seldom-mentioned “Grass Crown” (AKA: “Blockade Crown,” Latin: “corona graminea” or “corona obsidionalis”) was the highest and rarest of all military decorations within the Roman Empire.
Similar to our Congressional Medal of Honor, but it was conferred only upon a general whose actions saved a Legion, sometimes an entire army.
A general who broke a blockade, or in a situation of extreme desperation, ingeniously outsmarted a strong enemy, might be considered for this prestigious award, but generals were never allowed to confer the Crown upon themselves. There had to be unanimous consensus among those from lower ranks. It was graciously presented to the general by the army he saved!
The Crown itself was not ornate. It was humbly fashioned from grass recovered from the battlefield, and included flowers and cereal grains. None physically survive to this day.
Lucius Siccius Dentatus (“Born with Teeth”), always at the front, amazingly brave, clever, and utterly fearless, Dentatus spectacularly exceeded all expectations, routinely, and was wounded multiple times. He was a genuine hero! At the age of sixty-four, he was murdered (450BC), by political rivals.
Publius Decius Mus. During the First Samnite War (343BC), Decius’ battalion seized an important enemy stronghold, thus rescuing the main army. Decius received two Grass Crowns, one from his own battalion, and another from the main army which he rescued. Decius was killed three years later, leading from the front as always, during the Battle of Vesuvius (“Latin War”).
Marcus Calpurnius Flamma. During the First Punic War (264BC-241BC), like Decius before him, Flamma courageously led a company of volunteers to seize an enemy stronghold, thus saving his otherwise surrounded army. Flamma was seriously wounded in the process. Most of his men were killed, but their audacious action saved the day! Flamma was awarded the Grass Crown for his bravery and audacity, but few other details of his life and death are known today.
Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus. Fabius is the one who drove Hannibal out of Italy during the Second Punic War (201BC), cleverly avoiding direct confrontation with Hannibal’s superior forces. Instead, Fabius (nicknamed “Cunctator,” meaning “The Delayer”) attacked Hannibal’s supply lines and otherwise confronted only isolated parts of Hannibal’s army, and only on favorable ground. Fabius is hence regarded as “The Father of Guerrilla Warfare.” Fabius died at the age of seventy-seven, of natural causes.
Scipio Aemilianus Africanus. Scipio was Rome’s central personality during the Third Punic War (149–146 BC). The surname, “Africanus,” was added, because it was Scipio who finally invaded and defeated the City Carthage, on the African Continent. He infused his men with toughness, discipline, and purpose, always out front, always leading by example. He was a genuine warrior who decried luxurious and indolent lifestyles of many in Rome. He died in his own home at the age of fifty-six, probably murdered by political rivals, but cause of his death was never established.
Lucius Cornelius Sulla. During the “Social War” of 91BC-88BC (AKA: “War of the Allies”), an armed conflict arising from the disputed and corrupt system of awarding Roman Citizenship, Sulla gained the reputation as Rome’s “George Patton.” Always on the offensive, always inspiring fierce loyalty. No one could beat him! He was dramatically victorious in battle after battle. Rather than fighting, entire opposing armies withered and fled before him. Sulla died at the age of sixty, probably of natural causes. His funeral in Rome was colossal! His famous epitaph, self-composed, reads: “No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid, in full!”
So much of the foregoing is not even taught in history classes any more, but for people living in those times and places, it was real enough, and these ancient events shaped the world in which we live now.
As noted, the Congressional Medal of Honor is as close as we get to the “Crown of Grass” today.
Lest we forget, devoted armies exist only in the presence of competent, audacious, high-principled, and selfless leadership.
Brave men are willing to face death for no less! The sleazy, cowardly, dishonorable, and privilege-seeking (always found in the rear), need not apply. We don’t want to remember them anyway!
“I sit beside my peaceful hearth,
With curtains drawn and lamp trimmed bright
I watch my children's noisy mirth;
I drink in home, and its delight.
I sip my tea, and criticize
The War, from flying rumors caught;
Trace on the map, to curious eyes,
How here they marched, and there they fought.
In intervals of household chat,
I lay down strategic laws;
Why this maneuver, and why that;
Shape the event, or show the cause.
Or, in smooth dinner-table phrase,
‘Twixt soup and fish, discuss the fight;
Give to each chief his blame or praise;
Say who was wrong and who was right.
Meanwhile, o'er Alma's bloody plain
The scathe of battle has rolled by–
The wounded writhe and groan–the slain
Lie naked staring to the sky.
The out-worn surgeon plies his knife,
Nor pauses with the closing day;
While those who have escaped with life
Find food and fuel as they may.
And when their eyes in sleep they close,
After scant rations duly shared,
Plague picks his victims out, from those
Whom chance of battle may have spared.
All this with gallant hearts is done;
All this with patient hearts is borne:
And they by whom the laurel's won
Are seldom they by whom it’s worn.”
From “Due of the Dead,” by William Thackeray
Straight —» Arrow's Link
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