Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Patriotic Millionaires Doing Their Share For America

Money is nothing more than paper. What is done with that money, however, is what matters. Today, there are more than 3 million millionaires in the country, many of them sharing their wealth with their fellow Americans.

Here are the top ten most patriotic millionaires:

1) Warren Buffett

Although technically a billionaire, Buffett, the richest man in the world on many occasions, has given away over $45 billion dollars, nearly all of his wealth, to charitable causes in the last few years.

2) Oprah Winfrey

The Queen of TV (and everything else) has given money to disaster victims, single mothers, schools and started every charity imaginable.

3) Phil Knight

In 2006, the Nike owner gave the largest school donation in history to Stanford University. Few have flown the flags of philanthropy as often as Knight.

4) Bernard Osher

Osher, a self-made millionaire in the financial world, has donated over $800 million in his life to educational and social services.

5) Michael J. Fox

The television star has raised over $100 million dollars to fight Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that affects 500,000 people in America.

6) Garth Brooks

The country king has given benefit concerts, made hospital visits and played for the troops – all without monetary reimbursement.

7) Veronica Atkins

The widow of Dr. Atkins, this woman has given away millions to obesity and diabetes education and training.

8) George Lucas

The Star Wars creator has ensured the continued interest in arts and science by donating large sums of his wealth to schools and libraries.

9) Larry Stewart

Known as the Secret Santa, Stewart, a cable television millionaire, gave away over $1.3 million dollars in the form of $100 dollar bills in envelopes.

10) Dana White

The outspoken president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship is known to, on a whim, write checks to hospitals, schools and patriotism organizations.

These ten people have certainly made a difference for America.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9/11: Ten Years Later

Americans have always considered themselves among the most patriotic people in the world, and that love of country spiked when we the nation was attacked. It's a feeling, " that led some people to change the way they lived their lives, forever.

Two weeks ago, Nick and Cathy Kavounas replaced their worn American flag with a crisp new one, the third flag that's flown from their front porch in Allentown, Pa. since the terror attacks. Nick Kavounas said that, "Probably, 9/11 had a bigger impact on me than any other event of my lifetime."

The Kavounas live on a quiet street that still boasts several flags and banners though, they say not nearly as many as there once were. Nick Kavounas said, "I would say that patriotism before 9/11 was probably at a seven. After 9/11, it was 10 plus 10."

Immediately following the attacks, the American flag seemed to grow from the ashes, popping up nearly everywhere. And of course, flying the flag is only one way to show one's patriotism.

Some joined the military, often derailing careers to answer the call of country. Pat Tillman famously put his football career on hold to join the Army, and tragically lost his life in Afghanistan. Others lined up to donate blood. The Red Cross says more than a quarter million people decided to donate blood for the first time.
And then there's Daniel Rodriguez, the singing police officer. Rodriguez was on duty that Tuesday in September 2001.

Rodriguez recalled, "Things I remember, the sounds of the radio -- officers calling for help. And we just did what we had to do, I was a New York City police officer at that moment." And after the carnage, Rodriguez, a tenor, was asked to sing at funerals and tributes.

"When I sang, that's when my healing began," Rodriguez said. "I began to heal and really feel like I was playing my role in this tragedy."

Rodriguez discovered that he could do more good as a singer than he could as a cop. So he left the force and embarked on his mission to lift spirits with his voice.
"I want to be an ambassador to show that positive things rose out of the ashes," Rodriguez says. "We thrive. We survived. And we are spiritually still alive."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A day to remember Patriotism and Unity

I love my freedom. I love my America. ~Jessi Lane Adams

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. ~James Bryce

Friday, September 9, 2011

God Bless America, the Song and the Story

The famous composer and lyricist, Irving Berlin (1888-1989) was born Israel Isidore Baline, in Russia. His family immigrated to the United State when Israel was five years old. When he was only eight years old, his father died and Israel began working odd jobs on the street to help the family survive.

Israel inherited some musical talent from his father, who was a cantor, and so eventually he found a job as a singing waiter, in a pub. One day the owner of the pub asked Israel to write a song as an advertisement for the cafe. Israel's song was published with a misprint of the composers name as I. Berlin. Israel liked the change, and so added his nick-name Irving to the misprint.

Despite the fact that he was a self taught pianist, could read very little music, and had no musical training, Irving, with the help of assistants or collaborators, wrote the words and music for more than 3,000 songs, along with multiple Broadway musicals.

Berlin was an outspoken American patriot. Too old to fight in WWII, he showed his support for the troops by writing several patriotic songs such as This is the Army, and traveling to entertain troops overseas. He originally wrote God Bless America in 1918, but did not publish it. In 1938 he revised the lyrics and the music, and then published it as a prayer that the U.S. would triumph over Hitler, and that there would come an end to the Nazi cruelty.

God Bless America has been considered by many as the unofficial national anthem. It is in most church hymnals and has been sung in Hollywood films, at sporting events, and for patriotic celebrations and demonstrations for more than 70 years. Many recording artists have included this beautiful hymn in their repertoire, including Kate Smith (1938) and Celine Dion (2002). And who can forget the memorable gathering of both Democrat and Republican congressmen and senators, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, as they joined their voices to sing as a prayer, God Bless America.

God Bless America Lyrics

God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Patriotic Unity Quotes

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. --George W. Bush Address to the US after hijack attacks on the US World Trade Centers and Pentagon, September 11, 2001 "

"The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom." -Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of NYC

"Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11." -President Barack Obama

“New York is a city largely based on great skyscrapers, and they will always be the essence of New York. That won't change, just as the character of the people who live here will not be altered by this tragedy." -Donald Trump

“Romans 13:7 teaches “Give to everyone what you owe them... Give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due.” If there are any individuals worthy of honor in our community, it is clearly the fire department, the police department, medical workers, and our military. If there is any special day worth celebrating their accomplishments, it is 9/11. It is an honor to honor the honorable.” —Pastor Jeff Kaplan, Shepherd of the Hills Church

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three 9/11 Heroes

Lawrence Stack

Brooklyn firefighter Mike Stack only learned how his father died some time after Sept. 11, 2001, when a fellow firefighter told him that Lawrence Stack had spent his final moments waiting with an injured hotel employee outside of the World Trade Center Marriott.

Moments before, Lawrence Stack, a 33-year veteran and safety battalion chief, had helped dig Lt. John Citarella from the building's rubble and sent him and another officer to safety.

"That's just him," Mike Stack said, his voice tightening. "He's not going to leave anyone. He was probably telling him everything's going to be all right, we're gonna get you out of here - and then it ended."

Stack joined about 1,200 relatives of 441 other public safety officers to accept the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor in a ceremony on the White House South Lawn. The Medal of Valor is the United States' highest honor for public safety officers.

"This is really for my boys," said Kim Moran, whose sons Ryan and Dylan were 7 and 4 respectively their father, Battalion Chief John Moran, was killed in the attacks. "They're going to remember this day forever. I got three kids, and this was their grandfather. And they're going to want to know it," he said. "It's so important to tell the story."

The medal will serve much the same purpose. Lawrence Stack's coat, the only evidence of his presence recovered from Ground Zero, now hangs in a shadow box in his house.

Canine Hero

While there were hundreds of human heroes in the days following the Sept. 11 attacks, there were four-legged heroes too — the dogs who searched for survivors and bodies in the rubble of buildings and planes.

Red, a 12 year-old Labrador who searched the rubble of the Pentagon with her handler, is among those retired as an active search dog. Her legs are not as spry as they once were but in her temperament Red still appears to have that same devotion to the search.

Not long after American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Red was at work. She was 18 months old and only recently certified as a rescue dog, a rookie among more veteran canines. Red searched the debris pile with an energy that surprised even her handler, Heather Roche.

“I never thought she would be a successful search dog and actually at six months old I found a pet home for her and had found another dog. I thought ... her personality is not what is needed for a working dog,” Roche told Reuters TV.“And then, no matter what I asked her to do — whether it was climbing up things, going somewhere as I stayed far away, ladders, you name it — she did it every single time and she did it perfectly,” Roche said.

For weeks, Red navigated the hazards of the rubble piles amid the clatter and chaos following 9/11. After Red discovered dozens of bodies, Roche was sure that, among the rescue dogs working the pile, hers was one of the greats, though the dogs generally were impressive.

By the time we were done every day, they slept hard ... but they were willing the next morning. They were rejuvenated and pulling on the leash to go back to work,” Roche said.

Ten years on, Roche, who keeps Red with her in Annapolis, Maryland, is still deep in the tight community of canine search and rescue. She and other handlers train their dogs in a simulated disaster environment such as one in suburban Washington with an obstacle course of a fabricated rubble site made of concrete blocks and wooden pallets.

Roche says the experience of 9/11 has demonstrated the importance of training dogs in these hazardous environments.

In her retirement, Red still tags along on some search missions. She wants to work, even if her body has lost a step or two in these past 10 years.

And, just as the human first responders continue to suffer ailments attributed to their work at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the handlers of estimated 300 canine search and rescue teams know the dogs who worked in the days and weeks following Sept. 11, 2001 also gave up a part of themselves. “With her, you know she’s earned the right to do anything she wants,” Roche said.

Sgt Jason Thomas

Sgt. Jason Thomas is a 9/11 hero. He is an American Marine, retired, who saved lives on September 11, 2001. No one knew who he was and what he had done for several years after the events of that day.

On September 11, 2001, while most people were running for their lives from the burning, collapsing towers that were the World Trade Center, there were some who ran towards the buildings. One of those who went towards danger to save others was Jason Thomas.

Jason Thomas is a former Marine Sergeant who was dropping his daughter off at his mother’s house in Long Island, New York when he was told that planes had hit the World Trade Center. He left there, went home and put on his Marine uniform and went to the site of the attacks. When he arrived one of the towers was collapsing. Thomas parked his car and ran toward and into the horrific cloud of ash.

He helped firefighters, survivors and prayed over the dead. Eventually, he met up another former Marine, Staff Sgt. Dave Karnes. The two men decided to start their own search and rescue mission in the tower of debris that had been the World Trade Center. They were told it was too dangerous to venture there. They said someone needed their help and they were going anyway.

With nothing more than flashlights and an infantryman’s shovel they climbed onto and into the debris shouting out for any survivors. Eventually, they found and rescued New York City Police Officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin who were buried in the debris but still alive.

Jason Thomas continued to help with search and rescue for a couple of weeks after the events of September 11th. He was remembered by those whom he rescued, but he never identified himself to others at the site other than as Sgt. Thomas. After he’d been at Ground Zero for a little over two weeks, he walked away. He never told his wife and five children that he was a 9/11 hero.

When a movie was made in 2006 about the rescue of the police officers, Thomas realized that he was being portrayed in the movie. At that point, the mysterious hero came forward and identified himself.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Action America Launches with National Call for Unity and Community Service

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, a coalition of individuals, not-for-profit organizations and corporations, has joined together to create Action America: a not-for-profit, open-source brand designed to unite and activate Americans everywhere to turn the events of 9/11 into positive action. Led by Marquis Jet founder Kenny Dichter and AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, the coalition currently includes AOL, Boy Scouts of America, New York Says Thank You Foundation and The Council of Fashion Designers of America, among others.

“The 10th anniversary of 9/11 represents a significant emotional touch point for all Americans,” said Armstrong. “With the dedication and opening of the 9/11 memorial this year, we all felt compelled to get involved and create something that would motivate and inspire individuals, corporations and nonprofits to turn all future 9/11 anniversaries into days of volunteerism and community service. In true American spirit, we all want to serve the country and our heritage of freedom.”

Paying Tribute on 9/11:

In 2009, the United States decreed the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. This year, for the 10th anniversary, Action America intends to amplify that call significantly and make this 9/11 the single-biggest day of positive action in history.

To accomplish this monumental task, kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners developed the Action America digital platform, www.actionamerica.com. The new site enables Americans — wherever they live — to serve, donate and share their support.

• Serve. The new site connects individuals to volunteering opportunities in their areas on 9/11.

• Donate. Visitors to the site can easily donate to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum (9/11 Memorial) or the Wounded Warriors Project, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to honoring and empowering wounded U.S. servicemen and servicewomen.

• Share. The site provides simple tools and ideas for visitors to leverage their own social media platforms to build awareness for the campaign. It also lets visitors upload photos of the World Trade Center and share their personal memories of it.

A Powerful Call to Action:

The new brand, which includes an open-source marketing platform, website, mobile app and iconic logo, was created by kbs+p to be used by any participating individual or organization. The striking, yet simple, logo seamlessly evokes the World Trade Center Towers, the number 11 and America itself through the reference of the stars and stripes. The result is a powerful image that will help us all to remember, while collectively urging us all forward in positive action. Throughout the campaign, participating organizations and media properties will be utilizing the logo in a variety of unique and supportive ways.

Collective Visibility:

Graphic t-shirts, hats, pins, sweatbands and stickers will be available for purchase through the Action America website. Individuals are encouraged to wear Action America products while volunteering to show their support and solidarity. Proceeds generated through merchandise sales will benefit The 9/11 Memorial & Museum and the Wounded Warriors Project equally.

About Action America:

Action America, a nonprofit, is an open-source brand created to unite and activate Americans everywhere to turn the events of 9/11 into positive action. Led by Marquis Jet founder Kenny Dichter and AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, the coalition currently includes AOL, the Boy Scouts of America and New York Says Thank You Foundation, among others. Action America seeks to make the 10th anniversary of 9/11 the single largest day of volunteerism in American history by activating a digital platform that enables Americans to serve, donate and share their support.

Action America supports any and all 9/11-related organizations and through its website, www.ActionAmerica.com, enables Americans to donate to the 9/11 Memorial or The Wounded Warriors Project, or to volunteer on behalf of organizations of their choice. All proceeds generated through merchandise sales on ActionAmerica.com equally benefit the 9/11 Memorial to support the construction of the 9/11 Museum and the Wounded Warriors Project.

For more information or to learn how you can participate, please visit www.ActionAmerica.com.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Spirit of Unity

President Barack Obama is calling on Americans to rekindle the spirit of unity that characterized the country's response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "It can be a lasting virtue," he said. "Not just on one day, but every day."

The president made his appeal during his weekly radio and Internet address, two weeks before the 10th anniversary of the day al-Qaida terrorists turned commercial jetliners into deadly weapons in New York, Pennsylvania and northern Virginia. Obama plans to observe the anniversary on Sept. 11 with stops at ground zero in lower Manhattan, where the World Trade Center towers fell; at Shanksville, Pa., where one of the commandeered planes crashed; and at the Pentagon, which was also hit by a hijacked jetliner. But he cast his plea for good will on Saturday against the backdrop of the economic challenges facing the country today. Coming in the aftermath of bitter partisan fights over government spending and tough criticism of his administration by Republican presidential candidates, his remarks were an overt call for greater cooperation.

"Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11," he said.

He recalled the work of volunteers following the attacks, the blood donations and the food and clothing drives. "We were united, and the outpouring of generosity and compassion reminded us that in times of challenge, we Americans move forward together, as one people," he said.
These days, he said, the country is still fighting al-Qaida, it is ending the war in Iraq, pulling back troops from Afghanistan and "emerging from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes."
"None of this will be easy," he said. "And it can't be the work of government alone. As we saw after 9/11, the strength of America has always been the character and compassion of our people.
"So as we mark this solemn anniversary, let's summon that spirit once more. And let's show that the sense of common purpose that we need in America doesn't have to be a fleeting moment; it can be a lasting virtue — not just on one day, but every day."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Honor, Remember and Reunite

We at TheFlagshirt.com hope that everyone is unified and patriotic on upcoming 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attack.

Here are 10 tributes being that are being held on September 11. If your city is not listed, please contact your local newspaper or radio station for events being held in your area.

Allentown, NJ:| The Jewish Community Center, 22nd and Tilghman streets, will host a 9/11 10th anniversary community interfaith gathering, “Coming Together In Hope,” a reflection on building interfaith relationships since Sept. 11, 2001, 3:30 p.m. Sept. 11.

Denver, CO: A free concert to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks will be held in Civic Center Park. The concert will feature the Beach Boys, the Colorado Symphony and the Colorado Children's Chorale.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower 5K Run. On Saturday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 a.m. a run/walk will honor firefighters. The race starts at Huizenga Park on Las Olas and Andrews Avenue.

Ft. Worth, TX: At the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,
Beams from the North Tower of the World Trade Center will be on display in the museum's atrium before it is permanently installed outside the museum in November 2011. On September 11, the museum will host a ceremony from 8:45 to 9:28 a.m.

Las Vegas, NV: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) - The UNLV campus will host an outdoor 10th Anniversary of 9/11 Remembrance display at The Flashlight steel sculpture, located between the Judy Bayley Theatre and Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall.

Minneapolis, MN: The 9/11 Day of Service will be observed on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 9 a.m., at the Victory Memorial Flagpole at the intersection of Victory Memorial Drive and 45th Avenue North.

New York City, NY: The official New York City observance will take place at the World Trade Center site on the morning of Sunday, September 11th, 2011. As always, four moments of silence will be observed to commemorate the times when each plane hit and each tower fell, starting at 8:46 a.m.

Phoenix, AZ: Memorial walk to commemorate 9/11 and its victims. The walk starts at Chase Tower and ends at Cityscape at the corner of Center and Jefferson St. Sunday 7 a.m.

San Francisco, CA: The University of San Francisco and St. Ignatius Parish's 9/11 service at St. Ignatius Church, 8pm.

Washington, DC: Alan Jackson will be in the nation’s capital Sunday, Sept. 11 performing in a 9/11 10th anniversary commemoration called A Concert For Hope. The three-day event is scheduled to take place at The Washington National Monument, and Alan’s performance of “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning).

World Trade Center Rises From Ground Zero

Ten years after the 9/11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center, an 80-story glass and steel tower is rising from the ashes of ground zero.

The site called a "hole in the ground" for years has cranes in the air, trains running underground and hundreds of trees planted around giant, man-made waterfalls to remember the dead of Sept. 11. The surrounding neighborhood is bursting with young families, new schools, a Whole Foods and a Barnes & Noble.

"People can begin to see that this is no longer a hole in the middle of New York, but a real place is emerging," said architect Daniel Libeskind, whose master plan serves as a blueprint for the site.

A memorial featuring waterfalls cascading into the footprints of the twin towers will open to the public on Sept. 12, a day after families see their loved ones' names around the pools for the first time. The skyscraper formerly known as the Freedom Tower is growing by a story a week and now stands 1,000 feet above the skyline as the tallest building in lower Manhattan. A transit station and a second office tower also are taking shape.

As the trade center lay in smoking ruins in 2001, New Yorkers debated the future of the 16-acre super block that the twin towers had dominated. Some wanted to rebuild the two 110-story skyscrapers exactly as they had been. Others said that out of respect for the nearly 3,000 dead, the entire tract should be a memorial or a park.

Larry Silverstein, the developer who signed a lease on the twin towers on July 24, 2001, pushed to rebuild the 10 million square feet of office space he had lost. Civic groups pushed for a more neighborhood-friendly design than two monoliths on a concrete plaza.

Libeskind, who won a competition to become the site's master planner, focused on the Freedom Tower, with an asymmetrical spire soared to the symbolic height of 1,776 feet and echoed the Statue of Liberty across the harbor. He set aside half the site for a memorial that left empty the spots where the destroyed towers stood, and set space aside for a performing arts center to merge culture and commerce.

Tensions were inevitable between Libeskind's artistic vision and Silverstein's desire for buildings that would draw tenants. Now, Libeskind said, "the tensions are gone." 1 World Trade hardly resembles Libeskind's early drawings, but he called it "an impressive building." Designed by David Childs, its tapering form is symmetrical but retains the spire and the 1,776 feet. To guard against truck bombs, the bottom 20 floors will be windowless, re-enforced concrete covered by glass. The base will house infrastructure like generators and air-conditioning systems.

Other trade center projects include Michael Arad's memorial, the museum scheduled to open next year and Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava's transportation hub, designed to look like a bird in flight. The hub will eventually include restaurants and stores, restoring one of the largest shopping centers that used to sit at the base of the trade center.

The transit hub, which will serve as a gateway to New York for tens of thousands of daily New Jersey commuters and connect to city subway lines, has been plagued by delays and budget overruns. Its 2005 budget of $2.2 billion has ballooned to $3.4 billion and could still grow. Ward said the station will be completed by the end of 2014.

When it opens in less than two weeks, the memorial will bring thousands of people and life into a closed-off super block that transformed from construction pit to construction site in a decade. Hundreds of trees will surround the enormous, man-made waterfalls filling the one-acre squares where the twin towers stood. The names of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six are inscribed in bronze panels.

After memorial judges said Arad's original design was too bare, landscape architect Peter Walker was brought in to add greenery. Hundreds of swamp white oak trees have been trucked in to provide a canopy over the memorial plaza.
The museum, opening next year, will feature trade center artifacts like a fire truck used to rescue people from the north tower.

Arad said the construction that surrounds the pools won't distract memorial visitors. The point of the rebuilt site, he says, was to combine quiet, contemplative spots with the city's bustle. "The memorial was always designed to compete with all the stimuli that surround the site," he said. "We're in lower Manhattan surrounded by towers, by the sort of bustling humanity. The memorial was always designed to really create a quiet and contemplative space in the middle of all this. It's really a clearing in the middle of the forest."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

9/11 10th Anniversary

The 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attack on New York City, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA is approaching,

TheFlagShirt.com would like to pay tribute to the First Responders that risked their lives and gave so much of their time and effort following the attack.

Wayne Gulledge, a TheFlagshirt.com customer, works for the Corps of Engineers in Ft. Gaines, GA and was deployed to Ground Zero to assist the NYC Fire Fighters. He is just one of the first responders being honored by Fort Gaines in a special ceremony being held on Saturday, September 10. Mr. Gulledge’s private collection of photos and artifacts from Ground Zero will be on display. In this picture, he is on the far right, closest to the flag.

Check for similar ceremonies in your area so that you can participate in honoring the 9/11 victims, their families and the first responders.