Thanksgiving 2009

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November 29, 2009 | Comments

Another Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end. This is always a favorite of mine, and this one did not disappoint. I hope the same is true for you.

And now as it comes to an end, I reflect once more on all I have to be thankful for: family, kids, a beautiful country. And a Constitution and the blessings of being an American. For yes, though we are traveling a tough road right now, this is still America, a nation of laws, a nation of rights, a nation of opportunity and compassion unmatched by any other nation on earth.

And as I offer my thanks for this amazing gift of ours, I wonder where we will be this time next year. What will we be pondering come Thanksgiving, 2010?

I’ll tell you what I think. One year from now, one year from this very night, I believe we will be offering jubilant thanks to our nation and to each other for having just taken our country back days before. Thanksgiving next year will fall a few short weeks after what I believe will be a monumental, magnificent election in this country. I pray that those of us who love this country, who embrace our Constitution and who honor our history, will be, at this moment next year, thanking God and our fellow Americans for having cast our votes in droves for America on election day just passed and bringing our country back to where she belongs. In my heart, I know this will be, for I have faith in my country. I have faith in her people.

So tonight, I thank my country and I thank you, her people. And I hope we will all ask God to bless our America every day until Thanksgiving, 2010. Just as we always have. Just as we always will.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Where Is NOW?

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November 24, 2009 | Comments

A week ago I posted a piece (“Breast Cancer Test Balloon”) on the new breast cancer guidelines issued by the government panel, the U.S. Department of Preventive Services. Differing drastically from what was previously embraced, the panel announced that women could wait until age 50 to begin mammograms every other year (rather than annual mammograms beginning at age 40), and self examinations, deemed of “no value,” were unnecessary. So sounded the first shot in the government’s attempt to force cost-cutting rationing on to the American people, even if there might be casualties along the way.

I lamented a week ago that I know women who would not be here today had these been the guidelines in place when their cancers began to take hold, and I predicted you knew such women, too. I wondered, as well, how many women the government would deem an acceptable loss. Since thinking of these women, and wondering about the losses, innumerable voices have joined me in anger against this government bombshell, offering en masse a resounding: No way!

We never disappoint each other, do we.

Sure, we have, as predicted, heard from the usual suspects lockstepping in time behind this administration and its agenda – Katie Couric chirping that “sometimes change can actually be healthy,” and some controversial doc on MSNBC barking that sure, it’s rationing but get over it, shut up and suck it up! Level heads, however, have prevailed, from individuals in defense of themselves and the women they love, to such respected organizations as the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, all declaring allegiance to the previous guidelines, because, simply, they save lives.

But conspicuously absent from the fray has been the National Organization for Women. War has essentially been declared on the female gender by an administration hell-bent on socializing and rationing health care, and NOW’s response has been as deafening as the response we heard from them when Bill Clinton was having his way with a young intern. In other words, no response at all. Well, almost none. Just as they defended Bill with such words as “consensual” and “he’s done so much for women outside of the Oval Office,” NOW is practicing the same brand of appeasement here.

In response to the newly released guidelines, NOW is simply rehashing what has been recommended, reporting the new guidelines as news and leaving it at that, the end. Once again they circle their wagons, choosing to protect a democratic administration and forsaking the women who may be harmed by that administration’s success. At the same time, what remains truly deafening is NOW’s apoplectic meltdown over the possibility that publicly funded abortion may be struck (not bloody likely) from the health-care reform bill.

The upshot: NOW has made its choice, and, once again, women lose – this time feminist women as well as non-feminists, because breast cancer makes no such distinctions.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Denkeeping Update

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November 23, 2009 | Comments

First, a note of thanks to those of you who have checked in to and enjoyed what you have seen. It’s comforting to know that we are not alone in our love for our country and our desire to bring it back to our founding principals. 

From health care to national security to political corruption, lots going on right now, as we all know, and I’ll be back to it tomorrow, trying to keep up with all the insantity happening minute by minute.  For now, though, I just want you to know I have made some changes here at home, and I hope you’ll take a look.

First, we are now randomly rotating nine unique polls on the GrizzlyMom home page. Look to the right, and you’ll see a “Poll Page” button. Click this, and you’ll we whisked away to a page of all nine polls, so please take a minute and let us know what you’re thinking.

Also new and improved is the Quote box to the left. Every time you visit the GrizzlyMom home page, you’ll see a new quote about America, conservatism, liberty and love of country. So thanks again, enjoy, and we’ll see you tomorrow.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Unspeakable Comments to Our Troops — And Their Parents

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November 19, 2009 | Comments

He is shameless.  The man is absolutely shameless.  Now it is confirmed: He has no conscience, and, frankly, I have to believe, no soul. There is a word in psychiatry for this, but that’s for another time.

For now, my concern is for our troops and for their parents. During the President’s whistle stop in South Korea this week as part of whatever this trip of his was to Asia, he addressed 1500 troops assembled at Osan Air Base. As he boarded Air Force One, he gleefully quipped:

“You guys make a pretty good photo-op.”

But he didn’t stop there. He then told them he would be giving them a raise (and we know he always keeps his promises). Receiving precisely the response he had planned with that comment, he chortled:

“That’s what you call an applause line.”

This man is a disgrace.

In October, the President’s supporters blasted anyone who called his salute to the fallen troops being returned home at Dover Air Force Base a photo-op. Well, the critics of those photos have now been vindicated, haven’t they? We all know now, from the President’s own mouth, what was going through his head at that moment as he stood there with his hand at his forehead. It had nothing to do with heroes and courage and loss and sacrifice, and everything to do with images, campaigns and cameras (he would not have shown up without the cameras). In other words, it had everything to do with him and only him.

And now this. He lets the troops know precisely what he is thinking. He tells them point blank that he is using them. He jokes. He laughs. And should they be those who come home one day in flag-draped caskets, he’ll be there, too. For the photo-op.

All you military moms out there, all you military dads….how are you feeling right now? This man just admitted to the world that he is using your sons and your daughters for his own selfish and indecent purposes. Dead or alive, they are quite useful to him. Indeed if they are among those who end up giving their lives for their country, all the better.

And our troops, the thousands of men and women who are our heroes. I understand that he is your Commander-in-Chief, but please, see through the bluster, the dithering, the choreography. I am confident you do. You’re too smart for him. He not only uses you, he underestimates you. He underestimates us all.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Watching Them Squirm – Part 2

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November 18, 2009 | Comments
I caught Andrea Mitchell and that morning blond on MSNBC this morning. Their subject: Sarah Palin, of course.

They did seem to give it their best effort, and that couldn’t have been easy for them. Surrounded by their male cronies who, wisely, remained pretty quiet, they fought through the twin sneers on their faces, spitting and choking out words that said in effect that yeah, she is selling a bunch of books and yeah, lots of people are lining up to see her, and…yeah…yeah…okay…whatever. Though it seemed elephants were standing on their chests, they did get the words out eventually. Gotta give them credit for that.

But I won’t give them credit for their overall coverage. When they weren’t showing us the people, sometimes thousands of people, lined up to see Sarah and/or buy her book, they turned their cameras on regular people among them who unabashedly gushed that they couldn’t wait to get their hands on the book and read it (because yes, regular people do know how to read, ladies).

On its face, this coverage seemed innocent enough, but we are far too familiar with the sensibilities of those behind that coverage (“consider the source”), revealed in their arrogant commentator smirks. Once again they came at it hobbled by a severe misunderstanding of the regular oh-so-pathetic-and-inferior American people out here, who, frankly, probably weren’t watching them anyway. And again they underestimate us. What they don’t understand, is that when they laugh at Sarah and cackle about her intellect or lack thereof, when they roll their eyes in response to an effusive older woman buying the book in Alaska, or an ebullient gentleman doing the same in Michigan – we know they are actually laughing at us.

 And we don’t really care for that.

While these women — and the men who are afraid not to agree with them — sneer and spit and spin within the confines of their insulated studios, the regular people of America are sending Sarah’s book through the stratosphere in sales and attention. Indeed as we have witnessed since Sarah Palin’s name was introduced as a VP Candidate in 2008, she has clearly driven them insane.

And Sarah just smiles. Unlike shrill Hill, who would spit and cry and screech in the face of adversity (much of it self-made by either herself or her husband), Sarah grins and says bring it on. She is secure in what she believes, she is genuine in her love for America and her people, and she knows that those people, the regular people, won’t be manipulated by threats and tears and talk of doom and gloom.

And that is why the left is running scared. As Shakespeare wrote, “Methinks thou doth protest too much.” Four centuries later, we are witnessing a left wing living those words, telling us with their ear-splitting howls of protest just how terrified they are of Sarah — and, perhaps, by extension, of us.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Watching Them Squirm – Part 1

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November 18, 2009 | Comments

I have always been a comedy nerd, from Lucy to SNL (classic not current) to SCTV to Seinfeld and Curb to live stand-up….you get the drill.  And I have to say that what we are witnessing right now in the reaction of the democratic party and the non-Fox media to the release of Sarah Palin’s book is just about as hilarious as it gets.

Every mention of the word “Sarah,” every glimpse of her image, and they seize up, their eyes bulge, their voices rise to a shriek that makes our ears bleed, and they spin off their chairs like Tasmanian devils. Poor things. They can’t help it, I guess. They have no control over what is a completely involuntary response.

When they finally run out of energy and come down for a landing, panting and sweating and exhausted, they resort to calling her names. She’s a joke. She’s a bimbo. She’s a nobody. She’s a has-been. Yeah, right. Keep telling yourselves that, and maybe it will come true – or at least maybe you’ll convince yourselves of it. Maybe you’ll even get a Sarah of your own someday, but I doubt it.

Just turn on your TV or pick up a paper and you’ll see it. I thought the right’s reaction to Hillary was heated (mine included), but we’ve never seen anything like this. Mass hysteria, is what it is. And they’re not even trying to hide it.

Inspired by the high-falutin’ journalistic precedent set by Wolf Blitzer a few weeks back when he fact-checked a once-in-a-lifetime Obama-negative sketch on Saturday Night Live, the Associated Press enlisted 11 reporters to fact-check Sarah’s book. They found a typo or two and a couple passages easily presented out of context. Time and money well spent on their part. Of course they never bothered with such journalistic nuisances when it came time to vet a presidential candidate from Chicago, but this is far more important.

Newsweek took a stab at premeditated reaction, too, featuring Sarah on its cover with a shot taken of her for a running magazine. Sorry, guys. This lame effort not only degrades your own already-endangered publication, it is a stark and obvious (not to mention pathetic) cry from Time’s and Newsweek’s habit of portraying the President on their covers as a messiah, sometimes with a halo, or at least bathed in a heavenly glow. But then, he is the President that they, like the Associated Press, never bothered to vet.

So let’s wonder for a moment, why all the conniptions over Sarah. Why the magazine covers. Why the Tasmanian spins. Why the spit and fire and screeches. She’s not the President. She’s not the Vice President. She’s not an elected official at all anymore. She’s just some woman that once ran for Vice President and didn’t win. Like Geraldine Ferraro. A former Governor. A mom (a GrizzlyMom). She wrote a book and talked about her life, her family and her experiences, like so many before her have done.

But for the left, she is the most dangerous woman in America.

Acknowledging this, and apparently following the Newsweek school of pathetic journalism, MSNBC raided the been-there/done-that vault and splattered the images of a gun-toting Sarah in a bikini to their tiny audience. Of course we all saw those shots a year ago, and we all know that they were doctored with Photoshop. MSNBC says now that they forgot that. Or, in another account, it was some staffer’s fault. And they’re sorry. Yeah, okay. You didn’t know. You forgot. Thanks for your contribution to the hilarity.

Keep it coming. I’m always up for a good laugh.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Breast Cancer Test Balloon

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November 17, 2009 | Comments

Stop the presses, ladies! And stop those self-examinations. Yesterday a government panel – the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – which influences Medicare and the insurance industry, announced a change in recommended guidelines for breast cancer prevention practices.

For years now, the American Cancer Society has recommended that women begin annual mammograms at age 40, accompanied by monthly self-examinations at home.

The new guidelines: Begin mammograms at age 50 and repeat every two years. And those self-exams at home? Forget them. In fact, those techniques, said this panel, should not even be taught anymore. Previous recommendations, they claimed, have led to too many false alarms, which lead to too many unnecessary biopsies (and thus, though not officially announced but certainly implied, unnecessary payouts for said biopsies).

While I have yet to hear any official fallout from this, I have conducted my own little fallout myself. I personally know three women whose breast cancer was identified in the early stages – and before they had reached age 50 – because of mammograms and self examination. All three are still with us today, grateful, I’m sure, that they were subject to the previous guidelines, as under this new set, they would be gone. Indeed self-examination, in particular, deemed of “no value” by this panel, was the very key to the survival of a family member of mine. No value, you say? She would beg to differ, and so would we, her family.

But I have a feeling that the survival of the women in my life, and yours, who survived because of genuine preventive practices, is of no concern to this government panel, or any other government panel we are likely to see in the future. Let’s be honest and substitute the phrase “cost-cutting” for the word “preventive” in this task force’s name, and think about what this group is recommending.

What I gleaned from reading the new guidelines is that too few lives are saved by earlier diagnostic intervention. My question back at them, then, would be: So whose lives will we be sacrificing? Will it be mine? My daughter’s? Your daughter’s? Our moms’?

I suppose we should get used to this, though, folks. Perhaps this was simply a test balloon floated to see what kind of response an announcement about restricting proven life-saving diagnostic tests would garner. For months now we have been told that this is the direction we must take in the name of fairness and health-care reform. We have heard plenty about the magical cost-cutting powers of prevention, too, but we apparently have to accept that there will be casualties along the way. Hope and change come with a price, you know.  Yes, they do. But sorry, I’m not buying.

You see, no matter how many lives, how many women, they deem an acceptable loss, it’s too late. I will not accept these guidelines because I know all too well that those previously in place save lives, pure and simple. They saved the lives of women in my life – and I am sure the lives of women in your life, too, women who are with you today because of early mammograms and self-examination.

This panel, and, I suspect, the agenda that drives it, would call our survival stories anecdotal evidence. I would, in turn, call that bean counting. And I would call it unacceptable.

Betsy Siino | Comments

Coming to America

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November 15, 2009 | Comments

Less than one year ago, voters in this country elected for their President a man with what amounts to a blank resume and a rather mysterious background to match. In so doing, they entrusted this man with the responsibility of making the most crucial life-and-death decisions for our country, for our families, and for our future. This last Friday, he made one of those decisions, bringing the consequence of that election one year ago into the harsh, mean light of reality. 

His message was conveyed through Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced, as if perpetrating a cruel Friday-the-13th prank, that 9/11 mastermind Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his fellow conspirators are to be transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Manhattan. There they will stand trial, with full protection of the U.S. Constitution and the precious rights reserved for American citizens, rights not typically granted war criminals who attack our families and our home. To add insult to the already mortally injured, the trials will take place just yards away from Ground Zero, the site where our proud towers once stood, a parcel that, along with Pearl Harbor, Normandy Beach, and now Fort Hood, we Americans consider sacred ground.

If this President and his administration were awaiting the ideal moment to reveal their true identities and where they intend to take this country, well, on Friday our fears – and his intentions — were confirmed for us and for the world. It began months ago with apologies to Europe; his abandonment of Poland, the Czech Republic and Israel; his appeasement of Middle Eastern leaders and interests; and, more recently, his dismissal of the shootings at Fort Hood as an act of stress. Now his agenda comes home to roost, as his favorite pastor might say, culminating in an announcement that stands not only to endanger our nation and our people, but also to rip the scab off an 8-year-old wound and that now will never heal.

In response, we hear howls of outrage and accusations of betrayal, even from people who voted for this man but decided at the time to ignore his intentions and his past. Many of us, however, are not at all surprised. We began gathering clues the moment this man threw his hat into the presidential-candidate ring. We took seriously what was written in his autobiographies.  We listened to his speeches and those of the people with whom he surrounded himself. We reviewed his voting records (what there were of them), and we knew that on his watch, should it ever come to be, we knew we would not be safe. Sadly, now that his watch has come to be, we can’t help but believe that this is exactly what he and his administration have planned all along.

How else might we explain the delicate orchestration of his Gitmo announcement? The President made sure he was out of the country, in Asia, so few questions could be asked of him. The announcement came on Friday, to limit both coverage and audience size as we slid into the weekend. Orchestrated as well, by what would seem a cunning collection of sadists, was the decision to hold the trial virtually on the very site of what the terrorists deem their great victory and the portal to those 72 virgins.

This announcement also happens to come only a week after Nidal Malik Hasan, reportedly a disciple of the same doctrine that guided the 9/11 terrorists, took the lives of thirteen people and an unborn baby at Fort Hood. Nevertheless, this administration chose Friday, November 13th, to plunge the knife even deeper into all who have lost loved ones to terrorist aggression, and into every American who suffers with them.

Those among us who tend to read between lines, are also left wondering if, in addition to continuing the appeasement of Islamic jihadists, there might be another agenda at play here, as well. War criminals are typically tried by military tribunals, the seemingly obvious fate of the 9/11 conspirators. But when a defendant has been waterboarded at Gitmo (subsequently divulging plans for further attacks on American citizens), and when an administration’s grandest desire is to see the CIA and the former administration prosecuted for crimes that they consider far more egregious than those committed in the name of Jihad, well, why let a golden opportunity like that pass you by?

Regardless of motive, many who lost family members on that terrible day in September, have wasted no time expressing publicly their disgust, their fury and their pain. They have spoken poignantly about traveling to Gitmo to see the perpetrators or attending terrorist trials. They tell of would-be martyrs using this forum as a stage to taunt their victims and their families and to glory in their anguish. Facing an unspeakable return to that state of anguish, they warn us that the same will happen in New York, as we all relive that day and watch the perpetrators laugh.

Meanwhile, our President and his administration won’t even call what happened on that day or since “terror.” And they warn us not to use the word either. How, then, can these men, these war criminals, be properly prosecuted for what they have done? How can the story be told, intentions and motives revealed in full? They can’t be. And maybe that itself is the most insidious intention hiding here. Are we destined to hear more talk of stress and post-traumatic this and that? Are we going to be asked what we did as a country and as individuals to cause these men to commit this atrocity? Is sensitivity training around the corner for us all?

Already the spin begins. Scrambling yet again to protect this administration (Chris Matthews perhaps pondering how most eloquently to ask where it is deemed illegal to take the lives of Americans with commercial aircraft), the mainstream media has thus far covered the story as though Eric Holder is acting alone, free of presidential input. If that were indeed the case, which we know it is not, wouldn’t that be what we call “going rogue?”

During that desperate week after the planes exploded into the Twin Towers, a field in Pennsylvania and the Pentagon, I spoke every night to a dear friend in Southern California, who was born and raised in New York City and knows it well. She lamented that despite the camaraderie and the desire for justice we seemed to be feeling en masse at that moment, many Americans, New Yorkers among them, would soon forget the morning when war was declared on us during those brief and tragic moments in time.

It pains me now to see my friend’s prediction, in part, come to be – so much so that eight years after we were attacked, we continue to wallow in political correctness that perhaps places us even more at risk than we were on the tenth day of September, 2001. We even went so far as to usher into power an administration and a Congress that seems hellbent on destroying all that has for more than two centuries made our nation, this grand experiment, exceptional.

Pummeled by what has become a constant internal attack on what we love and who we are, we, as battered Americans are struggling through a new form of domestic violence, wondering just how much more of this we can stand. Yet deep down, we know we can get through it. We know we are not alone.

I speak of “we” here, not “I,” for it is in the “we” that we can find strength and sanctuary. It is in the voices we hear raised in unison with love of country and outrage at those who mean us harm. Those voices are the true hope of this country, a hope that will see us through to the day when it will once again be “morning in America.”

Betsy Siino | Comments

A Pelosi Christmas Carol

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November 13, 2009 | Comments

Remember last summer when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hurled insults at the moms and dads and grandparents who assembled at the nation’s town-hall meetings to voice their opposition to the monstrous health-care bill being jammed down the throats of the American public by Pelosi and her gang of thieves? And remember last week when the theft hit a crescendo with the sneaky Saturday-night health-care vote spearheaded by these people? I’m sure you do.

And I’m sure you remember how the bill barely squeaked by the House membership, only to be cheered with much fanfare by the Speaker and her gang as they crowed about their victory. And in doing so, said Speaker sneered at the American people, telling them with her self-satisfied smirk, “See, I did it anyway!”

Now, several days later, the Speaker has refined her message somewhat, perhaps hoping to make it a bit more palatable to the ignorant masses that make her life so difficult, promising us that the health-care bill now awaiting Senate approval, will be passed.  Even better, she tells us it will pass by Christmas, as a wonderful present for the American people.

Well isn’t that just a holly jolly cup of comfort and joy.

Does this woman truly believe, as she stands before us all jittery and blinky and shrill, that this Christmas promise will be celebrated with holiday cheer by the vast majority of Americans? How many times do we have to say it, shout it, and trumpet it from the rooftops: We don’t want her plan, or any plan, that mandates socialization of our health-care system, rations care, decimates us financially, subjects our citizens to bureaucratic evaluations of their most personal issues, and earmarks billions of dollars for the care of people who enter our country illegally. End of story.

Now I hate to fling a Scrooge dart in the heart of Madam Pelosi’s Christmas cheer (well, not really), but her comments also raise another prickly issue. Methinks she needs to be very careful about using such words as “Christmas” when discussing a government-drenched issue like socialized medicine. Have you forgotten, dear lady, that thou shalt never breach the granite wall between church and state? Dangerous ground you tread there. You want the ACLU on your tail?

Yet I sense a loophole. Given the Speaker’s words, are we to assume that those who don’t celebrate Christmas have the right to opt out of this monstrosity? Have they the right to decline the gift? If so, I’m in. My family will gladly celebrate our Christmas secretly and quietly within the privacy of our own home, and we won’t let the obedient minions who pledge allegiance to the Speaker and her President know. Let’s all do that. I won’t tell if you won’t.

Still, given her cavalier use of the “C” word, you just have to wonder why this woman would go out of her way to threaten us with the destruction of our Christmas spirit during this joyous time of year. Perhaps she needs to be reminded of the true nature of that spirit, as Christmas is a time of charity and generosity, not extortion mandated or legislated by government. The spirit of Christmas rests in voluntary charitable works and good will, not in robbing the haves to hand out to chosen have-nots against the haves’ will.

Next Madam Pelosi will using some of that excess stimulous money to commission an author to rewrite A Christmas Carol with the new addition of a public option for Tiny Tim. Scrooge won’t have to learn a lesson, and the ghosts can take Christmas Eve off, because the tiny waif will have a Pelosi or a Reid or a Shumer or an Obama looking after him. And just imagine the justice of it all. Filthy rich Mr. Scrooge will be footing the bill, and everyone will live happily ever after.

But no, sorry, I have to say this Christmas junkie and her family isn’t interested in the new and improved rewrite. We’ll just ho ahead and stick with the original Dickens version and its inherent lesson-learning conflicts that have made it legendary to families all over the world (even to those that don’t happen to celebrate Christmas). Thanks anyway, Madam Scrooge. And God bless us everyone…

Betsy Siino | Comments

Many Thanks

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November 11, 2009 | Comments

Today we give thanks to the veterans — the men and women, the American patriots — who for more than two centuries have given their time, their dedication, and often their lives so that we blessed to be in this country may be free. We thank their families, as well, for the courageous sacrifices they, too, have made for our great nation. Without them, there would be no us. In light of the recent events at Fort Hood, may all our veterans know that we think of them, pray for them, and thank them every day.  And we will never forget. God bless and protect our veterans. God bless and protect our country.

Betsy Siino | Comments