Monday, December 7, 2009

“In Harm’s Way”
by John Alexander Madison
December 7, 2009

On December 7, 1941 the United States of America “was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan” and President Franklyn D. Roosevelt continued that it will be a “date which will live in infamy.”

All together the Japanese sank or severely damaged 18 ships, including the 8 battleships, three light cruisers, and three destroyers. On the airfields the Japanese destroyed 161 American planes (Army 74, Navy 87) and seriously damaged 102 (Army 71, Navy 31). The Navy and Marine Corps suffered a total of 2,896 casualties of which 2,117 were deaths (Navy 2,008, Marines 109) and 779 wounded (Navy 710, Marines 69). The Army (as of midnight, 10 December) lost 228 killed or died of wounds, 113 seriously wounded and 346 slightly wounded. In addition, at least 57 civilians were killed and nearly as many seriously injured.

On September 11, 2001, as a result of a series of suicide attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists upon the United States 19 the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center were destroyed, the Pentagon was attacked, and four commercial airliners were destroyed. The total number of innocent victims was 2,973.

In between, the Korean War and the lengthy 26-year war in Vietnam claimed far too many lives of our brave men and women; 54,246 and 58,209 respectively, for a combined total of 112,455. And, lest we not forget, the lives of thousands of United States Armed Forces have been sacrificed to date in both Iraq wars and in Afghanistan. Often forgotten is the much larger number of casualties, hundreds of thousands, who lost limbs or suffered other severe injuries, including post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS).

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing..." Edmund Burke

In appreciation of all those who have served our once and future great nation throughout its 233 year history, let’s be certain we express our support, on a daily basis, for everyone who has ever served as a member of our uniformed military forces and their families.

Page Two. (A tribute to Paul Harvey who used that phrase to move on to another topic)

Speaking of appreciation but on another level, or lack thereof, there was am ASPCA television spot over the weekend stating that “some animals never know the feeling of love.” It spoke, presumably, of domesticated and farm animals which are abused, neglected, alone and sacred. It was a sad and powerful commentary about some elements of our society. If you know of anyone who neglects or abuses any animal please report them to the proper authorities.

Finally, the most important bumper sticker of all time implored: “Never, never, ever hurt a child.”

As tragic as the casualties of war are, or the great number of abused animals, we learn from the web site, that over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States; however, those reports can include multiple children. In 2007, approximately 5.8 million children were involved in an estimated 3.2 million child abuse reports and allegations.

• Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of four.
• It is estimated that between 60-85% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.
• A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
• Ninety percent of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
• Child abuse occurs at every socio-economic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
• Thirty-one percent of women in prison in the United States were abused as children.
• Over 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child.
• About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
• About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
• The estimated annual cost resulting from child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2007 is $104 billion.

Anyone who hurts an innocent and helpless child should receive punishment formerly reserved for terrorists. I say formerly because the current treatment of terrorists by our continually misguided President, that is the granting of constitutional rights as if they were citizens and a trial in posh, downtown Manhattan, is just plain wrong.

And, since the Guantanamo Bay prison will soon be abandoned, let me be the first to suggest that all convicted child abusers be sent there forever and fed only bread and water, so that they can never, never, ever become repeat offenders.


In summary, never forget the sacrifices of all Americans who have served in our armed forces and who deserve our support every single day of the year; animal abusers are sick people; and those who abuse the most innocent among us, our children, are sub-human…the scum of the Earth. There, I said it…and I hope you agree.

Remember: “Never, never, ever, hurt a child!”

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