Monday, June 14, 2010

Eagle Scout as in World Cup...Birthday

I spent over an hour on this post but one of my kids HAD to go on FB and lost it so I am just going to leave the photo collage as my week's review instead of trying to write it again. I was unable to use the photos I took on the 10 mile hike Taran and I took to finish his hiking merit badge but they were beautiful! And he is on his way after I spent 20 hours getting the paperwork ready! Have a great week!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Freedom Friday

US Honors Stalin on Hallowed Ground, Will Saddam Hussein be next?
By Alex Storozynski

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russians began taking down their statues of Josef Stalin, the mass murderer who killed millions of people. Astonishingly, in America, the National D-Day Memorial is honoring Stalin by placing his bust on a pedestal at its museum in Bedford, Virginia.

This misguided move will haunt millions of Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, Jews, etc. whose families were massacred by this Soviet tyrant. Stalin's killing machine slaughtered more people than Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did.

Hitler and Stalin were allies and started World War II in 1939 by both attacking Poland at the same time. But William McIntosh, the D-Day Memorial's president says that because Stalin became a U.S. ally after Germany invaded Russia, he deserves to be acknowledged along with Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

McIntosh is wrong. Stalin only gave lip service to the allies so that they would attack Nazi Germany on the Western front. Stalin did not liberate Eastern Europe from the Nazis in 1945; he sent in Soviet troops that occupied half of Europe until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Stalin the communist barely hid his disdain for capitalist America during WWII, and once the war ended, he began the Cold War and ordered his scientists to work on missiles and nuclear weapons that could destroy the United States.

Given McIntosh's logic, should America put up a statue of Saddam Hussein because he was an ally of the U.S. in the 1980s when we supported Iraq in a war against Iran?

Congress authorized the D-Day Memorial and private donors raised $19 million to honor soldiers that fought in the invasion of Normandy. Now McIntosh is lobbying Congress to make his museum part of the National Park Service so that it can receive federal tax dollars.

By placing a bust of Stalin on hallowed ground, McIntosh disrespects veterans, including my father who took part in the Normandy invasion. When the war began, Dionysius Storozynski was 17 and living in Lvov, Poland. He fought in the underground against Stalin's army that invaded Poland and later joined the Polish troops in France that fought the Germans in the West. When France surrendered, he was evacuated to England and trained for the allied invasion of Normandy.

In 1944, when the beachhead was taken, Corporal Storozynski rode a motorcycle off a transport from England as part of the 24th Lancers Regiment of the 1st Polish Armored Division. It was lead by Major Jan Kanski with 47 officers, 634 men, 52 Sherman tanks, 11 Stuart tanks and six anti-aircraft tanks. My father sped ahead of these troops, and scoured the French countryside with his binoculars. He radioed the coordinates of the Germans to Polish tank commanders. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower inspected my father's regiment, which saw heavy action in Caen, Falaise and Aberville in France. They helped liberate Belgium and Holland.

During the campaign, my father lost part of his hearing when he drove over a land mine. Major Kanski lost his life.

My maternal grandfather, Sgt. Wladslaw Krzyzanowski, also fought in the Polish Army against Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. In 1939 he was tortured and sentenced to death by Stalin's NKVD, forerunner of the KGB. His crime? He fought against Stalin's ally at the time, Hitler. My grandfather's sentence was commuted to life, and he was one of 1.5 million Poles sent to Stalin's forced labor gulags in Siberia in the years 1939-1941. He escaped and joined the army of Polish Gen. Wladyslaw Anders that fought alongside British General Bernard Montgomery. The Brits and the Poles pushed the Germans across North Africa and together with the American military liberated Italy. My grandfather won medals at the Battle of Monte Cassino.

Other Polish soldiers were not as lucky. The NKVD took 22,000 Polish officers into the Katyn Forest, tied their hands behind their backs, and one by one shot them in the back of their heads. The bodies were dumped into mass graves. Many have yet to be recovered for proper burial.

That's how Stalin treated prisoners of war. He wasn't much better to his own people. Before World War II began, the NKVD killed millions of Russians during the "great purge" of Stalin's political enemies. Stalin forced collectivization, stole farmland from peasants, and starved to death 10 million Ukrainians in a vengeful act of genocide. And it was Stalin's 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with Hitler that split Poland in half, allowing the Germans to carry out the Holocaust that murdered six million Jews.

Stalin enslaved the Russian people. That's why Russia has taken down most of the statues of Stalin and Russian President Dimitri Medvedev is critical of those who gloss over Stalin's image. "From the point of view of the law, killing of a huge number of compatriots for political or unsubstantiated economic motives is a crime," Medvedev recently told Der Spiegel magazine. "The rehabilitation of those involved in these crimes is impossible."

In addition to the civilians that Stalin murdered, he sent Russian soldiers to their death by using them as cannon fodder, marching them directly into the line of German gunfire without a cohesive battle plan. Medvedev said recently on his web site, "Stalin's crimes cannot diminish the heroic deeds of the people who triumphed in the Great Patriotic war."

If McIntosh wants to honor Russia's contribution to the victory over Nazi Germany, he should put up a statue of the Unknown Russian Soldier. That would make more sense than a bust of Stalin.

It took the people of the former Soviet Empire five decades to right the wrongs of Stalin's "evil empire," as Ronald Reagan called it. These days, the Poles are planning to put up a statue of Reagan in Warsaw to acknowledge his role in ending Soviet Communism. How ironic that in Virginia, America is putting up a bust of Stalin.

My comment: UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

First Week of Summer Break...

Not too exciting since I still don't have my big van so I share with Taran. Memorial Day started with Tim and Emily putting up flags in the neighborhood at 7 AM. Tim bought the kids donuts and we went out for breakfast. We then went onto a nursery to buy plants for our garden. We are trying some cool things this year sweet potato and yukon gold potatoes! We also got a raspberry plant since we figured out where we want it! So we spent the next couple of hours planting. It was nice enough I could have worked in the yard all day! But alas the family BBQ! We went to Orem to celebrate with my family. Tim made homemade strawberry ice cream and it was divine! After yummy food and fun we headed to the cemetery to put flowers on the graves of relatives and veterans that did not have any flowers on their graves. It's a sobering experience to ponder on those who have sacrificed for our freedoms. Do we really get it?

Tuesday Timo had an early ortho appointment then Taran and Timo went to my mom's to work in her yard. The other kids did their goals they had made for the summer. They also played that afternoon of course. Wednesday Timo and I went and finalized his schedule with the high school counselor--they hadn't given hime seminary. Later I worked in our yard with Taran and Timo. They worked on our trampoline hole and I worked on weeds. I rented Alice in Wonderland--Johnny Depp version. The kids loved it--in a weird way. Micah's friend Adam has a pool and his mom invited us to go over there and swim. Izak stayed home with Taran. Timo went to a friends and everyone else swam. It's a new pool barely a week old! I wish! Oh, I wish we had one! That night we also rented a Jackie Chan movie The Spy Next Door. It's a cute family movie with cool Jackie Chan moves! Thursday Emily had an early dermatology appointment. Taran and Timo and the other kids went to my mom's which is near the office. They were working on thinning her apricot and peach trees. Emily and I joined in and left after 2 PM once we felt like we got it done and the ground cleaned up. Youth Conference was that night--games and a special speaker and even Emily's age was invited. She had a party that overlapped with it so she was back and forth. The kids seem to enjoy Youth Conference and ended up hanging in our basement playing games and outside as well.
Friday the youth conference for 14 and older went to a Ropes course and had a great time. The younger kids met up with them at the John Moyle home/museum in Alpine--great story if you haven't heard it check it out! They ate dinner and watched the DVD the church put out. Then they hiked up the Moyle trail until they could see the valley and had a testimony meeting. Apparently it was powerful. So glad to hear. Meanwhile I had 11 year old district camp out up AF Canyon. It was fun and we got home before dark--the dads spend the night since we aren't allowed. I spent most of the day getting things ready for it. Had the littlest kids and they enjoyed movie night together.
Saturday Izak had WEBELOS Extreme, basically cub scout day camp. He had fun. Tim worked in the yard and I had a few things at noon but of course I only got to one thing! I felt bad but sometimes that's the way it goes. I got my hair cut and woven by my niece and got lots of compliments today on it! The youth had a service project to end the youth conference and a water fight too, I guess! Tim worked hard on the yard closing up the fascia where the birds would enter--they are gone now! Putting soaker sprinklers on our strawberry plants and trying to get the grape and rhubarb plants some sprinklers--not quite there yet. Maybe this week!
Today was great fast and testimony meeting, of course. I substituted for the secretary again. After church Taran worked on some of his Eagle Scout stuff and we realized he needs one more hike so tomorrow we'll get it done! He's so close he's just trying to get in touch with the Eagle guy to meet with him! We had a great visit with Tim's parents tonight.

We are getting so excited to see all of Tim's siblings and their families in a couple of weeks! Some start arriving this weekend! I wish I had taken pictures of the kids at the pool and all the yard work we did, owell! Hope your summer is going well!