Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas 1944 by Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly
This has become a Christmas tradition for me and some of you have seen this post before, but it is that time of year when I start thinking about the importance of friends and family and why I should be thankful for the country I live in. 
It is also the time when I think about those fellow Americans who have stepped forward in the past and the present to place their lives on the line so that the rest of us can celebrate this holy season in freedom and peace.
The true story below is about my father and a Christmas seventy three years ago. I wrote it many years ago and it has been reprinted and put on websites around the world. You can read the full story in my book “The Mortarmen” I offer this story once again to honor our heroes of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, including my two sons, Major Sean Connelly and Captain Tim Connelly, both currently serving in the army. Come to think of it, this story is really about all of them because it epitomizes who and what they are.

Christmas 1944

The frigid night air cut through the Lieutenant’s army issue coat as he stopped in the knee deep snow to survey the perimeter. A heavy snow continued to fall on this Christmas Eve 1944, but it was not a silent night. The flashes of artillery lit the sky and generated a rumble like distant thunder as the young officer finished his tour of the unit’s outposts. He was an officer in Company B, 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion, the men who fired the big 4.2 mortars which were so critical to the effort of the infantry to advance. They were someplace in Belgium, he really had no clue where, and for the first time in a while the battalion was together again. All four companies had been brought in to help stop the German breakthrough. They didn’t know it, but the 87th was about to be thrown right into the heart of the Battle of the Bulge.
As the Lieutenant finished his rounds he wearily dragged himself into the monastery where the command had taken refuge for the night. The warmth that enveloped him as he entered the large community room was certainly welcomed. He glanced around and saw his comrades sprawled in every available space. They were bedraggled and exhausted after 201 days of almost continuous combat, and by the looks on their faces you could tell that it was only going to get worse. Despite the thickness of the monastery walls, a new sound intruded the quick crack of tank gunfire.
 Everyone knew what that meant; American tankers were making a last ditch stand against the German armored columns in the area. They were outnumbered and outgunned and their Sherman tanks stood no chance against the awesome German Tiger tanks, but they fought anyway. When the battle ended, and it would before dawn, then the 87th became part of the last American line of defense. The war hung in the balance, and so did the lives of everyone in this ancient house of God.
The Lieutenant found a place to sit against one wall and sank down in exhaustion, gratefully accepting the wine, bread and cheese being offered by the monks. In the corner of the room, a soldier fiddled with the dial of a radio, finally picking up the armed forces station. Christmas carols filled the room, but only added to the loneliness. Then as, the sound of the tank battle increased in intensity, a new song started on the radio, Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas."
For the Lieutenant the song immediately invoked memories of the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas on the farm in Mason City, Iowa and of how far away he was from those he loved. He could not help himself, the tears began to flow and embarrassed, he glanced around the room to see if anyone had noticed. His eyes fell first on the Company Commander, Captain J.J. Marshall, one of the toughest men the Lieutenant had ever known. The Captain sat ramrod straight, unashamed, as tears streamed down his stubbly cheeks. It was universal that night, strong men, the bravest of the brave, cried over a Christmas carol, and over the homes many would never see again.
As dawn broke the next morning, Christmas Day, the battalion was again split up with Company B assigned to take up mortar positions in support of what was left of the 289th infantry, 75th Division, and defend a Belgium village called Sadzot, a key location in the thin American defense line. For three days they fired their mortars in support of the hastily assembled defense units, and then disaster struck. Early in the predawn hours of Dec. 28th enemy elements of the 12 SS Panzer Division, the infamous Hitler Jugend, broke through the infantry lines and overran the mortar position.
They hastily assembled all of the men they could, and the mortarmen fought a delaying action, fighting hand to hand and house to house against overwhelming numbers. As the fighting retreat continued, the men of company B were joined by remaining elements of the 509th Parachute Battalion which had formed a new defensive position north of the village. There they held until reinforced and then joined a counterattack which retook the village, and recaptured six of their nine mortars and most of their vehicles.
It was later learned that this makeshift force of Americans had successfully stopped a major attack by German troops designed to capture a major highway intersection which would have broken the American line. No one has ever been able to tell me how they won. History recorded it as a classic situation where the attacking enemy held all of the advantages, yet was stopped by the cold determination of a hand full of defenders on the verge of physical and mental collapse. Somehow, they emerged victorious, with Company B reporting almost half of its men killed, wounded, or missing.
For his actions during the defense of Sadzot the Lieutenant and the other men of the company received both the French and Belgium Croix de Guerre medals. I know the story of that lonely Christmas Eve and the ensuing days from my Father’s diary. He was the young Lieutenant, Roy E. Connelly, Co. B. 87th Chemical Mortar Battalion. He would read that story to us on Christmas Eve every year until his death in 1987, and then I took over the job with my children.
He never read it without crying over the friends he lost during that Christmas season of 1944, and to this day, I can not read it or even write about it without the same reaction. What was done during that six day period by the men of Co. B and the other companies of the 87th, who also held the line, surpasses the ability of most of us to comprehend. They fought for each other, and they fought for us. We must never forget.
FOR MY DAD, AND THE MEN OF THE 87TH
Michael Connelly: Author of “The Mortarmen
mrobertc@hotmail.com

Michael Connelly blog

Senator Corkers Statement on Supportimg Tax Bill

Thursday, December 14, 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS! From President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump

Ryan States No More Taxpayer Funds To Settle Harassment Claims

 
"House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that Congress plans to stop using taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment cases against lawmakers.
On Wisconsin's WISN Radio's "The Jay Weber Show," Ryan said that congressional committees are currently at work on a "wholesale reform package" for sexual misconduct procedures.
When asked whether Congress would stop using taxpayer dollars to settle these cases, Ryan replied, "Yes, that's among the things we're working on right now."
Ryan added that he agrees with Weber's assertion that using taxpayer dollars to settle harassment claims is "indefensible."

Bush and Obama Teamed Up to Attack Trump, Fox Host Leaks Their Worst Nightmare [Watch Video]

Fox Host Steve Hilton had a BRUTAL message for George W. Bush and Obama after they joined in attacking President Trump and his supporters over the weekend. In their coordinated attack on the Trump movement, these two former Presidents are trying to turn the public against President Trump. “It was a striking site the last 2 Presidents out on the same day with a not very well disguised attack on [President Trump],” Hilton said.
WATCH VIDEO
Steve Says: The elites are fighting back against populism.Five former administration, but their policies are what helped inspire the current wave of populism.
There are certain times where we can read between the lines, and this is one of those cases. President Donald Trump was not mentioned by name, however, it was painfully obvious that former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were referring to him and the direct impact they believed his actions were having on our country.
George W. Bush had his time in the White House from 2001 to 2009. The former president stated “Our politics seem more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrications.” 
Barack Obama, who was in office from 2009 to 2017 when President Trump took over, maintained that politics seem “so angry and nasty.” He stated, “Instead of our politics reflecting our values, we have politics infecting our communities.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

263 Slush Fund Money Settlements Involving Congress Names Kept Secret

Congress set up a slush fund to pay for complaints (including sexual misconduct) about them and covered their asses to make sure the public would never find out who they are. be
40 minutes ago
There are 263 secret hush money settlements involving Congress. But the media is talking about Trump’s tweets.

HANUKKAH Begins Tonight AT SUNDOWN: AKA FEAST OF DEDICATION

Hanukkah 2017 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, December 12 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, December 20
Image may contain: fire and candles
Hanukkah (/ˈhɑːnəkə/ hah-nə-kə; Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה khanuká, Tiberian: khanuká, usually spelled חנוכה, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, [ˈχanukə] or [ˈχanikə]in Yiddish; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah or anukah), also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BC. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched menorah or hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical menorah consists of eight branches with an additional visually distinct branch. The extra light, with which the others are lit, is called a shamash (Hebrew: שמש, "attendant")[1] and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest.
Other Hanukkah festivities include playing dreidel and eating oil based foods such as doughnuts and latkes.
Hanukkah became more widely celebrated beginning from the 1970s, when Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson called for public awareness and observance of the festival and encouraged the lighting of public menorahs.[2][3][4][5] Diane Ashton attributed the popularization of Hanukkah by some of the American Jewish community as a way to adapt to American life, because they could celebrate Hannukkah which occurs at around the same time as Christmas.[6]
The name "Hanukkah" derives from the Hebrew verb "חנך", meaning "to dedicate". On Hanukkah, the Maccabean Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple.[7][8] Many
homiletical explanations have been given for the name:[9]
·                The name can be broken down into חנו כ"ה, "[they] rested [on the] twenty-fifth", referring to the fact that the Jews ceased fighting on the 25th day of Kislev, the day on which the holiday begins.[10]

Video Captures Terror Suspect Akayed Ullah Setting Off Pipe Bomb in NYC Bus Terminal

Published on Dec 11, 2017

WATCH VIDEO An ISIS-inspired would-be suicide bomber set off a homemade explosive device at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station Monday morning, seriously wounding himself and injuring three others, law enforcement sources said. The man — a 27-year-old Brooklyn man identified by high ranking police sources as Akayed Ullah — had wires attached to him and a 5-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack strapped to his midsection as he walked through the Manhattan transit hub. The man partially detonated the device, which he was carrying under the right side of his jacket, prematurely inside the passageway to the A, C and E trains at Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street around 7:40 a.m., sources said.

NYC Subway Terror Attack the result of chain migration; chain began with Diversity Visa Lottery

As I've previously told you, I watch CNN every morning for a little bit just to get a feel for where the Leftwing media's head is each day.  They reported on the terror attack and the chain migration visa but did not mention that the chain began with a Diversity Visa Lottery winner.
Here John Binder at Breitbart reported the news:
bangladeshiThe Bangladesh-born terror suspect who allegedly attempted to detonate a suicide-bomb in New York was able to enter the United States as a foreign relative of an immigrant, extended-family member who had won a visa to the U.S. under the Diversity Visa Lottery.
[....]
In a statement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Ullah was able to enter the U.S. in 2011 as a foreign relative after one of his family members was awarded a Green Card in the Visa Lottery.
 Homeland Security announced how the terrorist got in to the US. This rarely happened in the Obama Administration. One was left guessing on whether a perp was here legally or illegally and if legal through which program he or she entered.
Binder continues....

Sunday, December 10, 2017

115th US Congress The Leader's Weekly Schedule - Week of 12/11/7

Leader's Weekly Schedule
WEEK OF DECEMBER 11TH
MONDAY, DECEMBER 11TH
On Monday, the House will meet at 12:00 p.m. for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:
1) H.R. 3359 - Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul / Homeland Security Committee)

2) H.R. 3669 - Securing General Aviation and Commercial Charter Air Carrier Service Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ron Estes / Homeland Security Committee)

3) H.R. 2706 - Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer / Financial Services Committee)

4) H.R. 3093 - Investor Clarity and Bank Parity Act (Sponsored by Rep. Michael Capuano / Financial Services Committee)

5) H.R. 1730 - Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act of 2017, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. David Kustoff / Judiciary Committee)
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12TH
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business.

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules: