LEFT COAST PATRIOTISM SIGHTED IN MARIN COUNTY CALIFORNIA ON MEMORIAL DAY

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Photo by Frankie Frost, Marin Independent Journal

Marin County, California is rich with the 5th highest per capital income in the US.  It is also Caucasian (86%), educated (55% Bachelors degree or higher), small (260,000 people, 520 square miles) and politically Berkeley-esque.  It is a prime market for Teslas and BMWs and Priuses.  It is the home of John Walker Lindh, the American Islamist terrorist captured as an enemy combatant during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.  Marin County is many things but good old fashioned Rockwellian patriotic is not usually considered one of them.  People should reconsider that.

Each year at the Veterans Auditorium of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Marin Civic Center, itself a National Historic Landmark, Memorial Day services are held.  The usual local mendacious politicians sit on stage but so do representatives of various American Legion and VFW posts and until recently, a Pearl Harbor survivor.  His empty chair makes as much of a statement as the MIA/POW table does.

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Photo by Frankie Frost, Marin Independent Journal

There is a featured speaker, usually an active or retired military person.  This year it was retired Lt. Commander Ted Robinson, 95, who as a young PT boat Ensign was the man who rescued John Kennedy and his crew after their famous PT109 was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer in 1943.

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Photo by Frankie Frost, Marin Independent Journal

The Lt. Commander had the strong voice of a 40 year old and the sharpness of mind as well as humor of a comedian.  He enthralled the audience who interrupted him twice with standing ovations.  In that audience was a stream of old fashioned patriotism; high school ROTC students, Blue Star Moms, Patriot Guard Riders, and many former and current military who all had a chance to stand up and be recognized by great applause when the band played their service song.

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Photo by Gail Giacimini

After the indoor service concluded hundreds of people walked outside to the Avenue of the Flags where they witnessed various wreath laying by different organizations at the Army, Navy, Marine Corp, Air Force and Merchant Marine statues of different wars.  They then stood silently and for some, with tears as Taps was played.

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Photo by Gail Giacimini

Marin County: Rich, Democratic, Liberal, …and patriotic on Memorial Day.

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SEALS ON THE BEACH, VETERANS ON THE STAGE, GENEROSITY IN THE AUDIENCE

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The SEAL-Naval Special Warfare Family Foundation http://www.sealnswff.org fundraising event May 3 in laid-back Santa Monica exceeded the collective high expectations of the 1,000 guests.  Personally, they had us as we passed through the camo-netting covered portal entering the beautiful sand beach of the Jonathan Club. The exclusive beach club never rents out their facilities but in a wonderful act of generosity (to be the theme of the evening) they provided the facilities without any cost to the NSWFF.

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In true LA fashion there were celebrities, high-end booze, outstanding food, a beautiful beach setting caressed by perfect weather, overt and covert security, a book signing, live and silent auctions, very cool technology and the cutest service-puppies-in-training  you will ever see.  And this was all before the festivities began.

 

Throw in a boy band, Vaja belting out a heart-felt Star Spangled Banner, the USC Marching Band and a dozen former Navy Seals parachuting onto the beach in front of us, one with a 2,500 square foot American flag, and you get a hint of the excitement of the event that raised $3,000,000 for the foundation.

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People were generous for a wonderful cause and at times we could not help but wonder if the event could ever have occurred in our home San Francisco Bay Area.   It’s not that there is a lack of wealthy donors nor a suitable stunningly beautiful venue.  And there are enough patriotic folks to make up a 1,000 seat audience.  No, it is more about political correctness.  How so?  Sniper rifles.  Yes, a couple of sniper rifles that were auctioned off at $150,000 each.  Or maybe even the 3’ by 5’ $1,000,000 check donated  by Michael Liberty purportedly written on a cut out part of a “Jihadist Tent”.  Let the public debate begin!  No matter, it happened in the progressive enclave of Santa Monica and all was right with the world for a few short hours.

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We had two questions before the event.  First, why do the SEALs need help with their families?  That question was answered here http://www.sealnswff.org/programs/. Second, why is the government not taking better care of the SEALs?  That question remains unanswered.  However, private individuals and companies dug deep and did the right thing for the SEALs families, again.  Well done.