Posts filed under ‘war and peace’

Kinks- All In a Name- A Carta and Constitution- A Trojan Horse part four


Part one

Part Two

Part Three

It was very lonely here in Lorain, although I did meet friends through the Canadian Legion, one especially has been my friend for 40 years and has put up with me and supported me even in those early days. I have met some wonderful “hyphenated- American Lorainites and some who are the very dregs of their respective hyphenated culture .

So here I was at a loss – when I realized I did share something in common with Lorain- THE NAME -MY NAME (which was also spelled incorrectly Loraine as opposed to Lorraine, both named after the area in France.)

My focus then became Lorain and for decades I tried to promote Lorain ( my new home – the home and birthplace of my children) whilst trying to keep what was the best of being English and or British.

King John of England (right) and an English baron agreeing to Magna Carta King John of England (right) and an English baron agreeing to Magna Carta. A detail from the bronze doors of the U.S. Supreme Court building, Washington, D.C. Credit: Image courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court.

King John of England (right) and an English baron agreeing to Magna Carta
King John of England (right) and an English baron agreeing to Magna Carta. A detail from the bronze doors of the U.S. Supreme Court building, Washington, D.C.
Credit: Image courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr Cameron recently pronounced the values of the British when dealing with the Trojan Horse Scandal and the 800 anniversary of the Magna Carta ( upon which the US Constitution is based)

Mr Cameron, British Prime Minister said “British values” included: “A belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law.”

Birmingham Mail
Photo Source

Unfortunately, England is now having to deal with a diversified culture and “hyphenation ” as to different values and the taking over of England by “immigrants” who have stamped their culture full square on their “new home country” – Very few have followed the creed “the when in Rome” and to assimilate into a very British way of life and using the “free to be me and let it be” values of England.

The Trojan Horse Scandal

Operation Trojan Horse was an organized attempt by Islamists to co-opt schools in England and run them according to their beliefs and ideals.[1][2][3] The name, based on the Ancient Greek legend, came from a leaked letter of questionable authenticity discovered in March 2014, alleged to be from Islamists in Birmingham, detailing how to wrest control of a school and speculating about expanding the scheme to other cities. Around a month later, Birmingham City Council said that it had received “hundreds” of allegations of school takeover plots, similar to those illustrated in the letter, some dating back over 20 years. Tahir Alam, the chairman of the Park View Educational Trust which runs six schools in Birmingham, was found to have written a 72-page document for the Muslim Council of Britain in 2007 detailing a blueprint for the “Islamisation” of secular state schools.

The alleged Islamic extremism seen in the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal in schools in Birmingham is the same as that practised by Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist network,

Tony Blair has said.
The Trojan Horse ‘plot’ to bring hardline practices into Birmingham classrooms is part of a global extremist movement stretching from Britain to Africa to the Far East, the former Prime Minister claimed.
Six Birmingham schools are in special measures after the education watchdog found they had fallen into the hands of bullying governors who had sought to narrow the curriculum and exclude non-Muslim pupils.

Look in the classrooms of the new “free” state-funded primary schools, for example, and you will find a higher proportion of pupils come from an Asian background (35%) than a white British heritage (32%)……………

Reading the EFA review, it appears almost that the Muslim ethos of a school is evidence of “extremism”. The loudspeakers which broadcast the call to prayer, the fact that 80% of girls were wearing white headscarves, the school fundraiser for Syria – even though these were not necessarily a cause for concern in themselves, they were listed under a heading that suggested the Park View Trust schools were not doing enough to promote community cohesion.

It is vital that we make this distinction between religion on the one hand, and political ideology on the other. Time and again, people equate the two,”

Worrying to the British government is the number of ” British Muslims” who are now becoming “home grown terrorists”

A lethal new class of British jihadi: Second fanatic in ISIS recruitment video went to same Cardiff college as the first and once dreamed of becoming prime minister. Now he says: ‘Muslims who don’t join us will die a painful death’

Read more:


June 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm 2 comments

Freedom- The Pride- The Glory – Remember

Who  I  Am - Chris Ritchey

Who I Am – Chris Ritchey

The sky was robin egg blue this morning, the lake kissed with silver and gold. The air cooling to those of fevered brow. A day of glory, when all young men and woman who have given their everything are to be thanked for giving us the peace of this day with the freedom to enjoy. Their voices are stilled , their presence hidden from our world and yet they speak and are heard in the laughter of each child who is without fear of living in this city on the shore. Their presence can be felt when the voices of debate are raised in opposing ideas.


This is their gift to us who remain- we must not forget , we must cherish the gift of life they have given to us and maybe just maybe if we are quiet and still in our reflection as their symbol of country is flown against the robin egg blue sky they will hear our gratitude and know their sacrifice was not in vain.
Eric Barnes Heroes Walk

rasing the flagcol2014
Admiral King Tribute Site- Purple Heart recipient Don Fugitt United States Army raises the flags with Ernest Ritchey US Air force

Bruce Horner

Army 1st Sgt. Bruce Horner – Son of Ed and Betty Horner
Died June 1, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom assigned to the 127th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Support Command, Fliegerhorst, Germany; died in Seddah of wounds sustained when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small-arms fire.


Airman 1st Class Eric Barnes – Son of Tom and Shary Barnes
Died June 10, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom assigned to the 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.; died as result of an improvised explosive device attack on an Air Force convoy about 100 miles south of Baghdad.

Marine Lance Corporal David Hall son of Delmar and Lulu Hall
Died August 31, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Aug. 31 in Garmsir, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations.

Marine Lance Corporal Joseph “Ryan” Giese son of Larry Giese and Connie Wascovich
Died January 7, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 7 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.
Louis Torres

Sgt. Louis Torres son of Albert Torres and Armanda Ellis. who was fatally injured Aug. 6 in Afghanistan Sgt. Torres lost his battle with his wounds on August 22, 2012 .Torres was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.


May 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm 2 comments

HAPPY HAPPY 95th Birthday Mum!!!

Update : a few flowers :)
flowers 95

Nanaresbo Nine and a half decades- what a great deal of life – my mother- truly a living history. Her 90th was to be celebrated by us all but life, the stem cell transplants and the resulting loss of Chris negated that celebration of life lived well.
And now 5 years later another milestone.


The loss of her only grandson
was as she said the worst part of her life even losing just about every family member – brothers, sisters, mother, father, nieces and nephew could not compare. But through all these years my mum has kept her optimism, she forgives easily harms done to her and is a kind and gentle soul, never wishes ill of anyone.Her sense of family is to be envied!

What a remarkable story she has lived, the hundreds and hundreds of people all over the world that have been touched by knowing her , eaten her special cakes, pies and shared her home when they had none.

She says it is lonely getting to this age as all your peers ( bar one Uncle John who is 102)

Unclejohn100are no longer around to share the memories of youth, of weddings, births, war and peace. My mum still makes me smile, holds my hand when I am crippled with my own grief, makes a brilliant cup of tea and knows when a smile and a touch of compassion is needed.
She wrote memories of her life for her granddaughter when she was just a wee bairn and more when Christopher was born-

My Book

Cover Design Chris Ritchey

Cover Design Chris Ritchey

What indeed is the truth about any of us? A question most difficult to answer. The world will never know our innermost life and thoughts even if someone were to write and read one hundred biographies. The main facts of our lives are known and are likely only to be known to ourselves alone. Not only are there facts we do not tell but some that we ourselves do not know.

At best some small facet of the truth will catch the light and that I suppose, is what we must seize for there is much virtue in truth. Truth has almost a mystical power, like radium, it seems to give off its own energy and light that goes on forever

The memories of life, people and times of her years of “living history” there for the generations to come:


So where is the Beginning of it all? Upon reflection and trying to summon up the very first picture, there is a faint imprint there in my mind. Can a child of three really retain, retell the event so many years on? Could I really see six or seven human forms lying on a mattress of black and white ticking strung between wooden frames? The box like shapes, the harsh sound of human retching the pungent smell of oil and vomit that unpleasant fragrance still is in my nostrils.

Some photo of that time with its sights and smells must have embedded itself forever in my mind. I can feel still the roll and the steady beat of a noise below. I was huddled, warmed and comforted by another little body next to mine. I can see my mother lying stretched out a short distance away from us; her long dark hair was damp and lying untidily on the pillow. I knew somehow that she was ill too. My father was on his feet; I see his arms with dark shapes and lines on them holding a cup to my mouth. He was telling me “drink this, you will feel better” then oblivion and I remember no more.

Many years afterwards I made the discovery that my first recollection was that I was in a cabin of a troop ship traveling home to England. The ship was bringing soldiers and their families, who had been serving in southern Ireland where the troubles had broken out after the close of the Great War.

Then as she grew memories of childhood
Grandad kids

We used to walk or skip our way from Devonshire Road, it was quite a distance, and no bus passes in those days. If for any reason we were fortunate enough to ride on the little red single-decker bus Renee and I used to try to sit behind the Nuns from St. Vincent’s. St Vincent’s was a Catholic school further down the road. We were fascinated with their dark somber garments, topped with this huge white-starched headgear, domed in the middle with great wide bat like wings framing their faces. Bus tickets, bits of string, chewed up pieces of rubber, paper clips, anything that could be found in a child’s pockets found their way into the folds of these hats. I have a suspicion that these paragons of virtue from the convent used to know exactly what we were up to. They never ever chastised us or even by the slightest flicker of their eyes acquainted us with the knowledge that they knew what we were doing.

Love and War -

mumand dad

On that dreadful Sunday Sept 3rd, 1939 when war was declared and we heard at 11:00 a.m. the first air raid siren, the whole road seemed to appear at their doorways quivering with the unreality and fear of the unknown. We had been told at the exchange to report to the nearest exchange in the event of an air raid warning. I recall running all the way up Hendon Lane to Finchley thinking I was going to have to help out the war, only to be told I wasn’t required!

digging for victory

digging for victory

We were at war and ahead of us we knew not “what! The first few months were unbelievably quiet. We were waiting with uncertainty and a touch of excitement as well. Everyone was holding his or her breath, I volunteered for a situation, not knowing what it would mean. In a few days I found out. I was to go to the Ministry of Information, which was temporarily housed at Senate House, University of London, near Goodge St. We had triple forms to fill out, swearing us to secrecy, never to divulge or talk about anything we might hear there. We reported to an ordinary looking switchboard. but what a difference when the sirens were sounded . Three of us would be required to man the emergency switchboard, which was housed in the basement of the building; this was called the war room. A big square room, around the walls were telephone boxes which were connect with a direct line to all the important ministries for example, the Admiralty, War Office, Air Ministry, Foreign Office, Ministry of Supply etc. etc. In each telephone box sat a high-ranking official who would be in communication with his respective Ministry. The censors and press officials were they’re sorting and sifting through thousands of reports coming in from all areas of Britain and the world. These people were tremendous and treated the operators extremely well.

Lord Reith had taken on the job of Minister of Information; he had been head of the BBC. Winston Churchill, who was then 1st Lord of the Admiralty, used to come through on his direct line “ Good Morning, give me the Minister please” short polite and always to the point. The town clerks and mayors of today in local council could well take a lesson from those gentlemen of yesteryear. Sir Walter Monkton was there; he was a good friend of the Duke of Windsor who was in France at the time. The Duke would call quite frequently to have a chat with his friend. I enjoyed my work immensely it was extremely busy especially if any kind of action, naval air or army was taking place.

A few years after the war along came me and her troubles ( according to some really started) As our lives unfolded moving to Canada – the friends an relatives grew- back to England and more and more people my mum gathered to her heart. Finally retirement and back across the pond to Lorain, Ohio. These years have seen some of her happiest and saddest.

She has seen the abdication of a King, experienced the Blitz and the rebuild, the death of another King and the crowning of a Queen. Mum watched a wall go up and a wall come down- results of the atomic bomb, gone from only having a battery operated radio to having the first television on the street, private telephones, airplanes and jets, computers and Ipads – governments that come and go, countries whose names have changed, the rise and fall of Russia/ Soviet Union. More than one war

and she has kept true to herself and to her family through it all. My mother has written “birthday poems” for special birthdays for all her family- she doesn’t forget –

I wish I could do her justice – no poem -just a blog post wanting her to know how proud and thankful I am to have her as MY MUM!!!!nanaboysres



February 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm 14 comments

…AND LORAIN SAID- “NO” !!!!!…… Admiral King – Lorain Ohio


As readers interested in Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King will recall I have covered some of the highlights of his career. Charleston Village and Black River Historical Society and the City of Lorain paid him homage in 2011.

I must admit, I had to wonder when researching this man of importance, why it had taken so very long for his birthplace to recognize him as they were even doing away with the high school named after him? I suppose, coming from a country and culture which holds history and heroes of ” cherished importance”, it was a bit of a culture shock arriving in Lorain and seeing the throwaway society of history at its finest.

Even the new builds are only built with a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Thank heavens that wasn’t the case when they built my old house.

We are only all too aware of government not listening to citizens – until it is too late- but government not listening to their own experts such as Admiral King and the warning of Pearl Harbor – well what can one say?
But Admiral Ernest J King did not forget his birthplace and sent the signal mast of the USS Arizona home to Lorain.

The battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) was sunk at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The superstructure above the waterline was removed soon after the attack. Admiral Earnest H. King, Chief of Naval operations, sent the signal mast to his hometown of Lorain, Ohio. Commander Edwin C. Keyes, a close friend of Adm. King commanded that naval armory in Lorain. He had the mast modified and erected at the armory to be used for training purposes. The Navy added the yards (cross pieces). Allen Permach of Lorain Steel Fabricators, made the other modifications including the 36 ft. length added to the bottom of the Arizona’s original 26 ft. mast. The vertical shaft represents the 1177 crewmen who gave their lives on the “Day of Infamy.” The yard stands for all those who served aboard.

So what happened ? Where is the mast ? Was it used as part of the Admiral King Tribute space- this piece of United States history? This remaining part of what is probably the world’s most iconic war memorial the USS Arizona?

NO! you see LORAIN REFUSED THE OFFER - so it was stored for 10 years

The Arizona’s modified signamast mast was used until the armory was razed in 1980. It was offered to the city of Lorain, but was refused. In order to save the mast from destruction, Cdr. Keyes obtained authorization from the Navy for Brenne H. Donofrio, a naval engineer to take possession of it. Nick A. Donofrio, the father of Brenne H. Donofrio was a close friend of Adm. King and Cdr. Keyes, and had been honored by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Navy for having donated several important inventions to the Navy during World War II. The mast
was moved to Brenne H. Donofrio’s property where it was stored for 10 years

Then what ? Even though there are a plethora of Veterans Groups who cherish the memories and valor of their compatriots with ceremonies and memorials this” icon of a day of infamy ” – how did this special symbol of bravery leave this place called Lorain this symbol of “remembrance and reverence” – It seems others recognized its worth but not Lorain.


Robert Manzetti, a retired railroad engineer from Ohio, learned of the mast while visiting his daughter who lived near Lorain. Mr. Manzetti and Dr. Earl L. Field, a professor at Arizona College of the Bible and both residents of Glendale, Arizona formed the U.S.S. Arizona Signal Mast Committee. The Committee purchased the mast, transported it to Arizona and erected it here in Wesley Bolin Plaza. It was dedicated and donated to the State of Arizona on December 7, 1990. All funds and work on the mast came from private donations.

AHHHHHHHHHH Lorain words fail me – vision does not mean ‘HINDSIGHT”!!!
City  of Lorain
There were two Mayors in the time frame of 1980 -

January, 1972 -January 1980 -Joseph J. Zahorec
January, 1980 -January 1984 -William Parker

and in 1990 when the mast left Lorain

January, 1985-January 1996- Alex M. Olejko

And one has to wonder where was Lorain’s favourite Veteran – Jack LaVriha- what were they thinking?

LaVriha had been president of the Lorain Memorial Association for over 5o years, sponsoring annual Lorain Memorial Day parades, annual Community Memorial Services at the Lorain Palace Civic Center, memorial outdoor services at four area cemeteries and the placing of American flags on the graves of veterans. He was past president of the Lorain Veteran�s Council, serving as its secretary for 22 years. He spearheaded the placing of granite monuments at Veterans Memorial Park and area cemeteries in memory of all Lorain men and women who died in all American wars.

You can find the information of the USS Arizona’s Mast here:

Thanks to Lisa Miller - Lorain 365 for the link and initial information

December 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm 6 comments

Admiral Ernest J King- Pearl Harbor – December 7th- The warning!

Pearl Harbor poster

There will be much written about December 7th as the people of the United States remember ” a day which will live in infamy”.

It was because of the attack on Pearl Harbor Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J. King was recalled to Washington:

admiral king TIME

“On 30 December 1941 he became Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet. On 18 March 1942, he was appointed Chief of Naval Operations, relieving Admiral Stark. He is the only person to hold this combined command”

In 1938 Admiral Ernest J King “warned” the government of the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor

“Among his accomplishments was to corroborate Admiral Harry E. Yarnell’s 1932 war game findings in 1938 by staging his own successful simulated naval air raid on Pearl Harbor, showing that the base was dangerously vulnerable to aerial attack, although he was taken no more seriously than his contemporary until Dec. 7, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the base by air for real.

One has to wonder how if this son of Lorain had been listened to in 1938 if things would have been different and December 7th would not be in the history books as the “day of infamy”………

Lest we forget

Admiral King Tribute Site- Lorain Ohio-

More On Lorain’s Admiral Ernest J King here:

December 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm 1 comment

Dedication Ceremony- Eric Barnes – Heroes Walk-The coverage

Thanks to Joe Bock from Lorain City Schools Channel 20 who uploaded to You tube

Further update” More pictorial coverage from Mark Teleha

UPDATE: further coverage on the LCS Channel 20 and from their face book page

Photo Roger Brownson

The sun warmed the earth and air the young people of Lorain High School Marching Band and the Lorain High JROTC, the representatives from the United States Marine Corps, The United States Army, Unites States Air force, the United States Navy warmed hearts. It was a morning of tribute to the young by the young as they stood proudly honoring the young men who gave their lives- the ultimate sacrifice.

The coverage for the dedication can be found in the following links . The area media also has to have our heart-felt thanks, their coverage of the project as it progressed reached out and their readers sent in donations. Without such generosity the project would have been “less”.

This is phase one of the walkway more to come.

In the meantime please view the videos of the morning taken by Mark Teleha of Lorain County Photographers Blog

Photos by Lisa Miller on the Lorain 365 Blog ( one of the Morning Journal Media Bloggers)also on her blog Busters House

The thoughts and photos of Dan Brady- who designed the Commemorative Booklet – of Brady’s Bunch of Lorain County Nostalgia

Chronicle Telegram-

Heroes Walk memorial trail dedicated on Veterans Day filed by Evan Goodenow

“They share pain from a loss that will never go away and belong to a club that no one wants to be part of.”

Morning Journal Photo Jason Henery
Heroes Walk: Pathway dedicated to fallen soldiers by Jason Henery

I’m going to donate my time to make it nice,” Torres said of the park. “I’m glad for my city to appreciate the sacrifice my son made.”

Photo Lisa Miller

As always click on photos to enlarge and thank you everyone who made this dedication memorable –

November 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm 13 comments

September the 11th- a reprise

TW NOTE: I wrote this for the 10th anniversary of 911- I have decided to reprise this year-

design by Chris Ritchey

10 years it is unbelievable to me a decade has passed – the sights and sounds of that day so vivid still- an act which will send the perpetrators to perdition.

Normally I would write an updated remembrance but I am in my own kind of man-made purgatory at the moment so I choose to remember as I did last year (below) . I also remember 9-11-09 …. the day of hope as Chris took his first infusion of SGN 35…… that September 11th dawning with hope just as years before a glorious September morn saw hope crashing to the earth…… the outcome was the same “grief and loss”………..a time to remember those that continue to give their lives ………………………….

Loose Change Poster – design by Chris Ritchey

‘Kind” -having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature

There was no “kindness” in the nature of that September day as terror flew into the everyday working lives of those who experienced the dreadful destruction of September 11th 2001

They say you remember where you were and what you were doing until you die certain events-

September 3rd- 1939

Dec. 7th – 1941

November 22-1963

And September 11th 2001.

ED NOTE:The linked video is from ordinary citizens with a view of the destruction- released 5 years after that September 11th day

I was sitting on the couch that morning, having my first cup of tea- my son- in -law to be called

“We are being attacked”

Knowing his penchant for practical jokes and phone calls I said

yeah yeah right- tell me more”

Just then my daughter came down the stairs with the phone in her hand , hair dripping wet –

Mum he is right a plane just flew into a building in New York – turn on the television.

Another call beeped in it was my mum

“Oh there has been a terrible accident a plane has flown into a skyscraper”

Just as she said that Tony ( my cousin who was over for a trip ) is heard in the back ground

“Bloody Hell there is another one.”

We all went silent, incredulous watching as devastation rained down from the sky on a beautiful September morning.

I called my son- he told me that they were being evacuated from the college and told to return home- there was something going on in Cleveland , as he was heading to his campus apartment there were agents and militia armed with weapons in and around the streets- it was very tense. They were told to stay inside.

That day had a profound effect on this nation – I remember for the next two mornings- as I watered the garden not a sound from the sky , no roaring of the high-speed boats out on the lake- traffic was almost non existent- the sound of a siren sent chills- flags appeared outside the houses and on the streets – as if a patriotic garden bloomed from the carnage.

We did not move from the television- we watched as if from another planet the “human” story unfold that day. We hardly knew how to express our thoughts -the ugliness of hatred brought home -engulfing and billowing out as the towers and civilization fell in the name of “Jihad”.

As for those that carried out these attacks there are no adequate words of condemnation. Their barbarism will stand as their shame for all eternity.
–British Prime Minister Tony Blair

My son used his talents , he did a series of posters – that I have yet to find since his passing. It was after that day my son wore his patriotism proudly – always one to fly the flag ( more on that at the closure of this blog) he defended her the way he knew best through his work.

Yes , I am remembering Septembers and they are tinged with pride , lack of understanding , helplessness and prejudice against those that cause pain to the human heart and condition ………

and all who weep including the willow WE REMEMBER SEPT 11TH IN OUR OWN WAY!
Source needed

September 11, 2012 at 11:10 am 3 comments

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