George Lutz, founder of Honor and Remember, asks the question, “Who was freedom’s first fallen?”

(Note:  All of the following images are also active hyperlinks to relevant information.)

George Lutz, founder of Honor and Remember, Inc., a Chesapeake, Virginia based charitable giving organization, recently posed a question to the nation.  Like most who hear it for the first time, we expected the answer would be a simple one.

For him and his organization, which actively recognizes those veterans (and their families) who died in defense of freedom for their country, the question could not be any more relevant…  or poignant.  No one else could have sought an answer for so legitimate a purpose than George, who is, himself, the father of a fallen hero.

GAL2Army Cpl. George Anthony Lutz II was killed in Fallujah by a sniper’s bullet less than a month after his 25th birthday.

Arlington_edited-1He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Cpl George A. "Tony" Lutz II [1980-2005], Psychological Operations, 9th Battalion, Fort Bragg, NC  (Photo courtesy of Honor and Remember, Inc.)

Cpl. George A. “Tony” Lutz II [1980-2005], Psychological Operations, 9th Battalion, Fort Bragg, NC (Photo courtesy of Honor and Remember, Inc.)

National Public Radio captured his story, the audio version of which can be heard by visiting A Virginia Soldier Dies in Iraq.  Yet, out of that horrific event, just four days after Christmas 2005, Honor and Remember, Inc. would be conceived, and it has not stopped for so much as one breath since.

The organization recently partnered with Run for the Fallen. They will host their first run together this coming October, in Arizona.

®2008 Ed Kirkpatrick Photography

®2008 Ed Kirkpatrick Photography

George’s greatest personal achievement, however, has been due to the creation of the Honor and Remember flag, conceived just months after his son’s passing, largely because it fulfills the missions of the organization and affords him the opportunity to do what he feels he must:  meet the suffering families and give them something to honor their beloved, fallen heroes.  It may seem like a mere token, but it is received by the families as a profoundly meaningful reminder that America will never forget them, their service or their sacrifice.

Larry McKinley speaks on behalf of the Sons of the American Revolution during the Society’s inaugural celebration of the Battle of Great Bridge in Chesapeake, Virginia. [12/11]

On February 12, 2009, Virginia Congressman J. Randy Forbes introduced House Bill 1034 to seek federal recognition for the flag as a national symbol of a grieving, yet grateful nation.  Since March 2010, when Virginia designated the symbolic flag as the Commonwealth’s emblem of the service and sacrifice by the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives in the line of duty, 19 states have officially adopted her; the other 31 have either endorsed it or are in the process.

In the nearly nine years since his son’s passing, George has accomplished so much: touching countless lives, traveling to nearly every state, presenting thousands of flags and succeeding in getting his message heard; but make no mistake, he’s the first to recognize the fact he could not have done it (and cannot do it) without the love and support of so many people throughout the country, including comedian Dennis Miller, who has been featuring George on The Dennis Miller Show for years.

This year, in commemoration of the Fifth Anniversary Family Event honoring the very special “Gold Star” families, Dennis will again be right by George’s side, but this time, he’ll be the guest.

Emailer1As much as he has accomplished, George Lutz still feels there is so much more he has not.  Topping this week’s list is finding out the answer (or answers) to that one, curiously uncommon question.

While he vigilantly maintains the “Taps” section of the organization’s website, posting the latest armed forces casualties practically as they occur, George still doesn’t know the name of the very first person to lose his or her life in the line of duty for the cause of American freedom.  It’s a simple question which turns out to have a not-so-simple answer, if one could even ever be assured, but that’s precisely the reason we need your help.    

Please feel free to use this blog platform to submit your comments, questions or responses to his question.  Given the criterion that the individual must have died in the line of duty, the beginning dates will likely fall somewhere on the dateline between April 19, 1775, the official commencement of the War for Independence, and July 4, 1776; although some may argue the validity of dates qualifying as early as September 1774, when the Patriot Suffolk Resolves effectively abolished the legal government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

It will be for you (and your research) to establish and support the date you submit.  Hopefully others will respond to it.  The goal is to turn a mortuary of barely evolving thought into a think tank for rapid-fire brainstorming and sustain a serious, robust discussion until a name – the name – emerges.

You may also help by writing your members of Congress and/or signing the petition.

[N.B.  inquiries at all interest levels are welcomed, but Because this is an attempt to arrive at an official disposition, all serious responses should be documented. Anyone may respond to any submission, inquiry or comment, and all potential responders should be included, so please kindly forward this page with our gratitude to all with a possible interest and/or relevant base of knowledge.]

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International rule of law and order signals end to era of indoctrination, independence

A MESSAGE FROM A FORMER PRESIDENT

We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order. A world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful (and we will be), we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peace-keeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.’s founders.

 

Five White Flags

VIDEO: ©2014 AMERICORPS AUDIO: ©2008 PBS/CELTIC WOMEN

As we remember and commemorate this most patriotic and solemn date in our nation’s history, we should not again allow ourselves to forget the very real possibility that this could be our last. There is no doubt but that individual rights and liberties are fewer today than ever before in America’s history, and if elected representatives are any indication, American citizens have remained too silent for too long, failing to respond to at least five different, official notices from their government leaders during the past twenty-five years: four of them, since March; two of them (the latest and last), on the same day. Drastically different than the first (above, from a famously forgotten 9/11 presidential address), the four deliveries concentrated into 2014 portend certain danger and an irreversibility, which, apparently, no one (not even the Washington Post) saw coming.

July 4th 2014
America’s fate was signaled by silence

VIDEO: Five White Flags ~ America’s Silence Signals Surrender of Sovereignty

“The world is changing, with accelerating speed,” admonished the President in his May 28th address to West Point graduates. “This presents opportunity, but also, new dangers.”

Two time zones away, the Vice President gave a similar warning in his equally foreboding address to Air Force Academy graduates, whom he referred to as “strategic thinkers, as well as warriors, and the future of the new world order.”

“This is the world you are graduating into,” Biden proclaimed. “It allows us to refocus our intelligence and military assets and resources to other parts of the world, where they are needed… where we face new challenges.”

Both leaders charged this particular generation, that represented by these graduating classes, with the responsibility of responding to “this new world” and taking the “lead in shaping a new world order for the 21st Century in a way consistent with American interests, and the common interest.”

Six days earlier, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel expressed hope in overcoming inevitable obstacles; prevailing among them, the constitutions of individual sovereign nations. “We are seeing a new 21st Century world order being built, and though there are conflicts and complications, I think that what’s more hopeful, maybe than any other time in the history of the world, is that we have more opportunities, and more possibilities… and more resources.”

It is President Obama, however, who will be remembered for accepting the responsibility of imposing international rules of law on the people of America by formally acknowledging, in his March 26th “Signal Speech” in Brussels, that the international order “we have worked for generations to build,” had finally reared its hideous head… that American ideals, having been tested and “threatened by an older, more traditional view of power,” reflected the struggle societies have grappled with throughout history: “the proper relationship between the individual and the state.”

This alternative vision argues that ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs… that order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign.

In looking back to the night when we first heard the words, “new world order,” one can only wonder who changed what Americans were intended to believe, and why.

At 9:09 PM on September 11th 1990, television and radio stations throughout the nation, broadcasting live, captured President George Bush as he delivered the most famously forgotten September 11th Presidential Address in the history of American freedom:

We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective — a new world order — can emerge: a new era — freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace. An era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony.

A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor. Today that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we’ve known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak. This is the vision that I shared with President Gorbachev in Helsinki. He and other leaders from Europe, the Gulf and around the world understand that how we manage this crisis today could shape the future for generations to come.

Thank you. Good night. And God bless the United States of America.

 

6fe6ab1462735845ad7688127b3dd7f4On Judging v. Legislating in the International Legal System

A Comment on The International Court of Justice and the Judicial Function

Test Your Knowledge of the History of Slavery in America

http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/media_player?mets_filename=evm00003484mets.xml

There are no legal rulings regarding slavery in the early history of America prior to 1644, when a group of 11 actual slaves (they were brought via the Dutch Slave Trade to New Amsterdam, in what is modern-day New York from Holland), successfully petitioned the local government in what was the first group manumission in a North American colony. [1]  There are, similarly, no laws in early 17th Century Virginia, which even defined the rights, or lack of rights, of blacks; a testimonial to the flexibility of the courts in the early decades of the Virginia Colony. [2, 2i, 2ii]  Even by 1640, when the Virginia Governor’s Council sentenced a black servant to remain in service to a master for the rest of his life (as punishment for running away to Maryland), no legal reference to slavery was made, as it could not have been supported by law or legislation.  (It was a punitive sentencing, not the enforcement of existing law.)

The case involved three servants, who had been working for a farmer named Hugh Gwyn.  Two were white; one was black.  They were captured in Maryland and returned to Jamestown, where the Council sentenced all three to thirty lashes – a severe punishment, even by the standards of 17th Century Virginia.  The two white men were sentenced to an additional four years of servitude – one more year for Gwyn followed by three more for the Colony.  But, in addition to the whipping, the black man, John Punch, whom Ancestry.com alleges was President Obama’s maternal 11th great-grandfather, was ordered to serve for the duration of his natural life. [3]  (It is an important distinction argued by experts that Punch was sentenced, like the two other servants, into servitude, specifically for the stated “time of his natural life,” and not into slavery, which presumes the same term without qualification.)

Minutes of the General Council of Virginia pg 490The Council,” itself, was the upper house of the colonial legislature in the Colony from 1607 until the American Revolution in 1776.  It consisted of 12 men who, after the 1630s were appointed by the British Sovereign, served as an advisory body to the Virginia Royal Governour and as the highest judicial body in the Colony.  The grounds for the harsh sentence placed upon Punch presumably lay in the facts of law that he was non-Christian during a time when Christianity served as an early stand-in for racial identification. [4, 5]

In 1661, an actual reference to slavery entered into Virginia law.  The following year, the Colony went one step further by stating that children born would be bonded or free according to the status of the mother.

Only one event is attributed with having established the legal precedent believed necessary for the legislation resulting in Virginia’s “Slave Codes of 1705,” and it was not the John Punch ruling.

It is an interesting side note that the first legal reference to “Negroes” in the New World pertained to the requirement of gun ownership:

Virginia, 1639:  Act XI. All persons except Negroes are to be provided with arms and ammunitions or be fined at the pleasure of the governor and council.

—o—

The Quiz

1. In what year did the single “catalytic” event, referenced above, occur?

A. 1640
B. 1665
C. 1672
D. 1698
E. 1702

2. What is the chosen name of the wealthy Virginia landowner who sued his neighbor and made history when he won (in Provincial Court) the legal right to own a runaway black servant for life?

A. Richard Anthony
B. Edward Bennett
C. Stephen Horsey
D. Anthony Johnson
E. Robert Parker

3. To what race were references written into the first true slave (v. “indentured labor”) laws in the Colony of Virginia intended to apply?

4. In a landmark case of a landowner seeking a legal ruling specifically on the matter, what race was the first legal owner of a black servant granted the service of a runaway servant for life in the nation’s First Colony?  [To distinguish this case from that of Hugh Gwynn and John Punch 25 years earlier, the matter before the Council at that time was one of sentencing runaways brought back solely on the Council’s order; not a ruling sought by a plaintiff seeking ownership; Gwynn is recorded as having expressed no regard as to  whether or not the runaways were ever returned.]

5.  What role, if any (See “Note” at bottom of article.), did Arabs play in the August 1619 arrival at Point Comfort of “20. and odd Negroes,” the first Africans in Virginia, who were bartered for food at Jamestown?

(Extra Credit)  With a prominent Portuguese presence along its coast, Angola’s 17th Century citizens were considered to be what race by America’s British colonials?  [Further your understanding of the status quo sentiments of the time in the American colonies by researching what religion these Angolans were likely to have practiced.]

http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/media_player?mets_filename=evm00003521mets.xml

This watercolor was one of a series made by Father Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi da Montecuccolo, an Italian priest who served as a Capuchin missionary from 1654 to 1667 in an area of Africa that is now northern Angola; he returned to the region from 1672 to 1677, spending much of his time in the kingdom of Kongo. The priest’s eyewitness drawings are among the earliest representations of African life by a European.

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Additional Reading:  Anthony Johnson (colonist) and Antonio a Slave: A Story of Diminishing Progress from Father to Son

[N.B.  Antonio, as he was known, was not ever documented as a slave.]

http://www.norfolkchapter.org/Anthony_Johnson.html[NOTE:  Some historians believe the first africans in america arrived from angola aboard the dutch man-of-war, “James;” others believe that, While aboard the “São João Bautista” bound for Mexico, they were stolen by the “White Lion” and another English ship, the “Treasurer,” and Once in Virginia, they were dispersed throughout the colony.]

 

Early Map of First Colony’s Easternmost Landscape, Landmarks and Landowners

1785-300According to Norfolk City Historian Peggy Haile-McPhillips, “the map was in the collection of the Library of Virginia before 1914, as it is listed in a catalog of holdings published by Dr. Swem in that year. While some of the entries are quite detailed, the [1785?] map is listed just as Map of Norfolk and Princess Anne Counties, Va., and Currituck County in North Carolina.

Great Bridge Battlefield historian John Franklin Cross III (whose most exciting memories from his childhood in Colonial Williamsburg include accompanying his father to archeological excavations with Ivor Noël Hume), remembers having used this map in one of his VDHR reports years before the digital age, “including Fort Cricket Hill at Gwynn’s Island,” where he served as director of archaeological excavations.  Unable to locate it among his papers, he retraced his steps and tracked it down at William and Mary’s Swem Library.  

The Sargeant Memorial Room of the Norfolk Public Library has a copy of the original map.  “We can scan it for anyone who is interested,” stated Haile-McPhillips, “but if I were going to copy it to frame, I’d probably make it a little larger. It is 8½ by 15¾ inches.”

###

LVA Catalogs - Full View of Record

 

Beach Commission invites public to explore preserving history of “America’s Cape”

Section of PA Co Map ca 1785

Section of “Map of Norfolk and Princess Anne Counties, Va., and Currituck County in North Carolina”  [1785?]  (5848 x 2645) [Click here to view/download higher resolution images.]

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Cape_Henry_by_Latrobe_1798

jjjb  J. Matthew Hogendobler, DMD, MD, EBD

                                                                                          by J. 
The Historic Preservation Commission of the City of Virginia Beach will hold its Annual Meeting at 6:30 this evening at Central Library to hear comments and answer questions from the public following a panel discussion about the status and plans of the “Cape Henry Historic Site.”  While the borders of the site weren’t identified, the area from Pleasure House Point to the Atlantic is so steeped in the same history, it would be impossible to conceive of any discussion excluding the Lynnhaven Bay inlet. Countless issues and ideas, many of them decades in the making, have emerged and evolved over the years, and they are, at once, as significant to the nation and countries elsewhere in the world as they are to residents of Virginia Beach and the Commonwealth.

The 7:45 PM Q&A section of the meeting agenda does not appear to be limited in scope, although a speaker is planned earlier during the meeting, so discussions, if any, are likely to follow the lead and flow of the moderator, if not severely limited by constraints of time.  Coupled with the number and array of related, yet unresolved issues already before the city, it is therefore appropriate to identify in advance of the meeting, some of the more recent proposals made by a handful of local, state, national and international interest groups and individuals, not only to increase public awareness, but to provide a voice to public opinion, especially to those individuals and organizations otherwise unable to attend.

The historical significance of Cape Henry extends well beyond the borders of the city or, for that matter, the nation. The connections between the United States, France, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain and, most especially, Great Britain, predate the birth of our nation and live -even today- in the documents with antecedent ties to former Princess Anne County.

[click on image to view movie trailer]movie

Though by no means intended to be inclusive of all events which occurred on or near the shores of the southern promontory entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, over 5000 years of the presence of indigenous cultures notwithstanding, the time period being considered by the Commission likely begins historical recognition as King James, the First (of England) would have wanted: in 1607, when the Englishmen who journeyed to and landed at Cape Henry opened sealed orders and proclaimed Virginia (named centuries earlier) in the name of the King of England. (Accordingly, Capes Charles and Henry were named after the eldest two of his three sons.)

Such a starting point makes sense. After all, the King, to whose reign the most widely adopted translation of the Bible is attributed, officially established the first forms of government and religion for the first colony, Virginia, “the Old Dominion,” with borders which lay as far north as the country itself. But no such historical discussion would be complete without incorporating references to the actual documents of the time, and they should be laced with a basic understanding of the subjects granted the authority to act, by whom and why. [Visit America’s Holy Covenant for more information.]

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There is probably no better expert than meeting speaker Dr. Bob Albertson, Virginia Weslyan College professor and president of the Order of Cape Henry 1607, to address some of these questions and provide a brief foundation for the actions of those first settlers. (Readers may wish to research the complex, faith-based history of the evolution in England of the Virginia Company itself, since, ultimately, it would result in three charters for the Colony, although none would survive for any appreciable length of time.) The formal establishment of an organized religion, represented in the cross planted on Cape Henry’s shore, provided a foundation for the first mandatory church services in Jamestown, the erection of the colony’s first church and the first meeting of the colony’s leaders, resulting in a representative form of government which survives in America today.

The next period of Cape Henry history occurred prior to 1775, during the remainder of the 17th and most of the 18th centuries, when the Chesapeake Bay, like other large seafaring lanes of travel into and out of the new world, witnessed untold masses of vessels carrying passengers and cargo to grow the thirteen colonies.

The city’s documented history of the time tells stories of pirates in the Lynnhaven Inlet and Lake Joyce vicinities, and reports of stolen treasures left by the infamous Blackbeard.

After awhile the call of the open sea became irresistible, and Blackbeard returned to piracy along the southeastern coast, ranging as far north as Pennsylvania in the eight-gun sloop Adventure.  Tradition in the James River region maintains that he eluded British naval vessels by disappearing up Pagan Creek in the neighborhood of Smithfield, Virginia.  Blackbeard’s Hill still dominates Lynnhaven Bay near Cape Henry.  From its summit, pirate sentinels could scan the Chesapeake Bay entrance through the Virginia Capes.

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