Talking Proud Archives --- Culture

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American heads under helmets, a photo album. In November 2004, we started accumulating photos of helmets with American heads underneath them. Why? Because.We have five pages of "Helmet" photos for you to browse. Some will make you proud, some will make you sad, some will make you laugh, some will make you do all of that, and more. They all reflect our culture, our people. February 7, 2005.

“I saw American today,” I’m proud. Paying our respects to the Fallen is a core piece of the American culture. What you are about to read is a description of what one man, Rod Smith, noted during the Coming Home and Burial of Sgt. Eric C. Newman, 30, Waynesboro, Mississippi. Sgt. Newman was killed in action in Akatzai Kalay, Afghanistan on October 14, 2010 of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit employing an improvised explosive device, and IED. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, XVII Airborne Corps, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Rod Smith, a Patriot Guard Rider from Laurel, Mississippi, was there in the procession from the airport to Waynesboro, and wrote his memoir on what it was like. It’s beautifully done and presented here. I have taken some video grabs to help you envision what happened when America welcomed home Sgt. Eric C. Newman, United States Army. October 28, 2010.

The American warrior, manning a post of honor, with heart, strength, resolve. On this anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor, we think about the American fighting man, because it was he who defeated the Japanese. It is important for us to understand the American fighting man. He comes from our communities, from our families. He is from the heart of the American culture. He is a reflection of us. There is no divide between us. William T. "Bill" Coffey, Jr., a senior space operations analyst, has compiled a suite of quotes about the American war fighter and has matched those with photos to tell a story about the American fighting man. This is his presentation. Introduction by Ed Marek, editor. December 7, 2007

Daytona Bike Week, 2005. If it's the Cabbage Patch bar, "Boss Hoss," "Godfather" Seabolt and the Mafia Hog Pullers, pretty women of all ages, a wet T-Shirt contest, a shot of "Ed Beam" roadside, lowriders and choppers, then it must be the Daytona Bike Week, a tradition since 1937. Ed "Iron Man" Katz, now a Hall of Famer, won the first Daytona 200, there was a pause for the War, there were some differences between the bikers and the town fathers, but that's all history and there are some 500,000 bikers and bike lovers now convening in Daytona to show their stuff. March 9, 2005, updated March 16, updated April 6.

Meet the men of D-Day, 60th anniversary album. Kings, queens, dukes, presidents and prime ministers gathered on June 6, 2004 in France to commemorate the D-Day invasion of continental Europe in 1944. They all made speeches and did all the things they do. The real story, however, rests with the veterans of that bold invasion. Here are some of the men who did it. June 8, 2004.

Attacks against America

Invisible waterfront hands: Evacuation of Manhattan, 9/11. "The ordinary achieving the extraordinary." The September 11, 2001 air attacks against the United States consisted of a series of four coordinated attacks. Much of that day will remain in our memories forever. We will also remember forever the unparalleled bravery and courage of our first responders and many citizens. A story missed by many of us, however, was the maritime evacuation of Lower Manhattan. Private boats and their skippers along with the US Coast Guard (USCG) teamed up to evacuate some 500,000 people who were trapped between the devastation of the collapsed WTC building complex and the waters of the Hudson River, the East River and Upper New York Bay. The entire evacuation effort “Just Happened,” because every-day people decided this evacuation would happen. And it did. June 21, 2017

Islamic attacks against the US since 1979 cost roughly 3,500 American lives. Japan attacked the United States by air on December 7, 1941 and killed some 2,500 Americans. The next day, President Roosevelt, in a ten minute presentation, asked the Congress for a declaration of war and got it. The president simply said, "Hostilities exist," and promised we would "win through to absolute victory." Once again, hostilities exist. This report outlines a number of significant attacks by Islamic enemies from around the world against the United States since 1979. Their attacks have killed about 3,500 Americans. It is imperative that Americans understand the implications of these hostilities to the life of our nation. We must mobilize double-time to obtain decisive victory over these enemies, and their state-sponsors, wherever they are, by whatever means necessary. By Ed Marek, editor. December 3, 2005

"The ordinary achieving the extraordinary"


The horror of the Deep Horizon oil rig explosion. On April 20, 2010 rig workers and engineers on the deck of the oil rig “Deepwater Horizon” were finishing a delicate operation when a giant bubble of methane gas unexpectedly rushed up the drill pipe and enveloped the deck of the drilling platform in a cloud of highly flammable gas, followed by a scalding flood of crude oil that spilled onto the drill deck and ignited. The following photos reflect the fury of the Gulf oil rig explosion that cost 11 lives and threatens our environment. It is frightening to think of what it must have been like for the men aboard during this event. (050910, appended with new photos on 051110)

Memoirs of those who lived through the Cleveland Hill School fire of 1954, by Ed Marek, editor, Class of 1962 Cleveland Hill School System, August 24, 2009 updated May 2, 2010 in Memoirs. On April 2, 2006, I wrote an article entitled, "Teachers, students, neighbors rising to great acts of heroism, the tragedies of deadly school fires." One of the fires I discussed was the Cleveland Hill Elementary School fire of March 1954, in Cheektowaga, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. This fire holds great meaning for me because I was in 4th grade --- I was in it. Thankfully, I managed to escape unhurt. Nearly a year after I wrote that article, I began asking people through various social networks to forward their memoirs of that fire. This was tougher than I thought, as many were reluctant to rekindle those terrible memories and write them down. But many did, and I want to present their memoirs 55 years after the event. WE continue to get new memoirs and post them as we receive them. Updated September 8, 2010


We’re with you, Marlie, all the way. Marlie Casseus at the time was a 14-year old girl from Haiti. She had a nine pound (some reports say 16-pound) tumor-like mass that had taken over her entire face. Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami took most of it out in a 17-hour operation on December 14, 2005. Photos in this report are of a beautiful little girl afflicted with a rare but terrible disease that has disfigured her greatly, but doctors in Miami have done their first major operation and young Marlie Casseus of Haiti has given them a "thumbs up" post-op. We try to follow her rehabilitation over time. In the mean time, our prayers are with her. December 18, 2005. Updated February 11, 2010. The International Kids Fund has informed us that Marlie Casseus and her family survived the recent Haiti earthquake, but are living on the street. Read full update.