Happy Independence Day to all of you. This is a little early because I wanted to let you know of a schedule change. Because of some complications and what not, I've had to opt out of my July appearance at Kevin Barry's. I was supposed to be there 29 June â€“ 5 July. As it stands, I won't be able to be there then. Harry O'Donoghue has graciously agreed to take the week. I'll be back on stage there 10 - 16 August. Have a look below at a statement read by Harry Truman on 4 July 1945. It doesn't sound arrogant to me. It sounds grateful to God - yep, Harry invoked Christianity while referencing America...how about that? - and pretty damned determined. Old Harry wasn't so bad. I believe he knew how to give'em hell and had a fair amount of experience doing it. Below that is a short memorial in remembrance and thanks to Darrell "Shifty" Powers, a fine Southwest Virginian and member of the famous Easy Company of the 506th PIR. He passed away just the other week. He was a real good guy, an ordinary man (who happened to be a crack shot) and who did extraordinary things, while he was just - in his words -"trying to do what I was supposed to do." God bless you, Shifty. I was just talking to Babe Heffron. He and Wild Bill Guarnere miss you. Newt Heisley obituary follows that. Don't know the name? You know his work. I guess that's about it. Best to all of you. Happy Birthday, America. Frank Frank Emerson 790 E. Spiller Street Wytheville, VA 24382 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.frankemerson.com www.ifreelance.com/pro/4448 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Statement to the Nation Delivered by President Harry S. Truman on July 4, 1945 Again this year we celebrate July 4 as the anniversary of the day one hundred and sixty-nine years ago on which we declared our independence as a sovereign people. In this year of 1945, we have pride in the combined might of this nation which has contributed signally to the defeat of the enemy in Europe. We have confidence that, under Providence, we soon may crush the enemy in the Pacific. We have humility for the guidance that has been given us of God in serving His will as a leader of freedom for the world. This year, the men and women of our armed forces, and many civilians as well, are celebrating the anniversary of American Independence in other countries throughout the world. Citizens of these other lands will understand what we celebrate and why, for freedom is dear to the hearts of all men everywhere. In other lands, others will join us in honoring our declaration that all men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Here at home, on this July 4, 1945, let us honor our Nation's creed of liberty, and the men and women of our armed forces who are carrying this creed with them throughout the world. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Darrell Powers, Dickenson County, Virginia 13 March 1923 - 17 June 2009 Veteran a part of â€˜Band of Brothersâ€™ - E Co. 2BN 506 PIR 101 ABN U.S. Army SSGT Darrell â€œShiftyâ€ Powers, who died at age 86, was a hero on the battlefield and to his family. By Neil Harvey In a 2001 interview with The Roanoke Times, Darrell â€œShiftyâ€ Powers talked about some of his experiences during World War II. Powers, a United States Army paratrooper and sharpshooter, belonged to Easy Company, part of the legendary 101st Airborne Division. He recalled a bitterly cold day in the Ardennes when he was able to draw down on a German sniper, sighting his target by the misty cloud of the manâ€™s breath. He killed him with one shot. â€œRight there,â€ he said, touching his forehead. â€œBetween the eyes.â€ But Powers, of Dickenson County, who died Wednesday of natural causes at age 86, was also reflective about such matters. In the second-to-last episode of â€œBand of Brothers,â€ an HBO miniseries that documented Easy Companyâ€™s wartime exploits, Powers spoke on camera about the soldiers he fought and also hinted at the intrinsic tragedy of combat. â€œWe might have had a lot in common. He mightâ€™ve liked to fish, you know, he mightâ€™ve liked to hunt,â€ Powers said. â€œOf course, they were doing what they were supposed to do, and I was doing what I was supposed to do. â€œBut under different circumstances, we might have been good friends.â€ Powers, who got the nickname â€œShiftyâ€ playing basketball as a youngster, served three years in the Army during World War II and later worked as a machinist for Clinchfield Coal Corp. He found renewed notoriety when his military experiences were depicted on film and in the Stephen Ambrose book of the same name. â€œHe actually hadnâ€™t talked about it, his war years, until the book came out,â€ said his daughter-in-law, Sandy Powers. â€œHe gets fan mail from all over the world, and calls.â€ â€œFor me and my kids, itâ€™s just amazing that our regular, sweet uncle was such a hero,â€ said his niece, Cheryl Gilliland of Roanoke. â€œIt sure changed his life in later years. He went places and met people he never would have otherwise.â€ Darrell Powers met a German soldier in 2005 who had fought against him at the notoriously brutal siege of Bastogne during the winter of 1944. According to his son, Wayne, he had in September been scheduled to travel to Iraq to meet with U.S. soldiers, but health problems prevented it. â€œHe was so disappointed. He wanted to meet with the soldiers so badly,â€ Sandy Powers said. One of his closest friends, Earl McClung, of Colorado, in 2001 called Darrell Powers â€œa heck of a good soldier and a heck of a good shot.â€ â€œAnd he was there every time I looked up,â€ he added. â€œOur family had four boys and one girl, and Iâ€™m the only one left,â€ said Powersâ€™ sister, Gaynell Sykes of Roanoke, on Wednesday. â€œHe was a great brother. I know he was great at a lot of other things, too â€” great father, great son, great husband.â€ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Newt Heisley dies at 88; veteran designed POW/MIA flag Heisley, an Army Air Forces pilot during World War II, was a graphic designer for an ad agency when he sketched the stark black-and-white design featuring the words 'You Are Not Forgotten.' By Valerie J. Nelson May 20, 2009 Newt Heisley, a commercial artist who designed the Vietnam-era POW/MIA flag that came to symbolize the nation's concern for military personnel missing or held prisoner in modern conflicts, has died. He was 88. Heisley, who was a World War II pilot, died Thursday at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., after years of failing health, said Jim Heisley, one of his two sons. In 1971, Heisley was a graphic designer for a New Jersey advertising agency when he sketched the stark black-and-white images at the center of the flag -- the silhouette of a man with head bowed, a guard tower and a strand of barbed wire -- and the words "You Are Not Forgotten." His client was Annin & Co., a major flag manufacturer that had been commissioned by the wife of a soldier missing in action. She had recognized the need for a symbol to represent the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia. "It was intended for a small group. . . . No one realized it was going to get national attention," Heisley said in 1997 in the Colorado Springs Gazette. The flag emblazoned with POW/MIA first flew over the White House in 1988. It was installed in 1989 in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and is on permanent display. In 1990, Congress adopted the flag as "the symbol of our nation's concern" for those missing and unaccounted for during U.S. military action in Southeast Asia. Congress later mandated that the flag be flown at federal buildings and military installations six days a year, including Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. The flag's popularity has expanded more quickly than any other during the last 50 years, said Edward Mooney Jr., a flag expert and author in Palmdale. To veterans organizations, the design has come to represent all U.S. troops missing in military conflicts dating to World War II. The words that Heisley stretched across the bottom of the flag -- "You Are Not Forgotten" -- were inspired by his acute memories of piloting transport planes on long flights across the South Pacific during World War II. While flying, he thought about "being taken prisoner and being . . . forgotten," he said in the 2002 book "Faith Under Fire." As he worked on flag sketches, "that experience came back to me, and I wrote down the phrase 'You are not forgotten.' " The model for the captured soldier was his son Jeffrey, then 24, who had just returned from Marine training gaunt and sick with hepatitis. While Heisley was "extremely, extremely proud" of designing the flag, he was embarrassed by the attention that came with it, said his son Jim. "I didn't do it for personal gain or acclaim," Heisley told the Denver Post in 2002. "I did it for the men who were prisoners of war or missing in action. They're the real heroes." Newton Foust Heisley was born Nov. 9, 1920, in Williamsport, Pa. His mother died when he was 4 months old, and he spent much of his childhood with grandparents. At Syracuse University, he earned a degree in fine arts and met his future wife. After graduating in the early 1940s, he was a graphic artist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and then enlisted in the Army Air Forces. After the war, he spent 25 years at advertising agencies in New York City and New Jersey. Tiring of the big-city commute, he drove west with his wife, Bunny, looking for "greener pastures," said his son Jim. "They pulled into Colorado Springs in the middle of the night. The next morning, he saw the view and said, 'Bunny, we're not going any further. This is it,' " his son recalled. After moving to the town in 1972, Heisley opened an advertising agency with Jim. One of their projects was designing a pin for the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. When Heisley retired in 1987, he rediscovered fine art, painting a Pawnee Indian chief and a scene from "Madame Butterfly," a favorite opera of his wife. Bunny died in 2005 at 84. On smaller canvases -- his lapel, hat and license-plate frame -- Heisley showcased the POW/MIA image whose popularity, he once said, had gone beyond his "wildest dream." In addition to his sons, Heisley is survived by his fiancee, Donna Allison, whom he had planned to marry Friday; a sister, Patricia Freshney; and a granddaughter.