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Franklin bifocals Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Violinist Nicolo Paganini
[1782 - Nicolo Paganini, violin virtuoso, composer, born in Genoa, Italy]

Theodore Roosevelt 26th President Theodore Roosevelt
[1858 - Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President, born in New York City]

New York City subway
[1904 - First opening of the New York City Subway System]

Poet Dylan Thomas
[1914 - Dylan Thomas, poet, playwright, novelist, born in Swansea, Wales]

Actress Teresa Wright
[1918 - Teresa Wright, Academy Award-winng actress, born in Harlem, New York City]

Artist Roy Lichtenstein Roy Lichtenstein - Blue Brushsroke
[1923 - Roy Lichtenstein, sculptor, artist, born in Manhattan]

Football Star Kyle Rote
[1928 - Kyle Rote, College Football Hall of Famer, born in Bellevue, Texas]

Ride of the First Brigade
(Apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Light Brigade (13th Light Dragoons) Lance-Sergeant (later Captain) Joseph Malone awarded Victoria Cross - helping carry a mortally wounded Captain Webb from the field at Balaclava

Half a click, half a click,
Half a click onward,
All on the highway of Death
Rode the four thousand.
"Forward, the First Brigade!
Find Saddam Hussein!" he said:
Down the highway of Death
Rode the four thousand.

"Forward, the First Brigade!"
Was there a man dismayed?
No, though some soldiers knew
The President had blundered:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Down the highway of Death
Rode the four thousand.

RPGs to the right of them,
IEDs to the left of them,
Exploded and thundered,
All of us wondered.
Ambushed by shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell,
Rode the four thousand.

Flashing high-tech weapons bare,
Bodies flying through the air,
Charging after WMD, while
All the world wondered:
Plunging into sand and smoke,
Through to Baghdad they broke.
"Mission Accomplished," he said.
Only a few hundred troops were dead.
Que the flowers; march the bands.
But not for the four thousands.

Iraq was occupied, not pacified.
Insurgents hit, fled, and died.
Suicide bombers sacrifice for
Tickets straight to paradise
"Stay the course" cast its spell,
While each brave hero fell,
They that had fought so well,
Now lived through a greater Hell,
Not one of them was left to tell,
Left of the four thousand.

When can their Glory fade?
Honor the ride they made!
Honor the First Brigade,
Noble Four Thousand!

Lance Cpl. Daniel Bubb, USMC, 1st Light Armored Recon. Battalion, First Marine Division, age 19, killed in action in Iraq in 2005

Stephen Crane - Blue Battalions
Stephen Crane

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