Happy New Year!

Here is wishing you a very Happy New Year tomorrow and hoping your goals and dreams come true.

Visit me again in 2017 for more book reviews, articles and information on how to achieve more.happy_new_year

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Happy 4th of July

A Promise

us_flagThe Fourth of July in the United States is a celebration of our independence from Britain but it is far more than that. It is a promise.

When the founding fathers signed this document they paid homage to an ideal that all men are created equal and that they have the right to self-determination. At the time the promise of equality and self-determination was not fully realized. Rather the nation began a journey toward realizing these ideals one step at a time.

While it is true that in 1776 most people were not equal and did not have self-determination we have progressed in that direction a great deal. Women got the vote. Black slaves were freed. American Indians became citizens with full civil rights under the law.

Have these things come easily? No, it has always been a struggle. Just as the original independence from Britain was a struggle that began almost a decade of war, every following step toward independence and equality has been a struggle. But we have striven to continue realizing that promise one step at a time, one year at a time.

There continue to be challenges and obstacles to these ideals. Perhaps there always will be. But the promise of July 4th is that a people could adopt these high ideals as a goal and realize them more and more as the struggle continues.

July 4th is not just about hot dogs and burgers and fireworks, although these are not bad things. They are our traditional way of celebrating what Abraham Lincoln would call “the last best hope of earth”. Remember that when you fire up the BBQ.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

D-Day – I will always remember…

d_dayI was not here yet on June 6, 1944. I would not be born for another ten years. My father however was in England waiting for disembarkation the next day. He, along with thousands of other allied troops would land in Normandy on June 7, what they called D+1.

D-Day itself was horrific in so many ways. Those men who did not drown in the landing or whose landing craft did not hit a mine and was blown up ran down a ramp usually in to the ice cold water of the North Atlantic. Weighed down with a full pack, rifle, ammunition, and clothing they either swam or waded ashore. They were continuously strafed from the air by fighter planes and from the cliffs above by German machine gun nests. If the machine guns did not get them it might be the beach mines or the mortar shells. And on occasion if they were really unlucky a shell from the allied ships at sea would hit them by accident – “friendly fire”.

The ocean ran red with the blood of so many dead and wounded. Into this chaos and death ran thousands of allied troops, boys really; most were 18 – 22 years of age. As they moved inland they encountered more resistance including mines, tanks and machine gun nests.

The second day was not a whole lot better. On the one hand the allies had established a beach head by the 7th and some of the machine gun nests on the cliffs had been taken out, though not all of them. On the other hand the Germans, who had been surprised, were re-grouping and fighting back hard.

My father was relatively old for infantry – he was 30 years old just 15 days after he landed. His 30th birthday was spent in a fox hole with tracer bullets flying over his head a few miles inland. In the sky formations of allied bombers passed by to pound the enemy further east. It was hell.

My father was lucky. He was never wounded. He did get terribly ill and was placed in a hospital in France for a time. Then we went back into the fight. He was also lucky because he was in the Quartermaster Corps. He spent much of his time guarding trains, and doing depot work. As a corporal he did a lot of paper work as well as carry a gun.

He was eventually stationed in a small village in the eastern area of Belgium where he met my mother. Then in December he was caught up in the mass withdrawal during the Battle of the Bulge. Here he saw much more action. He spent days lying in muddy fox holes at night in the bitter cold. So cold that they could not dig through the frozen earth. For days there was no warm food.

I can only try to imagine how fearful they were. I can only try to imagine how difficult it all was. Try as I might though I can never know what it was like. Growing up I watched every WWII movie I could to see what it was like. But those are movies… those are not real life and death.

Every June 6th my father would retell the horrific story of D+1 and the days that followed. He would never let us forget.

I shall never forget what those brave young men did on the beaches of Normandy in 1944. None of us should.

To all those men, including my father, I say thank you. It is all I can say really. That, and promise to never forget what they sacrificed and what they did.

Thank you Dad.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com