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July 22, 2010

'Families United' hosting second annual Weekend of Remembrance

Posted: 09:22 AM ET

This is a LKL Web Exclusive by Brian Wise, Executive Director of Families United. The opinions expressed below are his own, and we welcome your comments.

As the Executive Director of Families United, I have seen first-hand the impact Gold Star programs have on America’s military families.  Having experienced the loss of close friends myself, I know there is nothing more vital than a supportive and understanding network of individuals to stand by your side as you honor your Hero. The Weekend of Remembrance is a time for Gold Star Families to come together and share their stories. It’s a time to meet other families who understand the heroic loss of a loved one, it’s a time for reflection as well as celebration – for the lives they lived and the story of their dedicated service to our country.

The 2010 Weekend of Remembrance will be the nation’s largest gathering of Gold Star families, with 1,300 expected to attend from across the country. One of the most common things I hear from families is their need to find a network of others who understand their loss. Our goal at Families United is to create just that – a system of support for the families that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

We work hard to ensure the weekend is a delicate balance between honoring loved ones we’ve lost and celebrating lives. Having the Vice Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff speak to the families is an honor, and we are thrilled that Wayne Newton will perform for them, especially since he has entertained troops in every major confrontation our country has been in since Vietnam, and he was the first performer to entertain our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Saturday morning will be a somber moment, when we visit Arlington Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and families visit Section 60, the section of the cemetery with loved-ones who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Later, we shift to celebration during the American Heroes Festival at Six Flags America, where families will enter on a red carpet, through a full salute honor guard, for a day full of live music, exciting rides, and family fun. Gold Star families will be joined by active duty military and their families, veterans, supporters and guests, and country music stars Aaron Tippin and Mike Corrado will perform an exclusive concert.

We are thankful for the help and support of so many great Americans and sponsors who are donating their time and talents to make the Weekend possible. If you would like to sponsor a Gold Star Family’s participation, you can do it at www.weekendofremembrance.com. There is no better way to support our country, than to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Filed under: Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive


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densol rohde   July 22nd, 2010 9:52 am ET

Larry you'll be missed by all, Larry in in arizona and we have a problem with racial profiling right ? has most forgotten racial profiling with our black brothers everytime a black man is stoppe3d and profiled just driving the highway, or in a major department store, or a bank, even getting on an elevator he or she is profiled and judged at a momonets notice, and we as whites judge eachother as to what class we belong to and we need to show our ID everywhere, Bank,Police, markets, ect. Larry not to mention most are citezens and no one gave our immorgrant parents a free ride to live here , so why does the mexican population not get the fact that it's ok to be here legally they need to earn it...
thanks Larry and may you reap all the best life offers you, Densol Rohde


ilander   July 22nd, 2010 11:13 am ET

Hi Larry. I've watched T Boone Pickens promote the idea of transitioning fleets to natural gas. It all sounded great until i watched the documentary Gasland airing on PBS and HBO. Shows the disasters being created by Natural Gas exploration/wells around the USA. Until i watched it i had been applauding T Boone Pickens for promoting the transition to a domestic energy source but he needs to answer questions about poisoning our air and water in the process. Learning that oil and gas companies are exempt from complying with the Clean Air and Clean water acts floored me! Please watch this documentary and ask T. Boone Pickens back to the show to explain these issues!


IKHAN   July 22nd, 2010 12:23 pm ET

Hi Larry,
Hi folks.
We salute those war heroes & our hearts go out to the families.
Its a time for reflection too.Why are we still in Iraq & Afghanistan?
What is our end goal why are we sacrificing our young everyday & wasting our national treasure.
Are our leaders & politicians incapable of thinking beyond the military solutions.Do they have no vision,no statesmanship no skills to get America out of that dark bottomless pit of death & destruction??


Duarte Santos   July 22nd, 2010 2:45 pm ET

I was born in Angola being the 3rd generation of my family to be born there. My daughters are the 4th. There, in school, I learned that there are several racial groups on this Planet and, pertinent to my comment, we have the Caucasian branch and those are generally referred to as whites and the Negroid branch and those are usually referred to as blacks (an euphemism), but more appropriately negroes. In Angola we never had any problem in being called the white man, neither have we had any problem when we addressed those of the Negroid group as blacks. Actually, the blacks in Angola always preferred to be called negroes, and they always said "black is charcoal" an anedoctal usual comment. That Lady, who recently had resigned from her job at USDA, has used several times the expression "the white people" ! It looks like we are having a serious case of racism in reverse, or are the so called “white Americans” terribly afraid of using the word black ? By the way there is no such a thing as an "African-American". They are either Americans or Africans, or are they using this as a racist political platform. So, who are the racists ?


gerald Jolly   July 22nd, 2010 5:26 pm ET

It will never be possible to repay the families or the troopers for the sacrifices they have both made to keep us safe and free.

If we can spend billions to make war.

We should be willing to spend billions to make our warriors whole.


Dodie   July 22nd, 2010 5:53 pm ET

Thank you Larry King in bringing forth organizations like ‘Families United’ and how they are playing a positive role in our society.

I would like to take one more step back and look at the issues surrounding the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan. One must ponder the causal relationships current and future along with the effects resulting from continued killing of innocent people including our warriors. Every individual who has fought in a war…. I give the respect and honor of being called a ‘warrior’. I stand up and applaud their valor and courage in the willingness to risk everything.

However, I see a more sinister side to these wars. I also view it as rhetoric and Propaganda from politicians paid for by huge defense contractors. Providing the means to manipulate the American people so they can move large tax payer supported funds of the “all mighty dollar” into the hands of large defense contractors and their top executive branch. The ideal that we Kill others in their land for “freedom” or to end all future wars or to rid ourselves of terrorism is preposterous! It is a dichotomy in terms!!! Like it or not, terrorism is here to stay just like murder, sexual abuse, etc. We can try and keep it contained; however, it will never go away!!


IKHAN   July 22nd, 2010 8:14 pm ET

Hi Larry.
@Dodie
well said.
The rhetoric & Propaganda still continues. As I said its time to reflect & admit the follies that our leaders have made.
Its time to reflect & reassess our global alliances also. We have to learn to co-exist with billions others inhabiting this planet.As a super power we have multiple responsibilities towards others out there who we think are different from us.
Its time that we stop looking down the barrel to the rest of the world.
Our leaders have to don this mantle of responsibility with vision,statesmanship & diplomatic skills.
War on terror can still be won if we look at the root causes in earnest & seriousness & set about settling the festering issues plaguing mankind now for decades.
We will have to do this with courage, honesty & justice closing our ears for once to lobbies & special interest. Rise above prejudices, biases, racism & bigotry. Show the world the real spirit of America.
Or we leave a world torn with strife, wars & hatred to our kids & grand kids.
History then would never forgive us.


Cajazz76:24:8   July 22nd, 2010 8:38 pm ET

@Dodie

That 'Warrior' caveat and a headdress would have you looking rather fashionable...lol. -_-


LacrosseMom(the real one)   July 22nd, 2010 10:17 pm ET

God bless all the Troops and their families.

Its time to support our Troops by ending the Bush wars!

Bring our Troops home!


gerald Jolly   July 23rd, 2010 3:05 pm ET

A very clear message for all those that "JUST DONT GET IT"

The Arms Industry in America, donate in excess of a hundred million dollars on every Presidential Election, and they feed both sides of candidates running for office.

The Arms Industry in total create more than 200 thousand jobs.

When one equates the the cost of a killed tropper VS. the cost of lost funding to either political party and the loss of thousands of jobs, the politicians, whose children rarely ever serve in the military, will always support our going to war in order to stay in the good graces of the Arms Industry.

Although the BIGWIGS in the Pentagon will never admit it, they do not ever equate human life to a trooper, as in their logic, the trooper is nothing more than just another weapon that is expendable, in the "BIG PICTURE" they equate that it is O.K. for a trooper to die, as long as our body count is greater than the enemies. The Generals like to call this "ATTRITION" ie (we have a better attrition than our enemy has) Thoughts of the effect their "ATTRITION" is never seen as HUMAN LIFE only thought of as a NUMBER

It's the way it was and will always be, and folks ask "WHY"

The answer is very simple, "THINK ABOUT IT"

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THAT ANYBODY EVER HEARD OF A GENERAL OR PENTAGON STAFF MEMBER, BEING K.I.A. or M. I. A.

NEVER!!!!!


gerald Jolly   July 23rd, 2010 3:32 pm ET

Date: June 27/1968

Location: Saigon/Vietnam G.H.Q

Commander" Gen. Westmorland.

Conversation: "Dont talk to me about our casualties, talk to me about " "THE ENEMY BODY COUNT"

TRUE STORY.


Dodie   July 23rd, 2010 3:39 pm ET

@ IKHAN

Ah, so much wisdom. It would be nice if mankind could achieve even a small portion of what you just stated. Unfortunately, I am more pessimistic as I think our past behaviors (meaning continued war) are the best predictor for man’s future behaviors. What you discuss reminds me of King Arthur’s “Knights of the Round Table ”. Stellar concept; however, innate greed seems to cause friction between individuals of our own species and with all other life force on this world. Pain seems to be the most powerful motivation of all, and possibly when man is in enough pain, we will make needed changes. There is always hope…


gerald Jolly   July 23rd, 2010 4:53 pm ET

Ever wonder what a retiring General earns on his pension.
Answer" Approx: $125,000 annualy
AND THEY NEVER DIE

Ever wonder what a 30 year retiree vet. earns on his pension.
75% of his last pay approx: $1400 monthly,
AND MANY DIE

Ever wonder what a non-com military person earns after 30 years of service.
$25,600, annual, devide by twelve = 2,133 per month.
AND MANY DIE

Ever wonder what their widows and children get from the govcernment their spouces died to protect.
75% of what their spouse was earning before he/she was killed
And many of those spouses and children will live in poverty for the rest of their lives.

GIVE ME THE BODY COUNT "RIGHT NOW"


Dodie   July 23rd, 2010 5:31 pm ET

@ gerald Jolly

Well stated. Thank you for bring forth the "body count" issues and how those sitting behind their desk can effortlessly discuss "casualities of war" like it was some'cooked' up stew!!! . I have only one word for that..... "outrageous"


Dodie   July 23rd, 2010 5:37 pm ET

@Cajazz76:24:8

Gotta watch for those 'dude' feathers


Margaret Trotzuk   July 23rd, 2010 5:46 pm ET

Larry King,

regarding the news that you are leaving your show, I do not want you to go but hope you will be happy with your choice.

I want to thank you so much for all that you have given me. I have watched you throughout the years and have been enlightened by you, how you have respect for the people you interview and the topics you have brought into my home.

I had watched you daily for over 15 years, but last year I retired and stopped my cable as I could not afford it. When I heard you were leaving, I purchased a low cable package so I could watch you until you leave.

Aside from the fact that I appreciate what you have taught me, I want to especially thank you for being there for me during 911. When that happened to our country, I was in such shock and turmoil and the only thing I thought was, wait until Larry King comes on, he will help me to understand and will give me hope again. Every night I woud hurry home from work to watch your show during that time period especially. And you did help me so much. I don't know what I would have down if you were not there for me, for our country.

Thank you Mr. King for all that you have given to me and to this great country.

Truly you are one of a kind, a gift to this world and I hope you have every happiness now and in the future.

Enjoy your retirement. Enjoy your life every moment of the day.

With sincere appreciation,

Margaret Trotzuk


IKHAN   July 23rd, 2010 9:12 pm ET

@Dodie

thanks for jolting me up to reality. I do get carried away by my "Utopian thoughts".
I just wish world leaders would for once make even some semblance of an attempt to do something right.
@gerald Jolly
our very own general Reed has been quoted saying" its fun shooting Afghans"
Duck season guys.


Aiman Latif   July 24th, 2010 12:55 am ET

Hi,

I heard on CNN that government decided to enhance some officials skills by providing them training for about a year. So where are you planning to begin your search from? Is it for the government officials also or are you going to be responsible for training the one's that you promoted to director and other officials paying them over 100000 a year.


Duarte Santos   August 18th, 2010 6:22 pm ET

The plans to build the islamic center is testing the resolve of the American people. It's already very sad that after 7 years of war and thousands of American lives lost, nothing has been achieved. Bin Laden is still laughing somewhere under Pakistan protection, Iraque will start a desvasting war very soon, Iran is doing what they want to do on atomic development and Afghanistan is a lost case. The Taliban will go back to where they were before 911. Well, at least the Americans should have the decency to prevent this ultimate insult, on their own grounds, here in America. Imbecils like Barack Obama only want to express what is convenient to their political gains. The islamic fanatics are claiming another victory, thanks to the cowardice of the American people.


Duarte Santos   August 19th, 2010 10:28 am ET

The Towers (International Trade Center) were destroyed because they represented the American supremacy and leadership in the World, those were the words of Bin Laden. Now they want to build a mosque in or near the same place. That is to say to the World: We defeated the Americans, brought down their symbol and, in its place we are erecting our symbol of supremacy. How can the Americans be so ridicularized ? Of course Barack Obama, who never clearly was demonstrated not to be an islamic or pro-islamic person, has to agree on the construction of the mosque. This seems to be the downfall of the American civilization.


Duarte Santos   August 22nd, 2010 4:12 pm ET

Reporting is also a way of educating people. Right ? Wrong when a news anchor calls Salmonella a virus. What is Sanjay Gupta doing ? It happened last night. If you don't know what you are talking about.... Justr SHUT UP.


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