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Life

The First Memorial Day

Photos by Patriot Outdoors, Inc.

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The Controversial First Memorial Day!

Today, I thought I’d share with you a little American history!

Honestly, at the time this took place it was fairly controversial and even today there is debate over the origins of Memorial Day.

However, in my opinion, and according to the earliest date that this event took place; I’d like to submit this event as the first! May 1st, 1865, down In Charleston, South Carolina, a couple of hundred residents (mostly made up of black freed slaves), initiated the event.

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Martyrs of The Race Track

A short time earlier they realized there was a mass grave at an old race track that was converted to a Confederate operated POW camp. In the grave were 257 bodies, (I misquoted in the video) of Union soldiers. Most of the men died from malnutrition and disease.

Anyway, the residents decided to give proper burial and individual grave site to all of these unfortunate souls. They called the site “Martyrs of the Race Track”, But, it didn’t stop there…

Civil War

Martyrs of the RaceTrack, Charleston, South Carolina.

What happened on that day was unprecedented! They organized a parade and a celebration deck consisted of over 10,000 people according to the New York Times.

A Memorial Day Celebration of 10,000

It was recorded that over 30 speeches were given by local government officials, three sermons were delivered by black and white ministers alike, prayer was led, songs were song and over 3000 children marched around the racetrack throwing flowers and singing songs of patriotism.

They even brought in three regiments of US soldiers made up of black and white troops Who also marched around the race track. It was recorded that there were so many flowers delivered to the cemetery that they were seen as heaps and mounds of flowers in the aroma of those flowers swept across the entire graveyard what is undeniably fragrant which brought people to tears of joy.

The Heart of America I Know

That is the America that I want to remember; that is the America that we need to promote today. And America of unity, respect, honor and dignity of life. No matter the color or creed of the individual for the uniform they wore at the end of the day they showed respect to each other to both the living and the dead.

Let’s remember on this memorial day as we celebrate our freedoms for the sacrifices that were made by so many, to give us the liberties we take so freely.

May God bless you in this great country and may he continue to keep His hand upon us. Stay True, America… We need You!

Stephen D. Powell

The GunLife Coach

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Stephen D. Powell is an Air Force veteran with more than 18 years of combined federal, military & civilian law enforcement experience. Powell has been teaching professionally for over 25+years as a firearms Instructor for numerous organizations and agencies rated with the NRA, NM & TX DPS and a Sig Sauer Academy Master Instructor. His company, Patriot Outdoors, Inc, has been operational in the defensive training industry since 2004, starting a thousand acre training facility located in Eastern New Mexico. Patriot has provided crucial and relevant firearms training to DOD and SOCOM, state and local law enforcement and armed citizen students. Over the past several years, Powell has appeared on several Fox News, Sirius XM radio, various regional newspaper, radio and tv shows, promoting military veteran entrepreneurship and patriotism as well as educating the shooting industry on range development, media relations and key second amendment issues. Patriot Outdoors is currently operating out of the Phoenix Valley, Arizona and with a new channel of The GunLife Coach to inspire and motivate other in life and on the range!



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Life

The Fine Art of Doing Nothing

Sometimes it’s hard to be alone, especially alone with our own thoughts

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“…people never are alone now. We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it’s almost impossible for them ever to have it.” ~ Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

In this era, it’s becoming harder to be alone, especially alone with our own thoughts. Dr. Timothy Wilson, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, along with other researchers conducted an experiment with student volunteers. The students were given two options: For 15 uninterrupted minutes they could do nothing.

Or, they could give themselves a small, electric shock. Roughly 67% of the men and 25% of the women in the experiment chose to give themselves small shocks, even though earlier, many had proclaimed that they would pay money not to endure such a shock.

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Anxious for Anything To Do

Why did they opt for the shock? They became increasingly anxious for anything to do over the course of the 15 minutes. Aha, you say! These were probably millennials for whom a 15-minute stretch of doing nothing is virtually impossible.

As it turns out, the participants consisted of adults recruited from a farmer’s market and from a church. They acted in much the same way that you might expect of millennials. They felt anxious and antsy when left alone for a 15-minute stretch with nothing else to do but be with themselves.

The question  for each of us is why is it becoming so hard to take a few moments throughout the day to simply do nothing? Have we become such a driven populace that we cannot even spare a few minutes for ourselves? Do we not recognize the peace of mind that we can experience when we’re not fully occupied every minute of the day?

Weaning Yourself

If you feel that you are constantly seeking to optimize every minute of the day, and perhaps are oversubscribed, over-informed, and overwhelmed, here are interlaced ideas that you can put into practice:

Start small. Rather than attempt a long stretch of doing simply nothing, see if you can last for 60 seconds or maybe 120 if you’re feeling brave. It’s best to attempt this after you finish a task, and feel good about your accomplishment. Marinade in your positive feelings.

Perhaps before you go to lunch or return from lunch, or before or after taking a break, why not allow yourself a little time to pause and, well, simply do nothing.

If you have a 15 minute break, where is it written that you can’t spend 60 seconds at your desk doing nothing, take a 13 minute break, then spend the last 60 seconds at your desk, again doing nothing.

Expand Your Ability

As you build more and more confidence in your ability to take some time out with no thoughts or activities in mind, strive for three to five minutes. If you arrive at work early, you could spend such time in your car with the radio off, not checking your cell phone, and not doing anything, other than simply sitting there.

At your workplace, maybe you can spend three minutes undetected in a conference room, corporate library, rooftop terrace, or elsewhere.

At home, where you have more flexibility, could you attempt a short weekend session? This should be no problem. During the weekday, it’s understandable that you seek to efficiently commute to and from work, although even on weeknights it might be possible for you to carve out a few minutes. Think of all the times you’ve been online, or you flick through the TV channels, and how aimless that can be.

Reinforce What Works

As time passes, giving yourself some stretches here and there where you don’t have to do anything can become reinforcing. You have the opportunity to take a deep breath. You get a chance to reflect, or to clear your mind. You have time to visualize.

Even if none of these things happen, you still get a chance to slow down. Any way you look at it, it’s a good proposition.

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Faith

WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Simon Cowell gives Nightbirde the Golden Buzzer

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WOW. Grab the Kleenex and Watch this Girl Sing!

Simon Cowell gives Nightbirde the Golden Buzzer after her beautiful performance of “It’s Okay.” Nightbirde chases her dreams and proves that she is so much more than her cancer!

This is a message you will want to share! Watch below:

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