13 Old Soldiers And 2 Children And Our Future
How can 13 old soldiers and two of their children help us win our current war on terrorism? They are resting in the oldest cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas. Their service ended 150 years ago. They have long since laid down their arms, and their voices are now quiet.
However, if we will listen to what they did, we can learn about the
necessity and sacrifice of military service. We can learn that we have
always been in a war, and once it was right here in Texas. We can learn
that soldiers die not only on the battlefield, but also in marching
to war. We can learn that their families often suffer the consequences
of military service. We can learn that terrorist have been killing "civilians"
for millennia. And most importantly we can learn not to give up on fighting
the fight they were fighting for us.
Tarrant County is named for a soldier. General Edward H. Tarrant, as a brigadier general in the Texas Militia, led a band of 70 soldiers into the county in 1841, and began the process of cleaning out the terrorists raiding from this area. This "Battle of Village Creek" was fought along a stream separating Fort Worth and Arlington. Two other nearby counties, Denton and Young, are also named for men who fought with Tarrant. Many counties in Texas are named for soldiers. This entire area of the cross-timbers was a battlefield in a terrorist war. Not all Indians were terrorists, just as not all Moslems are terrorists, but some were.
Fort Worth is named for a soldier. Brevet Major General William Jenkins Worth was a fierce fighter in four wars - three of them against terrorists. He is the person who developed the "duty, honor, country" motto for the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Fort Worth was founded and named by a solider. Brevet Major Ripley Allen Arnold brought the U.S. Army to the bluff at the three forks of the Trinity between the cross-timbers on June 6, 1849. Their presence here allowed people to live safely along the Trinity and pushed the war on terrorism 100 miles out to the west.
Eleven soldiers died while serving at the fort in Fort Worth from 1849-1853. Terrorists killed all of them. Though none of them were killed in battle, they all lost their lives because they were serving in a frontier area with few amenities and were exposed to constant hard work, lengthy patrols, poor food and deadly diseases.
Because of the terrorists, two children died at Fort Worth --Sophie and Willis Arnold. They were the first bodies buried in the first cemetery in Fort Worth. They would not have been here if their father, the commanding officer of the fort, had not been here fighting a war.
The war against terrorists these soldiers were fighting began in America in 1492, is still going on in some parts of Mexico and Central America. It took about 400 years to win it in North America. Every generation of Americans have been called to the fight. Some respond, some don't. It only takes a few.
The story of these 13 soldiers and two children is a perfect and personal lesson to help in convincing the young men and women who will have to fight this and the next terrorist war that some of them must also serve and die. In our nation's desperate denial of war and violence we have not taught our children that some of us always have to carry on the continuing fight. The story of these soldiers is written in stark detail, based on actual events in their lives and the birth of the city in a new book The Fort In Fort Worth.
Freedom is a precious commodity, a treasure, and there will always be thieves who want to steal it. It is a dangerous threat and a deadly evil to fanatics who think they know how God wants everyone to live, to act and to contribute to them. It is a totally alien concept to societies still stuck the middle ages "The Cross-Timbers Group", is a 501C3 organization dedicated to inspiring the next generation to defend freedom by serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. The Group accomplishes its mission by aiding in preparation and presentation of patriotic material to schools and youth groups and recognizing through awards, memorials and publicity those who have served who are serving and who will serve. The Group concentrates on the cross-timbers area of Texas and Oklahoma, from Waco to Enid and from Dallas to Mineral Wells.
The Group has a plan and a project. The plan is to get those who understand the threat and the need together to work with the young men and women who will have to carry on. The project is to build memorials to13 soldiers, two children and thousands of others who died serving right here in our area. The program is called CEDAM for communicate, educate, demonstrate, admit and motivate.
We must communicate with the younger generation on their level with their music. Like all generations, they have their quirks, which seem rebellious to the older ones. However, they have the same spunk, intelligence and dedication all generations have had. Lets communicate. Let's not condemn them for being young and being different. (Go visit a JROTC, a Sea Cadet or a Young Marine program and see that they do care.)
We must educate them once we are relating to them. They must see that war has always been with us, but that freedom is fleeting unless defended. We have let others who think peace comes through denying war and violence to dominate the public agenda for the last few years. There blindness will get us killed or enslaved.
We must demonstrate that we care about those who have served and those who are serving so they can see how we regard them. We are now waving flags, but let's build memorials (especially to the 13 soldiers and 2 children here in Fort Worth, where they can see them). Let's attend parades, go to meetings and take them with us. In Fort Worth we should take them to Pioneers Rest Cemetery, to the Fort Display in the courthouse, to Heritage Park, to the three World War I Airfield locations, to Camp Bowie and to Carswell. Around Texas, we should take them to the Alamo, San Jacinto and other battlefields and forts. Around southern Oklahoma we should take them to Fort Sill, Fort Washita, Fort Gibson and other forts and battlefields in the state.
We must admit that there are dangers, that we have made mistakes in the past, and that we need our young men and women now. Our biggest mistake has been blaming our military for the actions of the terrorists. We have never been ready for war, and have had to sacrifice some soldiers inorder to arm and train the others.
We must motivate them to serve. We need them and they must not only know that, but also know that they will always be remembered and appreciated, and that their service is absolutely essential to our and their freedom and way of life.
You are invited to join the Council and help in our program. A number already have. Current members are listed on the following page. You are invited to contribute in any amount to the building of a memorial to the 11 soldiers at Pioneers Rest Cemetery and to all the fort's soldiers at the river bluff on Commerce Street. You are invited to contribute to the CEDAM program to help develop materials for distribution to the young men and women who will have to fight for freedom tomorrow. Please join in.
For information on how to get involved either through direct participation or contributions contact Cinda Thomas at (817) 498-5150 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or snail mail to PO Box 820646, Fort Worth, TX 76182-0646.
Current Members of The Cross-Timbers Group
Herbert Berkowitz State Leader, Jewish War Veterans
We would be honored to add your name to this list and this mission.
Willard Thomas, Group Executive Director
Inspiring the next generation.