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Margaret's Musings: A night at the movies...

The evening was perfect. The weather was just right on Aug. 11. As we found our seats at Miller Park in Milwaukee, the crowd grew and the excitement mounted. We were not there for a baseball game but for the world premiere of "Honor Flight," the full-length feature movie about the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight program. One of the minor goals was to break a Guinness world record for the number of people attending a movie premiere. The Field of Honor, a salute to the greatest generation, was the event which drew the record-breaking crowd of over 28,000 to Miller Park to see the movie.

For me it was an emotional evening as I sat with my father, who had, at the age of 91, the privilege of going on an Honor Flight out of Milwaukee June 2. As one guest speaker after another took the podium or appeared on the jumbo-tron to share their thoughts and express their thanks to the "greatest generation," it reminded me of the sacrifices the 16 million Americans who served during World War II made. Some of course never made it home. Others like Joe Demler, a U.S. Army veteran, who was "a guest of the Third Reich for three months" in a Nazi prison camp, returned to his home of Port Washington, and went on to raise a family and become the assistant postmaster.

However when the camp Joe was in was liberated, he was near death with every bone in his body showing, the reason his picture appeared later in Life Magazine. Joe was in the audience that night; his story was shared with the crowd. From the day he was captured the horrors of the Nazi regime unfolded. "We were stacked like cordwood; for four days we stood in this rail car without food, water or bathroom facilities, the guy next to me died." He learned to pray in that camp and upon liberation he said, "From now on every day is a bonus." This has become the theme stitched on the shirts given to those selected to participate in an Honor Flight. Demler was an early supporter of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight program and continues to volunteer with fundraising as a guest speaker. To date the SSHF has transported 2,000 World War II veterans on 14 flights to Washington, D.C., for a day, free of charge to see their memorial. It is one of six Wisconsin Honor Flight hubs serving Wisconsin veterans.

While sitting there I kept thinking about the "America" these veterans served to protect and preserve. It is certainly not the same America that is being fundamentally transformed before our eyes today.

It is not the one where on stage during a nationally televised program i.e. the Democratic National Convention, Nazi references were made three times, once comparing South Carolina's governor, Nikki Haley to Hilter's mistress Eva Braun. It is not the America, where the left has become so intolerant, that you are either called a Nazi or a bigot if you express an honest, opposing opinion or worse, they want you censored.

I thought about the many veterans who became mentors in their communities after they returned home and resumed life, and the powerful influence mentors can have on children and young adults from establishing morals to career options.

Not the usual summer movie fare; "Obama's America 2016," and "Obama's America," the follow up book to the movie provided a much different atmosphere, somber at best. Both give us a snapshot of President Barack Obama's mentors. They include childhood and young adult mentor Frank Marshall Davis, a former communist; at Columbia University, Palestinian radical Edward Said; at Harvard, Brazilian socialist Roberto Managberia Unger; in Chicago, preacher Jeremiah Wright and former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.

The movie and the book, suggest that anti-colonialism may be the driving force in President Obama's desire to fundamentally change America possibly using debt as the ultimate WMD.

"Agenda, Grinding Down America," which was shown in Hudson last week takes a different look at the present situation. Several months ago, a friend of mine mentioned she was given a DVD of the movie and asked if I had heard of it. I had not. The host website for the movie contained a list of suggested books.

Only one was familiar, "None Dare Call It Treason," but not because I had read it. It was in my home, boxes of it actually, when I was growing up. It turned out that it was made available to veterans groups in bulk quantities in the mid-sixties, which explains how my father came to have them.

In one of those odd moments of recall, I remembered that because it was important to my father, I took a copy when I moved out of the house. I was thrilled to find it still on my bookshelf, essentially untouched and the binding not broken. This book was written in 1964 by John Stormer, who is featured in the movie "Agenda." Setting aside the conspiracy debate, the movie and Stormer's book suggests and documents that it is really more a specific agenda for dismantling America. A well planned and thought out process that has taken place over the last four decades. Check out the communist goals from 1958, presented in book "The Naked Communist" by W. Cleon Skousen or the list on record in the Library of Congress. You decide how many have been accomplished and why.

From a celebration of those who, served and fought for an America they believed in, to two movies, which paint a portrait of a different America, all three provided thought provoking nights at the movies.

You, be the movie critic, decide for yourself.