Covering Up Freedom

You know what I find hilarious, is how big a hypocrite the average American is. We like to talk about how much better we are than folks in the Middle East, how we have freedoms and we don’t make our women cover up. No hijabs for our women, and definitely no burkas. And yet we’re constantly criticizing women and girls for the clothes they wear if they show even a bit of skin. If you’re wearing a short skirt and you get raped, well you shouldn’t have been wearing something so revealing. Of course no one wants to talk about the women who were wearing extremely conservative clothes and still get raped, because I’m sure there was some other reason she was asking for it.

But even before we get to the extreme of rape, there’s little things that constantly show how men in this country think it’s women’s responsibility to keep guys from being distracted by the fact there’s a woman in the room. One of the easiest places to notice this is at school. How many articles have we read where a girl was pulled from class, often missing several classes that day, because of something she was wearing. Now it’s one thing to have dress codes, most places of work have them, but the schools seem to be a bit extreme about them

I currently work in a college, I’m not allowed to wear jeans or flip flops, and that’s the end of the rules. Now I’m sure if I really pushed it to the extremes and showed up in booty shorts and a tank top they would probably make some new rules, but the average outfit I wear are the same things these girls are being punished for. One girl was wearing tights with a baggy shirt that hid all her curves and hung well below her butt. But they considered her tights too revealing, because apparently men don’t know girls have legs. Another case was a girl who got pulled for wearing jeans, a tank top, and a flowy long sleeve cardigan. The reason? They could see her clavicle. So I guess we should require girls need to wear turtlenecks year round.

We’re basically telling girls their education isn’t as important, and that men are in no way in control of themselves and if they realize you have a body under those clothes then they’re not going to be able to stop whatever they do to you. Of course they’re thing is that the girls are distracting the guys from learning. I’m sorry, but do you think that none of the girls may be distracted by the guys just because they think they’re hot? Especially high school, the kids are going to spend most of the time distracted by each other no matter what they’re wearing. What needs to be taught is regardless of what someone is wearing, you need to respect their space, and learn to turn your eyes away in order to get your work done.

But the most disturbing, isn’t when it’s high-schoolers they’re dealing with, but when it’s young girls in middle or even elementary school. For wearing cutesy little outfits, once again usually leggings under a dress or what not. What is wrong with these people to look at a little girl and say she’s too sexually provocative. And these aren’t girls dressed to look grown up, they definitely look like a little girl wearing the average little girl outfit.

We want to say we’re so much better than those other countries or religions that make women cover themselves from head to toe, and yet that’s basically what we’re asking of women now. Any time something untoward happens to a woman the first thing we blame is how they looked. It isn’t the perpetrators fault that you were too enticing for him to control himself, because apparently we’ve never taught men to keep their hands to themselves.

But far worse isn’t the men who may think this way, it’s the women who say it’s okay for men to think this way. So the question is, do you want to live in a country that is free and respects women, or do you want to go ahead and admit that you’d rather us wear a burka?

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Why Yoga Isn’t Religious

Yes, yoga was started in religions such as Buddhism, but the actual act of doing yoga isn’t really some huge announcement that you follow these religions. I was just watching a video about how a school has implemented meditation for students who are acting up, rather than give them detention. Since doing this they’ve noticed an improvement in students’ behavior and having to discipline children has dropped dramatically. But the majority of comments on there were either saying this violates the rule of separation of church and state or basically saying it’s demonic. Neither of these are true.

First off, meditation isn’t just for Buddhist, the Bible on many occasions mentions meditating on God’s word. So how about instead of jumping to conclusions on how evil the act of meditating is because someone mentions it in conjunction with yoga, you actually open your Bible and learn a bit about your own religion. Of course, upon pointing that out it sounds like I’m in fact saying it would be a violation of separating church and state. But have you ever been upset or angry and decide to go find a quiet corner where you could take a deep breath and mull over your problems and calm down and come to reasonable conclusion. To block out the rest of the world and really focus within and what you’re really going through. OMG you’ve meditated! Unless they’re asking them to pray to some god out there, then they are in no way bring church into the school.

Then beyond that, there’s doing yoga moves. I saw a comment once talking about how Buddhist believe doing yoga will do something or other to the universe. I honestly don’t know enough about Buddhism to know what they may believe on the subject and I barely remember what the guy was specifically rambling about. But I do know one thing, if you believe in God, and believe he is the only God, then how on earth could doing yoga impower someone else’s religion? Either God is the only God or your whole religion is wrong. So you really got to ask yourself how strong is your faith if this is your fear.

More so, there are only so many ways the body can move. You’ve probably done bits and pieces of yoga without even knowing it. Every done a plank? It’s in yoga. Ever been doing push-ups and went into the push-up rest position? Ooo that’s downward facing dog. And if you’ve ever seen a runner stretching that weird stretch where the stick one leg far behind the other and lean forward to stretch the back calf muscle, you’ve have witnessed warrior 1, with perhaps their arms not up in the air.

A while ago I injured my back pretty bad; I had to do 6 months of physical therapy to be able to walk without being in excruciating pain. To be able to move and do simple tasks. I went to lift up a picture frame once and I couldn’t do it because my back muscles just wouldn’t move in that way. The exercises I did to strengthen my core muscles was pretty much yoga, with maybe someone weightlifting tossed in. Yoga just blends it into a smooth move from one sort of stretch and strength training to the next. But ultimately, it’s the sort of work out plenty of people have done in various ways.

For some yoga can be a spiritual act, but for most it’s just a way to build strength and balance while calming themselves down after a stressful day. I mean sometimes I need to go beat the crap out of my punching back to work the stress out, but sometimes I need my yoga DVD with the woman’s whose voice slowly puts my husband to sleep while I try and fail to do the position she’s twisting herself into. It doesn’t in anyway alter my faith in God, because for me it’s just a workout. And anyone who can see evil in the fact that a school has found a peaceful and positive way to help children deal with their emotions and be able to function in school, I think you’re the problem not the yoga.

Don’t Just Take A Knee

A few days ago someone asked me, as a veteran, what I thought about the NFL players taking a knee. My answer was that I served my country to help protect freedoms. So simply put, they have the freedom to take a knee to show support for their cause. Whether I agree with it or not isn’t relevant. Freedom is freedom, even when it comes to people doing things you don’t agree with. Besides, at least this protest isn’t like many others that led to vandalism and chaos in the street. This is peaceful, but easily viewed by many. However, my problem is that what exactly is taking a knee doing to help with the problems in the world. I saw where someone else said such a thing, and another party responded asking what wearing pink does to help breast cancer, it’s just showing support. However, this isn’t a good analogy at all. I looked it up myself, because I was wondering if the ribbons sold, or the pink stuff flaunted as support of breast cancer in anyway really gives back to any actual research in trying to cure it or to help those who are suffering from it. The answer is neither. I came across a really good article discussing such. Think Before You Pink. Don’t like that one, here’s another. Breast Cancer: The Wearing of the Pink.

The fact is it’s easy to do something like take a knee or wear pink or whatever nice little symbol you can throw out there for your support in whatever cause you’re wanting to show you care about. What’s hard is actually going out and doing something about it. It’s hard to actually come up with solutions and then attempt to put them in action. It’s hard to even simply choose to give money to organizations that are legitimate (because please make sure they are before giving money) rather than save it for something you really want to buy yourself. I mean every time a cashier asks for even a dollar to go towards the children’s hospital I hesitate. That’s my dollar. I need that dollar. But do I really? Cause I don’t mind spending that dollar on a candy bar I definitely don’t need. But just giving money itself doesn’t do much either. They need people out there, being active. So you’re taking a knee because you hate the racism in the world, you want to stop police from overreacting in situations that end up getting someone killed, in general you want the world to be a more peaceful place that accepts people of all colors and gives them all the same opportunities. That’s a good cause to want to fight for. But while taking a knee may draw attention to this, it doesn’t help it.

So take a knee in protest, but then stand up and do something to actually change the world.

Writing Rituals

Yes, you guessed it, Kyle Robert Schultz is just on a rampage to prove how utterly lame I am. Why Kyle, why?

When do you write? (time of day, day of week)

When do I write? hmmm… sometimes? Mainly when I’m at work supposed to be doing a job I still kind of suck at. Seriously who thought it’d be a good idea to put me in charge of computers? It took me a year to figure out how to schedule posts on here. So yeah, that’s when.

How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?

ummm… by going home. Where there’s only a fuzzy dog to ignore me.

How do you review what you wrote the previous day?

Wait… am I supposed to do this? Interesting. I tend to only review my work if I’ve got writers block or (and this is the usual) if it’s been months since I’ve touched this particular piece of work. And then while I’m reading through I edit it to death crying giant tears of sorrow over how much it sucks.

What song is your go-to when you’re feeling uninspired?

I guess whatever song I’ve decided is my favorite at the time. It changes a lot. I have a short attention span. Right now I’m torn between Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do and Sing’s soundtrack song I’m Still Standing by whoever voiced the gorilla.

What do you always do (i.e. listen to music, read, watch youtube, etc.) when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?

I like watching movies like Something’s Gotta Give or Alex and Emma so I can watch other people suffering through writer’s block as well. Misery loves company and all that. Though I do read a lot, but I’m not sure if that helps with the block, but it’s definitely good for relaxation and gets me thinking. Plus, at the very least, I’m writing a review afterwards. So some kind of writing gets happenin’.

What tools do you use when you’re writing?

A pen? What else would I use? I mean I could use a pencil, but then I’d probably wear a hole through the paper with so much erasing. So I use a red pen, then I edit with a blue pen, then I edit the blue with a red pen. And so it continues…

What’s the one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?

Probably air. And then water. Sometimes I eat, but that gets crumbs on my pages, and usually I can survive long enough till my ideas run out before I absolutely have to eat. But one must always come prepared.

How do you fuel yourself during your writing session?

Isn’t this the same question as before? I am so confused.

How do you know when you’re done writing?

I type THE END and then I know.

Now I’m sure you’re over wowed by my truly in depth answers, and so if you feel like spreading the joy just copy the questions below and slap them on your own blog.

When do you write? (time of day, day of week)
How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?
How do you review what you wrote the previous day?
What song is your go-to when you’re feeling uninspired?
What do you always do (i.e. listen to music, read, watch youtube, etc.) when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?
What tools do you use when you’re writing?
What’s the one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?
How do you fuel yourself during your writing session?
How do you know when you’re done writing?

THE END

Strangest Browser Searches

I was tagged by Kyle Robert Schultz who apparently hates me and wants me to reveal how boring my writings really are through the sad things I end up searching for. I happily left out all the searches that included me trying to figure out how to spell a word, or if that word even meant what I thought it did. As well as the searches that was just me trying to figure out what an outfit actually looked like during whatever time period. There is also a good mix of me googling translations of words so I can be cool and toss a little Latin in there at times, and unfortunately must admit I’ve forgotten everything from the 4 semesters of Latin that I took in college. So while Kyle went on to list far more than the asked for 5 searches, and showed how cool he is, these are the few pitiful things that keep me up at night trying to get my stories right.

  1. Bandits in the 15th century

Now I know what you’re thinking, why would I search such a thing, a bandit is a bandit. Honestly I wanted to know if it really was such an issue, and not just a fiction created by Hollywood. Surprisingly the “Highway men” weren’t Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. They were basically gangs, but also at times they were actual nobles themselves I suppose needing money to stay fancy, or just charging people illegal tolls to be on their land. Either way it was interesting.

  1. When did the Roman Empire rule France

You see I have these vampires that have a French last name, just cause, but they’re also really ancient. Plus I wanted them to be a part of a civilization that believed in things like gods and magic and possibly could be responsible for accidentally creating the first vampire. Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense later.

  1. Name meaning

I do this a lot because for some reason I haven’t bookmarked the site that I like using to search for names through their meanings. I like giving my characters fitting monikers (and yes I did just google moniker) that represent a piece of their personality. I’m awesome like that.

  1. How does a spinning wheel work?

I know you’ll be shocked, but I’m writing a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and it occurred to me that the spinning wheel being such a huge part of that story it’d probably be good to know how they work and why there is even a pointy bit on it. It actually led to me learning about a spinning whorl and how much more interesting and devious it would be to use one of those instead. Try to refrain from stealing my amazing ideas.

  1. A Duke in Germany

Another shocker, a fairy tale retelling in the black forest of Germany. Actually it doesn’t specifically say where it is, but considering all the Germanic stuff that really hangs around fairy tales I thought it’d be cool to toss in some Germanic titles. Which I suppose also counts as me looking for a translation for a word, but geez I needed one more to list. By the way a duke in Germany is called a Herzog. Nifty stuff there.

Now that is my sad little list. And I’m not evil like Kyle and so won’t force such things upon other poor authors whose google searches are less than fascinating. But if you wish to carry on in this wonderful good fun then here is essentially the rules that you can choose to ignore.

  • Access your browser history
  • Pick at least 5 of your strangest searches you’ve had to look up as a writer
  • List them below with an explanation as to why you had to look them up
  • Tag 2-5 other bloggers

 

Why Can’t Boys Be Sweet?

I read a Twitter thread today talking about how a 4 year old boy wanted to have a butterfly painted on his face, but his parents flat out refused to allow such and instead forced him to get a skull and crossbones. You know, something manly. It just got me thinking how much easier it is to be a girl.

I’m not saying that women don’t deal with issues of inequality. There are still jobs it’s hard for women to get, pay disparities, and general sexist attitudes that still exist in the world. But sometimes it seems it’s easier for women to break into the man’s world and be hailed a revolutionary than it is for the reverse. While we’re so busy trying to show the world we can be just as strong, capable, and badass as men, we overlook the fact that men aren’t as easily allowed to be sweet, loving, and nurturing as women. For both men and women, acts of masculinity are much more easily accepted than those deemed more feminine. Even at times for a woman, we’re seen as weak for being girly, no wonder all the heroines today are more Black Widow than Cinderella. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Now I’ve served in the Air Force as a mechanic, and what do most people say to hearing that? “Thank you for serving.” I was a girl who did a manly job, no problem. After getting out and getting a degree, I had trouble finding a job, and when folks asked me what I did I just said stay-at-home. Some would ask if I had kids, and upon hearing that I didn’t seemed simply envious I got to be home while my husband brought home the bacon. But while men going into the military doesn’t even get a second thought, a guy staying at home instead of working would simply be seen as lazy, and a man who decides to stay at home to take care of the kids is seen as unmanly, and worse the number of people who are sure men can’t care for children as well as women. Of course, I’ve already talked about that in Can Only Mommies Mommy? In either situation no one seemed bothered by my life choice, but for men it’s a whole other ballgame, and I’ve seen it before plenty of times. And it’s not just men being tough on other men, it’s women with the same expectations of how men should act.

However, when it comes to kids sometimes it’s almost more obvious how we start at the beginning to force this confining issue on boys, and less so on girls. A little girl wants to play with GI Joe, well look at her not excepting those stereotypes placed on her by men. A little boy wants to play with Barbie, we need to stop that or he’s gonna turn out to be one of them gays.

I think back to myself growing up, I was the weird girl who’d wear pocket watches, ties, and suspenders. Not very stylishly I might add, I was dressing to be “cool” like my dad. I remember a guy commenting how nobody said anything about my clothes, but if he wore a kilt it’d be a scandal. People’s response, “well that’s RG, that’s just what she does.” Essentially I can be accepted for weird boyish behavior, but he couldn’t be accepted for anything remotely girly.

When I asked my dad about this he said, “You can’t stop someone from being who they are on the inside. You can only oppress them, and stop them from accepting who they are. You can stop them from being happy with themselves.” Essentially your kid is who they is, you’re either helping them love themselves or making them feel ashamed and resentful.

I think of my sweet little 3 year old nephew, who one minute is hugging an angel figurine claiming it’s a beautiful butterfly and it’s his favorite. The next he’s building a Lego tower claiming it’s a robot prison, which apparently also needed a hug. One act is a bit ‘girly’ and the other more acceptable of boys. And I’m so happy his parents are raising him to be sweet rather than tough, they want him to learn and discover all the wonders of the world, and not try to shut down this intelligent loving little boy. Kids are innocent beings who are just learning about life. Don’t stifle their love and joy with your fear that they’re not going to be “normal”, instead allow them to bloom knowing that you’re there for them no matter what.

Every little boy should be allowed to appreciate the beauty of the world as much as girls do. Boys should be allowed to try new things and learn new skills even if they’re not deemed manly. After all that definition changes one century to the next. There was a time when knitting was considered too complicated for women and was actually a man’s hobby. Just think about that.

O-Face COVER REVEAL!!!

O Face by Heather Hildenbrand

coming October 16th, 2017

 

I have a confession.
I’ve never had an orgasm.
Not for lack of trying. Hell, I even experimented once in college with a girlfriend, but nothing. Nada. Zilch.
I’m pretty sure I’m broken.
That is, until Liam Porter waltzes back into my life.

Cassie Franklin is untouchable. And she wears it well.

Heir to a fortune and heart of fucking stone—I’ve never, not once in the years I’ve known her—seen her smile.

Not that I’ve lost sleep over her while I’ve been rolling in the sheets with every other beautiful girl this town has to offer. Not to mention the women I had during my tour of duty. I’m not exactly pining. Still, Cassie’s always gotten under my skin—all that cool beauty set into a cold stare.

So when her best friend begs me to find out what Cassie’s hiding, I’m more than happy to comply. In fact, this is one covert takedown I’ll actually enjoy.

So why is it that the more I learn about the real Cassie Franklin, the more positive I am—there’s only one expression I want to see grace her features: Her O Face.

And I never back down from a challenge.

 

Pre-order exclusively on iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1233007167

O Face is part of the Meet Cute theme of books, a collection of contemporary romance novels by different authors with the same theme.

Boy meets girl. It’s the way romances usually begin . . . and while we all love a happy ending, it’s the #MeetCute that wins our hearts.

How did you two meet?

The #MeetCute Books each have a unique answer to that query. Some might make you swoon, others might make you giggle . . . and some may make you blush.

Twelve authors. Twelve stand-alone contemporary romance novels. Twelve stories that will make your heart beat a little faster.

Because it’s all about the #MeetCute.

Learn More about all the Meet Cute books here.

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) She writes paranormal and contemporary romance with plenty of abs and angst. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs.

You can find out more about Heather and her books at heatherhildenbrand.com.

Water Intoxication… It’s Real

In less than a month’s time I’ll be turning 29, so you may be surprised to hear last night was the first time I ever went bar hopping, but I doubt you’d be surprised to know I woke up this morning with a horrible hangover. The only problem is I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol. That’s right, I was pounding water all night. You see I don’t drink, which is probably why it’s taken this long for someone to invite me on such an excursion. And I’m not some kind of health nut, drinking water regularly is probably about the only healthy thing I do, and the only reason I was drinking it so much last night was because it was rather warm out and walking from one place to the next I was thirsty. Plus, water is free, and kind of helped balance out the tab my husband and friends were accruing. But looking back I realize I wasn’t just drinking water, I was drinking it like it was going out of style.

Starting at the restaurant at 6pm where I drank at least a pitcher if not more on my own, and then at each bar until well after midnight I was having one glass after the next, until finally I reached a point I couldn’t take another sip. So while my friends, who were enjoying Long Island Ice Teas, Crown and Coke, and some other combination of drinks I can’t even remember, were feeling giddy and laughing, I (the sober one) was feeling like I was about to pass out or throw up. I was the one dragging myself into bed feeling the pain, and while both me and hubs woke up to a couple of Excedrin’s, I was the one with stomach cramps, dry heaving, and a headache that made the slightest bit of light or movement a painful experience. He was up and perky, and I looked like the one who had one too many the night before.

The fact is, you can have too much of a good thing. We think of water and think that’s healthy, our body needs it, drinking water is easily the best thing you can do for yourself. But it also flushes your system, and can cause your sodium levels to drop. Yep, we need some salty goodness at times. Now, luckily, my case wasn’t too severe, though it honestly felt like it. There have been instances where people died from such, usually athletes who are trying to stay hydrated while they’re sweating it out. But it’s why drinks like Gatorade or Powerade may be a good thing to toss in every now and then to help replenish what water is washing away. Being the sober person is an important thing in a group, especially when your husband gets so bad he can’t remember the name of the hotel you’re staying at. So stay sober, but remember a nice glass of Sprite or Ginger Ale (my drinks of choice) can do the job just as easily as water.

Palm Beach Bones RELEASE BLITZ!!!

Detective Charlie Crawford is having a tough week. First, Palm Beach’s ex-police chief washes up dead on the beach behind The Breakers. Then Charlie’s friend’s niece is abducted without a trace. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his brother just checked himself into a clinic for depression and alcoholism.

The good news is Charlie’s love life has never been better…except with the woman he really loves.

 

 

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon http://amzn.to/2qK6uEu

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2qFq8q4

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2ror9jA

 

Also Available Books 1-3 in the Charlie Crawford series, all books can be read as stand-alone

Palm Beach Nasty

Amazon http://amzn.to/2kRvlEE

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2kqLRyd

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2kRgD3S

 

Palm Beach Poison

Amazon http://amzn.to/2jvF1Yv

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2kRtOOY

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2kRyNz9

 

Palm Beach Deadly

Amazon http://amzn.to/2kqRP1R

Amazon CA http://amzn.to/2jUQcGo

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2jCW3iq

 

About the Author

A native New Englander, Tom dropped out of college and ran a Vermont bar—straight into the ground. After limping back to college to get his diploma, Tom became an advertising copywriter, first in Boston then New York. After ten years of post-Mad Men life, he made a radical change and got a job in Manhattan commercial real estate. Not long after that he ended up in Palm Beach, buying, renovating and selling houses while collecting a lot of raw material for his novels. On the side, he wrote Palm Beach Nasty and a screenplay called Dead in the Water. While at a wedding a few years back, he fell for the charm of Charleston, South Carolina. He moved there and wrote Palm Beach Poison and a series set in Charleston. Recently, wandering Tom moved again. This time, just down the road to Skidaway Island, outside of Savannah, where he just completed Palm Beach Deadly.

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Memorial Day

Over the last few days I’ve seen posted on social media people feeling the need to point out that Memorial Day is the day to remember those in the Armed Forces who have fallen in combat. And it’s not just that they want you to remember that it’s for the fallen, but to point out that it’s not about those that are still alive. I even read another blog written by a service member who talked about how they hate it when people try to thank them for serving their country on Memorial Day or Armed Forces Day or any day other than Veteran’s Day, because as a veteran that’s the only time someone should thank them, and so that’s when they acknowledge such sentiment. First off, that sounds extremely rude and a poor reflection on military members when someone gets thanked and they ignore it except for one day a year. However, I don’t at all understand the concept that we should leave out anyone who is or has served their country on this day, even though it is set aside specifically for those no longer among us.

Today we should remember that our freedom has been protected by so many lives laid down in service to this country. There have been many wars fought, and even now there are troops out there trying to stop anyone who wishes to harm America. Men and women have died while we sit at home enjoying those freedoms that they gave up. Because when you serve in the military you do give up a lot of freedoms. You don’t get to choose where you live. You don’t get to say and do as you wish even off duty because you’re always on duty and you’re always representing the military. You don’t even get to choose what you do with your hair, nails, even piercings and body art all have regulations on them. And you definitely don’t get to up and quit because you decide you don’t want to be there anymore. You give up a lot, and all the while knowing that you could be put in the position to make the ultimate sacrifice. I think that’s something that should be recognized every day of the year.

Because for those who are serving, they may not get out of that service alive, and shouldn’t we thank them when we have the chance, and not way until the next Memorial Day. And for the Veterans, they may have survived, but there’s a chance they may have lost someone, and when you thank them they can accept it for their fallen brethren. I remember my dad talking about seeing his uncle tear up when talking about losing his friend in WWII. Not only did he die right in front of him, but my great uncle had to leave him behind and keep going in order to complete his mission. I believe on Memorial Day thanking him would let him know that people appreciated the sacrifice his friend made. So while we honor the dead, let us not forget the living.