Reawakening America LLC in Partnership with the National Association of Chiefs of Police
By Vincent J. Bove
This special tribute is in honor of America’s armed forces.
America must eternally honor all who protect us through military service.
These patriots are the ethical protectors of the security and freedom of America and for people of good will throughout the world.
May we be forever grateful for our military, and may their sacrifices serve the path of peace.
After a spotlight remembrance, we will express our gratitude for each branch of our armed forces. We will also take time to focus on some special armed forces topics.
Spotlight Remembrance: Murray Mankowitz, WW II Veteran, Member of the Greatest Generation
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, I was privileged to share some poignant remarks at the funeral of Morris (Murray) Nathan Mankowitz.
This honor was requested by his beloved nephew and my friend Gary Mankowitz, retired from the Livingston Police Department. Gary has been an inspiration for his steadfast kindness and devotion to his Uncle Murray, especially during his uncle’s illness.
Here are some details on the life of service, dedication and commitment to community of Murray Mankowitz, provided through the kindness of his nephew Gary. Like his uncle, Gary is a paragon of public service, as he served his police department for 31 years before retirement.
His Uncle Murray’s noble life reminds us of the profound contribution each can make to community and country.
- Livingston Township Police Department (Essex County, N.J.) – Auxiliary armed officer for 30 years, earning the rank of lieutenant.
- Livingston school crossing guard and full-time court officer.
SEPTEMBER 12, 1925 – NOVEMBER 12, 2022
The funeral service, held in Livingston, N.J., was profoundly dignified.
Services included inspirational remarks from the family rabbi, friends and loved ones. The cantors, who selected psalms and sang in Hebrew, including this one, were particularly inspirational:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures.
“He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.
“He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23: 1-4
Murray Mankowitz: A Life Well Lived
Along with the honor of being a pallbearer, it was my responsibility to share remarks on Murray’s service in the armed forces.
My remarks were made possible through the kindness of his nephew Gary, who shared Murray’s military documents with me.
It is my hope that a moment of reflection on Murray’s service to America reminds us to be forever grateful to the world’s greatest generation. They truly saved civilization from tyranny and are owed our eternal gratitude.
My military tribute eulogy was a follows:
“In 1941, Morris (Murray) Nathan Mankowitz was 16 years old and lived in Newark, New Jersey.
“Murray wrote a letter to President Roosevelt asking if he could join the U.S. Navy during World War II.
“He actually received a letter back from President Roosevelt saying he could join at 17 years old with a parent’s signature.
“As soon as Murray turned 17, he told his younger brother Fred not to say anything to his father when he got home from work. Murray was going to take his bicycle from Newark, N.J., to Bradley Beach, N.J., where their mother was visiting her sister, their Aunt Josephine.
“There wasn’t a Garden State Parkway back then. Murray’s mother Diana Mankowitz signed the permission papers and he joined the United States Navy.
“He had many positions in the Navy, but was most proud of being in a sub-chaser crew.
“Murray received a shrapnel injury to his arm but he was not concerned about it. He finished his four years active wartime duties and in 1946 was honorably discharged.
“Murray then completed 12 more years in the United States Navy Reserve and was honorably discharged from the reserves in 1956.
“Murray was a member of the Livingston Veterans of Foreign Wars, Jewish War Veterans and the American Legion. Murray was one of few left of the ‘Greatest Generation.’
“Ladies and gentleman, today we honor Murray Mankowitz, a great man and dedicated American. He will be forever remembered as a man who loved his family, friends, and community — and who was profoundly devoted to God and country.”
Murray Mankowitz: Armed Forces Ribbons
My remarks were concluded by sharing the following on Murray’s earned military ribbons:
- American Campaign Ribbon
- WWII Victory Ribbon
- WWII Good Conduct Ribbon
- American Defense Ribbon
- Honorable Service Commission Ribbon
- Navy Commission Ribbon
Our tribute continues with some excerpts from my collection of over twenty published articles honoring our armed forces, beginning with Murray’s beloved U.S. Navy.
The Navy is also important to me personally, as noted in my own reflection in the following:
US Navy: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America
“As a boy, the U.S. Navy had a special influence on me. This took place through the stories of my father, a sailor who served on the USS Charles J. Badger (DD-657) from 1953-1954.
“His experience as a U.S. sailor on this Navy destroyer influenced him with a profound spirit of patriotism. It stayed with him throughout his life and translated into a lifetime of respect for America’s flag and for all who serve in our military.
“May all who serve in our Navy be inspirited by their motto, ‘Non sibi sed patriae.’
“May these words, translated as, ‘Not for self but for country,’ inspire our appreciation for all who serve and the reawakening of our nation.”
With Honor and Leadership the US Army Protects America
“America is deservingly proclaimed as, ‘The land of the free and home of the brave.’
“This proclamation is possible only because of all who honorably serve the nation in the U.S. Army and all our armed forces.
“Our nation must eternally honor their sacrifices, dedication and valor.
“These patriots, as exemplified through the mission of the U.S. Army, are the ethical protectors of America’s freedom.
“As the gathering storm intensifies with discord among nations, may all people of good will pray and work for peace.
“Yet, let us also pray for members of the U.S. Army and all who serve the nation. These patriots stand ready to exercise America’s sacrosanct right to protect ourselves and all people of moral decency.”
U.S. Air Force: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America
“During my keynote, I highlighted to attendees that the United States Air Force (USAF) is pivotal to the honor, leadership and protection of America.
“The concept of mentorship was presented, which is paramount to their service and complemented by stressing the importance of being ethical protectors.
“The ethical protector philosophy is encouraged in my initiatives not only for the military, but for law enforcement and all in society who are dedicated to America’s ethical renaissance.
“We all have a part to play, no matter what role we have in life. All of us have the capacity to serve others as ethical protectors.
“America is at a crossroads, as witnessed through the continual headlines of violence and character deficiencies.
“As we pause to appreciate the USAF, may each of us renew our dedication to safeguarding our homeland as ethical protectors.”
With Honor and Leadership the U.S. Marine Corps Protects America
“As detailed on the official U.S. Marine Corps website, ‘The Marine Corps, within the Department of the Navy, is organized as a general purpose force in readiness to support national needs.’
“Deploying for combat as combined-arms Marine air-ground task forces (MAGTFs), the Marine Corps provides the National Command Authorities (NCA) with a responsive force that can conduct operations across the spectrum of conflict. Recent events continue to highlight the Navy-Marine Corps team’s key national security role. Sea-based, combat-ready, forward-deployed Naval forces have been involved in more than 28 major military operations since 1995.
“The heart of the mission of the U.S. Marine Corps is, ‘As America’s expeditionary force in readiness since 1775, the Marines are forward deployed to win our nation’s battles swiftly and aggressively in times of crisis. We fight on land, sea and air, as well as provide forces and detachments to naval ships and ground operations.’
With Honor and Leadership the US Coast Guard Protects America
“Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Coast Guard, the only military branch within the Department of Homeland Security, oversees missions as ‘homeland security’ or ‘non-homeland security’ missions.
“The homeland security missions are safeguarding ports and waterways, coastal security, drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, defense readiness and other law-enforcement initiatives.
“The non-homeland missions are marine safety, search and rescue, aids to navigation, living marine resources, marine environmental protection and ice operations.
“The Coast Guard defends more than 100,000 miles of U.S. coastline and inland waterways.
“Aside from its role as one of the five Armed Services of the United States, the Coast Guard is a critical first responder and humanitarian service. In this capacity, aid is provided to people in distress or impacted by natural or man-made disasters either at sea or ashore. The valiant rescue operations have been witnessed due to the hurricanes that hit America.”
America’s Veterans Deserve Honor, Homes, Healthcare
“A travesty has infected our great land, for as we now walk American cities, the dignity of our flag is contradicted by the tragedy of dishonored homeless veterans, many with mental health needs. These patriots are further victimized by society’s indignation, contempt and abandonment …
“… America must respond to an inner moral call and rise by igniting an ethical renaissance.
“The principles of character, compassion and altruism must be the heartbeat of America.
“When America’s heartbeat pulsates with putting the golden rule into action: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, the reawakening of the nation will begin its resuscitation.
“America, let us honor verses from America the Beautiful, ‘O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life.’
American Veteran Suicide Crisis Demands Ethical Leadership
“The American flag is the sacred symbol of our nation and deserves unwavering respect.
“As our flag flies throughout our land — at schools, workplaces, parades, homes, landmarks, parks and streets, it is a sacrosanct reminder of armed forces sacrifices.
“As we honor our flag, we must remember all our veterans, especially those who suffer from the trails ignited by challenges during their service. We must have empathy that assists them in their time of need.
“America’s veterans are experiencing a suicide crisis. We must respond with character, compassion and commitment to alleviate their suffering.
“A sense of immediate urgency to the veteran suicide crisis is the clarion call to America.”
West Point Cadets: Honor, Leadership, America
“During my presentation titled West Point Cadets: Honor, Leadership, America, I encouraged the cadets to develop deep rooted values of character, ethics and leadership.
“This presentation honestly assessed critical issues facing America today and emphasized that ethical principles inspired by our Constitution, Bill of Rights and the West Point legacy are principles needed to transform the nation.
“My agenda used a metaphor of a catastrophic head on collision with two trains traveling at high speed. I used this image with accompanying slides to illuminate America’s crisis of character and culture of violence in America society.
“America’s shattered communities, demonstrated through deteriorated families, substance abuse and the gang culture, resulting in violence, prison, death, were also depicted with my presentation.
“After honestly addressing these issues, solutions were presented that included cultivating altruism, visionary leadership principles, a call to action and the importance of always honoring America’s military sacrifices.”
The Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall Visits New Jersey
“Americans, and all privileged to call America home, must be forever grateful for the sacrifices of our armed forces. They have been, and are, the defenders of freedom, democracy and our way of life.
“On Sunday, July 10, 2022, my wife Lily and I were able to express our gratitude for their sacrifices.
“This gratitude, particularly for all whom made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War, took place with our visit to a solemn event at The Moving Wall.”
The trident is a sacred symbol proudly worn by Navy SEALS and solemnly embedded into the wooden coffins of fallen SEALS as an expression of respect, brotherhood and honor for those who deserve to never be forgotten.
Navy SEALS: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America
The Ethos of the U.S. Navy SEAL inspires with these words:
“My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect.
“By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.
“My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.
“I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own. I serve with honor on and off the battlefield.
“The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.”
Armed Forces Day: Honor, Leadership, Protecting America
“As detailed on the U.S. Department of Defense Armed Forces Day website, Armed Forces Day was created on Aug. 31, 1949.
“The purpose of this new day was to integrate previous separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days and to combine these with honoring all who serve, including the Marines and Coast Guard.
“This single day commemoration reflects the unity of all serving in our armed forces under the Department of Defense.”
D-Day: Eternally Honoring America’s Courage
“America must reclaim its communities from the appalling culture of violence.
“Headlines of horrific acts of violence continue in schools, campuses, movie theaters, malls, communities and homes.
“Violence brings heartbreak nationwide. Even sacred places of worship, once thought to be sanctuaries of peace, are experiencing incidents becoming all too common.
“America’s character led to the reclaiming of the tranquility for countless millions on distant shores through the heroic events that began on D-Day.
“Our nation can and must also bring security to communities throughout our homeland by rehabilitating the character exemplified on D-Day and, in doing so, reawaken the nation.”
Gold Star Families: Honoring Those Who Make the Ultimate Sacrifice
“Today, whenever a father, mother, sister, brother, son or daughter, or any loved one dies serving our country, they are recognized as a Gold Star Family member.
“This is a solemn tribute of the highest order recognizing those who have offered the ultimate sacrifice with their families. These sacrifices are the most profound expression of American patriotism.
“The sacrifice of all who lost heroes deserves America’s most heartfelt respect, dignity and gratitude. All who have died serving our nation, as well as their grieving families, must always be honored without compromise.”
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Leadership, Honor, America
The Sentinel’s (Tomb Guards) Creed can stir vast emotions when spoken by a Sentinel. In my opinion, it can also remind all Americans of the dedication, dignity and duty each of us is responsible for in our own particular circumstances of life:
“My dedication to this sacred duty is total and whole-hearted.
“In the responsibility bestowed on me never will I falter.
“And with dignity and perseverance my standard will remain perfection.
“Through the year of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements I will walk my tour in humble service to the best of my ability.
“It is he who commands the respect I protect, his bravery that made us proud.
“Surrounded by well-meaning crowds by day, alone in the thoughtful peace of night, this soldier will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance.”
Memorial Day: Respect, Reverence, Reawakening
“America must pause to honor all who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Our nation must be reawakened by igniting a fire of respect, reverence and remembrance in our souls.
“Honoring all who have offered the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom is not only a privilege, but a sacred responsibility.
“There must be a renewal of respect in the heart of America.
“America must eternally heed the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
“‘Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.'”
In Memoriam: Army Captain Jennifer M. Moreno
“Captain Moreno, 25, of San Diego, Calif., was assigned to Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis — McCord, Wash. She died in Zhari District, Afghanistan of injuries sustained while enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosion device.
“Also killed in the incident were Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, Sgt. Joseph Peters and Pfc. Cody Patterson.
“As documented by The Tacoma Tribune on the Military Times website, the details of Capt. Moreno’s heroism are as follows:
‘In her last moments of life, Army nurse Capt. Jennifer Moreno heard two orders.
‘One was a call to help a wounded soldier struck by a blast in a booby-trapped killing field at an Afghanistan bomb-making compound.
‘The other was a command to stay put lest she strike another mine in the bomb belt.
‘The nurse from Madigan Army Medical Center chose to help the wounded soldier and gave her life trying.
‘In the words of her commander, Moreno ran “into hell” to rescue a comrade on the night she was killed. Newly released narratives of the Oct. 5 battle reveal the kind of hell Moreno and dozens of Army special operators found while trying to disrupt a plot to kill civilians in the city of Kandahar.
‘A total of 12 bombs exploded that night — a chain reaction that took the lives of four U.S. soldiers and wounded at least 25.
‘The fifth bomb killed Moreno, 25, of San Diego who volunteered for a dangerous assignment supporting special operators in combat.
‘The 11th bomb wounded three soldiers trying to recover her body.
‘Moreno is Madigan’s only fatal casualty from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the hospital south of Tacoma has continuously deployed soldiers to medical facilities in combat zones.
‘Moreno “sacrificed her life so others could live,” her Bronze Star commendation reads.'”
A Memorial Day Prayer
“WE PRAY THAT ALL WHO WEAR THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES UNIFORM UNDERSTAND THE IMMEASURABLE DIGNITY OF A CAUSE GREATER THAN THEMSELVES. AS THEY SERVE FREEDOM AND PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE, PROTECT THEM.
“AS WE HONOR ALL WHO CONSECRATED AMERICA AND THE IDEALS THAT WE STAND FOR WITH THEIR BLOOD, WE REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO THE UNENDING WORK OF BRINGING OUR COUNTRY EVER CLOSER TO THAT MORE PERFECT UNION FOR WHICH THEY DIED.
“TODAY AND EVERY DAY, WE IMPLORE YOU TO PROTECT OUR TROOPS, TO SHINE LIGHT PERPETUAL UPON THE FALLEN AND TO BRING YOUR COMFORT TO THEIR LOVED ONES.
“BESTOW YOUR GRACE TO AMERICA’S GOLD STAR FAMILIES AND TO ALL WHO HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE. INSPIRE US TO HONOR THE MEMORIES OF THE FALLEN AND TO SUPPORT THE FAMILIES, CAREGIVERS AND SURVIVORS THEY LEFT BEHIND.”
Note Well: The independently prepared White House Memorial Day Proclamation, by a separate author, was modified into prayer by Vincent Bove
Veterans Day: Honoring Our Heroes
“The legacy of America urges us to appreciate all veterans who have honored our nation through their service. When we are grateful for the heroism, patriotism and sacrifices of our veterans we are on the course to reawakening the nation.”
Fallen Green Berets Deserve America’s Honor
“Green Berets are defined as the ‘elite, multi-purpose force for high priority operational targets of strategic importance.’ Their linage dates back to more than 200 years of unconventional warfare history, with notable predecessors including the Revolutionary War Swamp Fox Francis Marion, the WWII OSS Jedbourg Teams and Detachment 101 in Burma, as well as the Alamo Scouts.
“‘Since their establishment in 1952, they have distinguished themselves in Vietnam (17 Medals of Honor), El Salvador, Panama, Desert Shield/Storm, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
“‘Most recently, Green Berets have played a critical role in destroying Taliban/al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, rooting out insurgents in Iraq, training foreign troops to fight terrorists or drug warlords and crossing the globe to liberate the oppressed.'”
Navajo Code Talkers: An American Treasure
“America is deservingly proclaimed as the land of the free and home of the brave. This proclamation is possible only because of patriots such as the Navajo Code Talkers who honorably served in the U.S. Marine Corps and all our armed forces.
“Our nation must eternally honor their sacrifices, patriotism and valor.
“May America be eternally grateful for these patriots. They fulfilled America’s sacrosanct right to protect ourselves and all people of moral decency. They deserve our admiration, respect, and a Navajo Code Talkers Museum, to forever remember their service.”
Sacred Honor: Police Officer, Soldier, Patriot
“On Friday July 13, 2007, I was privileged to attend the full military interment ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery of Army 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley, 27, who was killed in Iraq on September 19, 2005. Lt. Mark Dooley was from Wallkill, N.Y., and was assigned to the 3d Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain), 42nd Infantry Division, Vermont Army National Guard, Jericho, Vermont. Mark would have celebrated his 29th birthday on Sunday, July 15, 2007, a day after his remains were honored at Arlington.
“I was invited to this solemn event by his parents, Marion and Peter Dooley. I met Marion Dooley at a school violence prevention presentation for the Wallkill School District in New York on Nov. 22, 2006. Because I honor American Military personnel at each of my presentations, Marion shared with me the story of her military sons.
“The ceremony was profoundly inspirational thanks to the devotion and presence of his parents, his brother Charlie – who also serves in the U.S. Army — and the many family members, friends, educators and military personnel (including the honor guard) who came to honor Mark Dooley and remember him as a man of commitment, courage and patriotism.
“Although there are many vignettes that can be used to capture the event, I will never forget the expressive faces of those who honored Mark and the “clip-clop” of horse hooves in soothing cadence as they transported the caisson that carried Mark’s remains. It was the perfect orchestration of nature and emotions during the one mile procession to Marks final resting place, as though even the horses understood, honored and sympathized with the gravity of the interment.”
In Remembrance: Honoring American Military Sacrifices
“Surrounded by the significance of Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline, is the Liberation Monument in Liberty View Park, Jersey City, N.J.
Designed by sculptor Nathan Rapaport, this inspirational statue depicts a World War II American soldier carrying a survivor from a concentration camp. This image moves the soul to reflect on the values of compassion, character and courage.
“Today, as in generations past, courageous Americans are making great sacrifices to serve our country and preserve our liberty in our armed forces.
‘It is important for those who benefit from the valor of their service to always appreciate their dedication. Their sacrifices are shared by their loved ones, especially their children. It is critical to be mindful of their challenges and support them and their families in every way possible.
“The legacy of America urges a rebirth of patriotism that will transform us once again into a nation destined to be a hope for the world through its commitment to moral leadership. Our renewal begins with honoring all who serve us.”
Life Lessons from the United States Military
- “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been guarded since July 2, 1937, for 24 hours per day, 365 days a year, in any weather by Tomb Sentinels.
- “Representing teamwork, there are three reliefs, one relief commander and about six sentinels. Reliefs are organized by height for uniformity and rotate every hour during winter and every half-hour in summer.
- “An impeccably uniformed relief commander appears on the plaza announcing the Changing of the Guard. He salutes the Tomb and then faces the spectators requesting them to stand in silence during the ceremony.
- “The Tomb Guard marches 21 steps, faces east for 21 seconds, turns and faces north for 21 seconds, then takes 21 steps down the mat and repeats the process. Twenty-one symbolizes the highest military honor, the 21-gun salute.”
United States Military Academy: Leadership Lessons for America
“The ethical deficiencies in the corporate sector smack of decayed underpinnings of dysfunction and the lack of a moral compass. Enron, once an admired company, became the icon of corporate greed. Executives enriched themselves at the expense of thousands who lost their jobs and their retirement savings.
“Legions of corrupt and dishonest officials from other companies, including WorldCom, represented this deviance. Professional sports teams shared in this pandemic of scandal. Each of us can cite personal examples of how greed brought pain to ourselves, or others.
“The leadership principles from the United States Military Academy stand as counter cultural wisdom to this crisis. These ideals demand review, reflection and resolve for all Americans. America must appreciate West Point’s motto, ‘duty, honor, country.’
“Let us make sure this motto serves as a starting point for our ethical renaissance.”