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I'm Thankful My Father Died on Sept. 30, 2023

Updated: Nov 24, 2023


My father, John Briasson Blackburn, died two months ago on September 30, 2023 at 98 ½. He grew up in Glencoe, Illinois, attended New Trier High School, and enlisted in the Navy in 1943, just before his 18th birthday. He served on the U.S.S. Ulvert M. Moore, a destroyer escort under the command of Lieutenant Commander Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.

During his service, my father was a “radioman” (Morse code communications), and when at general quarters, he was a “hot shell man,” in a five-inch gun mount. The Ulvert M. Moore participated in the Philippine liberation and provided support during the Iwo Jima and Okinawa operations. The Ulvert M. Moore sank a Japanese submarine, downed a Japanese tactical fighter plane, and destroyed a Japanese dive bomber.


After his service during WWII, he married, became a Christian, and raised a family—a son, followed by three daughters. His beloved wife—my mother—died at 56, and his first-born and only son died in Oct. 2022. My father soldiered on. He fought the good fight and finished the race. For his service, love of his country, faithfulness to God, personal integrity, and unwavering commitment to his family, I am deeply thankful. Because he loved his country, my brilliant father kept abreast of the news and was a full-orbed conservative. He understood that the “social issues” (a dismissive and reductive term I loathe) are as essential to the welfare and future of America as fiscal issues. In his last two decades of life as he witnessed the shredding of the social fabric, he repeatedly said, “This is not the country I fought for.”


For this reason, I am thankful too that he died before he had to witness the sickening aftermath of Hamas’ savage attack on Israel—the aftermath here in America—on our streets and college campuses, on social media, and in the sullied halls of Congress.


I’m thankful my father didn’t live to see U.S. Representative Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) join the “squad,” the group of she-devils who ill-serve the country by serving their own anti-American interests in Congress.

Ramirez linked arms with antisemites Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, AOC, Cori Bush, and Summer Lee in sponsoring a resolution expressing opposition to the sale of precision-guided bomb equipment to Israel. After all, it’s so much easier to behead and bake Jewish babies if Hamas isn’t being bombed.


I’m thankful my father didn’t live to see Osama Bin Laden’s 2002 letter to America go viral among Millennials and Gen Z’ers who have been force-fed pro-Palestinian, anti-“Zionist” (code word for anti-Jewish), anti-American propaganda in their high schools and universities for decades. In it, Bin Laden said,

You should be aware that justice is the strongest army and security offers the best livelihood; you lost it by your own making when you supported the Israelis in occupying our land and killing our brothers in Palestine. … Palestine shall not be seen captive for we will try to break its shackles. The United States shall pay for its arrogance with the blood of Christians and their funds. Peace be upon those who follow the righteous track.

To Bin Laden and American leftists, righteousness includes savage attacks on innocent civilians in the service of appropriating land from indigenous people. Those would be Jews.


I’m thankful my father did not live to see the following warning issued by Minot Air Force Base leadership to airmen:

We just got word of an event going at the fairgrounds downtown, called Dakota Patriot Rally. It’s guest speaker is from an alt-right organization called Turning Point Action. Please advise your folks that … participation with such groups as Turning Point Action could jeopardize their continued service in the US military.

Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA founder and CEO, elaborated on the troubling message:

I have now heard directly from servicemen at this Air Force base who have confirmed these texts are real. Their firsthand accounts reveal that while the base is made up mostly of conservatives, all leadership that has been promoted under Joe Biden now skews FAR LEFT. All white, Christian conservatives are marginalized. DEI and CRT are pumped into everything the commanders at the base do. All promotions and awards are given to those who buy into ideological based trainings. They also tell me conservatives are leaving the military in droves, recruiting is abysmal and instead of changing directions, the leadership is doubling down. Joe Biden and the far-left are actively undermining our military readiness and America’s national security.

I’m thankful my father didn’t live to se the vile message Wake Forest University English professor Laura Mullen posted on X:

So it's kind of a Duh but if you turn me out of my house plow my olive groves under and confine what's left of my family to the small impoverished state you run as an open air prison I could be tempted to shoot up your dance party yeah even knowing you will scorch the earth

Word, to Mullen—who thankfully has resigned—Israel left Gaza nearly twenty years ago, and in those two decades, Hamas has used their time, labor, and resources to build tunnels, repurpose water pipes into bombs, and plan barbarous attacks on women and children.


I’m thankful my father didn’t learn that at a pro-Palestinian rally, Cornell University history professor Russell Rickford exulted,

It was exhilarating. It was exhilarating, it was energizing. And if they weren't exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, the shifting of the violence of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.

No one should wonder any longer about the provenance of the ignorant, malevolent protests across the country in support of evil. As writer Andrew Klavan has said repeatedly (and too generously), everything Democrats touch turns to crap.


They have perverted sexuality and undermined marriage and the nuclear family.


They have destroyed the economy, energy independence, U.S. military strength, border security, public schools, and academia.


They have sicced the federal government on American citizens and turned censorship into an art form, banning books, words, and ideas.


They have infected churches, the legacy press, the military, Big Business, Big Tech, and social media with their ideological viruses.


Instead of fostering respect for America’s history, the Constitution, the separation of powers, and the rule of law, they have eroded it.


Instead of growing citizens, they have spawned anarchists.


No, this is no longer the country my father fought for, and I’m thankful he did not live

to see the full flowering of the noxious weeds planted in America by leftists.

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