Minutes of the November 21, 2009 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR

 

President Bell called the meeting to order at 12:02. Luke Lloyd offered the invocation. Robert Koehler led the pledge to the flag and the President led the pledge to the SAR.

 

Members present: Marty Miller, Alan Bell, Luke Lloyd, Jack Bolen, Ira Ward, Chuck Hawley, Robert Koehler, Robert Yarnell, Dick Young, and Kevin Yarnell

Welcome guests:  Jeanne Lloyd, June Bolen, Lissette Young, Phyllis Ward, Lt Col Tom Burkhardt, LTG Jim Ellls, Gen Don Linetti, Tom Matson, Emily and Doug Brown.  (Doug has his application pending at National.)

 

The President introduced the guests.

 

The minutes of the October meeting were approved.  

 

The secretary reminded the membership that dues ($30 for National, $20 for Florida, $15 for the chapter) need to be paid by month and thanked those who have already made payment.

 

The Treasurer reported a balance of $2,175.62 and petty cash of $92.76.

 

Luke Lloyd gave a brief report on his activity as registrar. Five new potential members were contacted since the last meeting. Six applications are pending at national (4 from the Brown family). Robert Koehler is working on a supplemental. Luke also informed the membership of the SAR medal associated with the centennial of the Chartering of the national SAR in 2006. This medal is available from National for all who were members in 2006

 

The meeting moved to the election of officers for 2010. Vice President Yarnell, as chair of the nominating committee, submitted the follow slate of candidates.

-          President: Luke Lloyd

-          Vice President: Robert Yarnell

-          Secretary: Kevin Yarnell

-          Treasurer: Chuck Copeland

-          Chaplain: Jack Bolen

-          Registrar: Alan Bell

There were no nominations from the floor and the slate was elected by acclamation.

 

The secretary received notice that 3 young men would be awarded their Eagle Scout designation at a court of honor in New Port Richey in early December and asked if anyone was interested in representing the chapter. Chuck Hawley or Alan Bell may be able to attend.

 

The President reminded the color guard that they will present the colors at our December meeting.

 

The meeting recessed for lunch.

 

The President called on Luke Lloyd to introduce our speaker, LTG Ellis.  Luke offered this introduction citing the speakers many accomplishments.

The goal of LTG Ellis’ remarks was to better inform the membership of the history of Islam so that the present situation might be better understood. He did a wonderful job of this taking the audience on a nearly 2500 year trek tracing the significant events that have brought us to the present moment.

 

[Secretary’s Note: This really was a presentation that “you had to be there” to fully appreciate. I offer the following notes taken during the talk but warn the reader that there may be some inaccuracies regarding some of the details. It was a lot of information to absorb in a short amount of time. I trust these may serve as a reminder to those present forf the presentation and be of some benefit to those unable to attend.]

 

The speaker disputes the premise that mid-east troubles began with the formation of Israel. He retold story of Abram and his sons Isaac and Ismal and then traced the founding and history of the Israeli people. He then traced the basic spread of Christianity and noted that at one point there were significant numbers of Christian Arabs in the mid-east.

 

In the Islamic culture the son that Abram was to sacrifice was not Isaac but Ismal. The Moslems have a feast to commemorate this event. (The festival of sacrifice – the last day of the pilgrimage to Mecca.)

 

By the end of 400AD it was against the law to not be a Christian. This includes the middle east, Europe, and northern Africa.

 

Birth of Islam: Mohammad was born in Mecca in 570. He trained as a merchant and had a reputation of being very honest. He married a rich widow when he was 25 and also began to study the tenants of Christianity and Jew

 

Islam teaches that in 609AD the archangel Gabriel taught Mohammed the Koran during his meditation sessions and he founded Islam in 610AD. He was chased out of Mecca in 622AD since the merchants did not like the idea of one god (they sold many articles relating to a multitude of Gods.) He took over a town to the north, Medina, and using force to spread the religion.

 

When he died the religion split. One group (the sect- Shia) thought that his successor should be Mohammed’s sons. The other group (Sunni) disagreed. Also after his death the religion was taken by force to the west. It was easy to convert people since this was an Arab religion. At first they did not persecute Christians and Jews and all three were “religions of the book”.

 

Since Mohammed led forces in battle this became an example to his followers on how to spread the religion. This is in contrast to Christianity (Jesus did not provide this example or teaching.)

 

By 711AD the religion had spread to North Africa, crossed into the Iberian Peninsula and converted the area that is now Spain and Portugal. The Islamic army was defeated in France and eventually pushed out of France and back into Spain.  This happened over a few hundred years. So during this time the religion spread, but not rapidly. They conquered many of the major islands in the Mediterranean such as Sicily.

 

By 1071 the Turks marched west and unlike the previous Islam, they harassed the Christians making pilgrimages to the holy land. This started the Crusaders. Eight major Crusades occurred. The speaker pointed out that a typical westerner knows little of this time but it is well taught to followers of Islam.

 

1291 mark the end of the Crusades. This confirmed to the followers of Islam that their religion was superior as they had “won”. Next, Mongols invaded from the East and were finally stopped in Egypt. The Mongols were quite brutal and some of the slaughter was blamed on the Christian wife of a Mongol leader.

 

Banking was one of the driving forces of the Renaissance. The mid 1300’s saw the black plague. Major communities lost between 30 and 60% of their population. The decrease in a working population caused some beginnings to industrialization.

 

Toward end of the 1300’s the Mongols reappear lead by Tamerlink. They moved into the middle east and only stopped this western march when Tamerlink opted to attack China. This effectively stopped Islam from spreading into Europe.

 

The Turks finally take Constantinople and defeated the Byzantine empire. The Muslims were finally removed from Spain in 1492. In 1497 Vasco Digamma found a way to sail around Africa. This sea route removed the necessity of a land route that provided money and trade to those in the mid-east.

 

Gold starts coming from the new world. In 1529 the Turks decided that to conquer Europe through Venice. The European winter defeated the Turks. The next invasion of Western Europe was by sea. They had about 300 galleys against 250 Spanish and Venicean ships. The Christians won with the Turks losing 220 ships to just 13 for the Christians. This was the last naval battle that involved rowed vessels.

 

In 1683’s the Turks, with a larger army, moved toward Venice. A Polish leader, John III, forced marched to Vienna and on September 12th fought. The battle went back and forth until John III led a massive charge to carry the day. The polish army continued to drive the Turks south.

 

Over the next 200 hundred years the Christian world strengthen while the Islamic nations world did not prosper at a much.

 

During WWI the Turks align themselves with Germany and this pretty much ends the Ottoman empire.

 

The Arabs were promised land if they fought the Turks but in fact England and France divided up much of the Ottoman empire and the Arabs got nothing. Wilson also made promises to the Arabs via the League of Nations but the US never ratified the League of Nations and so the promise was not fulfilled.

 

In short Islam has nothing but anger for the western world and the speaker offered a list of over 50 attacks on US and western targets that shows an Islamic resurgence in the last 20 years. Ben Laden said the 9/11 attack was because of the defeat of the Ottoman empire at the end of WWI and the western attitude toward women. (Women fighting in 1st gulf war in Saudi Arabia is a good example.)

 

This history has taken 55 generations, 632AD to the present and the speaker referred to this as “the eternal war”. Currently, there are 1.5 billion people that adhere to Islam and 2.3 adhere to some form of Christianity. There is a history of conflict that will not end soon.

 

A question time followed.

 

 

Chuck Haley won the 50/50 and $5.50 was added to the treasury.

 

The President led the recessional, Luke Lloyd offered the benediction, and the meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary