BARBWIRE BOB – 9-1-22

The early day frontier was tamed with guns. The French supplied thousands of muskets to our revolutionary forefathers to battle British invaders.  There is somewhat of a comparison with the French helping us defeat the crown with us supplying weapons to Ukraine military forces to defeat the Russian army.

Americans admire the bravery of Ukraine citizens in defending their borders that were once part of the USSR.   The Russians realized that they had lost their agricultural “breadbasket” and Putin sought to regain lost territory.  He badly misjudged that this once Soviet state wanted to remain free of Communist control.

Sadly, there does not appear to be an end in sight.  More soldiers, on both sides, will continue to perish over this civil war of former Russians fighting Russians, similar to the American civil war.

British forces had to travel thousands of miles by sea to wage a war against the colonists.  With the Ukraine invasion, it is neighbor, against neighbor.   While  the Russians might be satisfied with their occupation of a large parcel of farmland and coastal areas, the war wages onward.  Ukraine forces are starting counterattacks.  They now have U.S. missiles that can reach the Russian Black Sea fleet and beyond.

Only some strong statesmanship by world leaders can bring a halt to this siege, ending this conflict before the Russians completely destroys Ukraine by bombs, air strikes and missiles. We may be funding the destruction of the entire country.

American bravery and courage allowed this nation to defeat the British and become an independent nation, using muskets, single-shot rifles with lead balls and black powder loaded one shot at a time.  

By the time the Civil War emerged in the 1860s, we had more advanced rifles, pistols, and “Gatling” guns,  with the Union armies being better equipped and supplied.  Then, and now, guns are useless without ammunition. 

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When gold was discovered in California in 1849, the era of western migration occurred, spurred by gold discoveries at Gregory Gulch at present day Central City, described as “The richest square mile on earth.”  An estimated 20,000 miners and families descended on Black Hawk, Nevadaville and Central City.  “Pikes Peak or Bust” became the cry of  miners rushing to Cripple Creek.

Masonic members date back to presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and many members were skilled craftsmen,  They became successful gold miners and community builders, founding  these frontier lodges in the 1860s in Colorado territory.

Gold discoveries in Cripple Creek and Leadville lead to vast mining development and new wealth, leading to the growth of Denver and Colorado Springs.  Colorado ceased to be a territory and became a state in 1876,  thus the naming “The Centennial State.”  

Statewide, Masons gathered in Central City Lodge No. 6, the oldest active Masonic lodge in Colorado,  August 27 to hear the history of the Masonic order in Gilpin and Clear Creek counties.  The patriotic lodges are still active and doing extended community service in the historic gold mining communities.

Along with the Masons, other service clubs such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, and Optimists, etc, all started in the early 1900s, doing community service that continues to this day.

Americans have big hearts and are the most generous people on earth. No other nation is as philanthropic as the United States.