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<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>MILITARY NEWS AND LIBERTY LIMITED PAGE; STAN'S RAILPIX !</TITLE></HEAD> <BODY background=trnbackb.jpg link=#0000ff bgColor=#000000 text=#000000 vLink=#ff0000> <META name=description content="Army Navy Game,SoldierCity Store, Military News, Veterans,US Coast Guard,Marines,Amtrak,"> <META name=keywords content="Amtrak,Conrail,railroads, Amtrack,Acela,Heroes,Bennett Levin,Juniata Terminal,Army,Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Military, wounded and injured ,Veterans,Soldier City,Defense news, "><!-- Meta-tags created by the Meta-Tag Generator http://www.websitepromote.com/resources/meta --> <META content='(PICS-1.1 "http://www.icra.org/ratingsv02.html" l gen true for "http://www.trainweb.com/railpix" r (cz 1 lz 1 nz 1 oz 1 vz 1) "http://www.rsac.org/ratingsv01.html" l gen true for "http://www.trainweb.com/railpix" r (n 0 s 0 v 0 l 0))' http-equiv=PICS-Label> <CENTER><IMG src="images/usflag.gif" width=100 height=62></CENTER><BR><BR> <CENTER> <H1>MILITARY NEWS AND INFORMATION.</H1><BR> <HR> <BR><BR> <H1>Library of Congress Features Veterans' Stories;<BR>The Veterans History Project (Library of Congress) If you are interested in participating, e-mail the Veterans History Project at vohp@loc.gov or to call toll-free (888) 371-5848 to request a free project kit. </H1><BR><A href="http://www.loc.gov/vets"> <H3> Military Intel: The Inside Story, a selection of 22 digitized collections of materials submitted by war veterans who served in military intelligence, is currently being highlighted on the  Experiencing War Website of the Veterans History Project at<BR>http:// www.loc.gov/warstories.<BR>Veterans from World War I through the current conflict, and the civilians who supported them, are coming forward to record their personal stories and contribute personal documents for the growing archives of the Veterans History Project. If you are interested in participating, e-mail the Veterans History Project at vohp@loc.gov or to call toll-free (888) 371-5848 to request a free project kit. For more information about the Veterans History Project, and to see and hear veterans stories, visit<BR>http://www.loc.gov/vets.</H3></A> <HR> <CENTER><A href="http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/americasupportsyou/help.html"><IMG border=0 alt=AmericaSupportsYou.mil src="images/decal2.JPG" width=432 height=234></A><BR></CENTER> <SCRIPT type=text/javascript src="http://www.uscg.mil/safetylevels/levels.js"></SCRIPT> <A href="http://www.uscg.mil/safetylevels/whatismarsec.asp" target=_blank><IMG border=0 alt="MARSEC Level 1: Significant Risk - Click for details" src="http://www.uscg.mil/safetylevels/level1.gif"></IMG></A> </CENTER> <H1> <CENTER>Freedoms Foundation honors Mr. Bennett Levin</CENTER></H1> <H3>By KARIN WILLIAMS , kwilliams@phoenixvillenews.com <BR><BR>VALLEY FORGE - Bennett Levin, a former License and Inspections commissioner in Philadelphia, who, along with his wife Vivian, treated 88 wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan on a train trip to the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, was honored by the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge on Saturday March 25 2006.<BR><BR>Levin was presented with the George Washington Medal during a ceremony held, appropriately enough, on National Medal of Honor Day. Speaking before a crowd in the Martha Washington Hall, Levin talked not only about the trip he organized, but the importance of educating America's youth about history, freedom and patriotism.<BR><BR>We live in a very corrosive political atmosphere, said Levin. One that thrives on promises made for nothing more than to allow those in power to stay in power. He spoke about media scrutiny of government, from local to federal.<BR><BR>"The press is the only venue we have to keep the government in check," said Levin. "When the press gets sloppy, we all suffer." Citing a pay-to-play situation in Philadelphia while he was L &amp; I commissioner, Levin said in some cases, local government has become nothing more than a criminal enterprise.<BR><BR>"When a public official takes an oath to protect the public and obey the constitution, they should mean it," he said. "It should not be a license for personal enrichment."<BR><BR>Levin said when people see a government for sale, cynicism builds in the eye of the public and people tend to develop a "Why even bother?" attitude.<BR><BR>"People lose faith that they could get a fair shake," he said. That, he said, is why educating children about the American way and American values, which is the mission of the Freedom's Foundation of Valley Forge, is so important.<BR><BR>"We have to strive to change the direction of America," he said. The young Marines, Sailors and Soldiers who joined Levin on the trip to see the football game were "the best of the best," said Levin. He described how he and his wife Vivian hatched their plan on an annual cross-country drive to California. While they were driving through a desert, the radio was on and Levin said the couple began to focus on the news of military casualties in Iraq. "Vivian said, 'We have to do something,'" he said.<BR><BR>Halfway through New Mexico, Levin said the idea was born to take the wounded military personnel from Walter Reed Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital on a train to see the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia. The Levins contacted both Amtrak and Conrail for assistance. Both companies immediately offered their help, with Conrail donating crews as well as building handicap ramps to allow Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in wheelchairs access to the train.<BR><BR>There were three rules on board the train - no press, no politicians and no VIPs.<BR><BR>In all, 88 wounded Veterans took the trip, along with the Levins, and crews from Conrail. "I have never seen in my entire life, such a wonderful group of youngsters so dedicated, so focused and so proud of what they did for their country," Levin said. <BR><BR>When they arrived at the stadium, the Philadelphia Police Department provided a motorcycle escort to 100 donated seats on the 50 yard-line. Breakfast was also provided as was lunch for the Veterans as well as for the crews, SEPTA bus drivers and the Philadelphia Police officers who provided the escort. <BR><BR>The Levins said they spent this past winter answering e-mail from people around the globe who expressed their appreciation for what the couple did for the Veterans. Levin said the Vietnam Veterans who wrote him were the most appreciative for giving the wounded Vets something those returning from Vietnam did not receive. <BR><BR>"There are two kids of America, what we see on TV and read in the newspaper, and what we saw in those kids," said Levin. <BR><BR>The goal of the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge is to educate children to "bring that to the America of these young kids," Levin said.<BR><BR>For more information on the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge,visit them on the Web at-<A href="http://www.ffvf.org/">Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, America's School for Citizenship.</A><BR><BR>http://www.zwire.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=16380989&amp;BRD=1673&amp;PAG=461&amp;dept_id=17915&amp;rfi=8 </H3><BR> <HR> <CENTER> <H1>From The Pressroom " Press Releases-Association Of American Railroads.<BR>Contact: Tom White(202) 639-2556** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE</H1></CENTER><BR><BR> <CENTER> <H2>A Tradition Resumed: North America's Railroads Honor America's Heroes On Special "Liberty Limited" Train to Army Navy Game WASHINGTON, December 5, 2005</CENTER></H2><BR> <H3>North America's freight railroads have revived an almost-70 year old Army-Navy game day tradition, bringing more than 60 military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan aboard the "Liberty Limited" for a trip to the annual military classic.<BR><BR>The "Liberty Limited" restored a tradition that goes back to 1936 when the former Pennsylvania Railroad operated the first special trains to the Army-Navy game from Washington's Union Station to Philadelphia. By the mid-1950s the railroad ran a whole series of special trains to the game, attracting more than 20,000 people annually. Among the passengers was President John F. Kennedy who rode the trains to the game in both 1961 and 1962.<BR>The special guests on this year's train were service personnel from all branches of the armed forces who were being treated at either Walter Reed Army Hospital or the Bethesda Naval Hospital after being wounded in either Iraq or Afghanistan.<BR>The 18 historic cars on the train are all privately-owned and were built between the 1920s and the 1950s. All have been luxuriously restored.<BR><BR>"The service personnel on the train have given so much to our nation that we are honored to be a cosponsor of this historic event," said Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.<BR>Hamberger noted that railroad industry has a long history of providing support for the military. "The weapons, tanks and other motorized vehicles currently being used in Iraq and Afghanistan were delivered to port by U.S. freight railroads," he said.<BR><BR>On the trip up to Philadelphia, the military men and women were treated to continental breakfast, and on the way back they were served catered dinners in the dining rooms of the office cars. While at the game, they were seated together in a special section on the 50-yard line on the Army side of the field.<BR><BR>The idea for the train came from Vivian and Bennett Levin of Newtown, Pa. Mr. Levin is a trustee of the Army War College Foundation, which served as coordinating agency for the special train. <BR><BR>Through the Juniata Terminal Co., the Levins also own the two restored 1950s-era locomotives that powered the train as well as one of the donated private cars on the train.<BR>In addition to AAR the Army War College Foundation and the private car owners, other sponsors included Amtrak, Conrail, Railink, Gear for Sports, Nikon, American Pan Co, The Corner Bakery, Woolrich, Wal-Mart, Philadelphia Coke Cola, Trailer-Train, Simmons Boardman Publishers, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, as well as other private individuals and corporations.</H3><BR> <HR> <H3><A href="http://www.aar.org/pubcommon/documents/events/walterreed.pdf"> <H3>A Liberty Limited Poster Can be downloaded here.</H3></A></A> <HR> <HR> <CENTER><EMBED height=104 type=application/x-shockwave-flash pluginspage=http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer width="100%" src=http://static.ning.com/coastguardchannel/widgets/index/swf/badge.swf?v=3.0.1%3A3917 flashvars="networkUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.community.coastguardchannel.com%2F&amp;panel=network_small&amp;configXmlUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.ning.com%2Fcoastguardchannel%2Finstances%2Fmain%2Fembeddable%2Fbadge-config.xml%3Ft%3D1206684780" allowScriptAccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" wmode="transparent" salign="lt" scale="noscale" quality="high"> <BR><SMALL><A href="http://www.community.coastguardchannel.com/">Visit <EM>Coast Guard Channel Community</EM></A></SMALL><BR></CENTER> <HR> <BR><A href="http://www.soldiercity.com/index-exec/affiliate_id/1371"> <CENTER><IMG alt="Visit Stan's Railpix Soldier City Store" src="http://www.trainweb.org/railpix/images/milt-ad2.gif" width=125 height=150></CENTER><BR> <H2> <CENTER>CLICK HERE AND GO TO VISIT OUR SOLDIER CITY STORE !!<BR></H2></CENTER></A><BR><BR> <CENTER><A href="http://www.zazzle.com/collections/home/default.asp?cid=238658232362721176&amp;rf=238937315234385249"> <H2>Click here for Library of Congress WPA &amp; War Posters and Products</A></H2></CENTER> <HR> <BR> <H1>Neither Here Nor There: The Liberty Limited 01-01-2006</H1> <H3>NICKI BRUCE LOGAN Herald Lifestyles Editor What did we know and how did we keep in touch with the world before the Internet came along enabling all of us to receive e-mail in an instant? I got started on e-mails late, compared to many computerphobes, but once I got started, I loved it. <BR>Its great to be able to send an e-mail message and not have to wait days for an answer through  snail mail. <BR>Sure, I get a bunch of  If you dont send this to 10 friends in 6 seconds, no one will love you, messages -- usually the result of forwarded forwards. <BR>Amidst the e-mail drivel (great word) I find an occasional gem, like this one below sent from a friend in Houston. <BR>Youre going to love it. <BR><BR>Yes, its authentic. Thats another great thing about the Internet . . . you can track down the suspect e-mails and authenticate them through both the Internet and phone calls. This heart-warming story was written by Ronnie Polaneczky, a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, and ran on page 6 of that paper Dec. 22, 2005. I also found a related story on the Association of American Railroads website. This true story reflects the best in all of us and upholds our hope for the future of our country. <BR>And now, I bring you the best Christmas story you never heard. <BR>It started last Christmas, when Bennett and Vivian Levin were overwhelmed by sadness while listening to radio reports of injured American troops. <BR> We have to let them know we care, Vivian told Bennett. <BR>So they organized a trip to bring soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philly, on Dec. 3. The cool part is, they created their own train line to do it. <BR>Yes, there are people in this country who actually own real trains. Bennett Levin -- native Philly guy, self-made millionaire and irascible former L&amp;I commish -- is one of them.<BR><BR>He has three luxury rail cars. Think mahogany paneling, plush seating and white-linen dining areas. He also has two locomotives, which he stores at his Juniata Park train yard. One car, the elegant Pennsylvania, carried John F. Kennedy to the Army-Navy game in 1961 and 62. Later, it carried his brother Bobbys body to D.C. for burial. <BR> Thats a lot of history for one car, says Bennett. <BR>He and Vivian wanted to revive a tradition that endured from 1936 to 1975, during which trains carried Army-Navy spectators from around the country directly to the stadium where the annual game is played. <BR>The Levins could think of no better passengers to reinstate the ceremonial ride than the wounded men and women recovering at Walter Reed in D.C. and Bethesda, in Maryland. <BR> We wanted to give them a first-class experience, says Bennett.  Gourmet meals on board, private transportation from the train to the stadium, perfect seats -- real hero treatment. <BR><BR>Through the Army War College Foundation, of which he is a trustee, Bennett met with Walter Reeds commanding general, who loved the idea. But Bennett had some ground rules first, all designed to keep the focus on the troops alone: No press on the trip, lest the soldiers day of pampering devolve into a media circus. No politicians either, because, says Bennett,  I didnt want some idiot making this trip into a campaign photo op. And no Pentagon suits on board, otherwise the soldiers would be too busy saluting superiors to relax. <BR>The general agreed to the conditions, and Bennett realized he had a problem on his hands.  I had to actually make this thing happen, he laughs. <BR>Over the next months, he recruited owners of 15 other sumptuous rail cars from around the country -- these people tend to know each other -- into lending their vehicles for the day. The name of their temporary train? <BR>The Liberty Limited. <BR>Amtrak volunteered to transport the cars to D.C. -- where theyd be coupled together for the round-trip ride to Philly -- then back to their owners later.<BR><BR>Conrail offered to service the Liberty while it was in Philly. And SEPTA drivers would bus the disabled soldiers 200 yards from the train to Lincoln Financial Field, for the game. A benefactor from the War College ponied up 100 seats to the game -- on the 50-yard line -- and lunch in a hospitality suite. <BR>And corporate donors filled, for free and without asking for publicity, goodie bags for attendees: From Woolrich, stadium blankets. From Wal-Mart, digital cameras. From Nikon, field glasses. From GEAR, down jackets. There was booty not just for the soldiers, but for their guests, too, since each was allowed to bring a friend or family member. <BR>The Marines, though, declined the offer.  They voted not to take guests with them, so they could take more Marines, says Levin, choking up at the memory. Bennetts an emotional guy, so he was worried about how hed react to meeting the 88 troops and guests at D.C.s Union Station, where the trip originated. Some GIs were missing limbs. Others were wheelchair-bound or accompanied by medical personnel for the day.  They made it easy to be with them, he says.  They were all smiles on the ride to Philly. Not an ounce of self-pity from any of them. Theyre so full of life and determination. <BR><BR>At the stadium, the troops reveled in the game, recalls Bennett. Not even Armys lopsided loss to Navy could deflate the groups rollicking mood. Afterward, it was back to the train and yet another gourmet meal -- heroes get hungry, says Levin -- before returning to Walter Reed and Bethesda.  The day was spectacular, says Levin.  It was all about these kids. It was awesome to be part of it. <BR><BR>The most poignant moment for the Levins was when 11 Marines hugged them goodbye, then sang them the Marine Hymn on the platform at Union Station.  One of the guys was blind, but he said, I cant see you, but man, you must be (expletive) beautiful!  says Bennett.  I got a lump so big in my throat, I couldnt even answer him. Its been three weeks, but the Levins and their guests are still feeling the days love.  My Christmas came early, says Levin, who is Jewish and who loves the Christmas season.  I cant describe the feeling in the air. <BR><BR>Maybe it was hope. As one guest wrote in a thank-you note to Bennett and Vivian,  The fond memories generated last Saturday will sustain us all - whatever the future may bring. <BR><BR><I> <H1>God bless the Levins. And bless the troops, every one.</I></H1><BR><BR>Posted to MyPlainview: JANUARY 03, 2006 16:59 CST What did we know and how did we keep in touch with the world before the Internet came along enabling all of us to receive e-mail in an instant? I got started . . . 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