ISRA Thursday Bulletin - June 6, 2019

by Richard Pearson

Today is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.  Soldiers from the United States, Canada and Great Britain were engaged in the greatest waterborne invasion in history.  They were assaulting Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.  To give you an idea of what it involved to do the D-Day Operation, there were 11,590 aircraft, 6939 vessels, 132,715 allied troops, 196,700 sailors and 7,000,000 tons of supplies, including 450,000 tons of ammunition.  By June 11, the Allies had landed 326,537 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies.  The troops began the arduous and deadly job of pushing deeper and deeper in France, hedge row by hedge row.

Also, on June 6, 1944, ships were leaving Pearl Harbor for the invasion of Saipan.  The United States was in a two-front war.  We were winning and would continue to win but the costs would be high.  The determination and bravery of these men and women was so exceptional that they earned the name   The Greatest Generation.  

There was no one who went untouched by WWII.  Although I was a small boy, I became aware of the sacrifices made by these men and women.  One of my first memories was a float my dad and others members of the American Legion made for a 4th of July parade.  On one half of the float was a farmstead neatly portrayed, complete with a white house, red barn and other outbuildings.  On the other half of the float was the same farmstead burned and destroyed by war.  Memorial Days were also important, solemn occasions.  My mother and many other women would gather at the American Legion and handmake sprays of fresh flowers to be placed on every veteran grave.  Many of these women were widows and wives of those who served in WWI as well as WWII.  All of these wonderful women had suffered also.  They were their own support group and took care of each other.  My job, along with a few other kids, was to keep these women supplied with the homegrown flowers that each or these women had brought in from their gardens.  Flowers were grown specifically for the purpose of being used in sprays to decorate the graves.

My mother fretted about the peonies, lilacs, and other flowers being ready on time.  Ferns were used as a base for the other flowers.  They cared deeply about how well the sprays looked, how well the ribbons were placed on them and how much they were all alike.  They all knew that the spray they were working on might be on their own husband’s or son’s grave.  Everyone knew the story and the hardships the others had gone through.

On May 31, 2019, we lost Albert Mampre, age 97, of Skokie Illinois.  Staff Sergeant Mampre was a medic, a member of the famed Band of Brothers and part of Easy Company; he missed his D-Day jump because he was hospitalized with a neck infection.  He soon rejoined Easy Company in Normandy.  He jumped into Holland during Operation Market Garden where he was wounded.  He rejoined Easy Company the night before they pulled out for Bastogne.  He was assigned to the regimental headquarters and worked as a medic in a hospital which was set up in a hotel.  Albert had a front row seat in the Battle of the Bulge.  His character is thought to be the medic that saved the officer portrayed in the fourth episode of Replacements.  His story is featured in the book We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the “Band of Brothers.”

Services for Staff Sergeant Albert Mampre will be held on June 14th (visitation) and June 15th (funeral), with interment following.

The Spring 2019 session of the Illinois General Assembly has finally ended.  The big push by the anti-gun side was the Fix the FOID bill (SB1966), sponsored by Kathleen Willis and co-sponsored by her fellow travelers.  Of course, it did everything but fix the FOID card but that is immaterial.  The true intent was to destroy private firearm ownership by pricing and regulating average and low income citizens out of their Second Amendment Rights.  The ISRA lobbying team and other pro-gun lobbyists worked together to stop this terrible bill.  Had this bill passed, the ISRA, NRA and SAF were poised to file suit and had been for some time.  This bill was clearly unconstitutional. 

I want to thank the members who donated their time and constant vigilance who acted quickly on alerts that were sent out, calling for witness slips and calling their legislators.  I also want to thank those who joined and donated to the ISRA, to all those who came to IGOLD and the dozens of other rallies around the state.  It all made a difference. 

The question is where do we go from here?  First, we have to be ready for the first and second Veto Sessions which are scheduled for October 28th, 29th and 30th and November 12th, 13th and 14th.  At this time, it is likely they will revisit SB1966.  All members need to be ready.  Then, of course, there is the Primary and General Elections.  Just to announce that, is not enough.  What we have to do is keep building through the summer, fall and winter.  That means more rallies and more membership drives.  We will have to work very hard to be ready for both the Spring 2020 Legislative Session and the elections.  Whenever we have an event, please bring someone with you.  I have seen how valuable these rallies are.  The more gun owners we can reach, the better off we are. 

Thank you for being a member.  If you are not a member, JOIN!

Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar
For more information, visit

Thursday, June 6-9, 2019
Massad Ayoob’s MAG-40 Class

Sunday, June 9, 2019
ISRA Marksmanship League
ISRA Marksmanship .22 Challenge
Joe Brown Highpower League Bishop Match

Monday, June 10, 2019
Military Bench Rest Rifle League

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Bench Rest League
F-Class Rifle League
Paper & Steel League

Thursday, June 13, 2019
ISRA Smallbore Rifle League
ISRA Smallbore F-Class Rifle League

Friday, June 14, 2019
Ranges 1 & 2 are Closed

Saturday, June 15, 2019
Bonfield Muzzle Loaders Late Spring Black Powder Challenge
ISRA Marksmanship League

Illinois Gun & Trade Shows

Crown Point Gun Show
Crown Point, IN – Lake County Fairgrounds
Dates: June 8-9, 2019
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
           Sunday: 9:00-3:00
Admission: $5.00

Regional Firearms Auction
Rock Island, IL – Rock Island Auction Company
Dates: June 20-23, 2019

Pecatonica Gun Show
Pecatonica, IL – Winnebago County Fairgrounds
Dates: June 21-22, 2019
Hours: Friday: 4:00-9:00
           Saturday: 9:00-5:00

Belleville Gun & Knife Show
Belleville, IL – Belle-Clair Expo Center
Dates: June 22-23, 2019
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
           Sunday: 9:00-3:00
Admission: $6.00

Crown Point Gun Show
Crown Point, IN – Lake County Fairgrounds
Dates: July 13-14, 2019
Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00
           Sunday: 9:00-3:00
Admission: $5.00


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