Yes, I Remember

Yes, I remember where I was when I heard about the attack on America. My oldest son’s car broke down, so I gave him a ride to the construction site he was working at in Ashland, NE. It was a Street of Dreams Home under construction. I got to the intersection where the Outlet Mall was, and the Babe called me. He told me a plane struck the World Trade Center. I started to cry, and couldn’t figure out how that could happen. Once I got home, I watched TV, the tears really fell. How could this happen?

Three days before, we celebrated the wedding of one of our daughters, Tracy, to TJ. It was the most beautiful week of parties, bonding, and happiness. Our blended family had it’s first wedding, and everyone was there. Son Blake and his fiancee Monica got on a plane Monday, September 10th, to go back home. Blake was a new uniformed officer for the United States Secret Service. He was due back at work on Tuesday. Monica was to report to her job at a dental clinic. Blake and his co-workers all were stationed at various places around Washington, DC. They did not know what happened. We knew more than he did at the time.

The whole day took a toll on everyone’s emotions. Many people from our Church had loved ones in New York or Washington. The Babe and I were going to lead a class for Stephen’s Ministry and the first class was to be that evening. It didn’t happen. Our friend and pastor, Dr. Mary Hansen, asked instead that I talk at the Church service that evening. I was honored.

The whole premise of Stephen’s Ministry is to be a support to people who are going through some turmoil. 9/11 certainly qualifies as turmoil. I talked about how we had a family wedding right in that Church three days before. And right now, the young man who was at his sister’s wedding Saturday, was guarding the Treasury Building three days later. Other Church family members were scattered across the country. No one was lost that day, no one was injured. We were all more afraid than we could remember being.

Nineteen years later, I am deeply saddened how our First Responders are demonized instead of honored. I am so saddened at the death of the Lincoln Police Officer Herrera. He was also an Army Veteran and will be buried at the Omaha National Cemetery tomorrow. First Responders are still the first we turn to in times of crisis. We need them, and we need them healthy in body, mind, and spirit. Take time to thank them for always being there all these nineteen years later. Thank you to our military and First Responders. We would not still be here without you. I am still sad about the innocent lives lost that day.

When I picked my son up that afternoon, as he got in the car, he asked, “OK, so what happened today. I knew something was wrong, there were no planes in the air. That never happens.” I told him about the day’s happenings. He asked if we heard from Blake and Monica. At that time, no, we hadn’t, but Monica keeping Blake’s Mom informed.

So many things have changed since then. Blake’s Mom has passed away. He has been promoted from a uniformed officer to Captain in the Secret Service. He is Captain in his favorite division, and his retirement time is coming up quickly. His dad is retired. Blake and Monica have a wonderful son we love to bits. Tracy and TJ have two beautiful kids, as do Becky and Brian in Colorado. We have gone from wanting our world safe for us to praying it is for our kids and grandkids.

Many things have not changed. Some people hate the United States with such a passion, it’s frightening. It’s frightening how many people are hateful to each other right here in America. The time after 9/11, Church attendance spiked at an unprecedented rate. It stayed there for a long time. It is frightening how many people want to embrace Socialism. Let’s not even go there, please. Those 3,000 + patriots who died that day died not so we could compromise on our ideals and way of life, they cannot have died in vain.

Let’s take a long, hard look at ourselves, and adjust our priorities. Our country needs to remain strong and it need to remain dominant in the world. We still need to be a leader as an example of a way of life that guarantees freedoms for everyone. We need to accept responsibility for ourselves first, and give a hard day’s work for our earnings, not live on handouts. We need to be self-reliant so if the world takes another bad turn we can find our ways out of the rubble.

God Bless America. Please.

God: Please Bless America

Whatever happens with this COVID-19 over the next year, some folks will be wrong about it, and some folks will be right about it. I can’t even begin to predict what will happen to us all. Even the experts cannot agree. We need to stop being “them” vs. “us.” It is defeating us before we can even begin. Divide and conquer. Since the beginning of time, that has been the most effective way to defeat an enemy. We are close to being to so argumentative with each other we cannot see how dangerous we are. And we’ll only hurt ourselves in the long run.

I shudder to think the anarchists, the AntiFa, the Chinese, the Russians, or any other hateful group could conquer us because we are insisting on our “own way.” The quickest way to lose our rights, in my opinion, isn’t wearing a mask. It’s refusing to do something for the common good of all of us. It’s refusing to give up a convenience for something bigger than ourselves. I wonder how this nation could behave given rationing of coffee, meat, flour, sugar, or certain textile components needed to manufacture parachutes, uniforms, tarps for trucks, oil, and gasoline. If you think a toilet paper shortage was bad, think if you could no longer go through the drive through at Starbucks and grab a mucho-latte-sugared-up-too-strong-coffee to go. (Yes, I made up the name). If you had enough gasoline to get there.

I remember in high school, during the late 1960s and the Vietnam War, there was a shortage of some components of yarn. We had a change in our uniform code that would allow for knitted vests with our plaid uniform skirts. The principal said the reason the uniform company couldn’t order them was because the goods were necessary for something the military needed. We simply accepted that fact. What good would it have done to protest that? None. We knew that.

Sometimes in life we are called upon to do something we don’t want to. Many times, in fact. It’s a test of our character, of our will, of our love for others. Our love of our country. I love America. We are still the best country in the world. Our soldiers have provided our freedoms are secure. I love each and every one of you for the sacrifices you all made for our country. You are all people who have put the good of your country (and us) ahead of whatever you wanted. For that, I, and many others, are eternally grateful.

Right after the military, the police keep law and order in our cities, states, small towns, and everything in between. Yes, there are bad police officers. Too many bad officers undo the good the others do. The majority of them love us as the military do. They want to make our worlds safer. 99 % of the time, they do. We need to help them do their jobs, not defund them. We need to support them in small and big ways. They are our sons and daughters, neighbors and friends. We all deserve to return home safely after our shift is over. Let’s help that become the norm, not the exception. The law and order we enjoy is because of the peace created by our police, sheriffs, deputies, and other First Responders. Who are you going to call if we have no First Responders? It won’t be “Ghostbusters,” that’s for sure.

How can people help? Despite the pandemic, volunteer to help others. Organizations such as our VFW Post 2503 are looking for volunteers to help with different events. We have projects to help our homeless vets, help formerly homeless vets to attain apartments through Victory House, help our vets who have legitimate needs getting to the next payday, help vets get through the legal system, as well as help vets with PTSD mainstream back into society again.

Volunteering is the best way to get outside of ourselves and think of others. You come to realize how well we have it, and realize volunteering leaves a great feeling in you. Look for a place to help. There will be so many opportunities available, you will have a hard time selecting only one. Help out. It’s the American Way. We take care of our own, and always have. Thank you for considering volunteering today

GOD, Please Bless America!

I am working on some projects around the house the rest of the day. Little, silly stuff that needs to be done. Hope you’re all safe, well, and having a beautiful day. The pups are still tired from their great escape yesterday. Just glad they’re all ok. Thank you for reading today, you know I appreciate it very much. Take time to considering being one of the helpers, not a hinderer. American needs that now. And they need it from all of us. God Bless you all. Stay safe. Be Kind. See all of you tomorrow!