Honoring our Veterans…

Thanks to the Veterans.

Thanks to the Veterans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Honoring our Veterans…and keeping these words in mind:

“When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?”  –George Canning

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  –Elmer Davis

“I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.”  –Gary Hart

“Freedom is never free.”  –Author Unknown

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  –John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”  –Cynthia Ozick

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”  –Author unknown

“In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned.  When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”  –Mark Twain

“You know the thing about heroes?  They don’t brag.”  –John McCain

“My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place–police, firefighters, and members of our armed forces.”  –Sidney Sheldon

 

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What Will You Remember?

As I sit typing this post on a plane, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I wonder what others on this flight remember of this morning 10 years ago.  Let us not fall prey to the effects of being victims of that horrific day, but remember what our country stands for.  The insane actions of a small group of people will never be understood.  My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of those who died in the crash, and the heroes who helped NYC, our country…and the world rise from the rubbles.  We can not forget that the lives lost were not only that of Americans, 2996 people from over 90 countries.  To forget or pretend that it still does not effect us is mere folly, to live in fear or anger will reap repercussions, to remember and rise above it…to continue to lead successful lives and help others is to deter others from terrorism.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with several firefighters and rescue workers from 9/11.  To hear their stories and how it has changed their lives…physically and emotionally is heart-wrenching.  To see the smiles, the hope, and the courage in their eyes is inspiring, to say the least.  Maya Angelou was asked to write about heroes and heroism.  This is what I choose to remember of 9/11….

Extravagant Spirits

by Maya Angelou

*

Without their fierce devotion

We are fragile and forlorn,

Stumbling briefly, among the stars.

*

We and our futures belong to them

Exquisitely, our beliefs and our

Breaths are made tangible in their love.

*

By their extravagant spirits, they draw us

From the safe borders

And into the center of the center ring

There they urge dance upon our

Leaden feet

And to our sullen hearts,

Bright laughter.

*

Not the crowd’s roar nor the gasped

Breath of the timorous can stay their mission.

*

There is no moderation in their nature.

They spit upon their fingers

To test the wind of history,

They slip into our bonds and steal us

Away from the slavery of cowardice.

*

They skin back their thin lips over fanged teeth and

Rocks in hand, in our presence

Face down our Goliath.

*

These mothers, fathers, pastors and priests,

These Rabbis, Imams, and gurus,

Teach us by their valor and mold us with their courage.

*

Without their fierce devotion

We are only forlorn and only fragile

Stumbling briefly, among the stars.

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