Monday, May 25, 2009
We attended the National Memorial Day concert last night on the West Lawn of the Capitol. The service was stirring and my heart is still thankful.
During Memorial Day weekend, perhaps more than other days, I think about the sacrifices and service you gave to this country. You risked much, and you endured unimaginable things during times of peace (I don't believe I could get through Boot Camp) and during horrific times of war.
As a nation, we have much to be grateful for. For more than 200 years, from Revolutionary times to actions in present-day Afghanistan and Iraq, this people has depended on its citizen soldiers and those who enlisted in its Armed Forces. You have protected and defended this nation. Thank you.
I am grateful.
Thank you for the freedoms and privileges we enjoy in this country that your service made possible.
Thank you for heeding the call of duty in times of your nation's needs.
Thank you for putting yourself on the line so others you would never meet could sleep safely at night and rise the next morning, morning after morning, to walk freely along the beaches and streets of this country.
Thank you for all the things you did that I don't know about, but God does.
May God richly reward you for who you are and eternally will be and for what you did, for we can never repay you.
And may those you loved find peace and purpose in God's everlasting love.
Photo Credit:(c) CWBrown, 2009. National Memorial Day Concert 2009, on the West Lawn of the Capitol.
Arlington National Cemetery's Memorial Day Service: Obama urged action
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Sunday, May 24, 2009
Through out our country's history, brave men and women served on muddy battlefields or along dusty roadsides, in silent offices, battle weary ships or noisy planes.
From Revolutionary times to current events in Afghanistan and Iraq, this nation owes much to the brave men and women who've served this country well.
Memorial Day weekend commemorative events are opportunities to remember.
Being at a historic site during Memorial Day weekend can amplify memories and enhance the significance of this holiday.
For this reason, during Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of thousands of people visit museums and monuments in the Washington, D.C. area.
Today and tomorrow, the following historic sites in the Washington, D.C. area will have one or more commemorative events that are open to the public and free:
- National Memorial Day Concert, West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol - Sun., May 24, 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. National Symphony Orchestra, actors, dignitaries and musical artists. Co-hosted by Gary Sinise (CSI:New York) and Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) Gates open at 5:00 pm. Free.
- 2009 Summer Blast Off!, Wolf trap National Park of the Performing Arts, Filene Center - Sun., May 24, 8:00 p.m. "The President's Own," United States Marine Band with fireworks. Gates open at 6:30. Arrive early, park closes when capacity is reached. Firewoks begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. Free.
- Arlington Cemetery - Mon., May 25, 2009, 11:00 a.m. Wreathlaying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns, followed by an observance program in the Memorial Amphitheater. Hosted by Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe, Jr., commanding general of Joint Force Headquaters - National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Free.
- National Memorial Day Parade - Mon., May 25, 2:00 p.m. Celebrities, dignities and bands from 50 states will parade down Constitution Ave, from 7th Street to 17th Street, past the White House. Free.
- Wreath laying and "World War II Radio Hour" events, U.S. Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
- Mon., May 25, 10:00 a.m. - Fleet Reserve Association's wreathlaying with guest speaker Ernest Borgnine. Free.
- Mon., May 25, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Live Music "World War II Radio Hour" (music of the Andrew Sisters). Free.
- Mon., May 25, 1:00 p.m. - Naval District Washington's wreathlaying. Free.
- Air Force Memorial - Mon, May 25, 2009, 9:00 a.m. Keynote speaker is Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney McKinley. Open to the public. Parking is plentiful. Free.
- Viet Nam Veteran's Memorial, Constitution Ave. and 21st St. NW, Washington, D.C. - Mon., May 25, 2009, 1:00 p.m. Keynote speaker is Peter M. Holt, CEO of Holt Companies and the San Antonio Spurs. Featured speakers are Air Vice Marshal Kym Osley of the Embassy of Australia and Dr. Heidi Kraft, deputy coordinator for the U.S. Navy Combat Stress Control program. Free.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
If you're interested in history in the metropolitan DC area, you're welcome to visit my Web page at Examiner.com. Let me know what you think.
I take requests! If there are specific areas you'd be interested in reading, drop me a line and I'll look into them. Monticello is now on my list of places to visit and research.
Want to write?
If you're interested in writing for Examiner.com, they still have slots for writers. Tell them I sent you.
I enjoy learning about and learning from history. We can learn much from those who've gone before us, if we would only observe and listen.
How about you? In what ways has learning about or visiting a historical site been meaningful to you?
DC Historic Travel Examiner home page
This may seem a strange message to share with a banquet room filled with professional editors and writers. If anyone knows the importance of words, surely these gifted communicators would.
But even experienced communicators may need a reminder during these economic times. When long-standing institutions stop their presses, lay off employees or decide to only publish online, economic worries can cloud judgments and distort perspectives.
Encouragement to revist reasons to communicate despite obstacles and economic woes is a timely reminder for communicators in any field.
I wrote down several comments that touched my heart:
"Words carry power and can be profoundly transformative."Whether or not you earn a living by writing or speaking, your words matter.
"Something you say or write may embed [itself] in another person's consciousness and change the way they live and act in the world."
Photo Credits: ImageBase, domain free.
If you shared life-giving, transformative words with someone else today, what would you say?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Mothers, fathers, grandparents and prayer are important every day of the year. Can you imagine life without any one of them?
Life without parents? Unthinkable
Without parents or grandparents, where would we be?
If we hadn't been born, maybe we'd be living with God, somehow, somewhere. But how would we enter into this life's reality without those specific individuals in our family tree who lived, loved and allowed us to exist?
Then there's prayer. Without prayer, we may not venture into life as fully or as joyfully. Prayer frees us to follow God's ways and avail ourselves of resources beyond our capabilities: love for others, including the unlovely; wisdom for all puzzles, big and small; strength for challenges; and all manner of spiritual gifts for tasks at hand.
We join our voices in prayer on the "National Day of Prayer," not because God won't listen unless we shout at him from large groups, but because God promises to be present when 2 or 3 or more gather together in his name. God hears our voices when we join in a chorus of petition and praise. God listens for solitary ones who call on him, trusting him to hear.
God makes himself available 24/7, daily. No busy signals. No hidden fees. Call while you're in range. Be daring in your asking. You may find answers beyond your wildest dreams within God's generous gifts of himself and his creations. He satisfies seeking hearts.
How do you celebrate national days for mothers, fathers, grandparents or prayer?
Photo credits: ImageBase, domain free photos.
Monday, May 4, 2009
In today's economy, it isn't easy to find a niche where someone over 50 will fit. At a liveable wage. It isn't easy if you're younger than 50 either.
"You have many marketable skills. Someone needs what you can do." He tentatively nodded his head.
"It might take a long time to find a place."
Yes, it could be a painful search. Humiliating. Humbling. I didn't say this out loud.
Pain etched my friend's face. Age discrimination is illegal. Yet it happens.
In interviews he's gone on recently people look at him and express concern he will retire in a few years.
"I don't know too many people who can retire anymore. We're going to be working until the day we die, in one way or another." He nodded. "Well, you'll need to tell them that. You'll need to sell yourself."
We sat in the foyer of the church, discussing how hard it is to communicate who we are and what we have to offer in interviews. That's true whether you're unemployed, or considering changing positions in a large organization, or you're younger than 50, much younger, and face discrimination because of youth and lack of experience.
At any age, it's painful to feel shut out and see a wall and closed door between you and paid insiders.
It's painful to seek a niche where you can contribute.
It's intimidating to knock on doors and hope one will open.
It's humbling to ask to be considered to help with needs they have.
How do people with little faith in themselves or in a kind God deal with the wear and tear of searching for a place in this world?
I couldn't seek, knock or ask without some hope that who I am and what I have to offer is what an employer (or publisher) needs. I draw comfort from believing each of us is uniquely gifted by God and he helps us.
That isn't to say we can (or should) stay in the same position at a company our entire life. We may have to move to another employer. We may have to shift occupations to stay financially solvent or be challenged creatively. We may have to start over, not because we chose to but because circumstances forced us to.
In whatever situation we may find ourselves, God never wavers in his concern for us. He sent Jesus to draw us to himself. He wants to satisfy us with his good gifts.
God has good gifts for us, but they won't just appear magically. We need to do our part. Jesus taught:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8 NIV)God promises we will receive when we ask; we will find if we seek; and we will knock on a door that opens. He goes with us on our hunt.
How long will it take to receive ... find ... or knock on a door that opens? What keeps you willing to do what it takes to find out?
Photo credits: Public Domain, Petr Kratochvil