Showing posts from May, 2009

Thank you, Veterans

Memorial Day 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…

Memorial Day 2009: Commemorative events at historic sites

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:…

Responding to a writing opportunity at

I started writing for I'm now the DC Historic Travel Examiner. Last night I posted my first article on Arlington National Cemetery since yesterday marked its 145th year. With Memorial Day approaching, this is a good time to think about those who came before us and sacrificed so we could enjoy the many freedoms we have.

If you're interested in history in the metropolitan DC area, you're welcome to visit my Web page at Let me know what you think.

Got requests?
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, 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 abou…

Gustave Niebuhr: On "How Much Words Matter"

Religion writer Gustav Niebuhr, author of Beyond Tolerance, spoke on how much words matter at the Evangelical Press Association convention in Indianapolis, May 6-8, 2009.

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."

"Something you say or write may embed [itself] in another person's consciousness and change the way they live and act in the wor…

National days of celebration

Two national days of celebrating have just passed: Mother's Day and the National Day of Prayer. Father's Day and National Grandparents' Day are yet to come.

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?

Prayer gifts
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 o…

Starting over in the 50s

A friend at church lost his bookstore business. He has to start over, knocking on doors, explaining why he needs a job.

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…