Wise Words

Here’s a good helping of perspective for all the whiners out there during this Covid-19 crisis. What we’re asked to do doesn’t compare even a little bit to what our parents and grandparents lived through. Surely we can sit at home a little longer.
Larry

hughcurtler

I have no idea who wrote the following piece, but it strikes me as worthy of wider dissemination than it has had so far. My son sent it to me the other day and said, simply, “it was written by a co-worker.” It strikes me as particularly important given the fact that we are all feeling fed-up with the coronavirus and all that it entails. We simply cannot wait until things go “back to normal” — refusing to admit to ourselves that there may be no return to normal and that the “new normal” will be like nothing we have ever experienced.

In any event, we wallow in self-pity since few of us has ever had to deny ourselves much of what we want. This is, after all, the “Age of Entitlement” not only in the schools but in the homes as well. We buy on plastic and run up…

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Whatever Happened to Peace?

Maybe that’s a ridiculously naive question, but I still think it’s worth asking.

I just don’t know if anyone in Washington bothers asking it anymore. It’s as though the word has become quaint.

An entire generation of Americans has grown up in wartime. Peace, to them, is an abstract concept; maybe even a myth. That’s sad to think about.

Oh, well, I guess the defense contractors are happy, ‘cause their stocks went way up this week because of the events in Iran.

 

I guess it’s because peace requires maturity and toughness. I mean, think about it: anyone can fire missiles and beat their chest and talk macho. You want to prove how tough you are, have the guts to sit across from your enemy and work out a peace agreement.

I think women could do it if they were in charge. I think they are more acutely aware of the effects of war on children, and that would greatly influence their strategy in these situations.

Just sayin’.

Peace, not domination, not destruction, should be the objective in foreign relations.

You think Iran isn’t interested in peace? I’m willing to bet a large portion of the population actually is. We just never hear from them.

Just like they probably never hear from us. That’s got to change.

I don’t know how, exactly, but it’s time for those of us who cherish peace to take a stand for it.

Our opportunity, I think, is perilously close to ending.

 

 

Day Trip to France

 

Have to admit, most of what I know about D-Day, which commemorates its 75th anniversary today, I learned from watching Saving Private Ryan. (A terrific movie, by the way.) I know it involved a lot of young men who knew they would probably die that day on the shores of Normandy, France, yet despite being scared out of their minds, courageously carried out the mission that ultimately saved the world.

And some of those young men are still alive today, and though they are much older now, the memories of that day are no less vivid, no less haunting. War stays with you your whole life.

It would behoove us all to take some time to read about the events of June 6, 1944, and appreciate just how historically impactful they were.

And to remind ourselves of just how undeniably horrible war is.

To all the remaining veterans of World War II and D-Day, I salute you, and offer my heartfelt gratitude. Your courage and heroism in the face of grave danger is why we are all here now.

Peace in Our Time.

The Biggest Christmas Gift


They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas we get we deserve

“I Believe in Father Christmas”, Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Songwriters
GREG LAKE, PETER JOHN SINFIELD, SERGE PROKOFIEFF

Published By
Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, MUSIC SALES CORPORATION

 

Peace on Earth.

What a deceptively simple concept.

All the people of the world, living together in harmony and bliss. No fighting, no bullets, no bombs, no dead warriors, no bereaved families, no lying governments. (In this case, at least.)

It’s a concept many of us don’t even think about until this time of year. For much of the world, war is as much a part of our daily routine as breathing, whether observed from a distance or experienced firsthand. War is just another fact of life, and we tacitly accept it.

Then, our minds get pumped with almost nonstop Christmas music, from every store and every radio station, and we get a barrage of Christmas movies and TV specials, and everyone’s heart softens a bit. We gush about what a wonderful time of year it is and, by Jiminy, why can’t it be this way all the time? Why can’t we all be kinder to each other? Why can’t we show more charity to our fellow man?

Why can’t we have peace on earth?

If only the answer was that simple.

 

It’s not my intent here to debate the causes for war, or its reasons, or its inevitability, or its morality.

There are many facets of war about which many of us disagree, but I would think, and I would hope, that we could all agree on this: war is overwhelmingly, unbearably, heartbreakingly sad, due to the terribly high cost of human lives it always exacts.

And to our stubborn refusal to ever, ever learn from it.

 

We can all wish for peace, we can pray for it, we can sing for it, we can petition for it, and we should do all those things, as long as we have to.

But tonight, when I go to sleep, I’m going to close my eyes, and dream of it.

And what a beautiful dream it will be.

As the song goes, “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”

Merry Christmas, everyone. Love and peace to you all.

 

A Simple Request

 

James…earn this……..earn it.

Captain John Miller’s (Tom Hanks) last words to Private James Ryan (Matt Damon)

Saving Private Ryan, 1998

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Monday is Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember all American servicemen and servicewomen who have laid down their lives in defense of the freedom we all hold dear.

Did they all have to die? Did they all even have to go fight?

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I’m sure we each have our own answers to those questions. For what it’s worth, my answer to both is no. I won’t offer any reasons; those of you who agree with me need none, and those of you who don’t are likely not interested in any.

But, if I could make just one request, lest the significance of the day get lost in all the barbecues and picnics and lake expeditions and huge blowout sales…

I would ask that every American who reads this, at some point on Memorial Day, observe a moment of silence in remembrance of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice while in the colors of the United States Armed Forces.

And, may we all, like Private Ryan, earn that sacrifice every day of our lives.

Have a safe and pleasant Memorial Day.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

 

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War, I despise ’cause it means destruction of innocent lives.

“War”, Edwin Starr

SONGWRITERS
Strong, Barrett / Whitfield, Norman J.

 

The classic Christmas ballad, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, was released around Christmas time in 1943, and became a huge hit for singer Bing Crosby.

The song, which speaks of wishing to be home with family for the holidays, complete with “snow and mistletoe, and presents on the tree,” wasn’t originally written from the point of view of a soldier stationed overseas, but quickly took on that meaning, since it was released during wartime. For many of the servicemen, the only way to get back home for Christmas was “only in my dreams.”

Two years earlier, and 75 years ago today, Japanese forces made sure that over two thousand servicemen stationed at Pearl Harbor would not be home for Christmas. Any Christmas.

 

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Imagine how December 25, 1941 must have been for the families of all those lost just eighteen days before.

It’s a pain that has been experienced through our history. From the American Revolution to the present, over a million Americans have died in battle. That’s a lot of families through the decades, suddenly overwhelmed with an enormous loss. Their beloved soldier would not be home for Christmas…or ever.

Now, I know there are plenty of other people who, for whatever reason, are separated from their loved ones at Christmas time. I’m not ignoring them, or belittling their circumstances. (Not intentionally, at least.) That especially goes for all the victims of violence – gun violence, mainly – and their bereaved, devastated families.

But, on this somber anniversary, my thoughts go to all those who have been separated, temporarily or permanently, by the harsh reality of war. I’m not going to debate the rights and wrongs of war here, other than to say, I hate what it does to families.

And not just American families.

So, here’s a few Christmas wishes, from a grateful civilian:

To all of you military men and women, spending Christmas somewhere far from home, thank you for your service. I wish you were here, too. Come home soon, and safe. Merry Christmas.🎄 🎁

To all of you celebrating Christmas while waiting for your loved ones to come home, thank you for the sacrifices you make. May they return soon for a joyful reunion.

 

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And to all of you facing, again or for the first time, the unbearable pain of never seeing another Christmas with that mom or dad, that son or daughter, that brother or sister, that husband or wife, that special person…

 

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My heart goes out to you. You are going through grief of a magnitude many of us will never know. I am so very sorry. I wish you love and comfort in your sorrow.

And to everyone, Peace on Earth.