Never Forget

On this anniversary of 9/11, I wanted to simply share one of the most beautiful music videos of all time, at least in my opinion.  I first saw it in 2002, and I have come back to watch it and listen to the words many times since then because the lyrics are so beautiful and sad, yet leave me full of hope at the same time.  Michael W. Smith’s music has a fabulous way of doing that at times, and this portrayal of how so many of us feel when we see our flag, especially in times of national trial or remembrance, is so accurate and moving.  Our flag is not just a piece of cloth.  It embodies who we are as a nation and the highest ideals of who we are striving to become.  This video makes me want to cry, and then it makes me want to get up and be a better person today than I was yesterday.  That is who we are as Americans, at heart, I think.

I recently heard someone say that someday, the 9/11 anniversary will simply fade into obscurity and will hardly be noticed, probably after most of us that are old enough to vividly remember the day are gone.  After all, who really thinks much of Pearl Harbor Day anymore?  I must sadly confess that I probably fall into that category.  But while I am alive, I will never, ever forget this anniversary and the thousands of my fellow citizens that died that day and afterwards.  I recently read Let’s Roll, Ordinary People – Extraordinary Courage by Lisa Beamer, the wife of Todd Beamer who was one of the men on Flight 93.  It is one of the most inspirational books I have read in quite some time, too.  (Last year, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the Flight 93 Memorial was dedicated in a solemn ceremony, and this article tells more about that event.)

Even though I was going through some very hard days during the Fall of 2001, it pales in comparison to what so many others were going through that were directly impacted by the attacks.  Still, the combination of events, both personal and national, caused me to pursue God in a way that I had never done before.  For the opportunity to experience God’s grace and help and love more than ever before, I humbly remain grateful because it changed me forever.

Peace to you today, hug those you love, do something kind for someone, and remember the courage and sacrifice of those that have paid the ultimate price for us.

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Catching Up

I am a bad, bad blogger, especially when I am sick.  From about the first week of December to nearly the end of February… I was sick.  Thankfully, I think I’m finally past it all and getting back to a more normal routine.  But in retrospect, I don’t think that I have coughed more in my entire life.  It makes me quite thankful for the times that I am not sick, which is most of the time.

December Cruise:

Fortunately, my illness was not too bad while we went on our cruise in mid-December.  It was such a great time, and I would go again in a heartbeat.  I’m actually hoping we can possibly do this again next year as well.  It was a nice break during the hectic Christmas season, but I will admit that I had to hit the ground running once we got home.  It was a bit unusual to not have any real gifts to open on Christmas morning, but trading that for an entire week of vacation at sea and on land in Florida was a good deal for us.  I will post more about our trip here soon, as I got a few really great pictures while we were gone.


Our Christmas was very laid-back this year, which was actually pretty nice.  I cooked way too much, too.  I won’t be making that mistake to that extent in future years.  I will try to remember that I said that, too.  😉  We had too many calories laying around this house for too long!


Spring is once again springing forth in our neck of the woods, and while I wish we could have had more rain/snow this winter, I’m actually hoping for a nice mild Spring season this year, keeping the hot temperatures of summer away for a while.  Our winter was pretty bi-polar this year, as we either had very mild temperatures or record-setting cold ones.  We had two cold spells that were just bitter cold, with chill factors around -15 to -20 overnight.  While we did not suffer any frozen pipes, others around town and the area were not so fortunate.

I miss our bird bath in the backyard, and we should be able to retrieve it from storage in a few days since our overnight freezing temperatures are starting to subside.  I miss my birds and taking pictures of them, and I suspect our “regulars” are missing their watering hole now as well.  In fact, I have hardly taken any pictures since our trip and Christmas, which is very unusual for me.  That’s how bad I have felt.  Needless to say, my “photo a day” project has not taken shape, so I will just look to revisit that another time when I feel so inspired again.

New Nook:

My husband surprised me on Valentine’s Day with an unexpected gift… a Nook of my very own!  I gave him one for his birthday last fall, and he liked it even more than I thought he would.  He started reading every day, just as I had started reading more with the free Nook and Kindle apps on my own laptop.  But, I think he picked up on the fact that I was wishing I had my own Nook, even though I really did not talk to him about it.  I have truly enjoyed learning to use it to its potential, including learning how to download and read e-books from our local library for free.  So, I blame my new Nook in part for my lack of photography adventures for the past few weeks.

It’s just been so nice to just relax at home (or at the library or at my local Barnes and Noble store) and just read a good book.  It is noteworthy that Nook owners can read select books for free on the B&N in-store Wifi for free for an hour each day… and it really does work.  We own the non-color Nooks… the original version, and honestly, I think I like it better than I would like the back-lit color version.  I can literally read for hours on my Nook with the e-ink, and my eyes never tire.  I’m not sure that would be the case with the back-lit Nook.  The battery life is much better on our version, too, due to the difference in the technologies, and I really like the fact that I do not have to charge my Nook for about a week, even reading it every day.  I’m pretty sure that we are both now “hooked” on reading books electronically now, and I can’t see either of us opting to buy a traditional book if we can find it electronically now.  If I do have to buy a paper book for some reason, I now plan to donate it to my local library or a retirement community when I am done.

Japan Earthquake / Tsunami:

Finally, my heart truly goes out to everyone in Japan that is suffering after the historic and tragic earthquake and tsunami last Friday.  I was actually up late reading that night and checked the news updates before I went to bed.  The earthquake had just occurred about twenty minutes earlier, so I turned on the TV news and watched it all unfold throughout the night.  We know a young woman that is teaching in Sendai, and I found myself praying for her and everyone affected off and on throughout the night.  She is fine, for now… prayers continuing for everyone in Japan and their families, wherever they are.



Never Forget

Never Forget 2009

Never Forget 2009

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

— Rudy Guiliani quotes Laurence Binyon (English Poet)
in a NYC ceremony honoring the victims of 9/11

Every year since 9/11/2001, our community has sponsored a large flag display on the grounds of a local elementary school.   Each year, I go with my camera in hand, and it never fails to touch me in a deep way.  I took the photos above last year, and they are still some of my favorites with the sun shining through the flag.  It symbolizes “hope” to me, and hope is something I desperately needed in the fall of 2001.

9/11 touches me deeply, not just because of what happened on that fateful day in our nation, but what was happening to me and my family at that same time.  It was as if bad news was just piling on and would not quit.  Fear almost completely overtook me, and I could not see a way out.  It was, without a doubt, the hardest time I have endured in my lifetime, but it was also a huge life lesson for me in my walk with God.  Our lives changed during that time.  It was a very hard autumn season, though, and one I will never, ever forget.  The words of John 16:33 gave me so much comfort and reassurance during that time, too.

God bless the families and friends of those that perished on this fateful day in 2001.  You are in my thoughts and prayers today, as always on this day of remembrance.  As bad as our issues were at that time, I did not lose a loved one.  My heart truly goes out to you all.

As odd as it may sound, I think this commercial by Budweiser a few years ago kind of hits the nail on the head as far as my feelings about this day.  It was a commercial that was done solely to pay tribute to the 9/11 victims and their families.  No words… just the utmost respect… I cannot watch it without getting teary even still.

Update, September 14:  This is an incredible story that just came out, and I wanted to share it here, too.

Never forget.

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