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Memorial Day Musings

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  • Memorial Day Musings

    Memorial Day 2020, how different it is in some ways. Many of us are still separated from our loved ones due to COVID-19, some because of the pandemic and others because of work or service. Still others are not with us because they have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have. I'm sitting in the Emergency Operations Center this afternoon surrounded by a mountain of PPE that has to be inventoried and stocked, but yet thinking about the PBS Memorial Day show I watched last night, and reflecting on what I saw and those thoughts were intertwined with thoughts of the RPL class I am facilitating on APCO history and all that is going on in the beautiful country I live in (you all know I'm "different" so why should that change now.

    Last night the hosts spoke of a new group of hero's, not the typical people we think of like our service personnel or police - fire or ems workers (and yes public safety telecommuicators), but of the doctors - nurses - truck drivers - postal workers, those men and women who are leaving their homes every day to ensure that we get mail, that our food and beverages are transported to stores where countless others stock and service our needs. Not to diminish the work that our service men and women are doing or have done, but to show we now have a "new" kind of hero. Which started me thinking of those original men who came together for a meeting so very long ago in St. Louis and formed APCO. Students in the RPL program write about those men and meetings and what impact they had on all of us, in the past - the present and for the future. Do we call them hero's, most will say no, that they were forward thinking and leaders, but hero's, maybe not so much to some, but they were fathers and sons, police officers and radio men (and yes they were all men back then), going about their business to make a change.

    Like the men and women spoken about last night in the show, and in our lives today, the men and women being described as hero's all quietly and without fanfare, are going about their business, not looking for accolades or pats on the back - or hazard pay or parades, they are quietly doing the job that MUST be done. Just as Mr. Batts - Mr. Dengler - Mr. Erikson - Mr. Fisher and Mr. McMillian do so many years ago, some not realizing just how important their work was and is. Those who have come before us did what they did for love of country, for the love of doing what is/was right and important to them and to those around them, not because it was going to make them look good or because they were going to get a medal or lots of money, but for the love of it.

    How many of us can say that for what we are doing today? How many work behind the scenes to make sure you are protected in your work space or fighting the good fight to make conditions better for you, and never saying a word, just getting the job done. These are the silent hero's that few recognize but so many are the recipients of their quiet work and are the better for it. Our history is so rich and diverse, and it is an honor to read about those who have come before us - In the Atlantic Chapter alone we have had twelve (12) wonderful men who have served as International Presidents, not many Chapters can say that, yet how many of us know who they are? Who will be the next - maybe you or someone you know - we can only dream!

    This Memorial Day maybe different because of the pandemic, but one thing we cannot forget, those that fought the good fight for all the right reasons. They are the true hero's. The show ended with America the Beautiful, the first couple of stanza's we all pretty much know, but the last two, well I think it has more meaning today than ever before:
    O beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife - Who more than self their country loved, an mercy more than life. America, America, May God they gold refine - Till all success be nobleness, an every gain diving.
    O beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years - Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears - America, America, God shed His grace on thee - And crown they good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.

    Thank you for taking the time to maybe read my musings, I always feel good after writing them, kind of puts things in perspective for me. I am so grateful to live among the spacious skies and purple mountains, having the freedom to make choices and to have flaws that others will gently overlook and help me mend them, but most of all, to be grateful to the men and women who "Gave it All" so that we may be here today.

    Have a wonderful Memorial Day my friends - until we meet again!


  • #2
    What a profound "musing", Maureen.

    It is funny how when we reflect on history, it reminds of where we have come from, and what made us who we are today.

    "and crown they good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea".

    Fraternally, Craig