Thursday Re-View — In Memoriam

[ 9/11 Memorial Museum – In Memoriam Exhibit ]

[please see: Collage of the Heart]

He stood alone in his dress FDNY uniform, ribbons aligned perfectly, shoes buffed to a patent leather shine, gloves snowy white.

He walked up to a specific one of the 2,983 pictures on the Wall of Faces, gently placed his gloved hand flat on the portrait, lowered his head, and stood motionless for a full minute.

His prayer done, he moved to another FDNY face in another photograph in another row, placed his gloved hand flat on the portrait, lowered his head, and stood motionless for a full minute.

And then he did it again for another of his FDNY brothers.

And again.

And again.

I lost count. But he didn’t.

He performed the same homage over and over, honoring each of his many fallen comrades.

Too many lost. Gone too soon. Too much heartache.

At last he reached his Captain. He placed his gloved hand flat on the portrait, lowered his head, and stood motionless for a full minute. Then he smartly saluted his superior, his hand steady and strong.

And the tears flowed…

salute

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Earth Charter

We have forgotten who we are,
we have lost our sense of wonder and connectedness,
we have degraded the earth and our fellow creatures,
and we have nowhere else to go.

If we lose the sweetness of the waters,
we lose the life of the land;
if we lose the life of the land,
we lose the majesty of the forest;
if we lose the majesty of the forest,
we lose the purity of the air;
if we lose the purity of the air,
we lose the creatures of the earth,

not just for ourselves,
but for our children,
both now and in the future.

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Monday Meeting – In Community

 In Community 

ryclectic’ wrote: “My buddy witnessed an act of utter kindness today…While he was standing on the corner waiting for the crosswalk he saw this woman buy two meals at a street vender and go sit down beside this man and give him one of the meals. She proceeded to introduce herself and talk to him about his life and just shot the [breeze] with him. She wasn’t acting superior, she was his equal, she just wanted to talk to and express inclusion to a fellow human being.”

food

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Source: The Kindness Blog
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Thursday Re-View — Collage of the Heart

[ 9/11 Memorial Museum – In Memoriam Exhibit ]

The 2,983 photos cover the four walls, this microcosm of humanity. Gone too soon, and far too young, no matter the age.

The Wall of Faces.

Young and old; black, white, red, brown and yellow; smiling and carefree; serious and professional.

Mothers and fathers; brothers and sisters; husbands and wives; sons and daughters; bosses and co-workers; captains and lieutenants; lovers and friends.

People from over 90 countries, but Americans all.

The impact of the sheer number of people lost punches you in the chest, the intake of breath keening out in an anguished, “Oh, my God…,” over and over in a litany of disbelief.

Oh – my – God.

Frozen tears pour out in a scalding torrent.

Here, then, a Captain in the Fire Department of New York, dress uniform shining and starched, dedication in his gaze.

Next to him, a middle-aged woman, motherly, soft around the edges, her eyes rimmed with lines from years of laughter.

Down some rows to the handsome young man in a tuxedo – model handsome – with a smile that can light up a room, along with his wife’s heart.

My eyes move up to the older man, graying at the temples, dignified in his Wall Street clothing, his face a mask of professionalism.

The young woman, so vibrant and full of life, the girl-next-door, prom queen and cheer-leading captain all rolled into one.

The man of indeterminate age, his ebony skin matching his eyes which radiate compassion and a quiet reserve.

The young EMT, eager to help, focused, smiling, full of hope.

I remove my glasses as if to rub the images from my vision and instead visualize a sea of colors, a tapestry, that together unite into one huge photograph of humanity.

Out of many – One.

Oh. My. God.

9 11 wall of faces

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If You Want His Answer

If You Want His Answer
by Paramahansa Yogananda

Whether He replies or not,
keep calling Him —
ever calling in the chamber
of continuous prayer.

Whether He comes or not,
believe He is ever approaching
nearer to you
with each command of your heart’s love.

Whether He answers or not,
keep entreating Him.
Even if He makes no reply
in the way you expect,
ever know that in some subtle way
He will respond.

In the darkness of your deepest prayers,
know that with you He is playing
hide-and-seek.

And in the midst of the dance of life, disease and death,
if you keep calling Him,
undepressed by His seeming silence,
you will receive His answer.

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Monday Meeting — Malala: One Girl Among Many

Unless you’ve lived under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Malala Yousafzai.

She’s the teenage girl from Pakistan who’s made quite a name for herself as an advocate for girls’ and women’s education.

In October 2012, the Taliban shot her because she fought for women’s education.

Malala was 15 at the time. She lived in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, where the Taliban slowly began to take control when she was a young girl. One of the key philosophies of the Taliban was that women should not have an education.

Despite the risk, Malala blogged anonymously for BBC about her life as a girl under the Taliban. Soon enough, her real identity was revealed, and she began receiving threats from the Taliban.

By the stroke of a miracle, she did not die.

Malala got shot on the left side of her head and had to undergo many facial surgeries. Fortunately, she eventually went back to living as normal, and studying in the UK, where she continued advocating against the Taliban and for women’s education.

Two years later, in 2014, Malala won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Take that, Taliban.

And now, Malala’s brilliance is inspiring girls around the world.

You should watch to see how. Seriously.

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Andrea Garcia-Vargas, Upworthy
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Today’s Quote

daisies

If I had my life to live over again,
I’d try to make more mistakes next time…
I would relax.
I’d be sillier than I have been on this trip.
I would climb more mountains,
swim more rivers
and watch more sunsets.
I would have more actual troubles
and less imaginary ones.
Oh, I’ve had my moments,
and if I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else,
just moments, one after another…
I would pick more daisies.

~ Nadine Stair, at age 89 ~
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