Tag Archives: tragedy

Even Today Mr. Rogers Offers Comfort

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Fred_Rogers_White_HouseThe tragedy in Boston is horrific. The raw images and video graphic. The city, and the country, filled with pain as we hear reports of death and scores severely wounded. We pray for the families and for the survivors.

In our grief, one calming voice returned to offer comfort. Fred Rogers, famed neighborhood friend from PBS often talked to children about dealing with challenges. His quote below was posted and went viral on the social media yesterday afternoon.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”

Mr. Rogers, your mom was right. I saw it, did you? Did you see the soldier who, having just finished the race, ran back to help the wounded? Did you see the cowboy who quickly applied a tourniquet to a severely wounded man? Did you see the police and firefighters running toward the injured, even after the second bomb was detonated?
 
It is still a terrible tragedy but in the midst of it all we are reminded that there are more caring and helpful people than there are evil. And though he’s been gone for many years we still appreciate the wisdom of Mr. Rogers.

Confederate Corner with George Neat – Boston Marathon Aftermath

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When: Tuesday, April 16th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Confederate Corner with George Neat on Blog Talk Radio

What: Yes there are Confederates north of the Mason-Dixon line, and George Neat is one of them. And we’re happy to bring his views to you in the “Confederate Corner” radio show.

For more information on George and his political views, please drop by the Confederate Corner at GoldwaterGal.com. (http://goldwatergal.com/goldwater-gal-media/confederate-corner/)

Tonight: In case you didn’t know it, your host – George Neat – is a firefighter and has worked in emergency medicine for years. Tonight, hear his take on the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Expect at least a few scathing comments about vulture-like media, irresponsible folks crying conspiracies, and politicians exploiting tragedy. Do not expect political correctness!

A Time To Mourn – Even During Christmas

All Christmas’ are joyous.
Gods gift to man, celebrated.

Not just a baby in a manger…
But Good Will.

A hand of good will from a Good God, extended toward needy man in the most sacrificial expression this earth will ever know.

Love made tangible.
A quiet miracle birthed in an obscure place, yet celebrated even so, with angelic fanfare to humble shepherds.

Christmas.
It’s Christmastime.

But this year…our nation suffered a devastating blow.
We were not punched in our gut. We were not kicked in our sides.

We were raped savagely of our joy.
Our young ones – our innocent babies – were brutally, cruelly, yanked out of our grasps.

We were powerless to stop the insane mind that attacked them and he ripped into their little sweet bodies with bullets that were crafted with intent to stop evil men, not tear down young ones on the threshold of life.

This year, we will again celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th.
Evil does not stop Good.

But our brothers and sisters of Sandy Hook mourn.
Gifts under trees will remain unopened, just as the eyes that would have sparkled with delight will also remain unopened.

Beds are not slept in.
Breakfast dishes are not left in the sink.
Shoes remain on the floor; there are no little toes to fill them.

Closets full of Christmas splendor that were meant to adorn little spindly frames will now retain their contents.

And mothers and fathers will wake to hearts of stone; no appetite, eyes clouded with pain, and arms aching with emptiness.

No voices at five a.m. to wake them up too early.
No one bounding upon the bed, or down the stairs.
No laughter.

No laughter because there are …
No children.

Celebrations continue all over our nation. Music plays through unseen speakers over our heads while Santas in the mall pose for one more snapshot.
But not for everyone.

A shadow hangs over our land.
This wound is deep.
We bleed still.
Christmas Day will come, and you will be tempted to put the thoughts of their suffering out of your mind so that you can enjoy what is before you.
That is human nature.

I adjure you most urgently: Ignore it.
Ignore that urge and walk to a quiet place, lifting those parents up in prayer as if you were praying for your own shattered heart.

It’s okay to cry on Christmas.
It’s okay to feel sad sometimes.

There is time to mourn.
Do not let them mourn alone.

They need your prayers.
Our prayers.

This Christmas as you celebrate, you will feel a small shadow pass between the brilliant sunlight of your own joy and its source.

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It is the grief of your brothers and sisters of Sandy Hook.
It wafts through the atmosphere of our nation.

When you become aware of it, acknowledge it, and then acknowledge them – in prayer.

Take them to the One who has vowed that He will not leave our souls desolate.
Implore Him to help them recover, and then leave them in his care.

To see one who suffers, and feel sad, is not enough.
Do what you know you can do.
In this way, we love one another.
We are one nation under God.
Their suffering is our own.

Do not be afraid to feel sad on Christmas; rather, channel those emotions into something that will help them heal.

Remember with them…
Stand with them in spirit…
Mourn with them…

It is difficult.
It is painful.
It costs.
It is True Love.
And it is crucial for our nation’s healthy recovery.

Merry Christmas.

Leah

For tangible demonstrations of support:
If you wish to make a donation by check, please send to:

‘My Sandy Hook Family Fund’
c/o Wells Fargo Bank
26 Church Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470

Restricting Our Right’s is Not the Answer – Pt. 2

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Read Part 1 of this Column on my syndicated News feed.

About this time one week ago, the news about a shooting at an Elementary school in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut was first breaking. At the time, no one but those who were there and the first responders truly knew the magnitude of the situation.

One thing was for sure though – gun control would become the topic of discussion very soon.

Hardly did I or anyone else know, within moments of the news breaking worldwide, liberal pundits and those who are pro-gun control began to spin a terrible tragedy into a few political shenanigans as they blamed the guns for killing innocent people.

However, it wasn’t the guns that were used. It was a 20 year-old man named Adam Lanza – a very crazed and abnormal man.

Needless to say, America was about to surcome to the narrative that we had faced each and every time a tragedy of this magnitude occurs.

Gun Control.

Oh, how I hate the term gun control. I hate that people want to blame the guns for killing 27 innocent people, I hate that the president wants to take our guns away and in doing so, he has created a task force to “solve the problem of gun violence in America” headed by none other than the magnificent Joe “I’m a walking gaffe” Biden.

Let’s get a few things straight, shall we?

First, it wasn’t guns that murdered 27 innocent people; it was a single man with free-will to do so. We all should be blaming him, and not the guns. It’s called personal responsibility – something our society lacks to a great deal.

Secondly, every shooting tragedy that I can remember has happened in a gun-free-zone. Now, shouldn’t this tell us something?

Criminals who are dead set on going on a shooting rampage aren’t going to go shoot up a police station. Why? Because THEY ALL HAVE GUNS AND WILL DEFEND THEMSELVES.

A gun free school would make a perfect target because no one on campus has a gun, especially if it’s a place like an elementary school where resource officers are not likely to be present unlike at a Middle or High School.

Let me be clear: Saturday afternoon when the reports of the heroics of the staff at the school were first surfacing, it was told that the principle of the school and the school psychologist were the first two people to make contact with Lanza.

Now, if either of them would have had a weapon and were properly trained on how to use that weapon to defend themselves and the children at the school, I strongly feel like the only person who would have died at that school would have been Lanza himself.

So what am I proposing?

I would like teachers at every school in the country to be packing heat. Not every teacher of course, but possibly something like one handgun and one assault rifle per 50 students. Also, it would have to be known that the campus is not a gun free zone. Most likely this would probably deter any possible shootings at schools ever again.

Now, my AP European teacher told me that he wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying a weapon at school, because there is a possible chance that students could jump and disarm him. I offered him a very simply solution: If you are conceal carrying correctly, no one but you should know that you are carrying. Therefore, the likelihood of you being jumped for your weapon is very, very low. It would be like playing Russian Roulette with the teachers.

I said in part 1 that I wouldn’t be discussing the ramifications of gun control in our country, and I have stuck to that. I offered a solution to the problem of gun violence in American schools, and I wish that a narrative like the one I have offered would be discussed more than gun control.

My next column will probably be on gun control in America. However, I am leaving today to head out to New Mexico to spend time with family that I so rarely see. This being said, my next column will probably not be for another 10 days.

If this is the case, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I hope that joy is brought to each and every one of you this Christmas season.

God Bless you, God Bless Newtown and God Bless America.

Follow Chris on Twitter

Restricting Our Rights is Not the Answer – Pt. 1

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In the last week, an unspeakable, heartbreaking event occurred, and this is going to be my first column commenting on the event, and my second will be published tomorrow.

My iPhone alerted me of what had happened a little after 10:30 in the morning last Friday. At that time, I and America were unaware of the magnitude of the shooting, and the effects it would have on our country in the days following.

I had absolutely zero words to say after I found out that little children had been murdered. The only emotion that would come out of me, were tears. Tears for the kids, teachers, staff, and tears for America, because I knew the discussion that would quickly follow.

Gun control is the headline answer to the tragedy. Just hours after the news had been broken, liberal pundits were already speaking out that guns had caused this tragedy and that more of it would prevent unnecessary deaths.

These columns, comments, and opinions seriously angered me.

In America, do we not have enough decency to not make everything into a political battle? Can some things not have any political spin to them?

These were the questions I was asking myself, my friends, and all of my twitter followers.

I was absolutely appalled and disgusted that such a horrible and tragic event could be turned into political shenanigans in a matter of hours. Did these people not have respect, knowledge, and decency for what had just happened?

It was a reality that no American, young or old, wanted to face. Many, many innocent people including small children had just been murdered in what should be the safest place for them. On top of that, not one person murdered had warranted any reason for their death, yet in a matter of seconds their lives would be so selfishly taken from them.

However, it is a reality that we must face, whether we like it or not.

In our society of “normalcy”, there are abnormal people. Abnormal people do things that you and I cannot comprehend because we process events on a rational level.

The man pulling the trigger was not normal. There was something wrong with him, but there were no real outward signs that anything was wrong, and preventing this massacre was almost impossible. There is only one rational way I could see this massacre being prevented, but we’ll discuss that in tomorrow’s column.

Saturday afternoon, the Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner discussed what he had seen at the scene, and with those of the dead. He told America that each of the children that he had completed an autopsy on had been shot anywhere from 3 to 11 times.

This man, Adam Lanza, wanted these children, teachers, and staff members dead.

For what reason? We will probably never know, and quite frankly, I don’t care to know why. All I know is, there must be some drastic action to take place, so that something like this never happens again.

I hate talking about this. It is sad. It is saddening. I wish the media would leave the town of Newtown, Connecticut alone.

No one should be speaking of this tragedy in political terms, and in part two, a future solution to this problem will be offered. I will continue to condemn those on both the right and the left that turned this unspeakable act into a political hotbed.

I pray every night for the children, staff, teachers, and all of the innocent lives that were lost because of a single man’s actions. This event has affected me, not like any other, because I am still in school, and I still remember what it was like as a first grader.

I hope we can find it in ourselves to stop the political spinning of this tragedy, and just leave the town alone so they can mourn their losses.

America is mourning with them.

God Bless You & God Bless America.

Follow Chris On Twitter

The Astronaut and His Lady

Watching the Diane Sawyer interview with Commander Mark Kelly regarding his wife’s recovery was truly inspiring!

Now, for those who have read the musings of yours truly from yesterday, you know that this writer lost a bit of respect for Mark Kelly after reading an article where he “ripped” Speaker of the House John Boehner for not going by to visit Congresswoman Giffords during her recovery. It is still the personal opinion of this writer that bringing politics into their story lessens the beauty, just a bit, of the miracle that is Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords. There is still a small amount of respect that is forever lost. Yes, it is his right to speak his mind. It is also this writer’s right to wish that politics had been left at the door.

With politics out of the way, let’s look at the beauty that has come from tragedy.

January 8, 2011 is a day that is forever marked in American history. It was a senseless tragedy that should have never happened. As a nation, we held our collective breaths, not knowing if Congresswoman Giffords would live through the tragedy. In fact, it was originally reported that she had died.

Thankfully, those reports were wrong.

While this is not the first interview with Commander Kelly since the shooting, it is the first interview since the book about their journey since the shooting has been published. This is also the first interview where Congresswoman Giffords is interviewed since the shooting.

The book, entitled, “Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope”, is most definitely titled appropriately.

Commander Kelly decided just a few days after the shooting to start videoing her progress. He was that optimistic that she was going to come through this. He said he knew that she would ask questions about the process, and he wanted to document it for her. They decided to share the videos to show that there is hope after a tragedy such as this.

There is no question that Mark Kelly loves his wife. One comment he made in the interview really struck a cord with me. He said that this is what his marriage vows are truly about… in sickness and in health. Though Gabby is not the picture-perfect model of beauty to the fashion world, she truly is the picture-perfect model of beauty from within. Whether or not you agree with her politics is not an issue. This woman is a survivor. A fighter. A warrior, as her mother said.

After watching the interview was was DVR’d on Friday night, this writer can graciously extend forgiveness to Commander Kelly’s comments regarding Speaker of the House Boehner just a bit. Yes, just a bit. While there still remains the wish that politics never have been brought into their beautiful tale of hope and healing, there is also an understanding on this side that maybe Speaker of the House Boehner is the easy one to lash out at.

There is one specific part of the interview that can be debated, which will be addressed in a separate article. But not here, not today. Today, this article is a celebration of life and healing in the midst of tragedy. This is a story about the astronaut and his lady. Their true, undying love for each other- for better for worse, in sickness and in health- is undeniable!

Commander Kelly, you have (mostly!) redeemed yourself in the eyes of this humble writer. May God bless you, keep you, and continue to give you strength on your continued journey with your beautiful wife!

____________________

You can see the entire 20/20 episode here.

One of New Jersey's Largest Churches Plans Six Memorial Services Marking 10th Anniversary of September 11 Tragedy

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Sept. 1, 2011 — For the upcoming 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Tim Lucas, Lead Pastor at Liquid Church, is preparing a program that incorporates a variety of arts, video presentations, music and a message of inspiration and hope for the entire community participating in the event.

One of the focal points of the memorial services is to commemorate the anniversary of the September 11 attacks through the presentation of hand-crafted, 40-pound, custom-made brass bells with the engraved words “Hope Never Quits” to representatives to the first responder community. The church is honoring those we loved and all who served from the New Jersey region. First responders to the September 11 World Trade Center tragedy, victims’ families, and all community members are invited to the special memorial services in Essex, Morris and Middlesex counties.

Together with everyone who gathers, the church will hear a message that honors those who died, including firefighters, police officers and emergency personnel in a way that connects the past and future. Lucas explained, “The message we want to bring to our communities is that our future is secure, because hope never quits.”

In addition, the church has commissioned a new song written specifically for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 as a gift to all those affected by the WTC tragedy. Dave Pettigrew & Frank Di Minno’s special arrangement, “There is Hope,” is now available to preview online at http://www.liquidchurch.com/9-11/thereishope. Free copies of the CD will be given to participants of all six memorial services.

EVENT DETAILS

Morris County // 9:30am & 11:30am
Hyatt Morristown
3 Speedwell Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960

Middlesex County // 9:30am & 11:30am
The Heldrich Hotel
10 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Essex County // 9:30am & 11:30am
John Walker Middle School
325 Franklin Avenue
Nutley, NJ 07110