was on the beach the other night, mostly just freezing and trying to stay dry. As is my usual "thing" when I'm fishing alone at night, I start reflecting on life, people and the world around me. Palm Sunday and Good Friday are this week. This Wednesday the 19th is my sister Micki's birthday, she is a wonderful person. The 19th also marks the 225th anniversary of Paul Revere's famous midnight ride and the Battles of Lexington and Concord, "The Shot Heard Around the World." It is a holiday in New England but 99% of the press coverage this week will be reporting that date as the anniversary of "Waco", "Oklahoma City" and also "Columbine" on the 20th.
The Minutemen at Lexington were commanded by Colonel John Parker:
"Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here,"
Eight Americans died and the British headed for Concord. There at the North Bridge, more died, on both sides, and as the British retreated towards Boston, they were routed, suffering 270 casualties.
Boring huh, Big Deal?
My Response: Birth of a Nation, and all the Freedoms we consider precious.
Other highlights from history this week, the Titanic sunk, President Lincoln died, the Allies liberated Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began, the Bay of Pigs invasion was launched, Apollo 13 returned safely (it was real, not just a movie), in 1984 a suicide bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut killed 63 people, the Tiananmen Square protests began in China, in 1986 US forces launched an air raid against Libya in response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April 5th .
Maybe you know someone who was affected by one of those events, I know my family was personally affected by that last one. We were living in Europe at the time and although we always maintained a low profile so we could "fit in" we adopted some extraordinary measures to protect ourselves from retribution. My girls were young then and attended an international school, the Belgian police took extra security measures and I know there was "undercover" US military surveillance as well. Me, I took to driving to and from my office in Holland by different roads, leaving at different times, keeping the factory gates closed and guarded, having our mail "sniffed," etc. It was a pretty scary time for everyone and only after we thought the danger was over did the retribution come for me. It's a bad memory that I just can't shake, it still lingers on.
Bad memories still linger on for many others as well. A friend of mine was on a flight this week from New York to Glasgow. It was his first visit to Scotland. After taking off, a steward asked him if he would switch seats so a man and wife could sit together. He agreed and only later found out that they were on their way to Lockerbie. They had lost a child on Pan Am 103, Gaddafi's ultimate revenge on December 21st, 1988 when 270 were killed.
My reflections, I know, are gruesome but these things did happen and we should never let them fade away. They are all important, to us as a nation and as individual citizens.
My hours freezing on the beach were rewarded, three striped bass did come swimming by and take a taste of a Gibbs Casting Swimmer. One of them being 32 inches long qualified for the cooler, a drive north and lunch for some friends of mine that don't get to go out very often. To me they are just as much "Patriots" as are those men who fought and died for America 225 years ago.
Flying Over Iran -
This Week in History -
Life's Experiences -
Dog Days -
September 11 -
A Very Good Year, but...
An American Family -
A Letter From Viet Nam