Liberty Memorial

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This 217 foot tall memorial and adjacent structures were completed in 1926. It was dedicated after the conclusion of WW I and is considered the American national memorial to the Great War.

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It stands on a hill across from Kansas City’s Union Rail Station. Generals and presidents from across the globe attended the commemoration ceremony along with over 100,000 local residents and visitors. This monument was refurbished and reinforced between 2000 and 2002. A world class museum was added underneath.

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There are four protectors of peace which depict guardian spirits that watch over the memorial as designed and carved by Robert Aitken: honor, courage, patriotism and sacrifice. When created and for many years thereafter, there was a plume of illuminated steam which bellowed out of the top. This was quite dramatic to view from miles away and appeared to be flames of gas.

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The next image is a sideways upper view just to reveal how tall 66 meters is when standing at its base. An elevator takes viewers to the top external walkway. I love the architectural lines and curves of the cylinder.

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There are two concrete sphinxes which represent memory and future…hoping that this will be the last great war. The “future” sphinx faces west away from Europe and towards the future while “memory” shrouds her face from the past. Such is the symbolism as we are told.

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Winter Winds

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The late November wind blew through my yard like a hurricane blitzes through a tropical region. No stopping it nor slowing it down. They both blow ‘till they run themselves out of energy.

In the meantime, I must steady myself as I tend to yard work in preparation for Winter’s fury…more wind plus freezing temps. How I hate that combination. I like snow. I don’t mind the cold but put the wind behind them and I absolutely can’t tolerate that duo of freezing temps and wind.

Some folk never experience what I just described while others live it much of the year. The later either like it, adapt to it or simply don’t know anything else but the Winter Winds. How they endure it I really don’t know. Yet, many thrive regardless of the harsh conditions.

I suppose those fine people in the rain forest don’t mind the sweltering heat and humidity along with the insects and snakes and predators. Adaptation seems to be the order of survival regardless of the circumstances. Besides, what else do they know?

Fast forward to areas with urban, suburban and country settings. Each assemblage have their own survival skills. Most of these skills are taught or simply learned by trial and error to stay alive. They are not so far apart from the Amazonian and the Arctic peoples of Planet Earth. They just live within a different set of circumstances. A bit more moderate, perhaps.

Along with geographical differences come traditional differences, as well. What may seem odd to one group of folks is normal to another and vice versa. Diversity among the human race is one of God’s crowning achievements, similar to the animal kingdom. Yet, ignorance often breeds contempt and misunderstanding which is sad. Rather than go off on a tangent about the negatives, I choose to celebrate the glorious and positive variety among God’s creatures. I’m so glad these differences exist…it would be rather boring if they didn’t.

For those in the parts of our world where the sun doesn’t shine so much, bundle up, as this winter seems to be starting off on the colder side of the thermometer. Cheers!

Time to Wake Up

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Wake up ! Not just to sunrises, but to the injustices and corruption taking place in DC and other governments. To the violence and poverty in Chile, Haiti, Brazil and beyond. To the ravages of war all across the globe. The abuse of the elderly, the weak and the little ones. Global warming (regardless of the causes). The loss of human rights in many countries and cities. Greed which knows no boundaries. Poverty.

Also, wake up to the many wonderful people and acts of kindness and generosity taking place throughout the world. People ignoring old prejudices and bringing about harmony. Pulling someone out from the gutter. Speaking up for shared and well-grounded values. Loving one another regardless of differences. Honoring God. Putting others before self.

We must be aware of what is going on around us and become agents for change. We can all make a positive difference. Watch another sunshine and wake up to another day full of opportunities. Certainly challenges await, but as Winston Churchill stated, “Never, ever give up”. Defeat is not inevitable. Victories in so many areas will and are being won.

Bless as you have been blessed. I certainly have been. I seek forgiveness for not doing more, but I still have more life to live to make amends. Pressing on.