Meditation and Reflection

Happy Monday, All …

Here’s a positive thought hoping that you each made the most of the numerous Memorials to “9/11” that took place world-wide, especially here in the good ole USA! After spending Friday night with a good friend, K-Man, listening to music and hanging out at our local “Cheers” called Capone’s in FTL, I awoke to a busy Saturday morning starting off at the post office and then going to the African American Research Library and Cultural Center where I am confirming a venue for an event I will be participating in in December.

There at the AARLCC, I met a long time professional friend, Mr. Larry Holland, a staff member at the Library since its opening, which was shortly after “9/11”. As I filled out the form to request and reserve a space at the library, we started chatting. Mr. Holland is “white”, by the way, and around my age. He is a relentless worker whom I remember assisted me with one of my early book-signings there with several new authors when my mother was living. I still have photos of all of us there, especially my mother, as I gave a talk introducing my first book, From the Projects to Princeton, there in the bookstore. Mr. Holland was there, too. He was telling me how he had originally worked at another library in Coral Springs, FL and had applied to the soon to open AARLCC on Sistrunk Boulevard in FTL a few days before “9/11” and was scheduled to have his interview on September 11, 2001. It was postponed due to the attacks our nation experienced because all federal and state run operations were closed in response to the attacks.

So, Sunday, I attended Calvary Chapel in red shorts, my “9/11” commemorative t-shirt with the USA Flag on front with the Statue of Liberty super-imposed upon the flag, and the multiple symbols of the Armed Forces on the back of the shirt. Pastor Bob opened talking about Memorials and identified several in the Bible utilizing Greek and Hebrew words for “memorial” and he explained their significance biblically. Suddenly, in the background, on the big screen behind him appeared a picture of the US Flag waving in the air! He paused, and then commented, “You know, all those people who have a problem with this country and complain and talk bad about this place, they should go someplace else!” The audience applauded and Pastor Bob noted how there was to be no clergy invited to participate in the “official” Memorials for “9/11” and reminded us NOT to let God leave our lives and our hearts . . . ever!

I spent the afternoon on a slow cruise up A-1-A on the Night Hawk with a friend to a destination in Deerfield Beach. There were a few bikers out and we saluted each other and enjoyed the fresh air, foliage, sprawling houses and the ocean that intermittently appeared along the quiet road to Deerfield. On the other side of the road appeared inlets with boats and people bathing in the ocean’s water flowing into the inlets and causeways. I was glad to be an American! Arriving home early enough to watch Serena Williams and Samantha Stosur from Australia play in the Women’s US Open there in New York made me even prouder to be an American. What an event, magnificent attendance and a stellar audience as well …. Only in America … and in New York on such a commemorative day! Serena tweeted before the match that she was playing for all those affiliated in any way to the “9/11” attacks though a fit and determined Australian played well … and won!

I finished the night with a light dinner while watching “60 Minutes” and the one hour special that followed narrated by Robert DiNero which focused on original footage of the attack in New York City and the response by the New York City Fire Department . . . Tears trickled down my cheeks periodically, especially at the end when photos of lost fire-fighters were shown while the Irish classic, “Oh Danny Boy” was sung a capella style in the background . . .

Peace be with you . . . always,

John I. Cook, Director

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