Tag: 9/11

Friday Five: Songs that Make Me Cry

Today is of course the 14 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  I think we all remember where we were on that day and what happened.  I was going to campus for my senior year of college at BYU.  We heard on the radio of a small plane accident in New York and then I got up to campus and knew immediately it was more than that.  Everything was so quiet and everyone was on their cell phones, which at the time seemed really strange (funny ha!).

I then went to my philosophy class and we watched the coverage.  When they said the Pentagon had been hit I remember literally thinking ‘is this the end?’.  It felt like the end of the world. 2001 had been a very difficult year for my family with my Grandpa and 2 cousins passing away that year.  Then 9/11 happened so you can imagine why I came to that conclusion.

Of course it was not the end of the world but it certainly was the beginning of a new journey for our country. One I worry we have become too complacent about.  We need to do all we can to support our brave men and women who serve in our armed forces and try to elect people who will protect our country both spiritually and physically.

Anyway, one of the things that gets me through hard times is music, and sometimes I need music that can express sadness.  And if I learned anything from Inside Out it is that sadness is an important part of being a healthy person.  And music can help us cope with grief, loss, loneliness and many other sad moments in life.

So this week for the Friday Five the theme is sad songs, or ‘songs that make me cry’.  I chose 2 country songs, which I think is a medium that is particularly good at storytelling. I have one Broadway song from West Side Story, a gospel song from the Celtic Women, and a jazz number from a forgotten singer named Jimmy Scott who you should all look up.  He has such a unique voice.

I hope you enjoy my choices and give them a listen too.  Hopefully don’t cry!

NYC Trip Day 4: Rainy Goodbye

Quicker than it probably should have the final day of my trip came on Saturday and while I was sad to see it all come to an end I had the beginnings of a wicked virus, my feet hurt and I was tired.  Ready to come home you might say.

But fortunately we still had Saturday to enjoy and it ended up being a rainy day in the city. We decided to do a bus tour because we figured that would be better than walking in the rain and I wanted to see the 9/11 memorial before I left.

meg bus
Megan on the bus

 

Here I am on the bus
Here I am on the bus

The bus was fun but I wish it had been more of a tour.  There really wasn’t much of one so it was kind of like a wet taxi ride and then to my great annoyance they dropped us off like 8 blocks from the 9/11 Memorial.  It was the 9/11 stop and we had to walk forever and again nowhere in NYC has benches to rest. There is also construction at the site and it is very confusing where to enter and go but eventually we found it and I was able to stop for a moment and pay tribute to those who lost their lives on that horrible day.

9-11 memorialWe didn’t have time to go to the museum but at least we were ale to see the Memorial and then we made it back to the bus and finished the tour.  After a quick lunch my shuttle picked me up and it was bye bye New York!

nycI was exhausted and have been sick all week but it was worth it.  It was a great experience to take a risk, do something different and unexpected, a little bit unplanned which is hard for me.  Everyone at the RHAP Survivor event couldn’t have been nicer and I’m so grateful to all of them.

I am also grateful to my sister for coming up and spending the time with me at my pace.  It is rare I have anyone who is fine walking with me and waiting with me and occasionally listening to me moan and groan over my feet.  She was there just to spend time with me and that was really touching. I’m someone who isn’t often doted upon and it meant a lot to me that she did that.

Overall it was a great trip.  Highlights were the RHAP event, my trip to Soho Birchbox and video, American in Paris and the yummy food. Thanks New York! Hope I see you again soon!

Visiting DC

The next part of my trip started on Monday, Labor Day where I met up with my aunt and uncle Bob and Cindy (and cousins Marshall and Ellen).  They were nice enough to let me stay at their home the rest of the week and I enjoyed getting to see them again.  Get ready for a lot of photos.  See photo descriptions for details on trip.  This is a lot of photos so bear with me but I think it is the best way to share my trip with all of you!

the first thing we did was go to the capitol building for a tour . Our tour guide was a bit over-eager but it was still fun.
Each state has a statue at the capitol. Here I am by good old brother Brigham
Lady Liberty at the capitol
By the famous painting of the signing of the Constitution by John Trumbull.
the library of Congress had amazing mosaics
One thing that reminds me of Maryland is blue crabs. Bob and Cindy surprised me and got a bag of live crabs. It was a ton of fun both to cook and eat! The crabs were covered with old bay (of course, nothing else would be permitted in Maryland) and took forever to eat but that's part of the fun of it!
Me with the crabs
I love Ellen's face looking at the crabs!
Cindy with the crab

Tuesday I spent the day with my friend Adrienne and her children (especially my new friend Norah.  We bonded.).  For most of the day we went to Mt Vernon in Virginia.  This is the home of George Washington and it was beautifully preserved.  It appeared to have been recently restored.  Everything looked new and fresh with good signs and lots of volunteers.  They even had an explorer area for the kids.  The only downer was the rain, which would be a trend for my whole trip.  While I missed hurricane Irene, I made it just in time for tropical storm Lee.   Still,  I was not on the trip for sights.  I was there to see my friends.  Rain or shine!

Norah aka Martha Washington
Adrienne, Norah and Ezra at Mt Vernon
Me at Mt Vernon

On Wednesday  I had the busiest day in the city.   It all started with a ride into the city on the metro.  I went the first part of the way with Adrienne and unfortunately there was a jerk on the train.  He said that she should handle her son and that the entire train would appreciate it.  What a jerk!  Made me miss my Utah.

Anyway, I got about half way and they made an announcement saying the train was out of service and we had to get off.   With Joni meeting me I was nervous about waiting for a repair, so I decided to get a cab.  It was my first experience hailing a cab.  Its harder then they make it look in the movies!

Eventually I got a cab and made it to the Lincoln Memorial.  Just as I arrived it started to rain and pour.  I mean this was sheets and sheets of rain.  Thankfully Bob and Cindy let me borrow their large umbrella (thanks!).  Needless to say, our plans to visit all of the memorials went out the door.  At least I got to see the Lincoln and the Jefferson which are my favorite.

Lincoln Memorial
Me and good old Abe. I love Abraham Lincoln. One of my heroes
Me and Jefferson
Jefferson Memorial

So I met up with my friend Joni Miller.  We knew each other years ago in college.  She was originally the friend of my cousin but we connected quickly.  I was also close with her sister Casi.  They are great people and I’m so grateful for facebook and how it allows me to keep in touch with such old friends.  We had a wonderful time visiting with each other.

This entire trip what amazed me is how quickly I gelled with my old friends.  It was like no time had elapsed at all. There is something comforting about that.

We went to a delicous pizza place called We the Pizza. IT is run by Spike Mendelson of Top Chef fame (and he was there. I saw him!). I guess Sasha and Malia eat there and the President next door...and it was very reasonably priced. The sausage and sweet pepper pizza was my favorite.
You can't really see but it is Julia Child's kitchen taken from her home in Cambridge. I love her
The museum was full of interactive exhibits like this train that felt like it was moving. It was funny because Joni's son Owen didn't understand what was interactive and what was traditional museum. He actually made the alarm go off on the 2nd floor! They didn't do anything but we walked away quick!
They had a neat exhibit on 9/11 with artifacts from each of the sites. It was a sobering powerful reminder
They had a spot where you could write your thoughts on how 9/11 has impacted your life. It was amazing to read the thoughts of other posters, some of whom had eye-witness experience. Also, our accounts will be archived in the Smithsonian. Now I will have something archived in the Smithsonian. So cool!

My comment on the Smithsonian card- How did September 11th, 2001 alter my life?

The other day I was watching a movie from the 80’s and it showed the old skyline with the towers and my heart broke. My heart broke for the loss of that day. And then I remember that on 9/11 the greatest thing that man could erect was taken down in one instant. Likewise, the great things and more importantly people in my life can be gone in one instance. 9/11 reminds me to express my love for them more often and to savor the ordinary times we have together. It also reminds me that there is the potential for heroics in the face of every stranger I meet.

It rained so much but Owen had a ball with the puddles. Smart Joni brought extra clothes for him to change into.
We went to Pitango Gelato. Expensive ($7 for regular size!) but it was tasty. Especially the fruit flavors.

Finally the end of the day was a visit with my friend Miriam Harmer.  We have been friends since college.  Actually I was her TA in Poli Sci 201.  Then we took an LSAT prep class and just hit it off.  Its crazy but I have known Miriam for 10 years.  One of my longest friends.  We went to a very nice restaurant in Arlington called the Carlyle. It was probably the nicest restaurant I have ever been to.  I decided to splurge and got chicken pailard with angel hair pasta (basically chicken and pasta with a butter sauce), cesar salad and warm chocolate bread pudding! It was a long lovely leisurely meal which for my money is the best way to spend an evening.  Miriam and I have a ton in common and I always learn a lot whenever we talk.  It was great hearing about her new job working for Senator Lee and her life in DC.  She’s great! (Plus, I have to admit after spending a week with a variety of wonderful children it was nice to hang out with a single friend for a night!)

Miriam and I at the Carlyle. We talked for around 3 hours. I used to wonder how my parents could just talk for hours. Now there is nothing I like more.

So that’s the trip!  What a wonderful time full of reminiscing and fantastic friends.  I have said it before but I am soooooo blessed with wonderful friends.    The trip also reminded me of how grateful I am to be an American.  I am overwhelmed by the  sacrifice that has been paid by many so that I can live the life I enjoy.  It was an honor to walk in their memorials, view their museums and see the buildings they sacrificed for.  I am proud to be an American!

Thank you to everyone who made time for me on the trip and made my stay so wonderful.  We weren’t going to let a little rain stop our fun.  Great memories, great vacation.

Glenn Beck- 9/12 Project

Before reading this post- if you get annoyed at political discussion stop reading now.  This is just my opinion.  I simply found something that motivated me to be a better person, and I wanted to share it with all of you.  Take it or leave it!

Everyone knows I love politics.  I enjoy hearing different opinions and arguments on all sides.  I have always liked the passion behind a good debate.  I am not sure why- just have.  If the opportunity presents itself I would love to someday be a public servant in some small way.  This would not be for my personal glory but to serve my country and support the values I believe in.   Why does the idea of public service seem to be lost on our society?  The early founders were practically forced into service and now the career path of a politician often feels like the journey of a Hollywood celebrity.

I think both parties are equally guilty of this game, which is why neither seems to care what public opinion currently thinks.  For instance, nobody cares that the public has resoundingly opposed the stimulus package- from November on this has consistently been the case.  A recent poll said the support for the package was below 37%.  Another sign of discontent is that President Obama’s poll numbers have fallen dramatically in the first 100 days and they are now below President Bush’s at the same time in his presidency.  Despite such disapproval nobody in Washington is listening.  In fact, many of the politicians seem to think the  American public is not educated enough to understand such tough economic conditions.  If that is the case than your job as politicians is to educate us!

The problem is  many in Washington not only think we are too stupid to understand what they are doing to our economy, but they think we do not care. In my last entry on the stimulus package I posted a video with Senator Charles Shumer.  In it he calls the American people “the chattering masses” and says “the American people don’t care”.   I found this statement shocking in its candor and disgusting in its implications.  And remember this is not some no-name senator.  It is the 3rd ranking democrat in the senate.  My fear is that he was stupid enough to say what all the Senators and Congressional Representatives feel. They think we don’t care.

What if they are right?  There are certainly a lot of people who don’t care enough to vote.  The ones that do, rarely take the time to be informed on issues- even though such efforts only take a minute or two.  It has always boggled my mind!  Do they not understand issues like the stimulus bill effect our lives?  They effect ALL of our jobs, investments, property, families and certainly our education.

I am not saying that everyone has to agree with me but CARE! If anything was gained by the election of President Obama it proved that American’s could get excited about a candidate and politics.  For several months people watched debates instead of sitcoms and commented on interesting issues.  Although I did not vote for President Obama, I felt the excitement of a candidate of change.  Now I wonder- what has he changed?  Not much.  What promises has he kept? Not many. To name one failed promise, he swore time and again on the trail to stop earmarks in bills. Now the spending bill he signed has over 9,000 of them! 9,000! With the President’s current popularity I do not buy his excuse of needing to sign an “imperfect bill”.  He had the political capital to at least reduce the earmarks and he failed to do so.  I will also add that 40% of these earmarks came from Republicans, so they are equally guilty in ignoring what America wants.  In fact, the Republicans are trying to make the Democrats seem like the bad guys while still sneaking in whatever spending of their own they can get in.

I am not writing this to bash President Obama or any other politician.  I have hope for them all.  Perhaps foolishly, I believe most of them are good men and woman with the right intentions; however, many have forgotten who they work for, and what we as Americans stand for.  They have gotten so caught up in money- that it has become a type of panacea for every wound.  Just throw more money at a problem and it will all be made better! Selfishness, greed and a loss of vision is leading us into debts both morally and financially.  In a sea of money and political correctness, these politicians seem to have forgotten the fundamental values  of honor, freedom, integrity, faith, justice and hard work that our government is there to support.

To be honest,  this spending bill was making me depressed.  I felt like no one was listening to me and millions of other Americans who find it crazy and irresponsible. Even the socialist nations of France and Germany are refusing to go along with the big spending!  Now China has expressed worry that the $1 trillion in US treasury bonds they own is a bad investment. The Chinese, the French, the Germans, the majority of Americans all seem to think this is a bad idea! Why doesn’t anyone care?

Well, I found someone who does.  I am not usually a talk radio/ tv news person.  I love NPR and feel I am an Independent on most issues.  However, I happened to catch the latest Glenn Beck Show on Fox News, and was very inspired with what I saw.  I have heard Beck speak and been impressed in the past but this was something special.  In the program he talks about his feelings after 9/11 (thus calling it the 9/12 project) and then contrasts with his current feelings.  He talks about how no one is listening and how nobody in either party can be trusted.  He asks every American who still believes in this country to send in their photos- he gets millions.  He interviews Iraq veterans, 9/11 victim families and gives 9 principles and 12 values that exemplify the American spirit.  I agree with every one of his 9 principles and 12 values.  If I worked for a year to summarize my own values and principles in regards to this country they would end up the same as Beck’s.  I love that he isn’t afraid to declare his belief in God, family, and America!

He actually gets emotional at several points, and I found the whole thing very moving.  He tells us to remember how we felt on 9/12, and how we just knew what to do, and how we could help.  Those feelings came out of our core beliefs and values.  It is these values that will save America- not spending more on lavish programs or shopping to boost consumer confidence.  Real confidence comes from an understanding of why we matter- why each of us matters to this country and to God. I can’t recommend the program highly enough.  During the broadcast there were crowds all over the country watching and cheering. I wanted to cheer too! Put it on your DVR this weekend or watch it online if you can.   It’s not just a political rant.  It’s a reminder of what is good about America, and I felt validated by it.

Beck is a member of my church, so perhaps he presents his program  in a way I understand.  However, this basic message of integrity, service, friendship and courage is one any American can relate too. I promise it is not a partisan attack. Check it out!

The Nine Principles

1. America is good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

12 Values

  • Honesty
  • Reverence
  • Hope
  • Thrift
  • Humility
  • Charity
  • Sincerity
  • Moderation
  • Hard Work
  • Courage
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Gratitude

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.