Roseburg Ramblings
September 7, 2011

Well, this week shot by. The weather continues to be great but it seems to me that it is getting colder too soon. After the wet June we had I think summer should somehow be extended but early signs of autumn surround us. School is back in and the nights are getting cooler. Finally, my neighbors’ tomatoes are getting ripe. Fresh corn and peaches and of course, zucchini are plentiful; enjoy them while you have them. Try a ‘pearfection pie’ from Kruse Farms; it’s yummy! We have not, so far, had any serious forest fires. I never complain about the weather around here but I do feel that somehow we deserve an ‘Indian Summer’. We’ll see what we get, huh?

This week’s predominant theme was service. Examples of service to one’s community, excellent customer service as part of one’s life and service on behalf of humanity kept reminding me of our interconnectedness. This week I was privileged to attend the United Way of Douglas County’s Campaign kick off breakfast held at Umpqua Community College. The United Way helps support so many worthy local non-profit organizations like Project Literacy, Adapt, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the Salvation Army to name just a few. For more info, check out their website. The food was great thanks to the folks from the culinary program at UCC. Some of the table settings were gift packages put together for auction. Dan Hern did an entertaining and effective job as auctioneer. Some of the table settings were beautiful flowers donated by Barb’s Flowers.

Surrounded by so many examples of these hard-working ‘service’ organizations is indeed inspiring. If you wonder how you might help in our community perhaps you could volunteer some time to one of these fine outfits. Or, if you have the time and the inclination, you can join a service club. Clubs like the Lions, Optimists and Zonta give you the opportunity to make new friends and contribute your time. If you’re interested, just find out when and where the club meets and show up. I’m sure you’d be welcome.

On Friday, I attended the local Optimist Club meeting. The guest speaker was a retired Naval Officer, Eddie Murphy. He was the former Executive Officer on the USS Pueblo, the ill-fated spy ship captured by the North Koreans in 1968 and the author of the book, Second in Command. This is an uncensored account of the capture of the Pueblo. The talk was fascinating and I ended up with a signed copy of his book.

During the week a reader let me know of a new Indian Restaurant in Garden Valley Shopping Center. I’ll check it out this week. I really want to interact more with our readers so if you have a suggestion or a tip please visit Douglas County News on Facebook and leave a comment.

I’ve mentioned my fascination with words many times and this week I played around with some words like unkempt and disheveled that seemed to be well, peculiar. Is there a corresponding word like kempt? I did some research and found a funny link that uses many of these kinds of words in a short story. Visit www.ling.upenn.edu/~beatrice/humor/how-i-met-my-wife.html for a laugh.

Finally, this weekend is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9-11. I’ll be participating in a couple of Memorial Services. The first one will take place at 8:30am in front of Mercy Hospital. This service will overlap the times that the two planes that struck the Twin Towers. A girder from one of the towers is on permanent display at Mercy. You can read some of my views on the day at agdagnese.com.

I heard a rumor this week that the members of the FDNY, NYPD and of the Port Authority were not being invited to this year’s ceremony held at the site. I called a friend of mine who is a 25 year veteran of the FDNY and what he told me was somewhat upsetting. In an effort to avoid ANY connection to a specific religion, the mayor of New York has basically un-invited their chaplains who customarily say a prayer. My friend went on to say that between the protestors that show up in force for these kinds of events (trying to get on TV?) and the city’s attitude they, the firemen, don’t feel welcome there. Well, they were welcome ten years ago!

I know that most of the victims on 9-11 were not firemen or police officers or EMTs or Port Authority personnel. But, FDNY lost 343 members that day. And, while they too can be considered victims, they along with the first responders from the police department, the EMTs, those members of the Port Authority and the courageous citizens aboard Flight 93 helped redefine the way we look at 9-11. Their actions, taken on behalf of their fellow human beings provide nothing less than redemption. Their courage turned what could have been, simply, a cold terrorist act that killed a lot of people into an event we’ll never forget. I still see images of people jumping out of the upper floors in order to avoid the flames that engulfed the buildings. The first casualties within the ranks of the firefighters occurred when some of these jumpers landed on men called by duty to respond. Because of this courage … this dedication to their fellow human beings, the way they responded, we have much more to remember and, remember we should. Their sacrifice, their dedication, their blood - redeems the day. The terrorists were defeated that day, first by their own selfishness and disregard for others and then by the unselfish response of people who answered to a higher calling. On this day then, the tenth anniversary of 9-11, we should take the time to remember. The world will little note nor long remember what Mayor Bloomberg says but will never forget what they did that day. And, we the people should take inspiration from both their courage and the dedication of those who now serve. Let us, as a nation of free people, take up the call heard on flight 93 that day. Let’s roll!



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