Take Pride in your Country

     Do you ever wonder why we practice fire drills, tornado drills, or disaster drills? I have had those drills, but what about when someone takes over the plane you are on? Or what about when a plane flies into the building you are working in? Have you ever had a drill for that? Maybe it is because you don’t live in a place where there are tall buildings. But should that matter?  It mattered on September 11, 2001, at 8:46AM ET.

      I remembered the stunned looks on their faces. I remembered the tears that rolled down the faces of others. And I remembered both of those feelings as well as the nausea I felt thinking about my own friends and family who lived and worked in those areas. It seemed the whole office was like me. Just waiting for a call from someone we knew to call and say, “I’m okay.”

On September 11th, 2011, I spent most of the day remembering others and their families. I read an article about “Rick” Richard Rescorla. Rescorla was a decorated U.S. Army Colonel who at 62 years of age, and a director of security at Morgan Stanley, insisted on two safety drills every year. There were 22 flights of stairs to conquer, but it was his safety drills that got more than 2,500 employees out alive; although, 13 others, including Rick were unable to survive.

      A decade of war behind us and many of us look back with remembrances. We remember loved ones. We remember emergency personnel, policemen, firefighters, people on other floors, from the street, and in the sky that put forth effort to save a life, or give theirs for another.

This year, on September 11th, 2011, as I remember that day, and the many heroes among us, I thought of those who made sure I was safe in my working environment. Dr. Lloyd Grafton who wrote the manual for crisis intervention in the school systems. Harrell “Bubba” Tucker who enforced those rules at Caldwell Parish Schools during the 3 years I was employed there in some capacity, C.L. Lewis who walked many a nurse and nurse tech to her car late at night in the parking lot at Glenwood Regional Medical Center. Jeremy Tinnerelo who monitored the night shift every night, preparing us for our jobs, because when it comes to an emergency situation, the best way to handle it, is to have a prepared team. His shift, my shift, was always prepared for anything.

Well, almost, I watched the television, and as the Super Bowl played and the Star Spangled Banner began, nothing makes me more proud. This proud representation of our country shows once again how truly we stand as a nation. The only thing is, when we have two pop singers, one age 58, the other age 30 – What does it say about our country when we have two people represent our country, singing the National Anthem, when they don’t even know the words.  Maybe it was just, me fearful of the educational system. We have had a lot of separation of church from school, but the Star Spangled Banner is one song that is not church; for me it is the building block of this country. Once you learn your ABC’s letter by letter, not in song, then you learn the National Anthem word by word, then you learn to sing it with pride. Maybe they should ask my friend Victoria Garcia to sing it. Now there’s a lady who sings all of her songs to God thankful for her gift to sing.

  Published March 8th, 2012, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench.

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