These pictures were captured by my uncle this past week. He visited the beach location where I vacationed every summer for as long as I can remember. Since I did not visit there this summer, I was thrilled to see these reminders. Feeling sad and sentimental to begin with, from watching the September 11, 2001 Fox News memorial accounts, I found myself caught up in the sadness of the moment. You see, these beach pictures remind me of my dad who spent so much time with us at this beach location. We rode bicycle on this boardwalk many times during the early morning hours of our vacation. He has been gone 14 years now, but the memories are fresh for me today. That leads me to think of so many people in our country today whose memories are still fresh, and the wounds still deep, as they remember back.
I thought of all the many years that I spent with my family, on these beaches. I thought of the time I spent riding bike with my dad and sibblings, during the early morning hours. I missed my dad so much as I looked through all these pictures. I thought of all those who lost their loved ones during the brutal attacks on our country, who will no longer ride bike with those they love, either.
I thought of all the disrupted lives of so many. Terrorism is so cruel and certainly no respector of persons.
As I listen to the speeches of past presidents and many of those involved on that 9/11 day, I was also reminded of how easy it is for all of us to take every day for granted. Those who lost their lives on 9/11, started out their days like every other. They stepped out into the brilliant day of bright sun and clear blue skies. They had no idea what the next hours of their lives would hold. We don't know either. Each hour is a gift.
Along the boardwalk of this beach location, are miles of gorgeous, well maintained homes. I remember stopping and looking at these homes many times, and wondering what it would be like to live in them, or to visit in them. The gardening designs of each of them, are exceptional.
Flowers grow everywhere on the island.
"God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her, through the night with a light from above.
From the mountains,
To the oceans,
To the prairies white with snow,
God bless America, our Home Sweet Home."
May we as Americans, never, ever forget.
May we treasure our freedom as a country.
Thanks to my uncle for sharing his photography skills with us, and for reminding me of some very special memories in my life.
Today I am also so thankful for those who continue to give their lives for the freedom we still have here in America.