Another 4th of July celebration coming up- though the one which I
felt had been very special was the 1976 Fourth of July. Yes, it
was the 200th birthday of our nation and I even felt more patriotic
because I was working for the City of Cleveland at the time. I
have some quarters that I saved commemorating this event, but since
they are not silver plated, they aren't worth much more than their
face value. Of course they are worth much more to me.
Today after the Saturday evening liturgy- even though it is not
yet the fourth, the organist played America the Beautiful at the
end. How disappointing that most people seemed unfazed by this
beautiful patriotic song and scurried out. Maybe it was because
of the heat in this wonderful large church built with the "pennies"
of Slovak immigrants in 1903. It has been recently merged with
another church which h as been closed. Their pastor was appointed
here and one day he reminded the congregation that they don't build
churches like this one anymore. I agree.
But as far as the patriotic rendition of America the Beautiful,
of late, I told myself that I probably will never again sing it with
as much gusto and tears as I once had because of what is happening
in the US. T he 1 percenters have absorbed too much of our country's
wealth and are taking unfair advantage of the middle class. The banks
early on caused so much pain to so many unwary home buyers, and many
soon lost their homes to foreclosure. Wall Street too had not proven
to be looking out for the common man's interests, and some people lost
their precious savings as a result. This was one time that my lack
of funds for investing in the market didn't hurt me. I had none to
But I was wrong about the singing. The tears did flow as I quietly
sang those precious words to the hymn. Why? because I saw the faces
of all the early immigrants - among them my Slovak parents who along
with the other immigrants bravely crossed the ocean in probably the
cramped quarters of the ship's hold to start life in this new land.
Their early sufferings and struggles would provide a future for me
and my two sisters and all the other progeny of these brave and caring
people. So, yes, I remembered them as I sang America the Beautiful.
And I also remembered gratefully the Pilgrims, the early settlers, and
Founding Fathers who made the America I love. We need their ilk again.
Another fond remembrance came back to me yesterday when I recalled a
chapter from the Korean War. I was going through some of my old e-mails
when I found one from Sandra, a friend who loves animals as much as
I do. In her e-mail she mentioned that her husband wanted her to see
the video of Sgt. Reckless, the Marine Horse hero that I had written
about in February of this year.
Somehow I hadn't seen the youtube video re Sgt. Reckless and here she
included the link for me to view at last! It is a wonderful video and
Sgt. Reckless is so beautiful to see when she was alive. Seeing her up
close and personal was a wonderful experience for me. This Korean mare
whose heart and stamina towered above her small stature will always be
an inspiration to those of us who appreciate her. I smiled when I read
that she sometimes was considered "one of the boys" and they even shared
a beer or two with her at times. While in the midst of battle she would
carry heavy loads of ammunition shells over and over again to wherever
they were needed. One time she was even wounded in the head and I believe
she got the Purple Heart Medal for that along with other medals of valor.
She proves that animals are intelligent and oftentimes very loyal to
those who were lucky enough to care for her.
If you haven't seen this youtube re Sargeant Reckless, I'm sure you will
enjoy it as much as those of us who have. You will probably want to look
up her story on the internet if you haven't already.
This coming 4th is already memorable for me because of an incident that
just happened on this Friday before the 4th of July. I am way too trusting
and on this morning when I came to church at 7:30 to make my stations
and then do a 15 minute rosary walk, I left my green cloth bag in the
back pew as I always do. There really is nothing of value in it, but
obviously someone this day thought there was. When I came back from my
rosary walk for liturgy, it was gone.
I wasn't alarmed at first because sometimes a person may turn it in-
thinking someone left it by mistake. But this was not such a time.
I went into the front vestry where the priest puts on his vestments and
found Father there and asked him if someone had turned it in. No,
he said, but I could call the rectory later and check. I did and again
Well my bag was gone - stolen! But whoever took it would be very
disappointed. My clutch purse in it only had a few dollars as I recall.
The rest it contained was of no value except to me -my Magnificat prayer
booklet, my sun glasses, my senior bus pass, etc. And despite this,
I felt violated. Someone had robbed me. I had never been robbed before.
Yes, I should be glad that the thief would be mightily disappointed in
But then the unbelievable. A cop came to my door on this Saturday just
minutes ago. I thought - what did I do now? Oh silly. I have never done
anything illegal in my life. He asked me my name and said he had a green
bag turned in. What a delightful surprise! The thief could have thrown
it into the trash after extracting the little money it contained. I'm so
glad that he or she didn't. And yes, I learned my lesson. No more
leaving my green cloth bag behind when I do my rosary w alk. And come to
think of it, this is turning out to be a July 4th to remember with
I also remember one 4th which was very sad for me personally, but was so
very tragic for my cousin and her family. Tom, her husband was such a
caring man. He used his carpentry and handy man skills for all of us
who needed it and I did-often. During this particular 4th of July
celebration he was at his daughter's home engaged in a game of volley ball
w hen he suffered a fatal heart attack. What a shock to his family. What a
shock to all of us who had been blessed with his wonderful and much needed
handyman skills. I would always miss him for that as I have had to employ
many handymen during the following years who never measured up to his care
And finally this Sunday morning- on CBS Sunday Morning I watched Steve
Hartman's wonderful account of Karen who does more than celebrate the 4th
of July. M onthly, she prepares huge care packages for the soldiers. The
clip showed her using a cellophane tape dispenser to seal huge boxes ready
to be delivered to the post office. The postage alone is thousands of dollars
each month. She is not independently wealthy but receives some monetary help
from others. She is a n amazing woman, and I think her selflessness should
put to shame the 1 per centers who do nothing for others but bascially think
only of themselves.