MLK Day 2018

We visited the Martin Luther King, Jr National Monument this year as part of our discovery tour of Washington DC.

The Statue was particularly impressive at dusk when illuminated from the ground making the large monument seem even larger looming over the park and lake.

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Being of a certain age – we remember the civil rights movement and the mission of Dr King – Although we were far removed from the movement in our all-white, suburban, Midwest small towns. And, unaware of his importance as we were only in the eighth when Dr King was assassinated.

In light of events of the past year it seems to us this country has made backward progress in the long journey toward race equality. Perhaps this country needs to stop thinking of MKL day as a long weekend in January and get back on track – starting with its leader on down.

The time is always right to do what is right – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Christmas Greeting

A digital Christmas greeting from Florida

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We don’t mail out Christmas cards anymore and now create a digital greeting instead.

When thinking back on the year since last Christmas, and even with our nomadic lifestyle, the year was highlighted by time with family.

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Our youngest grandchild was born in Indianapolis while we were there for Chirstmas last December. We stayed in Indy for New Years Eve with our best friends who are like family from Cincinnati, Jeanne and Ray. Then, we headed south for some sunshine and warmth in Florida. We would make 4 more trips to Indy in the course of the year, including a trip to surprise Toni on her 40th birthday and a trip to help watch all 5 grandchildren in November. We went to Durham, North Carolina the home of our other daughter and her family 3 times. We always enjoy Thanksgiving with them and were there to babysit for their 10th wedding anniversary.

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We managed to attend an 80th birthday party for Tom’s Aunt Mary Ann and a 90th party for Tom’s Aunt Rosemary both in Cincinnati and made sure Tom’s dad was there to help them celebrate.

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And while we were back in Cincinnati in May we participated with Roni’s grade school friends family in the SandAngel Foundation’s Strolling with Angels walk in memory of our dear friend Chris Blom Back.

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While we were in Gaffney, South Carolina in May, we looked up Tom’s cousin Bruce that lives closeby and they enjoyed a reunion of such not having seen each other in 20 years. We enjoyed meeting his wife Lora and going out to dinner.

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Speaking of reunions, Roni was reunited with her half-sister, Patricia after loosing touch for 50 years when we drove out to San Diego. What a blessing that was. We met her son Bob and his family as well.

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We also spent time with family long gone through genealogy research at the National Archives in DC and St Louis and the Janssen Genealogical Library in Reading, PA. We managed visits to Chattanooga, Chickamauga and Mill Spring battlefields where Tom’s great great grandpa Ludwig Bosch was engaged in battle in the Civil War.

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We caught up with our RV family at several rallies – the Newmar rally at the Tampa RV show, Freightliner Owners at LazyDays in Seffner, FL, Region 6 Newmar Rally and FMCA Rally in Indianapolis, the Newmar Fulltimers in Branson and Newmar International in Sedalia, MO and the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta with a Newmar special event group in October.

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We hope to leave the motorhome safely tucked away here at Mt Olive Shores North in Polk City, Florida with our new family of neighbors and drive back to Indianapolis with Bogey to celebrate Christmas 2017 with our family and friends.

So while we’re speaking of family, we wish you and your family a wonderful, blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with peace and love and all good things.

Confederate Monuments

We’ll set the stage for this post…

We are staying in Ashland, Virginia, about an hour away from Charlottesville and just north of Richmond. The local news stories center on the tragedy in Charlottesville and the call for the removal of all confederate monuments. We are surrounded by Civil War sites in an area rich in southern history. Our visits to the Holocaust museum, Martin Luther King, Jr memorial and Mt Vernon and Monticello (with their slave plantations) are fresh in our memory.

We’ve been thinking a lot lately:

  • About the suppression of human rights and slavery

  • About crowd mentality

  • About violence and the abuse of power

In our opinion, the removal of all confederate monuments is a complicated issue. On one hand, we can see that they serve as a bitter reminder of a people oppressed. On the other hand, they are a part of history and tradition.

We both have great, great grandpas that fought for the Union in the Civil War, so we have no allegiance to the south. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore its history.

Undeniably, slavery was a horrible, terrible institution. And it was a big reason for the war between the states. But the war was also about politics, states rights, trade agreements and a tradition of life.

Should history be ignored? Shouldn’t history be accepted for what it was – no matter how heinous? And presented in such a way to educate? We saw this presented poignantly at the Holocaust museum.

Has freedom of speech been confused with displays of public hatred? Racism in any guise is wrong. How did the neo-Nazis and white supremacists get caught up in all this?

Friends of ours from Richmond took us to downtown Richmond to Monument Avenue where we saw the very impressive monuments to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E Lee.

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The governor of Virginia has ordered these removed.

We also visited Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond and saw the grave of Jefferson Davis.

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The family plot includes a life-size statue of Jefferson Davis

Will his gravesite monument statue also be ordered removed?

What about the monuments at Gettysburg where the dead from both north and the south are equally honored?

Will our grandchildren be taught that all southerners were evil? Or will the Civil War just be ignored in history all together?

Tolerance, civility, rational thinking not hatred, politics or impulsiveness are called for here.