Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Memories

As part of the Cultural Diversity series at work, they requested employees submit their favorite Christmas memory or tradition (in 200 words or less).  I didn't submit this, but wrote it up any way.

Through the years, there has been one constant in my Christmases.  Though people may have changed through the years through marriage, birth of children and death; there has always been Christmas Eve communion. This service is the most moving services of the Christian year for me.  It typically starts at 11:00 pm and involves singing, the reading of the Christmas story, and receiving communion.  After communion, the congregation sings Silent Night as the lights are dimmed and everyone is holding a lit candle.  When the service concludes, it is past midnight and therefore it is Christmas.  Some years there is a bonus – snow.
As a youngster, it was an excuse to stay up late and help pass the time before the fat guy showed.
As a college student and single adult, it was very similar to a homecoming; allowing me to see people from my home church.
As a husband, it was an opportunity to share a tradition with my bride.
And finally, as a father, it is a chance to hopefully instill a tradition with my children that hopefully they will come to love as much as I do.
Looking forward to sharing the magic again this Christmas Eve at Kingston Springs United Methodist Church.

Zach, A Tennessee Squire

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Day that Will Live in Infamy

On December 7, 1941, FDR uttered these words as our country reeled from a surprise air attack on our navy in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  Much like the 9/11 attacks, this sneak attack from the Japanese caught us off-guard.   I am sure you are familar with the images, but here is one to refresh your memory:

I bring this up because I think we are close to forgetting about this day or simply filing it away as another event in history that happened a long time ago.  Growing up I remember all of my teachers talking about Pearl Harbor day and asking us to remember those who gave their lives.  It was mentioned as a day of remembrance and reverence.  Every newspaper would carry a story of Pearl Harbor on the front page and include interviews of PH survivors or a story of survivors who gathered to observe the day.

Today, the PH story was a tiny one on page 3 of my local paper.  Myabe it's the fact that the number of people who remember that day occurring is shrinking.  Regardless, I wanted to pause, and make you pause, to remember this day.  A toast to those brave men and women who survived or gave their life there will be in order this evening. 

Zach,  An appreciative Tennessee Squire