Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Traditions with Papa!

Yesterday we celebrated Veterans Day. Today, I continue that celebration with the birthday of my dad. Had he lived he would be 97 years old. He served in the Navy during WWII. He never talked about the war. It's memories were private for him as is with so many of our veterans. The only tangibles I remember from his service were his uniforms, medals, and insignias. He kept them stored neatly away until right before he died. Mother told me one day very suddenly he gathered all that he had from his Navy days, walked into the backyard and set them ablaze. I suppose this was his way of finally letting go. It was only a short time later he went to bed one night and slipped into the final sleep. 

God bless you, Papa. May you rest in peace!

Chester Clyde Lee
Nov 12, 1916 - July 17, 1997

He was on board ship the day the flag was raised on 
Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.

Embrace the Past...

Papa was a proud American. He lived through many changes in our nation never losing sight of what America stands for...hope, faith, and courage. He grew up without most of the amenities we enjoy today. I remember his stories of walking six miles to school in shoes that barely covered his feet [that was because of all the holes]. Running water was physically running back and forth to the water pump returning to the house one bucket at a time. Plumbing was nonexistent and with the help of his brothers, they literally moved the outhouse as the 'potty holes' became full. [Photo Source: 17 Classic Wooden Outhouse Photos]

His riches were not material for he had little as a boy growing up. That did not deter him from wanting to be the best he could be. He gained a football scholarship to attend Troy State Normal School (today known as Troy University) where he graduated with a BS degree in Education. He went on to obtain his Master's Degree in Administration from Florida State University. He was teaching and coaching during this time and spent summers in Tallahassee, FL.

After his time in the Navy, he attended Harvard University working on his doctorate. Marriage and family intervened with that dream never coming to fruition. I still have his hand-written dissertation. 

He spent 40 years in his career as an educatorteacher, coach and principal. His was the era of prayer in schools, pledging allegiance to the flag, singing the national anthem. This was the time when all of these were accepted as tradition for those praying, pledging and singing understood the meanings behind each tradition. 

Empower the Present...  
Today those traditions are being challenged: Why keep praying the same prayer, pledging the same pledge, singing the same anthem we have heard for centuries upon centuries? The answer is simple: BECAUSE OF THE REASONS BEHIND THE TRADITIONS! They are not accepted as tradition simply because someone a long time ago said, "Let's start a tradition." Each has its own special meaning behind which one will find overwhelming struggles and sacrifices!

Enrich the Future... 

 Observe the past, present and future of freedom in America! It is slowly being stripped away one tradition at a time!