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TideWriters Tales
America’s Day of Mourning
By Florence Jenkins Muse

     In a high school room at Cople High School, we sat in desk, stood by desk, and just huddled in general around the one radio to hear our beloved president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, make his memorable speech on that day, Dec. 7, 1941. A few hours earlier, the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Dec. 7, my sister, Nellie's, birthday. My school class was seventh graders and I watched three of my eight brothers, go off to war along with many relatives and friends. Our lives would never be the same but our America was beautiful and safe. Later, three more of my brothers would go off to the Korean conflict and occupation of Germany to keep us free. We never took it for granted like the younger generations. We wanted our flags to wave because we knew what it meant.

     On Monday night, Sept. 10, 2001, my spirit was restless all night as it foretold the horror that was ahead of us. It was not revealed to me where or what but I asked God at 7 a.m. to please give me rest from it. This he did with a lovely morning outside to see his beautiful world refreshed by the rain the evening before. My fig preserves cooked gently on the stove at 12:45 as I talked via phone to a girlfriend. She told me to turn on my television and then my nightmare began again.

     My America was no longer safe and beautiful. Through his tears, a middle-aged black American working in the debris said it best. "My home has been invaded; my children have been hurt and injured."

     The way the nations around the world responded to our "Day of Mourning" has been my deepest impression. One of my deepest desires has been that those folks in that fancy community in Richmond that didn't want their neighbor, a former Marine, flying his American flag will get on their knees in repentance. Indeed we all need to get on our knees and remember the words from II Chronicles 7:14… "If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land. Kinsale Foundation Day on Sept. 15, 2001 was America at it's best. I wished this scene could be a reality all across our land. 

     Our lives will never be the same. Our America will never be the same. But may we carry on with hope and faith and the words of "The Battle Hymn of The Republic" ringing in our ears. 

© 2001 Florence Jenkins Muse All Rights Reserved

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