I usually get to school around 6:30 am every day. At this time it is pretty much guaranteed that I am the only person walking the second floor where I have been situated now for almost 11 years. Within an hour, this same hallway will be swarming with teen angst. A diverse cross section of humanity waiting for the day to begin, waiting to see what the day will deliver. Sitting next to their lockers, they talk about their day, their classes, their friends and the weekend. As crazy as it sounds, the energy that the kids give off is infectious. That is why working in a high school is the best job you could ask for.
“The main thing to understand is that we are imprisoned in some kind of work of art.”
When I pulled into the parking lot at work yesterday, the clouds were the color of cotton candy. Hovering above the building was a huge pink mass that appeared to be motionless. Even with the lack of motion and the beauty of the clouds, the photo conveys more in that single moment than I could ever put into words on this page.
When I am lucky enough to see a sunrise such as this, the Terence McKenna quote at the beginning of this post makes perfect sense. Would being trapped in either photo be such a bad thing? An interesting quote to think about….
It was an excellent way to start the day!
Thirty four years ago today, 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers lost their lives when the Marine Barracks in Beirut Lebanon were destroyed by a suicide bomber. Although many years have passed since that day, the memory of the fallen will remain a strong symbol of Marine Corps History. For most people, however, the day will pass like any other. We will go to work, drink our coffee and do what we need to do. And unless you are a Marine or a family member of the fallen, this day probably does not mean much to you.
Ossining High School lies just off of South Highland Avenue as you make your through the center of town. About thirty feet from the sidewalk lies a stone in front of a tree that was planted for one such Marine. LCpl Craig Wyche, a 1982 graduate of Ossining High School, was sleeping in the Barracks on that fateful day in October 1983 when his life was cut short and his sacrifice became part of Marine Corps lore. I mention this for two reasons-One, I am a Marine and two, I have worked at Ossining High School now for over eighteen years.
Over the years I have passed by the stone many times and each time I stop and pay respects to my fallen brother. A Marine brother, but a brother nonetheless.
While it is important to honor the service of veterans of every era, we need to especially show reverence to those who have given their lives in the line of duty. Although the reasons we initially choose to serve may be different, we all have a love for our country that says we are prepared to give our lives if we need to. That is why it is called the “Ultimate Sacrifice.”
So when you are home today eating dinner or perhaps drinking a beer, think about those 241 Marines, sailors and soldiers who gave their lives thirty four years ago. Don’t let them become just another memory.
“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”
Ossining High School at 6:30 am. My place of employment for the last 18 years. Great kids and great colleagues, truly an awesome place to work.