This is a story that was submitted to SpiritClips a while back by Chris Commons from Will Ross, the Administrative Judge at the United States Department of Defense. I believe we all have a common sense of love and patriotism for our country despite how we may feel about the Iraq War and that is inspiring. Here is the story below:
Dear Friends and Family,
I hope that you will spare me a few minutes of your time to tell you about something that I saw on Monday, October 27. I had been attending a conference in Annapolis and was coming home on Sunday. As you may recall, Los Angeles International Airport was closed on Sunday, October 26, because of the fires that affected air traffic control. Accordingly, my flight and many others were canceled and I wound up spending a night in Baltimore.
My story begins the next day. When I went to check in at the United counter Monday morning I saw a lot of soldiers home from Iraq. Most were very young and all had on their desert camouflage uniforms. This was as change from earlier, when they had to buy civilian clothes in Kuwait to fly home. It was a visible reminder that we are in a war. It probably was pretty close to what train terminals were like in World War II.
Many people were stopping the troops to talk to them, asking them questions in the Starbucks line or just saying “Welcome Home.” In addition to all the flights that had been canceled on Sunday, the weather was terrible in Baltimore and the flights were backed up. So, there were a lot of unhappy people in the terminal trying to get home, but nobody that I saw gave the soldiers a bad time.
By the afternoon, one plane to Denver had been delayed several hours. United personnel kept asking for volunteers to give up their seats and take another flight. They weren’t getting many takers. Finally, a United spokeswoman got on the PA and said this, “Folks. As you can see, there are a lot of soldiers in the waiting area. They only have 14 days of leave and we’re trying to get them where they need to go without spending any more time in an airport then they have to. We sold them all tickets, knowing we would oversell the flight. If we can, we want to get them all on this flight. We want all the soldiers to know that we respect what you’re doing, we are here for you and we love you.”
At that, the entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people, a cross-section of America, broke into sustained and heartfelt applause. The soldiers looked surprised and very modest. Most of them just looked at their boots. Many of us were wiping away tears.
And, yes, people lined up to take the later flight and all the soldiers went to Denver on that flight. That little moment made me proud to be an American, and also told me why we will win this war.
If you want to send my little story on to your friends and family, feel free. This is not some urban legend. I was there, I was part of it, I saw it happen.
United States Department of Defense
Spiritclips.com CFO Lorne Mattner has been coaching for the Special Olympics for over ten years, and made this one-of-a-kind “Extraordinary Life” filmcard to inspire his team, The Sharks.
We are proud to announce the launch of SpiritClips’ first facebook application.
You can use this application to make customizable “Extraordinary Life” filmcards entirely within facebook!
You can preview a sample, create your own Extraordinary Life using photos from your albums and post it to your friends’ wall – all without ever leaving facebook.
Now it couldn’t be any easier to celebrate your extraordinary lives and share them with your friends and family!
We thank you for supporting what we are doing at SpiritClips and encourage you to send this to as many friends and family as you like.
Spread the inspiration!
— The SpiritClips team
We are excited to announce that our customizable filmcard “Extraordinary Life” is free to make and send to as many friends and family as you like. This customizable film featuring historical moments allows you to insert up to 5 of your own photos, celebrating the most important moments in YOUR life. Maybe it’s a birthday party you went to last week, a family get-together, a hike or sporting event—you decide, you’re the Director!
– The SpiritClips Team
Here’s an interesting story about a woman who grew her 1935 $180 stock purchase at Abbott Laboratories into $7 million today. That may not have been a savvy financial move (keeping all your eyes in one basket) but what Grace Groner did with the money was priceless – after dying in January this year, she gave it all to Lake Forest College in Illinois, her alma mater.
The money will help about 1,300 Lake Forest students pursue internships and study-abroad programs that they may not have had the chance to take advantage without Groner’s hefty donation. Aside from the $7 million donation, she also left her small house to the college, which will house scholarship winners who benefited from her donation.
Sounds like Grace had an amazing time at Lake Forest! Read the rest of the story at MSNBC
Here’s another great site for you all to check out – MakesMeThink. (Two weeks ago I blogged about GivesMeHope.) It’s an online community where people share short, daily life stories that provoke deep thought and inspire positive change.
Here are some recent examples –
Today, on our 50th wedding anniversary, she smiled at me and said, “I only wish I had met you sooner.” MMT
Today, my baby sister kissed the scar on my forehead – the one I’ve been self-conscious of my whole life – and said, “I want a scar too, so I can be beautiful just like you.” MMT
Today, I was jogging in Central Park when this lady started screaming for help. Her husband was having a heart attack. I ran over and checked his pulse. He didn’t have one. I gave him CPR and got his heart beating before the paramedics arrived. I’ve done some bad things in my life, but today I saved a life. MMT
Read my previous post about GivesMeHope here.
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with excitement.
I looked around and saw the source of his excitement. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His trousers were baggy with the zip half down and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.
We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. “Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,” the man said to Erik. My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?” Erik continued to laugh and answer, “Hi, hi there.”
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room,
” Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.”
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring man, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the cheque and told me to meet him in the car park. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed.
As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s “pick-me-up” position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labour-gently, so gently, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.” Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone. He pried Erik from his chest-unwillingly, longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”
I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.” I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking – “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?” – when He shared His for all eternity.
The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”