“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” is the opening line of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. Setting the stage of the book is the French Revolution, both before and during, in Paris and London.
Roughly 230 years ago, a European country had a revolution.
Today another revolution is touching all areas on the globe, and with few exceptions, no one is exempt from the blazing news cycle of events.
On a personal scale, moving to Oregon taught me the true meaning of the A Tale of Two Cities quote. Clarity (and a bit of anger) replaced pain and confusion, with beauty driving the day to day wheels. I did not chose the consequences of moving here, but here I believe I was sent for such a time as this. How that plays out in the weeks ahead is my guess, but I know Who holds my future.
As Gandalf said in The Lord of the Rings, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
And as the Bible would say, “On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted.”
From the Halls of Montezuma To the shores of Tripoli; We fight our country’s battles In the air, on land, and sea; First to fight for right and freedom And to keep our honor clean; We are proud to claim the title Of United States Marine.
Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze From dawn to setting sun; We have fought in ev’ry clime and place Where we could take a gun; In the snow of far-off Northern lands And in sunny tropic scenes; You will find us always on the job The United States Marines.
Here’s health to you and to our Corps Which we are proud to serve; In many a strife we’ve fought for life And never lost our nerve; If the Army and the Navy Ever look on Heaven’s scenes; They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines.
I grew up watching SchoolHouse Rock. The fact that I can still recite a phrase or two is a testament to the staying power of their catchy tunes. One entitled “No More Kings” was just that for a season, but from what I am learning, ceased to be in 1871.
The National Archives states the following: In 1802 the first government of the District of Columbia consisted of a mayor, appointed by the President of the United States, and a city council, elected by the residents. The city council was given the right in 1812 to elect the mayor of Washington, and in 1820 the elections was put in the hands of the people. In 1871, however, Congress acted to abolish the Corporations of Washington and Georgetown and the levy court of Washington County in favor of a territorial form of government.
The Merriam-Webster definition of a territory to clarify – a geographic area (such as a colonial possession) dependent on an external government but having some degree of autonomy.
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! Long has it waved on high, And many an eye has danced to see That banner in the sky; Beneath it rung the battle shout, And burst the cannon’s roar; — The meteor of the ocean air Shall sweep the clouds no more. Her deck, once red with heroes’ blood, Where knelt the vanquished foe, When winds were hurrying o’er the flood, And waves were white below, No more shall feel the victor’s tread, Or know the conquered knee; — The harpies of the shore shall pluck The eagle of the sea!
Oh, better that her shattered hulk Should sink beneath the wave; Her thunders shook the mighty deep, And there should be her grave; Nail to the mast her holy flag, Set every threadbare sail, And give her to the god of storms, The lightning and the gale!
This poem appeared in 1830, written by Oliver Wendell Holmes. He did not want the battleship to sink into the dust heap of history. An interesting story – or stories – behind how it came to be written and what happened afterwards.