Category Archives: USA

Memories Are the Key Not to the Past, but to the Future


The Hicks Sisters ca 1983

“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom ~

It had been a glorious, beautiful, brisk autumn day. I stood and breathed in a stunning panoramic view as I watched the sun lower into a captivating sunset. Faster than I realized, dusk took over, and then twilight swiftly took hold as I watched evening begin to dance alive in the streets below in Manhattan.

It was a wonderful magic show – partly Divinely created and partly man made. It was etched into my memory for the rest of my life.

I was standing in the observation deck of the World Trade Center.

Little did I know 18 years later the very spot I was standing on would topple to the ground in rubble and dust and become part of Ground Zero. My magical space would be destroyed by Islamic terrorists filled with hate, determined to destroy my country and thousands of innocent people.

I was a young lass on that magical day in 1983, the mother of a toddler, full of hope for a bright future. I look at pictures of my sister and me taken during that visit and I get chill bumps because I see us and I want to shout, “Look long and hard. Burn these memories into your mind because you will lose so much in the future!”

How could I ever imagine the terror that lay ahead for me personally and the terror that laid ahead for my country? How could I have ever imagined something like 9/11 happening in my country?

But, it did. And, it happened in a year that was one of personal turmoil for me. There were things that happened to me I never thought I would experience in my world – vows broken, trusts broken, violence committed. And, then in the midst of all that – September 11, 2001 happened.

I had just returned home the day before from a trip to Florida with a friend who had gone down to see her parents. On the trip I’d had a health crisis and spent time in the ER.

So, I was still feeling frail and in recovery mode on that September morning when I got a call that said, “Turn on your TV!”

As we speculated – was this an accident or an attack – the second plane plowed into the second Trade Tower. That pretty much settled it – we were under attack.

From that point on, I was glued in place in front of the TV just to watch the unfolding events. Since I had lived in New York for about a year, I knew how many people lived and worked in that area of the city and the numbers were massive. Small city-size massive. We could be looking at unbelievably high death tolls. I began to cry and pray.

Then, one of the most horrific things I’d ever seen in my life happened – one of the Towers began to crumble, to accordion down on itself. It was falling like a stick of hot butter in a microwave.

How could this be happening?!

I desperately wanted the other Tower to be saved – but in my heart I knew it more or less faced the same fate. And, it did. It fell, too, leaving a trail of cascading destruction and death.

And, then the aftermath began…mountains size heaps of debris, personal locators of first responders trilling constantly indicating a man down here…and here…and there…and over there…and here… It was a new level of hell.

It took this country a while to recover from 9/11 just like it took me a while to recover from the personal cataclysm going on in my life at the time.

But, recover I did. I did by beginning to move on. I married the man who should have always been my heart mate. I grew stronger inside and stronger mentally regardless of what my disabled body tried to tell me.

Every year when 9/11 comes around I remember. Some years are worse than others. This year was bad. My PTSD kicks in many years. Every year I have a man that stands by me with unyielding compassion and understanding.

I have a very growing concern that Americans are growing away from 9/11. They are forgetting 9/11 – the cause, effect and aftermath and how we were one Family after the attack.

Unlike the generation before who “Remembered Pearl Harbor!”, it’s deemed not very politically correct to “Remember 9/11” any more. Patriotism is almost view as “deplorable”. Some of our leaders like to play political footsies with the very people who financed the terrorism against us and are getting wealthy themselves from these relationships.

This is very unfortunate because history and the past are our teachers. If we forget our past, many times we are destined to repeat the past.

Corrie Ten Boom and her family were Gentile Dutch living in Nazi occupied Holland during WWII. The Ten Boom family saw what the Nazis were doing to the Jews in Holland and they made a decision to make a difference. They began hiding Jews in their home. Eventually the Ten Boom family was discovered and the Nazis rounded them up and sent them to concentration camps. Corrie lost family members in these camps.

After the war, Corrie understood the importance of putting the past into perspective. No, we don’t live in the past, but as Corrie said, “Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.”

We must take the lessons of 9/11 and learn from them – for the sake of the future and so the death of the thousands lost that September day are not in vain.

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.








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Filed under 9/11, Anniversaries, History, Islamic Terrorist, Life, Memories, New York, New York City, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, September 11, USA, World Trade Towers

Darien Methodist Church, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Darrien Methodist Church

John Wesley at Darien Methodist Church

Thanks to John Wesley and the Scots, the Methodist flourished in this part of Georgia. As a matter of fact, John Wesley himself visited the Scots in Darien in 1737 and as a result had an indirect affect in helping this little church be built. It was the faith he built and stirred in the souls of those Scots and others that created the desire to have a place of worship.

The Methodist became quite famous for their “circuit riding preachers” in the South. As a matter of face they reached far and wide and my own ancestors in the foothills and mountains of East Tennessee were touched by those same circuit riding preachers. They say my Papaw was Methodist…I dare say because of a circuit rider…before he converted to another denomination.

Just a little side note for all of you doomsayer out there today…supposedly there is some little misguided man somewhere in the US that swears the Rapture will happen today May 21, 2011. I hate to disappoint, but the man doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It could happen, but it may not.

For those of you that don’t know the Good Book, this is what is says: “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.”  I Thessalonians 5:2 NASB

What does that mean? As men, we don’t know the exact hour or the Lord’s return. It’s such an important consideration that it not just mentioned once in the Word, but several times. John Wesley would have known this, I’m quite sure…

For those of us who do know what the Good Book says, I would have hoped there would have been more clarity coming from us about all this nonsense going on. Shame on you, for you know better.

And, for those of you not so familiar with the Word, or just plain don’t care…let me ask you this. Rapture parties?! Really?! Would you be quite so insensitive with another faith, say Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and mock Mohammed, the Dali Lama, Buddha or Confucius? Would you be having Mohammed and the 72 Virgins parties, or the Dali Lama died parties, or Buddha belly parties? I think not…kinda crass, huh? Just saying…

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under Bible Verse, Churches, Darien GA, Darien Methodist Church, East Tennessee Heritage, Georgia, Grandparents, History, I Thess 5:2, Jesus, John Wesley, Old South, Old Southern Buildings, Photography, Picture of the Day, Religion, Sunday with Tall & Handsome, The Rapture, The South, Travel, USA

St. Augustine Lighthouse as Dusk, by Beverly Hicks Burch

St Augustine Light at dusk

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Filed under Florida, Lighthouses, Photography, Picture of the Day, South, St. Augustine FL, St. Augustine Lighthouse, USA

Cookie Road Trip – Connecticut, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Cookie Road Trip – Connecticut

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Our latest jaunt on the cookie trail takes us to one of my favorite regions of the USA – New England. Connecticut is called the Constitution State and has played an important and long part in the history of the United States.

Some of the first Europeans in the Connecticut area were Dutch and they were later followed by the British. Connecticut was one of the original thirteen colonies and it became the 5th US state in 1788.

Bordered on the south by the Long Island Sound, Connecticut is also home to many historic sights, towns, villages, seaports and natural amenities. Having a love for lighthouses, one of my personal favorite memories is driving along the lower routes of Connecticut just so I could take in some of these quaint, historic villages and on occasion catch a glimpse of a lighthouse. Yale University finds its home in Connecticut as does many other institutions of higher learning.

The southwestern edge of Connecticut is considered part of the metropolitan area of New York City and many of the southwestern suburbs are actually bedroom communities for NYC. Connecticut is home for over 3 million people and is one of the wealthier states…people there have a higher per capita income and median household income than any other state in the US. This is due in part to the insurance industry and hedge fund industry that prospered in Connecticut.

Today’s cookie, Raspberry Thimble Cookies, is what many cooks refer to as a “thumbprint cookie”. The cookie is made when the cook uses her thumb or finger to create an indentation in the top of the dough before baking for jam to be placed in.

I’m not sure why raspberry jam was the jam of choice, especially since Connecticut is the 7th top producer of Wild Blueberries in the US…I guess Blueberry Thumbprint cookies seem…wrong. I’m sure if you wanted you could substitute another flavor of jam…say maybe apricot…yum…


© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

This cookie was submitted by Mary Mullen of St. Timothy Middle School and the Church of St. Timothy in Hartford (which also happens to be the state capital).


Filed under Connecticut, Cookie Road Trip, Cookies, Cooking, Desserts, food, History, Lighthouses, recipes, The Story Behind..., USA

Raspberry Thimble Cookies

Raspberry Thimble Cookies

1 stick butter

1 stick margarine

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sugar

2 – ½ cups sifted flour

Raspberry jam

Heat oven to 350°.

Cream butter and margarine. Gradually add the sugar beating until light and fluffy.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add sifted flour and vanilla.

Shape dough into 1 inch diameter balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. With your finger, make an indentation on the top of each cookie. Fill each cookie indentation with jam.

Bake until lightly brown, about 15 minutes.

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Filed under Connecticut, Cookie Road Trip, Cookies, Cooking, Desserts, food, recipes, The Story Behind..., USA

Cookie Road Trip – Colorado, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Cookie Road Trip – Colorado

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Although this is one of the few states I have yet to visit, Colorado is one of Tall and Handsome’s favorite states. Probably best known for the great Rocky Mountains that divide this United States geographically, Colorado is also part of the Four Corners Regions…where the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada meet in almost perfect 90º angled intersections. Colorado is full of National Parks and Historic Areas and protected areas that make it a popular vacation destination…along with it world class skiing.

The cookie recipe from Colorado reminds me of a tea cake or cookie. It was submitted by Lisa Browning who co-chaired her church’s cookbook, Feeding the Sheep at Harvey Park Baptist Church in Denver. Lisa says this cookie was her late dad’s favorite cookie because he could dunk them in his coffee or milk.

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

Daddy’s Dunkers

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs beaten

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

1 – ½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

1 – ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

4 cups flour

2 tablespoons cream

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, then cream and vanilla. Sift in dry ingredients. Mix well. Pinch into 1 inch balls and press with flour dipped tines of fork onto well greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400° just until the edges are light brown. Do not brown the whole cookie!


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Filed under Colorado, Cookies, Cooking, Desserts, food, Four Corner Region, recipes, Tall & Handsome, USA

From Joy to Mercy, by Beverly Hicks Burch

From Joy to Mercy

By Beverly Hicks Burch

It was the bottom of the eighth inning in South Williamsport, PA. Twelve year old Dalton Carriker stepped up to bat for his Warner Robins, GA Little League team. His team was in a tie with a lineup from Tokyo, Japan in the Little League World Series. This was a really big deal for a whole field of knotty headed little fellows from both sides of the globe. (Yep, I’ve been the mom of one such fondly named “knotty” headed little fellow.)

The pitch was thrown and Dalton swung his bat and to paraphrase an old phrase, that ball was out of there…Dalton hit a homerun! And, his run won the game for Warner Robins, GA over Tokyo 3-2; it also brought home the title for the USA for the third straight year. As he round the bases, his young face was the picture of innocent ecstasy and jubilance.

But, what happened next, and I’ve seen the video several times, was a sight to behold. After a long battle, and a close taste of victory the young athletes from Japan were crushed by their defeat. They had travel thousands of miles from home with high hopes, just to see it vanish in a matter of seconds. Their little hearts were broken and it was just too much for some of them to deal with at the time. Some broke into quiet tears of disappointment, defeat and sadness on the field.

And then an amazing young man, Dalton Carriker, unprompted as far as I could see by anything other than compassion moved from one of the zenith moments of his thus far short life, to a moment of ultimate human compassion. He went from home plate out to the field to offer a hug and comfort to one of the defeated Japanese lads. Upon seeing his grace and compassion, most of his teammates followed suit. Those little dusty faced, knotty headed fellows went from joy to mercy in a heartbeat.

In these tainted days when most sports are played for big bucks, big name pro athletes, bragging rights and other nefarious reasons it was certainly refreshing to see the all-American past-time return to its roots…kids and the heart of the matter. It almost erases the taint of Michael Vick and his stain of cruelty and animal abuse.

It’s easy to be cynical nowadays, but, know this…somewhere, someone did something right to teach a 12 year old male kid to respond so compassionately to the hurt of a total stranger.

The world loves to call us the ugly Americans and unfortunately, sometimes the behavior of some cretins earns them the insult. But, Dalton Carriker and his Warner Robins team were Southern gentlemen and they made me proud to be an American and proud to be Southern…

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7

And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say unto you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. Matthew 18:2-3

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


Filed under Baseball, Kids, Kindness, Little League World Series, Michael Vick, Sports, USA

From the Outside Looking In, by Beverly Hicks Burch

From the Outside Looking In

by Beverly Hicks Burch

There is a little observation point called “from the outside looking in”…a second hand look or an objective opinion if you will. Being on the receiving end of this opinion can be uncomfortable at times, or it can be uplifting and helpful. In the 1830’s, the young nation we know and love as our home country, this United States of America was on the observing end of a very perceptive young Frenchman named Alexis de Tocqueville.

de Tocqueville was a political thinker and historian who came to the New World to study our prison system, but ended up studying the country as a whole, including the government. He couldn’t help but want to see what was making this young country “tick” after going through such a bloody Revolution. His own country, France, seemed embroiled in one bloody, oppressive revolution after another…a travesty for a true liberty loving Frenchman.

There were things in this new, young, raw country called the United Stated of America that fascinated de Tocqueville. He went back to France and wrote two books about what he saw here. The first was Democracy in America (1835) which is actually considered an early work of sociology.

I have some favorite de Tocqueville quotes and I can think of nothing more fitting than sharing a few of these quotes with you on our nation’s birthday:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” – Alexis de Tocqueville Scary, huh? I think we call those public assistance programs.

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” – Alexis de Tocqueville With soul searching, how do we stand here today?

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” – Alexis de Tocqueville What would de Tocqueville think if he saw America today? What would our soul searching tell us here?

“When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.” – Alexis de Tocqueville Yes, we can all learn from the past and from history. We can renew our spirits.

We have good “bones” in the foundation of our country. An outsider saw that from the outside looking in. Can we see that ourselves? Can we see the forest for the trees? Or have we become like the people another man talked about?

This man’s name was Isaiah who lived about 700 BC and was writing to the nation of Judah. Isaiah wrote about a time of unrest, strife and turmoil. He had some pretty wise words:

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! ” Isaiah 5:20

People, when we live in a society that HAS to pass laws to protect children from predators and then have states that won’t pass those laws…then we have problems! The very fact that we HAVE to pass laws to protect our young in the first place says something is very wrong with our society. Our children always should be safe. Period. When we have men putting innocent young children on websites for vile reasons…we have problems. When child porn is a billion dollar global business…we have a problem. When we have a society that produces that kind of people…we have problems. And, when we have a judicial system and special interest groups that are more interested in protecting the rights of the predator than the victim…we have a problem! We are calling evil good…and good evil. God help us all.

What do we need to do? Well, on this our nation’s birthday I can think of nothing better than to look back…illuminate our future as de Tocqueville said with our past and remember what made America great and good…“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Happy Birthday America! God Bless the USA…

© 2007 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


Filed under "4th of July", "Alexis de Tocqueville", "American History", Child Welfare, History, USA