Tag 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

I Do Remember…, by Beverly Hicks Burch

I Do Remember…

By Beverly Hicks Burch

The ringing of the phone jolted me out of my sleep that morning at a little passed 8:00 AM CST. On the other end was an agitated and alarmed male voice admonishing me, “Momma quick, turn on the TV. The World Trade Towers have been attacked!!”

What?! How could this be? Surely I was having a hideous nightmare. “Son, what do you mean the Towers have been attack?!”

“Momma, quick…hurry, just turn on the news! It’s awful…we’re under attack!”

With a trembling hand, I reached out and grabbed the remote and clicked on the TV. Oh, dear God, he was right! How can this be possible?

As he began to fill in the details of the unfolding events I sat in the bed…my eyes transfixed on the TV screen…not wanting to watch, but knowing I had to watch. And, as I watched, my son began to spill out the horrific details of that fateful morning.

“Mom, we were all standing around getting ready to started the day (they had been in the ready room or command center room, whatever those military types call that kind of room…he was at the AL Air National Guard base at the time of the attack). Mom, we have the big screen TV on in the room (usually it was on news channels to monitor world situations). All of a sudden one of the guys hollered out one of the Trade Towers in New York had been hit by an airplane. I turned around to see what was going on just in time to see a second jet approach the other Tower and fly straight into it. Momma, this was a deliberate attack…we’re at war.”

Of course by then, as he gave me a blow by blow detailed account of the morning thus far, the major news outlets were looping over and over the scenes my son had witnessed just minutes before on TV. I sat there in stunned disbelief. I couldn’t possibly be seeing what I was seeing…yet, there it was…broadcasted around the world.

As that September morning continued to develop, God in heaven help us, what I saw next was even more horrifically unbelievable. At 8:59 AM CST one of the gleaming, steel and glass pinnacles of the New York financial district began to fall…it slid down upon itself amidst a gigantic column of dust, ash, debris, steel and glass and human life. The North Tower was gone! Oh, God no! My first thought was, “Oh dear, Lord, all of those people inside! Help them please!”

Of course this became more fodder for the news media grist mill and the collapsing building was added to the loop of the planes flying into the Towers. I sat there and held my breath…afraid that one little breath would surely place the last colossal, burning Tower in peril. I hoped and prayed this Tower would be spared and become a symbol of survival and reminder.

But, alas, like a womb twin, this solitary survivor seemed unable to stand alone without its twin. Suddenly at 9:28 AM CST pandemonium broke out…people were running away from the site like their lives depended on it…and they did.

Just like the first Tower, the second began to implode upon itself, collapsing downward in a single column of destruction only to become nothing more than part of the world’s largest junk heap. As it made its deliberate slide downward…all my memories fell with it. Like the earlier Twin, this one would also become the final resting place for many souls. Parts of Lower Manhattan lay in ruins…looking like a bonafide war zone…people, wounded and some miraculously unharmed, wandered the streets covered in a white powdery ash. Most were almost catatonic with disbelief.

Evil had not done enough to our country and our countrymen in New York City, the city that seems to never sleep… As the morning had continued to move forward in a surreal state more rumors started flying…and then were confirmed. Another rogue jet had hurled into the Pentagon in Washington DC at 8:37 AM CST.

News flashes advised us there was yet another suicidal controlled jet still in the skies above the USA. Reports hinted it was also aimed for Washington DC…possibly the White House or Capitol Building. For the first known time American military pilots were faced with shooting down a jet liner full of their own countrymen.

But the patriots on United 93 had surmised what was happening. Through cell phone calls with loved ones on the ground they had been told of the morning’s events. They vowed not to let their flight become another weapon of terrorism against their country and they took matters into their own hands and launched a counter-attack. They rushed the cockpit of their flight and at 9:06 AM CST United 93 slammed into a field outside of Shanksville, PA. They understood and epitomized “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 NASB

Our air transportation system was shut down and would remain so for months. Only military planes had clearance to fly the US skies.

At that point, I knew the world as we knew it had ended…

My heart broke and ached and I shed many tears that September morning seven years ago…

United States soil had been attacked by a terrorist group out to bring down the Great Satan (translate the USA). We would never be the same…as a nation and as a group of people. Our lives and way of living in the land of the free would change forever. We would have to become hyper vigilant…CAUTION: there’s an unattended bag or package…even an otherwise harmless looking child’s book bag would have to be viewed as a suspicious potential weapon.

How we travel across the USA would change, too. They took away our scissors (no more hand appliqué on long flights for me), our nail files, certain liquids and cosmetics (another big inconvenience for a Sjogren’s syndrome patients because we need to keep our throats, mouths and eyes moist). Airport security became a gigantic hassle adding long lines and insult to injury when we became forced to remove our shoes at the security checkpoint. Crazed terrorist had found a way to kill with shoes…

There would be no more flying the friendly skies…

For a time we pulled together and rallied as a country. 9/11 had become this generation’s Pearl Harbor. Songs were written and sung, American flags flew everywhere. Thousands of pictures of loved ones lost and missing were plastered everywhere, asking “Have you seen this person?” Compassion and concern could be seen once again on the faces of Americans in the street going about their daily business.

And, then as human nature is want to do, people began to forget. Just like the Israelites of the Old Testament…who began to forget…and grumble and complain. The Israelites had suffered slavery and oppression at the hands of the Pharaoh of Egypt for generations. They had cried out to God for deliverance…for freedom. The great I AM, Jehovah God sent then a deliverer in Moses…Pharaoh’s adopted son of all people! After battling the Pharaoh for the freedom of his people, with God’s help, Moses won their freedom. They must prepare and leave quickly for their exodus out of Egypt…thus, the history of Passover.

But, after fleeing Egypt and beginning the trek towards the Promised Land, attitudes and memories began to change. They were tired of pushing forward…and heaven forbid they were certainly tired of eating that manna from heaven! They began to gripe and complain, moan and groan. Surely, they said, their lives had been better in Egypt! Maybe they should return. They had forgotten! They forgot the oppression, the slavery and the whip of the taskmasters…just because they were a little inconvenienced. And, as a result, they lost their vision and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years…

Now, Americans have forgotten what was at the root of the 9/11 attacks and the war on terrorism…they forgot the almost 3,000 souls that where vaporized in places that should have been one of the safest places…their work place. They forgot the sights, the sounds and the smells…the sounds of hundreds of emergency homing units emitting a haunting, shrill wail, indicating the spot of a fallen emergency and rescue worker.

They forgot the images of panicked, frantic souls flinging themselves off the sides and out of windows of the Trade Towers. These poor souls were willing to take their chance with a fall…or face a known end and breath precious air to the very last…rather than face the ungodly inferno behind them that was smothering them with super heated air, singeing their throats and lungs.

Many Americans have forgotten the falling debris that showered down of the streets below…papers from offices in the Trade Towers, building materials and office equipment and they have forgotten the waves of white hot clouds of ash roiling down the streets of Manhattan seeking to engulf, consume and suffocate the very air from all left standing.

We have fallen back on the old political hack of political correctness…afraid to breath wrong least we offend. How dare we consider what some call “racial profiling”? After all, there could be an 85 year old Caucasian granny hijacker willing to fling her life away and commit terrorism. I mean, come on, after all what does she stand to loose but a set of dentures! How utterly, insanely ridiculous!! Why is it wrong to investigate people of certain groups who harbor known hatred for the US and avow to destroy the US and its people? They have made it their life work…their mission in life. You can not negotiate with blind hatred…

Some delusional souls would have us think a conspiracy theory that claims our own government set up and perpetrated the attack. Just the logistics of such a conspiracy would be mind boggling and involve thousands of co-conspirators and take years to plan. It is illogical and grasping. Sad, desperate, sick people will seek attention any way they can…this is the lowest of low…

2001 was a bad year for me. I had been the victim of a form of personal terrorism and betrayal from someone I had trusted the most. I was gravely sick much of that summer, even having to be taken to the ER the weekend before 9/11. My windshield was smashed sitting in my driveway. A tornado hit and damaged the house, the air condition unit flooded downstairs, and even though he hadn’t lived there in months and did nothing to help restore the house, the ex, Gomez the unremarkable demanded half of the insurance money. What a Prince!

And, then 9/11 happened…

As I watched the news coverage that morning waves of grief swelled over me that were devastating. When I saw the Towers fall I remember thinking, “I’ve been there. I stood under their shadows. I stood at the top of one Tower and breathed in the magnificent panoramic view of New York and the surrounding area. Oh my God, never again, never again…how could this happen?”

An unbelievable seven years have passed since 9/11/2001. My world has changed in more ways than I could imagine. My son, my only child was deployed and activated the day of 9/11. His unit flew refueling runs between Alabama and the northeast. They refueled military jets that were patrolling the skies of the US during those dark days, keeping us safe. On one run just hours after the attacks, he literally saw the Pentagon burning from the air. He was later deployed to the Middle East several times with his unit where once again he flew refueling runs. (He had been a boom operator in the AL ANG.)

My life moved forward. I met and married a white knight…my Tall & Handsome who has offered me love, acceptance, support and encouragement over the last few years.

They say time heals all wounds. Well, I don’t know that I can agree with that, but I can say this…time does cause wounds to scar over and protect the wound. But, on occasion that wound can be pricked at and reinjured. The one thing time should not do is give us amnesia and cause us to forget. People that forget are doomed to repeat history and mistakes over and over again…

Never forget…never forget…never forget…

The Hicks Girls in New York - Nov 1983

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All rights reserved.

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Filed under 9/11, Conspiracy Theories, Gomez, History, New York City, News, Passover, Pearl Harbor, Pentagon, Racial Profiling, September 11, Sjogren's Syndrome, Tall & Handsome, Terrorism, United 93, World Trade Towers

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

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