Monday, May 26, 2014

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Today is Memorial Day 2014.

Today I  purposefully ponder regarding those individuals who have come before me, both family and all others. What a debt I owe to these people, many of whom were great individuals.
I think of deceased members of my own family who weathered life's storms in a gracious and uncomplaining manner.

My maternal grandmother, Teresa Chesini, comes to mind.  She left Italy with my grandfather, Lorenzo, as a young wife. Because of the poverty of the Verona, Italy area at that time, they decided  to come to America to earn money.  They intended to return to Italy, but that never happened.

Their first attempt to leave Italy failed because a severe storm prevented the ship from leaving port. Two weeks later, my grandparents set sail on another ship sailing from Genoa to New York. They then got on a train and rode across country from New York to the Los Angeles area where they lived in San Pedro in an Italian community.

My grandfather worked as a longshoreman until they had enough money to
purchase land in Meridian, California in the Sutter Basin.  Life was difficult, the work was hard, and they raised six children. When the children were mostly grown,  my grandfather was accidentally killed in an automobile accident. Not far from this time, my grandmother had to commit her oldest son to a mental institution.  Despite these challenges, my grandmother was an inspiration to us all and the last words she uttered in this mortal life was the sacred name of "Jesus."

Besides our own relatives, think of the men and women of the United States who gave their time and, in many cases, their lives in the service of our country to preserve our precious freedoms granted unto us by the United States Constitution.

I think of the countless statesmen, clergymen, farmers, industrialists, inventors, educators, you name it, who contributed so much to the quality of life we enjoy today. We owe them a great debt because much of what we are today is because of them and their efforts.

On the two pound coin of the United Kingdom is inscribed the words "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants."

May God be praised for all the fine men and women who preceded us on this earth.
They are truly "giants" in our eyes!

They strengthen and inspire us. Through their example, may we hold true to our principles of  devotion to God, loyalty to family, and service to our country.

Happy Memorial Day 2014!

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