Moments To RememberDecember 21, 2016
There are unforgettable moments in all of our lives. Some of the most profound memories occur when we are living witnesses to historic events. For the older generation these moments include that “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind,” when Neal Armstrong walked on the moon. When John F. Kennedy was assassinated, most people remember exactly where they were when they heard that the president had been killed on that fateful Friday of November 22, 1963.
For the younger generation the events of September 11, 2001 will be images not soon forgotten. When a cancer survivor by the name of Lance Armstrong won the bicycling Tour d’ France for the seventh time, a memory of joy and pride in the human spirit was created in all of our hearts. Lance’s courage, his sheer determination, and his fortitude captured not only the minds, but also the hearts of the citizens of the world. Many shed tears of joy because of the triumph of the human spirit. The inauguration of a black man as President of the United States of America is another event that speaks to the greatness of the human spirit to triumph over decades of discrimination and adversity.
In spite of the reality that life never stops, these indeed are moments to remember. They are snapshots of historic events… frozen seconds of time that are profoundly imprinted upon our souls. All of these historic moments to remember were not created by choices that we made. We were spectators looking through the window of our time on earth. However, there are choices that we can make to visit historical sites and feel the spirit of that place, and create a new memory to remember.
It was only a few weeks after the Russians abandoned “Check Point Charlie” in October of 1989 that my wife and I visited the Brandenburg Gate and “Check Point Charlie,” where President Ronald Reagan uttered his famous challenge to the Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev, “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” I was not in Berlin when President Reagan spoke those words, but I could feel the spirit of that place. A man from East Germany loaned me his sledge hammer and with my own two hands I destroyed a part of that wall at “Check Point Charlie.” That was before all of the airline restrictions, which would have not allowed me to carry in my lap, fifteen pounds of cement from the wall at “Check Point Charlie.” Years have past since that moment, but the mental picture and the feelings of that moment are securely imprinted in that part of the human heart reserved for moments to remember.
Seeing the original marble statue of the “Christus” by Danish/Icelandic sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen in the Church of Our Lady in beautiful, beautiful Copenhagen, Denmark, is a place that we have visited on several occasions. Each time there is a new insight and appreciation that I gain that only adds to the library of wonderful memories.
We need not wait for special moments, for some great events will occur independent from our initiation, and we can appreciate these moments for what they contribute to our lives. We can create opportunities for great memories by traveling to places that we are drawn to, or that call to us. We can create Moments to Remember.