Along the Gila: Remembering American Lives Lost and Finding Light in the Darkness

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President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963.   Fifty-four years have passed since then, 54 years much unknown to the younger people amongst us, but 54 very important and impressionable years to anyone who remembers the day of Kennedy’s death. It was not a mere momentary grief for us then. The following weeks spelled out a full panoply of grief, marked by the stolid face of Jackie Kennedy and the simple ceremony of the horse-drawn casket being borne through the streets of Washington to the cadence of muffled drums.

  The arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald shortly after he killed Officer J. D. Tippett of the Dallas Police Department, and Oswald’s own death at the hands of Jack Ruby, unsettled the nation. Yet the presidency had passed constitutionally and peacefully to Lyndon B. Johnson as Jack Kennedy’s wife, still wearing his blood on her dress, stood witness.

  There were many dark moments in ensuring years. The deaths of The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, the tragedy of the war in Viet Nam, the struggles, often descending into violence, of the civil rights movement and, of course, the attacks of Sept. 11 and the wars resulting after that have made us a nation seeking not only redress but relief. We tire of the deaths and injuries, and our digital age has made us only too aware of the threats around us.

  Almost 400 years ago a group of people seeking a new life settled in what now know as Massachusetts. It took a long time for them to form a stable community, because sickness and famine took the life of many of them. They formed an uneasy relationship with the historic American people, and the relationship was often marked with death and violence and theft of the native territories. It was not a pretty picture at all.

  But light stands in contrast to darkness. Those early settlers survived with the help of the natives with whom they first had violent contact. The colony made its way into new days, and other arrivals made Massachusetts a thriving place. They took time to give thanks to God for their lives and to ask for reconciliation and forgiveness. Tomorrow we do the same.

  In a totally different direction, this past weekend’s Car Show and Fall Festival sponsored by the NAPA Store and the Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce exceeded expectations. There were 100 cars exhibited and there was a full round of vendors of food and merchandise. Putting it all together took some doing, for the Director of the Chamber, Kellie Towne, had submitted her personal resignation in the midst of the planning. The Chamber rolled off its planning success from October’s Halloween events and work with various area people to keep up the high standard for local events. I won’t name names, because there are so many, but everyone who helped out deserves our appreciation. By the way, this is a good time (especially if you are a business person) to join the Chamber, which represents the whole Copper Basin. Speak with the President of the Board, Ginger Chester, to learn more about the Chamber’s work.

  The Town of Kearny is working with a contractor to provide an insurance program on water pipes from town meters into homes and businesses. The town is responsible for repairs on pipes leading up to, and including, the water meters. Property owners are responsible for the rest, and some of the plumbing is fifty or more years old. Call Kearny Town Hall (520-363-5547) and ask for information about the program.

Sam Hosler (84 Posts)


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