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13 Jun: How Quickly we Forget

I recently mentioned to an acquaintance, that Doug Buring would be a speaker at our SOS event in Houston. Doug was the lead Pennsylvania State Trooper on the ground on site at the West Nichol Mines Amish School attack where 5 girls were killed. My friend had no clue what I was talking about. It is amazing how quickly we forget some of the worst atrocities. Nickel Mines is the name given to a small, mostly Amish community in SE Pennsylvania. In the 1850’s, nickel was discovered there in a mining operation intended for copper. Joseph Wharton extracted 4.5 million pounds of nickel from there between 1862 and 1893. Wharton (who also co-founded Bethlehem Steel and Swarthmore College) was an influence on the U. S. Mint to use nickel from his mines to produce the 5-cent coin we all know. The mines all closed in 1893 and have disappeared into…

06 Jun: Camped too Close to the Enemy

Humans are the only species who intentionally do things they know to be dangerous, for no reason but desire. Animals die because of letting their guard down or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Humans are the only ones who intentionally put themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Smoking. Drug and alcohol abuse. Crime. Texting while driving. Bungee jumping. Over-eating. Animals don’t play Russian Roulette. We may not spin the cylinder of a revolver, but we have all done something we know is less than healthy. As bizarre as it is; we will again. One who separates himself seeks his own desire; he quarrels against all sound wisdom. A fool does not delight in understanding, but in revealing his own mind. [i] When Abraham ventured to a new land with his nephew and their families, his nephew (Lot) chose a very fertile valley along…

30 May: Memorial Day and Crime

We lost 36,574 soldiers in the Korean War. 58,220 in Vietnam. 116,516 in World War 1 and 405,399 in World War 2. Another important metric in helping us understand the impact of each of those 4 wars as was felt in our hometown communities, is to consider the percentage of America’s population at that time that were lost. In Korea .02% of Americans gave their lives. It was .03% in Vietnam. This jumped to .13% in WW I and .31% in WW II. [i] We lost more than all four of those wars combined in the Civil War. We lost 618,000 American lives in that conflict that tried to rip our nation apart. A staggering 1.9% of our population at the time was lost in the fight.[ii] In addition to the 618,000 military lives lost, unlike every other war mentioned, all the estimated 50,000 civilian related deaths were American citizens…