sacrifices and selfishness

There is nothing that I shudder at more than the idea of a separation of the Union.
Should such an event ever happen, which I fervently pray God to avert,
from that date I view our liberty gone.”

Andrew Jackson

(The Victory statue in Nashville’s War Memeorial / Julie Cook / 2018)

When one hears the word Nashville, I’m certain that trashy TV shows, country music,
as well as rowdiness is what most likely first comes to mind.

Add to that honky tonks, day drinking, The Grand Ol Opry, party destinations, country stars,
football, hot chicken, Bluebird cafes…yadda yadda…

I’ve visited this city once before, for a business convention, and we stayed close to the
country music hub. It was a short and sweet visit, yet such a visit that I told myself
I’d like to one day come back.
This city seemed to have so much more to offer other than that of her more rowdy reputation.

Plus being a big fan of our 7th president, I wanted to come back to visit his
homeplace just outside of the city.

Fast forward a couple of years…
we made the 4.5-hour trek northward earlier in the week.

On this particular trip, we opted to stay more northerly…
blocks above the crazy honky tonks and debauchery.
In a quieter area just opposite the State Capital.

Because who knew that Nashville was touted as holding the honor of having the Nations’
largest 4th of July Fireworks display?

Who knew that the city would swell with an additional 250,000 folks over the 4th?

Add in those coming for bridal parties…both gals and guys…
along with all those summer vacationers… so what we had anticipated as a fun yet
laid back trip was anything but laid back.

Oh did I mention the heatwave?

108 on July 4th in downtown?

Hotter in Nashville than the 4.5 hours south at our house.
Hotter than Nashville hot chicken.

Who knew?!

Hot, sticky, rowdy, scantily clad bodies adding in their own heat and it’s a wonder
everyone didn’t fall out with heat stroke.

Nashville has done a very nice job of providing a walking friendly and inviting feel to
the particular area of its burgeoning and growing city that we called “home” for 4 days.

We were told, on this last trip, that 95 to 100 new folks move into the city on a daily basis.
That’s why there are 7 massive building projects taking place downtown—
expansive condos, apartments, hotels and massive skyscrapers all with that live,
eat and shop sort of vibe.

But what drew me in on to this trip was not the glitz and rowdiness down on Broadway
but actually, the area leading up to the state’s capital building.

A marble lined promenade leading toward the capital building—a stately building perched
on a dominant promontory allowing for a sense of guardianship over the city she has been
tasked with governing since 1796.

This expansive marble lined avenue that leads up to the capital is known as the city’s
War Memorial…

It is an area that offers a very stately tribute to those Tennesseans who served
and willing gave the ultimate sacrifice for not only their fellow Tennesseans but to their
fellow Americans.

There are memorials to all who those who have served and yet never came home…

I was unable to capture each memorial before the rains began.
But I did get a shot at the Korean memorial

A memorial to those lives lost in submarines that were sunk while defending the North Atlantic and Mediterranian as well as the Pacific waters during WWII

There was a memorial to those having been awarded purple hearts as well as those
law enforcement members and first responders who have also sacrificed the ultimate
offering to their fellow statesmen.

But the most prominent memorial was the statue of Victory offered in memory of those who lost their
lives during the Great War…the Great War that was to end all wars…
World War I.

The statue was the product of a husband and wife duo—
Tennesse native Belle Kinney along with her Austrian born husband,
Leopold F. Scholz.

The massive statue sits within the open-air atrium of the War Memorial building and
was constructed in the late 1920’s shortly following the war.

Yet sadly the memorial has been defaced.

The marble base with words reading
“In memory of the sons of Tennessee who gave their lives in the Great War
had been defaced with a black sharpie.
Anarchy symbols and derogatory words were scribbled all over the marble.

Graffiti say some, as they simply shrug their shoulders.
Vandalism say others.

Selfishness is what I say.

I thought this while on the same day I visited this War memorial, the Nation watched a woman being
arrested in New Youk for her stunt of attempting to scale the Statue of Liberty.

A protest they say.
Protesting ICE and the issue of immigration.

And is not protest a “right” of Americans argue the masses.?

Yet it was a dangerous protest.
And it was a selfish protest.
And so if there is an endangerment to others, is that then, in turn, more than a protest but
merely selfish attention seeking?

This woman put not only herself at risk but those first responders tasked with
getting her off the fragile copper veneered statue.

Let’s not forget the hundreds of tourists and vacationers who had planned a visit the statue
on the 4th during their trip to New York. A visit they would not be able to make due to the actions
of one selfish woman.

The area had to be shut down and secured for hours as authorities worked to get this woman down.

As I stand staring at a tribute erected to those lives lost 100 years ago in a world war fought in
hopes of ending all such wars, my thoughts turn to our selfish overpaid athletes who think their
kneeling protests to the National Anthem is some sort of brave act.
And I think of the countless supporters who think such protests are perfectly great.

Selfishness is not brave.

It’s easy to act a fool.
It’s easy to be disrespectful.

Bravery comes when one willingly lays down his or her life in hopes of protecting
his / her fellow man.

Those who have served and continue to serve this Nation and her citizens with not only
their time, their expertise, their skills but most importantly their lives,
are the true heroes who deserve our respect.

Be it 200 years ago, 100 years ago or simply last month in which a serviceman or woman
gave their all in order for us to be selfish…is…well…gravely lopsided in terms of worth.

And it is something we each should remember.

And so I am thankful that on this past July 4th,
I had the opportunity to be reminded of just that…that of sacrifices and selfishness.

I’m just saddened seeing that so many of our younger generations just don’t get it.

“I weep for the liberty of my country when I see at this early day of its successful experiment
that corruption has been imputed to many members of the House of Representatives,
and the rights of the people have been bartered for promises of office.”

Andrew Jackson

29 comments on “sacrifices and selfishness

  1. Elihu says:

    Sadly, I don’t think my generation, the millennial as, or the upcoming generation will get it until they face an overt threat to the Liberty they currently take for granted. It’s a general statement—i know plenty of my peers who volunteered to fight after 9/11. I know others who are fervent patriots. It just feels like we are the minority.

    • I agree Elihu—I’ve even gone back in and edited the ending just a tad…however I totally agree with you.
      My son is a millenial who does not bask in the selfishness as he has known many who have gone to serve and still serve…just as he considered to join while in college.
      There are the exceptions—but the majority of the younger generations and those of my own generation and even beyond (I think Bernie and Hillary and George Siros) are hell bent in the oppostie direction.
      And in their bend is a selfisness that disregards true sacrifice.

  2. says:

    Part of the blame falls on us – the silent generation. In an attempt to protect our children from the fear of another world war, we’ve created these selfish individuals who don’t have a clue. In a way, in those attempts, we’ve built a generation who have been spoiled, coddled and over protected. Every generation has its heroes and villains. As parents it’s our responsibility to raise those who will stand in honor of their country and be willing to look at it with respect and dignity. When they aren’t given any responsibility in their youth, chances are they won’t be responsible adults. Also when parents don’t show honor to their country, chances are the kids won’t either.

  3. says:

    I forgot to mention, my sister lives in Franklin, TN so we get to visit Nashville too. Lots of country singer wanna bees. Next time I’ll ask them to take us to this park. It looks awesome.

    • I knew you always would tell me y’all stop in Nashville to visit your sister— there is a large park area behind the capital that we only learned about from the city trolly tour — had it not been 100 degrees we would have gotten off to check it out —

  4. Karen says:

    For the most part it sounds like a hot but festive time in Nashville. I totally agree with you about the vandalism on the monuments honoring the brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe from harm.

    • We stayed at The Hermitage Hotel—absolutely beautiful. It was built in 1910 and is the only 5-star hotel in Nashville— yet I so fear that the days are numbered for these golden gems of buildings what with their details to craftsmanship, stained glass windows, beautiful imported marble and hand-carved ornate woodwork, all of which are still absolutely amazing—that their days are numbered as people of this generation are simply more drawn to the slick and sleek—such as the new 505 high rise apartment and hotel which was just completed this spring.
      It was busy as our hotel was quieter and not as “hopping.”
      Our room was a corner room that looked directly out to the state capital.
      I really enjoyed it as I for one love the attention to detail as well as the charming eloquence of days gone by. It’s that history lover in me that is drawn to the likes of such hotels…and cities for that matter…digging to find the hidden nuggets and gems a place has to offer!

  5. I do think that once children and grandchildren come along, there is a change in perspective. And young people who begin to see life in terms beyond their own needs often do that once they are responsible for another life… the life of their own children. Perhaps, there will be a return to selflessness then. Great post, dear Julie! Your photographs are wonderful. What an amazing trip it must have been! Hugs! ❤ ❤

    • thanks Lynn—there is a great deal of wisdom in your words…yet I do know that there are those younger generational parents who are embracing the progressive liberalism as they hone their disdain for conservatism, orthodoxy and even republicanims into the heads of their kids…
      I don’t know what the wake-up call is going to be…

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    Not all is lost with the younger generation. During my time in the Marines I was temporarily attached to an infantry unit from Tennessee. Their call sign on the radio was “Volunteer” and one of the guys had a thick Elmer Fudd accent over the radio and it was funny for all of us Yankees and West Coast folks. It was an eye opening experience for a 19 year old. Great group of guys, walked some number of patrols with them and received mortar fire while I was with them. I know many guys in the history of the state has gone through worst in many other wars…and some have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    • The story is that General Andrew Jackson during the war of 1812—particularly the Battle of New Orleans…sent out the call to his fellow Tennesseans that he needed 2,800 men to volunteer to help fight as they were out numbered at the time…when the call was recieved, over 30,000 took up arms and came to his aid…
      hence the new name of the Volunteer State—they step up when the need is there.
      Makes me proud of these Southern states of mine 🙂

      • SLIMJIM says:

        Awesome! Didn’t know that was the origin of the state’s nickname!

      • Reading up on the good general currently as it has been a while since reading American Lion

      • SLIMJIM says:

        I read a few books on Jackson and I might pick it up again

      • no president is perfect as is no man…and no founding president, and despite being number 7 as I still consider Jackson a president who helped to lay a foundation to the Nation, is perfect for he did things that were not popular. And given our gift of hindsight, some actions were not purdent nor perhaps considered even right (the treatment of our native American brothers and sisters despite the brutality demonstrated by many of the tribes first to the settlers) — but Jackson was determined to do what he precievied to be the right thing by the Nation…this depsite the terrible treatment he received from the Washington establishement and the awful treatment to his poor wife who actually died of a heart attack just prior to his taking the presidency.
        Her death he blamed on those entrenched politicans and a grudge he bore the remainder of his life…sounds familiar if you ask me.
        Yet I have always liked Jackson—I think it was his grit that I appreciate. His roughness around the edges and his being the outsider of the elite, highly educated politicians of the day…as he was determined to do the right thing by the people and not the elitests and his policies were not all popular as portrayed by the day’s media…boy it all sounds so familiar…
        He, like the honey badger (my favorite ananolgy these days) “he don’t care”
        He did, wrote and said things that were seen as unpolished, upseeting of the apple cart…but knew that doing such was necessary in the long run…
        Old Hickory…he was the man!

  7. oneta hayes says:

    What a high price has been paid for our nation to exist and to continue to exist! Regarding the “statue climber,” I would have been so humiliated to have to be rescued by the very brothers of the people she was protesting. She had no shame and some others treat her as a heroine. Brave men and women had to rescue her from her fool-hardiness. Selfish showoff? You bet!

  8. SLIMJIM says:

    Let me add that what the woman did was terrible…

  9. Tricia says:

    I knew you’d do a great post of your visit to Nashville! I’ve been there a couple of times myself and really enjoyed it. And those droves of people moving in? I’m sure a good chunk are coming from my home state of California. Hopefully they won’t screw up Nashville too!

    You are so right about selfishness It’s just prevalent throughout our culture and I think affects all age groups. We live in an age where what’s good for me, mine and myself is all that matters. There are many brave and virtuous men and women out there who of course are not this way and I believe are the glue that’s keeping our fragmented country together for the moment. The are in the minority though and who knows how long until until a serous fracture splits us right apart.

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