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.”
(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.
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
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
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.”