Veteran’s Day

Where do we get guys (and women) like this?

Squad of marines



“   ‘Where do we get guys like this?’ the reporter asked.

                The answer is as simple as it is profound. You give them to us. You parents, you families, you brothers and sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts, friends, you loan us these wonderful young people. They are the fruit of our country, raised by caring parents or a single parent, nurtured in love, and taught that Americans are supposed to have concern for the rights, freedoms and needs of not only our own citizens, but the citizens of the world … The credit for their goodness, and their greatness, rests with all of you back home. The mothers, the fathers, husbands, wives, all of the family members, all the friends, the teachers, the preachers, scout leaders, football coaches, volunteer youth workers of all sorts, each person who had a positive impact on the lives of these young people deserves a piece of the credit.”


Colonel Ron Smith, US Army


"The war in Iraq, what the media doesn't tell you,”
The Meridien Star
March 9, 2005

Thank You to those who have given the Ultimate Sacrifice for their Country

That thanks has to be extended to their family as well

Soldier's Saluting


A friend e-mailed me this story which I have heard before but is worth sharing.


Here is how the story goes.

My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an H.R. on this  flight.” (H.R. stands for human remains.)

“Are they military?” I asked.

‘Yes’, she said.

‘Is there an escort?’ I asked.

‘Yes, I’ve already assigned him a seat’.

‘Would you please tell him to come to the Flight Deck. You can board him  early,” I said…

A short while later a young army sergeant entered the flight deck.  He was  the image of the perfectly dressed soldier.  He introduced himself and I  asked him about his soldier.

The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still  alive and still with us.  ‘My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,’ he  said.  He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no.  I told  him that he had the toughest job in the military, and that I appreciated the  work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers.  The first  officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand.  He left the Flight  Deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure.  About 30 minutes into our flight, I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.

‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is also on  board’, she said.  She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother,  wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father  home.  The family was upset because they were unable to see the container  that the soldier was in before we left.

We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four  hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia .  The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the  cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear.  He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything  that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival.  The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off  the airplane.

I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked  me if there was anything I could do. ‘I’m on it’, I said.  I told her that I  would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages.  I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight  dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.  There is a radio operator in the  operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher.  I explained the  situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted.  He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher.  We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family.  I sent a text  message asking for an update.  I saved the return message from the  dispatcher and the following is the text:

‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.  There is policy on  this now, and I had to check on a few things.  Upon your arrival a dedicated  escort team will meet the aircraft.  The team will escort the family to the  ramp and plane side.  A van will be used to load the remains with a  secondary van for the family.

The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the  terminal, where the remains can be seen on the ramp.  It is a private area  for the family only.  When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will  be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded  for the final leg home.

Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans.  Please pass our  condolences on to the family.  Thanks.

I sent a message back, telling flight control thanks for a good job.  I  printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on  to the father.  The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me,  ‘You have no idea how much this will mean to them.’

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing.   After  landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area.  The ramp is  huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway.  It is always a busy area  with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit.  When we  entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that  all traffic was being held for us.

‘There is a team in place to meet the aircraft’, we were told.  It looked  like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the  seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family  from getting off the airplane.  As we approached our gate, I asked the  copilot to tell the ramp controller, we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers.  He did that and the ramp controller said, ‘Take your time.’

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake.  I pushed the public  address button and said:  ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain  speaking: I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement.  We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect.  His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life.  Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold.  Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX.  Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter.  Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first.  Thank you.’

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown  procedures.  A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door.  I found  the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see.  I  was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft  stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started  to clap his hands.  Moments later, more passengers joined in and soon the  entire aircraft was clapping.  Words of ‘God Bless You’, I’m sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made  their way down the aisle and out of the airplane.  They were escorted down  to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made.  They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices  that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and  safety in these United States of AMERICA.

Thank you all who have served, or are serving.  We Will not forget!!!!

Veteran’s Day 2015

Thank You For Your Service

thank you veterans


Veterans Day – Nov. 11, 2015 – is a day set aside to honor those who have served their country. It traces its roots back to World War I when it was known as Armistice Day. In 1954

In its original proclamation on Armistice Day, Congress spelled out the purpose for the commemoration:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”


World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial


“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” – George Washington



How will our young people perceive earlier veterans were treated and appreciated?

What are we doing to make sure they are?




On November 8, 2014 Cedar Hill CRC packaged 10,000 meals in record time.  On May 2, 2015, Cedar Hill took on the challenge of 25,000 meals!

Cedar Hill CRC continues on the Stop Hunger Now project on Saturday, November 7 at 9:30am. We are looking for 40-50 volunteers across all age groups in our church family and community (more is always better) to help prepare and package 10,000 meals to be distributed to hungry people around the globe.  If you have interest in learning more about this event or the Stop Hunger Now Organization, visit

Date: November 7, 2015
Time: 09:30-12:30pm
Event: Stop Hunger Now
Sponsor: Cedar Hill CRC
Venue: Cedar Hill CRC
Location: 422 Cedar Hill Avenue
Wyckoff, NJ 07481
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

“I Can Sleep When the Wind Blows”

Grain Elevator with Storm


For approximately thirty five years I have been working in facilities management in the healthcare field. In those years it was our responsibility to provide a safe and functioning environment for those we serve. This meant preparing for anything that may happen internally to the facility or externally around it. To assure this planning included double redundancy for every key system and a policy or procedure for everything we could be called on to do.

I stumbled into this story which reminds me of the mind set with which we have to operate. Let me share this story by Reed H. Bradford.

“I Can Sleep When the Wind Blows”

       Some years ago Pres. J. Reuben Clark told the following story:  It was at the annual county fair, and farmers from far and near had come to exhibit their harvest and to engage hired hands for the next year.  One prosperous farmer came across a husky lad and asked:  “What can you do?”  The answer:  “I can sleep when the wind blows.”

       With such an answer the farmer turned and started to walk away, perturbed at the impudence of the man.  But he turned again and asked:  What did you say?”  “I can sleep when the wind blows.”

       “Well,” said the farmer, “I don’t know what that means, but I’m going to hire you anyway.”

       Winter came, followed by the usual spring, and the new hired hand didn’t show any particular signs of extra work, but filled the duties of his calling as most others would have done.

       And then one night in early summer the farmer noticed a strong wind rising.  He dashed to the hired hand’s quarters to arouse him to see that all the stock was properly cared for.  There he found the hired hand asleep.  He was about to awaken him, when he remembered the boy’s strange statement.

       He went to his barns and there found all his animals in their places, and the doors and windows securely locked.  He found the haystack had been crisscrossed with heavy wires, anticipating such a night, and that it would weather the storm.

       Then the farmer knew what his hired man meant when he gave as his only qualification, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Adapted from Albert L. Zobell, Jr. Story Teller’s Scrapbook; Bookcraft, SLC, Utah 1948: pages 111, 112.


Those of us who take our profession seriously will always have some weak chink in the armor of our facility, or our abilities. These may keep us up some nights but let’s work toward being able to “sleep when the wind blows”.

11-Year Old Boy in Normandy – A Late Memorial Day Tribute

Just in Time for the Normandy Anniversary


If you never watch another forward I send, PLEASE take a minute to watch this.   This is a truly moving video.  Here is one youngster who truly appreciates the price of the freedom that we have. It is this young man and the few like him who hold the future of this nation in their hands.  Thanks….

 For those that have served their  country and those that have not, you’ll appreciate what an 11 year boy did in  Normandy.  Incredible video.

II Year Old at Normandy Video

The Justice Conference Simulcast

This conference is one of the largest Biblical and Social Justice Conferences in the world featuring premier speakers and artists to highlight the work of justice globally, nationally, locally, and personally.  Special guests include Louie Giglio, Eugene Cho, Lynne Hybels, Dr. Cornell West, and the music of Crowder and Rend Collective.  The Justice Network’s vision is to serve the discovery of ideas, celebrate the beauty of justice, and foster a community of people who live justice together.  Now–more than ever–people of faith need to come together to wrestle with the injustice in the world.  More details to follow. You don’t want to miss it!!

Date: June 6, 2015
Event: The Justice Conference Simulcast
Venue: Cedar Hill CRC
Location: 422 Cedar Hill Ave
Wyckoff, NJ 07481
Public: Public

Investing in the Next Generation

Trift Bridge, pedestrian-only suspension bridge in Alps. Canton


An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray,

To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,

Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim-
That sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned, when he reached the other side,

And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,

“You are wasting strength in building here.

Your journey will end with the ending day;

You never again must pass this way.

You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide,

Why build you the bridge at the eventide?”


The builder lifted his old gray head.

“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,

“There followeth after me today

A youth whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm that has been naught to me

To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”


– Will Allen Dromgoole

Leadership Gold by John C. Maxwell

The Good Samaritan?

Last night my wife Lois went out for her periodic night out with the girls with her sister, a cousin and a friend. A simple night out for dinner, at a place where they can camp out in a booth and catch up on things.

During the night they noticed a man just wondering around without purpose. Having his belongings in a bag and an empty soda bottle, (Pop bottle if you are from my family’s mid-west) eventually going up to the self-serve beverage dispensers and filling up. Shortly after he disappeared into the men’s room to return all cleaned up. It became apparent that this man may be homeless.

Rather than ignore the fact that here is a person in need. Or without making the assumption that any money shared may in fact not be used as intended for food, as they left each provided some money from their purses. A nice thing to do but one that doesn’t always take place in metropolitan New York where we can become callous to the many “pan handlers.” Hearing the numerous stories of how the money is used for drugs or alcohol gives each of us the easy out we use to sooth our conscience.

This night the conscience of at least one had reminded the group that it is not for us to make sure the money is properly used. It is for us to do what we are called to do, help our neighbor.

Normally this would have ended as a story shared at the end of the night as my wife came home. Instead, it was reinforced further by this mornings sermon as our congregation goes through a series of parables. Todays title, “The Compassionate Samaritan,” more widely thought of as “The Good Samaritan.”

Here is the story as it is found in the gospel of Luke.