Windows into Our Heritage

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Don’t stumble upon your heritage. It’s there, just waiting to be discovered and explored. ~ Robbie Robertson

What a treasure the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC is. In my estimation, the building itself tells a story just as important as the paintings contained within. The Greek revival architecture is gorgeous. Walt Whitman once said “it is the noblest of Washington buildings.”  The gallery took thirty-two years to build and was one of the first public buildings in D.C. to be constructed. Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural ball was held in it in 1865.

Come along with me on a short tour. Picture taking is allowed in many parts of the building, so I captured some images with my camera for my blog readers who live too far from Washington, DC to visit this and other great American landmarks.

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Magnificent isn’t it? The three pictures above are the Kogod Courtyard -a light-filled enclosed public space within the National Portrait Gallery.

In the very near future, Experience America, an exhibit which is part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, will be featured on All Things Fulfilling. A trip to our nation’s Capital is always exciting because there are so many discoveries to be made. Entering into all the museums and playing tourist in Washington, DC is like opening box after box filled with our country’s heritage. Every time I visit I discover more to explore next time.

Tomorrow, more pictures from my book signing in Towson, Maryland. This blog brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link http://bitly.com/1rA6fdV.

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Stone Preservation

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“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them or build with them.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Beautiful stone creations with historical value – things to preserve rather than destroy. Building with stone goes back centuries. Along with our culture’s growing passion for geneology, there has been an increasing interest in the art of preserving stone monuments and markers in America. Even the finest historical markers and structures made of rock, like cathedrals, churches, castles, bridges and roads need attention because their integrity becomes compromised due to land development, weather, neglect, acid rain and vandalism.

Jonathan Appel, is a stone conservator who has been working in graveyards to preserve monuments and markers in Civil War areas, such as in Frederick, Maryland. http://bit.ly/18ApKGI. Finding fulfillment in preserving our country’s history on holy grounds, he trains others to become monument conservators through workshops.

Last weeks blog about the building of rock sculptures for a unique, personal reason left me feeling uplifted, because one man’s efforts became an community building event. stone_sculptor_at_workOut of all the statues, obelisks, monoliths, pillars and plaques that have been created to memorialize the spirit of beings, all over the world,  I hope an overwhelming number of them have been placed to remember positive spirits who have existed on earth.

If you did not read the blog or watch the video about community efforts to support a grieving man and his art, visit this link. It’s an interesting story. Let me know what you think. http://bit.ly/145b3xc

Please return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow for more independent thoughts, words and views from www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com . Our blog tomorrow is about a special angel and how that angel has inspired a blog that I believe deserves special mention for it’s beauty.

Properly Honored, at Last

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All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.                       ~ Winston Churchill

On Monday at our weekly Kiwanis meeting, we saw a touching DVD of World War II Veterans taking a flight of a lifetime to Washington, DC. The Honor Flight is a program that transports veterans of the Second World War to see the memorial that was built in their honor. For many of these vets, the trip is not an easy one due their age and failing health, but for many veterans it fulfills a dream of a lifetime to see the capital of the country they so bravely fought for many, many years ago. 

The World War II Memorial was completed in 2004. It was built on the National Mall in Washington, DC and it consists of 56 pillars and a pair of arches which surround a beautiful reflecting pool and fountain. During WWII, the gold star was the symbol of family sacrifice, thus a field of 4,000 gold stars incorporated into the Memorial commemorate the more than 400,000 Americans who gave their lives in their fight for freedom. 

Almost 400 veterans from this area, the Western Slope of Colorado, have made a flight with their compatriots to see the World War II Memorial built to honor their military service. A better way to honor the vets and give them one “last hurrah” would be difficult to find. Family members, veterans of other wars and community volunteers accompany these aging vets to make the help make trip as easy as they possibly can. Many of the WWII vets have ambulatory and other health issues, so charter flights helps make the trip a little less difficult. Their bodies may be failing them, but their strong spirits carry them through and it is truly a trip well worth making, each one of them would tell you, I am sure. 

Almost every State in the Union has honor flights several times a year. If you would like more information on donating to this wonderful cause, please visit www.honorflight.org.  We are hoping as a club, Kiwanis International of Steamboat Springs, Colorado http://on.fb.me/epjzSf  will be able to provide support for this wonderful program. If you wish to accompany a flight as a volunteer or would like to provide financial support to the West Slope Honor Flight, please visit http://www.westernslopehonorflight.com/

Thank you to all World War II veterans ( and all veterans of the military) for  the sacrifices that you have made for your countrymen so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we do today.