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Hello and Welcome:

Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homeless in America

I have been laid off from jobs three times during my lifetime. The first time was during the recession of 1980. I was the single mother of two young children and I had to pack up, uproot my children and leave my beloved hills of southern Ohio to find work in Columbus. The second time my company laid me off two weeks before Christmas. Some of you know what that's like. Try to remain calm and upbeat so your kids can have a happy holiday, while you're drowning inside. Fortunately I was rehired soon after. The third time was awful. I was ill and afraid that I might lose the home I had purchased. Thank goodness the kids were grown and I had only myself to worry about.

During that dark period, on a day I will always remember, I rode the bus downtown early one morning. I was depressed and feeling sorry for myself. I walked across the Statehouse grounds to meet a friend when suddenly I came upon a homeless man asleep on the lawn. I stopped in my tracks and thought, "there, but for the grace of God, go I". That day stuck with me, even after I found work, and though I am not a poet, I felt compelled to be a witness to the tragedy of homelessness in America.  I would like to share it with you :
Jacquelyn K. Thompson

Homeless stranger lying on the lawn
wrapped in your tattered coat,
covered by the morning dew.

I can not say that I understand
what you are going through, because
 never have I walked in your shoes.

But I have walked along
my own life line
one step over...then draw back.

Walking a tightrope throughout the years...
stumble here, live with the fear.
No home now? My children, my children.

Then righting myself, just in time
a balancing act to walk that line
over and over...quickly draw back!

Another stranger sitting on the grass,
hand held out to share his bread
with God's small creature come to ask.

Turning full circle I looked about.
There lay all the strangers, homeless
on the Statehouse grounds.

While overhead steel monuments shadows cast
their pall...silently brooding
giving testimony to man's indifference.

Shadows falling down upon the flow of man
anxiously awaits the end of day, fleeing
to sheltered homes in sterile fortresses.

Ghostly shadows, passersby...preferred secrets
hidden in the recesses of their minds
rejects your existence with downturned eyes.

With silent tears I walked on by
cowardly determined to toe the line.
For willingly taken just two short steps...

Two steps over and I won't go back.