Those of us above a certain age remember 9/11 and the awful days after the destruction the Twin Towers. While many of us were in shock and not sure how to deal, the first responders jumped in without a second thought.
Eighteen years later, the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund that is supposed to provide financial support to the victims, the first responders and the families is potentially going to be reduced. The problem is that the number of claims are increasing as the money available might be decreased.
From my perspective, there should be not even a shadow of a doubt that the fund should be kept going. It does not matter which political party (if any) one subscribes to. But Congress seems to have forgotten that. Why does it take Jon Stewart to remind our elected officials (whom we, the voters hired to represent us) that these men and women deserve this money?
The unexpected path from ordinary citizen to civil rights leader is full of rocks, pot holes and an untold number of barriers. But with time, work and opening of minds and hearts, perhaps real change is possible.
Born in 1918 in South Africa, he grew up in a world where separation between the races and apartheid was the social, moral and legal law of the land. As an adult, he became a lawyer and slowly transitioned from ordinary citizen to civil rights leader. Along the way, he was accused of crimes by the authorities, his family was targeted and he spent decades in jail.
Along the way, Nelson Mandela’s legend grew far beyond his native land. As the first President of South Africa, he changed his nation and the world for the better.
I have one word to describe this book: wow. The problem with many autobiographies is that the writer can be very me me me. But in telling his life story from his perspective, Mr. Mandela reminds the reader of our common humanity and that the fight for human rights must continue until we are all free.
I'm a retiree in his seventies. That may not be significant to many, since there is a bunch of us Baby Boomers around. However, in the year 2,000, when I received a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, I expected to be dead in three to five years.