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We remember

While we are pacing politically over Syria, we recall the terror on our own soil 12 years ago. Threats, evil and grief linger. On this anniversary, we do well to pause, to hold in our hearts the struggle and pain still felt among survivors and heroes of that terrible day. 

In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, The Port of Seattle Police Department sold hats to raise money for the Port Authority Police Department Benevolent Fund in New York/New Jersey. That department lost 37 officers in the attacks.  Each hat had the name of one officer who died Sept. 11. At the time, my husband was part of the POSPD canine unit; he bought a hat with the name Sirius on it. Sirius was the PAPD police dog killed at the World Trade Center. My husband also bought a hat for me with the name Paul Jurgens on it. Paul's children are now grown - young adults I have never met, but I wear a hat with their father's name on it. The hat has become a sacred object of remembrance of one man's heroic gesture:  saving others' lives as he sacrificed his own.

This week, we remember those who died…and their loved ones who remain. May somehow our world find its way to peace.

(S-R archive photo: A flag placed in a name at the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero.)

Front Porch: 75 years of inspiration

They don’t make anniversary cards for 75th anniversaries. At least they didn’t have any at the stores I checked. After all, 72-day marriages like Kim Kardashian’s are probably more common now than unions spanning seven decades.

On Saturday, my husband and I attended the 75th anniversary celebration of Warren and Betty Schott. I met the Schotts six years ago when I featured them in a Love Story. They were one of the first couples I wrote about for the ongoing series.

Ensconced in comfortable chairs at Harvard Park retirement community, Betty, 96, and Warren, 95, greeted their guests. When asked about the longevity of their marriage Betty quipped, “Well, we got married in a cemetery and honeymooned in Death Valley, so we got all that out of the way!” Read more. Cindy Hval, SR

What's the secret to a lasting marriage?

Conveyances and other marriage traditions

My husband and I celebrated 32 years of marriage last week. I have no idea where the time has gone, but when I tally up the milestones, we have traveled through some interesting places, experiences. Some lovely, some not…

He is more prone than I am to the sentimental remembrances of “This anniversary is symbolized by paper, china, silver, platinum…”

And – I had no clue – the 32ndyear of marriage is symbolized by conveyances.  Huh? Yup. GOOGLE says so, therefore it must be true…

With my major conveyance, a car, recently replaced – my practical self said, “No gift for me this year.” But on our anniversary my husband sat me down, told me to close my eyes and then placed the controller for a remote control car in my hands.

“Open your eyes and push the lever up,” he instructed.

Around the corner and into the kitchen came a remote control police car with its lights on – and a little box strapped to the top.

The jewelry is lovely, but the conveyance a surprise,  a creative unique touch. Even after 32 years…

Marriage is a journey – requiring a variety of conveyances through the years. Mostly, the conveyance of love, commitment, forgiveness, humor, compromise -  sprinkled with a dose of that magic ingredient: pure luck.

What has been your most unique celebration of a wedding anniversary?

(S-R archives photo)

Hiroshima Bombing Plus 67 Years.

Japan marked the 67th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attack with a ceremony Monday that was attended by a grandson of Harry Truman, the U.S. president who ordered the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.About 50,000 people gathered in Hiroshima’s peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 blast that destroyed most of the city and killed as many as 140,000 people. A second atomic bombing Aug. 9 that year in Nagasaki killed tens of thousands more and prompted Japan to surrender to the World War II Allies. The ceremony, attended by representatives of about 70 countries, began with the ringing of a temple bell and a moment of silence. Flowers were placed before Hiroshima’s eternal flame, which is the park’s centerpiece/AP. More here. (AP photo: Clifton Truman Daniel, center, a grandson of former U.S. President Harry Truman, attends a ceremony marking the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing)

Question: Anyone out there think we shouldn't have dropped the bomb?

Semanko: Can’t Afford ‘ObamaCare’

Chairman Norm Semanko Statement on Two Year Anniversary of President Obama signing his massive government takeover of health care into law: “Despite the president’s promises, ObamaCare has left Idaho undeniably worse off.  Health care costs will continue to skyrocket into the foreseeable future, and Americans have less freedom to make their own health care decisions. Under ObamaCare, Idaho families will pay more for health care, and taxpayers will foot the bill for increased government spending.  Unaccountable government bureaucrats will make decisions once left to patients and their doctors.  Millions could lose the insurance they receive from their employers, even though President Obama promised that would never happen. We cannot afford ObamaCare.” More below.

Question: Do you support or oppose the federal health-care law pushed by President Obama?

9/11 memorial events

Spokane Valley Fire Marshall Kevin Miller looks at a 1,200-pound steel girder that was recovered from one of the towers at the World Trade Center. File photo/J. Bart Rayniak

There are several Sept. 11 memorial events planned in Spokane Valley on Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The first is at 6:40 a.m. at the Spokane Valley Fire Department administration building (next to Station 8) at 2110 N. Wilbur Road. During the ceremony a piece of steel beam from the Towers will be installed in the building, which is under construction.

In the afternoon Valley Fire will be among those participating in a memorial ceremony at the Spokane Interstate Fair at 1:30 p.m. A procession will begin at the main gate and head into the grandstand area for the ceremony. You will have to pay to get into the Fair at Broadway and Havana but there won't be a charge to get into the grandstand for the event.

If you are looking for a more spiritual event, four Valley churches will host a memorial service at 4 p.m. Sunday at Zion Lutheran Church, 8304 E. Buckeye. The pastors of Millwood Presbyterian Church, New Hope Bible Church and St. Mary's Catholic Church will help lead the service.

Happy V Day, Happy B Day

Veterans Day is 91 years old or 56 years old today, depending on how you want to count it.

Washington state is 121 years old, and there’s no two ways to count it.

Veterans Day started as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919. It marked the one year anniversary of the end of World War I, which was in those days was know as “The Great War” because people didn’t have to foresight to number their world wars. The Armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. After we’d had another world war, plus a contained war in Korea, President Eisenhower decided to honor all veterans in 1954 and rename the holiday Veterans Day.

For information about Veterans Day events around Spokane, click here.

Washington went from being a state to a territory on this day in 1889, when President Benjamin Harrison signed the law at 5:27 p.m. A copy of the telegram from Harrison to territorial Elisha Ferry can be seen here.


Kerri: I Remember Day Elvis Died

On Facebook, Kerri Thoreson writes: “I know exactly where I was 33 years ago today … sitting by the pool at the Portland apartment complex we managed while my little girls splashed. Couldn’t believe the news on the radio, Elvis was dead at age 42.” I was more of a Rolling Stones/Beatles/Animals fan than an Elvis Presley fan. But I remember watching the famous “Ed Sullivan Show” — my family always watched it together back in the day — in which producers filmed Elvis from the waist up to keep those gyrating hips from public view. I remember the day that Janis Joplin died better than the day Elvis did. How about you?

Question: Do you remember what you were doing when Elvis died?

Michael Jackson Recalled On Anniversary

A hat and glove once worn by Michael Jackson, mark his name plaque in the Apollo Theater’s Walk of Fame today in Harlem, New York. Jackson, who first performed at the theater with his brothers in the late 1960s, is being remembered with tributes on the anniversary of his death. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Question: Do you remain a fan of the late Michael Jackson? Or do you wonder why many fans are still crazy about him?

Summer Wild Card — 6.21.10

It might not look like it outside, but today is the first official day of summer. Which means it’s also my 35th wedding anniversary to my sweet bride and best friend, Mrs. O. We met at a church Valentine’s banquet in which I was the guest speaker. She and a friend were giggling about something as they came around a corner and we saw each other. I don’t know if it was love at first sight. But there definitely was a spark there. That’s still there. Jack Nicolson summed up my feelings about Mrs. O in a line from “As Good As It Gets,” when his character sez: “You make me want to be a better man.” Now, for your Wild Card …

Kroc Center Observe 1st Anniversary

Item: Kroc Center celebrates one year: Cd’A facility is tops in the West with 20,500 members/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Before it opened, it shot for around 2,000 members, keeping its fingers crossed for 5,000 at the one year mark. Today, it has 20,500 members, and has entertained around 630,000 visitors since May 11, 2009 - while staff has increased to 272 employees compared to around 70 when it opened.

Question: Are you a member of the Kroc Center? What would you tell someone who’s still upset by the process undertaken by Mayor Sandi Bloem and the city to build the Kroc Center?