September 11, 2001: The Day the Country Wept in Unity

19 years ago today, this country was shaken by what had just occurred in New York at the World Trade Center.

Some 2,753 people lost their lives that day when American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were hijacked and intentionally crashed into the North and South towers, or as a result of the crashes.

Of those who perished during the initial attacks and the subsequent collapses of the towers, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City Police, and 37 were officers at the Port Authority.

The victims ranged in age from two to 85 years old. Approximately 75 to 80% of the victims were men.

At the Pentagon in Washington, 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building.

Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 died when the plane crashed into a field. The hijackers are believed to have crashed the aircraft at that location, rather than their unknown target, after passengers and crew members attempted to retake the flight deck.

As of October 2019, 1,645 of the 2,753 World Trade Center victims’ remains have been recovered and positively identified, according to the local medical examiner’s office.

A Timeline of the Events of That Horrific Day:

8:46 a.m. ET: American Airlines Flight 11, traveling from Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into the North tower of the World Trade Center.

9:03 a.m. ET: United Airlines Flight 175, traveling from Boston to Los Angeles, struck the South tower at the World Trade Center.

9:37 a.m. ET: American Airlines Flight 77, traveling from Dulles, Virginia, to Los Angeles struck the Pentagon Building in Washington.

9:59 a.m. ET: The South Tower at the World Trade Center collapsed in approximately 10 seconds.

10:03 a.m. ET: United Airlines Flight 93, traveling from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco went down in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

10:28 a.m. ET: The North tower at the World Trade Center collapses.

May we never forget the thousands of heroes that lost their lives on this day, 19 years ago today.

Take a moment today, stop what your doing, and remember the ones we lost on the horrific day that was September 11, 2001.

Source 911memorial.org
Source: kedm.org

Resting Respect: Paying Visits to Some of the South’s Most Influential Figures

Perhaps you were watching my travels throughout this great State of Alabama this weekend on Facebook.

You may wonder what I was doing, you may also wonder what made me pay visits to the many statues and gravesites in multiple cities.

Well, since sports have been basically nonexistent since mid-March, I have come across a newfangled hobby, touring cemeteries; both virtually and physically to pay respects to those that are no longer here in bodily form, but rather in the presence of God.

On Saturday, I visited a statue dedicated to the memory of Booker T. Washington, a mid-19th-century and early-20th-century social reformer, who believed in hard work, and self-education.

On Sunday, Dad and I took a family friend with us to Mobile, Alabama, to visit multiple cemeteries with several early-Mobile notable figures.

Our first visit Sunday, was to the notoriously haunted, Church Street Graveyard, where the man who created a Mardi Gras Revival in 1866 and 1867, is buried.

Perhaps you’ve heard of him, Joseph Stillwell “Joe” Cain Jr. while in Church Street Graveyard, we saw the famous Boyington Oak that stands just outside the Northwest corner of the 19th-century New England churchyard-style cemetery atop the grave of Charles Robert Stuart Boyington, a mid-17th-century printer and gambler, whom moved to Mobile in search of a better life than the one he had experienced in his hometown of New Haven, Connecticut.

Mr. Boyington, allegedly had become friends with Nathaniel Frost, whom owed him money from one of their poker games but refused to give Boyington the money.

As a result, Mr. Frost would be stabbed, robbed, and left for dead inside of the Church Street Graveyard.

Mr. Boyington would be framed as the suspect, taken into custody, and hanged in 1835. According to legend, his last words, as his feet dangled from a tree at Oakleigh, which is now historic landmark, were “A tree will grow from my heart to prove my innocence.”

After our stop to visit Alabama’s third-most haunted burial ground, the three of us made our way to the 120-acre Magnolia Cemetery just down the road, to pay respects to Confederate States Army General Braxton Bragg, whom I claim is my namesake. We also saw numerous graves of confederate soldiers.

Next, we travelled to the 19th-century, Saluda Hill Cemetery, in Spanish Fort, Alabama, to visit the grave of Zachariah Godbold, the only known Revolutionary War veteran buried in Baldwin County, Alabama.

Moral of the story, pay respects to those that came before anyway you can, you never know what you’ll run across in the process.

Church Street Graveyard sign.
Joe Cain grave, Church Street Graveyard.
Joe Cain and I in Church Street Graveyard.
The haunted Boyington Oak, Church Street Graveyard.
Confederate Monument, Magnolia Cemetery.
General Braxton Bragg and I.
Our Confederate Dead, Magnolia Cemetery
Zachariah Godbold, Revolutionary War veteran, Saluda Hill Cemetery, Spanish Fort, Alabama.
Booker T. Washington statue, Tuskegee University.

Tomahawk Chop: Why Are We Considering Removing Such a Harmless Storied Tradition

Around 2:45 Monday afternoon, I read from a credible source that the Atlanta Braves are considering removing one of their longest traditions; the Tomahawk Chop.

Here’s my take on it, why are even considering removing such a long-standing tradition? What’s it hurting?

For 22 years, as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve been going to Braves games and honestly I can’t imagine going to a Braves game without there being a tomahawk chop.

For 22 years, I’ve done the tomahawk chop, whether it be at athletic events at my alma mater, or at a Braves game, not once have I thought it was offensive to anybody of any race.

Native Americans should look at it as an honor, because that’s exactly what it is and that way it’s meant to be.

When I have kids, I will take them to Braves games and yes, I will allow them to do the tomahawk chop. Just as I have done and will continue to do as long as God is willing to let me live.

Last year during the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the staff didn’t allow our fans to have foam tomahawks.

Why, you ask? Because somebody, somewhere complained about it being demeaning and offensive to the Native American race.

Whether we have the tomahawk chop from this point on or not, as for me and my house, we will continue to chop.

Source: WGHP.

Let Freedom Ring: This Fourth of July Remember What This Day Represents

As Independence Day is just around the corner, remember what this day is for.

244 years ago tomorrow, our Founding Fathers signed their names on the Declaration of Independence.

With all the negativity going on in the world these days, put all of that aside and be glad that we’ve been free for 244 years.

Think about all the people that lost their lives fighting so that we could live in this beautiful country freely.

Put all your differences aside and realize that no matter your race, you are an American. You live freely because of our Founding Fathers.

Tonight or tomorrow when you’re partying, barbecuing or what have you, take a moment and be thankful to live in the United States of America.

Be safe, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Source: History.com

Remembering The Fallen: Memorial Day 2020

So often, we as Americans, see this holiday as a time for barbecues, parties and so much more.

But the fact is, we fail to realize that all of that can wait for another day.

Memorial Day is a time of remembrance. A time to remember and honor the countless members of the Armed Forces that didn’t make it home to their loved ones.

The ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice while fighting to ensure the freedom that we all enjoy today.

This Memorial Day, take a moment to remember the real reason for this day, the real heroes.

The ones who gave their lives so selflessly just so that we could live free lives.

God Bless.

Four Years Later: Remembering Graduation Day 2016

May 24, 2016 is a day that I will never forget. It was the day that my life really began.

I can remember standing in the halls of the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on the campus of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama, anxiously awaiting my name to be called.

But there was something about graduation that wasn’t right. So many of my friends that were supposed to be graduating high school with me that night, weren’t able to do so because they had been called home to be with God.

Dressed in a black and gold cap and gown, mostly black, I can clearly remember being soaked in sweat by the time my name was called.

When my name was finally called, it seemed like everything went in slow motion.

As I walked across the stage with tear-filled eyes because I knew that so many of my friends were looking down on me from Heaven, I hit my chest twice and point towards the sky as if to say, “This one’s for you.”

Unlike so many others in my graduating class, I clearly knew what I wanted to do one day.

When I sat back down in my seat, I remember feeling a sense of relief.

That fall, I went off to college. I was only there for a semester before I realized that I just wasn’t meant to go college. I already had what it took.

So I decided to take the long way around it.

Three years removed from college, I have come further than I ever thought was possible, especially without a college degree.

But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Clearly God knew far before I did, that I wouldn’t be in college more than a semester.

The point of this piece is to serve as a sense of inspiration. Some are meant to go to college, others aren’t. But as long as you keep a clear mind and full heart, you will be successful in any aspect of life.

God Bless.

A Dog’s Heavenly Journey

It’s always tough losing a loved one, especially pets. Even though there may be times when we sin, those God-sent four-legged animals love us as though we have never committed a sin in our life.

Sunday night, I lost my pet. I didn’t just lose my pet, I lost my friend, my four-legged brother, my companion.

As he crossed the bridge from temporary life into eternal life, I was broken inside. I didn’t know why he had to go but I knew exactly where he was going.

My four-legged brother, friend and companion was heading straight to Heaven. As much as it hurt to see him go, I was at peace knowing that he was no longer in pain,

For he was heading to be in The House of the Lord. He was heading for eternal life. In his final hours, I saw him in pain and desperation. As I looked into his yellow eyes during those heart-wrenching hours, I saw little tears being shed from the struggle that he was going through.

He hadn’t wagged his tail all day, but when St. Peter opened the pearly gates and my four-legged brother took the first of many steps on the streets of gold, he began to finally wag his tail, as if he was telling us he was in The House of God. He was finally at peace with one paw in the Hand of God.

Pets are often thought of as God’s sinless creatures, which is the absolute truth. If you have a dog, or any pet for that matter, hug them, feed them the table scraps, feed them half of everything you eat.

Do unto God’s creatures as you would hope they would do unto you,

God Bless.

To the Selfless Individuals that Fight for Our Freedom Daily

I know lately, I haven’t been writing about sports, but this is something that needs to be written.

Often times, we find ourselves too wrapped up in our busy lives to really sit back and think about why we get to live our lives freely.

It’s because of every single selfless individual that has the courage to fight for us and our freedom.

Because of their sacrifices, we are allowed to live each day knowing that we woke up as free Americans and we will go to bed as free Americans.

We are free because of the many hours, days, and years that our veterans have spent away from their loved ones, unsure of what the outcome may be.

But even with that uncertainty, they constantly serve this country with no regrets.

Truth is, they don’t do this for themselves, they do this because they have to. They serve this great country because they love this country that much.

President Donald Trump says “Make America Great Again” but in my eyes, this beautiful country has always been great because of the outstanding, selfless men and women that risk their lives daily just to keep their homeland’s freedom.

Over my 21 years of life, I have had the honor of knowing and working with numerous veterans of all branches and I make sure each of them knows how thankful I am for their service.

If you have a veteran in your family, are friends with one or run across one in public today, be sure to thank them for their service.

Because without them, where would we be?

Saying See You Later to the Last Dog That Saw Me Grow Up

11 years ago, I was thrilled to be getting a new dog. I have always loved dogs, I don’t know if it’s because I have been around them my entire life, if it’s because they’ve comforted me in the times when I needed it the most.

This morning I got the news that my chihuahua named “Siddalee” after Siddalee Walker on “YaYa Sisterhood” that we got as a Mother’s Day for my mom in 2008, will gain her wings this afternoon and go be with Jesus in Doggy Heaven. This one is especially hard for me because Sidda has been there for me through some of the toughest times in my life. She’s helped cure me when I was sick, helped heal me when I was hurting.

She never seemed to have a problem making things better and easier for me over the past 11 years. For the past month she has been dealing with abscess tooth, even after having all but one tooth pulled months ago.

I went Monday night to visit her one last time and she seemed to be in good spirits that night despite no longer being able to jump around like the Energizer Bunny. As hard as it is, I know that this for the better.

She will no longer be in pain, no more sickness only happiness. She will also be with her other three four-legged brothers in the presence of God. What a reunion that will be. Thank you for everything, Sidda. I’ll see you on the other side soon.