Heck of a Ride
We as a nation have been on one heck of a ride this year. Major historical events are happening so fast no one can keep up mentally. When looking back in time, however, we easily see that all these experiences in 2020 are nothing new.
During the winter of 1894-95, when another pandemic swept through the nation, my great-grandfather Gomer Thomas Griffiths carried his three young sons all by himself to the Kirtland, Ohio cemetery. No one would risk infection to help him bury his boys aged 4, 6, and 9. My father Thomas Keesee many times told me this story that his grandfather had shared with him, and how brokenhearted Gomer was that cold winter. We have all heard about the 1918-19 influenza outbreak but many illnesses have ravaged our country and world.
As for the destruction of statues and everything else that has been lost during this chaotic year, this also is nothing new. When Hitler’s armies spread destruction throughout Europe, they systematically destroyed statues. In more recent times, we have watched on television as many statues of Saddam Hussein were toppled by a liberated populace. In a nutshell, people will continue to die from pandemics, and statues erected in the past, present, and future will continue to be destroyed.
In the end, I have talked to a crying teenage girl more than once, consoling her at the loss of a boyfriend, explaining the only thing written on your tombstone is your name and dates of birth and death. What happens in between those two sets of numbers and what you do during your time on earth is judged hardest by one’s self, and hopefully as the light fades away most of us can look back at our lives realizing we are not perfect but did the best we could. I hope all of us can look back at 2020 in the same way!
— Dennis Keesee