11 09 2011

I was driving to work in Austin, Texas when I heard the DJ on the radio say that a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. By the time I got to my office the second plane had hit the other tower. I stood in the break room with my co-workers staring at the television in silent amazement as first the South and then the North Tower collapsed. Soon after, the United States would enter into its longest war.

Now, on the tenth anniversary of that dark day, we’re acutely aware of how our lives have changed. Personally, I avoid air travel whenever possible. Not so much out of consternation due to “what if” scenarios, but because of the miserable experience that flying has become in the wake of the “security” measures now in place. Our porous borders and, more significantly, our government’s steadfast refusal to do anything about them, are a cause for much concern. Most disturbing of all is the constant parade of new entries onto our eulogy pages.

It’s easy to pass only an occasional thought to those fighting our wars; after all, it’s happening far from home. Easy, unless someone deployed is a friend or a member of our family. They too are far from home. They work far from home. They fight far from home. They die far from home.

Today will see a media blitz of remembrances and memorials. It would do us all well to not become hardened or feel saturated to the point that we turn away. There’s not much I can write here that hasn’t already been said or written over the past ten years. September 11, 2001 has earned its place in the American Lexicon of Infamy as simply, “Nine-Eleven”.

“We need to move on”, some say. Yes, we do. But some also equate moving on with forgetting what brought us here. As a nation, that’s a course of action we cannot abide. As Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past…”

We cannot afford to forget what happened on 9/11. As we move forward let’s not forget those who died so horribly that day. Let’s not forget the passengers on the planes, or those killed in the buildings and on the ground, or those who are still dying, both at home and in far off lands, as a direct result of those attacks ten years ago.

Let’s remember.

~ Dempsey

Goodbye to a Decade

23 12 2009

As the year comes to an end, so does this first decade after the turn of the century. It’s been a decade of riveting events, some firsts, and a single catastrophe which has changed our way of life here in the United States. Largely due to that event we find our service men and women scattered to far lands under hostile conditions. We salute them, for they are our heroes; we who keep the faith, fires, and love burning on the home front as we await their return.

On behalf of all of us here at WP-ORG, Happy Holidays! Stay safe.

~ Dempsey

Happy Thanksgiving!

25 11 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from all of us at WP-ORG. As you enjoy the day, please take a moment to give a thought to our service men and women who are answering the call of duty and cannot spend the holiday with their loved ones. As you give thanks for your blessings, give thanks for them as well.

For the WP-ORG Board of Advisors,

Dempsey Darrow
USMA 1975, “Courage and Drive”

This Holiday Season

22 12 2008

To the members of the profession of arms, the noblest of professions, who this season will find themselves on foreign soil, far from home and loved ones; may the brightness of a child’s eyes of a Christmas morn light your loneliest of hours; may the warmth of our hearth transcend time and distance and ease the chill of your winter’s night. In that silent moment of peace, after Santa’s labor is complete and before the little ones shriek with glee at their good fortune, in that fleeting period when all is calm and right with the world; know that I will raise a warm glass in salute to you, to your loved ones, and to your sacrifice.

To all of you; may Love pervade your Holiday Season.

For all of us here at WP-ORG, Happy Holidays!

~ Dempsey

Random Ramblings

26 10 2008

One of the difficult things about a BLOG is keeping it current, writing something from time to time. Since WP-ORG is a non-profit organization I’m somewhat limited in what I can put here. Also, when I started this BLOG, I didn’t want to just post generic, sanitized information that’s of no interest to anyone.

So, on that note, I happened to be watching the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of my favorite football teams, on TV today and I noticed that the end zone at Heinz Field has the word “Pittsburgh” painted on the field. No news flash there. But then there’s this, recently taken over Michie Stadium at West Point by Lee Ross. That symbol you see after the words “West Point” is ®; the name has been registered as a trademark by the Academy. Memorabilia bought at the Academy will carry this tag as well. Makes me wonder why the Pittsburgh Steelers football organization, a commercial entity, hasn’t done the same thing, and it makes me wonder when I’ll get a recall notice for my class ring so the symbol can be added there as well.

Past readers will notice that the banner on the BLOG has been replaced. That’s because it contained the words “West Point” and we (WP-ORG) were told by the Academy’s lawyers that we didn’t have permission to use the words. West-Point.Org is OK, but “West Point” is not, not without specific permission. Many thanks to Lee Ross and his skill with a camera for the current banner; it’s a shot of West Point, Hudson River view, taken from above Constitution Island.

On a bright note we’ve successfully completed fund drive 24 and achieved our operating budget for the next six months. Here’s hoping everyone’s week starts on a good note.

~ Dempsey

In Support of…Good Italian Food

31 03 2008

I was in the mood for Italian today so I dropped in at my local Carrabba’s for an early dinner. I had just finished ordering when I noticed a serviceman at the next table with a group that obviously included his family. A service member in uniform out with their family usually means one of two things: either they’ve just returned from a deployment or they’re about to be deployed.

When my waiter returned with my drink I asked him to have the serviceman’s meal quietly placed on my ticket and to inform him that his meal had been taken of. A few minutes later the waiter returned to tell me the manager had said that it was Carrabba’s policy to take care of service people in uniform.

So, add Carrabba’s to the list of establishments that actively support our men and women in uniform.

Then, the waiter told me, “Sir, because of your gesture, the manager will be taking care of your dinner as well.”

Napoleon is said to have said, “An army marches on its stomach.” John Adams is quoted as having said, “The shortest road to men’s hearts is down their throats.” It seems that the good people of Carrabba’s are working hard at the realization of these sentiments. The next time hunger pangs make themselves known I hope you’ll give Carrabba’s serious consideration.

And by the way, the Veal Marsala was excellent!

~ Dempsey

That Time of Year

21 11 2007

It’s almost that day of the year that I always remember so fondly for the remaining 364. A house filled with the aroma of cooking, pies baking in the oven, the sounds of life and animated conversation punctuated by frequent laughter.

It seems these days that no traditional holiday can be celebrated without some group acting insulted. Well, I’ve never felt the need to apologize for being thankful.

This year I look forward to the traditional turkey and stuffing and other culinary delights preceding the mandatory nap in front of the TV.

I have much for which to be thankful and if you’re reading this or having it read to you, so do you.

To those deployed far from home, we’re thinking of you. We’ll throw an extra log on the fire for you. We’re waiting for you; we’ll see you when your duty is done.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

~ Dempsey