When you compare the meaning of “sanctuary” in 12 c. England to 21 c. America, you might wonder about 21 century America under President Donald Trump. This year migrants are cross the American border from Mexico, seeking sanctuary from unsafe conditions, and are met with incarceration and separation from their children. Many of us Americans oppose this policy and wonder what has become of American values, in particularly freedom, individual rights and the pursuit of happiness. With these current events in mind, I was particularly touched by the mercy demonstrated in this tidbit of history from Durham Cathedral.
In 12th century England, criminals could seek sanctuary in Durham Cathedral by knocking on this bronze knocker and hanging on to it until they were admitted. “Fugitives were given 37 days to organize their affairs. They had to decide with to stand trial or to leave the country by the nearest port.” (Quote from a sign on the Cathedral wall.)
Please note, the Cathedral provided sanctuary to criminals, not migrants, but the concept of sanctuary and mercy is cause for reflection.
This bald eagle basically begged me to take his photo by perching atop this American flag and a brass bald eagle in Naples, Florida. Happy to share the good news that Bald Eagles are thriving in Southwest Florida and Alaska, too, by my observation.
The experts say PNC Park is one of most beautiful major league baseball park in America. My experience is limited to about 7 ballparks, but I think the experts must be right this time. A sunny summer evening watching the Pittsburgh Pirates at home is one of life’s finer pleasures.
Baseball is one of those great American traditions that hasn’t changed much over the generations.* But the parks keep getting nicer. The Pirates started at Forbes Field (which was torn down), shared Three Rivers Stadium with the Steelers from 1970 to 2000, and finally have a proper ball park with a fabulous view of a beautiful skyline. Having lived in Pittsburgh for the past 28 years, I might be biased. What do you think?
*This would be a great prompt for a heated discussion!
More than nine thousand service men are buried and memorialized here at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer, France. It is sobering to see the lines of crosses that mark each life lost in a courageous effort to defend freedom.
From the Normandy American Military Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer, France, I share with you two maps displayed on the walls showing the Allied Landing on the Normandy beaches on D-Day and the Allied Invasion of Europe that continued until 1945. Most all of us are too young to remember those days, but we should never forget the “Greatest Generation” who liberated Europe, defeated Hitler and restored freedom to the Western World.
I shot these photographs of the wall maps at the Normandy American Cemetery shortly after the 60th anniversary of D-Day in June 2004.
This second wall map shows the movement of Allied forces through Europe from 1944 to 1945. If you want to read a tremendous book about this story, pick up Stephen Ambrose’s D-Day.
*Reference to Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation.