On Labor Day I went to Cranbury, New Jersey. Now I have been to this lovely little historic village five or six dozen times in the past ten years, and thought I knew it pretty well. My first ancestors settled there in the seventeen hundreds and one of my ancestors who lived there fought in the Revolutionary War. He is honored along with about 70 others on a memorial outside of the cemetery right on Main street. I always stop there to honor his memory, but on this day I felt a little more drawn to explore the village and walked all the way to the town line. Along the way I saw several older houses, some from the late 1700's, and then I saw a historical marker which stated the following : " This is the site of the Dr. Stites house where George Washington issued many orders that shaped the Battle of Monmouth ". There was also a similar sign which stated that this was the encampment area for the American troops during this period. This in itself would have been a nice thing to have discovered, ( I thanked the Gods at once ), but out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked to be a park at the very edge of town. I felt almost as though I was being pulled into going into the park. It looked so tranquil !
However as I walked around the park, called Tercentenary Park, I was not really all that impressed. There was a circular path that went all around the park so I figured I would do one loop around and then leave and get a slice of pizza. The pizzeria in Cranbury is very good. As I was leaving I glimpsed, out of the corner of my eye, a rock with a plaque on it under a small tree. I walked over and was stunned by what I saw engraved on it . It read:
Let's Roll !
These are the memorable words spoken by Todd Beamer, a Cranbury resident, who was aboard United Flight 93, when it was hijacked by terrorists on September, 11, 2001, he joined with his fellow passengers in a final act of resistance, sacrificing their lives to save countless others.
A man described as ordinary to the world, extraordinary to his family, he shall be forever remembered for his uncommon act of bravery. This memorial celebrates the faith and heroism of Todd Beamer - husband, father, son, brother, friend, civilian - an American.
I was deeply moved by this modest tribute to a great man. I actually went back and sat down by the fountain and reflected on the moment ! I was also deeply honored that the Gods and Goddesses had shown me this little monument that you can' t even read from the paved path. If I had walked a little faster, or been looking in a different direction I would have passed it right by. I would have missed this monument to a truly brave American hero. He gave his life so others might live. That in my opinion is the definiton of a hero !
The Gods and Goddesses are constantly showing me examples of things that seem to be reinforcing my need to keep a balance between love, honor, pride, or just right and wrong. In balance these virtues are a beautiful way to live your life. Out of balance they can ruin ones true faith !
May Odin, Freyja, Thor, and all the great Gods and Goddesses of Asgard look after Todd Beamer. He has earned his place on the benches in Valhalla !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !