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December 2, 2008 [ More archived home pages here ]
The Frightful Fire
December 1, 2008 was the 50th anniversary of the terrible Our Lady of the Angels school fire in Chicago. I mostly remember that scary event for the numerous small coffins shown at the requiem mass back then. December 1, 1958 was also a Monday making this anniversary more sensitive to me.
The previous year I spent two semesters at a Catholic School in Chicago. I was familiar with the way things were done for grade-schoolers in those institutions. When the first news of the fire rang out, I immediately froze with fright, thinking it was my previous school on fire and that kids I knew were in danger. I was only eight years old at the time and jumped to that conclusion right away. About an hour later as the more complete news reports emerged I realized it was a different school.
I recall that some of the Nuns that died along with their students had become victims by staying in their rooms, "to pray" instead of acting for their safety. Those young students deserved better leadership, the mercy of God was absent that day for those that died.
That fire caused new fire code changes in schools across this nation. At least some good came out of that tragedy. It was a very expensive lesson to pay. The newspaper image from that day of all those coffins is indelibly fixed in my mind as a reminder these past 50 years.
This article has more complete information for those interested.
The Thanksgiving weekend with our daughter, her husband, and our two grandkids was a lot of fun. Our granddaughter now understands most of what you tell her and she speaks a few full sentences now. They will return to see us out here next summer, probably in August. We will see them before that time back there in the Chicago area.
Sad news arrived on Friday morning. My cousin's wife, Karen Larsen, passed away Thursday morning. She had suffered a stroke almost two weeks earlier and never regained conciseness. She helped us settle-in when we moved here in February 1996. She always took time to make those around her feel good. She will be missed.
My cousin, Linda, sent me this Let's Say Thanks link allowing people to send a postcard and selected message to folks serving in the U.S. military overseas. I sent one.
My friend, Bob, sent me this video link about the Texas State Representative whose comments in support of the Second Amendment were correctly captured for a Senate hearing in 2003. In Texas, the Second Amendment isn't crippled as it is in too many states.
Found on the web links for November 25, 2008
Found on the web links for December 1, 2008
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