Any opportunity to go to the top of Mount Washington is an adventure that should not be missed, regardless of your mode of transportation: Hiking, driving, taking the motor coach, or the Cog Railroad.
It used to be for just one day a year, but now, the Mount Washington Auto Road allows a certain number of ATVs (and motorcycles) to go up, daily, during the Summer months. Carol and I, and her brother and sister-in-law, didn’t want to let this opportunity slip by, so we bought tickets well in advance, to “ride into the clouds” on our side-by-sides.
Regardless of how it is “at the bottom” of the Mountain (sunny, 75-80 degrees), you must be prepared for what awaits you at the top: “The World’s Worst Weather.” You will never understand the meaning of why this is the most dangerous mountain in the world until you experience it for yourself.
We’ve been blessed to have gone up the mountain many times, and each time, it is a totally different adventure. This time, for example, we saw “the cave” for the first time, and were able to film 4 of the Cog Railroad trains at the same time. I have never seen 4 trains at the top at one time: 3 of the custom-built biodiesel locomotives, and in an unforgettable experience, we saw the MW2 … Steam Engine # 2, The Ammonoosuc, built in 1875 and manufactured in New Hampshire at the Manchester Locomotive Works … an authentic coal-fired steam locomotive… I have learned since that when multiple trains are dispatched, the steam train is always last in line behind the diesels.
Enjoy the video of our trip “into the clouds!”
I really thought I wouldn’t have to write about this again.
Then, on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022, just one day after the New Year holiday, something happened which literally stunned me … Shocked me … and, deeply saddened me.
For most of New England, the schedule for this afternoon was all set:
After two consecutive losses, the New England Patriots would be playing … the Jacksonville Jaguars … Yes, 2 straight losses for the Patriots … you have to understand how rare that is … It reminded me of, back in “the day,” when the UCONN Huskies Women’s basketball team would lose just one game … people would just “freak out” over just one loss … Well … Welcome to New England … where, frankly, we don’t know how to act after 2 straight defeats because, well … we just don’t get to practice it that much …
Man, were we waiting for this one … needing a victory so bad … Remember that here, you are talking from the Canadian border to who knows how far South, people refer to the team as “We.” As in “we’ve got a tough one coming up,” or “they can’t beat us.” You know how it is … People refer to their team as if they themselves, were part of the team …
Anyway … we’d been preparing, planning all week for this one. We heard the beloved coach (at that time …) speak of the upcoming contest …
“They’re a good football team. They’re well coached. Have a lot of really good players, especially at the skill positions. They play hard. It’s a home game for them, so they’ll play with a lot of energy. It should really be a challenge for us.
We’ll have to play better, we’ll have to coach better, we’ll have to execute better. It should really be a challenge for us.”
So … there we were, getting set for the start of the “big game.”
I had tuned in the pregame show at around 12:45, in preparation for the 1:00 kick-off … the TV was set … the volume was set … my rocker-recliner was set …
Here we go …
As I “kicked back” to watch the beginning of the broadcast, the network broadcaster stated that he was now going to turn things over to the public address announcer …
I suddenly stopped rocking …
Could it be???
They were actually going to broadcast our National Anthem?
Could this really be happening?
I leaned forward in my rocker:
The public address announcer addressed the crowd, and, those like me, “the millions and millions watching around the globe,” requesting that, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we ask that you please stand, and remove your hats …”
I suddenly did two things simultaneously … I grabbed the lever to my rocker which brings the foot rest down and brings the back up, and I leapt to my feet while, literally, screaming, “They’re going to do it!” “They’re going to do it!”
As difficult as it was to believe, I heard it … right there, in front of me on my television …
Then, the public address announcer stated the reason for the “request to rise:”
It was to honor John Madden.
I felt this was most appropriate.
Again, this was entirely appropriate, and I participated in the “moment of silence to honor his life and his memory.”
Then came the moment which literally jarred my entire being. The reason for this writing. I mean … there I was, already standing … could it be? The NFL (No Flag Loyalty) was actually going to do it???
On “pins and needles,” there I was, standing, knowing that I was joining, uniting with my fellow Americans … I was already reverently standing … my right hand moving toward my heart … when I hear the public address announcer clearly state, “And, now ladies and gentlemen, we ask that you remain standing … to honor America” …
And then, suddenly, deliberately, shockingly, and without warning … they went to a commercial. A commercial.
A commercial. It was like “it was there one second, and then gone the next.”
Our National Anthem was deliberately, on purpose, literally ripped, torn from, our television screens.
I couldn’t believe it. We were so close …
These things just don’t happen without planning. Careful planning.
I couldn’t believe it. Understand, that, as an American, I would be somewhere between surprised and offended. I’m not sure … don’t know how to explain how I felt. But, I felt that something … something really important … had been taken away, literally ripped away from me …
It sounds like I still haven’t gotten over it.
I hope I never do.
I realize how important selling alcohol is.
I realize how important promoting gambling is.
Let me make sure I get this right:
We can promote alcohol and gambling.
We can’t broadcast our National Anthem.
I realize how important selling trucks is.
I realize how important selling insurance is.
(Don’t get me started on why a major sponsor is “Military-Only” insurance, yet it’s ok to not broadcast our National Anthem).
For years, and I’ll be honest, I have enjoyed, even looked forward to, watching Sunday Night Football-America’s Game of the Week.
This same day, I watched the pre-game highlights, and looked forward to the Sunday Night Game. For some reason, on this night, I noticed something:
The “Introduction” Song to the game, the “I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday Night” is known as “The Sunday Night Anthem.”
Maybe it’s always been called that, but for some reason, I really noticed the “Introduction” to the “Introduction.” I heard it … clearly … The “Sunday Night Anthem” has a sponsor … Yes, I clearly heard the announcer say that “The Sunday Night Anthem is sponsored by/brought to you by.” I know I heard correctly. There is a sponsor for the Sunday Night Anthem. It is “brought to you by” …
That’s it! Maybe that’s why the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) doesn’t broadcast our National Anthem!
It’s not sponsored!
That must be it!
The Sunday Night Anthem is broadcast, for all to see and hear … because it is sponsored … “brought to us by” …
And there I was, thinking that the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) must have some other reason for refusing to broadcast our National Anthem.
I mean … what other reason could they possibly have?
So I have a solution:
Let’s have our National Anthem sponsored!
Why didn’t I think of this before?
I mean … the “Sunday Night Anthem” is sponsored, and it is broadcast-without fail, before every Sunday Night broadcast.
Why didn’t I think of this before?
Let’s just have our National Anthem sponsored!
I’ve got it!!!
How about this:
“Our National Anthem is sponsored by the brave men and women who have given their lives, have died to ensure our freedom, for our country, so that we can enjoy the freedoms we so richly enjoy.”
“Our National Anthem is sponsored by our brave men and women who are serving our country, and protecting our freedoms, around the globe at this very moment.”
Why didn’t I think of that before?
Remember, to make the decision to broadcast, or not broadcast our National Anthem, is a decision which has to be make.
Why would a decision be made to not broadcast our National Anthem?
Unless of course … that is the issue … A United America …
There must be some reason we are knowingly and deliberately deprived of this opportunity to “stand, and honor America.”
They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our ears …
They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our eyes …
They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our televisions …
But they will never be able to rip our National Anthem away from our hearts …
Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Here is a short story from The Voice of the Martyrs’ monthly magazine, from September, 2021.
The story makes a great statement about where to look (still, today) for “all the answers,” and reminds how blessed we are here, in this country, for the freedoms we enjoy. Freedoms that, frankly, just don’t exist in so much of the world today:
Tala came to faith in Christ last year, but she was afraid to tell her family. In Iran, where it is illegal to leave Islam, Christian converts often face charges of “acting against national security” as well as potential imprisonment.
But recently, Tala came upon a surprising sight: her brother reading a Bible and her sister working on a crossword puzzle in a Christian magazine. Christian workers had secretly delivered the Bible and Christian magazine to the home of Tala’s family, and her siblings were interested in the materials.
“My sister was asking questions on how to solve the crossword,” Tala said. “When I asked them how they are answering the crossword puzzle questions, they pointed to the Bible and said, ‘This book has the answers to all the questions.’”
Encouraged by their interest, Tala asked workers at a Christian ministry for advice on how to start talking to her family. “Pray for them to find Jesus and that God will use you for that,” they told her.
The Iranian government seeks to silence any witness for Christ, but Voice of the Martyrs continues to support strategies such as Bible distributions and sharing the gospel through various media outlets. Through these efforts, Christian workers are able to connect with many Iranians, such as Tala’s siblings, who might otherwise never hear the gospel.
“Keep praying for all families inside Iran who are looking for answers about real love and a relationship with God.”
To find out more, and to subscribe to their monthly magazine, visit The Voice of the Martyrs website @ https://www.persecution.com/.
VOM Mission: “Serving persecuted Christians through practical and spiritual assistance and leading other members of the body of Christ into fellowship with them.”
Founded by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand in 1967.