Today we remember the tragedy inflicted on us by Osama bin Laden. Our newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, summarized the news from Sept. 11, 2001, “Nearly 3000 people were killed as 19 al-Qaida hijackers seized control of four jetliners, sending two of the planes into New York’s World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and the fourth into a field in western Pennsylvania.”
I would add that the fourth plane was aiming for the Capitol Building but brave passengers organized and attacked the hijackers causing the plane to crash near Shanksville. Recall the words of Todd Beamer, ‘Let’s roll.’
Queen Elizabeth died last week, at 96. Her reign as Queen lasted 70 years, beginning when Harry Truman was our President. No Queen (or King) will ever serve longer, or more honorably.
While we mourn the death (or more accurately, celebrate the life) of Queen Elizabeth, let me go back 25 years to my second, third, and fourth “Weekly Comments.” First, Princess Diana died in a car wreck: “Wasn’t it terrible what happened to that princess. Perhaps no person has been so loved by everyone around the world as Diana. Out of six billion, it seems the only person who did not love her was Charles.”
The next week Mother Teresa died: “We lost two of our favorite humanitarians in six days. Sister Teresa lived a long life, rich in every way except in dollars. Princess Diana had a rich life, ended tragically at a young age. I can offer no improvement in the way the Catholic church selects their sisters, but I do suggest that all future princesses be selected from the ranks of kindergarten teachers.”
Then in mid-September, Cavett Robert died. You may not recognize the name, but as I wrote in 1997, “Among professional speakers [Cavett’s death] is important because he founded the National Speakers Association. He was born in 1907 and was educated as a lawyer. He didn’t give his first paid speech until he was 61.”
In case you’re concerned that back then I only wrote about prominent people dying, I assure you that politics, sports and other interesting events soon dominated Weekly Comments.
The Will Rogers quotes I included 25 years ago apply today to Queen Elizabeth. Also, to the First Responders and other heroes who lost their lives 21 years ago today.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“It’s only the inspiration of those who die that makes those who live realize what constitutes a useful life.” DT# 2056, March 7, 1933
“Live your life so that whenever you lose it, you’re ahead.” WA #445, July 5, 1931