From the Master of Kadosh (November, 2009)

posted May 16, 2015, 7:15 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 16, 2015, 7:15 PM ]

Brethren,

The month of November always makes me think of Thanksgiving. A lot of people remember back to their childhood and experiences with family gatherings and the big Thanksgiving dinner. Preparation and serving involved many hours and lots of people, shopping, planning, and coordination. As a little kid, it was fun to watch. As I got older, I had to start helping, usually doing really boring stuff like peeling, mashing, measuring, etc. But once the meal hit the table, it was worth it.
Typically, no matter how big the crowd, there was enough food to feed four times the number of people present. Divvying up the leftovers and figuring out who brought what dishes and utensils was a big a part of clean-up afterwards. The men always watched football games. The women always got stuck washing the dishes. 
The idea of Thanksgiving is to get together and give thanks. That’s the story they tell about the pilgrims. Making the effort to think about things that you are thankful for is good therapy, especially when times are difficult. We are really good at focusing on what we want. Not so good at recalling what we already have. And we’re pretty good at taking for granted the things of greatest value, too.
During the Grand Master’s Reception at the Scottish Rite Center in October, MW Ken Nagle, talked about his project, helping World War II veterans to travel to see the National World War II Memorial in Washington DC. That memorial was built to remember and express thanks to the 400,000+ Americans who died serving in that conflict. You can read about the Memorial and see photos online at http://www.wwiimemorial.com/.
One question that I wondered about, which actor and Memorial Campaign Spokesman Tom Hanks mentioned, is that despite the herculean effort of the war, overseas and at home, no memorial was constructed until nearly 60 years later. The reason was that, once the war was finally over, people just wanted to get on with life. Generous benefits like the G.I. Bill, made it possible for surviving servicemen to obtain college degrees and pursue careers. And they did. My father was one of them. He was among “The Greatest Generation.” Those guys and gals did not seek recognition, they had lives to build and a country to rebuild. And they did.
The National World War II Memorial is a great treasure. Not so much for the heroes and heroines it commemorates, as for the present and future visitors who must learn their story. Reading Tom Brokaw’s book is a good idea, too.
The Memorial encourages us to remember a tremendous and vital struggle that took place in the 20th century. Followed by the building of America as we know her today. Many of you reading this article participated in or supported that struggle and accomplishment. I came along later, as the great work reached fruition. So pretty much all I can say is, “thanks to you” on this Thanksgiving day..

Daniel Doornbos - Master of Kadosh