Category Archives: Holiday

  • Veteran’s Day 2019

    “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”

    On November 5, 1983 Ronald Reagan made a poignant address to America’s Veterans via his weekly radio address.

    My Fellow Americans:

    Next Friday, November 11th, we’ll celebrate Veterans Day — the day America sets aside to honor millions of our finest heroes. They are the men and women who defend our country and preserve our peace and freedom. This Veterans Day offers more reason than ever to think about what these special people mean to America.

    Our most recent heroes — those still serving and those who have just come back from Beirut and Grenada — carried on with the same dedication and valor as their colleagues before them. If we remember that their dedicated service is in defense of our freedom and if we understand that they put their lives on the line so we might enjoy justice and liberty, then their sacrifices will not be in vain. This is our obligation. And this has been the spirit of Veterans Day from the beginning.

    Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. It was first celebrated in 1919, the year we commemorated the armistice ending a war that was to have ended all wars. Two years later, a solemn ceremony was held in Chalons-sur-Marne, a town in northeastern France. The ceremony would have deep meaning for America. The remains of four unknown American soldiers had been brought to the town square from four American military cemeteries in France. An American sergeant, Edward F. Younger, placed a bouquet of white roses on one of the caskets. The American Unknown Soldier of World War I had been designated. After transport across the Atlantic aboard Admiral Dewey’s flagship, the cruiser Olympia, our nation laid this hero to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on Armistice Day, November 11, 1921.

    Sixty-two years have now passed. Millions of people from every corner of the world have come to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay their respects to America’s fallen heroes. The First World War did not end all wars. The assault on freedom and human dignity did not end. Our nation had laid to rest too many other heroes. From Guadalcanal and Omaha Beach to Mig Alley and Pork Chop Hill, from Khe Sanh and the A Shau Valley to Beirut, America’s best continue to give of themselves for us and for freedom-loving people everywhere. Yes, veterans have given their best for all of us, and we must continue to do our best by them.

    Today, I reaffirm my determination to obtain the fullest possible accounting for our Americans missing in Southeast Asia. The sacrifices they made and may still be making and the uncertainty their families still endure deeply trouble us all. We must not rest until we know their fate.

    Our hearts turn also to our disabled veterans. Their sacrifices and hardship endure every day of the year. A compassionate government will show them that we do remember and honor them. We will meet their special needs. In particular, there is no substitute for caring, quality health care, and that care will be provided.

    Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I went there to pay tribute to the many who gave their last full measure of their devotion. They kept faith with us and, indeed, they were heroes. Where do we get such brave young Americans? And where do we get those that came to their aid — the marines in Beirut who witnessed an unspeakable tragedy and returned to their posts with the same dedication and even greater resolve; the air crews working around the clock; the Army doctors performing medical miracles; and the sailors helping in countless ways? Such men and women can only come from a nation that remains true to the ideals of our Founding Fathers.

    I also met with families and friends of those who lost their lives. I share their sorrow, and they have my prayers, as I know they have yours. These brave men protected our heritage of liberty. We must carry on. I believe we can and will. The spirit and patriotism that made America great is alive and well.

    There was a brief ceremony in a hospital ward of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, last week that showed what I’m talking about. News photographers were taking pictures of soldiers who had just been awarded Purple Hearts and other decorations for valor. One wounded soldier, Private First Class Timothy Romick of the First Battalion, 75th Rangers, wearing a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantry Badge on his pajamas, interrupted the photographers. He said, “Wait a minute.” And he pulled out a small American flag. This young Army ranger put the flag above his decorations. And then he said, “Okay. You can take your pictures now, because this is what I’m proudest of.”

    Each time our nation has called upon our citizens to serve, the best have come forward. Words cannot express our gratitude and admiration. But we can and should take the opportunity on this Veterans Day to remember their gift to us. When you see one of our young men and women in uniform on the street or someplace, how about a smiling “hello” and, maybe, a “thank you.”

    Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us. That is our duty. They have never let America down. We will not let them down.

    Until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.

    Note: The President spoke at 12:06 p.m. from Camp David, Md.

    Source: The Ronald Reagan Library

  • Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

    1. The idea first became public in 1882. In September 1882, the unions of New York City decided to have a parade to celebrate their members being in unions, and to show support for all unions. At least 20,000 people were there, and the workers had to give up a day’s pay to attend. There was also a lot of beer involved in the event.

    2. The New York parade inspired other unions. Other regions started having parades, and by 1887, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Colorado made Labor Day a state holiday.

    3. How did the Haymarket Affair influence Labor Day? On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a union rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square, which led to violence that killed seven police officers and four others. The incident also led to May 1 being celebrated in most nations as Workers Day. The U.S. government chose Labor Day instead to avoid a celebration on May 1 and New York’s unions had already picked the first Monday in September for their holiday.

    4. Two people with similar names are credited with that first New York City event. Matthew Maguire, a machinist, and Peter McGuire, a carpenter, have been linked to the 1882 parade. The men were from rival unions; in 2011, Linda Stinson, a former U.S. Department of Labor’s historian, said she didn’t know which man should be credited – partially because people over the years confused them because of their similar-sounding names.

    5. Grover Cleveland helped make Labor Day a national holiday. After violence related to the Pullman railroad strike, President Cleveland and lawmakers in Washington wanted a federal holiday to celebrate labor – and not a holiday celebrated on May 1. Cleveland signed an act in 1894 establishing the federal holiday; most states had already passed laws establishing a Labor Day holiday by that point. Sen. James Henderson Kyle of South Dakota introduced S. 730 to make Labor Day a federal legal holiday on the first Monday of September. It was approved on June 28, 1894.

    6. The holiday has evolved over the years. In the late 19th century, celebrations focused on parades in urban areas. Now the holiday is a celebration that honors organized labor with fewer parades, and more activities. It also marks the perceived end of the summer season.

    7. Can you wear white after Labor Day? This old tradition goes back to the late Victorian era, where it was a fashion faux pas to wear any white clothing after the summer officially ended on Labor Day. The tradition isn’t really followed anymore. EmilyPost.com explains the logic behind the fashion trend – white indicated you were still in vacation mode at your summer cottage.

    8. Labor Day is the unofficial end of Hot Dog season. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says that between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans will eat 7 billion hot dogs.

    9. How many people are union members today? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 14.8 million union members in the workforce in 2017. There were 17.7 million in 1983.

    10. What is the biggest union today? The National Education Association has about 3 million people who are members, including inactive and lifetime members.

  • Happy Memorial Day 2019

    “Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.””Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.” –Pete Hegseth

  • Easter Thought 2019

    Evan Esar (1899–1995) was an American humorist who wrote Esar’s Comic Dictionary in 1943, Humorous English in 1961, and 20,000 Quips and Quotes in 1968.

    “Easter is the only time when it’s perfectly safe to put all your eggs in one basket.”

    We hope you have a blessed Easter celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ with your loved ones.   While we love Esar’s quote and it brings a bit of humor, we would be remiss if we did not share the most famous quote of The Bible for the Gospel of John:

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    – John 3:16

  • Veteran’s Day 2018

    Image

    “While only one day a year is dedicated solely to honoring our veterans, Americans must never forget the sacrifices that many of our fellow countrymen have made to defend our country and protect our freedoms.”

    -Randy Neugebauer

    2018 marks the 100 year anniversary of Veteran’s Day and the end of World War I.  Discover the origins of Armistice Day, now Veterans Day, from National Museum of American History curator Frank Blazich.

  • Happy Labor Day!

    Labor Day 2

    1. The idea first became public in 1882. In September 1882, the unions of New York City decided to have a parade to celebrate their members being in unions, and to show support for all unions. At least 20,000 people were there, and the workers had to give up a day’s pay to attend. There was also a lot of beer involved in the event.

    2. The New York parade inspired other unions. Other regions started having parades, and by 1887, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Colorado made Labor Day a state holiday.

    3. How did the Haymarket Affair influence Labor Day? On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a union rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square, which led to violence that killed seven police officers and four others. The incident also led to May 1 being celebrated in most nations as Workers Day. The U.S. government chose Labor Day instead to avoid a celebration on May 1 and New York’s unions had already picked the first Monday in September for their holiday.

    4. Two people with similar names are credited with that first New York City event. Matthew Maguire, a machinist, and Peter McGuire, a carpenter, have been linked to the 1882 parade. The men were from rival unions; in 2011, Linda Stinson, a former U.S. Department of Labor’s historian, said she didn’t know which man should be credited – partially because people over the years confused them because of their similar-sounding names.

    5. Grover Cleveland helped make Labor Day a national holiday. After violence related to the Pullman railroad strike, President Cleveland and lawmakers in Washington wanted a federal holiday to celebrate labor – and not a holiday celebrated on May 1. Cleveland signed an act in 1894 establishing the federal holiday; most states had already passed laws establishing a Labor Day holiday by that point. Sen. James Henderson Kyle of South Dakota introduced S. 730 to make Labor Day a federal legal holiday on the first Monday of September. It was approved on June 28, 1894.

    6. The holiday has evolved over the years. In the late 19th century, celebrations focused on parades in urban areas. Now the holiday is a celebration that honors organized labor with fewer parades, and more activities. It also marks the perceived end of the summer season.

    7. Can you wear white after Labor Day? This old tradition goes back to the late Victorian era, where it was a fashion faux pas to wear any white clothing after the summer officially ended on Labor Day. The tradition isn’t really followed anymore. EmilyPost.com explains the logic behind the fashion trend – white indicated you were still in vacation mode at your summer cottage.

    8. Labor Day is the unofficial end of Hot Dog season. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says that between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans will eat 7 billion hot dogs.

    9. How many people are union members today? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 14.8 million union members in the workforce in 2017. There were 17.7 million in 1983.

    10. What is the biggest union today? The National Education Association has about 3 million people who are members, including inactive and lifetime members.

  • Happy 4th of July!

    Happy 4th of July from all of us at the NextLevel Thinking team! We hope your holiday is safe, fun, and full patriotic spirit!

    NLT 4th of July

    “I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.” -Wendell Willkie

  • Happy Father’s Day from NextLevel Thinking

    Happy Father’s Day

    Happy Father’s Day!  In time yore, the ultimate mother threat was, “Just wait till your father gets home.”  Meant to instill terror in a child’s heart, it usually succeeded because father was that big scary person brought in to apply consequences when mother’s authority was undermined.

    Thank God that has changed, at least in most families.  To today’s child, the phrase instills pleasure instead of fear.  I wonder how many fathers realize that anticipation of their homecoming is often the highlight of their children’s day.  Don’t believe this?  Okay, let’s explain it.

    Wait till your father comes home means the security of knowing you have a father when half the kids in your class don’t.  And it means knowing he will come home, when this is an uncertainty among your friends.  It means you are special enough to make him want to come home to you.  It means you are more important to him than all those other things he could be doing…drinking with his friends, working out, going to a baseball game without you, etc.

    Wait till your father comes home means he will be home to answer your endless questions, especially the how’s and where’s and whys, as in, “How do butterflies know when to come out of the cocoon?” and “Where does the white go when the snow melts?” and  “Why do I have to go?”  As you get older and struggle with acne, then income tax forms, and maybe broken hearts or marriages, he’s still there to answer your questions.

    Wait till your father comes home means relief from and for Mom who has run out of patience, energy and answers to, “Now what can I do?”  Dad means dangling on the knee, wrestling on the floor, and working on the car together. It means a new parent to badger, and new gender to enjoy, and a new body to cuddle up next to when you’ve all run out of ideas and pep.

    Wait till your father comes home means, sometimes, the delicious thought of being invited to a game, a workout, or a fishing trip with him, that wonderful “out with Dad” experience that most kids dream of but rarely get, especially if you’re a girl.  Being out with Dad means being treated like a miniature grownup and it doesn’t end with the outing because you play it over and over in your mind for weeks, bragging to friends, “When my dad and I went…” and they listen with wistful envy.

    Wait till your father comes home means, sometimes, a long wait, if he’s out of town on business, in the military on duty, or in the hospital with complications.  You’re afraid he might forget what you look like because he becomes fuzzy to you but you know he won’t because dads don’t forget like kids do.  Sometimes you think he’s never coming back but you know he will because he’s your father and he’ll bring you something, too.  And he’ll say how big you’ve grown and how proud he is of you and you forgive him for being away.

    Finally, wait till your father comes home means that when his big scary hairy body shrinks and wears out, and God calls him to live with Him in His eternal love, you know you have a special ally up there, rooting for you, because he always has.  You know, deep down, death won’t stop him from loving you.  And you come to know that you aren’t alone – God has been waiting for your father to come home , too.

    Written by Dolores Curran, a mother of three children, who lives in Littleton, Colorado.  The article was published on June 2, 1995 and sent to Eric Poerschke by his mother to wish him a Happy Father’s Day.

  • Happy Memorial Day from NextLevel Thinking!

    Happy Memorial Day from NextLevel Thinking!
    When having a Happy Memorial Day, please consider this quote:
    Freedom does not come without a price. We may sometimes take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the ultimate sacrifice paid by so many of the members of our armed forces.”
    -Charles Dent
    NLT Memorial Day Final copy

    While the first commemorative Memorial Day events weren’t held in the United States until the late 19th century, the practice of honoring those who have fallen in battle dates back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans held annual days of remembrance for loved ones (including soldiers) each year, festooning their graves with flowers and holding public festivals and feasts in their honor. In Athens, public funerals for fallen soldiers were held after each battle, with the remains of the dead on display for public mourning before a funeral procession took them to their internment in the Kerameikos, one of the city’s most prestigious cemeteries. One of the first known public tributes to war dead was in 431 B.C., when the Athenian general and statesman Pericles delivered a funeral oration praising the sacrifice and valor of those killed in the Peloponnesian War—a speech that some have compared in tone to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

  • 3 Easy April Fool’s Pranks for Easter

    Easter_Email_Banner_NLT_(1)

    Do you realize that Easter falls on April 1st this year?  2018 provides an interesting opportunity for all of us to have a little Easter themed April Fool’s fun with the children (or adults) in our lives.

    We’re sharing our favorite, easy pranks from around the web:

    Easter_Bunny_Poop_2

     

    #1 Easter Bunny Poop!

    Easter Bunny Poop! Yes, poop is gross, but I don’t know what it is about potty humor that makes kids (and some adults) laugh.

    You can either leave a trail of bunny poop (jelly beans) or leave a handful in your toilet.  Either way your are sure to get lots of giggles.  [Source]

     

     

    #2 Egg Dyeing 101

    37517973 - three cups with dye, a basket of brown eggs and cartons of undyed and dyed eggs on a rustic white wood kitchen table.

    Swap out a few of the hard-boiled eggs with raw ones in hopes that someone will accidentally squeeze too hard or drop it when they’redecorating.

    Messy? Yes. Funny? Absolutely!

    Tip: Make sure you somehow mark the raw eggs so you know which is which afterwards. [Source]

     

    #3 What’s in the Easter Egg?

    easter-specific-april-fools-pranks_1

    This year fill eggs with goodies like veggies, empty candy wrappers, or better yet, candy wrappers that have had the candy swapped with veggies. Ew!

    If you need to prep things ahead of time, consider stuffing eggs with fake money, instead of real. [Source]

     

    We hope your Easter is blessed and full of laughter.  

    The NextLevel Thinking Team

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