Rather than debate, why not make time to reflect…. And read:
The Washington Post
20 November 2018
By Isaac Stanley-Becker
The year that is drawing to its close has been filled with the curse of parched fields and charred skies. To these torments, which are so constantly suffered, others have been added: hurricanes, harassment, gun violence. In 2018, misfortune can’t help but harden the hearts of even the most steadfast believers.
Many Americans will seek sustenance in Thanksgiving, a day “set apart” by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War.
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies,” Lincoln announced in a proclamation issued Oct. 3. “To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”
Today, the celebration commemorates the first harvest of 1621. Its association with frightful violence against Native Americans makes the occasion delicate for some. There is no easy comfort on Thanksgiving, nor on any other day so redolent of the past.
But the reason that tables are set around the country on Thursday is not because of the pilgrims or their exploits. Whether turkey was served at the 17th-century bounty is of little significance. (The original menu is in question.)
It’s because Lincoln, more than two centuries after settlers arrived in Colonial America, saw reason for thanks in the midst of trying times — events that put present strife into perspective. On the urging of poet and magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, the 16th president took what had been a festival celebrated disparately across the country and made it a national holiday, to be observed on the last Thursday of November. (In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt would move it to the fourth Thursday of the month.) It would be a day for “Thanksgiving and Praise," he ordered.
The country was at war over slavery, but still Lincoln saw reason for hope. And his words still hold the power to nourish a divided society.
Americans were waging war against each other, he observed, but “peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict.”
Even the military conflict was cause for optimism, he found, as “that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.” Three months earlier, the Union had scored decisive victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg — turning points in a war testing the endurance of a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” as Lincoln would intone the following month in the Gettysburg Address, which turned 155 years old on Monday.
Meanwhile, the war effort had hardly sapped enterprise, whether on the fields or in the mines. The country, he noted, could rejoice “in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor.”
Military victory, suddenly in sight, promised to bring a “large increase of freedom," Lincoln said.
This Thanksgiving, American soldiers are stationed at the country’s southern border, preparing for the arrival of a caravan of desperate asylum seekers whom President Trump has portrayed as a threat to national security. The 45th president has yet to visit troops deployed in a combat zone, but on Monday he ramped up his criticism of retired Adm. William H. McRaven, who oversaw the killing of Osama bin Laden and the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Trump refers to the armed forces as “my military.” Lincoln, by contrast, saw in the tumultuous events of 1863 good fortune beyond the workings of “any mortal hand.”
“They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy,” Lincoln said, in an order believed to have been crafted by his secretary of state, William H. Seward.
The proclamation mentioned God but no particular religion, making space at the Thanksgiving table for people of many faiths. This is fitting for a holiday that has come to represent civic belonging unfiltered by religious identification, which remains central to other national holidays.
Thanksgiving is about no individual figure. It’s symbolized by no national flag. It’s rather about common bounty and shared bonds.
For these “gifts,” Lincoln declared, Americans should give thanks. “It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People,” he announced. “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Lest the country forget that it was at war, however, Lincoln suggested that Thanksgiving would be an occasion not just to celebrate bounty but to grieve loss. He enjoined Americans to “commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged.” Together, he said, citizens would “implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation."
And for “peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union,” Lincoln proposed, Americans could be thankful.
The Gettysburg Address
19 November 1863
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Please take time today and sit with family and friends and especially with children to read and reflect and discuss the Declaration of Independence. It matters.
This commentary was written by Andy Rooney of CBS News 60 Minutes and originally broadcast on May 29, 2005.
Tomorrow is Memorial Day, the day we have set aside to honor by remembering all the Americans who have died fighting for the thing we like most about our America: the freedom we have to live as we please.
No official day to remember is adequate for something like that. It's too formal. It gets to be just another day on the calendar.
No one would know from Memorial Day that Richie M., who was shot through the forehead coming onto Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, wore different color socks on each foot because he thought it brought him good luck.
No one would remember on Memorial Day that Eddie G. had promised to marry Julie W. the day after he got home from the war, but didn't marry Julie because he never came home from the war. Eddie was shot dead on an un-American desert island, Iwo Jima.
For too many Americans, Memorial Day has become just another day off. There's only so much time any of us can spend remembering those we loved who have died, but the men, boys really, who died in our wars deserve at least a few moments of reflection during which we consider what they did for us.
We use the phrase "gave their lives," but they didn't give their lives. Their lives were taken from them.
There is more bravery at war than in peace, and it seems wrong that we have so often saved this virtue to use for our least noble activity - war. The goal of war is to cause death to other people.
Because I was in the Army during World War II, I have more to remember on Memorial Day than most of you. I had good friends who were killed.
Charley Wood wrote poetry in high school. He was killed when his Piper Cub was shot down while he was flying as a spotter for the artillery.
Bob O'Connor went down in flames in his B-17.
Obie Slingerland and I were best friends and co-captains of our high school football team. Obie was killed on the deck of the Saratoga when a bomb that hadn't dropped exploded as he landed.
I won't think of them anymore tomorrow, Memorial Day, than I think of them any other day of my life.
Remembering doesn't do the remembered any good, of course. It's for ourselves, the living. I wish we could dedicate Memorial Day, not to the memory of those who have died at war, but to the idea of saving the lives of the young people who are going to die in the future if we don't find some new way - some new religion maybe - that takes war out of our lives.
That would be a Memorial Day worth celebrating.
We found two (2) of these dollhouse kits from Real Good Toys in Vermont. The retail price was US$301.99.
We would like to donate them to two (2) not-for-profit locally-focused organizations, not national organizations, for use as fundraising tools.
If your organization has an interest in receiving one of the dollhouse kits, please send a letter to us either by mail to 3366 Union Road, Cheektowaga, New York 14225, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your letter should share how the dollhouse would be used to support the mission of your organization. All submissions should be received by 15 January 2018.
We will then select two beneficiaries, post the letters on our Facebook page and at www.niagarahobby.com, and schedule a pick-up.
While we are not in the retail business, we remain in the giving business.....
Wishing you and your family health and prosperity during this Holiday Season, on Christmas Day and throughout The New Year
For Christmas, Hanukkah, Birthday or just because you want it....
For trains, consider Artcraft in Hamburg, New York, or Aurora Rails & Hobbies in East Aurora, New York.
For Radio Control (and hobby tools & accessories), consider Field's Hobby in Cheektowaga, New York.
For toys, consider Clayton's Toys in Williamsville, New York.
For slot cars, consider Ace Hobby in Niagara Falls, New York.
For plastic models (and rockets), consider Ace Hobby in Niagara Falls, New York, and national chains A.C. Moore, Michael, Hobby Lobby and Ollie's Bargain Outlet.
For die cast, consider Buffalo Road Imports in Clarence, New York....
For art supplies, consider Hyatt's, Michael's, and JOANN.
Wishing everyone a most reflective day.... While enjoying parades, sporting events, immense quantities of food.... please take time to remember the meaning, the history of this day....
Don't shop today. Use the moments with family and friends to appreciate each other, to appreciate yourself....
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.
On Saturday, 25 November 2017, American Express sponsors "Small Business Saturday" during which the company encourages consumers to focus upon local independent
The challenge is for local independent retailers to compete with the multi-million dollar marketing budgets of retailers with national operations and with Internet-only providers, both of whom focus upon the week leading into Thanksgiving Day, the day after, known as Black Friday, and then the accompanying weekend.
So, we suggest that Western New York shoppers begin this weekend... Western New York's very own Small Business Saturday on 18 November 2017.
If you are looking for trains, consider Artcraft in Hamburg, New York, or Aurora Rails & Hobbies in East Aurora, New York. For Radio Control, consider Field's Hobby in Cheektowaga, New York. For toys, consider Clayton's Toys in Williamsville, New York.
We are awaiting pick-up (update: items delivered on 25 October 2017) for our donation to Toys for Tots, organized by https://buffalo-ny.toysfortots.org/local-coo…/…/default.aspx, who do wonderful work..... Just because we have closed our doors does not mean that the giving doesn't continue...
The Buffalo News
Buffalo, New York
My View: Hobby shop’s closing signals end of an era
By My View | Published October 12, 2017
By Carol Ann Gleason
Two of my grandsons, ages 10 and 12, were at my house last month. The Buffalo News was on the kitchen table. While going through the paper in search of the most important pages – the comics – they came across a headline: “Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart has closed.”
We read the news of the hobby shop closing with surprise and sadness. The boys and I talked about our memories of being at the hobby shop.
When Grandad and Grandma visit from Oklahoma, the hobby shop is the first place they take the children. Not only did the boys have fun racing their cars, they knew Grandad and Grandma would add to their collection of cars.
Their little sister would enjoy looking at the craft items and doll furniture. She also knew that she would be bringing something home.
Spending time at the hobby shop was a whole family event.
After reading the article, the boys realized the hobby shop would be opened the following Saturday. It would be one last day to reminisce, purchase cars and race their cars on the track. The plan was made!
On Saturday morning, the grandchildren would come to my house for breakfast, then Papa would drive them to the hobby shop at 9 a.m. I made them pancakes with maple syrup and whipped cream.
The boys had their money and knew what cars they wanted to buy. They were full of anticipation and excitement during the 20-minute drive.
Upon arrival there already was a line. The boys knew where the cars they wanted would be. Alas, even at that early hour, there was only one left! And that Indy car became their prized possession.
Time to cash out meant waiting in the long line that meandered up and down the aisles of the shop. They waited patiently like the other enthusiastic customers. The crowd was friendly and seemed to radiate a quiet and peaceful thanks for having one last day to visit the hobby shop.
As my grandsons were enjoying their time racing Indy around the track, they knew this was their last race at the hobby shop.
While the boys were inside, their sister played on the caboose, which also was for sale. It had a fair but hefty price tag. The children hoped Papa and Nana could afford to buy it.
Their sister was not interested in cars but did find a kite. She is now waiting for a windy day to fly the kite with Papa.
The closing of the Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart was sad news. The boys learned that there are disappointments in life. Now where will they race slot cars? They’ve already done some investigating and became aware of another shop in the area.
Maybe the boys will receive a race track for their October birthdays. It is quite possible that when Grandad and Grandma come to visit at Christmastime, the boys will be making new memories as they race cars on their own race track in the basement.
Hobbies seem to cross generational lines and create memories of fun and companionship. As John S. Kavulich leaves the business, he can be very proud that his dad’s hobbies provided so much fun for so many.
In just a few days my husband and I saw disappointment, enjoyment and anticipation in our grandchildren’s lives. We were glad we were able to “steer” them through these “tracks” of life.
By the way, the boys and I continue to read the comics in The Buffalo News.
Carol Ann Gleason, who lives in Kenmore, likes making memories with her grandchildren.
Today, John Kavulich Sr. Collection of sixteen (16) wooden aircraft models was delivered to PVT. Leonard Post Jr. VFW 6251 located at 2450 Walden Avenue in the Town of Cheektowaga, New York.
The collection, which includes aircraft from the dawn of flight (Wright Flyer), through WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, and present day will be displayed for all visitors to enjoy while they participate (and support) the many activities hosted by and sponsored by PVT. Leonard Post Jr. VFW 6251.
We are happy to have donated a dollhouse kit to the Heritage Education Program, soon to be known as ARC of Erie County. They will use the dollhouse to raise funds for the amazing work that they do with children.....http://www.heritagecenters.org/
The following offers a narrative for what Brick & Mortar experiences are all about... and the Internet is unable to offer...... We are grateful for these words for they reflect the mission of our founder- sharing.
My son and I are deeply saddened by the closing of the store. He has been coming to your establishment since he was three years old. He's now ten. He loves trains! He came in on so many occasions simply to watch the trains on the models.
My son is on the Autism Spectrum and your store provided so much comfort and happiness to him. It was always a special treat when he could go and spend a few hours and leave with either a Thomas train another type of model or a craft to do. I had to break the news to him yesterday and he was devastated.. We will be by this Saturday for one last goodbye.
Thank you for allowing children (everyone!) to enjoy your hobby store for so many years! It will be greatly missed!
J and K"
15 September 2017
16 September 2017
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
We are immensely grateful for the gracious, and in many instances personal messages delivered to us by telephone, email and social media. Having a positive impact upon generations of families is heartwarming.
Our founder had two phrases that reflected his vision: “Celebrating Families, Building Traditions… All In One Place.” And “Begin something today that you, your family and friends will enjoy for a lifetime.”
That the free children’s events, free use of the slot car tracks, free use of the pinewood derby track, free gaming and model building, the interactive train layout, retaining free layaway when other stores didn’t (and worked with customers when financial issues arose), and the Holiday Tradition of Santa, his Elf and his reindeer visiting our caboose and every child receiving a gift and free photograph… meant so much to so many reflects our founder’s philosophy- free meant free; no gimmicks. Equally satisfying was the support that we delivered for thirty-one years to individuals and organizations throughout Western New York.
We heard from many who asked for a last opportunity to visit…. Thank you for that.
So, we want to provide a final opportunity for our longtime customers, our extended family really, to visit us and make use of 70% off your purchase.
With this note, Niagara Hobby & Craft Mart has closed its doors after nearing thirty-two years located in the Town of Cheektowaga, New York.
We wish to thank our employees- many of whom began with us as high school students and continued with us through, and sometimes past, their college and university years; our suppliers- manufacturers and wholesalers for ensuring that we had the products we needed; those organizations throughout Western New York that permitted us to support their good work; and our customers, whose transactions made possible our journey.
Perhaps, you may see us again.
Today, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm is the FINAL DAY for our 50% end-of-summer clearance sale.... Save even more on our already low prices... Lionel trains, Estes rockets, Dremel tools, paints and brushes (hobby, art & craft), Built-up (many with LEDs) G scale, O scale, HO scale and N scale structures; Pinewood Derby accessories, slot car accessories, Thomas & Friends, Schleich animals, Dollhouses and accessories... and much more! All sales final.