The Blue represents the officer and the courage they find deep inside when faced with insurmountable odds. The Black background was designed as a constant reminder of our fallen brother and sister officers. The Line is what police officers protect, the barrier between anarchy and a civilized society, between order and chaos, between respect for decency and lawlessness. Together they symbolize the camaraderie law enforcement officers all share, a brotherhood like none other.
North Brooklin, Maine
30 March 1973
Dear Mr. Nadeau:
As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.
Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society—things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.
Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.
(Signed, ‘E. B. White’)
E. B. White won numerous awards in his lifetime, and with good reason. Born in 1899, he was one of the greatest essayists of his time, he wrote children’s books which have gone on to become classics, such as Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web.
He was also responsible for writing hundreds of wonderful letters.
In March of 1973, he wrote the perfectly formed reply to a Mr. Nadeau, who sought White’s opinion on what he saw as a bleak future for the human race.
(This letter, along with 124 other fascinating pieces of correspondence, can be found in the bestselling book, Letters of Note. For more info, visit Books of Note.)
Our revels now are ended.
These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind.
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Elie Wiesel, the peace advocate and activist, famously warned that “the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.”
‘Action Is the Only Remedy to Indifference’: Elie Wiesel’s Most Powerful Quotes
Forty years ago, a young man awoke, and he found himself an orphan in an orphaned world. What have I learned in the last 40 years — small things. I learned the perils of language and those of silence. I learned that in extreme situations when human lives and dignity are at stake, neutrality is a sin. It helps the killers not the victims. I learned the meaning of solitude, Mr. President. We were alone, desperately alone. Today is April 19th, and April 19, 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto rose in arms against the onslaught of the Nazis. They were so few and so young and so helpless, and nobody came to their help. And they had to fight what was then the mightiest legion in Europe. Every underground received help, except the Jewish underground. And yet, they managed to fight and resist and push back those Nazis and their accomplices for 6 weeks.
Garden at Giverny – Claude Monet 1895
Our children are spending an increasing amount of time staring at screens. And a new study released in January found that children today are struggling with “loneliness or deep levels of unhappiness” as a result of the time they spend on the Internet. The experience of loneliness has always been a part of childhood, of course. But technology, which in some cases can connect children to others virtually, clearly also has the potential to aggravate and introduce new sources of loneliness.
Where can we go to understand the loneliness of childhood? Loneliness is a central theme of Francis Hodges Burnett’s classic, The Secret Garden. The book is a hymn to lonely children and lonely places, lost families and sparse friendships. In this most unhopeful of themes, Burnett gives children the brightest and most hopeful of alternatives, a garden, itself transformed by death and the loneliness of loss. Here is a place where the roots grow deep, and the illusions of what one is and what one has lost fade behind the real sights and scents of life allowed to flourish
Technology will be a part of most children’s lives, in useful (and useless) ways, but teaching children how to step away from their screens, and gravitate toward what can be felt and cultivated in the real world—where they might discover their own secret gardens—will reveal to them the difference between the beauty of stillness and the loneliness of isolation.