Fourth annual patriotic program in Ferron honors the memory of September 11
Ferron City held their fourth annual patriotic program in conjunction with Peach Days. Mayor JoAnn Behling welcomed everyone to the program. "This is the fourth year for this celebration to honor veterans, and to honor pioneers and those lost on September 11. It's a privilege to be the mayor of Ferron and to serve you in this beautiful place we call home. Some have had to leave to find work elsewhere. Things will turn around. We've seen it in the past, these boom and bust cycles. People will be able to come back to Ferron and raise their families here. There is hope for the future. Thanks to all of you who love Ferron and try to make it better. Catch the spirit of Ferron and work to make your homes and yards beautiful. We appreciate all the volunteers we have in Ferron. Thanks to our hometown heroes. Thanks to our Peach Days committee and to the flag committee for putting together this beautiful field of flags."
Mark DeBry sang the National Anthem. The prayer was given by Pres. Bennion. The American Legion posted the colors. Tina, TJ and Tyler Lacock, Zachary Parlo and Sarah Swasey presented, Never, Never, Never, Forget 911. A readers theatre which won a first place finish in competition.
Cameron Larsen sang, "America the Beautiful."
Lou Sansevero read a story called Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs by Tom Burnett adapted from 'On Combat' Â - Grossman/Christensen 5-8-11.
Â "Most of the people in our society are sheep. We may be in the most violent times in history but, in America, violence is still remarkable rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
"I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without it's hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, citizens still need warriors to protect them from predators.
"Then there are wolves - and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it's not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
"Then there are sheepdogs. I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy and productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath: a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog. You will walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed. You have chosen the Way of the Warrior.
"Let me expand on the model of sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools, but many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard to contemplate; so they choose the path of denial.
"The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer he didn't go around armed at all. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white and go "Baaa"; until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind the sheepdog. Sheep have two speeds, 'graze' and 'stampede' and 98 percent of them are prey items for wolves. Sheepdogs are benign creatures, but they have a job. They have no choice but to do it.
"But a sheepdog is a funny critter. He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, hunting for things that go 'bump' in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.
"Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After 9/11 most Americans said "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes". The sheepdogs, the warriors, said "I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference". Another Tom Burnett was on United flight 93. He made a difference. His last words over the phone were "Let's roll." That plane didn't make it to its target. He was 38 years old and married. He, and many of his fellow passengers, were warriors."
"If I may be so bold as to add a personal thought to this wonderful essay by Tom Burnett, today we are met here to honor that other Tom Burnett, the heroes of flight 93, the 3,000 who perished on September 11, 2001, and all the warriors who serve or have served to protect this flock called America, let us all vow today to become sheep dogs," said Sansevero.
Commissioner Ethan Migliori told the story of how the flag was made that flew over Baltimore the night Francis Scott Key composed the verses that became the National Anthem. "In the history of America there have been great heroes," said Migliori.
Sarah Swasey sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Mayor Behling gave her closing remarks and thanked everyone for coming and thanks to Jerry Thomas for coordinating the field of flags display.
Pastor Tim Lacock gave the closing prayer.