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 A letter from Scott Settlemire

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Join date : 2009-12-29
Age : 53
Location : Indy

PostSubject: A letter from Scott Settlemire   Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:37 pm

Scott Settlemire

Good morning, Camaro Comrades and Firebird Friends.....

As we gather with friends and family, we celebrate this Holiday Season.....

Whether you are a believer or a non-believer, I'd like to share something with you that's appropriate for today.....
...
As Church Bells in our tiny town of Mars started to toll last evening announcing Christmas Eve Services, I looked into Mom Settlemire's back yard - at a bell that's been in our family for nearly a century.....it once sat atop a Baltimore and Ohio Steam Engine -- piloted by my Great Grandfather, Thomas G. Henry. The bell has been rung for many, many years by family members on Holidays such as Christmas - The 4th of July - and New Years. As I looked at it -- it brought back many very happy memories......and yet it left me wondering how we make sense of what's happening in our world these days. Volunteer Firemen gunned down in Webster, NY - and tiny children and teachers taken from us in Newtown.

....and I thought of the Christmas Song "I Heartd the Bells on Christmas Day"

We've all heard the song -- be it on a radio or walking thru a shopping mall -- or perhaps during a church service. The words were a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow... -- and I wondered what inspired the author to write the words......

It seems that Mr. Longfellow was deeply disturbed to find that, during the American Civil War, his son joined the Union Army without his father's blessing. According to letters found years later, Charles Appleton Longfellow wrote to his father:

"I have tried hard to resist the temptation of going without your leave but I cannot any longer," he wrote. "I feel it to be my first duty to do what I can for my country and I would willingly lay down my life for it if it would be of any good".

Soon thereafter, he was critically injured in the Battle of New Hope Church. This news was received by Mr, Longfellow just as he'd buried his wife who had died in a fire. I can only imagine how bleak the world around him looked.....and yet he was inspired to write the poem "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."

And so I ask the believer and the non-believer alike to read the words - and know that we live in a most amazing time. Yes, bad things happen - but we still enjoy amazing freedom - freedom won by millions - including a band of men who risked all on Christmas night 236 years ago --

Bleak as times may seem, there is always hope. We come together as family and as friends not only to celebrate the season, but to 'hope' and know that the future remains bright.

My wish to each of you is that you have a most Happy Holiday Season - a Merry Christmas - and may 2013 bring you all that is good.

God Bless us one and all..........

* * * * * * * * * * *


I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and mild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken son
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the son,
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

_________________
1968 Camaro SS 396-then
now-1968 Camaro SS LSX 408/M6
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A letter from Scott Settlemire
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