Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Day Hope Won

By Pandora Poikilos

*In conjunction with Memorial Day Weekend and 
Blog Tour De Troops, this post is in support of the brave men and women who fight so we can be free, who bear witness to the atrocities that we are ignorant to and who bear courage in so many ways that we cannot begin to comprehend. God Bless you and your families. 

There is a word tucked away in our vocabulary that has such immense power, it is always surprising us. It can have world leaders on their feet for hours in a day in the sun, it can have celebrities dipping their hands in oil or pushing their way through rubble, it has normal people like you and me giving someone else a smile, even a tired one no matter how rotten our day may seem and most of all, it has the power to make the difference between giving up and moving forward. What is this word? It is called, H-O-P-E.

I have made many posts on this, some my own and others that I have felt compelled to share. The following may be incidents that we have been very blessed and fortunate to have avoided in our lifetimes, but it doesn't make them less true. Some were started with the worst of intentions in mind but in the end has brought out of the best of people. There is a saying - There are three versions to every story. Mine, his and the truth. So, while I will not politically debate each incident in length, let's take it for the moment we will remember them for, when hope won.

Marching For Peace
In the heat of all that the Irish Republican Army did, one incident stands out even more than the rest. On 10 August 1976, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) getaway car was desperate to escape a British Army patrol car who was even more adamant that the IRA car will not succeed in making its getaway. Three children, Joanne Maguire (aged 9), John Maguire (aged 3) and Andrew Maguire (aged 6 weeks) died as a result of this exchange. Their mother Anne Maguire would never be able to overcome this incident and would later commit suicide.

Her sister Mairead Maguire alongside Betty Williams who witnessed the incident responded to this violent act by organising a peace march attended by 10,000 Protestant and Catholic women to the graves of the Maguire children. Members of the IRA disrupted the march and hurled insults at the participants accusing them of being influenced by the British.

They retaliated by organising another peace march the following week. This time 35,000 people marched with Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams demanding that violence be stopped at all costs in their country. This peace march would in turn be the spark for many other peace demonstrations and would also function as the turning point for both women being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.

Men Do Not Think
Apparently, that is what Adolf Hitler was counting on as he set about his campaign of hate and said (in full), “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” In sparking a war that killed approximately 70 million people, Hitler has a strong foothold in the memories of many as the most hated man in the world. He used his 'leadership' to carry out crimes as heinous as starving people to death, using human skin to make lamp shades and making people feel that death of any kind would be a better option than to be alive within his reach.

As troops fought hard to stay alive and win a war that so few saw any point in there was a moment in time when all appeared to be lost. The German army had cut off troop movement towards France. Winston Churchill regarded this as one of the greatest military defeats of time. With very little maneuvering space available, between 26 May and 4 June 1940 Operation Dynamo fell into place. More than 338,000 British and French soldiers who were trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk, France would need to be rescued. While the army went all out to do their part it was the 700 private boats that sailed from Ramsgate in England to Dunkirk that created a sensation. They sailed back and forth, scooping up the wounded, dodging air bombs and braving night sails. The event would later be referred to as the Little Ships Of Dunkirk but carried it with it the very emblem of war, leave no man behind.

The much sought after surrender of Germany and the beginning of the end of World War 2 came from the surrender of Germany's Axis powers on 7 May 1945 to Western Allies and to the Soviet Union on 8 May 1945 about a week after Adolf Hitler committed suicide. In Asia, Japan managed to hold ground for a few more months resulting in yet another one of the deadliest events when nuclear bombs were ordered to be dropped on Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (9 August 1945).On 2 September 1945, General Yoshijiro Umezu signed surrender documents aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. World War 2 was officially declared over by President Truman on 31 December 1946.

The Wall That Come Tumbling Down
On the evening of 8 November 1989, after a much anticipated international press conference an announcement on television was made that East Germans would be allowed to travel abroad freely. No date was given of when this would come into effect but this served as enough confirmation that unification was much closer than ever before.

For 28 years, the Berlin Wall had become an international symbol not only of a divided country but one of divided families as well. Having stemmed from the defeat of the Nazis in World War 2, the Soviet control of East Berlin blocking out the West and the fleeing of approximately 3 million East Germans to the West in 1953, the Berlin Wall was built on a sentiment that can be likened to - this is mine, and no one else can have it.

Through the night of 8 November 1989, as continual throngs of people gathered at Unter den Linden in East Berlin, guards were at a loss of how to react. People were demanding that it had become their 'right' to go into West Berlin. Guards attempted crowd control with little rubber stamps on passports but soon gave up as the crowds intensified. As the crowd broke free, so did the wall's foundations. The Berlin Wall came tumbling down on the midnight of 9 November 1989 although it was officially demolished on 13 June 1990.

I Have A Dream
On 28 August 1963, on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation." This would be the beginning of his renowned speech, "I Have A Dream". One of the most compelling statements in this speech is the line, "We cannot be satisfied as long as a colored person in Mississippi cannot vote and a colored person in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote."

This dream, one he would never live to see came to pass on 20 January 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. The first African-American to be in such a position. What is the big deal? In a society that is now so culturally mixed, so culturally coloured and flourishes on diversity Barack Obama may have seemed to some as just another presidential candidate who had the right components to win his seat at the White House.

To many others, it was a representation of a fight for rights that started centuries ago. A fight that won a small step forward in 1865 with the abolition of slavery and an even bigger step forward when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed which bans discrimination because of a person's color, race, national origin, religion, or sex. The rights of this law includes a person's right to seek employment, vote and use hotels, parks, restaurants and other public places.

I Sat With God And The Devil
While the Chilean miners (from October 2010) who were trapped for 69 days need no introduction, I found their level of faith, a force to be reckoned with. It was obvious they believed in God when one rescued miner said, "I sat with God and the Devil. God won." But it was the inner strength they had in themselves, their strong belief in the people striving for their rescue and the love that they had for their families that will have you questioning if you have anything close to that amount?

Miners, the people we so often interpret in our heads as barely educated, low income people who do a task that we do not see as important. And yet, they have achieved a feat that has NASA talking about them. If this was a lesson to prove persistence it was even more of a lesson to teach humility. To show the world that everybody plays a role, big and small and no task is unimportant. It proved that you may have a nation's leader waiting to shake your hand but it'll be the embraces of your family that is the most important gesture to you.

It is easy to get caught up in the usual overload of information that news channels will insist on giving us when one particular issue is so heated up. But if you ever need to remember a lesson in humility and never giving up, then remember this - on 5 August 2010, 33 Chilean miners were trapped approximately 700 metres underground in a small copper-and-gold mine. It is only on 22 August 2010, when a drill attempting to locate the miners comes back with a note that says, "The 33 of us in the shelter are well." Remember that line for as long as you can. 17 days, trapped with no one knowing if they are alive or dead, with limited resources to food and water, they say - "we are well."

Hope may not be the ultimate answer to our problems and it may not even be the end of our journey. In some cases, it opens a door to yet another journey with even more questions and daunting tasks. But it is a sense of freedom that we can give ourselves to become free from worry, to become free of 'excess emotional baggage' and most of all to become free to keep moving forward in our lives. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.

This post is also a chapter from Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out, my recent novel which is being given out in conjunction with Blog Tour De Troops (BTDT) organised by Indie Book Collective

What is Blog Tour De Troops? In the words of the organisers "when we have a blast blog hopping to dozens of authors sites where each is giving away not only an eBook to each commenter, but another one to a troop! The commenter can designate a specific soldier they would like their eBook to go to or allow BTDT to select one for them!"


In today's hop, the author featured before Peace from Pieces is Arshad Ahsanuddin. The author featured after Peace from Pieces is the captivating Eliza Gayle who can have you mesmerized with sultry shapeshifters and sexy hot vampires. 

Other participating authors include Amber ScottRachel Thompson, Fred Venturini, Stacey Kennedy,  Sharon Gerlach, Gary Ponzo, Billie Hilton

Should you like to receive a complimentary copy of Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out - feel free to leave me a comment with your email address or email me at pandorapoikilos@gmail.com 
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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