The Day The Earth Stood Still

The Day The Earth Stood Still

I don’t have much of a memory of that day. Bits. Pieces. I remember Mom wasn’t home and Dad was at work. Grandma was watching the news while I sat at her feet playing with my bricks. I didn’t understand why she was crying. I remember that after that, I wasn’t allowed to watch TV for the rest of the week. I could only watch my VHS tapes of Thomas The Tank Engine and VeggieTales. I remember my dad coming home quickly to check on me and to call my mom. I know now that my mom was in Arizona and was supposed to fly back that day. I also found out later in life that a colleague of hers drove her back to North Dakota, because all of the planes had been shut down before her flight. Those are my only memories. When I was 13, we learned about in class, my teacher demanding none of us had an recollection of that day. “We were too young.” While we may have been to young to comprehend what was going on, we weren’t too young to understand what was going on. 

As the years go by, I start to comprehend the severity of that day. I just grew up in the new world order, I didn’t truly know any other way of life. It took me 15 year to fully comprehend that awful day. What it was. What implications it had. The loss of life. Those were families. Fathers. Mothers. Brothers. Sisters. Gone. 

But we did not roll over. We did not give up. We did not go quietly into the night. We rebuilt. We mourned. We survived. And we came back. We grew stronger. We became one nation under God again. We became a patriotic force against terrorism. We woke up too late to the acts of terrorism that were rising, but we acted swiftly. We attacked. We avenged. We won. So while the loss of lives is heartbreaking. No. Devastating. We can take comfort in God and in the fact that after all of that death and destruction, we rose from the ashes a stronger, unified nation. A nation who won. A nation who wins. A nation who will not go quietly into the night, but will put up a fight. We became the United States of America once again. 

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Wake Up America!: An Open Letter

Wake Up America!: An Open Letter

Dear America,

Wake Up! Racism exits. Hatred exists. What are we doing about it? Nothing. Alton was just a man minding his own business, mistakenly accused of a misdemeanor he didn’t commit, and was shot 3 times in cold blood for. It sickens and saddens me that we just haven’t woken up to the hatred yet. Please America, DO SOMETHING! Our men and our children are being murdered in such a continuous matter that it is becoming common place. When did it become commonplace to murder men, children, & babies. Stop being quiet & making excuses. We try to make excuses to justify our indifference when, in reality, there is no excuse. Nothing can justify sitting on the side and watching families be destroyed. We can all do something but we are choosing not to. Look at Alton’s poor family. His poor fifteen year old son, who was crying on TV, begging for his daddy back. It just kills me. This is a nightmare… And it’s on our streets. It’s in our cities. It’s in our own backyard. The real problem with America is not the racism or the discrimination of people of faith or of a different race or sex, but the real problem in America is me. It’s you. It’s all of us who have been sitting quietly and watching it all happen. The fact that we have been indifferent to our own friends & neighbors being shot makes us responsible as well. Our skin maybe different shades, but we all bleed the same color. We are all human beings. Wether you are gay, black, Hispanic, straight, white, Native, Muslim, Christian, Athiest, or whatever it is you are, we need to embrace love and not hate. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus says that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. And I know that there has been blood shed on both sides. I don’t want this letter to sound like I’m assigning blame to the police department. They put their life on the line for our safety every day and I thank them for that. However, there are some in the force that are cold blooded killers, and the Police need to step up and nog only address this, but to take responsibility for the actions of the officers who have murdered without justifiable cause. This is a heart issue that needs to be cured. The cure is dropping the barriers & embracing love over hate. Why people hate each other over the silliest things such a skin, sexual orientation, or religion is beyond me. We must embrace the same love that Jesus show again and again. What I am calling for is to stop the fighting. Stop the hatred. Stop the indifference! Indifference is what caused 6 million Jews to die in the holocaust, countless people to be hurt & abused over their skin in the 60’s and that indifference is what’s causing the deaths of innocent men and women of different races, sexual orientations, & religions. Alton is the last straw, and I believe that now is the time to start caring and to stop being neutral. Indifference kills, and when we’re indifferent, we are the killers. Now is the time to replace racism with unity and hate with love. 

Sincerely,

Kaleb Koho

Regarding You: An Open Letter

Regarding You: An Open Letter

To Whom It May Concern,

History and literature go hand in hand. You can’t learn history without reading and you can’t scribe it without writing. When you think about it, history books are an anthology of people’s stories; a collection of events and truths journaled in one place. These events flow from year to year, period to period, age to age; all the way to you and I. Every day that you are alive is a gift and is another chapter in your history. History doesn’t necessarily mean George Washington, World War II, or Martin Luther King. History can be a personal story of your life, in fact that is what history is: true events of the past. You are shaping the future just by being alive, therefore your existence is making history. Nothing makes you appreciate that more than history and literature, reading stories and telling your own. A wise author once wrote what I think perfectly sums up how extraordinary you are. He writes, “In over 900 years of time and space, I have never met anyone who wasn’t important.” 

You have a story to tell. We all do. Stories don’t happen in a day, sometimes the adventure takes chapters or even books to reach the happy ending. Frodo didn’t take the ring to Mordor in a sentence, he did it in three books. Narnia wasn’t made safe in one chapter, but over the course of seven books. Your life, what you struggle with, is merely a chapter in your own story. All great stories develop over time and there are conflicts to be had along the way. 

Turning the analogical page over to film to better explain my point, conflicts constantly arise and you must not let them deter you from finishing your adventure called life. Rocky Balboa took hit after hit from opponents like Apollo Creed and emotional beatings in conflicts with the media, his son, and himself. Over the course of Rocky’s story, which has spanned over forty years, he loses so much and it appears as if he has nothing left to fight for by the time we reach the seventh film. However, Rocky keeps fighting, albeit no longer physically boxing, but has seen his opponent change from a boxer to cancer itself. Rocky’s story is not over yet and neither is yours.

Under no circumstances should you throw in the towel or toss down the pen and end your story before it’s time. You may not think you have anything to offer or that the fight is too hard, but it’s only one chapter in your amazing story that is unfolding. You are special. You are important. You are loved. Regardless of your situation, condition, or relation; your race, religion, or gender; you should never end your life. Suicide is never the answer. You are loved and you have something to share with the world.

You have a story. Now go and live it. 

Sincerely,

Kaleb Koho