of freedom and balloon rides

I will admit to still being up in the clouds after yesterday’s hot air balloon ride.  It was such an amazing experience.  As a breast cancer survivor, like many others, I have a bucket list.  I had never been on a hot-air balloon, and while I would never sky-dive, this is something I wanted to do. So I can cross this off my list!!

I took hundreds of photos…including from the air….I am still sifting through most of them.

9/11 has a very significant resonance with Americans.  Like the assassination of President Kennedy or say, Martin Luther King, Jr. this will live in our memories and hearts forever.

Yesterday however, more Americans died on 9/11.  In fact, a total of four Americans died in Libya in an extremist attack.  Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy staffers were brutally gunned down by a rocket attack on the car they were riding in.  In addition to this horrific event in Libya, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt was also attacked.  The Washington Post says the whole thing in Libya may have been planned in advance.

I am so tired of Middle East conflict. Let them have their holy war on another people. The Christian Science Monitor has a wonderful piece all should read.

So I don’t know what to think.  I was moved nearly to tears yesterday when all those first responders from Chester County showed up to watch the balloons take off.  A sea of mostly blue uniform shirts dotting a freshly cut green field.

It’s so weird, I find a very famous quote haunting me this afternoon.  The quote is from our Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I am glad we are free, but I wish people would stop blowing up Americans.  And on our own soil, I wish the petty tyranny of small minded government officials in local municipalities like Tredyffrin and West Vincent would cease.

I am proud to be an American but petty tyranny and unecessary death and destruction makes me sad.

One other thing.  Yesterday I rode in the flag balloon with a favorite Chester County reporter from The Daily Local, Sara Mosqueda-Fernandez.  Here is her article about our ride:

Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
UPPER UWCHLAN — Hot air balloons, including one styled as an American flag, honored first responders Tuesday in Eagle on the 11th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
America One, an experimental hot air balloon that measures 78 feet long and 53 feet high, took off with three other hot air balloons to honor the lives lost 11 years ago and to thank the county’s emergency responders, many of whom are volunteers.
“We greatly appreciate you being out here, especially as volunteers,” Barry DiLibero said prior to taking off in America One. “You sacrifice so much more of your time for no pay. This is always our thank you to you for all that you do.”
Present at the event were Lionville, Kimberton, West Whiteland, Glenmoore, Goshen and Honeybrook fire companies, who were only notified about the event less than 24 hours prior to lift off….According to Barry DiLibero, this expression of thanks to emergency responders is unique, producing not only a gigantic and patriotic sight, but also evoking both joy and sadness. The spectrum of reactions to enormous balloon was evident in older generations who can clearly recall the attacks, and in the community members, young and old, who watched the balloons from the take-off or waving from their backyards, with even some children chasing after the balloon to watch and aid as it touched back down after its flight.
“(Today) was amazing,” said Barry DiLibero. “(The fire companies) understand the power of the flag, and what it means. It’s about your love of country, your appreciation for living where we live, and what it means, what it represents to all of us.”