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Date posted - April 23, 2013

Today, one week after the senseless and cowardly attacks on our nation, we watch as families and others pay respect to the victims of this awful and horrific killing of the innocent. Our prayers go out for them.


It causes me to think about how times have changed. Changed from the carefree era of simply walking down a street with our kids and watching an event geared toward family. Of attending a ball game without fear of sending our kids to get a popcorn or soda. Having no fear that when your kids leave for school they will return home safe that afternoon. Of all things we should be safe at such an events. It makes me think of all the simple things we do as families that we really feel safe at or doing, yet may not be. Life is precious. We need to embrace those times with our loved ones. Times when we can spend that quality time, because we just don’t know in this era when someone who has no respect for the lives of innocent people, will cause great pain. Hug your spouse, your kids, those you love, tell your parents you love them.


All of this makes me think of teaching each other about AWARENESS. I was at a class where the instructor was trying to teach us about gun safety, and he spent a large amount of time going thru ideas and suggestions on how to make yourself more aware of your surroundings. (This op-ed is not about guns) We need to learn about how to be aware. Aware at all times! Each and every one of us needs to be vigilant in where we are, who is around us, what might happen to us. We also need to start instilling it in our kids. Not teach them fear, but to teach them how to recognize when something is not right. We need to “look-out” for each and every one around us. If we teach our kids and each other how to be aware of their surroundings and what ‘warnings’ they should look for, would we be able to stop some of the senseless killings? I don’t know. Will it be a start? I think so. Just as we teach our little ones to not go near a dog barking and straining on a tie out the size of a log chain, or that they should not go in a pasture with a cow and bull, or even when and where to cross the street. Those are the obvious; we need to teach them and each other the not so obvious! We need to teach them and each other a new meaning of staying safe. It is a sad day, but it is what we must do.


Let’s start to protect each other. Let’s be aware of the little things. It just may save many lives.

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9 Responses to “WE NEED TO BE AWARE”

  1. Chesley Sullenberger says:

    Welcome to the age of misinformation and inattentivness. While your idea is well intentioned and should be common sense. Everyone who started to read your op-ed got distracted after the first paragraph, by a text from a friend and then went on to read some fear mongering farticle on Fox or CNN instead, because it was shorter and had the same amount journalistic integrity as your op-ed. :)

    • Lee Ann says:

      I can see where the writer of this op ed is coming from. I don’t see Fox or CNN in his/her comments. Things have changed. But I guess its a normal part of large population. When I was a about 10, we would hop on a bus and ride it down to downtown Denver, where we’d hang around all day, before taking the bus back home. Would I let a 15 year old do that now? No way.

      In our little town of 5000, we have an added security because its a small town, we know a lot of the people, we see a lot more daily. None of them are scarey, even tho, in some small towns, people have been known to become psychotic and kill people. We think a Newtown CT couldn’t happen here. But in the last 10 years, I have met two people in Sibley that were psychotic and went to the hospital in Spencer for weeks at a time.

      I was in Hyvee yesterday, and I had a moment of alertness when I saw a guy trot up an aisle to get something quickly and it was someone I had never seen before, trotting through Hyvee? Then I realized he was just in a hurry. And I am fairly street smart from living in large cities.

      Times have changed. And it is a darn shame. But with a little street smarts, we know what is safe and what isn’t. But riding in a car is dangerous, playing with fireworks is dangerous (so they say), and any outdoor hobby can be dangerous. We live with it in our daily lives. So we need to enjoy our lives, have a wonderful time, love everyone we love, and show them daily. So if something should happen to us, we won’t have mountains of unfinished business left behind.

      • Bob says:

        Have times really changed or has generational shift happened and culture has changed? Like Ash said, many types of deviant behaviors have occurred throughout the years — rape, murder, domestic abuse, etc. only it was never reported.

        Nowadays, through access to technology and instant information, I wonder if we are pretty much similar in terms of how many of these deviant behaviors are shown as deviant behavior is a part of society…

        It’d be interesting to look at the statistics which compares the 1950s to today.

        • Charlie says:

          Nothing has change for 2000 years or our Bible would not have needed be written. What has change is the population. More people = more crime, exponentialy.

  2. Summer says:

    Here I thought I was gonna read something positive. And then Chesley has to go & be a hater. Seriously, Lets be Thankful people. Lets be positive. Lets enjoy this life & encourage each other instead of all the negative stuff. The Sun is out & the snow is melting! Thanks to the City for taking away my tree branches! :)

  3. Bob says:

    Some fear mongering, I would say, but nonetheless important to always be observant and aware of your surroundings. Our nation is very safe, regardless of what the pundits and talking heads might say. 3 people died in a horrific, senseless bombing at the Boston Marathon, yes, and they should be remembered and memorialized, but we also need to put it into perspective.

    We never hear about the senseless bombing attacks that happen on a weekly basis in foreign countries. They too, are subjected to senseless acts of violence but are often never heard about, only in passing. – this link will lead you to a bombing attack that took 9 times the amount of lives that were lost in Boston. Not Americans, I know, but they are still innocent people caught in the crossfire.

    I do not post this comment to disparage the opening post, rather I merely write this post to support the awareness mentality and to ask individuals to put it into perspective. We do not see this senseless violence nearly as often as other nations.

  4. Ashshade says:

    Was it that much safer 50 to 100 years ago? Or, do we just get better news faster? On a per capita basis, are we really in that much more danger?

    Crimes such as rape, child molestation, domestic abuse, and others where seldom if ever reported.

    You could get into a fight in the back alley, pull out your six shooter, pop him a time or two, run off and no one would ever know. Or just dump the body in the river, or woods. It’s gone. The person you killed would have vanished. No one would ever know if they ran away, died, got lost, or wanted to start over in a new state.

    The serial killer? You never heard of him. Some people ran off or vanished. Nobody ever knew.

    But maybe we need to spend our lives looking for the boogie man, hiding from the neighbor next door because he looks “odd” or has long hair, a beard, and tattoos.

    I want to live a long life. I want my family to be safe. But, I will not live in constant fear of what is around the next corner. I will not give up right after right to be “safer”. We are not that far away from “1984”. The government already uses the Patriot Act to listen on the phone and watch us on the internet, and they can zoom in on us from up in space.

    How long before they turn our web cams on?

    Or, has that already happened?

  5. Penelope says:

    I definitely agree! Awareness plays important role not only for our safety but for everybody else. We should learn to sympathize, care and give attention to several things that will promote our well-being even at small things. If we can do great things, then let’s start doing small things in a great way.

  6. Harriet Oleson says:

    One time little two year old Rose Wilder was kidnapped while Christmas shopping in Mankato with Laura and Mr. Edwards. She was found safely after they put the amber alert signs on I 90 and 35W….

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