Alexander's Column

A Snapshot From Sugar Hill ... With Gratitude

Why is there a photo of a red, white, and blue lit tree at the bottom of this post?

Mark Alexander · Apr. 8, 2020
“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God … would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.” —George Washington (1783)

Tuesday, as I was drafting this column, one of our news aggregation emails chimed in — this one announcing “World Health Day.”

Frankly, I didn’t know there was a World Health Day, but after some quick research, I discovered it is celebrated on 7 April to commemorate the founding of the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948.

That is ironic — celebrating the WHO in the middle of a global pandemic. The irony was made ever more rich because WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is a Red Chinese puppet, did not declare a global Public Health Emergency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic until the China Virus was already global. In that announcement, Tedros said: “China is setting a new standard in terms of outbreak response. We would have seen many more cases outside China by now, and probably deaths, if not for the [CCP] government’s efforts.” Seriously, he actually said that.

But we now know that Tedros conspired with China’s communist dictator, Xi Jinping, to cover up the outbreak, and had Xi and Tedros informed the world just three weeks earlier than their 31 December notification, that would have reduced the viral spread by 95%. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was already in the U.S. well before the WHO announcement. Indeed, China’s willful and deadly deception set a catastrophic “new standard in terms of outbreak response.”

OK, forgive me, I digress.

Before that email interruption, what I set about writing from atop our small mountain community in East Tennessee was a message of encouragement and gratitude.

I call our mountain “Sugar Hill” because it’s a sweet place to live — this area has been home to generations of our family since before the American Revolution. Of course, in the last month, the ops tempo on Sugar Hill has changed significantly, as it has for your community. But as we observe the transition to spring happening all around us, and the beauty our Creator is faithfully providing in this Holy Week — especially the sunrise this morning — my heart is filled with gratitude.

After my early morning Patriot Post editors call, my wife and I had a joyful conference call with our young adult children, all three of whom are scattered afar.

The distance winner was our oldest son, who is 12 time zones away with his Marine battalion, nearing the scheduled end of their deployment. But because replacement deployments have been suspended for the moment, he has no idea when he’ll be reunited at Camp Pendleton with his bride. They were married just before he departed five months ago.

Our daughter, a rising finance and banking professional, is sequestered, working from her home. She does all of the artwork for Patriot Post special editions, and the distancing has given her a little extra time to complete the image for our Resurrection Day special edition this weekend. (She’s my favorite, but don’t tell her brothers.)

And our youngest son, whose college campus closed three weeks ago, is now completing courses online. He joined the morning call, which was a pleasant surprise because he operates on “college time.” This is the young man who told me last month that, when commiserating with seniors who are missing their college graduation celebrations, he has related the story his grandfather told him about having missed his own senior year at Dartmouth College in 1943. That year, Dartmouth closed and the entire student body left to serve in varying capacities during World War II. My father was a naval aviator.

Many of his contemporaries did not return home from combat in the European and Pacific theaters.

While on the kid conference call today, I reversed the camera on my phone and strolled outside to give our kids a sample of all the emerging beauty — different varieties of azaleas loaded with blooms, dogwood blossoms, daffodils, and blue carpets of wildflower ground cover. These things represent “home” to each of us, and in the large context, they represent the gifts of God — simple blessings and mercies.

I thank God for such things, and I pray that I would not miss them through the day amid all the din of publishing deadlines and the elevated demands right now of managing multiple small businesses.

Frankly, a couple of my brothers in Christ, two men who survived hell as Vietnam POWs, helped me develop a deeper appreciation for simple blessings and mercies. They were able to find these gifts even in the most horrific circumstances — as we all can do if we’re deliberate about seeing them.

This is a good time to reflect on what we value versus what actually has value, as well as to redouble our commitment to Keep America Great.

One of the simple blessings in my life is the opportunity to provide a bit of joy in the lives of others, which brings me to the photo of the red, white, and blue lit tree at the bottom of this post. In early March, to requisition a smile from the young at heart of all ages up on Sugar Hill, I called our neighbors and suggested that we put Christmas lights back on our outdoor trees until America is back at work.

Thus, our Patriot Tree shines brightly every night. And I hope this simple image adds a glimmer of joy to your day!

This is a challenging time for us, for you, and for the rest of our countrymen. Best case, I think it will be 60 to 90 days before evidence of a significant recovery is underway. We all have family and friends who are feeling the pain of this unprecedented economic shutdown.

But your Patriot team is not shut down — far from it.

In fact, despite “The Great Distancing” and the changes it has demanded of our work environment — publishing from home instead of our nearby office — we are ramping up. Your Patriot Post team is well-equipped to work at a distance, which is a task we’ve perfected individually and corporately over our nearly 24 years publishing online.

Right now, manning the wall of Liberty is more critical than ever. But with our Creator’s divine guidance and your help, Liberty will prevail stronger than ever. As you know, our organization is entirely funded by American Patriots like you, and our operations budget — indeed our very mission — is at risk during this uniquely challenging time.

If you’re able, please consider supporting our 2020 Patriots’ Day Campaign today to help ensure that our defense of Liberty is fully funded.

P.S.: The lead photo is a view to the east of our mountain, a sunrise. It could be viewed as a sunrise or sunset, but I live for the next sunrise!

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776


Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the Spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

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