Category Archives: History

The U. S. S. Arizona (a poem by Katie Krulak)

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This past summer I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor. I was not prepared for how sobering the experience would be. It is one thing to learn about the attack in history class, but quite another to stand where the event transpired. While standing on the memorial built above the harbor, I was inspired to write this poem detailing the events of the Pearl Harbor attack, centered around the U.S.S. Arizona.

The U.S.S. Arizona
There’s oil on the water;
There’s blood in the waves
“Be quick! Don’t stop! Keep working,
We still have men to save.”
Great fires blaze and roar;
Ignite with a hellish glow.
The great inferno rages
Through the corridors below.
Planes and bullets fill the skies
Shrouded by a smoky veil.
The screams and prayers of men
Drowned in the siren’s wail.
Molten metal bends and breaks
As guns and towers fall,
“So many men are still inside,
How can we save them all?”
“Point your guns up towards the sky,”
Bullets blaze pell mell,
As a peaceful Sunday morning
Became a scene from hell.
There’s still oil on the water,
Washed by the tide’s ebb and flow,
As bright fish dance and dart
Through the corridors below.
A monument of gleaming white
Stands tall above the waves,
A solemn mausoleum
For the men we could not save.

What America Wants in Our Next President (Abigail Mathis)

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This past August I had the opportunity to go to the Alabama RedState event, which is a gathering of many Republican supporters in one of the southern or “red” states. What made this particular event especially exciting, though, was that many of the Republican presidential candidates gave a speech. As I sat through many of the speeches, I felt I learned much about what the people at this event felt were necessary qualities in our next president. Generally, everyone cheered when the candidate spoke on how much of a conservative, pro-life, Christian Republican they were. The cheers were louder when the candidate would claim that they were best equipped to balance the budget of our country. But what I found most effective in a speech was optimism.

When a candidate would stand up on the platform and passionately speak about how America can still be fixed, the crowd would go insane. Once the possibility of greatness was brought up, the effect on the crowd was more than just the regular excitement, the energy became electric. So based on the most applause and cheers from the audience, confidence in America is the most important quality in our future president. But confidence is not just something that conservatives want in the future president, it is something that all Americans crave. Americans need something to hold onto, and the next president should be someone who can invoke confidence into this country.

The Field Museum (Lauren Hoaglund)

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The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois is home to some of the most famous artifacts worldwide. Their collection includes: Sue, the most complete tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever discovered; Lucy, the oldest known skeleton of a human being; a massive collection of Viking and African artifacts; and one of the largest collections of Egyptian mummies both animal and human.  My family and I visited this museum and many more in Chicago over Labor Day weekend.

I like to think of myself as something of a museum connoisseur because museums happen to be my first priority in visiting a new city. Though my mother had read the list of artifacts at the Field Museum to me several times before our arrival, I could not fully grasp their complete glory until I was standing in the replica of an Egyptian tomb with twenty mummies, their sarcophagi, and tablets of Hieroglyphics surrounding me. I was awed by the fact that the mummies were not only right in front of me, but also that they were so well preserved. They still had the jewelry and the papyrus scrolls with instructions for the afterlife in their sarcophagi with them. 

In the next room was a large wooden boat. Archeologists speculate that this boat was used in a funeral ceremony for a pharaoh or nobleman. I stared at this particular boat for about ten minutes trying to comprehend what I was seeing.

The Field Museum does a spectacular job of maintaining these artifacts and collecting more from different areas of the world. I would love to go back, and I would recommend it as a must see for anyone who is traveling in, to, or even near Chicago.

History That Inspires

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At times, high school can feel endless. It seems as if all the hard work we put it will never amount to anything. There are days when we all feel one step away from giving up completely. What keeps us holding on? The answer is different for everyone. For some, it is their hobbies; for others, it may be the people they love. For me, it is stories. There is something inspiring about hearing about other people’s victories. My grandfather’s story about Waldamur Andreason is one of my favorites.

Lisa Andreasen

Lisa Andreasen outside the Waldamur farm in Nebraska

Waldamur Andreasen is my great-great grandfather. He grew up in Stege, Denmark with a loving family, but that all changed when his mother passed away. It was like a fairy tale. In a matter of months, his father had been remarried to a vicious woman. Waldamur knew his new stepmother had no warm feelings for him, but he could not have guessed the degree to which this woman would alter his life. 

That day Waldamur had been to town on an errand. When he returned home, he found his father and stepmother waiting for him in their tidy living room. His father announced that Waldamur would be moving to America with their neighbors the Jacobsens. The young boy was horrified. He was only sixteen; how could he be expected to make a life for himself alone in another country? He started to plead with his fat, but was stopped by his stern response, “It has already been decided, son. You leave in the morning.” When he saw his stepmother’s smug smile, Waldamur knew that he had been defeated.

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Waldamur Andreasen’s original immigration papers

A month later, Waldamur arrived in New York City with the Jacobsen family. The plan was for him to remain in the city while the Jacobsens would be traveling to Nebraska to start a family farm. The idea of being on his own had ceased to frighten Waldamur, but now he was afraid of something else–losing Lisa Jacobsen.

During the trip, the two had developed strong feelings for one another; so much so that Waldamurhad promised to marry Lisa one day. Now, that seemed unlikely, if not impossible. But just before the family left, Waldamur once again promised to find Lisa as soon as he made enough money for a farm.

After a year of struggling to survive in the big city, Waldamur went to Nebraska. There he was able to acquire a farm and fulfill his promise to Lisa. But their troubles were not yet over. Their lives continued to be filled with struggle and hardship. But they persevered, and because of their hard work the Andreasen family would thrive for many generations after them.

In Philippians 3:14 Paul writes, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Stories like Waldamur’s inspire me to follow Paul’s example. As far as I know, Waldamur was not a Christian, but his story of hope still points me back to Christ and inspires me to press on. 

How much do you know about past generations in your family? Who are the people responsible for bringing you to your current place in life? Consider looking it up. The stories you uncover may be just what you need to keep going.