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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Let Us Talk About Nice

Updated on July 15, 2016

I do not have photos of Nice

Just a beach shot.
Just a beach shot. | Source

A place and space.

Nice. Oh my what sweet memories. First visited in 1972. Went back in ’75. Beautiful place it is. Just one of the most wonderful settings along the Mediterranean. I do believe the largest city on the coast. Really cool architecture in the common. I just love tight knit neighborhoods that have all buildings painted pastels and different. There is an old town there named something like Vielle Ville. It is so cool with narrow alleyways and centuries old buildings. It has this long road, I would guess it is about 10 kilometers like a main street. I remember cobblestone type streets. I seem to recall a promenade type avenue with a name like Anglais and a big awesome hotel named Negresco. It seems to me the renaissance of Nice was like in 1910 or so. I am pretty sure it was before the two world wars. Of course it’s founding was by Greeks in around 300 BC. So for an old country boy from the Western United States this stuff was ancient. The name is a type of from Greek literation of City of Victory. I must say the place really reminded me of Greece.

If you dig olive oil and herbs combined with fresh fish and local vegetables you will gain weight there.

Hey, if you are like me and love to checkout churches – Nice Cathedral is like 400 years old, awesome and ornate and really interesting architecture.

Let me see what else I really liked about Nice…. Oh yea, the girls, whacka whacka! It also has one of those climates where you can get all hot several blocks from the water, then scoot over to the beach and be cooled by the constant refreshing beach. One of the neat things I remember about Nice was that is was like you could get kind of lost (I do that on purpose when traveling) and you could just as well be in Greece, Italy, France or Spain. It is just, well, Mediterranean. And for sure it has that Southern Europe air of hanging out for way too long on a coffee shop sidewalk watching the world go by and waxing eloquent about world affairs.

There is something about a coastal town in a warm climate with years of history that just kind of creeps into the people there. Kind of a live and let live easiness. A true Laisse Faire both social and business. And this was still a time when children would run around free with every adult in the community as a guardian.

Sorry I got no pictures and I am sure my reflections are outdated and skyscrapers now fill the sky. So perhaps I go on about a bygone era. But I suspect you can build up a city, but you really cannot change its people and atmosphere. Oh my I have probably gone on too long about the humanizing of a place.

Pretty cool.

The same moon reflects on us all.

No matter where we go the moon is there.
No matter where we go the moon is there. | Source

Coming of age?

This region is called the Cote d'Azur French Riviera. I first visited Nice with my older sisters. I was shocked when they removed their tops at the beach. But then pleasantly surprised to see many young beauties doing the same. Ah to be young again! We stayed at a youth hostel and hung out with young people from throughout the world, eating local cheese and bread while passing around a bottle of French wine. Much guitar playing and singing in harmony. Americans were not always welcomed with open arms in France at the time. Something about being loud and obnoxious and throwing around money. And that pesky issue of making wars not love in Vietnam. But us youth were still basking in the aftermath of cool stuff like Woodstock and hippies. Yes you could do Europe on five dollars a day – or I would not have been there.

The world when I was first in Nice did not have a worry in the world about terrorism. But let me set the timing in focus. We had quite a blast along the Mediterranean coast but we were next headed up to Norway to the Arctic Circle to see the sun not set and dance and revel in the never ending twilight and dawn. With a name like Dierker we cruised Germany and that included the horrors of the concentration camps which were only a few decades removed from being used. Talk about an impact on your world view. Well there was this really great happening in Munich Germany at that time and it was awesome. The ’72 Olympic Games. So really cool. We visited and loved it. That is before the “massacre” happened. Palestinians committing horror on Israeli athletes killing I think 12. How strange and new to us. Terrorism shattered our world and the wonderful days of Nice became a refuge in our minds. Over the next few weeks my sisters and I went back there in conversation and sweet remembrance. What the hell happened?

So I reckon I see my time in Nice as a youth. My time in Munich as the ugly beginning of being an adult in a sometimes ugly world. Some fifty years later I kind of had a line of demarcation in my mind. Cote de Azure as the bastion of love and peace and Germany the land of stark contrast and harsh reality. Pretty much nothing to do with the place but rather my experience while there.

Just a country boy in a wild wild world.

Is the past just an illusion to be shattered by reality?
Is the past just an illusion to be shattered by reality? | Source

I loved this song when I lived in Paris in 1975

Own it, deal with it and then move on.

Oh believe me I know that I have no right to own any of the suffering going on in Nice at this time. I know that time and distance insulates me from the actual horror of the terror. To be sure it is too much of an abstract for me. But I can’t help my memories. I hate the dirty bastards that stole my place and space of refuge that has survived in my mind for decades. A totally crushing blow to now have to envision such a wonderful place as a place of terror. The children I still saw in my mind were mowed down their lives cut short by hatred. Surely I know that that place in time was gone long ago, just like childhood. But the good memories that last into older age should be sacrosanct and inviolate.

Have no doubt that lives with futures are terrible to erase from earth. But I have just realized that killing a part of our past is also a crime. To brutally snatch a part of what makes us who we are and replace it with visions of horror is also a theft of part of life.

Sorry for all that about me stuff. But there is a point here. I felt guilty about having such feelings. I felt like I had no right to them in light of people actually directly affected. But I got to thinking and feeling about it and realized I have to respect how I feel, stuffing it aside out of guilt ain’t no good at all.

Horrible acts of terror are personal to each of us. These are crimes against humanity in the very real sense that they steal a part of each of us. You are good and you mourn for others. But please take the time to be good to yourself and others. Accept and honor your own life, and recognize the pain in you and respect it enough to feel it and grieve it. It is just a fact in our humanity that with love comes pain. We must consciously understand this in order to move past the pain and back into the love. You and your feelings are valid.

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    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 11 months ago from Nibiru

      staged and unstaged attacks seems to be the order now in france. never been there and have no plans to. fun hub

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Clive. I had planned on taking my young wife and our little boy to Europe but now she is wavering. No it is not rational - but the fear is real.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 11 months ago from San Diego California

      I can't think of anything snarky to say at all. You get one life and waste it destroying what you should be enjoying. I can't believe anyone would believe a "merciful" God would condone this. I'm sorry a part of your soul has been ripped out.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 11 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for sharing those wonderful nostalgic memories of your time in Nice, Eric. It is another tragedy that has occurred recently with more senseless killing and even worse that it has tainted your memories.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 11 months ago

      Hi Buddy ! Nice hub ! What a journey you have been on my friend , unfortunately today soft targets are the norm for terror . We are at war Eric or at least we had better start being vigilant of that . Terrorism which I first heard of in the sixties, is now far more mobile . Some of the first acts of modern terror began in France as I recall . You have awesome memories of a beautiful people ! Savor them . for they are all we have in the end . Bless you for your compassion .

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 11 months ago from london

      I really love the way you weaved this one Bro. I was with you in this very beautiful city...initially as a tourist, really, enjoying the beach... the neighbourhood... the Cathedrals ...the topless (smile) even the National Anthem ...and then the sudden change.

      I commend you for your last paragraph. So, so beautiful and deserving! Higher blessings, my Brother. God has given me the gift of poetry, and He has given you the gift of Sermons. Praise be!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 11 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub and thanks for sharing your beautiful memories of Nice.

      It seems no place is safe. Human life has always been at risk but not this way. I Condemn these mindless killings in the strongest possible words.

      Thank you for sharing this compassionate hub!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 11 months ago from United States

      I enjoyed your nice hub on Nice and your memories my friend. whonu

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, I sure like it when my neighbors drop by. This stuff is pure evil. To connect it with any perception of a God is beyond me. But there is a gal who haunts me here on HP that really thinks God is one of brutal retribution. Blows my mind.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John, my wife reminds me that we are, everyday, making new memories and sometimes we need to make room for them. Forget? No. But somehow allow the new good to squeeze out the new bad. Perhaps writing this begins my healing and hopefully helps others to do the same.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ed, it always brightens my day to have you come by. Isn't it weird how we have to move on and carry on as usual so as not to be defeated. And yet accept the fact that we are in fact at war. My understanding of the era and atmosphere of our country during WWII and I was a sacrificial force to be reckoned with. I think we are in need and will rise to the occasion now facing us.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      HI Manatita, it is so cool you mention our talents. I loved team sports as a youth and as a coach later on. That wonderful beauty when a focused team uses each others separate talents toward a goal of synergism and victory. I truly believe if we use our separate talents in creating love, then we shall be victorious over what is bad in this world.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Welcome to my space Chitrangada, we have known each other for years now. I take heed of your comment as it is the first time you have expressed anything less than positive thoughts. I join you in your disdain.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Whonu. It is a wonderful gift you have. When I read your work. It in fact provides me with a new positive memory. That is wonderful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's always nice to learn more about the man within the man. Terror...acts of hate....I have no solutions, and I'm tired of the finger pointing and the blame....I just want to spread as much love as I can...that's my job during all these horrors.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Bill. Lately when a friend, family member or acquaintance starts down the path -- I have found that a hug is the best thing I can say.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 11 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, Thank you for sharing your memories of Nice. It is a part of the world I have never seen, but your words really brought it to life. How sad that it is, I fear, forever changed. The Nice that you knew in your youth has been scarred and so have we with yet one more act of senseless violence.

      Just yesterday my daughter said to me "I think we are in end times now" and I have to agree with her. But then I wonder, is there more ill in the world than there was 10 (or 100) years ago, or do our new means of communication just make the information that more accessible. Nothing occurs on the planet that we do not have access to instantly it seems.

      Hold onto these memories of yours. They are valuable.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 11 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      A nice hub on Nice. Your recollection of past memories took us on a beautiful travel through Nice. Thanks for sharing them. I was very shocked at the recent attacks there. Terror has spread through all corners of the world making everybody scared for their lives. May God enlighten the souls of those terrorists and make them understand the need for love and peace.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 11 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Oh, Eric, I loved visiting these beautiful places through your memories. Nice, Germany and all those other places are my fervent prayers in places I would love to go, once my finances get in order.

      I did have the pleasure of visiting Hawaii and Africa on a missionary trip but I was devastated to see the locals living like paupers' and the foreigners living the good life.

      Still it was a beautiful experience as I was able to see the beauty and cruelty of our world through the same pair of eyes. It makes my mission stronger and my hope deeper, which is, to live in a world ruled by righteousness.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda that is interesting. My wife and I spoke of the world in general last night and she said the same thing -- The End Times. Of course in my Pollyanna way I suggested that through the horror people will cling more to their love and faith and that it just might be the dawning of a new era. I have one of those forgetters for a brain - in the good time I tend to get into the me, in the bad I rely more on God.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 11 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I agree Eric. Stealing memories is a crime with no jail time for the offenders. I have never been there but I know it is beautiful from your descriptions. We are living in perilous times, but we can't let fear rule us. Maybe it's time for all of us to join hands and stand tall, stop hating our neighbors or anyone with a different view. I'm glad you have your wonderful memories of Nice, and happy you shared them with us...Peace.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Venkatachari, I think we do the best we can by sending our good intentions out and sharing our love with others. Of course in my home we pray. "All I can change is that which I can change"

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, my later travels had me in places for work. We were always four or five star hotels and drivers and the like. I then learned to spend all my free time walking the streets, paths and alleys. Visiting churches and open air community markets. I am happy to report that I found very little violence and hate, but I always have found the love. The world needs more you and less of the bad guys.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ruby, I was pleasantly blessed while writing this. In digging deep for the good in my memories I found them again and they eased the pain of the current travesties. I guess we should remain very aware that we have the power to effect change with ourselves and then spread that around. I have hope for us.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 11 months ago from SW England

      This is extremely well done, Eric. I visited Nice a few years ago and it was still as you describe, a haven of relaxation, sun and joie de vivre. I think it will return to that atmosphere after a while but there will be a bitter taste now and then to remind us of the horror.

      You're absolutely right; we can own our past, wherever it was, own our memories and see a place for what it was, what it is and honour the people in it.

      I look forward to revisiting Nice some time soon. I love France and the French and know both well. September will see us going to celebrate a birthday and retirement of some very good friends, in the centre of France. We shall celebrate being part of the human race together and nothing can take that away. You are right to say it was a crime against the human race - strange, as I was thinking that to myself earlier today!

      You have framed your memories well and linked them to a feeling of betrayal, with doubt whether you should feel some kind of bond with the Niçois; you certainly should as you have shared the air and the wonderful atmosphere of their city, an experience given to you by those people who love to share it with others.

      Ann

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 11 months ago from SW England

      I have some photos of Nice; if you would like one or two for this hub, please let me know how to send them to you! They are of the harbour, from 2008.

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a nice comment Ann. There is so much good in the world, I fear I shall only see a bit of it. But how wonderful it is to enjoy people, places and things.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Oh please do Ann. Just attach to email to me at ericdierker@sbcglobal.net. Even if I have trouble uploading them I would love to see them.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 11 months ago from london

      You can get pictures of Nice quite easily on the net, both of the tragedy and of the scenery. I have included three in the poem I wrote for you. Cheers.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much friend I will go look.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow Manatita what a blessing you are in my life.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 11 months ago

      "Oh yea, the girls, whacka whacka!"

      Loved your "SERMON!"

      You "FOOL!" Not one mention of a Scripture to "Save" a "Soul!"

      You see what I mean?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Funny isn't it how God gave different talents to different people. Wow I heard a preacher man the other day who had a talent for fire and brimstone. He told us in no uncertain terms that if we have prosperity in this life we are doomed in the next -- And then drove off in a 2016 model car!

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 11 months ago

      I KNOW HE wouldn't approve of your "talent" being called a "SERMON;" especially with the "whacka, whacka!"

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are very sad Ms. Williams.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton

      again Eric, the values of your sermons increase each week I am so glad I'm able to read them at my leisure.. bless you

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Frank. I get a special pleasure when you drop by. Support from friends means everything to this writer.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 11 months ago from Northern California, USA

      These are such wonderful memories of Nice. It is a place that I have wanted to visit in the past. Now, the terrorists have clouded any chance that Nice would ever be the same as the Nice you described. At least you have your beautiful memories. Those are truly worth holding on to.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marlene fate has shined on my little family -- we will visit the Mediterranean soon, mostly Israel but I hope some time in the Cote d'Azure. So little time and so many wonderful places -- what a great world!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 11 months ago from southern USA

      Dear Eric,

      Thank you for sharing of your youthful memories in Nice ...aww, such sweet memories and you have every right to cherish them. As the song says, "These times they are a changin'" for sure, and we must hold out to not allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with fear, as that seems to be the intent in all of this seemingly ongoing horror in the world at present. It seems they desire to fill our hearts and minds with such fear that we change our lifestyles, which is exactly what they seem to want.

      So true, "with love comes pain."

      Peace and blessings to you and yours always

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi my love, we are so cherished to love one another. My young family and I will go to Israel this year we must celebrate our life. Oh for sure worries abound but we will not deter from our love. We will love and we will not be denied our heritage of love.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 11 months ago

      I can picture the peace of this town from your writing. It is such a tragedy someone chose to use it as a backdrop for their hate. Tired of hearing all the horror, praying we can unite to bring peace to our world.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Teaches, my wife is a hard core prayer for good things. If you think about it, we wonder how many atrocities it actually stopped. No way to know. I tend to have faith that it has worked.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 11 months ago

      I'm praying and have "FAITH" that the "the eyes of your hearts be enlightened" (Ephesians 1:18) to TRUTH in HIS WORD!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Norine you have proven hundreds of times that you ain't the vessel chosen to open eyes. Do you have like a home study group that can give you support. It is always good to bounce things off others.

    • profile image

      Norine Williams 11 months ago

      I'm praying and have "FAITH" that the "the eyes of your hearts be enlightened" (Ephesians 1:18) to TRUTH in HIS WORD!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Norine. That is a nice thing to say.

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      Norine Williams 11 months ago

      Whether you believe it or not Eric, I LOVE you as I do ALL! I pray for your health and strength also! I KNOW GOD would not have placed me on HP for nothing! I KNOW that HE has not sparked an interest of me in you for nothing! I KNOW it "seems" I'm harassing you, trying to belittle you, but on the contrary, I am ONLY "trying" to CORRECT with the WORD of GOD and IF you TRULY seek SALVATION, it would behoove you to "STUDY" to "see if these things are so" (Acts 17:11)!

      GOD is trying to tell you something; therefore, don't let "traditions, popes, priests or pastors" get in the way of HIS WORD! MOST of all don't let "your understanding" (education) get in the way of what HIS WORD SAYS!

      Hebrew 12:11 says "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but GRIEVOUS: nevertheless AFTERWARD it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them WHICH ARE EXERCISED THEREBY."

      GOD SAID in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

      Eric, since you have children, I KNOW you KNOW to tell your children what is RIGHT when they ask you a question, to CORRECT them when they are in error is showing them "unconditional LOVE" whether they agree with TRUTH or not. How much more do you think our Heavenly Father wants HIS children to KNOW "right from wrong?" HE "LOVES" us Eric, and "desires no one is lost" (II Peter 3:9; John 6:39; I Timothy 2:4)!

      Speaking in the flesh: If I've hurt you in any way, please forgive me for that is NOT my intent. But speaking in the spirit: II Corinthians 7:8-10 "For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world seeketh death."

      As your children do not want to here TRUTH when they are being "corrected," neither does one who errs in HIS WORD! However, it is for "a righteous end!"

      LOVE

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Norine.

      This is a very interesting comment.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I think we all lost something with what happened in Nice, and all the other places that have had similar atrocities. But the story doesn't end there, and it never should!.

      To me, we can either feel like being a 'victim' of the horror of Nice and feed the hatred by hating or we can decide to fight back by building bridges of hope and love.

      I'm not sure how to say it except to say "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"

      Great hub, use those memories to lead your children to the world you want them to know about.

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence,

      I was taught at a very young age that what we had as a family created a responsibility. We did not flourish financially, although we did not suffer poverty. But we flourished in an opportunity to take the time to ponder the good things of life. It was truth to us that the important gift was the ability to appreciate.

      People that act out of anger, clearly miss the opportunity appreciate what they have been provided.

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