Let Us Not forget–Veteran’s Day

american flagI teach at a public high school that has a strong tie to the military since an air force base is in the city.  What a privilege it is to teach the children of these service men and women. I think citizens need to know that our schools teach about patriotism and honor those who serve in order to keep us safe.

I’ve been to Arlington Cemetery outside of Washington D.C. Watching the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier always leads me to remember and be thankful for my freedom in the United States.

IMG_0190I’ve also been to the Normandy beaches and stood where so many gave their lives in a brutal battle. Walking through the rows and rows of markers at the Normandy American Cemetery brought the price of freedom to a crescendo. So many lives! The Canadian Cemetery was as emotional.

As impressive and momentous as these two places are, the Veteran’s Day program at my local high school last Thursday left a memory and reminder of the past and present-day  sacrifices of our men and women. We have a very active, inspiring JROTC program that organized and shared with the community with honored guests, music, drama, letters, and a solemn roll call. During the roll call, any veterans on the program names are called. If a faculty’s veteran family member has passed away during the past year, the solemn answer of “here” is silent. The faculty member is given a flag in honor of the one who passed away. So moving, so solemn. Tears of appreciation filled the auditorium.

IMG_5709It is good and right to take time to remember our veterans. As I write my novels, I remember that the men and women of the 1770s during the American Revolution showed such an awesome spirit of hope and freedom as they formed a new nation.

How do you remember our veterans?

The Bright Unknown Review

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About the Book

Book: The Bright Unknown

Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date: October 22, 2019

  • Two young friends embark upon an epic journey cover Bright Unkownacross 1940s middle America in search of answers, a family, and a place to call home.

The only kind of life Brighton Turner understands is the one she has endured within the dreary walls of a rural Pennsylvania asylum. A nurse has thoughtfully educated and raised Brighton, but she has also kept vital information from her in order to keep her close. Brighton befriends a boy whom she calls Angel—he doesn’t know his name—and as the two of them learn more about what lies beyond the walls they call home, they fight for their release and eventually escape.

However, the world outside the only place they’ve ever known is not what they expect. They have no real names, no money, and no help—and they must rely upon the kindness of strangers as they walk and hitchhike from Pennsylvania to Michigan to find their last hope of a home.

This heartbreaking journey, narrated in gorgeous prose, explores what it means to belong—and to scour the universe with fresh eyes for the brightness within.

Click here to grab your copy!

My Review

I had no idea this kind of abuse and horror existed in asylums in our nation in the past. And I pray it doesn’t now. As I read this book, I ached for the people who had to endure such harsh, insensitive conditions.  When I read accounts like this, I am thankful that we have come so far, although I know we still have a way to go to make sure all people, all ages, all conditions are treated as humans should be treated.

The journey I traveled with the characters in The Bright Unknown has left me wrapped in love, despair, hope, concern, questions, and a desire to make sure those around me know that family is so very important. While reading this novel, I reached out to my family letting them know my deep love for them. I never want my actions and my decisions to injure the ones God has entrusted to me.

Expect to experience true emotions such as anger, frustration, weariness, concern, hope, love, and forgiveness.

About the Author

Elizabeth Byler Younts gained a worldwide audience Elizabeth Yountsthrough her first book, Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Solace of Water and the Promise of Sunrise series. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, her two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets.

 

More from Elizabeth

The Bright Unknown was born out of a seed of a true story that my husband’s grandmother, Gigi, shared with me. Gigi told me that when she was a young girl living in Oklahoma her mom had a friend who was a nurse. During one of her visits over coffee she would occasionally talk about her patients at the local asylum. One particular story really intrigued Gigi and even decades later she still remembered it. The story was about a patient who had a baby while at the hospital and while Gigi remembers nothing about the patient or the child, she knew that when she moved out of Oklahoma several years later that asylum-born girl was around eighteen and still living within the walls of that hospital along with her patient-mother.

That story stuck with me. This trapped girl and her mother wouldn’t let me go. I began to wonder over her and ask all sorts of unanswered questions. Slowly but surely my imagined story for her came to life. Layer after layer I learned about Brighton, my name for her. I also named two characters after Gigi, her first and middle, as an honor to her. This story was born from a memory but now these characters feel real and present in my life today and I hope you will journey with them in The Bright Unknown.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, November 8

Connect in Fiction, November 8

Moments, November 9

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10

Betti Mace, November 10

Pause for Tales, November 11

Inklings and notions, November 11

Mary Hake, November 11

Texas Book-aholic, November 12

Hallie Reads, November 12

For the Love of Literature, November 12

Through the Fire Blogs, November 13

For Him and My Family, November 13

Remembrancy, November 14

mpbooks, November 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 15

Godly Book Reviews, November 15

 

Multi-Author Giveaway

Giveaway Pic 6I’m so excited about being a part of this multi-author giveaway. Follow the link for your chance to win. Please post to your social media sites too.
Readers, we are so thankful for YOU! Your support and encouragement mean the world.  To show our appreciation for all you do, we are hosting a HUGE giveaway!
Don’t miss your chance to enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card and over 40+ books. Click here to enter:  https://promosimple.com/ps/efda/thankful-for-our-readers
This giveaway is going on now through Nov 10.
Giveaway Pic 15Thank you so very much!

El Día de los Muertos

IMG_2681As a preface to this blog, I want to remind you that I teach high school Spanish. Today–this week–was exciting in my classroom. I want to share some pictures and activities that the students and I enjoyed. Pay close attention to all the color!

IMG_2690El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) corresponds to All Saint’s Day–with a twist. This is a Mexican holiday, a true celebration of the dead. There is nothing sad about this day. The families welcome the opportunity to remember their loved ones through various activities. A fiesta for a few weeks ending with this day and November 2.

I started on Monday with a brief history with colorful slides. Believe me there were lots of questions about the colorful skulls and the decorated altars in the homes. The week continued with making papel picado which is the cutouts on tissue paper that we hung from the ceiling. Face painting consumed one class period–no princesses or witches. The students designed colorful skulls! We made paper flowers and the girls put theirs on headbands. Today we finished with a party and a movie—“Coco.”

If you ever have the opportunity to participate in this rendition of  Halloween, try to grasp the idea of celebrating your loved ones.

Do you know anything about Day of the Dead?