I attended the Service of Remembrance in the Lehighton Park Sunday evening, Sept. 11, and left there humbled to say the least. I want to publicly acknowledge my thanks to LIFE for planning and presenting such a fulfilling program, as well as thank all the participants. Their contribution was so very much appreciated.
However, my focus of this letter is directed toward Ray Koons, and his message. Anyone who was not there missed out on a very worthwhile message in life, delivered by a man who is extremely qualified to speak as he did on that subject. During my employment I was told many times not to "wear my heart on my sleeve". In this case Ray did exactly that. He put his faith in God out there for everyone to see. During his presentation he mentioned several "old Pennsylvania Dutch" sayings. In retrospect I know that he should have used another such one; "practice what you preach".
His message was patriotic in nature with emphasis on remembering those still suffering. He spoke openly about forgiveness as well as being honorable. His message seemed to be a presentation of his beliefs as well as some of his learning experiences up to this point in his life. He talked of learning some valuable lessons from some of his students, some of whom were blind. And he lauded many of his students during his teaching career for teaching him lessons. I never had Ray for a teacher; but I believe I missed out on some good memories and valuable life lessons that others in my class acquired. He told us of how hard it is for him to forgive in certain instances, a thought that I can relate to easily.
If I had given his presentation a title, I would have called it "A Lesson for Life". He told his listeners not to be afraid to laugh often. And not to be afraid to cry, because it makes you feel good. He also told us to dance like nobody was watching. And he told of seeing the toughest Marines and football players do such. I thought his driving prong encouraged us to live like Jesus told us to live, and not miss out on doing good in our world because we were blinded by hate. He told us to choose our words carefully so we don't hurt others.
Ray's presentation on Sunday evening earned him my respect even more than previously. He truly does practice what he preaches. I respect him for "putting it out for public observation." And LIFE selected an excellent speaker and a fine individual who not only "talks the talk" but "walks the walk" too!!
East Penn Township