The Bracelet

In the last 5 years, my Memorial Day reflections have focused around symbols, happenings and people from a rural community who have stirred incredible emotion and remembrance.  There was the 7th generation farmer marine surviving Iraq to milk cows again, the site of a fallen soldier’s procession along our road, stones from a barn foundation, an old elm tree, a country song, a matriarch Alpine goat and some hallowed grass.  This year’s inspiration comes from a simple yet poignant tie-dyed green and white bracelet. At first glance it’s just a piece of plastic but on the surface it makes a suggestion:  What would Daniel do?  This tribute to 7 year old Daniel Barden who perished at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut reminds us on Memorial Day to inspire others to share his compassion, selflessness, gratitude and appreciation for life, essentially committing you to random acts of kindness.  “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself", noted Ralph Waldo Emerson. My tears drop onto the keyboard wishing young Daniel could see how this premise of kindness is alive and well in everyday life.  Every weekend there is a volunteer benefit for a family or person that has faced the loss of a home or loved one; needs funds to pay for medical care or to put food on the table.  These charitable acts are furthered by the caregivers that take care of our physical and mental well-being whe

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