This week has been a mix of emotions for many of us. On Halloween Tuesday, my husband and I attended the long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony for the NCSU Plant Sciences Initiative. Attending the ceremony were representatives from the University including Chancellor Woodson, Dean Linton from CALS, stakeholders from many of the commodities and agriculture organizations including the Golden Leaf Foundation and of course our NC State Grange President Jimmy Gentry and quite of few of our Grange members. It was a spectacular day and so exciting to see so much of our hard work come to fruition. We lobbied the General Assembly for several years to get their support for partial funding of the Plant Sciences Initiative which ultimately turned into a bond referendum thanks to Gov. McCrory. Then the hard work started again to education the voters on the effort of NC State and the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services to partner with commodity groups, established ag businesses and start-ups. The Plant Sciences Initiative will be a state-of-the-art research complex on NCSU’s Centennial Campus that will bring the brightest minds in academia, government and industry together. Cross-disciplinary teams will work together to bring innovation that increases yields, enhances sustainability and extends our farmers’ growing seasons.
After the service I returned home to turn on the news only to hear about the heartbreaking terrorist attack on New York City where a lone wolf terrorist drove wildly through the streets of Manhattan killing 8 people and injuring 12 others. Five of the eight killed were from Argentina enjoying a high school reunion together. Another killed was was from Belgium. Here we have 6 innocent people dead that were visiting this beautiful country of ours. I am sure they all took more than one glance at our Statue of Liberty that stands proudly on Liberty Island in the New Harbor representing freedom and democracy. For North Carolinians New York seems a long way from here….however, deep down I think we all realize a tragedy like this could happen right here in our hometown. We are all so saddened for this loss of life at the hands of a crazed killer who told investigators he was inspired by Islamic State videos.
At the same time I am hearing about this tragedy from every news station on cable television I am looking around my home that I have been living in for 16 years. My husband and I are slowly dismantling our house to move across town to a home that will give us more needed space. I feel horribly guilty about the excitement I feel after seeing the horror in New York City. I thought about the families that were reeling from the shock of losing someone they loved so horribly. Then I remember we are Americans and we live in a county that was founded on freedom and bravery, hard work and perseverance. I am so grateful and proud of this amazing country I call home. I do not want to feel guilty about working hard and having parents that worked hard. I do want to be an example for my son’s generation. I want them to know that the American Dream can still be realized. Tonight in spite of all the chaos of moving, choosing paint colors and managing subcontractors, I will pray for peace for this world; I will pray that our leaders will be given the wisdom and discernment to abolish this horrible intrusion of this murderous enemy; and I will give thanks for the brave men and women that fought so hard and continue to fight to give us our freedom and the chance of living the American Dream.