Siobhan Kelleher Kukolic

Words to inspire the belief that we have all we need to be the change we wish to see.

Tag: World War II

Comfort zones are hard to leave

Comfort zones are hard to leave. I’m not much of a long distance driver. But when my two sons qualified for the World Irish Dance Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina this year, the only way for myself and my boys to get there was if I got in the driver’s seat. So I did just that.

I drove from Ontario to New York to Pennsylvania to West Virginia to Virginia to North Carolina for the international “Olympics of Irish Dance.” Then from Greensboro to Virginia to Washington D.C. for a fountain of knowledge adventure. Then from Washington to Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and home.

After slipping my boots off my tired feet last night I realized that anything is possible if you believe.

Both boys won the game of grit at the competition. My 16-year-old earned his personal best coming 23rd and my 13-year-old danced his heart out and left it all on the stage after having five weeks off with a broken foot prior to the big day. Their team also came 9th. The perseverance and resilience that comes from countless hours of practice and preparation before stepping onto that stage in front of seven international judges to dance for a handful of minutes is invaluable.

In Washington D.C. we were surprised by the lush greenery and the mountains of history. The idea that some people came together and wrote down a list of rules for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom and democracy. The beauty of the monuments. The details and the symbolism. The 58 columns at the WWII Memorial representing the 50 states and 8 territories. Statues of soldiers from countless countries who fought and died in the Korean War to liberate South Korea. How the Vietnam Memorial Wall looks like a wound from the air and is meant to be read from the middle and around the outside and back to “close the wound.” That the Jefferson Memorial can be seen from the south side of the White House because FDR trimmed the trees to get that inspiring view, and JFK’s eternal resting place at Arlington can be seen from behind the Lincoln Memorial. That the Martin Luther King Memorial shows a stone of hope coming out of a mountain of despair and how MLK’s legs are not completely carved into the stone as the fight for civil rights continues and we are the legs to carry it on.

Inspiration comes from many places. I am inspired by my children who are able to share their talent on a world stage and dance like no one is watching. I am inspired by people who believed in democracy and came together to make it happen. And I am inspired by those brave souls who fought and died to remind us that freedom is not free.

The longer I spend on this journey, the more I realize that the destination is what happens along the way. And leaving comfort zones is the only way to see what needs to be seen. It’s the only way to go and the only way to grow.

National day of mourning

December 5th, 2018 has been declared a national day of mourning to honour the late U.S. President George H.W. Bush.  The federal government and the stock exchange will be closed among other things.   Continue reading

The human that he was

As I sat watching the Darkest Hour in a theatre on Winston Churchill Boulevard, it was not lost on me.  The larger than life British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, played brilliantly by Gary Oldman, was portrayed as the human that he was.  Which made the story all the more touching. Continue reading

The darkest hour

This week the movie Darkest Hour will be released.  It tells the tale of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in World War II having to decide whether to make peace with Hitler or fight on.  So much of Europe had already fallen to the Nazis and Britain almost lost everything at Dunkirk when regular folks in personal boats had to help bring the British soldiers home to fight against the German attack. Continue reading

Anne Frank

Seventy-five years ago this week, a little girl turned 13 and her dad gave her a diary as a gift.  It was June 12, 1942.  And the girl was Anne Frank.

She wrote about her life as a teenager and all the things her family had to endure while hiding from the Nazis during World War II.  Sadly, the family was discovered and she died in 1945 at a concentration camp. Continue reading

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