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Can you hear the bells?

By Staff | Dec 20, 2013

To the editor,

The holidays are a time to share cherished memories of Christmases past. Friends and family gather to relive these memories.

They also gather to make memories for future celebrations.

But with some families, the holidays are marked by memories that are better forgotten -loved ones gone all too soon, the crash that took their lives.

The pain of these memories is much deeper during what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow knew this pain all too well. In 1863, Wadsworth wrote one of America’s most beloved Christmas poems, despite his deepest pain.

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” was indeed written on Christmas Day, shortly after Longfellow had lost his eldest son in the Civil War and his wife in a house fire.

You may know the poem better by the musical versions performed by various artists.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

And wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Before traveling this holiday season, take steps to avoid a tragedy. Wear your seatbelt, drive defensively, and avoid distractions while driving.

On behalf of the men and women of the Iowa State Patrol, Merry Christmas and safe travels this holiday season.

Trooper Vince Kurtz

Safety education officer

Iowa State Patrol

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