Independence Seaport hosts the USS Olympia, known to be the oldest steel-hulled American warship still afloat. Launching in 1892, one of the ship’s biggest claims to fame was returning the Unknown Soldier from WWI for a reburial ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery. On the backside of the Unknown Soldier’s Tomb reads the following, “Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God.”
Interestingly enough and perhaps merely coincidental, down the path from the USS Olympia is a fence filled with ordinary locks. Rows after row of locks meets the eye, filled with inscriptions, names, and words of inspiration. The description above the locks reads, “Philadelphia’s Hope Fence, Lock in Your Story…Everyone has a story to tell.” The idea being that in this moment in time, don’t let your story go untold. If there’s someone in your life that remains silent but deserves to be heard, share their message. Offer the words that need to be absorbed…right now. There is no time but this very hour. So lock in that story.
In a way, it’s exactly what the sailors did on the USS Olympia. Although they never knew the real details of the Unknown Soldier, I can imagine them feeling compelled to bring back a piece of his story. To tell the world, no one deserves to be forgotten.
The Jewish people live in a world of storytelling. Historically a displaced people, often uprooted from our home, the tradition of sharing stories and rituals laid a foundation of both meaning and comfort. It’s no wonder why the essence of who we are is described as an oral tradition. Words and laws passed down from generation to generation, woven into our souls, shaping who we are today.
Don’t let your story go unnoticed or untold. Whose wisdom should be shared? Which adage, lesson, tale or deed craves to be told?
Who knows? Your story might just stand the test of time. And no longer…should any person be known only by God alone.
Lock in your story by unlocking your soul.