Pope wore two hats
Pope John Paul II was an international leader as well as being the head of the Catholic Church. He early on became a crusader regarding the indignities against humanity.
In his native Poland, he was one of the leaders against the influences of Nazism. In the Eastern Bloc countries of Europe he did likewise against the force of Communism.
He traveled around the world and, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Pope John, he preached for a better understanding and tolerance among different religions.
When he visited Israel, he prayed at the Wailing Wall.
Some 25 years ago, Pope John Paul visited Yankee Stadium. Due to the sold-out crowd, many of us took positions on a side street he would be passing. As he slowly went by, he waved a full blessing.
At that instant his facial expression was soft and prayerful. Perhaps he was trying to convey the following message: "I do it Christ's way -- Would you like to follow me?"
ANTHONY E. CRISH
Cynic takes a different view of some mourners in Rome
I confess, with age has come much cynicism.
A record number of the world's leaders recently gathered in Rome to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
He was truly a creature of God who stirred the universal hearts and minds of a large segment of the citizens of this planet we call Earth. The outpouring of love for this man of God by the magnitude of their pilgrimage seems unprecedented. They flocked to Rome in homage to a pope who was accepted and admired by a far greater number of people than just those who were members of his church.
My cynicism is that many of the world leaders who assembled at this moving ceremony were there for the photo opportunity his death provided them.
An optimist might have viewed their presence as a show of public contrition of their failed leadership. Possibly even as a show of commitment to redirecting their future services within the context of the wisdom, council and love that John Paul II attempted to impart to them through his life and his service to the Almighty Father, Creator of us all.
Alas, that it might have been so.
Tribute by a pupil to teacher who made a difference
Recently Mr. Dan Flood passed away, yet he will live on through the many lives he has touched as a true hero.
Who was Dan Flood? He was the kind of teacher everyone wants their children to have. He was the teacher that every kid wanted. He was that person who encouraged you to be the best you could be. Mr. Flood always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. He was never too busy to talk to you, just to see how you were doing.
Mr. Flood was my teacher 27 years ago at Poland Middle School. He inspired me in everything he did. He and his wife had eight children, yet he somehow managed to remember the names of everyone he came in contact with. He truly cared about people. If only the rest of the world would take the time, as he did, to make people feel important this world would be a better place.
So today I say good-bye to a true hero. A man who has influenced so many lives in his 55 years. You will not be forgotten, your smile and twinkle in your eyes will be remembered forever.
Poland Class of 1982