Digest>Archives> September 2003

Admire Me, Cherish Me, but Please Help Save Me

By Bob Trapani, Jr.


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Year after year I tower majestically over the shorelines and waters of our great country while presenting a romantic appearance that is admired and loved by young and old alike. I symbolize the essence of strength, the virtue of steadfast dedication and proudly represent the unique heritage of my community. I stand in lasting tribute to the dedication and great sacrifice of the keepers and their families who kept my light burning bright through many a storm. In fact, my legacy stands honorably in the halls of time for the protection of mankind as fate would permit.

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Since the birth of our nation, I have sent out a guiding light to those seeking a better way of life, as well as for mariners who worked to harvest the great bounty the sea affords - ensuring they were brought home safely to their loved ones each and every night. Time and technology, though able to render my lifesaving powers somewhat obsolete, can do little to fade the glory of my service to America and her people.

I was built to serve and to last while I was needed, but unfortunately, progress seems to have little purpose for me now. As a static symbol of our nation’s glorious past, I am hard pressed to keep pace with a society that displays an insatiable desire for the speed of life and electronic wizardry. Thankfully, caring groups and individuals throughout our country have recognized my plight and stepped forward to save my kind, yet many other lights have fallen victim to the effects of erosion, neglect, and sadly - even complacency.

I am happy that thousands of folks climb my steps to appreciate the beauty and breathtaking view my lofty perch affords. My image adorns countless homes in the form of resin models depicting my likeness to clothing that says you love me. You’ve taken many pictures of my stately presence - by which I’m most flattered. Yet I plead with you to stop for a moment to take a closer look at my brick, mortar and steel, for all is not well. Automation, budget cuts, vandalism and Mother Nature have combined to subtly compromise my strength. You must remember that while you seek safe refuge in the warm comforts of your home, by design I must continue to muster the strength to stand defiantly in the face of the most terrifying tempests. Even on calm days, my brick, mortar and steel suffer the slow but horrible deteriorating effects of salt air, moisture and the tides.

Despite all that is against me, I will not complain. Instead, I will continue to stand and serve with all my might until the last ounce of my strength has been used, but please remember, time marches on whether we notice or not. If you don’t come to my aid now, there will come a day I will no longer be there for you. I’d like to banish the very thought of my demise but I am powerless without your helping hand. Much in the way of your time, money and unwavering passion will be required in this preservation battle of attrition. There is no question that the course of life will test your resolve for me - but am I not worth your very best?

If you do not fail me in my greatest hour of need, you have my word I will not fail you in the coming years. With your love, passion and hard work, I will continue to shine on for your future generations. I will help teach your children what dedication, valor, sacrifice and unfailing service mean and how these qualities symbolize America and her people. Time is not on my side. They will not build my kind again. My light will shine on only a little while longer if you don’t help me now. As your lifelong friend, won’t you please answer my desperate call for help?


Your Favorite Lighthouse

This story appeared in the September 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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