Good early evening, my fellow citizens of New Bedford. Tonight is the last night of the first decade of the 21st century. New Year’s Day is everyone’s annual birthday. It may not be your actual day of birth, but it is the beginning of the next calendar year, and we all begin to focus on our next birthday. Another year has gone by and the first annual ritual is upon us. We must learn to write the date as 2010.
New Year’s Eve is the day we contemplate the past and anticipate the future. Collectively, this evening, we are more aware of how time interacts with our lives than any other day. We know that time moves forward, marking important personal and historic dates, all kept in specific units of time. We often measure time by events in our lives as in: “remember Aunt Betsy’s wedding?” or “remember that Thanksgiving when…?” or “remember when the Red Sox…?”
Our past calendars are comprised of reflections, memories, and valued and cherished moments that we don’t measure by the clock. It is a given, that time is in constant forward motion, but, it is logical to ask, can we stop time? The answer is in fact, no, but practically we can, by personally committing to indelibly print a specific moment in time, in our minds. Perhaps it’s a special family moment, looking into the eyes of a loved one, a memory of an important community or historic event, or a lesson not to be forgotten. These memories allow each of us to stop time for a definite period of reflection, even while real time continues to move forward. The gift of a fond remembrance comforts each of us, and allows us to live our lives with happy memories from the past. The trials and tribulations of life allow us to more gently, and appropriately guide our lives into the future.
Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions and everyone breaks more than a few. Yet many promises for the better are carried out, at least for some period, or, in some form, into the New Year and beyond. Each day is a new opportunity to live an exciting, fulfilling life, to seize the moment for the good each and every moment, to weave no less than the intent of our New Year’s resolutions into the fabric of the day. New Year’s Eve is the day for us to look to a bright future and begin anew – A renewal of our spirits and hopefully a renewal of our healthy bodies. New Year’s Eve is a night of both nostalgia and soaring expectations for the New Year.
In closing, peace to New Bedford, and health and happiness to all of our fellow citizens, and to a new year filled with opportunity and success for all. Say a prayer asking for GOD’s blessing for our City, our Country and for the young men and women who wear the colors of the United States of America. Happy New Year.