Day 44

Hello friends,

Made the ride with Clark from Sodus Point to Pulaski NY, about 64 miles.  It was a nice ride, but somewhat hilly at times.  Much of the terrain was farmland with forest like areas. Humid but not to hot. 

I was saddened by Father Jacques Hamel death today in Rouen, France. Very depressing.

My sister-in-law Debra will be my guest blogger again today. She has some interesting tidbits to share with you.

Hope and Mercy in our world,
Skip

Today's Post from Debra Million:
Today Skip and Clark will ride from Sodus Point, NY to Pulaski, NY.  The bed and breakfast we stayed in Sodus Point was a stop on the Underground Railroad, one of the last stops before they could get to Lake Ontario to get on a boat to freedom in Canada.  No rain today but a little hotter than anticipated.  This part of New York State is lovely.   Lots of fruit orchards and farm stands. We've seen quite a few Amish and Mennonite families up here.  The men in their straw hats and the women in their long skirts and clean white caps look so simple and beautiful.  Even though they're a religious minority, they get to live in peace, the privilege of living in America.  

We stopped in Oswego for lunch. After fueling up and drinking about 4 PITCHERS of water (plus a few Pepsis) the guys got back on the road to Pulaski. I decided to look around at the Fort Ontario State Historic Site.  I'm a history nerd, just ask my daughters.  The forts' history dates back to 1755, beginning with the French and Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, WWI and WWII.  But the part that really interested me was the role the fort played in WWII.  

Fort Ontario was the only shelter in America for about 1,000 European Jewish and Christian refugees from August 1944 until February 1946. The persecution of the Jews in Europe and the existence of concentration camps had been known but little had been done until 1944.  President Roosevelt directed the army to select a group for immediate immigration.  On August 1, 1944, these 874 Jewish and 108 Christian war torn and bedraggled refugees arrived by train to Fort Ontario. They were allowed to come on the condition they would return to their home country once the war was over.  Eventually the law was changed allowing them to remain in America and become American citizens.  

Only 1,000 were sent to safety out of the millions murdered.  That's just a tiny drop in the bucket. I couldn't help but see the parallels of the Middle Eastern Christians today.  No one wanted the refugees in 1944. They're not like us, they're dirty, they don't speak our language, it's not our problem, I don't want to think about it, why should we let them in our country? They were persecuted by their own government, just like the people in Syria are today. We are appalled at what happened in WWII to the Jewish people. It's happening again to our Christian brothers and sisters across the Middle East. 

In Pulaski, we are staying in a great place, Woodlawn Bed and Breakfast owned by Steve and Joanna Young, two of the nicest, most thoughtful people you will ever meet. After we checked in, Joanna did some of Skips' laundry!  We are saying goodbye to Skip in the morning and we are so sad to send him off by himself again.  Hopefully, our few days together will replenish him a little as he rides to remind us about people far from us going through persecutions we can't begin to imagine. 

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:10

Ride on Skip!

Today's Route: Sodus Point, NY to Pulaski, NY