the gorgeous art of Holly Sierra
“Dear Madam -
“I have great pleasure in informing you that Marechal Petain, Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the East, has, on my proposal, conferred upon you, as from February 27th 1919, the croix de Guerre with the following inscription:
“Mistress Culling, of the British Committee of the French Red Cross, Directress of Railway Canteens, has in the course of the campaign, unceasingly provided our soldiers with valued comfort, material and moral. Has carried on her beneficent mission under violent and repeated bombardments, in particular at Revigny, on September 5th, and 6th, and October the 4th, 5th and 7th, 1917, gaining the admiration of all by her presence of mind and indifference to danger.
(Signed ) Petain.”
"The Pallas cat was named after the German naturalist Peter Pallas, who discovered them in the 18th Century. They are found in Iran, China, Russia, Mongolia and Tibet, living in rocky deserts and barren mountainous regions.
Pallas cats are most frequently encountered at dusk or in early morning. They make their den in small caves and rock crevices but will take shelter in the burrows of marmots, foxes and badgers. They will sleep here during the day until dusk, when it is time to hunt. Pallas cats have dense fur to cope with their cold, dry environment, and they wrap their tail around their body for extra warmth when sitting or lying."
Dominique Bizimana and Jean Rukondo make unlikely teammates. Eighteen years ago they were on opposite sides of a brutal sectarian conflict that spawned the worst mass slaughter since the Second World War.
Rukondo, an ethnic Hutu, was stationed on the other side of the front line as a soldier in Rwanda’s national army. While leading a patrol he stepped on a landmine losing his entire left leg.
Now they fight together as members of Rwanda’s Paralympic volleyball team. “We always joke when we are playing with young kids that I think that man who shot me was Rukundo,” says Bizimana, an infectiously enthusiastic 36-year-old from Rwanda’s Tutsi ethnic grouping whose lower left leg was torn off while fighting for the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). “Now we are friends and we train together. Our team is always together. It’s a good example for young people in Rwanda. Our team is a model for other generations.”
"Tonight we bring you the Festival of the Flame, the symbol of the spirit of the Games, which has burned bright at London 2012. Tonight we celebrate that spirit, and although we have many differences, there is one quality we all share, one thing all of us have in common: human spirit."
“The Paralympic Games is about transforming our perception of the world. We are all different, there is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being, but we share the same human spirit. What is important is that we have the ability to create. This creativity can take many forms, from physical achievement to theoretical physics. However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”
A faintish journey do I make
As through this frazzled world I wind,
With heavy heart and weary steps,
But with determined mind.
Beseech I for a flicker of
The faith than can a mountain move,
And hold that tenet close to me,
Believing where I cannot prove.
The pow'r that comes when sinking low
To man who grasps for straw or rope,
Will clutch til has he breath no more
For where there's life, there's hope.
If my good turn be given to
My fellow man's deficiency,
I'll try to share my lowly gifts
Of Faith and Hope and Charity.
faith, hope, and charity - anne shannon demarest - 1965