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Our Lady of Paris: A Sight “Beyond Emotion, Beyond Words, Beyond Tears”

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 12:16 -- Phil Egan

It came like a vicious punch to the heart – the horrific sight of Notre Dame de Paris engulfed in angry, red-orange sheets of flame.

Watching Notre Dame Cathedral burning gave me the same sick feeling that I, and most others, experienced on September 11, 2001 when we watched United Airlines Flight 175 fly into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

It was like watching a piece of yourself dying.

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Echoes of Joe Welch: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 12:00 -- Phil Egan

It is one of the most famous questions in American.

In thee Red Scare days of the 1950s, Republican Senator Joe McCarthy’s frenzied imagination saw Communist sympathizers lurking in every aspect of American government and life.

His bold and wildly inaccurate accusations destroyed lives and careers. At a congressional hearing in 1954, attorney Joe Welch, listening to yet another attack on a young American, finally had heard enough.

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A Sarnia Valentine to Janis Moore

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 08:44 -- Phil Egan

She is truly one of those women with whom you are instantly enamoured.

I loved Janis Moore from the first day I met her – and Lord knows, I’m not alone.

I’m in the good company of thousands of citizens of Lambton County who’ve had occasion, over more than four decades, to visit the office of the Mayor of Sarnia. Their first welcome to that office was always delivered, with warmth, professional respect and a generous, friendly spirit by the woman that Sarnia has come to know as “Deputy Mayor” Janis.

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January...the perfect time to lay on a southern beach with a margarita

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 13:40 -- Phil Egan

When I was working on the front lines of the international travel industry in Toronto, January was the month I hated most.

It was the month during which holiday operators scraped by – selling vacations at, or just below, cost.

The Irish writer, Stewart Stafford, once wrote these lines explaining why.

“Dickensian poverty tends to occur after Christmas in January. For it is then, with pockets empty, dairy decimated and larder bare, that the general populace sinks into a collective pauper’s hibernation until Valentine’s Day.”

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The Search for the Girl with the Sea-Green Eyes

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 11:18 -- Phil Egan

It has been called the most famous photograph in the world. In her home country, the portrait is known as the Afghan Mona Lisa.

The haunted, piercing eyes that gaze at the camera display wariness and apprehension. She is young, but strikingly beautiful. Beneath the red shawl of her cloak, you can glimpse her coal-black hair.

Her image seizes your attention. It is a face that is not easily forgotten. Most of all, you are startled by those brilliant, lustrous green eyes.

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How McCrae’s Iconic Battle Poem Created the Flower of Remembrance

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:35 -- Phil Egan


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and  in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

The words are an echo of our childhoods – words taught to every Canadian elementary student.

We memorized the lines, but most of us were too young to grasp the power of the words, or to know the story of how John McCrae’s poem gave birth to the poppies that we still wear, in remembrance of the unimaginable carnage of that Great War, 100 years after it ended.

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The Pan Am experience a reminder of the lost golden age of flight

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 15:48 -- Phil Egan

Despite 40 years in the international travel industry, I was able to catch only the most fleeting glimpse of the fading “golden age” of aviation.

By the time mass travel to Mexico and the Caribbean had begun in the late 1960s, it was pretty much gone. But – while it endured – it was represented most illustriously by a legendary airline known to the world as “Pan Am” – Pan American World Airways.

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