Happiness and Heroism: Two TFP Houston Talks

June 10, 2019

Norman Fulkerson American Knight By Zechariah Long

On June 1, Tradition Family Property—Texas hosted two talks by long-time TFP member Norman Fulkerson for friends and supporters at the Historic Italian Cultural and Community Center in Houston. Mr. Fulkerson is the author of the award-winning book An American Knight: The Life of Colonel John W. Ripley (USMC) and is a contributor to Crusade Magazine.

As attendees arrived that morning, it promised to be a very blessed and lively conference.

What is True Happiness?

In his first talk, Mr. Fulkerson spoke about “What is True Happiness?” Contrary to what Hollywood tells us, happiness does not consist in having many material possessions. Indeed, many Hollywood stars, athletes and music celebrities that “have it made,” according to the world, commit suicide. One example of this was Robin Williams. Mr. Fulkerson explained that true happiness comes from the selfless giving of oneself to God and the fulfillment of our mission on earth. This entails suffering for the love of God and results in giving life a purpose and meaning.

talking in hall

After the first talk, attendees conversed over coffee and refreshments. Everyone enjoyed being with each other in the Catholic ambience. Such happiness is endangered so much by the social media craze of today.

Lessons from a War Hero

Mr. Fulkerson’s second talk was “Lessons from the Life of Colonel John Ripley.” He showed how this great Vietnam War hero can inspire us in the cultural battles of today. This outstanding marine is most known for single-handedly blowing up the bridge at Dong Ha during the North Vietnamese 1972 Easter offensive. His feat prevented the enemy’s victory.

Towards the middle of the battle, he was extremely fatigued and realized that he could not finish the job on his own. He turned to God and the Blessed Mother shouting: “Jesus, Mary, get me there! Jesus, Mary, get me there…” He prayed this prayer as he placed detonator charges beneath the bridge by holding onto the I-beams and hand walking the length of the bridge back and forth as his feet dangled 40 feet above the river.

Mr. Fulkerson also mentioned the moral courage of Col. Ripley, who displayed even greater courage by taking a public stance against homosexuals serving in the military. Mr. Fulkerson explained: “This man’s courage on and off the battlefield serves as a very good lesson for those involved in the cultural battle today.”

Hail Holy Queen

The event finished with the singing of the hymn “Salve Regina” in front of a copy of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The attendees then left reinvigorated for the spiritual battle required of a faithful Catholic today.

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