Greetings Brothers,

I hope this issue of the Fifth Column finds you safe and well.

At the moment of this writing, we are undoubtedly in the midst of a trying time. Some have used the term unprecedented to describe what we are experiencing, however I disagree. The world, our nation, our communities and even Masonry itself have seen and overcome challenges of this magnitude. Our history books have many examples of horrific illnesses that have resulted in unfortunate tragedy.

But I am reminded of a personal experience with another period of uncertainty in our recent history. That of the events of 9/11. While there is no need to go into detail about those events, I would like to share my experiences and observations of how our country responded to those events and the people affected.

As a Massage Therapist and member of the American Massage Therapy Association, a team was put together very quickly after the event called the Massage Emergency Response Team (MERT). We were deployed to the respite center at ground zero to support and provide our services to the rescuers, law enforcement, and support personnel. It was also a difficult time, stress was high. No one knew what was going to happen next. Every day at the site, work would stop when the remains of a first responder was found and everyone would show respect and mourn. Then, the labor would continue. There are a number of profound experiences that I am happy to share another time, but the overwhelming overture that most struck me was how the country and the world stepped up and worked together for the recovery and rebuilding efforts. At ground zero there was an overwhelming sense that people just wanted to help, in any way that could. From the youngest grade school kids who wrote letters and made friendship bracelets to thank and show love to the recovery teams, to the finest restaurants in New York that provided amazing food to feed the hundreds of volunteers at the site and everyone in between. People just wanted to help for no other purpose than to help.

I believe that is what we most need now… maybe it’s not donating goods or services this time. Maybe it’s just supporting each other and doing, or not doing, things that will help us keep each other from getting sick.

As brothers in Masonry, we are are bound by ties that cannot be broken… we come together to support one another and build a better society of friends and brothers. As Masons it is our duty, Nay, our obligation to set the example for our communities and the world to fight whatever scourge attempts to bring us down and break us apart.

I am proud and grateful to call you all brothers, and although it feels that sometimes it takes a spectacular event to warrant help from others, your brothers and I are ever ready to support and help you at a moments notice.

Be safe and stay well brothers!

Yours in Brotherhood,

WB Kevin Zorda