In this Oct. 14, 2010 photo, “Saving Freedom” a 1991 painting by Mary Jane Jordan is seen in Roseburg, Ore.. Caryl Jordan Baum, 67, the daughter of Mary Jane Jordan, believes it prophetically depicted the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. She hopes to have the painting, which she said her mother painted after having a vision, made into a postage stamp that commemorates the 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) – Ghostly figures run across the roof of a skyscraper, smoke and flames reflected in the building’s window panes, contrasting with the brilliant blue sky.
The people, who have no faces or color, clamor on top of each other in their haste to get away from a man brandishing a knife. A large American flag stands in the midst of the pale figures, the red and white stripes smudging together as if the flag was drenched in a heavy rain.
The scene is from a watercolor called “Saving Freedom” painted by Roseburg resident Caryl Jordan Baum’s late mother Mary Jane Jordan in 1991.
Jordan Baum, 67, believes it prophetically depicted the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. She hopes to have the painting, which she said her mother painted after having a vision, made into a postage stamp that commemorates the 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Jordan Baum plans to submit an application to the U.S. Postal Service soon and believes the painting’s significance makes a strong case for it being put on a stamp.
Prints of the painting have been sold to people all over the country, with former President George W. Bush being the most famous owner, she said.
Jordan Baum sent a print of the painting in a frame with tiny American flags bordering it to the president around Veteran’s Day in 2001. She got a call shortly after from his staff saying they received the painting and planned to present it to the president.
“They were thrilled. They were getting chills,” Jordan Baum said.
She recently learned the painting will be part of the president’s archives, soon to be housed on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She had written a letter inquiring what happened to the painting and received an answer last month from the former president.
“It makes a fine addition to the collection,” states the letter signed by Bush. “Thanks again to you and Mrs. Mary Jane Jordan for sharing it with me.”
Jordan Baum found the painting while looking through a stash of her mother’s artwork in her garage shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. Immediately struck by the way it eerily foretold the terrorist attacks, she rushed over to her mother’s nursing home to show her the painting and find out more about it. That’s when Jordan explained the vision to her daughter.
“She saw the whole thing before,” Jordan Baum said. “She had a vision, and she didn’t know what it was. It scared her so she put (the painting) away.”
Jordan Baum also noted how the painting contrasted with her mother’s other watercolors, which mostly depicted colorful landscapes and flowers.
“They were beautiful scenes, and they were nothing like this,” she said, gesturing to a print of the painting identical to the one in the Bush archives.
After the painting was displayed at Linus Oakes retirement village in Roseburg, where Jordan lived with her husband, Irving, for 14 years, many people requested prints, Jordan Baum said.
Per her mother’s request, all proceeds from prints and cards depicting the painting went to charity. People who saw the painting also frequently remarked that it would make a striking stamp.
“I want to keep her legacy alive,” Jordan Baum said. “If this becomes a postage stamp, it would be such an honor.”
Jordan died at 87 in 2002, but not before finding out that President Bush received her painting, Jordan Baum said.
“It made her very happy,” she said. “At least she lived long enough to know.”
Bush sent Jordan Baum a condolence letter following her mother’s death.
Jordan was a prolific painter, Jordan Baum said. She taught art at a high school in Costa Mesa, Calif., before she and her husband retired to Roseburg in the late ’80s.
Staff at Linus Oakes still fondly remember the woman who taught art classes to other residents and displayed her artwork there. Linus Oakes Activities Director Becky Brigham said Jordan was very patriotic and she remembers seeing the woman frequently decked out in stars and stripes.
It was her mother’s patriotism that made her choose out “Saving Freedom” out of 10 other possible titles as the name of her piece, Jordan Baum said.
“Many people, they’re just blow away by the meaning of this painting,” she said. “It shows that the terrorist is not winning. The patriotic Americans are carrying the flag and they’re saving freedom.”
Today the world remembers the day of infamy that has come to be called 911. On September 11, 2001 the unthinkable happened-We were attacked by a hostile force deep within our own country. We were all shocked, many people were surprised, angry, saddened, or had their faith shaken.
Political correctness and genuine civility restrain us seven years later from saying much of what many of us think. We must love our country in season and out of season, convenient or inconvenient, whether the rest of the world does or not. That, however, does not mean we can’t correct ourselves, better ourselves. “Know thyself,” the Philosopher says.
Seven years later I admit that I am weary of the arguments at both extremes. At times the far left seems to truly despise the hand that feeds it. America bashing in some quarters has taken on the respectability of a rite of passage, if not a religion. You might expect it from some of the western European nations we have repeatedly bailed out of the hell visited on them by the Hitlers, Stalins, and other assorted thugs and mass murderers. It is shocking, however, when immigrants that have gone from relative rags to riches (most of us) hate themselves so venomously (We are the country after all).
On the other hand, there are those on the far right that seem to have a blind patriotism that discounts the evils this poor nation “under God” has subjugated itself to. We are in an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions, not just because of dependence on foreign oil, the housing crash, etc., but because of the crass negligence of the leaders we have voted into office-in both parties. Poor and weak leadership is punishment for sin. In an indirect way, so are all of the other evils that beset creation. An increasing number of countries hate us for various reasons. Terrorism has intruded itself into our daily life. We worry constantly about a host of evils. Why?
Do you suppose that a nation and the people that have democratically elected the leaders of that nation can be pleasing to God if they were guilty of the outrageous crime of genocide? If a nation legally and systematically had murdered 48,000,000 unwanted women over 60 years of age, would that nation be favored, blessed, and protected by God? Alright, change it to men under 30 years of age. Human beings are human beings.
We have under the specious pretext of law-the law of the highest Court in the land-murdered 48,000,000 innocent human beings through abortion in this country since that dark day Satan donned judicial robes and issued his decision in Roe v. Wade. The nation, and most of the world, is “bewitched” into thinking that this is somehow acceptable because a court of morally blind, if not insane, men said so. Hitler said many things, as did Stalin, and every other individual or institution living apart from God and His unalterable law. They are all gone. The immutable will of God and His truth still stand and always will.
As we recall the hell of 911 and pray for the victims, their families, and the nation in general, remember that God is not a fool, nor is He a disinterested party in the affairs of men. God knows every human being He created from all eternity by name. He loves each one as if they were His only child. How shall one nation under God answer God when He calls for an accounting for these beloved souls? Will we be protected from our enemies, from a never-ending cascade of natural disasters, from financial ruin?
May the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills to love the good and fight evil tirelessly; to defend the most innocent and helpless of our brothers and sisters-the unborn. The hour is late, darkness is falling, a day of reckoning is fast upon us. Now is the time to attack the evils of the day, abortion being the preeminent evil, for if the right to life is undermined, eroded, and ultimately destroyed, no other rights are relevant or meaningful.
God Bless You,
Father John Corapi
Editors Note: The place to go when faith is seeking knowledge is here: