When I checked my e-mail earlier this week, I thought I could retire – for real – and would be writing no more columns. Of course, the notice that I’d won the Irish Lottery turned out to be another scam! Before I went too far, it dawned on me that I had never bought a lottery ticket! I was amazed to read about all the thousands who have fallen for this latest attempt for someone to get rich quick! Keep your eyes open and your mind sharp!

Maybe you’ve noticed there’s been a subtle shift in the obituaries which is indicative of the changing times. I started editing obituaries for Current Publishing a few years ago. At that time I became aware of how quickly we were losing our World War II veterans. Each week I read about battles which most readers remember from movies; I am impressed again that these men left their lives (school, families, jobs) behind when they were teenagers, to actually fight for freedom. Worse than the movies, some of these soldiers slogged through the worst terrain, with the threat of death close by, in countries they’d only seen on a geography class map.

Over the past year, however, as I pore through life stories, there are more and more for veterans from Korea and Vietnam – wars I remember vividly and wars which took the lives of many people I knew.

Recently my keen attention has been drawn to discussions between the Windham Town Council and the American Legion here in town. These discussions center on the erection of American flags along the major highways, and affiliated issues like cost, maintenance, etc. Nearly everyone feels this would be a great tribute to our military.

It would be a wonderful thing if some truly civic-minded organization or individuals stepped up to support this effort and took care of buying poles, supports and flags, and paid for the continuing maintenance, replacement flags and other equipment. There are probably thousands of people in town who are not even aware of this proposed project, yet each one of us depends on our military for the freedom and security we so enjoy.

Council will tentatively be considering this project again at their Oct. 2 workshop to be held at 7 p.m. at town hall. It is also televised on local cable Channel 7. The routine is to discuss an issue at workshop where no votes are taken, and then to vote at a regular, subsequent meeting. It will be interesting to find out the total estimated cost as well as how much support the town will give.

With 15,000 people in town, we can do it. Is it worth a dollar from each of us? How about a little more? If you’re too young to remember the old wars, think about the folks you know who are fighting for us today. Wouldn’t you like to honor them? I know some donations have already been made and much work has been done getting prices on flags, discussing the logistics of safety issues, poles to be used and such details. The bottom line, though, I feel is up to the citizens and I truly feel that together, we can make this happen. Tune in and find out more and, meanwhile, set aside a little something for good old-fashioned patriotism and honor for those who have protected us in the past and those who are doing so today.

See you next week.


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