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TRIBUTE PAID – Veterans were honored on Monday, a day set aside to pay tribute to all veterans. There were solemn ceremonies, parades, patriotic music was played and numerous television programs featured patriotic themes. There seemed to be a number of programs featuring veterans this year and that is always a very good thing. But I truly hope it doesn’t end on Nov. 11 with the tribute lasting for merely a day.

Veterans Day marks the anniversary of the end of World War I. The armistice with Germany was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. There is a photo on our living room wall of my father-in-law. He is in his uniform, such a young man – a veteran of World War I.

In 1945, a gentleman by the name of Raymond Weeks from Alabama petitioned the federal government asking that what was known as Armistice Day would be expanded to celebrate all veterans, not just those who gave their lives in World War I. Veterans Day is a national day of honor and tribute for all of our veterans.

I would ask that you would continue to honor the veterans who have given so much so we might enjoy the life we do today in the United States. Stop a veteran and say “Hello” and then express your appreciation for all they have done in service to our country. If you worshipped in a church on Sunday, free to walk through the doors without an armed guard to pass through, say “Thank you.” And if you voted last week, freely for the candidates seeking office freely and openly, “Say, thank you.”

If you have written a letter to the editor, or if you report for the local newspaper or radio station or express your views on air during local programming, say “Thank you” to a veteran who has fought for those freedoms.

My heartfelt thanks this week to each of you – to my father-in-law who served so many years ago and to all of those in our family whose lives were touched by war. With thanks to our neighbors and friends who have served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and in Desert Storm.

And now the young men and women who have served and continue to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. The V-mails from World War II that I have found in my father’s belongings touch my heart as do the e-mail messages I have had the opportunity to receive from Iraq and Afghanistan. How can we ever express our appreciation for your service and pay tribute properly to your assurance of our freedoms and safety at home? Please know and understand your efforts are appreciated – how grateful we are for your dedication so that we might enjoy a life of freedom.

I hope you will join me today and in the days that follow to express your appreciation to those who have served – not just on the designated day, but each day – each day you enjoy your freedoms, please remember to say “thank you” to those who have made this life possible.

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WITH THANKS – My thanks this week to L. J. at the Hannaford Deli Counter. L. J. literally had my order prepared before I could place it. Amazing. What kind, caring individuals work behind each counter at stores throughout our community. And for that I am most grateful.

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SUNDAY WELCOME – How good it was to see Alex at Spanky’s on Sunday morning. His smile and warm greeting made my day so much better. Coffee with friends and Mr. K., too – a very good day!

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SPORTS UPDATE – My NY Jets did not lose this weekend in NFL play. I am sure there are purists (Editor Ryne), who probably wouldn’t count this in the win column since my team had a bye-week and didn’t play the game!

Is this the week Sanford T. Cook and I should visit over coffee while watching our favorite teams play? Perhaps not.

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. 35th U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963)

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