Tri-City Ledger Column for 6 9 05
Shame on us! Why? We had no public observance of Memorial Day here in the north end. Now I know that just waving a flag, observing a parade, or listening to a tear-jerking speech does not necessarily mean that we have properly remembered those who have died in the military service of our country nor supported those who now serve. But in the future I think that we could take a little time for a public ceremony of some sort to show our appreciation for the protectors of our liberty.
Maybe The Alger-Sullivan Historical Society should sponsor an event in the James Houston Jones Historical Park next year. We could, at least, raise the flag, pledge allegiance, sing a patriotic song and have a prayer for our country and those who serve. We could have a reading of the names from this area. Maybe the Tisdale brothers would recite their poems. We could have a tape recorder there to preserve any memories that veterans or their families would share.
We don't have a band, nor a silver-tongued orator, but we do have a display in The Leach House Museum of relics from the Revolutionary War through World Wars I and II (so far, none from Korea, Viet Nam and later wars). People could view these and reflect on their meaning.
What do you think? Would such an event be worth the effort? Would you contribute material or time? Would a follow-up of a picnic in the Park be effective in giving the attendees a chance to visit and share their memories with each other? Let us hear from you. If there is no interest there would be no point in expending the effort and money.
I just recently attended the funeral of Miss Ossie Streit. Every time I think of this unusual lady, I think of her determination. She nursed, cooked, gardened, mowed her lawn, kept up that big house and just worked hard all of her life, but one thing I'll never forget about her. She kept a swamp rabbit in her house! "Peter" had the run of the house, but also had a huge cage where he could retreat from the dogs who also shared the house. Miss Ossie rescued Peter and nursed him back to health, but did not trust him to the dangers of the great outdoors thus he was allowed the protection of her home and the love in her heart. Now that is a special memory.
The Society often receives donations in memory or honor of people who have meaning in our lives. For many years we added their names to a sign in the Edward A. Hauss memorial garden, or applied the funds to a designated project. Unfortunately the sign is showing its age and needs replacing, so the Society is planning a memory walk. This is to be a brick walk to connect the existing walks to the steps and ramp at the boxcar. The idea is to have the walkway lined with engraved bricks on each side to form a border of the names of those to be remembered. The bricks will be sold for a fee not yet determined. Think about someone you would like to have memorialized in the beautiful Park setting and start saving your money. We'll keep you posted on the particulars as we get them.
And, speaking of memorials, why not give a donation to help bring back #100? That old engine meant a great deal to folks all over this area and would be an appropriate way to remember someone who used to enjoy that faithful engine when it was working or when it was still on display here.
As an added incentive to donate we have a challenge from Gwen Aiken. If you folks out there will add at least one thousand dollars to the fund, she will match it, so come on readers, dig down in your wallets and help us collect on that challenge.
Mark those calendars for the June 21 meeting in The Leach House. Betsy Bishop Thomas will speak to us about her grandfather's homestead in the 1800's. That, in itself, is reason enough for you to attend, but the extras of fellowship and food give you even greater incentives to attend. Hope to see you there at 7 P.M.