Today is Memorial Day, a federal holiday set aside to honor those who died in service to their country.
But it has come to be more than that as families flock to cemeteries to tend to the graves of all loved ones, military and nonmilitary alike.
We also take the opportunity this day offers to celebrate those who served by cheering them on as they pass by in parade formation; acknowledging not only their military contributions but also the contributions they continue to make in service to their communities.
It also is the beginning of the busy summer travel season: a day when folks from home and away take to the road, for many miles or just a few, which is why it is a time to be extra-vigilant while we’re driving.
Our state and local police have put us on notice that we should wear our seat belts, so be sure to buckle up.
If you’re an out-of-stater reading this and a smoker, you should know what every Maine smoker knows: It is against Maine law to smoke in a car in which children younger than 16 are riding.
Today we salute our military, living and dead; welcome visitors to Vacationland; head off to “open up camp”; and, above all, hope for a safe holiday for you and your family, no matter where you are or what you are doing.
From Joanne Leonard comes word that members of the Hermon Fire Department Auxiliary are making plans for their annual yard sale, which will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at the fire station on Billings Road in Hermon.
Leonard wrote that organizers are looking for items in good condition for the fundraiser.
If you call ahead and make arrangements, you can drop them off or have your items picked up.
The contact people for this event are Leonard, 848-5461; Ann Byers, 848-5067; Vicki Gonyea, 848-5615; and Mary DiBona, 848-5106.
Members of the community are invited to attend a benefit spaghetti dinner for Debbie Wheeler from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at Center Drive Middle School in Orrington.
Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and younger, $15 for families.
The fundraiser features a 50-50 raffle and dessert auction.
All proceeds will help with expenses for Wheeler, who has melanoma.
If you cannot attend, you can make a donation to the Wheeler Family Fund at Merrill Bank, 191 River Road in Orrington.
For those who may have missed this announcement that has appeared in my column in recent weeks, it is repeated here.
Notice to my readers: My column format will be changing in June, and press releases will no longer be coming to me.
For readers who e-mail press releases for groups or organizations (especially those containing regular-meeting information) go to http://pressrelease.bangordailynews.com/submit-a-press-release/ or visit the Bangor Daily News website, www.bangordailynews.com, go to the upper-right-hand corner, click on “Send Us Your News,” complete the form and submit it to us.
For people who submit written press releases, either fax them to the BDN, c/o Newsroom, at 941-9476, or mail them to Press Release, c/o Newsroom, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402-1329.
For people who bring press releases to us by hand, leave them at the BDN front desk, using our Buck Street entrance.
Now, a final note: The column format change will be explained in my column on Wednesday, June 2.
I hope you will be as excited about it as I am and, as you have been in the past, equally eager to be part of it.
Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; firstname.lastname@example.org; 990-8288.