We honor all who served our country in war and peace — together. Our military men and women are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Coming from all walks-of-life, they are the fabric of our communities. There are 18.2 million living veterans in the United States. Maine has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country.
Veteran’s Day was originally “Armistice Day,” a day to commemorate the end of World War I. It was to give pause in remembrance of the armistice that began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. At that time, it was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars.” Unfortunately, World War II and the Korean War followed. In 1954, Congress changed the word “armistice” to “veterans” and we honor American veterans of all wars.
Veterans Day helps ensure that we never forget the price of freedom, or take for granted what so many men and women have served for.
In 1985, President Ronald Reagan said: “the living have a responsibility to remember the conditions that led to the wars in which our heroes died. Perhaps we can start by remembering this: that all of those who died for us and our country were, in one way or another, victims of a peace process that failed; victims of a decision to forget certain things; to forget, for instance, that the surest way to keep a peace going is to stay strong.”
Our veterans know what our country stands for, they know the true meaning of freedom, liberty and the promise of the American dream.
Thank you to all veterans. God bless them, and God bless America.
Rep. Peter Lyford
Remembering Jessye Norman
I offer this tribute on the passing of Jessye Norman. In life, it is very seldom to experience a moment of catharsis. One happened quite a few years ago during a radio broadcast via MPBN and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. It was the opera Les Troyens and Jessye Norman had the role of Cassandra (a difficult role, to say the least).
During intermission, it was announced that the mezzo-soprano who was scheduled to sing the role of Dido was indisposed and that Miss Norman, graciously accepted to take over the role. The reception she received for singing the two roles in one sitting was very moving during her last curtain call. The audiences roar of approval was deafening.
Thank you, Ms. Norman!
Renaud S. Albert
Voting with our wallets
Every six months or so, I get a letter from my health insurer informing me that I could save $200 a year if I got my prescriptions through their mail order pharmacy rather than my local pharmacist. This sounds good, except that if my wife or I get sick and need an antibiotic, we will have to drive a fair distance to get the prescription filled. Except for an understaffed 800 number, will the mail order pharmacy answer questions? Do they employ people from my community and help support the sustainability of the local economy?
From the Atlantic: “Money spent at an independent business generates four times the direct local economic benefit than money spent at a chain store — in terms of employee pay, local charitable giving, and employee spending…”
Each November, we are told that we have an opportunity to vote on the future of our nation and community. In reality, we have that opportunity to vote every day with each dollar we spend. We can “vote” to ensure the economic prospects of Jeff Bezos’s or Sam Walton’s great grandchildren, or we support our neighbors and our communities.