I’ve always enjoyed covering a patriotic holiday, particularly when children are involved. There is just something about seeing servicemen and women surrounded by the youngsters they’ve sworn to protect. The children have a concept of what it means to serve but won’t fully appreciate the contributions of these American heroes until they’re older.
We don’t have many people who served in the military in my family, but the contributions of veterans have resonated with me nonetheless.
My dad was exempted from service in Vietnam, but just about every buddy he had went. Luckily, they made it back. Selfishly, I’m glad he never went.
Every classroom this week will feature lessons on the sacrifices of veterans, and rightly so. War is an emotional and divisive topic; honoring those who stepped up to serve shouldn’t be.
Learning about a battle or the importance of our veterans can become rote. We’ve heard it all before. We know our history is important. We know the iconic images and songs that make up Americana. And, anyway, who wants to relive awful times?
But learning about the young men and women who, without question, put aside their own ambitions to protect us is more than an annual fall passage. It’s a lesson in gratitude and heroism. It’s a lesson of self-examination, an analysis of one’s own ideas of democracy and service, and being called for something bigger than oneself.
Ultimately, it’s a reminder that we, as Americans, truly are all in this together.
Offering a simple thank you to a stranger who put his or her life on the line for ours isn’t enough, but it’s a start.
LUNCH — The Lancaster High School participation in government class under the direction of teacher Mary Ann Pantera and Lancaster Elks Lodge 1478 will host a spaghetti luncheon for veterans and their guests from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at 33 Legion Parkway, Lancaster. There is no cost.
CHANGES — Village of Depew Clerk Elizabeth Melock is reminding residents of changes to how the Department of Public Works handles garbage pickup.
Brush, leaves and branches will be picked up on residents’ regularly scheduled garbage days. These items should be at the curb by 6 a.m. Branches and leaves must be kept in separate piles because they are picked up by different trucks.
Have an old microwave or air conditioner? The DPW will pick it up. Schedule a time with the Village Clerk/Treasurer’s Office no later than Wednesday in order to be on the Thursday pickup schedule. Call 683-5741 to be put on the list. There is a $15 fee for refrigerators, air conditioners and freezers. All other appliances and electronics will be picked up at no charge.
Appliances and electronics are accepted at the DPW, 315 Borden Road, between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tires will be accepted during these hours for a fee of $3 per passenger tire and $10 per truck tire.
For more information about the changes, call 683-5700 or visit www.villageofdepew.org.