Thursday, January 17, 2008
Glendale Flies Banners for Their Troops
Tuesay morning, a bright Southern California sun shone. The civic center courtyard was cool, shaded. A ceremony to the hum of Glendale Avenue traffic and the clatter of construction at city hall. A poster in the colors of the flag honored Glendale's dead, those who serve. Glendale's elected officials out in force.
The first banner I saw was on the south east corner of Glendale Avenue and Broadway. It just happened to be that of one specialist Travis Lamoureaux now serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. His grandfather snapped pictures. I cried.
I cried because I am proud. Because I am glad our soldiers are being recognized, including one woman who lost her life in Iraq, believing she was there for the right.
I also cried because though banners can whisper of love and support, still many soldiers are being paid below the national poverty level, because there are still wounded vets who aren't getting the support they need and because the few in America do the work of the many. Many for whom they labor have not been asked to do their share. I cried with hope that all that will soon change.
Only five banners fly in Glendale for soldiers serving active duty. Six more for soldiers including the one young woman who died doing what others won't, what others are not asked to do. Others fly for Glendale's own Bravo company, many who were there in camouflage, standing tall, some waiting for their 2nd, some their third call.
Read more in the Glendale News-Press. http://www.glendalenewspress.com/articles/2008/01/16/politics/gnp-ceremony16.txt.
If you live in Southern California, please write a letter to our Glendale News-Press in support of their gesture and write letters to your own newspapers, your legislators, your President, asking for better support of our troops and our veterans. We are making strides because of people who care. People like those who spearheaded this project, Myna Wilcox, Don Briggs. Still, we can do more.
Post Script: Only yesterday our hometown newspaper reports another soldier gave his life in Iraq. Glendale a city of only something a little over 200,00 gives another bringing the total to seven.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote the foreword for Eric Dinyer's book of patriotic quotations, Support Our Troops, published by Andrews McMeel. Part of the proceeds for the book benefit Fisher House. Her chapbook of poetry won the Military Writers Society of America's award of excellence.