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We are thankful for our veterans!

Arthur Graphic-Clarion of Arthur, Illinois

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Town Talk

I thought this month of November, being a month of Thanksgiving, I'd focus each week on what I am thankful for and what you, the correspondents I am thankful for, are thankful for.'No one is probably thankful for that last sentence, but you'll just have to bear with my writing style, punctuation, and grammar. It ain't perfect, but it is mine and it has FLAIR!

This column is dedicated to those who have sewed our country in the past and at present. There is nothing I write about each week that is not somehow made possible by your service. It is noticed, remembered, and appreciated!

First, I have to talk about this past weekend and our first freeze! By the time Halloween afternoon rolled around, the temperature had plummeted, and I think the wind speed was higher than the thermometer. How nice to see so many kids and chaperones uptown with the kids literally blowing through the' downtown streets.

It was the last night of Pumpkin House which one again brought visitors uptown from all over the area (oh, and China!). I know that people who came into the Welcome Center Saturday before last enjoyed seeing all the pumpkins, and this was during the daytime. Yes, they told me they, loved it!

So now we've had the freeze, we can have Indian Summer! Not sure I see it in the forecast, but fingers are crossed for it to appear soon and last several days! Fall Sports Wrap Up

Well, almost wraps up as our junior high girls basketball team is still playing a few more games before their postseason tournaments. Congratulations to the girls for both-finishing 'second in the recent Junior Okaw tournament held at Atwood-Hammond Grade School.

Our golf team made it to sectionals as did one of our cross country runners, Logan Hall, who is just a freshman. Logan ran his fastest time of the year, breaking the 17-minute mark at the meet on Saturday. Congratulations, Logan! Congrats also to the rest of the runners and Coach Whelan for continuing to develop this program and the kids in it!

The volleyball team wrapped their season up with a loss to Tuscola in re-gionals, but they certainly had some highlights along the way.

You'll have to read my article elsewhere in the paper about those!

The girls lost to Tuscola, a team which is coached by AHS alum Lydia Benson. It was still a tough loss, but they had a successful season under first year coach Emily Crossman. The future looks bright for the spikers!

The football team traveled to LeRoy, and right off the bat let me give lots of credit to the fans from Arthur Lovington Atwood and Hammond for turning out a larger crowd than the hosts! Enthusiastic, too! It was one of those games that you just needed a break, a mistake, or a take (away). Yes, I rewrote that last word to make it rhyme.

It was a very good game with lots of action and scoring played completely through without a personal foul on either side or many other penalties either. The Panthers were big boys and wore us down over the course of the game, but our Knights never gave up!

A great season with 7 wins and only 3 losses, and if you want to hear about probably the best play of the season, you'll want to read my football write up!

Okay, now we are getting ready to start high school basketball as well as junior high boys' basketball. Get out and support our Knights!

Guess What?

It is going to be a busy weekend! I know, that is so rare, right? It is the bi-annual antiques weekend in the area with two of the Midwest's premier shows taking place right here in Arthur.

"Homesteaders on the Prairie" will be here at the Merchant's Building both Friday and Saturday while "A Gathering on the Prairie" will be at the Otto Center on Saturday. People come from all over the nation to see these shows, so make sure you check out the information on them in the rest of the paper.

Another great tradition in Arthur involves one of our churches, and that is the Arthur United Methodist Church "Spirit of the Holidays Bazaar." Great holiday decorations, unique gifts, sweet treats, and food! When the Methodists bake a ham loaf, you need to be there!

Also this weekend will be the annual Open Houses for the Woodwrights Guild who will also draw a large audience, some from very far away, to check out the great quality craftsmanship found specifically in our area.

Your Graphic has lots of information on these events and others plus we will be there snapping photos and telling the stories of those visiting our area. What doesn't fit in the paper will be on our Facebook page, Graphic-Clarion, because we might be 127 years old, but we roll with the times! Excerpts From Veteran's Day Keynote Address

These are some of the remarks made by Gunnery Sergeant E. Wayne Powell, an almost 20-year active member of the United States Marine Corps, at the Veterans Day services at ALHS in 2012.

His keynote address was delivered on Monday, November 12, during Veterans, Day ceremonies at Arthur-Lovington High School. His message was on the history of the holiday, the sacrifices of veterans and families, as well as how issues faced by military members and their loved ones can be aided by the understanding of our society as a whole.

"The purpose of my being here today is to remind you of the sacrifices of the veterans. November 11 was the date the armistice was signed ending World War I. After World War I, Armistice Day was celebrated. It became a federal holiday in 1938, dedicated to remembering the sacrifices of veterans, all veterans, and the day became known as Veterans Day.

"Sacrifices made by those veterans past and present were significant. Each conflict always will have a battle that remains etched in the minds of the soldiers who fought there World War II - the Battle of Pearl. Harbor, Iwo Jima, Berlin, Guadalcanal; Korea - Battle of Pusan, Inchon; Vietnam - CuNgi, la Drang. Saigon.

"Post-Vietnam - the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 and later the invasion of Grenada. Somalia - Battle of Mogadishu. Desert Storm - the Highway of Death, Baghdad Iraq - the Battle of Nasaria, Fallujah, Mosul, Kirkuk, Basra, Mosul. Afghanistan — Tora Bora, Herat, Kabul, and Kandahar.

"These battles have left indelible memories with the veterans and also with the families they've left behind. I want to also recognize those families because the veterans themselves volunteered or were told they would have to serve; the families had no choice. They supported the troops by restricting the use of everyday goods during World War II to the tying of yellow ribbons by the families in Desert Storm. And today's families who do whatever it takes to keep themselves busy while watching news reports from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"They've endured the pain and sorrow of having loved ones not return home. The veterans returning and their families have dealt with many physical and mental issues as well: shell shock; exposure to chemicals and unknown substances; as well as severe physical injuries involving amputations and burns; and the social isolation that comes from multiple deployments away from our families and loved ones.

"We as a nation must talk about these things and understand them, so we can provide the help that is needed to the veterans, to their families, and their loved ones in order to allow them to serve our great na-tion.

"I've talked about a lot of things today, but one thing I want you to understand is that some veterans didn't have a choice such as those serving during the drafts of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Today's veterans volunteer, they were not told they had to serve; they wanted to. For whatever reason they may have chosen, most are willing to give that ultimate sacrifice to go into harm's way to provide for the freedom of our nation.

"The war on terrorism since 2001 as left an imprint on our daily lives, from how we travel to how we see our public servants in fire departments, police departments, and ambulance services; even how we conduct ourselves in schools. We need to honor and remember the services of those veterans who continue to keep our nation free and who keep the terrorists away from our cities and towns.

"Remember the history of Veterans Day, what it was, and what it has become. Honor those that serve the military, especially those that have gone off to serve in battle, even if only for a short time or those who have made it a career like myself. Recognize the families and the issues that they may experience and endure as a result of that service "And-find vaitfefc-that you can believe in that serve a purpose to remind yourself and future generations of how our nation became free."

And that's "30" for today And a huge Thank You To all veterans

Copyright 2014 Arthur Graphic-Clarion, Arthur, Illinois. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 5, 2014

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