Girls Weekend

GirlsWeekend-2018.jpg

 

The Historic District Business Association is excited to bring back Girls Weekend June 8-10. The weekend will include a fashion show, hypnotist\comedy act, discounted shopping, delicious food, quality time with friends and MORE! A hat parade will take place on Saturday with judging and a chance to win up to $250 in CASH!

Visit www.girlswknd.org for online registration and a complete schedule of events. Call Jill at 318.652.7078 with additional questions.

Lakeview FFA Banquet

Lakeview Banquet_0001

Marketing Plan placed 2nd in the State. Team members include: Ashley Womack, Emily Johnson, Zack Favela. Geaux Teach Ag placed 4th in Area II, Nicholas Wiggins. Gulf of Mexico placed 3rd in the State, Salem Johnson. Prepared Public Speaking placed 1st in the State, Kelsey Shoemaker.

Over 200 members, guests, and advisors attended Lakeview High School’s FFA banquet April 27. The event was hosted to recognize the chapter as well as individual accomplishments. This school year, Lakeview High School’s FFA chapter consisted of 75 members.

Teams that placed at the area and/or state levels were Floriculture, Nursery/landscape, Welding, Poultry, Dairy, Forestry, Public Speaking Career Development Events and State Literary Rally. Honored attendees of this year’s banquet included Eugean Garner (Natchitoches Parish School Board, District 7), William Hymes (Lakeview Jr./Sr. High School Principal), Jennifer Martin (Lakeview Jr./Sr. High School Assistant Principal), Sergeant Kevin Lewis (Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputy and Lakeview School Resource Officer), Brooklyn Hampton (Area II President) and Angie Johnson who earned Honorary Membership in the Lakeview FFA chapter.

The banquet was ran by the Lakeview FFA officers: (President: Salem Johnson, Vice President: Ashley Womack, Secretary: Lexy Adams, Reporter: Blake Smith, Treasurer: Zack Favela and Sentinel: Gracie Niette).

Tyler Sullivan, Kelsey Shoemaker, and Ashley Womack received their State FFA Degree, and retired president Bayli Quick received the highest degree attainable, the American FFA Degree.

Retiring officers Tyler Sullivan (Vice President 2016-2018) and Emily Johnson (President 2017-2018) were honored for their time and hard work put into the Lakeview FFA Chapter.

The banquet ended by presenting senior members with their FFA graduate stole, who consisted of: Alyssa Breaud, Cadie Coleman, Kayla Denham, Layton Friday, Mason Harper, Devin Irvin, Emily Johnson, Hunter Layfield, Macy Martin, Sloan Peacock, Jesse Rachal, Dalton Riddle, Brandon Roberts, Tyler Sullivan, and Skylar Williams.

 

NPD officers will participate in ‘Mustaches for a Cause’

Mustaches for a cause

The Natchitoches Police Department is taking another step forward in community involvement. During the month of June NPD employees will participate in “Mustaches for a Cause” to support the Women’s Resource Center. Officers will be allowed to wear mustaches and beards after paying a participation fee which will then be submitted as a donation to support such a worthwhile endeavor.

The Women’s Resource Center is a non-profit pregnancy help medical clinic that serves over 400 women and their families every year in central Louisiana, most of whom are in unplanned pregnancies. All services are free which include prenatal education, lifestyle skills, ultrasound, material assistance, childbirth education, and life affirming options counseling.

The Natchitoches Police Department is honored to join forces with the Women’s Resource Center as they strive to serve so many women in our area.

Notice of Death – May 29, 2018

Notice of Death 2017

NATCHITOCHES PARISH:

Elder Nathaniel “Tobe” McGaskey, Sr.
Service: Saturday, June 2 at 11am Antioch Primitive Baptist Church – Vowells Mill
Interment:  Antioch Garden of Memories Cemeter

SABINE PARISH:

Clara Garcia
November 14, 1926 – May 26, 2018
Service: Wednesday, May 30 at 11 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church
Interment: St. Joseph Cemetery

WINN PARISH:

Joy Mitchell Parker
December 19, 1940 – May 28, 2018
Visitation: Wednesday, May 30 from 5-9 pm at Southern Funeral Home of Winnfield or Thursday, May 31 from 9-10 am at Laurel Heights Baptist Church
Service: Thursday, May 31 at 10 am at Laurel Heights Baptist Church
Interment: Mt. Zion Cemetary near Wheeling

2018 Memorial Day Program

Memorial Day-2018 (3)
Kevin’s Gallery

The Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park was filled with veterans, families and area residents May 28 as the community held its annual Memorial Day Program. This year’s event was dedicated to the Gold Star Families of the Parish. These are families in which a member has died in service to our nation in time of war. The families of the deceased veterans from WWII through the Global War on Terror were recognized and honored with Gold Star Lapel pins. Two Gold Star widows and Two Gold Star mothers also received a bouquet of roses.

Scott Stetson, a retired Army NCO, combat Veteran, and Ranger served as the Master of Ceremonies. Air National Guard Chaplain Fr. John Brocato gave the opening prayer. The Lakeview High School Air Force Junior ROTC posted the colors while Sara Puryear Dunn sang the National Anthem. Donna Masson named each of the fallen and the names of the family members there to represent them.

WWII Gold Star family member, Willie Mae Smith, has done extensive research on her brother Paul Wesley Wilson who was killed in Exercise Tiger, a rehearsal for the Normandy landings that was attacked by German E-Boats. She has a series of articles on the disaster as well as a yearbook of Natchitoches parish men who served in WWII in which her brother appears. John Houston Cook, who was killed in the Korean War, had his Gold Star presented to Wayne Choate who stood in place of his brother, Jett Houston Cook a WWII veteran who was unfortunately unable to attend due to his health. Jett Houston Cook was awarded the Legion d’ Honneur in 2017 by the French government in recognition of his service. A moment of silence was observed after which Dr. John Dunn played Taps. Rev. Steven Harris, Sr. closed the program with a prayer.

A memorial paver was placed in the park in memory of PFC Charles Doty, killed in 1967 in Vietnam at the age of 21, His photo and a photo of his grave were also uploaded to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Virtual Wall. May his memory and the memory of all of the fallen from our community be a blessing.

Infrastructure Update- City gives progress report on projects

Infastructure MAIN GRAPHIC

City Utility Director Charles Brossette spoke about completed and ongoing projects in the City to improve its overall infrastructure.

Main water intake structure at Sibley Lake: Completed

The installation of a new intake structure on Sibley Lake, on a City operating level, means cleaner water is being taken from a prescribed depth in the lake that the City didn’t have before. Workers cut a huge section of concrete from around the intake structure to install a steel door. Cranks were also installed to control the doors. This gives the City the ability to close off the intake structure and clean it yearly.

Buoys were placed around the intake structure and the dams on that end of Sibley Lake to protect the equipment from damage. Boaters are asked to avoid the area that’s marked with buoys.

 

Chaplin Lake Dredging: Completed

The majority of Chaplin Lake, located on the NSU campus, was dredged down to six feet. There’s no longer an unsightly sludge lurking just beneath the water on the north end. With a properly working clarification system in place, the sludge shouldn’t be an issue anymore.

IntelliRupter Installation: Ongoing

The installation of IntelliRupters at ConAgra and Alliance allows power to these industries to be restored almost in the blink of an eye. If something were to interrupt the main feed coming from the bypass substation tot these facilities, the IntelliRupter automatically tests the line and transfers the feed to the Sibley Lake substation to restore power faster. Where the City response time may take 30 minutes in some cases, the IntelliRupter can restore power in 10 seconds.

The City plans to continue installing these systems on critical and major feed lines around town.

 

Ring Bus System: About 50% complete

Work is ongoing with the Hwy. 1 South and Bypass expansion project to create a ring bus system for the City’s power supply. This project will increase the reliability of the City’s electrical system, decrease the number of outages and improve power restoration time by creating a ring bus system.

The ring around the City should be completed around August or September of this year. The parts come from Pineville and City workers are assembling everything at the substations.

 

Master Lift Station: About 30% complete

The new Master Lift Station off of Hwy. 1 South (behind Lott Oil) will double the City’s sewer capacity. The old station will be evacuated and sanitized until plans are made on what to do with the building.

The average daily flow is 2.5 million gallons per day of treated sewer. On a peak day it jumps to 6 million gallons. With the new station it will increase the capacity to 6 million gallons for an average daily flow.

The new station has an air processing center to control odor, so residents in the area will be pleased when the regular odor emanating from the plant gets eliminated.

Overall, it will be a more stable treatment process. The new location will help keep the station out of the public eye, and nose.

Parish employees organize fundraiser to support coworker

Jessie Wallace

 

When friends and coworkers at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse realized that Custodian Jessie Wallace’s recovery from a May 31 surgery would keep him from work for a few months, they decided to come together to support him.

A burger lunch fundraiser will be held Friday, June 1 from 11 am – 2 pm at the corner of Church and Third Street. Meals are $7 and include a burger/cheese burger, chips, a cookie and a bottle of water. Orders of 5 or more can be delivered.

It’s an effort from every agency in the Courthouse. Employees will volunteer their time, rotating out with leave slips to sell lunches.

“We’re coming together to help out friend who we felt could use a little bit of extra help,” said Parish Treasurer Debbie Miley.

Doctors visits have already sucked up all of Wallace’s leave time, so the funds gathered by his coworkers will help with living expenses, doctors bills and anything else he needs to take care of while he’s recuperating.

“He’s an excellent coworker and an all around good guy,” said Winston Bridges, Parish maintenance supervisor and Wallace’s immediate supervisor. “Wallace always steps to the forefront for everything and he’d absolutely do the same for us.”

For more information or to place orders call Rosalind Lacour at 318-238-9241, Selia Miles at 318-332-4732, Cathy Creamer at 318-332-7762, Annette Bryant at 318-352-5936, or Sheryl Fredrick at 318-471-0341.

“It feels wonderful to have so many people looking out for my well being,” said Wallace. “I think Jesus has blessed me with such wonderful coworkers.”

Find great bargains at Ivan Smith’s Summer Warehouse Sale

RA-ivansmith_warehouse

You’re in luck because Ivan Smith Furniture’s warehouse is filled to capacity. That means they’re holding their annual Summer Warehouse Sale Saturday, June 2 from 9 am – 2 pm.

The sale includes a large selection of hundreds of items to choose from including:

discontinued merchandise
floor models with small imperfections
Lightly used furniture
Accessories
Odd occasional tables and ottomans
Sleeper sofas
Appliances
Queen size mattress floor model sets and previous year models

The best part is all these items are seriously marked down. We’re talking below cost prices!

“This is a popular event, and that means there will be a line at the door when the sale starts,” said Dane Terrell. “If you see a specific item you want, make sure to get to the store early.”

Sale items can be previewed in the store or on Ivan Smith’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1759746734117273/. Check back – even more photos will be posted leading up to the sale.

“If you see an item you like on our Warehouse Sale event on Facebook, come into the store and take a look; sit on it (No items will be sold before the sale begins at 9 am on June 2),” said Dane.

Featured items include:

Warehouse Sale_Temperpedic Mattress

 

Tempur-Pedic Queen Size Mattress Set
Regular Price: $2,500 – Sale Price: $700

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warehouse Sale_Sleeper Sofa

 

Queen Size Sleeper Sofa
Regular Price: $800 – Sale Price: $400

 

 

 

Warehouse Sale_Motion Sectional

 

Motion Sectional in Dark Brown Leather
Dual recliners and a sleeper sofa
Sale Price: $500

 

 

 

Warehouse Sale_Dining Table

 

Dining Room Table and Six Chairs
Magnolia Home Line by Joanna Gaines
Regular Price: $2,000 – Sale Price: $500

 

 

Large items purchased during the sale will not be loaded out until after the conclusion of the sale for the safety of everyone in the store. Customers will be asked to return to the store between 2-5 pm or schedule a pick up time for a later date.

Once room is made in the warehouse, Ivan Smith will have room for a delivery its currently waiting on, full of the newest sets including:

2 New Bedroom Sets
A Whole New Line Of Temper-Pedic Mattress Sets
10 New Living Room Sets

Ivan Smith offers the latest in home furnishings, accessories, bedding, and appliances.

Ivan Smith Furniture – Natchitoches
Home town faces with big store buying power.
936 Keyser Avenue
(318) 352-5889

LaCap Senior Spotlight: Edouard Ferrell

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LaCap Senior Spotlight recognizes Edouard Ferrell, a senior at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA), as an outstanding high school senior. He is the son of Christine and Andy Ferrell.

Edouard graduated from LSMSA on May 19. He received the Artist in Training Award with a dance focus and was chosen to be Gonfalonier for the Department of Creative and Performing Arts.

This is one of the school’s traditions. Each academic department selects a graduating senior to march in front of the department and carry the Gonfalon, or flag, for that department during the graduation procession.

Edouard’s passion is dance. He performed a dance at the Natchitoches Film Festival, presented an original dance film at the American College Dance Association’s Southern Conference, performed in an NSU Senior Dance Recital, created choreography and costuming for “No Exit,” was an assistant costumer for “The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged,” and choreographed for LSMSA’s A Cappella Club.

He was involved with the Dance Club, Feminist Union, Gay-Straight Alliance, and was an ambassador coordinator and dorm hall assistant.

He earned the Jeffery Caffery Scholarship at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the highest level of scholarship awarded to students who are national merit scholars. He will study industrial design and business.

This summer, Edouard will go to Belgium for the month of June to visit his family, practice his French, and explore Brussels with his sister. They will both shadow an architect who also teaches at L’École des Beaux-Arts.

In July, Edouard will leave for the Centre Linguistique de Jonquière near Québec-City. He competed for and received a full scholarship from CODOFIL to study French in a Francophone country. He will stay for 5 weeks in a total immersion program of classes, activities and daily life in a local family.

LaCap believes it takes good grades, community involvement, and hard work to make a successful leader. Edouard Ferrell is being recognized for these qualities.

LaCap is committed to improving our community’s well-being by offering financial and volunteer support to organizations that enhance the quality of life through programs for youth, education, and financial literacy.

La Capitol Federal Credit Union has two locations in Natchitoches: 311 Keyser Avenue and 926 University Pkwy. Call 318-357-3200 or go online to lacapfcu.org for more information.

LSMSA students volunteer at Natchitoches Humane Society bath day

animal welfare club

LSMSA – Members of the Animal Welfare Club at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts volunteered to wash dogs all morning at the first bath day sponsored by the Natchitoches Humane Society on Saturday, May 12. Bath days are a big fundraiser for the humane society, which operates solely on fundraising activities, donations and membership fees. All monies raised at these events is used to rescue abandoned animals in Natchitoches Parish and to help low-income families to spay/neuter pets. The NHS is an all-volunteer organization and would not be able to do what it does without the help of its dedicated volunteers. Volunteers from LSMSA were McKenzie Davis of Ferriday, Adreanna Queen of Natchitoches, Kayla Kay of Lake Charles, Nicholas Adams of Baton Rouge, Hannah Hauptman of Denham Springs and Clara Kolterman of Sterlington.

Notice of Death – May 28, 2018

Notice of Death 2017

 

NATCHITOCHES PARISH:

Elder Nathaniel “Tobe” McGaskey, Sr.
May 23, 2018
Arrangements TBA


SABINE PARISH:

Clara Garcia
November 14, 1926 – May 26, 2018
Service: Wednesday, May 30 at 11 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church
Interment: St. Joseph Cemetery
Visitation: Tuesday, May 29 at 5 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Zwolle

Jimmy Gene Rivers
October 9, 1940 – May 23, 2018
Service: Tuesday, May 29 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church
Interment: St. Joseph Cemetery


WINN PARISH:

William Allen Kendrick, Jr.
September 8, 1961 – May 24, 2018
Service: Monday, May 28 at 2 pm in the Nolley Memorial United Methodist Church


RAPIDES PARISH:

Audry J. Dauzat
August 29, 1937 – May 24, 2018
Service held May 26

Nolan Joseph Gremillion
October 19, 1930 – May 25, 2018
Visitation: Tuesday, May 29 from 10 am – 12:30 pm at Kramer of Fifth Ward
Service: Tuesday, May 29 at 1 pm at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church
Interment: St. Alphonsus Mausoleum in Hessmer

The Memorial Day Story

By Willie M. Calhoun (MSG, USAR, Ret.)

Memorial Day.png
The story of Memorial Day bears many similarities and parallelisms to the story of America itself. Originally called Decoration Day, it was and still is a day to lay wreaths, flowers, and flags on the graves of fallen service persons. Ceremonies are also held at many National cemeteries, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and in many cities.

After America’s first war (the Revolutionary War) it was common for the fallen to be buried alongside other family members in family cemeteries. Annual ceremonies were held as a somewhat private event by families of the fallen in small towns and villages throughout America. After the war of 1812, the graves of the fallen were spread over a larger area. This expanded gravesite area, accompanied by the westward movement of many American families, made it difficult for many families of the fallen to conduct annual graveside services for their deceased loved ones.

My own families’ post revolutionary war movement, like many others in this area, was from Prince George County, Maryland, to Edgefield, South Carolina, to Simpson County, Mississippi, to Catahoula Parish, Louisiana in 1840.

Simply stated, after burying their fallen American Revolutionary war family members, some probably never saw the graves of their fallen again.

The issue of gravesite location of the fallen was to take on a somewhat sadder turn after the Mexican War. Since this was America’s first war fought almost all on foreign soil, identifying gravesite locations became more difficult in many cases. Forensic science, dog tags, DNA, nor refrigeration existed at that time. During early American warfare, it was common to bury the fallen where they fell or for sailors to be “buried at sea.”

Still treatment of our wartime dead was as good as could be expected given the conditions. Nowadays, Americans expect the fallen to be promptly identified and returned to their hometown for burial with full military honors. Due to advanced technology, we don’t expect any more tombs of the Unknown Soldier.

During and after the American Civil war, treatment of our wartime dead began to attract the attention of many Americans. This was because of the stunning loss of lives and property during that war. After almost every battlefield engagement, hastily prepared cemeteries sprang up. Bowing to public pressure, on July 17, 1862, Congress passed an act authorizing National Cemeteries. By the end of 1862, 14 national cemeteries were established.

Today, there are 147 National Cemeteries in the U.S. National Cemetery System. The nearest to our area is located in Pineville. In addition to National cemeteries, we have four state veterans’ cemeteries in Louisiana. The nearest to our area is located in Keithville and Leesville.

This Memorial Day, we should remember that paying our respects to our wartime dead is a solemn annual practice that dates back to the American Revolutionary War. Although it didn’t become a National holiday until 1971, the story of memorial day is much like the story of America and is still being written by our generation. Each arrival of a fallen American serviceperson’s body at Dover Air Force Base adds yet another chapter to our American story.

To refocus on wartime deaths, I’ve added a PBS NewsHour diagram of those deaths. I ask that readers keep these numbers in mind while observing this Memorial Day.
01-military-deaths

 

First timer’s club: Demons down UNO to capture first SLC Tournament title

Jason Pugh, Assistant Sports Information Director

SLC Tournament-2018.jpeg

SUGAR LAND, Texas – Less than 30 miles from where the World Series champion Houston Astros “earned” history in November, the 2018 Northwestern State baseball team “changed” theirs Saturday night.

David Fry’s tie-breaking seventh-inning home run put the Demons ahead to stay, and Jose Vasquez delivered four innings of scoreless relief as third-seeded Northwestern State held off No. 8 seed New Orleans, 7-5, in the finals of the Southland Conference Tournament, delivering the first tourney title in program history.

“This is for all of those guys who have put this uniform on and haven’t gotten to experience this,” second-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “We’ve had a lot of good players come through here and never won the tournament. It’s for all the alumni, for all the staff. Look behind us. Natchitoches showed up in Sugar Land.”

The Demons (37-22) qualified for the fourth NCAA Regional in program history. The 16 regional host sites will be announced Sunday, and Northwestern State will find out its postseason destination Monday.

By virtue of its three straight wins to open the tournament, the Demons entered their fourth matchup with New Orleans (28-32) in the past nine days stocked with pitching while the Privateers were playing their third game in 24 hours, including a 12-inning affair that concluded at 1:58 a.m. Saturday.

An offense that scuffled through the first three games of the tournament awoke early in the championship game against UNO ace Bryan Warzek, who worked on one day rest after throwing 110 pitches in six innings Thursday.

Warzek hit two Demons in the first inning but struck out the side. That would be the lone highlight for the left-hander as Lenni Kunert’s leadoff infield single ignited a four-run second inning that erased an early two-run New Orleans lead.

The NSU advantage grew to three thanks to a pair of UNO errors before the Privateers tied the game with a three-run fifth inning.

Once the game was tied, David Fry turned in the most appropriate moment of his career.

Fry, the Southland Conference’s Player of the Year, turned on a 3-1 pitch from William Griffin (0-3) and drilled it out to left field giving the Demons a lead they would not relinquish and pulling him into a tie for the school career home run record held by Darryl Woods.

Fry’s 31st career home run was a fitting salvo for the tournament MVP, who collected one hit per game – all of which went for extra bases (double, two triples, home run).

“It’s unbelievable,” Fry said. “I couldn’t have dreamt of this. It’s awesome. Our pitchers did a great job, keeping us in it, giving us a chance.”

Luke Watson, NSU’s other all-tournament selection, singled home J.P. Lagreco, whose double off the left-field wall welcomed UNO reliever John Barr to the game.

From there, Vasquez rolled through the Privateers lineup.

Coming off a 16-pitch ninth inning where he struck out the side in the ninth inning of Friday’s win against Nicholls, Vasquez (6-1) allowed hits to the first two batters he faced before inducing a 5-3 double play to end the sixth inning and keep the game tied.

After Fry and Watson staked him to a lead, Vasquez dominated, allowing just a two-out, ninth-inning single across the final nine innings.

Darren Willis had that single and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Vasquez induced Collin Morrill (3-for-5) into a tournament-clinching grounder to Watson at second base.

“Never a doubt for us,” Vasquez said. “Sometimes it just takes one pitch. We got the big double-play ball, got the fans back in it, got the boys back in it. Then David Fry, the best in the business, delivered. What a phenomenal job by him.”

The victory and ensuing NCAA Regional berth competed a turnaround season for the Demons, who have won 17 more games than in 2017 and will play in the national postseason for the first time since 2005, Barbier’s junior season.

In Barbier’s second season, his group of Demons not only collected the first SLC Tournament championship in program history, they lived up to the motto that permeated the team in 2018.

“We changed it, baby,” Barbier said.

Northwestern State 7, New Orleans 5
NSU 040 100 200 – 7 10 1
UNO 200 030 000 – 5 10 3
W – Jose Vasquez (6-1). L – William Griffin (0-3). 2B – NSU, J.P. Lagreco. 3B – UNO, Orynn Veillon. HR – NSU, David Fry (12). Highlights: NSU, Fry HR, 3 RBIs; Luke Watson 2-5, RBI; Lenni Kunert 3-4. UNO, Collin Morrill 3-5; Veillon 2-4, 3B, 3 RBIs.
Records: Northwestern State 37-22; New Orleans 28-32.

SLC Tournament-2018

Earn This

By Kevin Shannahan

kevinS-ONEThere is a scene in Steven Spielberg’s superb “Saving Private Ryan” in which Tom Hank’s character, Captain John Miller, lay dying. The advancing German attack had just been stopped and the tide of the battle had turned. He pulls Private Ryan to him and utters a simple phrase “James…earn this…” It is one of the most powerful scenes in any movie I’ve ever seen. After Captain Miller dies, the scene shifts to the modern day as James Ryan, now an old man surrounded by his family, stands before Captain Miller’s grave wracked by doubts that he earned his life after the battle.

I was 37 when the movie came out in 1998. As I get older I appreciate “Saving Private Ryan”, more and more. When my grandchildren were born, I really understood the scene’s power. What made the movie great were not the battle scenes, not even Captain Miller’s dying injunction to “earn this” but the scene at the cemetery. In a few short minutes, the movie distilled the meaning of Memorial Day, one of our most misunderstood holidays.

For much of the country, Memorial Day is a 3 day weekend, a start to the summer, an occasion for sales and BBQ’s. Some television networks play nothing but war movies all day, something I’ve never understood. The day alternates between beach, BBQ, sales and mawkish “look at me” displays of cheap and easy patriotism from the popular culture. A popular song with the lyric “We’ll put a boot in your ass” is more fitting for a barroom brawl. The men and women doing the hard and dangerous work of keeping this nation’s enemies at bay deserve better. They deserve dignity, not posturing.

For a much smaller part of our nation, Memorial Day has a more personal meaning. They are the widows and parents whose hopes for the future were shattered by a knock on the door from an officer in a dress uniform. They are the children whose memory of a parent dims with time or is nothing but a photograph. They are a family in Alexandria, Louisiana whose portrait of a son in a Marine uniform sat on a side altar in the cathedral with a rosary draped over it.

In a way, it is a good thing that Memorial Day is not so well understood. I would not wish America a return to the casualty rates of the Civil War or World War II in which much of the nation had a very personal stake in the war.

Captain John Miller and Private James Ryan may be fictional characters in a movie, but they personify the values we should remember and honor on Memorial Day. We “earn this” every day. Every teacher who does his or her best to bring up the next generation, every parent who gets up to go to work to support a family and set an example for their children, everyone who does what he or she can to make the world around them just a little bit better honors the sacrifice of the men and women who made it possible. From the men at Lexington and Concord, to Joshua Chamberlain at Gettysburg, to Normandy Beach and the Korengal Valley, the men and women who died laid a sacred obligation on us. “Earn This.”

I do not begrudge my fellow citizens a day at the beach or grilling. I plan on enjoying some time off work myself. Hold your children a little tighter. Be a good wife or husband. Work hard and fulfill your obligations to yourself and others. Be a serious person, worthy of those who went before you.

 

May 27, 2018