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Proud to be 80

July 2013

My birthday is July 10th, but my mom insisted it should have been July 4th. I was a little too energetic for my parents most of the time and my "early to rise but late to bed" routine bewildered them. My mom often referred to me as a firecracker. I admit that I have never "slept in" and never missed a sunrise. I was always fascinated by my own children who could sleep until noon.

Memories of my childhood always bring flashbacks of great family times on holidays. I remember the picnics in Brendonwood on the 4th of July and the big flagpole that my great uncle had in his yard. I have noted that families in Brendonwood still have a tradition of displaying the American flag each and every day.

My Grandmother Stafford, whom I affectionately called Nanny, was a big advocate of the American Legion. She made hundreds of red poppies out of crepe paper in honor of the fallen heroes of the First World War. She made them year round and often let me help. She told me about the poem "In Flanders Fields" and the sacrifices families made long before I was born.

Now that I have two grandsons deployed overseas, I take special interest in our military and the courage and dedication of each soldier to keep America free. Marine Lance Corporal Cary Wynne is in Afghanistan in the war zone and Lieutenant Rob Wynne is stationed on the USS Blue Ridge based in Japan where for the past two years he has been serving in the Navy. Both grandsons communicate with their parents in a very different way than soldiers in WW I and WW II. I am certain that this is good for morale to have email messages delivered to them so quickly.

I read that the red poppy program may come back and be a symbol once again of our fallen and disabled soldiers. They have suggested that our wounded warriors may make poppies and once again sell them to help with their rehabilitation costs. I know that I would like to purchase or donate to the cause. Beginning in 1919, red poppies were always worn on Memorial Day and the American Legion volunteers accepted donations for the poppies.

This 4th of July, try to find a parade or come to the tennis courts at North Central High School between 9 and 11 a.m. for an Independence Day "Play Day." Every participant will go home with some tennis knowledge, an American flag and every court will have a patriotic theme. Maybe Uncle Sam will attend! Your $10 donations to Riley Children's Foundation will bring you a memorable day with lots of patriotic music played while you march from court to court having fun and supporting a good cause.

Hope to see you July 4th!

Tags: In This Issue, Local

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