How People In Windermere Remember Our Veterans
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, is held on May 28, 2018. The holiday was held on May 30 from 1868 to 1970. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day – Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, whereas Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance celebrated earlier in May, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.
Here in the greater Windermere community, there are lots of veterans and families of veterans who have served to protect our freedom. This is a post dedicated to the remembrance of all of those who have served, given their lives, and their family members. Below is a video recording of the Windermere Veterans Memorial Plaque Dedication/Plaque Reveal Ceremony that took place on Monday, May 21, 2018, near Windermere Town Hall of Windermere, FL, at 6:00 pm. The project took five yeras to reach its fruition. The plaque is designed by William(Bill) C. Criswell, a WWII veteran and hero, resident of Windermere, and the driving force behind the project. The Mayor of Windermere Gary Bruhn and long time Windermere Town Council member Norma Sutton spoke about the collaborative effort of the Windermere Veterans Memorial Project and many past and future projects for our veterans, sponsored by Rotary Club of Windermere, that have and will take place due to the conscientious efforts of people in Windermere, Florida. Finally, the completion of this project would not have been possible without the collaboration of the Windermere Veterans Memorial Project Design Team: Gary Bruhn, Bill Criswell, Stephen Fasen, and Stephen Withers.
- Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. ~George Washington
- What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. ~Helen Keller
- To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~Thomas Campbell
- The flames cannot burn away the past. They only make the shadows leap higher.~Max Payne
- The best road to progress is freedom’s road. ~John F. Kennedy
- There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. ~Nelson Mandela
- Expose yourself to your deepest fear;after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. ~Jim Morrison
- Caged birds accept each other but flight is what they long for. ~Tennessee Williams
- Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. ~Ronald Reagan
- True freedom is tolerance. It gives people the right to live and think in new ways. ~John Twelve Hawks
- Freedom lies in being bold. ~Robert Frost
- The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage. ~Carrie Jones
- A hero is some one who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself ~Joseph Campbell
- The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. ~Thomas Campbell
- Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. ~William Havard
- The dead solder’s silence sings our national anthem. ~Aaron Kilbourn
- We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. ~Francis A. Walker
- Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country. ~John F. Kennedy
- Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. ~Mark Twain
- There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~Bill Clinton
- Four things support the world: the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayer of the good, and the valor of the brave. ~Muhammad
- Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened. ~Billy Graham
- The nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis
- In valor there is hope. ~Publius Cornelius Tacitus
- Where liberty dwells, there is my country. ~Benjamin Franklin
For me personally, this is also the day when I remember all of the veterans I’ve come across during my 20+ years of teaching and having worked in the VA hospital.
I would also like to take this opportunity to share some thoughts and suggestions for twelve simple things (gathered from the internet) that we can do for the more than 23 million American veterans in our communities:
- Give a veteran a ride: volunteer to drive a van for veterans at the Disabled American Veterans for veterans who need a lift to the Veterans Affairs medical facility or to medical appointments.
- Donate frequent flier miles: The Fisher House Foundation operates a Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flier miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members.
- Donate an old cell phone: Cell Phones for Soldiers helps to provide cost-free communication for veterans and military families by refurbishing donated phones and using the proceeds to provide emergency financial assistance to veterans and purchasing international calling cards for troops.
- Sponsor companion dogs for veterans with PTSD: Puppies Behind Bars is a program in which prisoners train companion dogs for veterans with PTSD. Donors can sponsor a dog and receive updates on the dog’s training and life with its veteran. Pets for Vets also pairs veterans with shelter animals. It’s a win-win for all: “Needy shelter animals receive a second chance at life while giving our returning soldiers a second chance at health and happiness.”
- Help building homes for severely injured vets: Building Homes For Heroes build modified homes for veterans to help them live independently. These homes are provided at no cost to the veterans. Financial planning services are also provided.
- Reducing utility bills for severely injured vets: Convincing your local Building Homes For Heroes and Habitat for Humanity to build solar homes (homes equipped with solar installations) for severely disabled veterans to help reduce their future utility bills.
- Keep our veterans off the street: The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Stand Down program is designed to help homeless veterans. Stand Downs are usually one to three day events to provide food, shelter, clothing and health screenings to homeless and unemployed veterans. Contact the VA Medical Center Directory to find your local Stand Down program. Call 877-4AID-VET or 877-424-3838 (available 24/7) if you see a veteran who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans also provides the framework for a Stand Down, and volunteers can use these tools to organize a Stand Down in their own communities.
- Send a care package or letter: Operation Gratitude sends packages to current military members as well as veterans, wounded warriors, and their caregivers. It currently also has a letter writing campaign encouraging people to write letters of gratitude to veterans.
- Help veterans to take flight: Honor Flight Network helps veterans to take a free pilgrimage to the WWII Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. The network needs people to volunteer to escort these veterans on the flight to see this memorial. Honor Flight also helps terminally-ill veterans who served in any conflict visit memorials to those wars in Washington as well.
- Share veterans’ stories: Library of Congress is collecting tales of veterans of all wars with the Veterans History Project. Help veterans to share their stories so they will always be remembered.
- Say thank you: whenever you see some one you know who is a veteran or in military uniform, a simple “thank you” would go a long way.
- Helping service members and their families to succeed in civilian workplace: The 100 Entrepreneur Foundation provides information and ideas for seriously wounded veterans becoming starting their own businesses after serving the military. Veterans and their family members attend classes and learn skills that would help them to succeed in the civilian workforce.
Photographed, gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
~Let’s Help One Another~
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