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Below are links to portions of this week's news articles. For the full story, pick up a paper at your local newsstand or send $1.25 with your name/address to P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793.

 
June 25, 2009

Fun & Fireworks at Summerfest July 5

Summerfest committee members, from left, Hattie Byers, Peg Beymer, Pat Lewis, Ruth Workman and Carol Hehr, are preparing for the July 5 festivities which will be held “on the square” in Woodsfield and will include fun, games and entertainment prior to Woodsfield VFD’s  fireworks display. Games for the kids will be in the alley between the courthouse and the old bank building.        
Photo by M. Ackerman 

The July Summerfest will be held July 5 in conjunction with the Woodsfield Firemen’s fireworks display, which promises to be the biggest display Woodsfield has ever seen. 

The Summerfest Committee, which includes Hattie Byers, Peg Beymer, Patty Lewis, Carol Hehr and Ruth Work-man, has planned a great evening from 5 to 8 p.m. “on the square.” The festivities have been moved to Sunday to coincide with the Independence Day celebration.

Prior to the Summerfest activities “on the square,” a chicken BBQ dinner, starting at 4 p.m., will be held at the Woodsfield Fire House on Airport Road.

It will be an evening of fun with entertainment, games for the kids, snow cones, cotton candy, crafts, vegetables, light food and desserts and a bake sale. Featured will be the “World’s Largest Teddy Bear” in the Guinness Book of World Records and Jason Lynch, who will be on hand to sign autographs. Kids will have the opportunity to make their own stuffed bear or elephant.

Any vendor who would like to set up a table can contact Ruth Workman at 740-472-5499. There is no charge to vendors.

After the Summerfest activities, the fireworks can be enjoyed at the Monroe Muni-cipal Park (football field), located on Eastern Avenue.

Clip and redeem the ad in the June 29 Sentinel and the July 2 Beacon. With the ad kids will receive five free tickets for games.Additional tickets may be purchased the night of the Summerfest.

Sponsoring the July 5 Summerfest are Dr. Holly Bell, Family Chiropractic; F.W. Schumacher Insurance Agency, Woodsfield Kiwanis Club, Farmer’s Feed and Deli, Monroe County Beacon, Ohio Valley Community Credit Union, Pamida, Riesbeck’s Food Market and Lay’s Potato Chips; Woodsfield Savings Bank and Yoss Law Offices.

 WHS Alumni Weekend
Class of 1939

Four members from the Woodsfield High School Class of 1939 enjoyed catching up at the 2009 WHS/MC reunion held at Rubel’s Park June 20. Shown, from left, are Thomas Dickey of Glen Dale, W. Va., who brought the cake, Vera McGarry Hines of Woodsfield; back: Ellis Bott of Marietta and Howard Landefeld of Woodsfield. Photo by Martha Ackerman

Revitalization Project Continues



Woodsfield’s downtown revitalization project continues as Andy Copley sets bricks in the insets in front of Ace Hardware, owned by Brent Dick. The sidewalk project continued to the corner with the additional sidewalk owned by Gary Rubel, who leases part of the building to Ace Hardware, and Joe Lestini, who owns the Jerry Lee building and parking lot. Photo by Ackerman

Woodsfield’s downtown revitalization project continues as Ace Hardware, owned by Brent Dick, replaced the sidewalk in front of the store with new concrete and brick insets. The project also includes the sidewalk in front of the building owned by Gary Rubel, which is leased to Ace Hardware, and a section of sidewalk owned by Joe Lestini. Andy Copley of Woodsfield Greenhouse prepared the spaces and set the bricks, which adds the decorative touch to the project. Stalder Masonry was contracted to do the cement work.

According to Woodsfield Administrator Jeff Woodell, Council passed a motion recently which makes the sidewalk replacement money available to businesses as well as residential landowners. The motion gives property owners up to $500 on a sidewalk replacement project. In addition to the money, the village employees will remove the old concrete at no cost. 

It’s a win-win proposition for landowners, noted Woodell. “With the combined efforts of Stalder Masonry, Village of Woodsfield employees and Andy Copley, this project was completed before Alumni Weekend,” said Woodell.  “It proves what can be done when there is cooperation.”

According to Woodell, there are several more businesses that have indicated they would like to get sidewalk projects done this year. “We’re doing this without the government’s help. Established in 2005, a fund was set up for one percent of the village income tax money earmarked for a sidewalk replacement fund. We have to take our hats off to these businesses. While the sidewalks are replaced businesses are inconvenienced and then there is the expense of having the work done. It is commendable. 

“People have questioned why we have not sought grants for these projects. We tried,” said Woodell, “but with the match necessary for the grants, it is costing businesses far less than what we would have gotten. I’m proud of people stepping up to be a part of this downtown revitalization project.” 



 

Governor Delivers Check

Switzerland of Ohio School District representatives accepted a check for $53,010,672 June 19. Governor Ted Strickland and Representative Jennifer Garrison were instrumental in acquiring the money, which is the state’s share in building six new schools and the renovation of another. Shown with the check,from left, are front: Larry Elliott, Superintendent SOLSD; Teresa Gallagher, school board; Representative Jennifer Garrison; Janet Hissrich SOLSD treasurer; Governor Ted Strickland. Back: Ron Winkler, Jeff Williamson, school board members; Scott Dierkes, president of school board; and Mike Shoemaker, Ohio School Facilities Commission.   Photos by M. Ackerman 

Dillon Baker receives an autograph from Gov. Ted Strickland June 19 at the $53,010,672 check presentation which will bring new schools to the district. Dillon, the son of Becky and Bill Bolon and Troy Baker, will enter the fifth grade at Woodsfield Elementary this fall and will probably be a member of one of the first graduating classes from the new WES  facility. Looking on is Commissioner Tim Price.             Photo by Martha Ackerman

by  Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer

June 19 was a day of celebration for the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District’s administration, staff, teachers, members of the The Time is NOW Committee and local residents. Gov. Ted Strickland delivered a $53,010,672 check, which is the State of Ohio’s share to build six new schools and renovate another.

“Just because they are doing okay with what they have is no reason for those young people to have any less opportunity than young people anywhere else in Ohio,” said the governor.

With this check and the support of district voters, there will be a new Beallsville K-12, a new combined Hannibal and Sardis Elementary, a new Powhatan Elementary, a new Monroe Central High School, a new Woodsfield Elementary and a total renovation of River High School.

Rep. Jennifer Garrison and Gov. Strickland were instrumental in acquiring the money and district voters approved an 8.19 mill levy which sealed the deal.

Larry Elliott, district superintendent, welcomed those present and recognized those who had worked so hard to make this happen, including the members of the NOW Committee and the Marietta Building and Trades Council. 

“This meeting is a kick-off, not a victory celebration,” said Mike Shoemaker, of the Ohio School Facilities Commission. “The victory celebration will come when those first graduates (in the new schools) cross the stage to receive their diplomas.”

Shoemaker compared the $88 million project to a signature hole of a golf course saying the Switzerland of Ohio schools will be a signature project for his commission.

He said Rep. Garrison came to him his first day on the job and told him, “We have got to do something in Switzerland.” She came to him every couple weeks and when they finally put together what they thought was a fair package, Shoemaker told Garrison that she should take it to Governor Strickland. At that point the Governor stood up with his left arm behind his back and laughingly said to the audience, “She nearly broke it!”

“It feels great coming to Monroe County,” said Garri-son, who was the Grand Mar-shal in the WHS/Monroe Cen-tral Alumni Parade Friday evening. “It’s like coming home.”

Garrison noted that during her first visit to Swiss Hills two ladies, one of them Carol Hehr, told her something had to be done about the schools. They took her out the back and showed her Monroe Central, the high school on wheels. She said she asked, “This is your high school?” She continued that she spent two years in the legislature but did not have the right governor. “If Ted Strickland had not been elected governor, we would not be here today.”

“The first week in office Mike (Shoemaker) was here looking at locations.” Garrison noted that without the vote for the bond issue, the project would not have been possible. “You had to get behind it,” she told the audience.

Governor Strickland recognized Larry Elliott, the NOW Committee, labor leaders, the Ohio Education Association and Rita Walters, SOLSD treasurer Janet Hissrich, school board members Scott Dierkes, Teresa Gallagher, Ron Winkler, Jeff Gallagher and Ed Carleton, local officials and office holders, Ann Block who represented Ohio’s Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner,  and his dear friend Herman Zerger. He also recognized Mike Shoemaker and Jennifer Garrison. 

“He (Shoemaker) has a fire in his belly when it comes to education,” said Strickland.

“Jennifer is incredibly bright, well educated, has a high level of common sense and, as an attorney, she is well equipped to fight battles dealing with tough stuff.”

The governor received a standing ovation when he said, “There will be no more trailers at the high school and there will be a creation of 1,000 jobs. We believe this work and jobs will boost the economy in Monroe, Belmont and Noble counties. He thanked everyone for their combined efforts.

“It is clear that there is a community commitment to the children and there is nothing more important to the future of our state than the quality of education for our kids.”

The governor also noted that the new schools will be energy efficient. There will be a savings in energy cost and there will be a healthier environment for the children. “They will be ‘green’ schools.”

“This is a great day. Not an end, but an exciting beginning. It’s time to give credit where credit is due,” said Jason Yoss, local attorney and The Time is NOW Committee member. He presented Governor Strickland and Representative Garrison with a plaque acknowledging their contributions in the efforts to attain new schools for the district.

“Every district deserves to have elected officials like we have,” added Yoss.

 

Landing Vital in Sardis History


The Sardis ferry landing is shown in the early years.
The big white house was a hotel, offering shelter to
weary river travelers.  The landing was vital in the establishment of Sardis. The house still stands and
has been restored. 

 by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer

“You can’t just sit on a chair and expect things to change,” said Henry Clegg of Sardis.

Clegg wants to make a difference in his home town. He went to the residents and taxpayers of the riverfront area for help in his endeavor to mark a site, the former ferry landing.  He noted that most people who don’t live along the river must ask permission from homeowners to fish or enjoy the river. Many times, he said, the answer is no.

Clegg and other interested residents want to maintain the heritage of this property. Clegg canvassed the area and received welcome support from taxpayers from Sardis, Patten’s Run, Narrows Run, Ketzel Hill, Barnes Run, Fly, Duffy, Duffy Run and Hannibal.

A 60x340 foot piece of property, located at the intersection of Main and Monroe Streets in Sardis and owned by Lee Township, has been surveyed by Greg Biedenbach of Biedenbach Surveying. It is all staked out and is clearly marked so the public can access it for fishing, recreation, watching the boats go by or just enjoying the scenery.

According to Clegg, the property is the former site of the ferry landing which ran between Sardis and Mendota, Wetzel County, W. Va. by George E. Paden from October 1915 to October 1923, and by A.E. Watters and J.M. Jackson from 1926 through 1935 and May 7, 1937 through 1939. (Dates taken from Monroe County, Ohio: A History by Theresa and Stanley Maienknecht.)

John Jackson’s ferry boat was named Beryl for his daughter.

Clegg is gathering information on the history and heritage of the ferry landing and its importance to the establishment of Sardis.

According to Maienknecht’s book, Sardis was laid out in 64 lots in 1843 by James Patton. Sardis, at one time, consisted of four buildings: Patton’s house, Johnson and Algeo store, the Wilson Martin home and the Amos Heaton home and shoe shop. Several more businesses were added in 1844. The first post office was established on May 15, 1844 with the first postmaster being Thomas Algeo. Mail was first brought overland from Mari-etta and then later contracted to river boats.

One source of information was Bob Beisel, who lives near the ferry landing property.  The ferry landing was the life blood of the area. According to Beisel, barrels of food, hardware and livestock made its way into the Sardis area via the ferry. The river was the means for incoming supplies and it gave the agriculture community an outlet for their produce, allowing for economic growth.

The ferry site and surrounding land was formerly owned by the Beisel brothers, one of whom was Bob’s father. The land was sold and despite Bob’s attempt to buy it back, it was not to be. 

Beisel said that when folks from the West Virginia side of the river wanted a ride to the Ohio side, a bell would be rung to signal passage was needed.  The smaller pack boats stopped at the landing during trips up and down the river from Wheeling to Marietta. Wharf boats were used at the landing for storing supplies.

According to Beisel, the house he lives in was flooded into the second story. 

One story retold was of William Eisenbarth’s father who had brought a bull to town, tied to a wagon. The bull was bound for an auction in Pittsburgh. A young couple was walking on 255 to Woodsfield to get their marriage license. Their dog, which was accompanying them, spooked the bull. Needless to say, Mr. Eisenbarth was not very happy to have an upset bull!

Orrin Bayes hauled coal on a wagon pulled by a team of horses. The coal was transported on the ferry, which was also used for mail delivery.

Former resident Rev. Joe Lallathin, born in 1926, has memories of the 1936 flood.  Lallathin remembers the “Helen E,” a pack boat which came in with tools and other supplies. Lallathin has offered money for picnic tables to be placed on the newly surveyed site, noted Clegg.

The Beacon hopes to provide more information on Sardis history in the near future.

Around the Burnside

The best way to wake up with a smile on your face is to go to bed with one already there.

Others will follow your footsteps more readily than they will follow your advice.

OK, before I get a phone call from someone, I realize I made a 20-year mistake. I think it was 1976 when we moved into Swiss Hills Vocational School. I only had been in Monroe County a time or two before 1956. Once on a trip to find out why Fly was named Fly, Preacher Baker told of so many experiences at the town of Antioch. I thought it was really a large exciting place when I was growing up. Never thought I’d be living in the county some time.

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention last week I am an honorary Chapter Farmer in two FFA chapters and also an honorary State Farmer.

I don’t forget, sometimes I just don’t remember. I was reminded of a couple of things I failed to remember when I related several safety rules to follow.  

I think it very unwise to operate either a riding or a push mower while wearing flip flops. I also shudder when I see someone pulling a push mower. If it were not true, they would call it a pull mower. I’ve seen both of these things during the last couple of weeks.

While traveling home from Caldwell after completing duties as a dog sitter, I noticed a farmer on his tractor moving a large hay bale to his storage area. All he had to do was back up to the bale, pick it up and haul it off to wherever he wanted.

I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would have taken us to move this one bale of hay to the barn. We had to pitch it on, pitch it off, mow it back and head back to the field to do it all over again. To top things off, we only had a high wheeled wagon with a homemade hay rack on it. On the other hand, I guess this was an advantage when we had to pitch the hay into the mow. I think farmers today can wind up as much hay in a couple of days that took us all summer to harvest. I guess we were lucky we only had a half dozen cows.

President Obama must be quick on the trigger. Did you see how quickly he swatted a pesky fly that was pestering him? It was on TV several times. How many times have you tried this and missed?

To top things off, PETA offered to provide the President with a trap in order to capture the fly and turn it loose outside. Just when I thought I’d heard about everything.

Maybe you need to be a bit sorry for the fly. It probably had been messing around on too much of the Washington, D.C. pork and it slowed the fly down.

I recall a little story many years ago that ended up with a man expressing his knowledge of the three useless things in this world. I’m sorry I can’t tell you what two of them are, but the final one was a fly. I don’t care if I need to swat a fly, I’ll do it, regardless of what PETA thinks. As the man says, “It’s tough to fool a horse fly.”

The Happy Heart Singers kicked off the weekend at the Woodsfield Alumni weekend. The One-A-Chord quartet from Barnesville kept things rolling along with their do-wop songs and many of the oldies.

Actually, several of the members of the Happy Heart Singers are Woodsfield Alumni. Then there are a few of us graduated from a different school. It’s kind of fun to get things started.

I doubt if there are any schools in Ohio who have such a great alumni celebration. It’s great to be a part of the celebration even if I didn’t graduate from WHS. I do not know who all are responsible but they do an excellent job.

Another interesting activity of the Frontier FFA was reported in last week’s Beacon. They held their “Farmer Olympics.” Just in case you missed it, one of the contests was rather interesting. It was a pepper eating contest. It started with eating a bell pepper and continued by eating a pepper that was a little hotter than the last one you ate. The winners ate the bell pepper plus six more. The last two were haberneros.

I do not know my peppers but I’m guessing the last two peppers were just shy of fire in terms of heat. I’m almost sure because a red chili pepper and a jalapeno was consumed earlier. Even at this I understand he narrowly beat the second place winner. It wasn’t reported but I heard by the grapevine they each drank a gallon or more of milk after the contest.

For someone who never sprinkles pepper on anything except maybe cottage cheese, it’s tough to understand how anyone can eat a hot pepper.

My sister-in-law used to can some kind of a yellow pepper. She and my brother ate them like a dill pickle. Once they talked me into eating one by lying to me saying, “They’re not hot.” One bite was enough. I had the cure.

I will confess that during the county fair, I do enjoy eating a smoked sausage or two, all covered with cooked up stuff they put on them during fair week. I always make sure I have a large Mountain Dew to drink after each bite.

The weather outside is stormy. Doesn’t hold much promise for the alumni Friday activities. Maybe it will straighten up by 8 p.m. I always enjoyed the alumni parade because everyone seems so happy. Maybe it cleared up.

I had big things planned for today but I guess I’ll just take my water pill and watch TV.

Remember: The happiness of your life depends on the wholesomeness of your thoughts.

Church Sunday? Try it, you’ll like it!

 

 







Obituaries

TERESA LYNN LUCAS
Teresa Lynn Lucas, 46, passed away June 18, 2009. She was born in Barnesville, Ohio and had spent many years in Coshocton before moving to Green. She had a tremendous love for her family. In her words “... Wade and I have four beautiful children, three beautiful grandchildren and a wonderful family who have treated us so well. Such love is indescribable.”

She is survived by her loving husband Wade; children: Nicole Budziak, Jenna Lucas, Zachary Lucas and William Lucas; brother Randy (Becky) Randall; sisters: Cindy Schumacher, Lisa Wollenberg, Becky Shriver; and grandchildren: Luke, Gracie and Max Budziak. 

She was preceded in death by her father Gene Randall and her mother Linda Randall.

Friends were received at The Chapel in Green, 1800 Raber Rd., where funeral services were held June 19. Further visitation and funeral services occurred June 20 at Given-Dawson Funeral Home, Coshocton. 

Donations may be made to the Green Relay for Life. 

INA LOU CHANEY 
Ina Lou Chaney, 77, Pryor Glass Rd., New Matamoras, died June 22, 2009 in Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgan-town, W.Va. She was born June 27, 1931 in Monroe County, a daughter of the late Lawrence and Carrie Pool Hall.

She was a member of Salem Hall United Methodist Church, the Historical Society, Women’s Auxiliary VFW Post 6387 and Carroll Senior Citizens, all of New Matamoras.

Surviving are a sister, Ellen Witschey of New Matamoras.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford “Chauncey” Chaney.

Friends were received June 23 at Grisell Funeral Home & Crematory, New Martinsville, where funeral services will be held June 24, at 11 a.m., with Pastor Dennis Williams officiating. Burial in Greenlawn Memorial Park, New Martinsville.

Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com 

FERN E. MOORE
Fern E. Moore, 88, Woodsfield, died June 20, 2009 in Monroe County Care Center, Woodsfield. She was born June 28, 1920 near Alledonia, a daughter of the late Elmer VanDyne and Annie Akins Lucas.

She was a member of the Belmont Ridge Christian Church near Beallsville.

Surviving are three daughters, Alice Moore of Woods-field, Dora (Howard) Brown of Beallsville, Nora (Ron) Pittman of Jerusalem; half-sister, Helen Whitlatch; four grandchildren, Scott, Brian, Doug, Sheila; two step-grandchildren, Sonny, Kelly; five great-grandchildren, Travis, Kari, Amber, Annissa, Autumn; and three step-great-grandchildren Rachelle, Amanda and Ashlynn.

In addition to her parents, he she was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Moore; an infant son; grandson, Joe Marmie; great-grandson, Randal Pittman; son-in-law, Elmer Marmie; also by her companion, Earl Darby.

Friends were received June 23 at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville, where funeral services were held June 24, with Jim Russ officiating. Burial followed in Belmont Ridge Cemetery near Beallsville.

Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net

VIRGINIA E. LEE
Virginia E. Lee, 78, Sardis, died June 20, 2009 at Wetzel County Hospital, New Martinsville. She was born April 25, 1931 in Monroe County, a daughter of the late Harold Lohr and Georgia Byers Lohr.

She was a member of St. Paul’s Church Trail Run and a member of the Ladies Aid Society.

Surviving are four daughters, Kathy (David) Ivey, Linda (Stephen) Langsdorf, Diana (Richard) Tenley, Patty (Randy) Ludolph, all of Sardis; a brother, Lloyd Lohr of Fly; nine grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Victor Lee in 2000; and a brother, George Lohr.

Friends were received June 21 and June 22 until time of funeral service at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, with Rev. Alfred Bingenheimer and Pastor Drew McPeek officiating. Burial will be in Trail Run Cemetery near Sardis.

Condolences can be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

VIOLET M. JACKSON
Violet M. Vanwy Jackson, 82, died June 10, 2009, at Green Meadows Center in Louisville. She was born Aug. 13, 1926 on Dye Ridge, a daughter of the late Clayton Jay Vanwy and Alice Cline Vanwy.

She attended Pine Knob school and after graduating from Graysville High School she moved to Canton, where she raised her children and two of her grandchildren.

Surviving are her husband, Jim Jackson; a daughter, Cathy Waldrop; four sons, Russell (Jill) Williams, Clayton (Kathy) Williams, Ray (Nancy) Williams, Brian (Debra) Williams; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Frank (Gloria) Vanwy, Myron (Marilyn) Vanwy; and a sister, Helen (Bob) Peterson.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother and sister-in-law Roy (Shirley) Vanwy and a great-grandchild.

Friends were received June 15 at Reed Funeral Home in Canton.

EVELYN McDOUGAL
Evelyn McDougal, 84, Beallsville, died June 16, 2009, in Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling, as a result of an automobile accident. She was born Oct. 14, 1924, near Clarington, a daughter of the late Albert and Drucy Miller McDougal.

She was employed by GMN Services as a Senior Compan-ion and she was a member of the Beallsville Church of Christ.

Surviving are a brother, Leslie (Marie) McDougal of Copley; a sister-in-law, Wilda McDougal of Elyria; several nieces and nephews; and her dog, Heidi.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Carl and Theodore; sister, Martha, and her fiance, Ray Decker.

Friends were received June 20 until time of service at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville. Burial followed in Beallsville Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Beallsville Church of Christ.

Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net

Our Readers Write 

Dear Editor:

I remember when our oldest son returned from Iraq for the first time. The passengers on his flight allowed him to disembark first, and then they stayed back to watch as family and friends welcomed our soldier home from the war. Strangers wept openly.

I remember when our soldier came home from his second deployment, arriving at our front door by taxi from the airport. The taxi driver, an immigrant to this country, waited and watched as I threw open our front door and held my soldier in my arms. I do not know if the taxi driver wept. Perhaps.

I remember the bracelet Aric wore with the names of his fallen friends on it, and how members of our extended family used words like genocide in his presence when discussing our son’s deployment and our Army’s efforts in Iraq. I remember crying in frustration and rage. 

I remember getting the phone call from Iraq telling me that Aric had been injured while doing his job during his third deployment, and I remember the flight to San Antonio so that I could put a mother’s hands on my soldier and know, for myself, that he would be okay. There were tears and prayers involved.

I remember my husband telling me of a flight he was on with a fallen soldier, and how everyone on the plane was asked to wait while they unloaded the young soldier’s coffin. The family waited on the tarmac for their son and brother, and Sherwood remembered that at the time he wondered if he would know which one of the women was the soldier’s mother.

He said, “I knew as soon as the family saw that coffin which one was his mother. I knew at once.” I still weep for her.

I remember that Senator Obama voted against funds for “the surge” that later proved the turning point in the war in Iraq, because as he and Senator Reed put it, “The war is lost.” I remember President Obama recently thanking the soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital for “their sacrifice,” and “the great gift they had given the people of Iraq,” the gift of “democracy.” I try not to weep for our nation and its leaders and their lack of vision.

I remember MoveOn.org and the “peace” protesters claiming that our soldiers were butchering innocent Iraqis and that our soldiers were the “real” terrorists.

I remember people talking about “supporting” the soldiers but not their mission.

I remember the woman who told me that my son would probably come home from the war and commit suicide like those Vietnam vets did.

I remember the woman who said, “It was all pointless. There weren’t any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

I remember answering, “And there never will be! My son did that! My son!”

I remember Aric saying, “Please tell everyone that the war is over. We have won this war. No one seems to care. Please tell them, Mom.”

I remember it all. And I promise that I will not forget.

Linda L. Zern, St. Cloud, Fla.

Proud Mother of an American Freedom Fighter