By Marsha M. Brown
This time of year we are reminded of what things we look forward to each and every fall on the Outer Banks…thankfulness for those who visited and supported our businesses; an end to hectic summer traffic; retail store sales and clearances; beautiful cooler weather and of course anticipation for the coming holidays.
We also though remember 9/11 thirteen years ago and how the dastardly deeds of others temporarily froze us in our tracks as we watched brutality beyond belief unfold before our very eyes. While precious lives were lost and hearts were broken everywhere…it was a time when the world seemed to stop spinning and just stand still. As a nation, we were immobilized…it was hard to believe…no…it was inconceivable that anyone could hate us so much. But…despite it all and in true American form, we picked ourselves up, held each other close, dug ourselves out of the rubble, destruction and despair and we grew closer.
The impact of that horrific day will never be forgotten but…there are other things to remember too. On the third Friday being September 19, 2014, our country will observe the National P.O.W./M.I.A. Recognition Day when we will honor those who have been or may still be Prisoners of War and those who are still Missing In Action. We will be mindful of their devoted family members too and the suffering they have endured over the years waiting…and waiting…and waiting for word or the safe return of their family member or their remains. It will be a day of sadness and irony when we consider that our veterans put their lives in harms way to protect and ensure freedom of others yet lost their own in the process. Think of them on that day, remember to honor their memory and if you’re able, I suggest you consider setting aside just 60 seconds for a Moment of Silence in your home, your workplace or at any meeting or gathering you should attend. No doubt the ground we walk on every day and at times take for granted, would be kissed if they could see it just one more time. If you have an American flag posted at your home or your place of business, please consider establishing a P.O.W. / M.I.A. flag as well. It goes without saying that together, displayed side by side, they clearly remind us of love of country, the pursuit to defend the vulnerable, sacrifice and loss of life.
If you personally support our Wounded Warriors or are interested in doing so, I strongly recommend it. My sweetie pie Billy and I support the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) monthly but we want to do more. Locally, I suggest that you stay abreast of the N. C. Aquarium – Roanoke Island/Calendar of Events. This month, the Aquarium will host its second Wounded Warriors event during the last weekend of September. The four day affair beginning Wednesday, September 24th will end Saturday, September 27th and its already generating great anticipation for another successful show of honor and appreciation for our wounded veterans and their families. Also, if there is anything you would like to do to help, I suggest offering to volunteer your time; donate items for the raffle or even offer to donate a 4 day block of time in your rental cottage to house some of the Wounded Warriors and their families who will participate. To do so, you can either contact Jason Sheremeta, Assistant Dive Safety Officer & Test Dive Coordinator at the Aquarium (252) 473-3494 ext.239 or myself (252) 202-2058 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to forward the information to him. Jason recently attended a meeting of the Dare County Veterans Advisory Council of which Billy and I are members and we found him to be very sincere and dedicated to making this event the best it can be for our heroes. Perhaps you have a business and you’d like to donate a Gift Certificate or an item from your gift shop…whatever the case, your help would be greatly appreciated and I can assure you that you would leave feeling blessed having just been a part of it.
At the very least, please make a special effort to come to the N. C. Aquarium – Roanoke Island located: 374 Airport Rd., Manteo on Saturday, September 27th. Billy and I will be volunteering that day and manning a booth where as a Dare County veteran, you’ll be able to get your free Dare County Veteran I.D. Card that will entitle you to discounts at over 30 businesses on the Outer Banks. All that is required is proof of your Dare County residency (Driver’s License preferably) and presentation of your DD-214 showing Honorable Discharge from the service (your DD-214 is just for our review – we don’t keep it). Also, if you’re interested in joining our local V.F.W. Outer Banks Post 10950 or our American Legion Fort Raleigh Post 26 or if you’d like to make a donation to either, it’ll be a great time to do that as well. As a Member and Officer in both organizations, Billy can provide you the paperwork necessary to apply for membership and/or transfer your existing membership from another Post elsewhere. Please note: only veterans who are Dare County residents are eligible to acquire the Dare County Veteran I. D. Card.
The closer we get to November and Veterans Day, we’ll gather and stand together, united as “One nation under God” and we’ll show our love of country and to each other – first and foremost as Americans; we’ll salute our beautiful flag; we’ll sing patriotic songs and shoulder to shoulder we’ll remember our troops – the brave men and women…their sacrifice…sometimes…their ultimate sacrifice and we’ll pray for peace.
Yes friends, summer as we know it has come to an end but great…no…greater things are coming for our Dare County veterans and their families! Be excited…or get excited and anticipate with all of us who believe what we stand for as a country that better things are still ahead…and that no matter what or who stands against us…we ARE Americans – a loving, caring nation of good people and no matter what…we will always prevail because of the men and women who have and who make sure we do…our United States military.
Stay tuned folks…love each other and love our flag! Be happy, be safe and be proud. If you have a question or if we can be of help, please call us: My cell: 202-2058. We appreciate that you read GIG LINE and your feedback you’re your interest positively contributes to the honor of those who deserve it most. We love you all and God bless.