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Wednesday, 21 November 2012 15:07

Any act of appreciation is worthwhile

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To the Editor:

After reading your piece this week, “Speaking too loudly sometimes belittles the message,” my reaction was “let’s err on the side of appreciation.”

One of my most poignant memories came from a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery a few years back. A youngish couple, dressed in biker gear got off the front of the tram and walked to the back row to shake the hand of, and thank, a uniformed older man for his service.

Maybe I’m sappy, but they had me in tears.

Off of Russ Avenue, seeing the flags flying on the graves this week reminded me of that incident. Reading about the little boys from New York, Michael and Mario Mazzariello, had me thinking their parents certainly took the correct course of action to raise those little boys with that kind of respect for the military. 

It may be true that the wearing of your patriotism on your sleeve is a backlash from the abuse Vietnam veterans experienced. It may be fashionable now to seem to be appreciative of servicemen and women, but really, so what? 

I seriously don’t think any gesture cheapens the appreciation we should  all show by our actions everyday, not just on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day.

My husband and I moved from California this year. One attractive feature of North Carolina is that it is the most military-friendly state in the nation. Believe me, it shows in the citizens’ deeds.

On behalf of my husband Alan, I’d like to thank Brandon Wilson, Haywood County Veterans Officer, and Mark Schuler, NC Department of Commerce DWS Veterans Employment Consultant II. Thank you for your service to our country gentlemen; and thank you for your help. Their actions make a difference to our veterans every day.

In closing, yes you are correct Mr. McLeod. Some things (like commercialization) may not be dignified. But in my opinion, any reminder is a good thing. So go ahead, a small gesture like: saying thank you, buying lunch for, or shaking the hand of someone in uniform really isn’t undignified or over-the-top. It is literally the least we can do.

Jo Ann Merriam

Waynesville

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