After Tuesday's bitterly divisive election, I hope we can all turn as a country to a subject I think most of us agree on: thanking and respecting our veterans.
Both of our small towns have a rich history of people serving our country during times of both war and peace. A list of Bayfield's World War II veterans is inside the Pine River Valley Heritage Society Museum in downtown Bayfield. In Ignacio, there is a Veterans Memorial in Veterans Park, and pictures of several local veterans inside Sky Ute Casino Resort. I enjoy looking at those photos of handsome men, and a few women, from the 1940s and wonder what they had in common with the vets in my family.
Unlike many families, I can say my Brubaker-Brister-Burnett-Williams relatives have all returned home from military service relatively unscathed, something I am really grateful for. My dad served stateside during the Vietnam era, while my grandfather and stepfather were on Navy troop ships in the Pacific in World War II. Other uncles and cousins have served from World War II into the Iraq conflicts.
Here at the Pine River Times, Carole and I have been proud to work with three U.S. veterans since I came on board here in 2002. Our late friend Denise Hess was our advertising representative and served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1980s. Bob Anderson, who worked with us for a few years as our editorial assistant and all-around great guy (he used to clean our refrigerator!) served in the U.S. Air Force.
Andrew Mangold, who recently was our news intern and editorial assistant, served in Iraq in the U.S. Army and Reserves and we're now proud that he's a graduate of Fort Lewis College!
Today, the Veterans Day parade starts in Durango at 11 a.m. In Ignacio, Hope Community Christian Academy hosted a breakfast for veterans this morning. I've attended this event in the past, and the students and staff always do a great job, both in providing a yummy breakfast and thanking our veterans! On Tuesday, the Ignacio School District hosted its annual Veterans Day dinner and concert, yet another wonderful local event.
So if you have served, thank you, and I hope other folks thank you today, as well.
Bob, our assistant here at the office, used to say, only half-jokingly that veterans should get Veterans Day off with pay.
That's a good idea in my book!
Thanks for reading, and happy Veterans Day.