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May 26, 2014 - Jennifer Brookens
In a few hours (as long as the gray clouds hold off) the annual Memorial Day parade in Fairmont will be going by my front door. I will need to break out the iron for my daughter's Girl Scout vest and put on a few new patches. Then there is the other Memorial Day tradition: on our sidewalk, I always make an American flag drawing in chalk and list the names of our fathers who both served. But there's always so many more: our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, uncles, and cousins and friends who are currently serving.
It's so easy to get swept up in the other hoopla of cookouts, gatherings and all the details that go into them. But what started as a way to appease the kids while waiting for the parade to start has become a tradition. And the people that pass by and see our chalk drawing display seem to appreciate it. So as I start to get swept up in the last days of school and the start of the summer rush, I take this moment to reflect on our Veterans and honor them: my father, Marvin Suhr and my uncle Robert "Buddy" Newby, who both served in Vietnam; my father-in-law Ed Brookens who served in the Army in the 1960s; my grandfathers Claude Newby and Clem Suhr; my cousin Benjamin Pribel, who had three tours in Iraq; and my friends Dave Moore and Guy Gregory who both still serve in the National Guard. I'm sure there are a few I forgot, but that doesn't mean I don't honor your service any less. Thank you for all you do!
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