Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thank You For Your Service

With the coming of the Memorial Day weekend, I want to take the time to recognize the many men and women who have died in defending the country. The soldiers and sailors in the service of the United States make tremendous sacrifices to provide security for the rest of us living here. The time spent away from home, separated from their families and loved ones; it is truly a great sacrifice these men and women give so that the rest of us can remain safe and secure in our homes.

I had promised not to use the cliché,”the ultimate sacrifice” in this essay. Yet, the phrase seems so appropriate to recognize the men and women who have died in the service of the country. To the many millions of men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, I can only say “thank you for all that you have done to make my life so rewarding.”

While I am thanking people for their service, I want to recognize the men and women, also in uniform, who serve in the communities helping to protect me and my family: the police and fire departments, the emergency response teams, the paramedics and ambulance drivers and all the employees in hospitals. So many individuals work to make their community a safer place. They need to be acknowledged as well. So many people risk their lives and their well being for my protection and security, I want to say thank you to you all.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bad News For Pinball Museum

Bad news is striking everywhere these days. The National Pinball Museum in Georgetown has been evicted from its exhibit space. The Vornado Realty Trust owns the space occupied by the museum. They are evicting the pinballers in order to renovate the building.

It is truly a sad time for all of us.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Last Combat Veteran of WWI Dies

Claude Stanley Choules, the last combat veteran of World War One died earlier this week. There is only one remaining veteran of the war living in the world. According to newspaper reports, Florence Green is the only known surviving veteran of the war. Ms. Green served as a waitress in the Women’s Royal Air Force.

I wanted to share a few thoughts about them and their service to country, and the world. These two, and all veterans, should be honored for their sacrifices in their military service. The fact these two are the oldest surviving members is interesting, but as Mr. Choules once said, his secret to a long life was just “keep breathing.”

He made a career out of the military, first entering during the Great War at age 14. He then served in the Navy through World War II and finally retired in 1956.

I have never met Mr. Choules. In fact, I had never heard of him until I read his death announcements. It seems, though, appropriate to recognize his service and sacrifice to insure world peace. Thank you Mr. Choules.

From a historian’s perspective, I am happy to note that he wrote his memoirs, titled The Last of the Last. A brief example from the pages of his autobiography describes witnessing the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in 1918. It may prove to be an interesting book.