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Theres the good stuff and then...
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Dear Editor,

When you have lived as long as I have you have to know that, yes, there is the good stuff — sometimes really good stuff — but then again there is always the stuff lurking around the next corner that doesn’t know what good even looks like.

Let’s start with the good stuff. As most of you probably know I have over 10 years put many hours into the best project I have ever had and perhaps it is up there in that category for our community — the Veterans Park in Springfield. Let me say right here that if you have not made a visit to our beautiful park, put it on your schedule right now and do it. Come November on Veterans Day we will mark the 10th anniversary of its dedication and official opening.

Sometimes I have had a few moments when I wondered if all of my hours and those of others who work with the park on an ongoing basis is worth it. A question, “do people really care?” floats through my mine momentarily. Not for  long, because so many of over the years expressed their love of the park and appreciation for those who make it possible.

That was most clearly said in a recent note addressed to the park: “Dear Friends, I was moved and proud when I first saw my name on the wall. It took the ‘wisdom that comes from age’ to put the bad behind me and remember only the good. We do what we have to do and get on with life. When I understood that while we lost the war, we did not lose our mission, no one died in vain. Thank you, A Vietnam Veteran.” A check for the park was enclosed, the notation line said “thank you!”

Said wisely and simply, it cannot be improved upon.

My intent was to voice some of the not so good stuff, but I cannot bring myself to follow this heartfelt statement by a Vietnam veteran with anything negative.

My friend, we are glad that you have found meaning in the Veterans Park and that you have expressed it to us. And may the rest of us, say thank you not only to this veteran but also to the many veterans around us daily. Their life experience when they stepped forward in the service of our country is something that most of us cannot imagine. We owe them a debt.

For all of us now, I will just say thank you, my friend, and may God bless you daily as we ask God to also bless our country daily.
Ruth Lee