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July 4 Celebration
On behalf of the Kiwanis-Lions-Rotary service clubs of Montrose, I would personally like to thank all those people who contributed in any way to help make our annual Independence Day celebration an outstanding success. Over the past 30 years that the three clubs have been conducting the event, we had never experienced the weather conditions in the days before or the day of as we did this year.
The memorial service for the six soldiers of the 109th Infantry killed in action in Iraq in September, 2005 was meaningful and solemn. It was the least we could do to remember their sacrifice so that we all can cherish the freedoms for which they gave their lives. A very special thanks to Judy Evans, the mother of William Evans, one of the soldiers killed. Judy coordinated the participation of all the families in the memorial service.
Others who contributed to the dignity of the service were Glenda and Gary Ely, who provided the horse-drawn caisson and riderless horse. The American Legion Post 154 riders formed a cordon of honor with their motorcycles. Thanks also to the color guards of Co. C, 1st Bn, 109th Infantry, VFW Post 5642 and American Legion Post 154 and their respective Honor Guards. Also the Scranton Black Diamonds Bagpipe Band for their rendition of “Amazing Grace” and Bud Wilcox and Alan Evans for playing “Taps.” 1st Lt. Father Louis Kaminski, the Chaplain of the 109th Infantry provided words of solace and prayer.
Despite all the weather problems, “it did not rain on our parade.” The Patriotic Parade was viewed by thousands of visitors and the Kiwanis-Lions-Rotary extends our deep gratitude to all those floats, music units, marchers, and dignitaries who participated.
However, as late as 6:00 p.m. on Monday, July 3, the parade’s existence was in jeopardy. Due to recovery efforts needed for the flood-ravaged areas, it was necessary to provide personnel for assistance and travel routes through Montrose to deliver materials for repair of roadways. A meeting of all parties concerned was held and we were able to come up with a plan that met the emergency flood needs and also allowed us to present the parade.
Our sincere thanks goes to the Montrose Borough Council who coordinated the meeting and was instrumental in developing the final plan. Joel Maxey, Council President led the effort. He was assisted by other council members, borough secretary Annette Rogers, borough chief of police John Walker, and officials of Montrose Materials. Also, the borough streets maintenance crew helped by marking the alternate truck travel route to limit parking on those streets needed to bypass the parade route. The final outcome was simply a matter of “reasonable people being reasonable.”
We would also like to thank Jack Lasher, Fire Police coordinator, who helped obtain the fire police needed for traffic control and emergency services. Preston Sprout, Fire Chief, United Fire Company also assisted in many ways to help with communications.
Many people in Susquehanna County and surrounding areas had their lives and livelihood severely disrupted by the flooding we all experienced. We believe lots of people took a break from their troubles and decided to join us in Montrose for a “pick me up.” The Kiwanis-Lions-Rotary sincerely hope we were able to provide a small respite by conducting the Independence Day festivities.
Although the weather certainly had an impact on this year’s July 4 celebration, many people still came to our town to be a part of the annual event. All monies generated by the three service clubs are put back into the needs of the community through the many projects they sponsor.
Finally, as one woman put it when interviewed by the press, “I can’t imagine this not happening. It wouldn’t be July Fourth without this celebration.”
Ed DeWitt, Chairman
2006 July 4 Celebration
I just wanted to write and say “thank you” to our men in the fire department.
I have watched them in the past rescue people from the river, and marveled at how well they worked together, with accuracy and speed.
I really appreciate them even more now, since this last flood. My husband and I were some they had to rescue, at 5 a.m. They were there in a few minutes, walking in water up to their chests, bringing a boat for us. They got us to safe ground where family was waiting. We thanked them, and they went on their way to rescue others, all of them just glad to be of help.
Thanks, you guys, for all your help. You’re doing a great job. I don’t know what we would do without you.
Great Job, Chris
During the “Flood of ’06,” our mayor of Lanesboro was on top of the situation. He was working hard and sleeping very little.
His wife was days away from delivering their baby, yet she was also there helping.
When the rumor came that the dam (at Sidney) had broken, the town was evacuated in 26 minutes. Some people were angry and blamed Chris. But I think “better safe than sorry.”
In addition, he called and got help set up in the Community Center within hours of the water going down enough to be passable.
Also thanks to the national Guard, the Red Cross and all others that helped.
I hope everyone realizes the sacrifices that Chris Maby makes for our town.
It's a schizoid beast: parades and martial music, flags and red, white, and blue bunting. It's spiffy uniforms, snappy salutes, shiny metals. It's homecoming hugs and tears. At its worst it is a twenty-one gun salute heralding the fallen to Valhalla and a ritualistically folded rectangle of cloth presented to a mother to replace her son. Abstractly it's heroism and honor, democracy and duty, and that unassailable exemplar that legitimizes all under its banner – patriotism. It is the bright side of war.
But to boots in country on a patrol or in a firefight all this fades to black. Like the reverse of a combat medal, war has a side not meant to be seen. To the man with his finger on the trigger there remains only two questions: Will I survive? Will I get back in one piece? Because so many of our boys – and many are little more than that – do not survive, or in doing so do not get back in one piece, it bears a closer look.
The anatomical mayhem of war wounds is horrific. They are hidden lest we lose our stomach for war. The object of combat is to kill, wound, maim; to disable the opponent in any way and with whatever means. His object is the same. The primary means to obtain this end are guns and explosives. The results are not for the squeamish.
A bullet from an M16 or an AK47 is designed to inflict the greatest possible amount of physical damage. It travels at about 1,700 miles/hour – twice the speed of sound. When a bullet slams into a man it rotates and travels lengthwise. Surrounding this oblong tunnel of shredded flesh is a shock wave extending several inches perpendicular to the wound trajectory. A momentary cavity the size of a baseball is created crushing flesh and nearby organs. As it plows through muscle tissue, it may be deflected by bones and zigzag erratically through the body.
Anti-personnel bullets have a devilish design. They have a copper jacket encasing a soft lead core. It is designed to fragment upon impact. After entering a body it may shatter into dozens of pieces, each careening haphazardly in all directions. Ideally, the bullet does not exit the body; 100 percent of its kinetic energy is thereby somatically adsorbed. The pencil-sized entrance hole gives little indication of the volume of internal physical carnage.
In Iraq, blast wounds caused by improvised explosive devices (IED) and mines are the major source of injury. Insults caused by explosions are polytraumatic. Large areas of the body are usually involved. There may be hundreds of blunt traumas and penetration wounds of foreign matter: bits of clothing, pieces of armored vests, even fragments of body parts from fellow soldiers. It is an infusion of septic filth.
Kevlar helmets offer little protection from IED and mines since the blast is directed sideward and upward. Hearing and vision loss, brain damage, neck and spinal cord injury, paralysis, eating impairment due to loss of all or part of the lower jaw, amputation, and resultant personality disorders are common.
The pressure wave created by an explosion can rip off limbs, cause extreme disfigurement, crush testicles, and hurl one violently through the air. Internally, the lungs may collapse and hemorrhage, the intestines perforate and leak fecal matter into the abdominal cavity, and organs may be displaced and torn. The g-force that causes a concussion can cause the brain to smash against the cranial cavity, causing permanent brain damage affecting speech, cognitive ability, and motor functions.
Momentary temperatures of hundreds of degrees may envelop a soldier's body, searing the lungs and creating a patchwork of first, second, and third-degree burns, the latter requiring skin graphs. Healing may take months, even years. Reconstructive surgeries may be required. Even so, lifelong disfigurement may make a normal life impossible.
During WW II the number of soldiers who died of injuries was 23 percent. In Vietnam this rate dropped to 17 percent. In Iraq "only" 9 percent die of battle wounds. The high survival rate is because of body armor and speedy evacuation to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital better known by its acronym, MASH, a word that gives some hint as to the condition of its patients.
Because many combatants survive injuries that in the past would have proven fatal, the amputation rate of 6 percent is double that of the Vietnamese conflict. As of January 2006, there were 381 amputees, 61 of whom lost two or more limbs. The multiple amputation rate is three times that of WW II.
War is grisly business. It produces only death, mangled bodies, and devastation. Forget the U.S.M.C.'s Toys for Tots program, or videos of soldiers passing out candy to children, or kindly grunts winning hearts and minds; armies are engines of destruction that receive what they are trained to give. The physical and mental effects are horrific; no one walks away unscathed.
This hard assessment of wars' aftermath does not malign our fighting men; many are brave and honorable soldiers standing in harm's way for what they believe is a just and noble cause. But now look closely at the enemy, look past those sons-of-a-lesser-breed fictions, and one will find in those men the same virtues distributed in like proportion. The tragedy of war is that we are at war with ourselves; we, as well as they, are the enemy.
New Milford, PA
What Are They Thinking?
Just when you think you have heard it all, along comes the Susquehanna Depot Borough Council and Mayor with more asinine antics.
Antic One: We have three part-time police officers and three police vehicles; a Chevy, a Ford and a Jeep. Oh! Did I mention the fact that members of the Council as well as the Mayor drive these vehicles?
Antic Two; Part One: They moved five thousand dollars out of the Capital Reserve Funds to the Parks Fund to pave a walkway; but they gave no time frame as to when they are going to take care of the deplorable roads.
Antic Two; Part Two: Then there is the “rumor” about Council cutting Robbie Hall's and Steve Glover's hours by 20 to 25 hours per week so that Council could come up with the money to fix the roads. However, the so-called “rumor” was actually something Council discussed at a non-advertised meeting. These are generally called 'secret meetings' which, to the best of my recollection, are illegal. While Tom Kelly kept stating that is was only a 'rumor' Council member Mike Matis was the only one to admit that it was not a rumor. This is not the first time that Council discussed cutting the hours of the Streets Department. As a result of all these “rumors,” Robbie Hall submitted his two week notice. Tom Kelly, a member of Council, asked Robbie Hall if he would reconsider to which Robbie replied that he couldn't take a chance because it wasn't the first time that Council threatened to cut his hours.
I truly believe that the Susquehanna Depot Borough Council and Mayor have lost sight of why they are there. So let me remind you. It is to serve the best interest of ALL of the people in Susquehanna Depot Borough. Not your self interests and/or agendas.
The streets take precedent over a walking path. Look it up under “Common Sense 101.”
We do not need three police vehicles for three police officers, various Council members and the Mayor. We do need competent people to take care of our streets; like Steve Glover and Robbie Hall. Perhaps in the interest of saving money, each of the Council members as well as the Mayor, should each volunteer a different day each week and work right along with Steve Glover. Of course I know that would never happen because if each of you had to give up a day's pay (or assistance) you would be screaming!
What's that saying about the shoe being on the other foot?
I realize that I run the risk of being harassed by either the Council, the Mayor, the police and any of their family, friends or relatives. But I had to speak out about the nonsense that is going on in Susquehanna Depot Borough.
Richard A. Fabrizi
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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