11/8/2006 – Editorials



By Richard Peterson

 

Because this newspaper is printed early Tuesday morning, results of the election will not be published in this issue. The full story of the election will appear in our November 15 issue. But those of you with Internet connections can get election results Wednesday morning by checking our Web site at www.bensoncountynews.com. We’ll get election results on the Web site as early as possible.

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Do you know the purpose of Veterans Day? The American Legion magazine points out that the day is set aside to honor all who served honorably in the military in wartime or times of peace. Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service and to underscore that all those who served — not only those who died — have sacrificed and done their duty. Both the living and the dead are included in honors on Veterans Day.

In contrast, Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died while serving their country.

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Veterans Day was not always Veterans Day. Prior to 1954 it was Armistice Day, commemorating the armistice between the Allies and Germany on Nov. 11, 1918. President Eisenhower signed legislation in

1954 changing the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Bill to ensure three-day weekends by creating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day.

Veterans organizations protested so vehemently that the observance of Veterans Day was changed back to November 11 in 1978.

As far as I’m concerned that was a mistake. When the holiday falls in the middle of the week there isn’t time to go anywhere, so I just go to work. That’s the easiest thing to do. This year the "holiday"

falls on a Saturday, so very few people will get a day off they wouldn’t already have. As a veteran, I’d like a day off but it’s inconvenient to take it. I think the veterans organizations shot themselves in the foot on this one.

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Here are some grandchildren stories from the e-mails:

The young grandson called the other day to wish his grandpa a happy birthday. He asked how old Grandpa was, and the reply was "62." He was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was THAT?"

A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said, "I sure wish I’d gotten to know you sooner!"

The grandson was visiting his grandmother one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo while I asked, "No, how are we alike?" "You’re both old," he replied.

A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather’s word processor. She told him she was writing a story. "What’s it about?"

he asked. "I don’t know," she replied. "I can’t read."

I didn’t know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying sagely, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these yourself!"

When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It’s no use, Grandpa. The mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I’m not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandma," he advised. "Mine says I’m four to six."

A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool.

"That’s interesting," she said, "How do you make babies?" "It’s simple," replied the girl. "You just change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es.’ "

Children’s Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don’t you know what pregnant means?" she asked. "Sure," said the young boy confidently. "It means carrying a child."

A nursery school teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog’s duties. "They use him to keep crowds back," said one youngster. "No, said another, "he’s just for good luck." A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs", she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrant."


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