Take The Signs Down Until You Mean It

Shame On You Water Valley For Not Observing Veterans Day

  I was awakened this past Tuesday by a Water Valley School District school bus, as I am every weekday when school is in session. That bus won’t wake me up for a whole week during the Thanksgiving DAY celebration. I guess I don’t get it. Why does the School District let school out for a whole week at Thanksgiving, and doesn’t give up a day to celebrate the people who serve, and have served, their country in the MILITARY.

  I see all of the signs in yards, the side and front of businesses, and on bumper stickers, that “WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS”. Remember this folks—all of those troops that you are supporting now will one day be veterans. Will you support them, then? No, I’m not calling you HYPOCRITES—I’m calling you UNTHINKING.

  Allow me to put forth to our school officials a suggestion. Dismiss school on Veterans Day and start the Thanksgiving day celebration on Tuesday of THANKSGIVING DAY. Here is another suggestion to all of those people sporting the signs about, “SUPPORT OUR TROOPS”—take the signs down until you really mean it.

  Let me give you an example of one family—and I am sure there are many more in Water Valley who feel as I do. It is the Military history of my own family. I had three brothers, who are now deceased—I’m 76. My brothers and I all served in the Military. My oldest brother was in the Third Marine Division during World War II—he was wounded three times during the initial battle of Guam. He was sent back into battle until his third wound, when he was sent to a hospital in Hawaii to recuperate from his wounds and receive help getting over the trauma of evacuating his dead friends back from the beach. He became a successful architect. My second brother retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel—his last assignment was at the Pentagon. He later became a computer analyst for a large golf cart manufacturer in Augusta, Georgia, where he retired. My third brother was in the Army and we never found out what he did. He retired from the Southern Bell Telephone Company as a Radioman. I was in the Army for four years, from 1950 to 1955. My last assignment was as the Commanding Officer of the 41st Army Band, Mississippi’s National Guard Band. I finished that assignment when I became the band director at Water Valley—that was in 1958. There are many more families in Water Valley who have similar stories. Are they also wondering what’s going on?

  When you walk down the street—or down the aisle in a store—maybe one-third to one-half of the other people in that area are veterans. WAKE UP, WATER VALLEY. Mean what you say.

  Will we see a difference next year—probably not—the school officials want to go turkey hunting.

  /s/Ernest Kirkpatrick
  531 Huckleberry Lane
  Water Valley, MS

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