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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

As I was contemplating where to take the wife for lunch on this Memorial Day, I decided to head into Adrian and have a burger at the new Steak and Shake there.

Nothing special in that. Except by the time I left, I was somewhat renewed in the fact that there is another America out here. One that is good, caring, and still adheres to a principal too often forgotten by our politicians.

As we were seated, I noticed an older gentleman and his wife. He was probably in his late seventies or possibly early eighties. He talked a little too loud but the one thing that set him apart from the crowd was that he was wearing an American Legion hat.

 I've seen that black with gold striped headwear for as long as I can remember. From the time I was a little boy marching with my grandfather in the annual Memorial Day Parade on Central Avenue to just recently when I took my father (who is a WWII vet) to the last reunion of the Doolittle survivors in Florida. It was a hat that distinguishes all who wear it as veterans.

Today, as we were waiting for our order, I was listening to the gentleman talk about a local parade and how he had ridden for the first time since he didn't think he could walk the route anymore. He made small talk with his wife when his order arrived.

As they were sitting there, the manager walked up to their table and told the veteran that someone in the restaurant had paid for their meal and that they wanted to thank him for his service. I was surprised. I was thinking of doing the same thing, but hadn't talked with our waitress yet.

As his meal progressed, a young man and his girlfriend approached the older gentleman and thanked him for his service and shook his hand. The old man looked up and quietly started to thank the younger patron for buying his meal when the young man stopped him and said to him, "It wasn't me...they told me I was the 4th person who asked to pay for your meal..."

I would have been the fifth.

Lately, with all the scandal coming out of Washington and the dysfunction of our government, it seems that America has changed. But at least in Adrian, Michigan, fly-over country to our nation's leaders, America, MY America is alive and well.

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