A Quick Opinion: If you see a veteran, say thank you for your service

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Charley Wallace
Publisher Emeritus

Since they ended the draft in the mid 1970s, only about one percent of U.S. citizens now serve in the military. That is a far cry from the millions that served during World War II, Korea and Viet Nam. We now have an all volunteer military and their sacrifices can’t be understated. What started out as Armistice Day, after World War I, on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918. We now celebrate Memorial Day on Nov. 11, while other countries call it Remembrance Day.

It looks like we are returning to something resembling normal, gathering together for social events and feeling a little better about standing in a crowd. I’m not sure how I will feel about sitting next to someone in a theater or concert, but I’m taking small steps toward that day.

There is a Memorial Day program scheduled this week and it will be interesting to see how many people feel comfortable being in the same room with people sitting down for a sandwich and a soda, which means they will be taking off their masks. Listening to a speaker and not shaking hands with people will be the easy part. Not worrying about COVID-19 is another matter.

I have skipped events where I know there will be people who aren’t vaccinated, but as the vaccination rate increases I’m feeling more at ease attending large outdoor parties. Leaving a party early isn’t a bad idea if you get the feeling that you shouldn’t be inside, just yet.

Travel is opening up and I can’t wait until I can visit other countries and experience other cultures, again. The U.S. just opened up our borders to foreign tourist who have been vaccinated and many are expecting a flood of visitors. Maybe everyone will get used to the idea of showing your vaccine card when you enter a building. Like showing your I.D. when you order an alcoholic beverage at a ball game. Unfortunately there will always be someone who takes offense and causes a scene.

I don’t want to be the one standing at the door asking for proof of vaccination, but if you aren’t vaccinated, expect to be scrutinized.

Tip your hat to a veteran and have a good week.

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