Re: How is Your Holiday? Mine Sort of Bittersweet

TELECOM Digest Editor wrote:

To the USA readers, how goes your Memorial Day weekend holiday? You > may recall here I mentioned a couple weeks ago about the relevance and > pertinence for many of us in the 'Amber Alert' program. That really > hit home for me about a week ago regards my younger sister when we > _finally_ after some intensive searching discovered she was _still_ in > Orlando, Florida where she wound up after having left home at the age > of 16 almost thirty years ago. We got a phone call from her (now 23 > year old) son about a week ago. It seems she had died -- on the > street, the usual 'home' for homeless people -- she had been cremated > and the ashes given to her son, as 'next of kin' on March 5, 2005, in > other words about three months ago.

I'm sure all of your readers extend their condolences for the loss of your sister. Our best wishes for the best kind of closure possible under the circumstances.

So how was your holiday weekend?

Our town has a Memorial Day parade every year. It concludes in front of my complex where a gunsalute is fired, prayers are recited, and a speech made thanking the veterans for their service. The band plays taps then the Star Spangled Banner.

I find it moving because it was the sacrifice of veterans of the past and today that makes things like this newsgroup possible -- where we can speak our minds freely and be as critical as we want of anything we want. Contrary to the hysterics, they do not come and take any of us away for what we say.

Last year we had a town councilman who was upset over the Iraq war. During the Pledge of Allegiance, he remained seated, back to the flag, arms folded defiantly across his chest. Boy did that anger a lot of people!

But that's the beauty of our country! The councilman is free to sit if he so chooses. And the voters are free to turn him out of office or retain him however they so choose. We must never forget that.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Thanks very much for your kind words about my sister, Katherine Eleanor Townson Jones. That girl had a very rough life, so radically different than my own. If/when her ashes arrive here from Orlando, I think my mother wants to have some sort of memorial service. (We were hoping that would have happened over the holiday weekend when my brother and his wife were in town, but no such luck.) Katherine's son, 23-year old Justin Jones -- himself a street person -- (after all, like mother, like son I guess) was convinced in his last phone call to me a couple days ago to deliver the ashes to 'a good friend of his' who promised they would be sent in the post here, ASAP. Supposedly, Justin is coming to visit also, if he can raise the money for a Greyhound Bus ticket. We will see what happens, but I am not going to have a brass marching band waiting for this new 'guest of honor' -- if he shows up, that is. Our hope had been the ashes would have shown up sometime last week whether Justin did (show up) or not. We were disillusioned, to say the least. My brother, the relatively rich self-employed commercial artist from Chicago has already indicated that if Justin does get sick and tired of the drug, prostitution, homeless lifestyle in Florida he lives in and decides on a fresh start, Uncle Pat (hey! that's me!) should give him the Eliza Doolittle and Professor treatment here and "By George, I think he's got it!" routine in the hopes the child will grow up amounting to something. More news if anything significant to report.

Here in Independence there was also a Memorial Day commemoration. But my brother, his wife and kid and myself took mother down to the cemetery in Coffeyville where dad is at, and we got in on the final portion of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) commemoration at the cemetery there. It was a lot like the one you saw, and the reasons, etc were about the same. Thanks again for your kind words. PAT]

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