With the July 4th Holiday just past, I wanted to share a poem that I read at the Memorial Day Program in Milan, MN. Milan is a town of about 350 residents that has not heard the word that small towns have to die and blow away across the western prairie. My connection to Milan is through the men's chorus I sing with - (not as often as I would like). The "Chord Ayres" are sponsored and supported by American Legion Post 359 of Milan. The poem is entitled, "Freedom Is Not Free". It was written by Kelly Strong, as a high school senior, in honor of his father who served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam. Kelly Strong is currently a Coast Guard pilot on active duty.
Freedom is Not Free
I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought . . . how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves
No, Freedom is not Free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands,
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!
Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong
Well, on to Kiwanis things. I know of nobody from our club attending the Paris International Meeting. In fact, I do not know if we have anyone attending the District Kiwanis Convention, August 11 - 13 in Watertown SD. If you wish for information, see me, and we can provide it.
But rest assured, that we will go about the work of Golden K, serving our community, and helping in a wide variety of ways. And, we do so without blowing our own horns, and I hope we continue in this way. The world needs people who help - not more braggarts.
So think peanuts! Our main fund raiser - and best of all we give the profits away! Before we know it, September will be here, we will put on our spiffy new shirts and caps, and raise money - to give away of course.
I can well imagine you are wondering about an Ole and Lena story. So not to disappoint you here goes.
Ole answers the phone at 3:00 am. Wrong number, so the caller apologizes. Ole says "That's OK. I had to get up anyway to answer the phone!"
. . . Al
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
- - Thomas A Edison
At our June 21st meeting a representative from the Daymakers Club presented our club with a check for $500 as our share of the proceeds from the 2016 Kiwanis Hockey Festival. Golden K earns a share of the proceeds from that event in proportion to its representation in the volunteer hours provided by the city's Kiwanis Clubs supporting the event. Thanks to all who volunteer t this annual event. Unlike the past few years, this year's event was very successful in terms of net proceeds. We were told this payment received was a reflection of our club's support over the past few years. The proceeds have been deposited in our Golden K Charitable Account to be distributed to deserving charities at a later date.
It always seems impossible until it's done.
- - Nelson Mandela
Annual Child Protection Guideline Training
Each year we are asked to review the Kiwanis Child Protection Guidelines. This year's education review will be held in a short presentation during our July 19 meeting. For any of us involved with volunteer activity involving youth [or the developmentally disabled or elderly] this education is a mandatory annual reminder of our responsibilities in that area.
A copy of the education materials and a quick summary of Kiwanis' Child Protection Guidelines is included in the brief case at the sign in table for all who are interested.
The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
- - Unknown
Page last updated by Dick Zelenski on July 12, 2017