Archive for Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Shouts and Murmurs: New yellow ribbon on Fourth Street

August 20, 2003

Fortunately, the vandalism of The Mirror's yellow ribbon coincided with my family's cleaning of the basement. Along with the items donated to charity, as well as to the Dumpster, was a pingpong table my husband had made years ago.

When the homemade yellow cloth-and wire ribbon disappeared from the wall on the front of The Mirror office, we realized the sturdy wood top of the ping pong table would make a ribbon that would be less apt to be vandalized, or damaged by the elements.

Finally, this weekend there was time to work on it.

We set about with a saw and router early in the morning, tracing a ribbon pattern drawn by Earleta Morey.

By Sunday afternoon, the large yellow wooden ribbon was installed.

And now, along with the dozens and dozens of Tonganoxie businesses and homes that are still displaying yellow ribbons, The Mirror is back in step.

The young men and women from our area who are serving in the military in dangerous situations need to be remembered.

We gripe about the heat we're experiencing here. They've been going through that the past few months, and some have no air conditioned home to return to in the evening. Worse, they face innumerable dangers that we, living here in Kansas, can't begin to fathom. No one knows how long our nation will continue its presence in the Middle East -- or what other countries to which we will send troops. As dangerous as it is in Iraq, there is talk that Liberia could be much, much worse.

Let's as a community continue to show our support for "our people" who are serving in the military.

It's the least we can do.

vvv

Congratulations to everyone who ran another successful Leavenworth County Fair.

It was great -- from even before it started -- through the early competitions and the preparation -- until it ended.

In taking pictures at the fair last week, I realized how many out-of-town residents come for the fair.

There are the 4-H'ers and their families who live all across the county, of course. At the kiddie rides on armband night, I photographed a young boy whose father is stationed at Fort Leavenworth. I didn't get a chance to ask where they were from originally, but the man said he grew up in a small town and wanted to come to the county fair because he missed small-town life.

Despite the houses and businesses cropping up from here to Kansas City, Tonganoxie still has a small-town rural flavor.

The Leavenworth County Fair just adds to that.

vvv

On Tuesday, an unforgettable funeral procession was held for Mark Williams, the 44-year-old Tonganoxie police lieutenant who died Saturday at his home.

During the procession, area fire departments parked more than a dozen fire trucks in median areas of U.S. Highway 24-40 between Tonganoxie and Basehor. Volunteer firefighters stood beside their vehicles, hats off their heads, right hands over their hearts. Dozens of city, county and state patrol cars led and ended the procession. At the county line, 10 Kansas City, Kan. police officers waited with motorcycles to escort the funeral procession the rest of the way.

A few minutes later when we were back at the office, we heard this final call for Mark Williams, long known as "Officer 605," on the police scanner:

"May you be guided in your journey, and may you rest in peace. To 605, the final call. Out of service."

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