Veterans Day (November 11, 2019) is fast upon us. I will be sharing with you some of the important veterans activities and celebrations planned for this year. We are blessed in North Jefferson County to have some really solid veteran organizations and some really dedicated veteran leaders.
Even with all of the high quality veteran groups and leadership, we still need YOU! I have written before about the lack of veteran interest in the hearts and minds of so many of us. This is an abominable shame! Veterans have made this country and have had a huge effect on American (and Alabamian) society as we know it.
Is it too much for the current population to appreciate and commemorate the duties and sacrifices offered so freely by so many Veterans?
Is it too much for the rest of us to blindly close our eyes and spirits to the immediate needs and concerns of those who have so diligently served us—our veterans?
Is it too much for those who have enjoyed the safety and comfort of the homeland to honor those (our veterans) who gave us our homeland and sustained it from the very beginning until this very minute?
Is it too much to remember our veterans (and their families) in our prayers and supplications to God?
YOU have to answer these questions for YOURSELF! I can’t do it and wouldn’t do it if I could. These are inquiries into the deepest part of YOU and they may well determine just the kind of person YOU are!
The last of the Gardendale Farmers Markets (at the Civic Center) for this year will be held tomorrow (Thursday, September 26, 2019, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.). We have some very good news about our Farmers Market. The strong, moving force behind the markets has been Vietnam Era Veteran, Jim Parola. Thankfully, Jim will be the future force for next year’s Markets (and beyond). This is a pivotal blessing for all of us who consider the Gardendale Farmers Market an outstanding example of just what can be done by competent and caring people. Congratulations Jim!
Our Veteran Info Table will be at tomorrow’s Market. Zach Burton (who did an excellent job along with Vietnam Veteran Association, Chapter 416 President – Ron Becker on Channel 13 news about veterans a week or so ago) will be with us and in an increasingly in-charge role. I will be there and some other veterans are sure to put in an appearance to care and share info.
My wife, Cathie and I had the privilege of visiting the Negro Southern League Museum near Regions Field. Not only were there examples of important African-American athletes, but many of these men went on to serve the United States in our Armed Forces and become key veterans of our conflicts!
Along with a hologram of Satchel Paige throwing for visitors to try to swing at (I tried and got stomped!), there are hundreds of wonderful artifacts and examples of truly great baseball. Interestingly, one great player never played baseball until he went into the Army around WWI and then later became a great player in the league!
Cathie and I also visited the excellent Gardendale Historical Society Museum meeting which meets the third Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. (at the Martha Moore Library). Among the strong supporters of our heritage was photographer/author John Alexander Dersham (email@example.com) who has just concluded for the Alabama Bicentennial the finest book on Alabama that I have been privileged to see—My Alabama with over two hundred full color photos of the key elements of our state.
Remember our planning for Veterans Day and May God Bless our veterans, our military people, our first responders (law enforcers, firefighters, EMTs, teachers, clergy and most of all may God bless you and your’s!
Gerald “Joe” Stahlkuppe is a combat Army veteran of the Vietnam War. An ordained clergyman, public speaker and author of several books, he lives with his wife in Gardendale.
Questions or veterans issues you would like to see addressed in the column can be directed to Stahlkuppe at P.O. Box 849, Gardendale, AL 35071 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.