MONUMENT FITTING SALUTE FOR WWII VETS
The community should get behind and try to help a group of World War II veterans, spouses and widows heading to Washington, D.C., to dedicate the new $62 million World War II Memorial May 29. And we should take pride in Valley Bronze's key role in helping build the memorial. The Joseph firm recently finished installing, among other items, 40 tons of oak and wheat bronze wreaths, stars and other items produced over the past two years.
The monument for "the greatest generation" both those who fought in the war and those who served back home supporting the war effort is way overdue. Only about one in five of the Americans who served in the war are still alive. Most survivors are now in their late 70s or early 80s, and some are too sick or frail to travel.
Thousands of vets and their families will attend the two-hour dedication. For those who can't attend the ceremony in person, the event will be broadcast live on C-Span and the History Channel. Veterans groups are urging people to organize this year's Memorial Day weekend activities around the event as a special salute to a group of soldiers and their supporters back home who built character through adversity.
If you want to get behind the local travel effort, you might want to purchase one of the limited edition lithographs painted by Mike Koloski, commander of VFW Eagle Cap Post 4307, that will help pay for the trip. We need to show the same kind of can-do spirit in supporting the vets as they did in battling through Europe, the South Pacific and around the world to guarantee our freedom.
GIVE 'EM A BRAKE
You've heard the old adage, Give 'em a brake in work zones. The new twist to that old adage is, the life you save might be your own. Here's proof: all five deaths in highway work zones in Oregon in 2002 were drivers or their passengers. In 2001, only one in six of work zone fatalities was a highway construction worker.
You might also save yourself some serious money. The 1995 Legislature enacted a law that doubles traffic fines in work zones. The Oregon State Police writes about 6,000 hazardous driving violations to unhappy drivers annually.
With the work under way on Interstate 84 bridges west of La Grande, it's important drivers use caution. Here are some things you can do: Stay alert. Pay attention. Never tailgate or speed. Turn on your lights. Be patient. And
drive the posted speeds even if you see no workers. The life you save may be your own.