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Abilene News

May 31 – At this time of year, when most Americans kick off their summers with holiday weekend vacations and barbe-cues, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day. I also hope that you took a moment sometime during the weekend to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day.

Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May and is the day we honor those Americans who answered the call to serve, es-pecially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Originally called Decoration Day, it was established to honor those military members who had died during the Civil War. Immediately following the war citizens in towns in the North and South began to set aside days to decorate soldiers' graves with flowers and flags.

The first widespread observance of Decoration Day came on May 30, 1868, which Major General John A. Logan proclaimed it as a day to honor the dead. General James Garfield (later 20th president of the United

States) gave a speech at Arlington National Cemetery in remembrance of fallen soldiers. Over the years the day became an occasion to remember the dead in all American wars, and came to be known as Memorial Day.

A breakdown of the over 1,300,000 who have made that sacrifice is interesting: Revolutionary War (1775-1783) 25,000; War of 1812 (1812-1815) 20,000; Mexican War (1846-1848) 13,300; Civil War (1861-1865) 620,000 (Union 360,000; Con-federate 260,000); Spanish-American War (1898) 2,500; World War I (1917-1918) 116,500; World War II (1941-1945) 405,400; Korean War (1950-1953) 36,600; Vietnam War (1964-1973) 58,200; Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) 380; Afghanistan (2001- ) over 1,000; Iraq War (2003- ) 4,500.

When we read these numbers, we are reminded that, indeed, “freedom is not Free.”


In recent weeks, Faye Nelson had a visit from Jim and Carol who came from Charlotte, N.C. Everyone went to Wayne Nel-son's for Millie's birthday.

Millie is Wayne's Mother. She is at the Moore Center at the Woodlands.

Thirteen people attended the birthday party – lots of good food and conversation.

Captain and Mrs. John Lavra and family attended the wedding of Anna Crane and Brett Bissett at the beautiful Shifting Sands Club at Dam Neck Navy installation in Virginia Beach. Brett is the son of the Lavra's son-in-law, Bob Bissett. A won-derful time was had by all.

John and Marolyn Lavra have also had recent house guests, Bob, Cathy, and Valerie Bissett from Virginia Beach; and John's nephew Albert Lavra from St. John's Michigan.

I recently went with a group from the Farmville Woman's Club to Red Hill (Patrick Henry's home) at Brookneal. On the way home we stopped at the

Brookneal campus of the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Homes for lunch and a tour of one of the cottages followed by a stop at the Sans Soucy Vineyard for a tour and wine tasting. A fun day!

The Cardinal Quilt Guild of Prince Edward has held their last meeting of the year until September. The group continues to make quilts for the children at Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Homes.

The Abilene Homemakers Club met on May 15 at the Abilene Clubhouse.

Everyone enjoyed a fun afternoon of Bingo.

On behalf of the Homemakers Club, on Monday, May 21, I delivered some goodies to the children at the Piedmont Juvenile Detention Center.

Congratulations to all the graduates including Clint and Derek Thackston from Virginia Tech.

Belated birthday greetings to John Lavra and Rodney Harris who celebrated on May 2; Kendall Marston who celebrated on the 27; and Millie Bonner of Cullen who celebrated on the 30.

If you have the opportunity, stop by the new ice cream parlor in Charlotte Court House (at the old barber shop). Our con-gratulations and best wishes for a wonderful success to the three young ladies who have undertaken this very ambitious endeav-or.

If you have any news or announcements that you would like to share, please contact me at 223-2271 or e-mail me at kz5ro@kinex.net.