Memorial Day weekend observations and thoughts

Emotional filled ceremonies Friday evening with the unveiling of the mural at the former Francis Smith farm east of town and a stirring speech by local resident Retired Major General Gregory W. Batts

before a crowd of several hundred at Veterans Memorial Plaza on Monday, set the tone for Memorial Day observances for the Barnesville community.

The same was true for services and programs, and parades, too, in the neighboring communities of Beallsville, Belmont, Bethesda and Quaker City.

That weekend was also the culmination of four years of high school education for students at Beallsville, Barnesville, Olney Friends and Union Local high schools.

We live in troubled times. Division, particularly in political arena, is prevalent nationwide. The moral fabric, governmental functions and democracy itself are fraying at a rapid pace.

This is not to say our nation has not been tested before. The Civil War, Great Depression and World War II bear this out. Through all this adversity, democracy has prevailed.

And that is why the last weekend of May this year gives this writer hope. Citizens gathered to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in service for this concept called democracy. And, local teenagers crossed the stage to face the real world ahead of them. Their lives, their hopes, their promises will fill the history books in the decades ahead.

These Memorial Day weekend programs and events, my friends, have carried this nation for the past 242 years, and what will ultimately carry it forward in the years to come.

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In 1943 while he was serving as Ohio Senator from Belmont County, Enterprise editor Ray Palmer started writing a column he titled "This Week - Here and There". Our modified title is "Here and There".