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  Wednesday January 28th, 2015    

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The essence of Winona (09/08/2013)

Or maybe you recall the thrill of Steamboat Days and the week long festivity

With its finale parade and the unique sounding shrill of that antique calliope

Perhaps itís the cotton candy, the sparklers, whirly birds or black snakes

Maybe itís the last hoorah of the fireworks display that really takes the cake

Perhaps youíve memories of the Wilkie or strolling through Levee Park,

Or the miles of view up and down the river atop Garvin Heights before dark,

Which may be at the top of your list as the best site to see

Or should we say, if you want to see the best sites, thatís the best place to be

Maybe itís your memories of softball, bowling or beer pong or darts

Chasing a golf ball, still fishing or trolling, or a recital song or the arts

It could be all that, itís hard for one to tell

ĎCause it might even be a local concerto you heard down at the old Band Shell

Maybe thatís what rings a bell!

Or sets the tone, when you reminisce about family get-togethers or reunions

Down by the lake or at Prairie Island at one of those once free pavilions

And lest we forget what our nation stands for, and that grand old Flag,

Letís solemnly remember, never boast or brag

About the millions of Americans who lost life and limb and those countless more who continue to serve,

Who feel their freedom is something others have earned, and nothing they themselves out rightly deserve

And even those who exercise the right to peacefully demonstrate,

Also acknowledge the source of their freedom to do so and clearly intend in their own way to support and respect this country so great!

Letís be clear this is a Veteransí tradition not about war, for war is something no hero or true American would ever venerate,

But about something noble, simple and true, created and dedicated by our own grassroots, here in this place by the lake and clear for all to see,

As you walk around Memorial Park and observe reverently,

The basic reason these monuments are made from the finest marble

And represent the history of a nation whose creation and survival is indeed a marvel

And as you leave this hallowed ground on the brick path going east, thereís one thing you might do,

With humbled pride exhaust a little sigh and whisper a sincere ďTHANK YOUĒ

Then look up and take a long breath of fresh air and glimpse the children at play across the way,

And smile in hopes they too wonít have to die for their freedom someday.

Theodore L. Schoewe 


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