04/26/09 — Bravo to all: Weekend's activities mixed patriotism with pickles

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Bravo to all: Weekend's activities mixed patriotism with pickles

It is so tempting to write about politics -- local, state or national -- on a Sunday editorial page.

And, lately, there is certainly a lot to talk about -- especially if you have been reading your local newspaper. But that can wait for one more day. There will still be plenty of silliness and bickering to comment on tomorrow.

It just did not seem right, today, to write about anything other than families, our servicemen and women and how a community that is not considered large by any stretch of the imagination managed to pull off not one, but two, major events with record-setting results.

First, the air show. Putting on an event that spans not just one, but two, days and draws more than 100,000 people is no easy task.

The men and women of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base did their commander proud, creating not only a seamless round of performances and displays, but a family atmosphere that encouraged young and old alike to come out and see just what it takes to defend this nation.

There were more than a few people affected by the visit -- and many more than that decided to take the opportunity to shake an airman's hand, a gesture of thanks for their service and to let them know that someone has noticed the dedication and courage they devote every day to the execution of their duties.

4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Mark Kelly and his airmen made the day look easy, without even a hint of the time and effort that went into planning and executing the event. There were likely hours and hours of cleanup after the fact -- and many airmen who likely gave up days off to greet their community. They should know that extra effort was appreciated.

Also key to the effort were the members of the 916th Air Refueling Wing under their commander, Col. Fritz Linsenmeyer.

And this year, the air show graciously shared the limelight with the North Carolina Pickle Festival.

A small, but dedicated, group of volunteers managed to pull off the biggest one yet -- and made sure that thousands of visitors not only tasted pickles, but had a day of fun and relaxation with their families.

They worked hours before and hours after the festival to make sure everything went smoothly -- and it did.

They should be commended for making their hometown event such a draw -- and so much fun.

Congratulations to all on a successful weekend.

Published in Editorials on April 26, 2009 12:49 AM