The Wheel for May 30, 2019
Listen to Memorial Day
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Walter Parrish and
Greg MaguireMemorial Day is an American holiday, observed annually on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. It is unclear where exactly this tradition originated; numerous different communities may have independently initiated the memorial gatherings. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo—which first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags. Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.
Message From The President
Today our program remembers and honors those who gave their lives in service of our country. While we have all seen movies where a mother answers the door to learn that her son was killed in action, that scene does not tell the whole story.
This weekend I attended the funeral of Garrett Meriwether. Garrett was a friend of the family and the son of our friends Steve and Debbie. He was just 18 years old when he was killed by a driver who is charged with driving while intoxicated. Garrett’s wake, funeral and burial were the saddest things I have ever been witness to. I literally cried for three days. It wasn’t just me, the entire village that raised Garrett cried over his untimely loss, including the priests that performed the Christian Rite of Burial. I use the term village to describe the people that knew Garrett and his family during his short life.
While attending Garrett’s ceremonies, I got to thinking about how the village that raised Garrett all mourned his loss and how the villages of soldiers who were killed in action experienced the same pain. While the image of the mother crumpling to her knees in tears when she receives the news that her son has been killed in combat is accurate, it fails to do the tragedy justice because it omits the family friends and other people from the soldier’s village who feel the sharp pain of the loss of one of their own. According to PBS more than 1.1 million American soldiers have been killed in combat since the birth of our nation. 1.1 million villages stood together at funerals and cried for the loss of their child. When we remember our fallen soldiers each year we pray for their souls. We should also pray that their family, friends and fellow villagers are able to find peace and comfort.
Rotary Club of Las Vegas
Scribe – May 23, 2019
Las Vegas Rotary Club Meeting: May 23, 2019
President Jim called the meeting to order. Tina Bishop gave the invocation. Bob Werner led the club in singing God Bless America, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The Sergeant at Arms was Rose Falocco:
- There were (0) International Rotarians, (1) visiting Rotarians and (5) Guests of Rotarians introduced; Aaron Campillo presented the RC of Manila Premier (who Senator Manny Pacquiao was the charter president of) banner he brought back from visiting them in the Philippines;
- President Jim’s announcements: we have scheduled the Club deep sea fishing excursion on 6/21, more info to follow; Janet Linder is battling pneumonia so please keep her in your prayers;
- Deb Granda discussed the 5/18 Corazon Super Build that she, Jimmelle Siarot, Kirk Alexander and Chan Lam had the pleasure of experiencing; it was a long, hard day to build the house and rewarding to hand the house and keys to a deserving family at the end of the day, who had also made us lunch; the Corazon volunteers also gave the family housewarming gifts, and we strongly recommend everyone to experience Super Build at least once;
- PP Karen Whisenhunt recapped the Golf Putting Tournament on 5/19 that we had 85 golfers signed up and special thanks to our major sponsor Meadows Bank, our 22 whole sponsors and of course our golfers we raised $1,559 for our Youth Exchange Program;
- Jaime Goldsmith discussed the upcoming SOAR Awards presentation on 9/16 at the City Hall council chambers; we also have a fundraiser for SOAR with balloon wranglers needed for the 4th of July Parade, for which the Summerlin Patriotic Parade will donate $35 for each wrangler volunteer we provide;
- Dave Squier announced the next 8 am 6/15 Highway Cleanup and immediately followed by a party hosted by Jerry Sennes, we’ll meet directly across from Bonnie Springs to clean-up about a 3 mile stretch of highway; PP/AG Michael Gordon discussed the debunking party 6/27 for President Jim, and reminded attendees to bring new pair(s) of athletic stocks that will be collected and donated thru Project 150 to those in need in Vegas; PP/AG Michael Gordon then elaborated on Brenda Cressey, Chair of the RI Foundation, visit to our Club on 7/11 during which we will award Paul Harris Fellowship Awards, and to please let Shawn Noorda know if you’ll be bringing guests to the 7/11 meeting so we can plan lunch accordingly; Carey Grohs discussed the 25 Club organized event to serve community dinner at the LV Rescue Mission on 5/28, and Pinot Palette is 6/1 at 4:30 pm for a little wine and some painting; President Jim called on Rob Pistone to explain his Channel 3 NBC news appearance in which he was attempting to sell a house, and then thanked Rob for his $300 gift to the Club;
- The weekly drawing began at $953 plus this week’s donations. The Ticket Winner was Sidra Kain, who received a prize of $10, and the Lawry’s Bucks winner was Val Hatley, and a bonus prize of a Rotary license plate frame which Steven Kwon won;
- PP Jim Hunt introduced our program speaker Coach T.J. Otzelberger, the 14th fulltime head coach in UNLV men’s basketball history;
- President Jim presented our speaker with a “Share What You Can” award to benefit a veteran in need and adjourned the meeting.