Up & Coming Weekly

October 31, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 28 of 48

28 UCW NOVEMBER 1 - 7, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Hope Mills News & Views JESSIE BELLFLOWERS, Past All- American State Commander, VFW of the U.S. COMMENTS? hopemills@ upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. More than a name by JESSIE BELLFLOWERS As part of the commemoration of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial's 35th anniversary, I was se- lected as a reader in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's Reading of the Names. is national event takes place in honor of the sacrifice and the last full measure of devotion to our great nation demon- strated by these service members. I am scheduled to read on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 7:04 p.m. I will read one page containing 30 names from the time period of Feb. 1-3, 1966, on Wall Panel/Line 4E, 129-135, in approximately a two-minute interval. In Washington, D.C., the reading of the names of 58,318 service members inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (commonly referred to as e Wall) will take place for 65 hours over a four-day period from November 7-10. e opening ceremony is Tuesday, Nov. 7, beginning at 3 p.m. e reading of the names will begin at 4 p.m. A large number of government officials and dignitar- ies will attend the opening cer- emonies as speakers and continue as readers. e VVMF is hosting the Reading of the Names as part of the special activities planned this November to commemorate e Wall's 35th anniversary. e Reading of the Names has taken place just five other times in e Wall's history, with the last event occurring dur- ing the 30th anniversary in 2012. Based in Washington, D.C., the VVMF is the nonprofit organiza- tion authorized by the U.S. Con- gress in 1980 to build a national memorial dedicated to all who served with the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. Incor- porated on April 27, 1979, by a group of veterans led by Jan C. Scruggs, the organization sought a tangible symbol of recognition from the Ameri- can people for those who served in the war. e result was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which has become one of the most visited memorials in Washington, D.C., with an estimated 4.5 million visitors annually. It is quite the honor to participate in the com- memoration of e Wall's 35th anniversary. e names on The Wall are more than just names. They represent a family, just like our families. One example is U.S. Army nurse 1st Lt. Sharon Lane, one of eight women to die in Vietnam, and the only one to die from hostile fire. These brave men and women left behind friends, brothers, sisters and parents. They represent courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country. They are the true heroes of the Vietnam War. By reading their names, we will never forget them and their fami- lies that were changed forever. I cannot express in words the personal honor and respect I deeply feel to be selected as a reader of the names during e Wall's 35th Anniversary. I entered the U.S. Army in 1976, and all my military train- ers were Vietnam veterans, including the military equipment for training. ese combat veterans had a direct impact on my life and helped shape me into the 26-year career retired U.S. Army soldier, college instructor and active community citizen I am today. Please take the time and attend the Heroes Homecoming V, a nine-day (Nov. 4-12) ceremo- nious event to honor veterans and an annual celebration hosted by Fayetteville Area Conven- tion and Visitors Bureau and the communities of Cumberland County. is year, numerous events are dedicated to honor and acknowledge the sacrifices made by area Vietnam Veterans. ese include, various Vietnam War exhibits, ceremonies and e Moving Wall dedication Nov. 11 at the Airborne & Special Opera- tions Museum Parade Field. For a full list of calendar events, visit www.HeroesHomecoming.com. It is an honor to represent our community Viet- nam veterans and their families during the com- memoration of e Wall's 35th Anniversary. ank you for your service and sacrifice to our nation. May God bless you and continue to bless our great nation! OPINION Please participate by ROD MACLEAN Hope Mills is a town of 17,722, as of October 2017. Why is this significant? Well, as most of us know, the time for elections is again upon us, this time for munic- ipal elections. We have heard a considerable amount about the election in Fayetteville; they even had primaries. In Hope Mills, we didn't have that prob- lem. We have two candidates running for mayor – Keith Bowen and Jackie Warner – and nine candidates running for five seats as commissioners: Jessie Bellflowers, Tonzie Collins I, Pat Edwards, Bob Gorman, Meg Larson, Jerry Legge, Bryan Marley, Kenjuana McCray and Mike Mitchell. So here is my problem: last municipal elec- tion, 1,092 people voted to place the Board of Commis- sioners. at is 6 percent of the population. Have you ever thought that the town of Hope Mills is not doing the best it can for you? Who do you think they are working for? e answer is they are working for the citizens, but then again it was only 1,092 that decided who should be in charge. Can 1,092 people decide the correct path for 16,630 others? What is also alarming is that about 8,000 people voted in Hope Mills for the president – and he does not affect your wallet as much as the com- missioners do. I have attended Board of Commission- ers meetings for the last five years and have been a participant in town governmental activities by serving on the Lake Advisory Committee and the Historical Commission. When something comes up that I agree with, or disagree with, and I think it needs com- ment, I am not above standing up and speaking during public comment sessions. However, I do feel alone, as many times there are only a few diehards who attend alongside me. ere is little citizen participation. I would love to see that the plans for a new town hall will have a much larger auditorium so that more citizens could attend, but as of today, there are at least 30 seats empty every meeting. We have little publicity in the newspa- pers – business openings and dam updates are the best we can hope for. If citizens voted and came to meetings and made comments, we would see more reporting on our town and more people would be able to learn what is happening and act to promote the good things and help root out the bad. So, I ask each of you to give up just a smidgen of your time and look at the candidates and make a choice as to who will bests represent you – and vote for them. I am not going to promote anyone here – that is not my intent – but I do want you to partici- pate. Remember, if you don't vote, you should not be allowed to complain. ROD MACLEAN, Contributing Writer. COMMENTS? hopemills@ upandcomingweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. Can 1,092 people decide the correct path for 16,630 others?

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