Letter: Repaved street latest sign of progress in Arbutus

Letter to the editor

September 19, 2012

On Sept. 13, the Arbutus Business and Professional Association celebrated the completion of the Leeds Avenue repaving project and the beginning of the East Drive repaving project with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, many elected officials and community leaders.

I love Arbutus! It's full of hard working people, entrepreneurs and businesses.

We have elected officials with their behind-the-scenes people who work tirelessly for us, and community associations who support us.

We have an Ice Cream Cottage, town hall, lots of fun eateries and our very own neighborhood movie theater. Who wouldn't want to live, work and play here?

You all know about shop local. You go to Mike's Antiques and Collectibles and buy a nice bauble. Adam, the owner, can then go to Sorrento's for lunch. Sorrento's employees can then go to buy bread from the local bakery, Art and Cake.

The money stays in the Arbutus community; a strong community is our foundation.

Like almost every community, we have had our own tough times in the last few years. But the people of Arbutus are resilient and we are on our way back.

In the next few months, you will see a bike path from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, leading into the heart of our business district, complete with way finding signs.

The new MARC Halethorpe/UMBC train station will also have signage directing potential customers into our business district.

We thank our county executive, state Sen. Kasemeyer, Dels. Steve DeBoy and Jim Malone and 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk for sharing and supporting Arbutus' vision for the future.

Patti Sue Nolan, president

Arbutus Business & Professional Association

Remember America's POW/MIA during national observance Friday

The sheer number of Americans listed as missing in action — more than 73,000 in World War II, 7,900 in Korea, hundreds during the Cold War, nearly 2,000 in Vietnam, and even on today's modern battlefields — is difficult to grasp.

Thus, it becomes a major importance when traditionally the third Friday of each September is set aside to honor those who have endured captivity as Prisoners of War or who have been or continue to be listed as Missing in Action. This year's National POW/MIA Recognition observance is September 21.

We at the Veterans Administration's Maryland Health Care System want to take the time to say a special thank you to this group of veterans and pay special tribute to thousands of military families tormented by uncertainty due to the loss of loved ones whose whereabouts remain unknown. The observance on September 21 allows us to honor their role in protecting our country and the liberty of mankind.

Each of their stories is unique. They all share a common thread –– fear, brutality, deprivation, pain and loss. But their stories are also bonded by dignity, honor, character and hope that transcend the extreme and inhumane experiences they survived.

Observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day are held across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools and veterans' facilities. This observance is one of six days throughout the year that Congress has mandated the flying of the National League of Families' POW/MIA flag. The others are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

While we dedicate ourselves to serving all veterans, we hold a special place in our hearts for those who endured the suffering of captivity, an experience that continues to plague their health for many years afterward.

At the VA Maryland Health Care System, we recognize National Former POW day and honor Maryland's former POWs each April, now numbering under 100 throughout the state.

In the hearts of our former POWs, we find unparalleled courage, loyalty, and allegiance to America. In their hearts, we find an unyielding faith in the democratic ideals of America. America's former POWs are among our nation's most revered heroes. They served with dignity and honor under the worst of human conditions — starvation, isolation, torture and the ever-present threat of death. Yet even during their darkest hour, they demonstrated remarkable personal courage and unwavering devotion to family and country. Their strength is a testament to the American character. In their hearts, we find the indomitable spirit that is America, and all we can offer from our own hearts is our gratitude and our commitment to honor their families and recognize their service and sacrifice.

Because of their sacrifice, and the selflessness and heroism of all who have served in our Armed Forces, millions now live in freedom, and America remains the greatest force for good on earth.

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