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Roney a breath of fresh air

We are absentee property owners in Winter Park Pines and we receive the Observer in the mail.

First we would like to thank you for sending us this useful publication; we look forward to each copy.

We would like to thank you for carrying the writings of a great conservative like Louis Roney.

He is like a rock in the middle of the sea of liberals. Too bad his thoughtful, reasoned positions can’t be taught in our schools and colleges.

Good job!

—Patricia and Ralph Taddeo

St. Petersburg

Veterans respected world over

Last June, my husband and I took our family to France for a riverboat trip on the Seine River followed by a few days in Paris. For me, the highlight of the journey was our visit to the American Cemetery near the village of Colleville in Normandy. Perhaps it was the recent anniversary of D-Day, but throughout the village, homes were flying American flags. The cemetery is considered American soil and is landscaped as such, down to the American Beauty roses and zoysia and fescue grass. On the terrace of the large neo-Classical temple that serves as a museum sat a wheelchair-bound veteran in full dress uniform displaying the insignia of the 101st Airborne Division, later celebrated in the book and movie “Band of Brothers.” Now 87, the veteran had been in his teens when his plane flew over Normandy on D-Day. In this hallowed place returning veterans such as he are treated like the superstars they truly are. We spoke briefly, and I thanked him before wandering among the nearly 10,000 graves. Many were marked with the names of brothers. Two of Theodore Roosevelt's sons are buried here. Theodore Jr., recipient of the Medal of Honor, lies beside his brother Quentin, who had been killed over Germany in World War I and later moved to this final resting place.

In the town of Arromanches on the way back to Rouen where our boat was docked, I found a postcard that expresses the heartfelt gratitude the French felt for our veterans and their rescue from years of Nazi oppression. What could be a more fitting tribute on Veterans Day than these words written by Jean Goujon, a child of the liberation:

"Dear Veteran:

I am writing to say 'thank you,' and through me there are thousands of children speaking to thousands of veterans. Like us, you were young and carefree, but when you were only 20 years old, Liberty called you to say: 'I am dying. Come save me!'

And you arose, full of courage and zeal, to answer the call. You underwent training, day after day, for D-Day, and, one day in June, you arrived by air and sea. And you fought with the heart and soul of a free man so that we too might be free.

You saw your fellows fall on our beaches and in our fields and, in spite of your grief and injuries, you stayed on and fought side-by-side with us. And so you, dear Veteran, I want to tell you, regarding those dear to you who sacrificed their youth and are resting in peace, the sleep of the just, that We Are The Children They Never Had.

And to you, dear Veteran, who offered your bravery and your most promising years for this land, I say to you, WE ARE YOUR SONS, SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF LIBERTY, WHO WANT TO SAY TO YOU TODAY, A HEARTFELT 'THANK YOU!'"

—Kathryn Grammer

Winter Park