First is voting day. By this time, we have seen and heard a large number of political ads on TV and radio. Our mailboxes have been stuffed with slick ads for various campaigners. We have had more than enough of those phone calls asking you for your comments about the candidates and encouraging you to tune in to town hall meetings. No one can say that they have not received enough information about all the candidates to be able to make up their mind. What we need to do now is to go and vote!
I was appalled recently when I read that the percent of voters in Tennessee who go and vote is second to the bottom in America. The number of registered voters is also very low. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could double those numbers and strive for the top? It is a privilege to vote and as well a duty to do so. I know many of you might not be registered, but those of you who are should be sure you make voting on Nov. 6 a top priority. Remember how important one or two votes mattered in the selection of the Supreme Court justice. Every vote counts.
Next, we celebrate Veterans Day. This is a time to remember all the ones who have served in our military. My earliest memory of Veterans Day was when I was about 10 years old. The neighbor across the street from my home was a veteran and he gave me a job — selling poppies on Veterans Day. I was excited about having my first paying job. I took the poppies downtown and sold them to anyone who would buy. I think they were 25 cents, but I remember several people gave me extra, which I thought was great. At the end of the day, I gave the money I had collected to my neighbor who turned it in to the military. He then paid me for my work. I am sure it wasn’t much, but I felt rich.
Two of my brothers served in the military. One was in the Navy as well as his son. The other brother was in the Army and served two tours in Vietnam. My son-in-law was in the Air Force. I am proud of the service they gave to our country. I am very thankful that they all came home safely. I am sad for those who lost loved ones in service, and I think we should honor all who gave their time to help keep our country safe.
As November comes to an end we get to celebrate Thanksgiving. We should be thankful that we can vote and be a part of this great nation. We should also be thankful for our veterans who gave so much for America. We have so much to be thankful for. Even though we see much division and unrest in many areas of our country, Thanksgiving Day would be a wonderful time for us to come together as families, friends and leaders to express our thanks to each other.
Vote for the best candidates, say thank you to the veterans you know, and thank God for the United States of America. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bonnie Simmerman of Jonesborough can be reached at [email protected]