My Committee turned in petitions with 1776 signatures on Friday and I want to thank the dozens of supporters who walked their neighborhoods and stood outside libraries to gather petition signatures on my behalf. After turning in petitions, I left City Hall with my campaign chairman, Jim Bruner, and the two of us stood a few minutes by the “The Chaplain”…the 2009 bronze statue by Austin Deuel.
For many years, Diana and I have researched our family genealogy and have found numerous forefathers who served in war – more than one as a Chaplain. When we visit the graveside of an ancestor who fought for freedom, we always find a flag or, sometimes, a revolutionary war marker beside their headstone (like the one to the right.)
These are important reminders their service and sacrifice is not forgotten and it makes us grateful for the many volunteers who place these markers in cemeteries all across America.
We’re also reminded of sacrifices made by those not in uniform. About 10 years ago, my aunt sent me a print of a painting done by my grandmother about 1945. My aunt’s accompanying letter explained that Grandma Laurel painted on old window-shades since she had no money to buy artist’s canvas.
Her painting was of a small farm house with snow-covered mailboxes in the front yard and captures the emotion of how Grandma Laurel waited nervously each day for news from her three sons who were stationed overseas during WWII.
Grandma’s painting is a poignant reminder what a lonely, scary time war is, even for those safely at home. The men and women left behind without family also make real sacrifices in time of war. It wasn’t just my uncles who served; so did my father. In fact, between Diana and me, we have over twenty kin who served in WWII. All their loved ones at home made emotional and financial sacrifices for the freedom we enjoy.
Memorial flags, revolutionary war markers and sculptures like “The Chaplain” all remind me that collecting signatures on a petition is a privilege. They are each a reminder that running for political office in our democratic country is a privilege, earned through the service and sacrifices of those before us.
Of course, I would like your support in the upcoming Council elections. But, more than that, I urge you to exercise the hard-won democratic privilege of voting in the 2014 Primary on August 26.