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The Sassy Sandpiper: Memorial Day 2019

Vietnam Veterans | Veterans | Soldiers

The Sassy Sandpiper Issues an invitation to a special Memorial Day celebration.

By M.R. Wilson, Columnist, TB Reporter

I’m just as peeved as I ever was that Memorial Day has devolved into a gateway-to-summer holiday. Three years ago, I wrote how veterans and departed family members were honored during my childhood, griped about commercialism and reminisced about my old buddy Ray Myers who was shot and permanently disabled in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.

Before he passed away, Ray gave me his American flag, the one he always displayed proudly from a towering flagpole in his back yard. Ray was my next door neighbor, so I always heard the reassurance of clanging ropes and brackets, and occasionally a crisp snap of the flag in a stout wind. He knew what it meant to be a genuine patriot.

Inevitably, sadness settles over me on this day of remembrance. I wonder how we can picnic and play, and cheer during a parade while more than 40,000 United States veterans are homeless, according to a report issued in 2017.

It helps to be part of the local chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, connecting with other like-minded people, learning just what one person can do to “be part of the solution” to a boatload of heavy duty economic, social and environmental issues.

This Memorial Day I’m doing something different, since I’m sharing my birthday with a national holiday. If you’re in the neighborhood of the Raymond H. Neri Community Park around 11 a.m. on Monday (May 27), wander over to the first shelter just south of the Duval Park entrance. (Entrance off 54th Avenue N, click here for map.)  Stop and say “hi” to the Sassy Sandpiper. Bring a bite to eat and lots of water because it’s forecast to be a sizzling 94 degrees. Bring your dogs and kids. I miss my dogs awfully much and can always use a canine fix. I miss teaching, too, so young people almost always delight me. Unless they bark and growl and bite.

Sassy Sandpiper | Memorial Day Invitation | Event Near Me

Whatever you may do, be safe. Honor someone dear. Thank a veteran.

Happy Memorial Day!

Photo of Vietnam Veterans Memorial courtesy of

Sassy Sandpiper | Veterans | Memorial Day | Tampabay News

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