Physicians, Conservatives and Pro-Israel activists gathered this past Thursday evening at the Highland Park home of Dr. and Mrs. Arie Friedman to meet Congressman Tom Price (R-GA). The more than sixty guests in attendance began the evening waiting for the doctor from the Peach state whose flight from Washington D.C. was delayed over two hours due to computer malfunctions with United Airlines.
The delay provided time for me to speak with Paul Miller, President of the political and media consulting firm Pauliegroup LLC. Miller, who served as Friedman’s campaign manager during his 2010 bid for congress from the 10th District, organized the evening’s event. He spoke of a new political action committee recently formed by Dr. Friedman: Doctors-Patients Alliance of Illinois (www.docsandpatients.org). Its purpose is to “give doctors and patients a voice in Springfield by developing a grassroots network of doctors and patients to help educate lawmakers, candidates and voters of the impact of government-controlled medicine.”
About Congressman Tom Price, for nearly twenty years, Rep. Price worked in private practice as an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Price was first elected to represent Georgia’s 6th district in November 2004. Prior to going to Washington, Price served four terms in the Georgia State Senate–two as Minority Whip.
In Congress, Rep. Price has proven to be a vibrant leader, tireless problem solver and the go-to Republican on quality health care policy. In the 112th Congress, Price was elected by his colleagues to serve as the fifth ranking Republican in the House as the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.
In the preceding Congress, he served as Chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Committed to advancing positive solutions under principled leadership, Price has been a fierce opponent of government waste and devoted to limited government and lower spending.
The time spent waiting for Dr. Price to arrive from Washington, D.C. passed by very quickly. Great conversation with like-minded individuals combined with good food and drink made for a pleasant evening. To the delight of all assembled Dr. Price arrived at the home of the Friedman’s around 8:30 p.m.
Without delay, we all quickly gathered in the Friedman’s large kitchen-recreation area to listen to Congressman Tom Price.
Without hesitation, Dr. Price began to speak about not knowing when this nation was as challenged as it is today, remarking also about the divided nature of this country where there is not a real majority to move things in the right direction.
Emphasized was that there is no reason for this nation to play catch-up with any nation except for its lack of leadership. “Free market principles are the key to this nation’s economic success.”
Needed most, according to Dr. Price, are positive upbeat solutions that embrace fundamental principles, such as: 1) Don’t spend more than is taken in. 2) Get government out of the way in health care. 3) Allow productive use of this nation’s energy resources.
Price spoke of the looming debt ceiling, calling debt a long term issue rather than a short term problem. Caps can always be put on the amount of spending that can occur, but fundamental is that Washington must change the way it does business. If this is not done, future generations will be unable to recognize the American Dream.
Dr. Price kept his remarks short, giving guests ample time to ask address questions.
On the Balanced Budget: Congressman Price is a balanced budget person. He feels that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner didn’t do any good in moving the date from May 16 to Aug. 2, and that it’s a matter of who will blink first, President Obama or Majority House Leader John Boehner. As an orthopedic surgeon, Price joked about the need to provide Leader Boehner with a stiff spine.
Given that this nation must borrow 42 to 43 cents of very dollar spent, Price spoke of the need to pay the interest owed or this nation would default. He then went on to suggest that Obama will say that we don’t have the money to pay the troops or to issue Social Security checks, admitting that these are the biggest pressure points for Republicans. Representative Price suggestions were to shut down the Departments of Energy and Commerce.
Congressman Price cautioned guests not to lose faith in the “greatest country in the world”, and to refrain from aligning ourselves with the naysayers and critics as such talk is self defeating.
On Funding NASA: Dr. Price is all for the spin off technology that makes life easier for everyone, but that funding is an Executive branch decision and additional funding would need a new president.
On Restricting Health Insurance: Price advocated for being able to opt out of employee offered health insurance, for the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and for large pools set up to buy insurance.
On Raising the Debt Ceiling: Price, as a pragmatist, feels that it would be politically impossible not to raise the debt ceiling, even if the interest could still be paid on the present debt (The nation’s revenue is $200 billion per month. Present interest per month on debt owed is $20 billion.). Why? Because 10,000 Americans are reaching retirement age every day, the obligations of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security would pierce the present debt ceiling
Price likewise noted with concern that if drastic spending cuts proposed by Republicans were agreed to by Democrats to gain support to raise the debt ceiling another $2 trillion (We are $14 trillion in debt.), spending would continue unabated and the spending cuts would be rescinded.
OnTalking to the AMA Meeting in Chicago: Price admitted that practicing physician membership is only around 15%. He feels, however, that there are a few members who are not hooked on ObamaCare and that the other doctors must hear why government should not be involved in health care. Dr. Price emphasized that despite the low membership of physicians in the AMA, the AMA is still the “Voice of Medicine” in Washington, D.C.
On Repealing ObamaCare: Price admitted that repealing ObamaCare would be difficult, even though the House has already done so. The Senate is not about to follow suit. Dr. Price is focusing on what happens in South Carolina, Virginia, and Florida, whether or not the appellate court process is exhausted before the end of the year, so the legality of ObamaCare can proceed and be decided by the Supreme Court. If this process is unsuccessful, only a new president and a majority status in the Senate could right the wrong.
In closing Representative Tom Price encouraged the assembled not to give up, as now is the time to fight for freedom.
Check www.policy.house.gov for more information about Congressman Tom Price
Readers of the Lake Forester have a chance to take a second look at possible outcomes should Governor Quinn sign the gambling expansion bill which he considers too big. The plan narrowly approved by both the House and the Senate in the waning days of the General Assembly in June, includes a Chicago casino and four others in Danville, Rockford, Park City in Lake County, and southern Cook County. Additionally slots would be allowed at Midway and O’Hare airports and the state’s six licensed horse tracks.
Should Governor Quinn sign the legislation, what might the consequences be of having one of the casinos located close by to Lake Forest and Lake Bluff in Park City?
Mayor Pannel of Park city is ecstatic over the prospect of a having a casino located in his town. According to Mayor Pannel, “You’re talking about over 1,000 full-time, good-paying jobs for Park City.”
While many “Lake Forester” readers might welcome a casino in their own back yard and with a shrug of their shoulders exclaim, “What’s the harm?” the Greater Waukegan Ministerial Association is to be applauded for asking 160 churches across Lake County to urge Gov. Pat Quinn to veto the gambling expansion bill.
Evidently church leaders are privy to undesirable societal happenings that result when drugs, alcohol, and gambling reap havoc on the lives of their parishioners and those in their community.
With this in mind, I have done my own research and can report the following:
1. Legalized gambling tends to depress businesses because it diverts money that could have been spent in the capital economy into gambling. Boarded-up business are commonly found surrounding a gambling casino.2. Gambling preys on people who are poor with its promise of a life free from financial worries and burdens. It has been reported that 60 percent of casino revenue comes from gamblers making less than $24,000 a year.
3. Known in some quarters as “video crack,” those caught up in the gambling frenzy are prone to addiction which breeds an increase of family and child neglect, divorce, bankruptcy and even suicides. Gambling addition is widespread and is not limited to the poor and the disadvantaged.
4. Any increase of jobs or influx of money would not offset the disproportionate social and negative effects among the poor and disadvantaged who can least afford to lose money.
5. Should government be seducing its citizens to gamble in state-sponsored vice, instead of being a positive moral force in societyA casino in Park City would not be a God-send for Lake County. Its social and economic costs would be enormous in an area of northern Lake County already economically challenged.
Call Senator Susan Garrett of Lake Forest at (847) 433-2002 to thank her for voting “no” against the gambling expansion bill.
Representative Karen May voted in lock-step with her Democrat leadership in a “yes” vote. Let Karen May know how you feel. She can be reached at 847-443-9100.
Copyright © 2011 —
June 15, 2011
Falcone then related how several years ago a group of administrators, board members and a few teachers flew to China to visit Dr. Griffith’s son and to find Chinese teachers to teach Mandarin in our school districts (kindergartners and first-graders will be able to take the Mandarin Chinese Immersion program this fall). The successful search resulted in Lake Forest taxpayers paying for two apartments near Market Square, cable service, phone cards and transportation for these Chinese teachers.
Mrs. Falcone further related how in 2010 the school administration determined that teachers hired directly from China were not the best fit for the district and that getting the Mandarin teachers from a Master’s program at Michigan State University would work out better for the children. This resulted in a fee being paid to Michigan State by the Lake Forest School Districts for recruitment of qualified Mandarin language teacher.
During her presentation Falcone raised questions about the Mandarin program and was told by the Board of Education president to “leave your questions on the table and we will call you back.” As Mrs. Falcone related to me, “As a taxpayer and long standing community member, I would like some comfort in knowing how more than one half of my taxes are being spent and responding to my questions publicly is precisely why we have board of education meetings.” As Leone didn’t wish to be called at home, she didn’t leave her questions.
Following are a number of Leone’s questions which never became part of the record that April evening:
• If we are paying for two apartments plus utilities for the Chinese teachers, including two leased cars plus gas, why are there only four students in the Mandarin 1 class at the high school level?
• Was this same program introduced for Spanish? Did the administration and board fly to Spain to hire Spanish teachers?
• Have certified American teachers been let go in order to support the Chinese program? Mr. Griffith has said that “these teachers are being supplied by the Chinese government and we pay far less for them than our American teachers.” But when I asked how the cost was equated when all the extras were added in, Griffith said that “it was about that of a regular teacher.”
• Why is there a contingent going to China when one percent of the American population is Chinese? Surely the School Board could find a few American women or men out of the 3 million Chinese in America who could teach Mandarin and have them work in our districts daily and then go home to their families at night?
Further comments as related below, and recently shared with me by Mrs. Falcone, prompted me to bring to the attention of Lake Forester readers the concerns expressed by Leone, which have become my concerns, and which should concern all taxpayers — Lake Bluff for District 115 and Lake Forest for Districts 67 and 115.
“Although my questions were not answered that evening, I was asked an interesting question. One high school board member stopped by to say hello and asked why my husband and I were attending the meeting as we have no children at the High School. My response to that question was ‘On the contrary, I apparently have 1,600 children.”
At the present time many school parents are too afraid to speak out in fear of retribution against their children. It is time for taxpaying private school parents and other taxpayers in the community to attend the Lake Forest School Board meetings to discover how their taxes are being spent.
June 15, 2011
June 14, 2011
Flag Day 2011
June 14th is Flag Day, but for most Americans Flag Day passes by unnoticed or with very little thought given to this annual holiday. Although Flag Day is observed nationwide, it is a legal holiday in only a few areas of this nation, such as Montour County in Pennsylvania.
Flag Day is the day when all Americans should celebrate and show respect for their nation’s flag and commemorate its adoption. For it was on June 14, 1777 that the Continental Congress replaced the British symbols of the Grand Union flag with a new design featuring stars and stripes.
It is shameful that Flag Day gets so little notice, for doesn’t the flag represent this nation’s independence and its unity as a nation? It should also be a time for Americans to reaffirm their loyalty to nation and their belief in liberty and justice.
The idea of an annual day celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. It was then that schoolteacher BJ Cigrand arranged for pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School to observe June 14th in remembrance of the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of the “Stars and Stripes.” In 1886 Bernard Cigrand made his first public proposal for the annual observance of the birth of the flag with an article titled “The Fourteenth of June” in the Chicago Argus newspaper.
It wasn’t until June 13, 1916 that Cigrand’s efforts were finally realized when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day. Another thirty three years passed until President Harry Truman signed legislation in August of 1949 proclaiming June 14 as Flag Day.
In 1966 Congress requested that the President issue an annual proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week. This year’s proclamation by President Obama was not unlike those of past presidents. On June 10 the White House Office of the Press Secretary released the following:
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 2011 as Flag Day and the week beginning June 12, 2011, as National Flag Week. I direct the appropriate officials to display the flag on all Federal Government buildings during the week, and I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day and National Flag Week by displaying the flag.”
Our flag has a proud history. It has gone into every battle fought by Americans and has survived these battles during which many Americans died fighting to protect the flag.
The first flag featured 13 white stars in a circle on a field of blue with 13 red and white stripes and is often attributed to Philadelphia seamstress Betty Ross, the official flag maker for the Pennsylvania Navy.
During the years the American flag — nicknamed “Old Glory” — has changed design. It still has 13 alternating and equal horizontal stripes of red and white to represent the original 13 colonies that became the first states (The number of stripes stopped at 15 and was later returned to 13). Over the years white stars have been added to the blue rectangle in the canton until now there are 50 small, white, five-pointed stars, one for each state. As Americans we have every right to be proud of our culture, our nation, and our flag. It must always remain as an enduring symbol of our nation’s ideas.
Our flag cannot be taken for granted. It will endure only as long as this nation and its people upholds the values it represents.
Proudly raise your flag with pride not only on Flag Day but on every day! It is an American symbol that sends a message to the world that America will stand up to its aggressors and preserve liberty.
The Chicago Tribune’s front page, lead story by Tribune Reporter Julie Wernau on Sunday, June 12 was just as much of a shocker to me as was the decision made to waste The Zion Station by Exelon Corporation, CEO John Rowe: Electric bill shocker: 60% increase? http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0612-rates-20110611,0,7432941.story
In what could only be described as an extensive citizen crusade to restart The Zion Station over the past two years, thereby saving its 2,100 megawatts of safe, clean and cheap power from forever being wasted through decommissioning, I’ve contacted state legislators, newspapers editors state-wide, CEO John Rowe, and written countless letters and articles attesting to the value of the Zion Dual Nuclear Plant and the folly and short-sightedness of its premature closing in 1998.
There has been little or no reponse from my repeated requests. Instead, Illinois seems to be involved in its own death wish with its push for unreliable and costly solar and wind power to meet its future energy needs.
As such the Tribune’s Sunday article was a timely one. Admitted by John Rowe is that Exelon Corporation expects to benefit because of its large fleet of nuclear power plants that have low emissions and are cheap to run compared with coal plant.
This only reinforces what a waste it is to destroy the Zion Plant without at least marketing it to see if someone will buy it, if, as predicted, future supply is going to tighten and drive up electricity rates making potentially cheap emission-free power from Zion all the more valuable and important for putting downward pressure on sky-rocketing prices.
It is evident that Exelon has done its own economic analysis and has concluded that the corporation will benefit from selling the electricity from their current nuclear plants at a significantly higher price than they would if it had more power to sell. An increased supply of cheap, clean energy would only drive down their anticipated profit line.
Additionally, immediate decommissioning by ZionSolutions would give some access to Exelon Corporation to the $1 billion Decommissioning Trust Fund that is not being watched over by anyone. If the money is all gone when the project is over, but the project only cost half of the money, who is going to complain? It was stipulated that any monies left over would be returned to rate payers.
It Fukishiuma made a Zion restart less attractive, the Tribune article brings it back to the forefront as more important than ever!
It is way past time for those who are concerned about what the energy future holds for IL to step up and help me carry the torch by informing the public and contacting legislators about the unnecessary wasting of the The Dual Zion Nuclear Plant in northern Illinois.
It is way past time for “Illinois Review” readers to be formally introduced to ” The Conservative Magazine of Illinois,” Matt Pitcher, Publisher.
Just what is The Conservative Magazine of Illinois? According to its mission: “It is intended to promote Conservative values relating to politics, news, entertainment, faith, and lifestyle in Illinois and the U.S. We are NOT party affiliated or controlled. Our intent is to advocate on behalf of fiscal, social and philosophical conservatism. Further, we hope to educate readers regarding the issues surrounding these topics, so they can make informed decisions in their own life.”
Starting with the June issue “The Conservative Magazine of Illinois” entered the digital age and moved to a full digital version for all its subscribers. Now there is guaranteed delivery to your email inbox without delay at a cheaper subscription and renewal price of only $9.99 for 12 monthly issues.
It is now possible to enjoy a free sample of the June digital issue of “The Conservative Magazine of Illinois” by visiting this link: http://www.theconservativemagazineofillinois.com/Digital-Magazine-5-11.html
Featured articles in the June issue include Plentiful Fuel by John Stossel; FAA & Aviation by Dr. Jim Economos; Waive Me by Michelle Malkin; and Seductive Belief by Thomas Sowell.
My article is featured on page 15: States Unfunded Pension Obligations Pave Way to Financial Armageddon.
It won’t take long to check out “The Conservative Magazine of Illinois” and to decide that it is a perfect fit for you. At a subscription bargain price of $9.99 for 12 issues, you can’t go wrong.
The magazine encourages Illinois citizens to submit article, articles, pictures, information, and videos that the media does not cover. It didn’t take me long to become hooked on “The Conservative Magazine on Illinois” and to start writing away.
The Greater Waukegan Ministerial Association is to be applauded for asking 160 churches across Lake County to urge Gov. Pat Quinn to veto a gambling expansion bill that sanctions five casinos, including one in Park City.
May citizens across Lake County should take a second look at the possible outcome should Gov. Quinn sign the gambling expansion bill.
1. Legalized gambling tends to depress businesses because it diverts money that could have been spent in the capital economy into gambling. Boarded-up business are commonly found surrounding a gambling casino.
2. Gambling preys on people who are poor with its promise of a life free from financial worries and burdens. It has been reported that 60 percent of casino revenue comes from gamblers making less than $24,000 a year.
3. Known in some quarters as “video crack,” those caught up in the gambling frenzy are prone to addiction. That breeds an increase of family and child neglect, divorce, bankruptcy and even suicides.
4. Any increase of jobs or influx of money would not offset the disproportionate social and negative effects among the poor and disadvantaged who can least afford to lose money.
5. Should government be seducing its citizens to gamble in state-sponsored vice, instead of being a positive moral force in society?
A casino in Park City would not be a God-sent for Lake County. It’s social and economic costs would be enormous in an area of Lake County already economically challenged.
Bravo to the following Lake County state House members who voted no – Reps. Sandy Cole, JoAnn Osmond, Carol Sente and Ed Sullivan. Illinois senators who cast no votes were Dan Duffy, Susan Garrett, and Suzi Schmidt.
June 9, 2011
“Inaccuracy in Sun-Times ‘Top-Paying Districts’ report of 5/31”
Noteworthy was the report that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday May 31 by staff reporters Rosalind Rossi and Art Golab, “Top-Paying Districts.”
As a tax-paying resident of Lake Bluff and a Liberty Leader at the Illinois Policy Institute, I have been involved in a transparency project since November of last year of my local Lake Forest School High School District #115.
According to what I have found through FOIA requests, Superintendent Harry Griffith ranks number two in top-earning superintendents in the State of Illinois.
Under a shared service arrangement, Superintendent Griffith gets to hide his real compensation behind the veil of two separate Lake Forest School Districts, #67 and #115. Each district reports only half of Dr. Griffith’s compensation on the State reports.
FOIA responses to Lake Forest Districts #67 and #115 revealed that Superintendent Harry Griffith’s salary, when combining Districts #67 and #115, amounted to $346,396. This ranks Superintendent Griffith #2 between superintendents Thomas Engler of Yorkville #115 and Larry Fleming of Lincolnshire #103.
Mantra of Greed explored
Dictionaries generally define Greed as: An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.
Greed is human and has always existed. Just as greed flows out of man’s desire to acquire, so can the same greed destroy man by leading to corruption. Greed also occurs out of a sense of entitlement and can be likened to self-interest on steroids.
Greed also derives from the love of money and power, the roots for all evil, which prompts this question: “Who is greedy and who defines who is greedy?”
The answer to the question will vary among individuals given the nature of greed and the beneficiaries thereof.
Following is an assessment of Greed in America. The list is not all inclusive, but it should raise alarm bells in those who care about the survival of their nation through avarice or greed.
Greed of Industry
For several years, the American people have been told by the President, the Democrats and the liberal media how Greed has been the driving force for all the major industries in the country. We’re told to hate Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Pharma, Big Coal, Big Banks and Big Auto. All of these entities are evil, filthy, rich, callous, destructive, GREEDY businesses whose only existing purpose is to rob the little guy of his worldly wealth and sustenance.
The media implies that they are all, of course, Republicans who are accused of wishing to throw Granny into the street and watch children dying in their cribs for want of food and water. According to the media, Republicans are noted for supporting the capitalistic Greedy, Greedy, Greedy companies. As such these companies must be destroyed, or at the very least, controlled. Their ill-gotten money must be confiscated and given to those whose helplessness and need was caused by the Greedy louts.
Greed of Unions
If you turn the mirror to a different angle, however, you will see another side to Greed. There are the large unions across the nation, who, over the years, have negotiated contracts that would pay them more and more in pensions and benefits than either private employers or the public taxpayer can afford. Union workers can retire earlier, pay nothing or little for their benefits and collect more in retirement than their private, non-union colleagues can ever hope to attain.
The leaders of these unions earn as much and live as well as the Greedy industrial giants, but somehow they are never taken to task for their Greedy way of life. The businesses and governments with which they negotiate fall prey to the threats of strike, have weak knees, get paybacks or simply don’t care what costs result from their workers’ demands. The Greediness of the unions to have more and more and more is now coming back to haunt them because their employers are either going out of business or the taxpayer cannot pay any more. The unions have killed the golden goose with their Greed.
Greed ensnares the Wealthy
There are also those filthy rich individuals whose wealth seems to have appeared from a mist since, according to propaganda, none of them have every worked or lifted a finger to earn their filthy lucre. These people have no right to be as rich as they are and therefore must ‘share the wealth’ with everyone else, whether everyone else has lifted a finger to earn it or not. These are the billionaires: Buffet, Winfrey, Soros, Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg, Spielberg and on and on. They must give up their money to those who the Democrats say who need it.
All of the above billionaires supported Barack Obama and other Democrats in the 2008 election. Their Greed led them to support someone they thought might ‘pay them back’, so they donated generously during the campaigns. They’ve made more money in the meantime, so what they’ve earned since that election must still be shared with the ‘poor’ however the poor may be defined. This practice is perceived as penitence by the rich, for by willingly participating in ‘shared sacrifice’, any guilt which might have existed registers instead as generosity, thereby erasing Greed.
Greed Invades Society
Turn the mirror again, and you find a different sort of Greed. In most societies, including ours, there will always be people who are unable to care for themselves – either mentally or physically. We all give support to these people through our religious organizations, charities and taxes. No one questions their need or our willingness to sustain them.
There is another category, however, that does not meet the criteria of ‘need’. These are the people who find comfort in unemployment, poor health and laziness – as long as there are benefits available to them from the taxpaying public. These are people who don’t go to work when they’re offered a job because they can make enough from unemployment and SNAP cards to get by. Or, people who may have started out with an illness or injury and have healed enough to go back to work, but find it convenient to stay home and collect their government checks as long as they keep coming. And, there are those who simply feel they’re entitled to something just because they exist and deserve it.
Greed ensnares Legislators
A final category of Greedy souls exists in the form of those politicians who represent us in our cities, states and national governments.
We are seeing more and more elected officials in office for decades and decades, becoming addicted to feeding at the public trough. Along with their Greed for money and power, comes arrogance and a basic contempt for their constituents. They use their positions to grant themselves regular pay raises and declare themselves eligible for health and retirement benefits for which their constituents do not qualify. They cling to their positions with desperation, knowing that they have the best jobs in the world. Greed does not stop at the door of their public office. When they do lose an election, or are ejected from office, they often use their prior positions to make large fortunes based on their name, fame and prestige.
The next time you hear someone in the media or government declaring how Greedy those rich people and companies are, stop for a minute and think about those other Greedy faces that appear in the mirror if you give it another turn.
We need it, want it, and have to have it. We can’t afford it, but we can’t say no. Unable to say “no” to the demanding populous, government borrows and prints money, charging and deferring payment like there is no tomorrow..
Will the American people accept less in order to save this nation for future generations, or will they insist on having it all now at the expense of not handing over a powerful and secure nation to future generations?
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Lake Bluff celebrates Memorial Day in a big way
by Nancy Thorner
As I reverently made my way to Lake Bluff’s Memorial Day Ceremony on its Village Green, my steps quickened upon hearing the familiar strains of Sousa’s “Washington Post March” played by the LakeForest High School Band under the direction of Janene Kessler.
Upon reaching the Village Green, I mingled with the already large gathering of my fellow Lake Bluffers in front of the Gazebo who had come to pay their respects to all who have died fighting wars to protect this nation, one million in all.
It was strange to be welcomed to the solemn event by Post 510 Commander, David Cimarrusti, who assumed command of Post 510 after prior commander, Rudy Iberle, moved away from this area to be near his daughter.
I did, however, detect much respect for Commander Cimarruti, as I made the rounds to thank the assembled veterans as they watched the ceremony from chairs set up on the lawn. Walkers and canes accompanied the veterans, for, as in Lake Bluff, our veterans are not getting any younger. I was hearkened to see that there are still several WWII veterans as members of Lake Bluff’s American Legion Post 510.
As Commander David Cimarrusti informed those gathered, the last WWI veteran recently died, having spent WWII in a Philippine Prisoner of War Camp.
Although the seqence of the Memorial Day Ceremony was similar to past years, some of the faces were different. Always an appropriate and meaningful offering on Memorial Day was the reciting of the “Gettysburg Address” by Lake Bluff Middle School student, Helen Burkhardt.
Invited back for the second year was Lake Forest High School student, James Schmidt, with his beautiful solo renditions of “America the Beautiful” and the “National Anthem.”
Esther Featheroff, a Lake Bluffer, was tapped once again to recite “In Flanders’ Fields” in honor of her father who who was a British officer in WWI.
Also participating in the service were John Josephitis, a Village of Lake Bluff Trustee; Deacon James L. Kenny of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lake Forest; and Former Post 510 Commander Bob Mullenbach.
Lake Bluff Scout Troop 41, under the leadership of Jerry Phillip, was charged with raising the flag. With all eyes focused on “Old Glory,” slowly the flag made its way up the flag pole to come to rest fluttering in the light breeze against a sun-lit, blue sky.
Watched with awe and respect each year is the Salute to Fallen Comrades performed by the Marine Air Control Group 48 Firing Detail NCOIC S/Sgt Chance Grey, USMC. It is always impressive to observe how the individuals who make up the Firing Detail stand at attention throughout the entire ceremony, resplendent in their uniforms, until it is time for them to execute their Fallen Comrades gun volleys.
The guest speaker was Colonel Todd Garlick, U.S. Army, who is the commander of the Eastern Sector, United States Military Entrance Processing Command. He graduated from West Point in May 1998 with a degree in Quantitative Engineering Management and received a Regular Army commission as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.
Colonel Garlick had many previous assignments, including Commander of 502nd Personnel Services Battalion at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. His military education is extensive as are his awards and decorations, among them the Expert Infantry Badge and the Parachutist Badge.
Colonel Garlick emphasized why Lake Bluff residents gathered as a town to celebrate Memorial Day. It was not the day pools opened, as he was once told when speaking to a group of students. Memorial Day, continued Garlick, unlike Veterans Day which honors all veterans whether living or dead, honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.
Garlick spoke of wars from the Revolutionary War to the the Iraq War and beyond, where men and women have sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies. They also swear to uphold an ideal and sign a blank check that might mean giving up their lives.
Garlick told of proud American who answer the call to duty whenever terrorists attack our land and seek safe havens abroad.
Colonel Garlick reminded those gathered that men and women are enlisted, but families are re-enlisted to provide a network of support for those who are left behind.
Of importance to Colonel Garlick is that while today is the day to honor the war dead, those veterans who have served and are still with us should not be forgotten in the days and months ahead. For according to Colonel Garlick, “For a nation to be successful, a nation must be willing to serve” and a truism if there ever was one, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
There were some last minute changes in the program. One notable one was the absence of our local state legislators, Senator Susan Garrett and Representative Karen May, who had to be in Springfield after the General Assembly was called into session over the Memorial Day weekend to take care of unfinished business before its adjournment on Tuesday, May 31.
Taking the place of Garrett and May in reading the Necrology were Village Trustee John Josephitis and former Commander Bob Mullenbach.
Words of praise are in order for Steven Papastefan and Alex Levin of the Lake Forest High School Band who flawlessly played “Taps” and the “Echo” response, respectively.
A word of thanks is also appropriate for Commander David Cimarrusti for the part he played in the memorable and inspirational Lake Bluff Memorial Day Ceremony in this his first year as Commander of of Lake Bluff Post 510.
Kudos goes to Colonel Tom Hamlin USMC (Ret.) who was in charge of organizing Lake Bluff’s Memorial Day event.
A wreath was placed on the Veteran’s Memorial at the corner of Center and Scranton Avenues by Colonel Garlick, John Josephitis, Bob Mullenbach, and David Cimarrusti.
Tom Tincher, a Korean War veteran and member of Post 510, videotaped the event for Channel 19 viewing.
Refreshment were held after the ceremony in the Community Room of the Public Safety Building, provided by the Legion Auxiliary, Dorothy Thomas presiding.