May 29, 2020. BLOWING ROCK, NC —
I admired your May 24 story on Blowing Rock’s Memorial Day ceremony.
To see an American community honoring anything is a a balm to my soul, in these days of pandemic partyers and the president playing golf on Memorial Day.
Editor’s Note: Rah Bickley is a former staff reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer and a seasonal resident of Banner Elk, NC.
These leaders are sane. They know right from wrong. They value human life.
I was heartened to see a photo of town commissioners and the head of (High Country Community Health) traipsing through a cemetery looking for veteran’s graves to erect flags on. It did me good to hear them say it stirred their emotions, and to hear them reminisce about local leaders like the dentist who gave free dental care. It’s good to see that in Blowing Rock, civic groups like Rotary are still robust.
The leaders performing this homegrown ritual agree on one core value of America: we honor soldiers who defend our nation. These leaders are sane. They know right from wrong. They value human life.
Vital journalism can be a mirror that show us who we are.
This story also shows how vital journalism is to America. It can be a mirror that shows us who we are. The Blowing Rock News editor picked the right story to report that weekend. He went out to the event in person, interviewed people extensively, then interpreted it all with keen intelligence and feeling.
This is the work of a skilled writer: “…the various teams quietly combed the grave markers looking for names on their respective lists, then firmly spearing the grassy soil with the tip of a small wooden flag pole bearing the Red, White & Blue banner.” He could have written, “they looked for the graves of veterans and put flags on them.” His extra effort and deeper thinking produced concrete details that make the story more vivid and meaningful.
Thank you, Blowing Rock News. It’s good to remember the country I belong to.
Rah Bickley, Durham, N.C.