Gig Line: Woke or broke?

Published 11:18 pm Friday, October 8, 2021

The recent live commemoration services acknowledging the attack on our nation September 11, 2001, was a stark reminder of our enormous loss, but also the strength of our united citizens when in ceremonies that took place in New York, where the two World Trade Center towers were hit by hijacked airliners; Washington, DC at The Pentagon, headquarters building of the United States Department of Defense; and in a Pennsylvania field where everyday citizens pledged to protect as a united front and diverted the intended target of the fourth hijacked airline sacrificing their own precious lives – much like all who walked into the insurmountable danger as firefighters, law enforcement, first responders, employees, tourists and others who stopped to carry, render aid or comfort to complete strangers fleeing the ghastly events that engulfed them while gasping for air and consumed with fear.

Out of respect for the brave men and women whose lives were lost or willingly sacrificed, I watched the three ceremonies, the announcement of family names and the American spirit we remember feeling that fateful day 20 years earlier.

I wondered why we have allowed ourselves to drift away from the massive appeal for unity, flag waving, hand holding, love for our American sisters and brothers into what we’re seeing too much of today. This topic is on my mind often, but especially two days ago when I received a newsfeed on my cell phone about a teacher who had removed the American flag from her classroom reportedly saying she felt it symbolized violence – unbelievable!

Especially between outstanding programing, ceremonies, patriotic music both through song and instrumental pieces – our uniformed military and law enforcement personnel standing tall, proud and protective – and our American flags placed everywhere, I watched commercials (no matter how many times I’ve seen them before) about the Tunnels to Towers Foundation and similar others that offer veterans and 9/11 survivor’s testimonies of their burns, surgeries, prosthetic limbs and also their deep appreciation of the help they and their families had received.

This is out of hand folks. We are better than this. Our country and the believers in democracy (no doubt the majority) are better than this. Those who believe we should further divide our nation against each other over political opinions, race, the border and immigration may also believe we are as gullible as all get out – are we or are we not? Give me a break!

Can we who love the U.S.A., our military, our cops, the small-town mom and pop businesspeople, the big-time corporate level businesses and the lovers of our glorious red, white and blue flag take a stand and stay the course? Can we put our big boy and big girl panties on and get back to the basics, please?

Citizens who fall in line with the protestors of our American flag, and those who believe every bad thing about our government, our Constitution, our American way of life and because we’re too often hesitant to make our opinions known, are viewed as followers, not leaders for good. Let’s “back up the bus” as they say and be kind, be respectful and listen to opposing points of view, but stand our ground on maintaining the true American spirit.

Our active duty, veterans and reserve military deserve ultimate respect on every level and with our calendars counting down to Veteran’s Day, Thursday, November 11, we have time to be creative, in our yards, in our communications and more to show our patriotism to so many who have shown us what bravery, sacrifice and love of our land truly means. As a family, our children and grandchildren can come up with some neat ideas to show our support!

Lastly, because I get phone calls and emails about veterans interested in getting their free Dare County Veteran Discount Card, questions about acquiring a lost DD-214 duplicate, etc., I converse frequently with Patty O’Sullivan, Dare County Veteran Service Officer, as she and I are the only two that issue the card. In speaking with her this week, she told me again how extremely busy she had been meeting with or having phone conversations with veterans; processing veteran claims, following up with pending correspondence and more and I can attest to that because I refer calls to her myself. She is doing a fantastic job (which I hear often from veterans who have worked with her) and I can personally attest that she cares deeply about you, our veterans and your families.

Please contact her on her office line at 252-475-5604 or through her email: dcvac@darenc.com. Patty is our official V.A. point of contact, so if you have a question she can answer or investigate on your behalf, don’t hesitate to call, but please be patient. Call her number and leave your full name, a clear message and one (or two) call back numbers so if she can’t reach you on one, she can on another. Patty is a go-getter, and she will call you back at her earliest opportunity, that I can promise. Also, I can answer questions about getting your Dare County Veteran Discount Card, so feel free to call me at 252-202-2058 and I’ll be happy to help you! The card will give you great opportunities for discounts from 10% up to 25% off at close to 100 Outer Banks businesses and all I need to see is that you reside in Dare County as a property owner or long-term tenant with proof of a lease in your name or your property tax bill: your driver’s license and your DD-214 showing honorable discharge from your service branch. No copies are made of the documents, they are requested strictly for review!

Until next time, be healthy, safe and happy! Dare Countians love our veteran population and there are a lot of you – at last count over 4,000! Isn’t that great?  You are special to all of us, and we thank you from the bottom of our heart for all you have done for us and our country! I love you all and pray God’s blessings on each of you! My email address is giglineheroes@aol.com and website is giglineheroes.com (pictures pending – but lots of previous stories! We’re working on it!). Stay tuned!

FOR MORE COLUMNS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, CHECK OUT OUR OPINION SECTION HERE.