In New Paltz, a woman shaking her head at traffic backed up for the Ulster County Fair said, “They should all get out of their cars, and stop bombing Iraq for oil, you know what I mean?”
I did not.
In Samsonville, a house with a big sign: “Welcome Home Capt. Deb and Maj. John.” A smaller sign read, “Welcome Home Aunt Deb.” Flags, parked cars, a service at the Methodist Church. I happened to drive past a nearby cemetary, which had a guide to the graves of veterans (it was an Eagle Scout project). There were veterans from the Civil War, and both World Wars. In the Civil War list, I saw a Rappelyea–one of the oldest names of Nieuw Amsterdam. In the World War II list I saw a Naguchi (my guess: a nisei who moved to, or lived in New York City, then retired to the Catskills). The Ballinger family had at least two veterans in all three wars.
To them, and to Capt. Deb and Maj. John–thank you.