Monday, May 30, 2005

Have a Safe & Happy Memorial Day

I like Memorial Day. It has a lot of different meanings to everyone including me. I know it's a day set a side for the remembrance of veterans and citizens who gave it all so we can live in freedom. It's the first long weekend of summer. It's picnics and bar-b-que. It's camping and fishing.

I bet my family sounds a lot like yours. Let's see. My grandfather died while he was a fireman. My father was the oldest in the family, so he had to quit school so he could get a job to help support his family. During World War II he was in the Army Engineers. He was at the invasion of Normandy and got to travel all over Europe with big name people like Patton and Bradley. His desert training came in handy. When the war ended he went home and became a fireman like his dad. My dad was able to retire and lived until he was 72, a fireman and my hero until the end.

My brothers joined the Navy when they graduated high school. They spent their time and did their duty for 4. My only sisters husband Mike spent some time in South East Asia in the Army and was one of the lucky ones to come home. They're all now highly constructive citizens back east helping to make the US a better place.

I spent 20 years in the Air Force. They flew me all over the world from Alaska, to Europe, to the Middle East, to the Far East, to Africa and South America and many states. I spent time with many a brave men and women. Now I'm a salesman, peddling auto parts all around Anchorage.

Every Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Veterans Day we all fly the flag, have parades and show off our images of bald eagles. The American Flag and the bald eagle are our nations symbols. Their recognized around the world as the symbol of the strongest and greatest nation on earth. We all might not agree with everything our government does, but I like it more than any I've ever seen.

Our government even says you can burn it's flag. I wouldn't advise it, but it's legal. However, it's not legal to harm a bald eagle. For shooting a bald eagle you can get 5 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. But people do it. We've had 4 shot eagles come into Bird TLC this year. One was so badly injured it made me sick. I would love to meet the misguided citizen responsible for this sick act. I don't think I'll be that lucky

You can help though. This Memorial Day teach your children how to be a responsible sportsman. I like to hunt and fish. I don't take what I don't eat and I don't harm nothing that's not harming me. Wild birds don't harm us. They help keep the environment clean. They're also amazing to watch. Teach your kids how to hunt and fish. Also teach them to respect nature.

Though it's a little expensive, use non-lead ammo if possible. Also, try using non-lead fishing equipment. Pick up your old fishing line, don't leave it on the bank. At Bird TLC we've lost one eagle and a seagull to fishing line this year. We've also lost an eagle to lead poisoning.

Below is a picture of BE 05-19 aka "Beauty". She was shot in the upper beak. So for at least the next year we have to hand feed this beautiful and proud bird because some misguided citizen thought it would be fun to test their skills at shooting this bird. It now has no way of picking up food on its own. Chances are her beak will grow back, but never strong enough where Beauty will be able to be released back to the wild. Freedom lost forever.

What a waste. Teach your kids to respect wild animals and birds. Discuss this with your friends and family. Shooting an animal just for the sake of shooting it is a waste.

Have a Safe and Happy Memorial Day!


Mike said...

Fantastic post, Dave. I hope your Memorial Day was a memorable one!

Dave said...

Ours was good Mike. Nice weather but a little windy. Hope all was good and safe for your holiday.