Meet and greet with veterans brought generations together

Published 7:12 pm Sunday, July 2, 2017

Over the last few days, we’ve written a lot about all of the Fourth of July events in LaGrange. Obviously, Tuesday’s parade and fireworks show is still to come, but both events are following a weekend centered around family fun events locally.

To be honest, on Friday night, we feared the weather might put a damper on the Sunsets at Sweetland event. Instead, the meet and greet with World War II veterans still went on and many people came out through the storms to thank those men and women for their service.

You don’t often see young kids getting a chance to shake hands with World War II veterans and to say “thank you” to their face. It was fascinating watching some of the youngest people in our community get the chance to shake the hands of some of our local heroes — men and women who spent a large part of their younger days defending this country during a delicate time in world history.

Our children learn a great deal of what they know about U.S. and world history in school.

They are asked to remember the dates of major events, such as the attack of Pearl Harbor or the date The Declaration of Independence was signed, and they learn the names of important figures in history and the role they played in today’s world.

But sometimes, we all get lost in the names and dates in books and lose sight of what’s right in front of us.

There’s a lot to be learned from a good history book, but it can’t replace shaking the hand of living history, like those who participated in Friday’s event had a chance to do.

We appreciate everyone who had a hand in planning Friday’s meet and greet — the Downtown Development Authority, Sweetland Amphitheatre and Vernon Woods Retirement Community, among others.

Also, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tip a cap to Carol Cain, who put on a rousing performance as Rosie the Riveter during a rain delay. We think anyone who stuck it out through the rain not only had a fun time, but was thankful for the chance to talk to local veterans and to hear their stories.