A Good Decision for Floras Lake
Last week our county took a big step and finally came to a decision about the Floras Lake property adjacent to the state park’s Floras Lake Natural Area and Blacklock State Park. Those of us who explore, know, and love that area of windblown shorepines and spruce swamps are thrilled for it to be joined with the rest of the state park land — and done so with a deal that makes so much sense for our county as a whole.
When I first moved to this area I lived in Langlois — and like other Langlois residents who frequent this spot as the only nearby access to the ocean, grew to treasure that wild Floras Lake beach. I have since learned that this sentiment is shared not only throughout the county but throughout the world, as people come year after year to experience that unique juncture of ocean, lake, river, forest, cliffs and dunes.
After many years of facing poor proposals for these county lands and hoping that the area would be preserved and enjoyed into the future, it is a relief to see our county commissioners take such thoughtful action and move forward with a trade with state parks.
Ever since the trade was first proposed several years ago, this option stood out among all others as sensible and beneficial for both the preservation of the Floras Lake lands and for the county to come out ahead as the owners of another property — in a great location, with potential for bringing in county revenue. I know the county parks commission is already excited about the prospects for this new county land — being right on the 101, near other recreational opportunities (right on the way to the Blacklock trailhead), and across the street from our North County high school.
County staff worked hard in recent years to make sure this was a good deal, and all three of our commissioners put in their due diligence to look into other options and listen to public comment — and we can rest assured that the decision reached at last week’s meeting was one that reflected the best outcome for the county as well as the desire of county residents. I’m thankful that our current board is the one to bring this issue to a close, and believe this successful land swap will bring them credibility to work with other government agencies in the future.
Vietnam Memorial Name Reading
On Friday, to honor the men who gave their lives in Vietnam there was a reading of the names at the flagpole at (Brookings) City Hall.
Max Rusk of the U.S. Marines invited me to attend. It was windy and a bit brisk and the list was very long. The hero’s name was given, his branch of service and the date he gave his life.
To be honest, at the beginning I thought of leaving to go get some coffee or something but something told me the least I could do is stand respectfully until its end. So I did and I am very thankful.
As the names were given, 1969 came up a lot. That’s the year I was born. Reflecting upon this, I was very moved that as I was being born at the same time all these men were dying for me to be free to stand at this flagpole in such a great land and community.
I asked Rusk if I could read some of the names of these heroes and he said yes. I stepped forward and read the list handed to me. It was a great privilege and I’m sure glad I stayed. It has caused me to have a deeper appreciation for their selfless service and their dying for me.
A new generation
The Sunday previous to the Memorial Day weekend, I gave out an invitation to the congregation at my church to come join us for the reading of the names the following Friday at 6 p.m. As a result, over a dozen people showed up, with three being Nam combat veterans. Three of them actually stepped forward and read some of the cards. Thank you guys, and God bless.
During the Reading of The Names that evening at city hall, I witnessed a new generation at work. A young 11-year-old boy from my church by the name of Logan was there with his family, including his great granddad. After witnessing his great granddad up at the podium reading the names off the card, Logan’s eyes lit up and he jumped up and down in front of his mom, begging to read some names himself.
Well, after some moments of intense conversation concerning the matter, mom finally relented, giving him her blessing. Now listen, being a serious and sober affair, I had a few reservations myself. After all, I really didn’t know this lad that well.
Anyway, young Logan took his card and walked to the podium, and with a voice of determination and respect proceeded to read the 20 names on the next to the last card of evening. Afterwards when he departed the podium, that youngster had the biggest smile of satisfaction on his face, for sure. My first reaction was of amazement but immediately turned to emotion as I raised my eyes to heaven, as a tear or two drifted down my cheeks, giving thanks to my Heavenly Father for this young Christian boy who clearly displayed his love of God and country.
In closing, I would like to say, if this is an example our American youth, then all of us are going to be well with our good ole USA. This ole Marine bulldog is humbled and extremely proud of this youngster — good job Logan, and may God protect and be with you always. Ooh-Rah.
MCL Honor Guard commander
There will be a veterans stand down 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 14 at Brookings Harbor High School field, 530 Elm Ave., Brookings. I urge all veterans to attend.
If attendance is good, we will be eligible for grants in the future for stand downs. There is a free lunch plus many other services available.
Welcome home, brother. See you there.
Meeting the Queen
During the Memorial Day service at the Port of Brookings Harbor, it was a great pleasure to meet the azalea queen and her court.
During the service, the azalea queen commented on what the day meant to her. It was absolutely outstanding what she said. It brought tears to the eyes of many of the veterans there.
In this day when kids are being shown as not caring, we here in the Brookings-Harbor area can thank God we have young people like our Azalea Queen Allyson Cantrall. Thanks to her, her court and all of our great young people.
Past national vice commandant
Marine Corps League