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Missing hat is a living history

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To The Editor:

Happy 4th of July weekend to everyone. This holiday is a favorite in our household and members of our family travel far to be with us to celebrate the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from tyranny and our rights to pursue freedom and happiness. Much has been and continues to be sacrificed so that we can be free. My father is a two-time veteran of the Viet Nam War. My uncle is also a veteran of that war. Both received service awards for their bravery during that conflict. Both of my brothers are veterans. My mother is a veteran and long-suffering Army wife, retired, of course.

Wars are fought and many have died so that we can claim democracy. Those fireworks we enjoy represent the rockets fired during combat. The flag’s colors have meaning: blue for perseverance and justice, red for bravery and strength, and white for purity. The stars, of course, represent the 50 united states. There’s a lot of symbolism on display for Independence Day, which is why I am asking a favor of the Massena community.

Dad had a hat that was covered with pins that were gifts from family, friends and other veterans. He had MIA/POW pins, flags, and pins from service organizations, clubs and special events. It was covered in pins, most of which had a lot of meaning to him. Some from people that are now gone from his life. I don’t know how long it’s been missing because he only recently told me it was gone. It’s even possible that it’s been missing a year, since the last 4th of July.

All I know is that it means a lot to him and is part of his “regalia.”

Perhaps you found it and didn’t know what to do with it. Maybe you know someone who came across it and might still have it tucked somewhere. It’s one of those things that might make an awesome “finders’ keepers” sort of treasure, but it’s just as likely someone just didn’t know how to report it found.

Here’s my request, if you have come across it or if you ever find something like that, please take it to the VFW, AmVets or American Legion. Chances are someone there will be able to figure out whose it is.

Happy 4th, celebrate freedom but don’t drink and drive.

Loreen Murphy

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