The spirit of the traditions of the greatest generation is alive and well. You have only to look as far as a former neighbor of yours, who today is a soldier at Fort Campbell, Ky. -- Sergeant Joshua M. Weinland.
Weinland, a graduate of Payson High School ‘01, not only recalls vividly the horrors of Sept. 11 that year, but was so moved by those horrific events as to join in the fight of the world's War against Terrorism. The spirit of our heroes who stepped up to the plate in World War II to conquer cruel and insidious enemies of mankind burns brightly in Weinland and countless others like him.
He understands so well that passage of time doesn't equate to any lessening of this nation's resolve to crush terrorists wherever they may leave their holes. He knows that freeing Iraq is the reward for destroying Al Quida and that our task at hand can only end in success.
I was particularly impressed with his willingness to defend the freedom of speech of all those who talk of disengaging in Iraq and who criticize our commander-in-chief, even though it gives aid and comfort to enemy. Implicit in his remarks is the knowledge that we are indeed fortunate to have a strong president who leads by staying the honorable course, doing the right thing and ignoring questionable polls in the prosecution of this war.
I began substitute teaching in the fall of 2001, so I cannot claim to be among the fortunate who knew Weinland at Payson High School. I am sure he was a strong student and leader on campus. We're really quite blessed to have so many young men and women who graduate from our high school to the noble calling of serving their country. These brave patriots are truly the cutting edge of our youth today. I am proud to have been associated with them in the classroom.
Lawrence D. Farrington, Payson