I believe that we all can make a difference by the simplest things we do and, even more so, by what we don't do. This week we celebrated part of the proud heritage of the West, welcoming the Hashknife's Pony Express ride to town -- the longest, on-going such event in our nation.
We respect the spirit of the Old West and all that these brave men went through to get those mail bags out. The heroic risks of the Old West seem pretty tame when you compare it to the stresses that our own U.S. postal workers face today. The violent rages that shocked us in the 1980's gave birth to the expression "Going Postal." The latest postal rampage ended with the killing of six employees just days ago in California.
What can we do in this country founded on the principle of "In God We Trust?" Oh, sorry -- it's politically incorrect to talk about prayer or God in the face of evil.
But it really hit home to me when I read Mr. Gene Conroy's letter. He works right here in our town. Mr. Conroy wrote that he was saddened because he was told that he could no longer display the picture of his son, Andrew, now serving our country in a far-off land. When people would see the picture of Andrew proudly displayed (as it should be) they were reminded of our own sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, and friends right here in Payson who are serving their country. We need to remember and be proud of our Payson families. The people who would make a point of giving their support to this father and actually thank him for his sacrifice comforted Mr. Conroy. He was touched by the fact that the people of Payson would assure him that Andrew was in their prayers. (Oh, sorry. I said the "P" word again.)
I see this as an opportunity for change. I am going to give Payson a challenge. When you go to mail a letter, shake the hand of Mr. Gene Conroy. You might even mention the "P" word when asking him about his son. While waiting in line to mail you precious letter, ask if there is anyone waiting with you who would like to talk about their loved one's fighting over seas. Give them support. Thank them for their sacrifice. You might even share a quiet prayer. When you see the number up there on the wall flashing above to tell you who is next in line for service, pray for the numbers of brave soldiers out there on foreign soil. Pray for those families who will be called to pay the ultimate sacrifice for this country. You may be praying for someone you know. It may seem like a little thing. But things like this can make a difference. Even if it just starts in this little town. Let's make it a good thing to "Go Postal" in Payson.
Kathleen Kelly, Payson