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Joan Knows: Memorial Day a time to restore focus on the fallen

Here I am, still at Pine View. Thanks to the Super Staff, things are going well. Lots of strawberries, good cheer and smiling faces!

Try to imagine the extensive needs of so many of my comrades here.

The staff respond with not just addressing the varying capabilities.  It is difficult to describe the individualized sensitivity, respect and true caring that abounds. The dedication of the families and visitors is immeasurable as well. 

This experience has been not unfamiliar yet still eye-opening to this particular slice of life.

Sometimes I truly miss being a teacher.  My thoughts are turned to what I might call “The School of Socialization.” 

Instruction goes along these lines and applies in almost any setting, with certain understandable cautions:   

• If you see a stranger or one who is “different,” it is really OK to nod and smile. 

• What is sometimes called “glaring” can be rude. Take a look and move on.

• When having a conversation, keep in mind that others who are at hand might well feel disrespected or left out as the transaction becomes a state of oblivion.

Admittedly, it is difficult as we all sort out our spaces and dignities, yet in our culture we learn the ways of being fair and attentive to others.

End of class. No final exam.

Please know that I am “preaching” broadly, in business settings, walking down Main Street or at a family picnic. Let’s smile and nod, folks!

Speaking of Main Street, what about turning out for the Memorial Day parade and the ceremony at the Freedom Walk behind the Municipal Building? It’s Monday, May 27, this year. Parade sets off at 10 a.m.

What started as a day for decorating the graves of fallen members of the armed forces has transitioned through the years as a time to memorialize all those who have passed and a time for families to gather. 

Our local parades are one way to restore the focus on the fallen, those who served and protected.

 I once heard a most bizarre remark made by a guy who spoke with an accent, probably from a European country liberated by Allied Forces: “Why go to the ceremony? These are not MY soldiers!”


So, come on out to wave the flag for ALL those who served to keep ALL of us free!

 • Joan Arteberry is a longtime resident of St. Charles. Her columns are featured in the Kane County Chronicle’s Neighbors section every other Friday. Write to her at

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