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Now is time to say thanks to veterans

This Veterans Day is very special.

Two cities in our nation have been attacked. Thousands of innocent lives have been lost. Our nation is in mourning but yet we are determined to defeat this evil enemy. Evil is what we are battling _ nothing less than pure evil straight from the underworld.

But our nation has defeated evil many times before and we shall do it again.

I wish to publicly say thank you to my father, Grant, who served his nation when called in the Korean War. I also want to say thank you to my brother, Ray, for hearing the call in peacetime and in the Persian Gulf War. I am proud to be called your son, Dad. Ray, I am proud to be your brother. Thank you for your service to our republic.

I think every citizen should take time out to say thank you to a veteran on this Veterans Day. They do not have to be a blood relative, but they are a brother or sister in the large family called the United States of America.

On this special Veterans Day, also take time to remember and pray for those heroes who never made it home _ from Bunker Hill to the Pentagon on Sept. 11. May God truly shed his grace on thee.

James Raulerson,

Tampa

Marine Band brought welcome expression of patriotism

On Nov. 1, my wife and I and 20 members of our Imperial Point Ladies Drill Team, Largo, attended the performance of the United States Marine Band at the Mahaffey Theater. This concert, co-sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times and the Mahaffey Theater Foundation, proved to be exceptionally inspiring.

The Marine Band, under the leadership of Col. Timothy W. Foley, performed a program of classical music, military marches and inspirational pieces played by young, extremely talented and highly motivated musicians who consistently displayed great musical skills and superior discipline throughout the program.

The variety of the program, running the gamut from the ballet music from Othello, to the inspiring clarinet solo from "A Klymer Tribute," to a novelty rendition of Casey at the Bat, kept the full-house audience enraptured. Patriotic renditions of American The Beautiful and Stars and Stripes Forever brought the audience to its feet in long and vigorous rhythmical hand-clapping and extended applause. A standing ovation by the audience would not cease until Col. Foley agreed to prolong the night's activities with a stirring rendition of Semper Fidelis, the official Marine Corps march.

Our sincere thanks to the St. Petersburg Times and the Mahaffey Theater Foundation for bringing such a high-level and thoroughly inspiring evening of great music and entertainment to the St. Petersburg area, reflecting a dramatic expression of intense patriotic fervor at an appropriate time in our nation.

Mal and Eileen Jackson,

Largo

Leaders have no vision

on beach roundabout

The so-called winner of the Clearwater Beach Association's competition to redesign the middle of (former Clearwater City Manager Mike) Roberto's repulsive roundabout is a loser.

The main criticism of that boondoggle is that one cannot see oncoming traffic past the fountain. The radius is so small that traffic is on top of vehicles waiting to enter before it can be seen.

The folly of continuing to block the view with palm trees is incomprehensible.

Eugene DesRoches,

Clearwater

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