Honor Silver Star families this Saturday

To the editor:

On the 21st of April, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized the Silver Star Families of America's Silver Star Service Banner and has proclaimed every May 1 Silver Star Service Banner Day.

It is a day to recognize and honor all those who have returned home wounded or becoming ill from their time in a warzone.

The tradition of the Silver Star on a banner started in 1917.

As a wounded service member returned home the blue star on the "Sons In Service Flag" was covered with silver thread. This practice continued through the Korean War and then faded away.

It is time for the banner's silver star to return; it is time for the wounded and ill veterans to know they are not forgotten.

We have new technology, lives have been saved; some of those lives may have been lost in past wars.

The Silver Star Families of America organization has brought back the tradition by presenting banners to not only those wounded with visible wounds, but also those with invisible wounds, illnesses caused from their war time experience, and those dying because of their wounds of war.

We need to remember those who suffer with brain injuries, post traumatic stress, Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome, depleted uranium, and other such illnesses. They suffer with their own "wounds" of war and may suffer the rest of their lives.

Let us not forget them; we cannot forget them.

More than 100 Massachusetts communities (more than 2,700 nationally) have signed proclamations stating they support this day, this honor, for those who have served. Please take time to thank a disabled veteran on May 1.

Nancy Spoerke


Fresh Air Fund grateful to volunteers

To the editor:

It is with sincere gratitude that I recognize the tireless efforts of Fresh Air Fund volunteers in eastern Massachusetts as the country celebrates National Volunteer Week.

Their commitment to helping New York City children is exemplary for all community members and truly embodies the spirit of the 2010 National Volunteer Week theme, "Celebrating People in Action."

Fresh Air volunteers work in several capacities throughout the year in 13 Northeastern states and Canada to help make The Fund's programs possible.

Caring Fresh Air host families open their homes and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air guests.

Our local volunteer leaders - many of whom are also hosts - serve on our local committees, plan summer activities, publicize the program and interview prospective host families.

Additionally, individuals and businesses give generously of their time and resources to make the Friendly Town host family program throughout this area a great success each and every summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children since 1877. For more information on how you can help to continue this wonderful tradition of volunteering, please call The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003 or visit www.freshair.org.

Jenny Morgenthau

Executive Director

The Fresh Air Fund

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