Focus on Fostoria - Jun1905b

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Published on 06/19/05 in the Fostoria Focus
Memorial Day — and then some

By LEONARD SKONECKI Focus Correspondent

Items from Memorial Day 2005. Got asked a question a few times over the Memorial Day weekend. Questions are good. They keep you on your toes. A lot of people asked, “How does the Focus get the names for that Memorial Day page?” That’s the “In Their Honor, A Memorial Day Tribute,” the two-page feature listing the names of deceased veterans that has run in Focus the past three years. It comes out on the Sunday before Memorial Day. This year it ran on May 29. The answer is: From our readers. This year we had over 450 names. Here’s how she works. If you want to honor a deceased veteran on the page, all you have to do is let us know that person’s name. Call us on the phone (419-435-6397), fax us (419-435-0101), send us an E-mail ( ), or, better yet, drop by and see us in person so we can gab at you. Whatever’s easy. (Smoke signals and Morse Code are no good. Farrah Montgomery, who tends this feature, says she is a busy, happening woman and has no time to learn that stuff.) All we need is the veteran’s name, but if you’d like to add your person’s branch of service, era of service or rank, that’s okay with us, too. We welcome any additions to this page. We’re delighted that our readers have responded enthusiastically to it and that it’s grown the way it has. What’s more, you only have to give us the name once. We keep all the names in some fancy computer-gizmo file and they’ll run every year. (We are slick.) Secondly, I owe cemetery supervisor Felix Gonzales an apology. In my article on the Memorial Day services, I said that Mayor Davoli thanked retired supervisor John Potteiger and Felix for getting Fountain Cemetery all spruced up for the services. That didn’t come out right. I made it sound like John helped get the cemetery ready this year. In actuality, the mayor thanked John for all his good work in past years and he thanked Felix for his good work this year. This is Felix’s first Memorial Day as supervisor. Now, John used to attend the Veterans Memorial Chapel Committee meetings and was a big help to the group. We hope John is enjoying retirement. He’s earned it. John also told the chapel committee that Felix would do a good job. Just as John always helped the committee with the chapel project, Felix is lending a ready hand on the project to replace the podium. City workers are going to demolish the old podium and prepare the site. So, Felix, I am sorry about the error. I didn’t proof read myself carefully enough. Finally, a nice addition to the Memorial Day services the last couple years is the huge flag the Fostoria Fire Department drapes off the ladder of our new fire truck. I learned from firefighter Ron Bowlin that the flag belongs to WFOB. So I gave station manager Greg Peiffer a call and, in the finest tradition of keen journalistic questioning, asked, “Hey, Greg, what’s the deal with the flag?” Here’s what Greg told me. The flag was Don Miller’s idea. A couple years back, Don looked at the fire escape on the south side of the WFOB building and thought it’d make a great place to hang a flag — a big flag. The flag cost $900 and is 20 by 30 feet. Each star is 10 inches across from point to point. The flag weighs around 35 pounds and when the services are over, the Fire Department takes it back to the station. The guys put some tables together and four or five of them go to work to get it folded back up for return to the radio station. So there are a few Memorial Day sequels we thought you’d like to know. And please call us if you have a deceased vet you’d like included on our Memorial Day page next year. This is the third year for it and we want it to keep growing.