by Joe Melroy, Port Commissioner
It was purely coincidental that the fishing expedition for veteran and active military personnel we feature on the front page of this newsletter was held around the Fourth of July. Salmon runs, not celebrations, dictated the timing of this inspiring event.
The typical activities associated with this time of year include parades, marching bands, candy-tossing, and amusement parks.
The young and old come together in Ridgefield to enjoy these annual seasonal rituals; patriotism is an important part of the spirit of this community. But we sometimes forget that these festivities are intended to celebrate our independence from Britain. America gained its independence by fighting a war, of course. And to fight a war, it meant the bravery and sacrifice of many people was required. That sacrifice continues today; our military personnel are positioned in dangerous territory around the globe with one mission – to keep the rest of us safe.
So when Dion Hess, one of the fishing expedition organizers, approached the port about launching from our facilities, supporting the event was not a difficult decision for us. We were proud to help provide this exceptional fishing experience to around 140 active and former members of our country’s military, many with the physical and emotional scars of battles fought on our behalf.
And while the decision to help was easy, hearing the stories of loss and sacrifice in developing the article was not. So to our honored veterans and active-duty military folks – a huge and heartfelt “thank you” for your service.