A NEW wave of patriotism is sweeping through the Ohio Valley.
It has nothing to do with Tuesday's election. Rather it focuses on a dedicated and selfless group of individuals. Today is Veterans Day, paying special tribute to all those who made and continue to make our freedom what it is.
We all should be indebted to the service provided by our military to this country. With that said, I have never witnessed such an outpouring of support being exhibited in the Ohio Valley for veterans as is the case this year.
Service-related organizations, churches, schools, restaurants and civic-minded groups scheduled special programs and/or free lunches and dinners for the veterans.
Its refreshing to see such patriotic support for such patriotic people.
We at the Times Leader were inundated with requests to take photos and cover Veterans Day programs throughout our coverage area. Due to the onslaught of requests, we covered many but not all. Many event sponsors took pictures and e-mailed them to us to help the cause. Many more photos will be published in Monday's edition.
One event which drew an overwhelming response was the free dinner staged by the Bellaire Sons of Italy Friday night.
More services are still on tap, such as the one sponsored by The St. Clairsville American Legion Post No. 159 and VFW Post No. 5356 Monday at the Belmont County Courthouse at 11 a.m.
The holiday is being observed Monday. We hope everyone pauses a moment and reflects on all the sacrifices made by our veterans.
ALL TOLD, $6 billion was spent on Tuesday's election nationwide. Nearly 119 million Americans cast ballots, down from 131 million in 2008. We hope that Barack Obama's resounding triumph doesn't lead to Vice President Joe Biden harboring hopes of running for the Oval Office in 2016. He has outlived his political usefulness.
In four years, I predict the presidential race will pit Hillary Clinton vs. the GOP's Marco Rubio, a U.S. senator from Florida.
A Republican recipe for returning to the Oval Office in four years would be packaging Rubio with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, giving the GOP a great chance of winning the two most pivotal states in the election.
For this country to move forward, however, it all boils down to breaking down the barriers of partisan politics. Washington gridlock yields nothing both stagnation and frustration.
Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate needs to find common ground with the Republican House. Speaker John Boehner is the key player in making things happen.
Locally, levies gained mixed responses Tuesday.
Issues such as 911 and senior services received approval while school levies struck out throughout the Ohio Valley. Senior citizens are very deserving of all the services that a levy will provide, but so are our local students.
KUDOS TO the unbeaten football juggernaut known as the St. Clairsville Red Devils. Coach Brett McLean's charges made easy work of Piketon Friday to punch a ticket in the regional finals against Johnstown-Monroe. McLean said his Red Devils are cast the underdogs. I am sticking with my early season prediction that St. C. will be 13-0 and in the state semifinals. The Devils pack too much power for the Johnnies.
A BENEFIT to help Sharon and Travis Purr to replace their possessions lost in an August fire will be held on Sunday, Nov. 18 at the Yorkville United Methodist Church. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include luncheon food to eat-in or take-out. Theme baskets, a bake sale, raffles and a 50-50 will also be featured. For more information, call Karen at 859-2371.
EDISON LOST a fine grid coach when Mike McKenzie tendered his resignation Monday. McKenzie made the most of the hand he was dealt as the district's financial hardships also trickled down to his football program. Unfortunately, some of his board of education members didn't realize they had a quality coach in McKenzie.
ST. MARY'S Church in St. Clairsville is holding its third annual tied-fleece blanket-making party for the less fortunate today at the church from 2:30-7:30 p.m. Half of the proceeds remain in the Ohio Valley while the other half will be targeted for Hurricane Sandy victims. Last year the St. Mary's event assisted 102 people in need.
IT IS good to see Linsly School is bringing back wrestling. The Cadets have had some outstanding grapplers in the past and are well stocked this year with 17 prospects expected to take to the mats.
THE DEATH of a 2-year-old at the Pittsburgh Zoo a week ago is a gut-wrenching scenario. I get sick just thinking about how the events unfolded. I cannot fathom why a mom would put her child in harm's way. After the youth fell into a pit of wild dogs, I also cannot imagine a mom watching her child mauled to death. If it were my child I, for one, would have jumped in, which would have obviously proven an ill-fated and fatal rescue attempt. It was a tragedy that could have been avoided.
THE BELLAIRE Area Chamber of Commerce will meet Thursday at noon at Country Club Retirement Campus, 55801 Conno-Mara Dr., Bellaire. The cost of the luncheon is $7. There is no charge to attend the meeting. All local businesses and their employees are welcome to attend. Reservations are needed by Tuesday, by calling the chamber office at 676-9723 or email bellairechamber@ yahoo.com.
Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader online.com