The OFFICIALunOFFICIAL English Bulldog Mascot


In Children's Literacy, History, K-12 Education, Pet Ambassador, ThatOne WORD, Thats' Life on May 29, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Over the past seven weeks, I have been serving in my capacity as OFFICIALunOFFICIAL English Bulldog Mascot to the Oceanside Public Library as they worked to present The Big Read, hosting seven weeks of free public events That kicked off on April 7th at the Oceanside City Council with a Mayoral Proclamation in City Council Chambers!

Today was the Wrap Up Event. It was very emotional. I was not expecting to be moved.

I expected to do what I always do in my official capacity as OFFICIALunOFFICIAL greeter: station myself at the entrance of the Community Room so I could welcome guests and distinguished participants as well as the program coordinators who worked so hard to make this day and all the days of the Big Read, a smash success for the library and the community it humbly serves.

The wrap theme was chosen, no doubt, because Oceanside has a unique place in the history of the Viet Nam War. In addition to its proximity to Camp Pendleton, the city also saw its share of protests, anti-war activity and an influx of Vietnamese refugees who fled their war-torn country.

As the wrap up to the nearly two month-long Big Read program, Oceanside library’s principal librarian and Big Read Project Coordinator Monica Chapa Domercq and administrative liaison and colleague, Kristine Moralez, partnered with Kristi Hawthorne of The Oceanside Historical Society.

Kristi compiled historical photos and other primary source documents and materials for the final presentation titled “Oceanside in the Vietnam Years.” The timing of today’s Big Read Wrap up Project was fortuitous: Monday is Memorial Day.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

I hope you will all sacrifice a little time this Monday from shopping and surfing, barbecuing and baseball to remember: Our freedoms came at cost. Remember those who have made the propitiatory sacrifice, and those still living who must carry on with the memories of their experiences.

Remember the mothers who grieve the sons and daughters who never came home, or who did come home, but were– changed.

Remember: Freedom is not free. It just feels like it is. Thank a serviceman for That. Do That on Monday. Do That. Today.

Goodwill Energies I project on Each and Every One of you each and every day.

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”

That's life today!


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