Lights of Hope will still shine
Every American has faced uncertain and challenging times through the pandemic. For the Oregonians diagnosed with cancer this year, the stakes have been even higher.
Cancer patients, their families and their caregivers need to know we’re still here for them — that the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and its volunteers haven’t stopped advocating for critical research funds and access to health care. I am proud to have had a visible way to raise awareness for cancer, as a volunteer for the past 17 years, and to bring hope as we continue to emerge from the pandemic.
ACS CAN’s annual Lights of Hope ceremony is usually held in Washington, D.C., where thousands of lit bags line the Lincoln Memorial, decorated with the names of cancer survivors and those lost to the disease. Because of the pandemic, we won’t be traveling to D.C. Instead, we’ll display lights of hope bags on our front porches, kitchen tables and front lawns as we bring HOPE home to communities around the nation. I look forward to displaying Lights of Hope bags honoring survivors and remembering those lost to cancer in Salem. To view the display featured on Facebook live at www.facebook.com/ACSCANOregn on Sept.18 starting at 7 p.m.
If you would like to get a Lights of Hope bag, please contact me: 503-623-5495 or order at http://action.fightcancer.org/goto/Kay_Graven
In support of Ben Gorman
Recently, as I wandered through Waremart looking for Easy Cheese--I still can’t seem to find things since the reconfiguration--a parent said something to me about my colleague Ben Gorman, English teacher at Central High School.
“Excuse me?” I said.
“Gorman is out there making you guys look bad. He’s supposed to be a teacher, not a politician.”
At the time, I wasn’t sure how to respond, and shortly afterward, I felt bad because I didn’t defend my colleague immediately. (As much as some of my colleagues may doubt me on this, I often spend a lot of time thinking about issues that bug me and then not communicate about them. I would like to change that.)
OK, I’m getting to the points, three of them:
Point 1: You are right, Ben does make me look bad. He is an active participant in our democracy, and I am a passive one.
Point 2: We are all political. That includes an English teacher like Ben Gorman and a math teacher like me. It also includes the clown who guns his truck--and sometimes lacking appropriate verbal skills raises his arm and flies a one-finger flag--as he goes through the intersection where fellow citizens are expressing support for those targeted by racism.
Point 3: It seems to me that a lot of the flag boys need to talk to a Boy Scout about how to treat the Stars and Stripes. Shame on you.
COVID precautions prevent illness, death
Now we are back to semi-isolation. Many thoughts flow through a lonely brain. Let me share three.
First: To those of you that have been fully vaccinated, thank you. Data from the Oregon Health Authority and many other sources strongly suggest that you, and the others who have been vaccinated, have collectively prevented a large amount of suffering and more than a few deaths.
Second: I remember my military days (more than 35 years ago). There were a lot of required shots, especially if you were on the world-wide deployment list. I was, and most of the people under my command were. No one complained; everyone got the required shots.
Third: To those of you that have not been fully vaccinated (and those that object to wearing a mask), what if you are wrong? What will be the consequences? (And what makes you think you know better than the medical professionals?)
Thanks for reading this. I’ll close with a quote from Tom Cruise in the movie Top Gun. “(When in a dogfight) a good fighter pilot constantly reevaluates the situation.”
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