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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Least we forgetů

Memorial day was officially born as a holiday in 1868. President James Garfield presided over a ceremony at Arlington Cemetery that year honoring those who died during the Civil War. The holiday was called "Decoration Day" at the time.

Although the exact origin of the holiday is disputed, it is generally accepted that it began with Southern women decorating the graves of dead Confederate soldiers with flowers.

One of the first "Confederate Decoration Day's" was celebrated in the spring of 1866 in Columbus Georgia.

In 1868 General John A. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic that was occupying the defeated southern states, ordered that May 30th be set aside to honor the dead of the Civil War.

Over the years the name has changed to "Memorial Day," and all of America's dead heroes are honored.

It is easy to forget why we have a Memorial Day.

Taking a day off from work makes us feel good. It's the beginning of summer. Lake waters are warm and the fish are biting. It's the first break most of us have had since Christmas. A three-day weekend sounds good.

All those feelings run contrary to the somber fact that we're taking the day off to honor those who died so that we might live free and enjoy a weekend at the lake.

Death and celebration aren't natural companions.

The combination of the two makes for an uncomfortable feeling.

Being human, it is natural that we might ignore the uncomfortable, somber side of this holiday and concentrate on the festive.

But sometime in between the hotdogs, water skiing, and stock car racing, we need to take a moment and remember in our hearts all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

On most of the inhabited continents on this earth there are huge fields of white crosses that stretch as far as the eye can see.

They stretch for miles across the countryside of Europe, on little islands in the Pacific Ocean, across our homeland, in Asia, and in Australia.

Under each cross is the remains of a man who answered his country's call and paid the ultimate price. Someone who never saw another Memorial Day, never went on another picnic, and never came home to his family.

If these men had not answered that call, we would not enjoy the freedom and prosperity that we do today.

So sometime this weekend as you go about your affairs, take a minute and remember these fallen countrymen. Remember the sacrifice they made, and celebrate the freedom they died for.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

It's time to get the ball rolling with Main Street

The deadline to apply to become a Main Street city is July 31st.

Making the application doesn't guarantee Pecos will be chosen, but we certainly can not be selected if we do not apply.

Pivotal to our application is a commitment from city government to fund a Main Street Director's position. From everything we've heard this funding will cost Pecos about $50,000.

For cities all across Texas the Main Street Program has been the "shot in the arm" that was the difference between slow death and a new lease on life. Georgetown, Ft. Stockton, McKinney and Granbury are prime examples.

The program could make the same difference for Pecos.

We certainly need to try.

Of course, it is easy to say we need to do this _ while actually allocating the money will take some tough decisions.

Other programs are going to lose money in the process and funding cuts are never popular.

The mayor and city council will have to make these decisions and they will need your support.

Not making these decisions, and not funding the Main Street Director position, should not be an option.

Raising taxes isn't an option either _ Pecos tax rates are already too high and an obstacle to recruiting businesses to our town.

One way or another the council has to find this money and make the commitment to fund the program.

What we are doing now is not enough.

Your View

Pecos High School Band deserves recognition

Dear Editor:
This letter is to recognize our Pecos High School Band. As a community, I believe that we need to show more recognition to our band students. They are dedicated and have improved tremendous over the past years.

The last 2 years, they received first place in marching. I was very disappointed to learn that the high school did not even put a band picture in the annual, neither did they receive recognition in the school itself. Football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, and swimming receive congratulations at school and in the newspaper all of the time.

These band kids stay up sometimes until 2 _3 a.m. representing our town. They take pride, so lets shows them we are behind them! HATS OFF TO ALL BAND STUDENTS AND THEIR DIRECTORS!

And thank you for your outstanding performance in the concert last week.

Our high school has 3 gentlemen who have earned the honor of competing at sate level next weekend in Austin. They are Fernando Orona, Tenor Saxophone; Thomas Alexander, Alto Saxophone and Jacob Barrera, Alto Saxophone. They are competing in an ensemble. Thomas is also to compete with a solo.

These gentlemen competed in El Paso, all receiving first divisions. I would like to thank Mrs. Alexander for her efforts in making arrangements for the trip. She also located a saxophone specialist who will tutor the boys in school this week.

Good Luck to each of you!


Local companies, people make event a success

Dear Editor:
I would like to thank everyone that made the Pecos-Barstow Warbirds boxing event a great success this past weekend.

I would especially like to thank the following people and companies that helped so much in this endeavor: Larry Windham, Edward Tercero, Mike Stallard, John Cravey, Kevin Duke, Manuel Galindo, David Reyes, Bruce Salcido, Mr. Oscar Saenz and Anchor West Inc., Mr. R.L. Tellez, the Juarez family for operating the concession stand.

I would like to express my sincere thanks for the Anchor West employees that contributed their time in helping out in this event. The Pecos Enterprise and K.I.U.N. Radio receives a gold star for all the assistance that they provided in promoting this event. Without the support of Chief Clay McKinney, Sheriff Andy Gomez and Task Force Commander Gary Richards this event would not have been possible.

I have found out over the years that when someone in Pecos is in need of help, that Pecos people always pull together and help. The citizens of Pecos should receive a big applause for their attendance and support.

The fighters provided their time and "body" to help the young people of the community and if you see one of them on the street, give them a big thank-you.

I guess the biggest thanks goes to Mr. Fred Martin and Mr. Roy Juarez who work with those young boxers. Mr. Martin and Mr. Juarez receive no pay for their time and efforts but love the sport and the kids. Without these two gentlemen there would be no Warbirds in Pecos. I know that I forgot to mention someone but there are so many people to thank.

Again, hats off to the people of Pecos for coming together once again and making this event a great success.

Thank you,

Statements agreed on

Dear Editor:
I am in complete agreement with the statements made by Ward County's District Clerk, Joann Widdess, in her letter to the editor in your newspaper. A binding referendum by the people of Ward County and even the possibility of binding referendums in our neighboring counties was a proposal I made several months ago.

I share Mrs. Widdess's concerns for safety. I am less that trusting of big government and corporate business. As I stated months ago "our society has created a monster and now we must control it," in a reference to nuclear energy. I don't know the answer to radioactive storage or disposal. But it seems logical that a binding vote of the people of the area would give the lawmakers in Washington and Austin a good idea as to what the people of Ward County and West Texas really think.

I've heard lots of half truth's and misinformation on both sides of this issue. It's good to hear some logic for a change. Maybe now that local elections are over we can all discuss things in such a logical manner, rather than anyone making personal attacks and frivolous complaints meant to harm the reputation of others. I'm glad to see Mrs. Widdess agrees with an opinion that I have proposed for months.


Some local businesses providing bad service

Dear Editor:
I came back to Pecos about a year ago and I noticed something in the stores. Service has gone downhill bigtime.

For example, In La Tienda, the checkout people seen irriated when you bring groceries to them and employees in the store mostly younger employees act as if it is a hassle to do their jobs. Maybe if Pecos wants more busienss, managers need to set better examples for their employees and people should do their jobs better or not even work because it seems like everybody is taking their business to Odessa.

Another thing is everytime I go to pay my Cable Bill, it is closed. I've been their at 1:30 or 2:00 and nobody seems to have a set schedule, but they always want your money on time.

Business in Pecos need to straighten up and improve their attitudes and maybe they will get more business.


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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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