OpiniOn

The WoodsTock IndependenT
Woodstock, IL w 1987

6

nov. 7-13, 2012

The WoodsTock IndependenT

ContaCt opinion letters@thewoodstockindependent.com

Cheryl Wormley Paul Wormley
Co-Owner

Publisher, Co-Owner

The ediTorial Board
Cheryl Wormley John C. Trione Mike Neumann Katelyn Stanek Jay Schulz Rhonda Mix

John C. Trione mike neumann
News Editor

General Manager

On Sunday, Nov. 11, we as Americans will remember the heroics of veterans from long ago, we will celebrate the lives of men and women retired from military service and we will keep our thoughts with future veterans currently serving overseas. While Veteran’s Day is reserved as a day to honor and celebrate veterans who have returned home safely, Americans continue to fight in wars and many have paid the ultimate sacrifice. This Sunday, please remember recent veterans and their comrades who are still serving as you give thanks to veterans from wars of the past. While those currently serving aren’t veterans yet, they are committed to keeping our country safe and they share a bond with all veterans who came before them. Woodstock organizations will host celebrations to honor soldiers this Veterans Day. The Woodstock Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5040, which is celebrating its 66th anniversary this year, will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. on the holiday itself. A lunch will follow at noon. The public is invited to attend. In addition to the VFW’s Veteran’s Day ceremony, Woodstock Harley-Davidson is hosting a Veterans Day Party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that same day. Rolling Thunder IL Chapter 2 will be conducting a Remembrance Table Ceremony at noon. For information, call 224-688-0948 or visit www. rollingthunder2.org. At 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, Olson Elementary School will host a Veterans Day assembly. All veterans are invited to attend the event. We celebrate Veterans Day each Nov. 11, which is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Major hostilities ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month with the signing of the Armistice by the Germans. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the holiday was first celebrated in 1919. By 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday. In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars, not just those who served in World War I. The Independent encourages those who can’t take part in either of the events to take a moment to thank a veteran or to take a moment to remember those we have lost. Our staff thanks all veterans — young and old, living and deceased — for their service and contributions to our country. We wish war could be avoided, but we are grateful there are men and women in the United States willing to step up and defend our country and freedom.

Remember our veterans

our vIeW

Fall festivities gone wrong
My friend and I recently paid a visit to a well-known pumpkin farm [not in McHenry County] which I’ve seen numerous times but had yet to explore. As a child, I remember visiting simple pumpkin patches (before they became grossly commercialized) and orchards with my family. Over the course of my adult life, I’ve visited other pumpkin farms and began to notice a few things that bothered me – such as high prices on produce and attractions and the fact that somehow fall had fallen into yet another money-making opportunity for many businesses. As in the days before Thanksgiving and Christmas, the time leading up to Halloween has become infused with marketing tricks and, in the process, has, at least to me, lost something more meaningful. After arriving at the farm, my friend and I immediately headed over to the food barn to purchase hot apple cider to fend off the chill in the air. Aside from free entry into the farm, the main shop, a meager pumpkin patch and the food barn, visitors could see little else unless they were willing to cough up the cash. Strike one. After my friend and I warmed up, we decided to visit “Animal Land,” which cost $10. I was aware there were giraffes, which seemed a little strange for a pumpkin patch, but little did I know how disturbing “Animal Land” would be. My friend and I paid $3 for a cup of carrots Rhonda in an attempt to Mix experience handfeeding a giraffe. We waited with Mix a horde of people Messages all hoping for the same opportunity. It was quite some time before the giraffes ventured our way – meanwhile, unruly children screamed and threw carrots at the animals while their parents laughed and snapped pictures of their little darlings. Discarded paper cups were strewn alongside the wall in the giraffe enclosure and employees didn’t seem in a hurry to clean up the trash. Strike two. Next, we moved on to the animal tents. I expected to see the usual cows, sheep, goats and chickens. But the tents also contained small, makeshift cages with prisoners such as baby tigers, monkeys, hyenas, black bears and foxes. The two most disturbing sights were the young kangaroos – miserable and shaking as they lay on a thin

column

mattress of straw in the frigid tent – and the baby tigers, manhandled into picture sessions with a line of people waiting to pay $25 for one photo. Once again, a few children tormented the animals while their parents stood by, nonchalantly. Strike three. In order to enter the larger, main pumpkin patch and hitch a ride on a wagon, visitors had to pay another $5. In the patch, pumpkin prices soared from a few dollars for small gourds to upwards of $15.99. Camel and pony rides were offered for $5 each. This pumpkin patch seemed to me to be all about making money. Strike four. I’m sure by now it is obvious I didn’t love the experience. Many businesses have become money-grubbers. We also have become a country with people desperate to entertain their children, no matter what the cost. This particular farm lost my business, and in the future, I will encourage others to visit cheaper and more animal-friendly pumpkin patches and fall orchards. Somewhere along the way, I think our culture has lost sight of good old-fashioned fun. Hopefully, one day we will find our way back to its simplicity.

Rhonda Mix is a staff writer for The Woodstock Independent.

weigh in
email letters to the editor to letters@thewoodstockindependent.com or mail them to 671 E. Calhoun St., Woodstock, IL 60098.

for your information

This week’s Woodstock Independent was printed before election results were available. The Independent will have stories and results from the nov. 6 election in the nov. 14 to 20 edition. To view results from the election immediately, visit www.mcvote.org. The Independent also will include a synopsis of the results on our website, www.thewoodstockindependent. com, on Wednesday, nov. 7. In addition to the presidential election, elections for county board seats, county offices, state and congressional offices, two county referendums and a state constitutional amendment were all included on the ballot. We thank all who voted in the election.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful