This situation punctuates the results the May 11, 2004 election. In that election, voters wholeheartedly reaffirmed the fact that had Durant woefully inadequate facilities to hold such events (noting that the Coliseum wasn't finished at that time), and that something must be done about it.
With Paul Laird Field under construction, and the new convocation center at SOSU still on the drawing board, the board decided it was better to move the ceremony to the Coliseum than pack Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium once again.
With all due respect to the two board members who dissented, the Coliseum was the right choice. By all accounts, it was a smooth ceremony. Everyone had a seat, there was plenty of room to move around, and the acoustics were more than adequate.
Maybe by next year we'll see the convocation center in full-scale construction, while ceremonies are moved back to their tradiational home at Paul Laird Field. But if it rains next year, the Coliseum is the logical choice as an indoor site.
In today's edition, readers will find a Memorial Day tribute page that includes the names of all Bryan County soldiers killed in action during major conflicts, beginning with World War I.
The list was compiled with help from State Rep. John Carey, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. The list is being presented to the public for the first time today, and we expect that list to grow in the coming months.
Teaming with local veterans' organization and with the help of the Chamber of Commerce, we want to ensure the list is as complete as possible before we add the names to a permanent addition to the War Memorial on the Bryan County Courthouse lawn this fall. We are seeking any omissions from the official military list.
There are numbers to call if anyone knows of a name that should added. We remind readers that the list is only for those killed in action during conflict. The Democrat hopes to call attention to veterans' issues and the people who have served their country over the years as we count down to Veterans' Day 2005.
Look for a series of stories spotlighting these brave souls, and share their stories of bravery and courage. On Memorial Day we pause to honor those who have fought and died. Between Memorial Day and Veterans' Day, we want to help shine the light on those who fought and returned, and those who continue to fight.
Our best to local realtor Martin VanMeter, who is recovering from injuries suffered when one of his bulls turned on him this past week. He suffered multiple lacerations and bruises during the encounter, then drove himself to the hospital.
The veteran businessman and livestock producer won't be out for long, we're told. In fact, he was busy conducting what business he could from the hospital room.