Brave service for our country


Local military family honoring past and present service. Memorial Day isnt just another holiday for Sharon and John Paton of Alexandria. Steeped with a rich military heritage, the family recently buried Carol Harl, Sharons 89 year-old mother who as a Navy nurse was sent to Pearl Harbor on the first post-bombing convoy. Burying Harl at Mount Comfort Cemetery with Navy honors, the family had a poignant moment, proud of what she did to serve her country while present with son and brother, Marine Corporal Blair, scheduled for his 3rd deployment. Sharon expressed, Im very supportive of [Blair]. Honoring what hes chosen to do is the least we can offer as parents. This holiday they will be together paying their respects at the Cemetery as well as cheering on retired-military dad and husband John, who has yet to miss the annual Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally, now celebrating 20 years.

Conversation with Secretary of Education, the Honorable Margaret Spellings. To the full-house gathered at the Athenaeum for the Womens Giving Circle of Alexandrias annual event, sisterly similarities between special guest Spellings and sister Circle founding-member Nanette Lawson were unmistakable. Tasked with introducing her high-achieving oldest sister in a family of 4 girls, Lawson bantered, At age 5, Margaret already had a staff of 3. Spellings said, referring to the bipartisan No Child Left Behind signature policy, What gets measured gets done, and later praised the results-oriented Circle for their work on behalf of the children and families of Alexandria. 

Dancing and eating in Old Town North. Around 700 guests recently flocked to the 3rd Annual Taste of Old Town North at Montgomery Park to enjoy great food, music, a raffle, and each other. Old Town North Community Partnership and Best Solutions Marketings Jay Palermino, Jr. put on what participating area restaurants and businesses including Stardust, Fin & Hoof, and A La Lucia applauded for its organization and great exposure for the area. The free tasting, a win-win for everybody, reported Palermino, worked to draw the neighborhood together, raise good-will awareness and funds for the north-side Montgomery Park which is currently seeing major improvements.

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