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Out and About (Sort Of): Oysters, Energy and Canneries by Howard Freedlander

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As the holiday season begins in full swing on Thursday with Thanksgiving, followed in four weeks by Christmas, the last gasp of community activities is filling the calendar, as is usually the case at this time of year. Last week proved no exception.

On Wednesday evening, Nov. 18, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) hosted its Oyster Expo at the newly-opened Eastern Shore Conservation Center in Easton. Academic, government and non-profit organizations filled the space with exhibits and chatter about the future of the oyster fishery and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 11.15.07 AMAs I learned in the Sunday Star, one group which had no exhibit—Talbot County watermen—did not endorse the convivial atmosphere and feeling of partnership that I thought permeated the event. While a representative of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) touted the success of the Harris Creek Oyster Restoration Project in Talbot County, watermen questioned the efficacy of this well-acclaimed sanctuary established to replenish the oyster population.

Dr. Elizabeth North, a scientist at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, is undertaking a research project to examine how the oyster industry and policymakers can join forces to achieve consensus on policies and regulations affecting those making their livelihoods harvesting oysters. Based on skeptical comments made by a representative of the watermen’s association, I find it crystal-clear why Dr. North’s project is important in seeking a balance, however difficult, between restoration of oyster habitat and continuation of a once-thriving industry.

On the Thursday following the Oyster Expo, I attended the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s (ESLC’s) annual conference, this one focusing on renewable energy. In a way, there’s a link between restoration of the oyster habitat and use of renewable energy, such as solar and wind.  If there’s a limited volume of fossil fuel energy in our world—and some may question that assertion—and use of coal and oil pollute our world and create unhealthy conditions and global warming, then renewable energy is critical to the long-term survival of Planet Earth.

Though the ESLC conference contained no dire predictions of doom and gloom, the message was clear to me: we cannot conduct business as usual in our personal and professional lives as we must accept responsibility, hopefully, to conserve our natural resources and find ways to use alternative energy sources. This effort thankfully seems to be gaining greater and greater support in the corporate and non-profit worlds.

I was disheartened to read the past weekend that the British government is withdrawing subsidies for solar and wind firms, seemingly buckling under to pressure from the fossil fuel industry. This is regrettable. While the United Kingdom may not be the world power it once was in the 20th century, it still has a strong voice in the international community.

Finally, on Friday evening, I heard a wonderful talk by Ed Kee, secretary of agriculture in Delaware, about the history of canneries in the Delmarva Peninsula. His presentation was part of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s newly inaugurated series of Shore Talks. Up to the middle part of the 1900s, tomato canneries were a major industry on the Eastern Shore, characterized by Kee as the “king” of food processing at the time.

One of the most prominent players in the tomato processing business was Phillips Packing in Cambridge. This company dominated the economic landscape of Dorchester County.

Why has the canning industry nearly vanished on the Delmarva Peninsula? As Ed Kee explained, one reason was that our little part of the world could not compete with the volume and prices produced by growers in the huge state of California. All is not lost of the Shore’s link to food processing, in Kee’s opinion, as poultry has become a dominant industry, as illustrated by Perdue Farms. Another form of renewal.

One final comment about restoration and renewal: Thanksgiving represents a time, before the relentless onslaught of Christmas pressure to buy and buy more gifts, to celebrate family and the sustenance it provides as we navigate the flows and ebbs of life. Plentiful food, accompanied by chatter and laughter, is a strong antidote to difficult challenges.

Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland.  Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He  also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer.  In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia.

Surviving Breast Cancer on the Mid-Shore with Lori Yates


Breast cancer research and treatment has changed dramatically since Easton’s Lori Yates learned eleven years ago that she had stage III of the disease. More than a decade later, exceptional progress has been made in early detections and higher survival rates. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the difficult range of decisions women (and some men) must make on the course of their treatment.

As Lori points out in her Spy interview, the experience of having to make those choices, while at the same time balancing the day to day aspects of family and work life, was a daunting task for her. And yet, there were also moments of empowerment by fully engaging in her treatment strategies as well as experiencing a special form gratitude that comes to those who have made this challenging journey and survived.

That sense of gratitude led Lori to become the Eastern Shore representative for the Susan G. Komen Maryland organization. Komen is the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. Since 2010, Yates has worked to bring local breast cancer support services to the Eastern Shore, including co-organizing the Mosaic Mural Project for breast cancer survivors, chairing the annual Oxford Day 10K event and acts as a mentor to many women going through their breast cancer experience.

For more information, call 410-938-8990 or visit or Shore Health Cancer Center

This video is approximately ten minutes in length

Mid-Shore Health Future: Dr. Jerry O’Connor on Shore Hospitals

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Dr. Jerry O’Connor, a surgeon who has practiced for 32 years at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, has some very serious concerns about the future of the Chestertown hospital. After three decades of watching the medical center be downsized and merged into the UM Health system, he has decided to speak out about those concerns as Shore Health begins a final review process for its long term strategic master plan.

One of Dr. O’Connor’s issues is related to the process that Shore Health has used in this planning effort, which he feels has ignored or marginalized the concerns of many medical professionals in Chestertown. But his main concern is the possible loss of in-patient care in Kent County. He believes this is a result of Shore Health, and other Maryland health care providers, relying on GBR (global budget revenue) and population health metrics which focuses on numbers rather than people.

In his Spy interview, Dr. O’Connor remains guardedly optimistic that Shore Regional Health leadership has not closed the door on a workable solution for Chestertown. In particular, he is eager for decision-makers to look more carefully at making Chestertown a “Critical Access Hospital” allowing for a more flexible reimbursement structure. While that might take some time, he feels Shore Health can in the meantime do far more outreach and consultation with doctors in Kent County before a final plan of action has been decided.

This video is approximately fifteen minutes in length



The Best of the Best: Mid-Shore Community Foundation Honors Regional Leaders

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There is something very special about the service awards handed out to local leaders by the Mid-Shore Community Foundation (MSCF) each year. While many organizations offer similar honors to the area’s very best volunteers, it’s rare to find a bestower who knows more about their recipients than the region’s leading community foundation.

In fact, MSCF makes it their business of knowing what is happening in their five county service area (Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties) and who is doing it, as part of their larger mission to improve the lives and health of their residents. And it is with this special perspective that many have come to see the MSCF annual awards lunch as such a great moment for the Mid-Shore.

The Spy, in partnership with MCTV, decided it was worth sharing the awards ceremony at Chesapeake College in its entirety to understand better how important this recognition is for the honorees and the community as a whole.

This year, Albert Gipe, Catherine Poe, JoRhea Nagel Wright, and Rob Collison were acknowledged in Caroline Hall on campus while the a special recognition award was given to Dr. Karen Couch of Kent County Public Schools. MSCF president Buck Duncan served as master of ceremonies.

This video is approximately 40 minutes in length and is produced in cooperation with the Avalon Foundation.

Easton’s Other Traffic Cops: The Spy Talks to the Tower


While it is hard to compare Route 50 summer traffic jams to the incoming and outgoing aircraft at Easton Airport, the fact remains that in the skies above Talbot County, things do get busy, sometimes really busy, for the controllers at the control tower at Newman Field.  With take-offs and landings growing from 40,000 just a few years ago to over 72,000 expected this year, ESN has become one of the busiest small airports in the country.

And the people that move that traffic within Easton’s four miles of vertical and horizontal air space are the seasoned air traffic controllers leading pilots, many of them learning to fly for the first time, to safely land and depart at one of the most popular airports in the region..

The Spy was invited up to the airport control tower for a short chat with tower manager Damien Gutberlet about the daily operations for Easton’s other traffic cops.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. Additional video provided by Christopher Massey.

Out and About (Sort Of): On Waterfowl and Paris by Howard Freedlander

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For 45 years, since 1971, the Waterfowl Festival, produced by thousands of volunteers and energized by world-class wildfowl artists, carvers, photographers and collectors, has drawn between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors on the second weekend of November. This year’s event, blessed by sunny, brisk fall weather, was another success.

While Festival officers mark success by ticket sales and art receipts, I look at the crowds on Harrison Street, including people and pets, and the onslaught of people at Easton High School to take in the Buy, Sell and Swap exhibit, and I conclude that this event, devoted to conservation of waterfowl habitats, was a grand undertaking.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 1.07.25 PMMy experience with the Waterfowl Festival goes back to 1976 after newly moving to Easton. While I first wondered how an event devoted to birds could be so popular, I no longer question the theme. After all, our country offers festivals dedicated to apples, pumpkins, forests, wine—and even medieval times.
From a humble beginning in 1971, when proceeds of $7,500 were donated to Duck Unlimited, the Festival has given grants totaling more than $5.7 million to conservation projects.

What I’ve learned over the years is the conservation of waterfowl habitat not only provides a more hospitable venue for geese and ducks but also benefits humans by enabling wildfowl to survive and open space to flourish. The nexus seems obvious to me: protect the birds we love to see and, yes, hunt and thus allow our two-legged species to enjoy a peaceful field filled with birds and their distinctive sounds.

On opening night, I felt great pride as Albert Pritchett, president of the Waterfowl Festival and Waterfowl Chesapeake (its vehicle for collaboration and fundraising), paid homage to two terrific people and volunteers, Sylvia Gannon and Al Gipe. This festival, with a small staff, must depend on volunteers to produce one of the best shows of its type in our nation. Recognition of these two committed individuals seemed the very right thing to do.

On Saturday, my 15-year-old grandson and I enjoyed visiting exhibits in town, marveling at the talent inherent in the artwork, carvings, sculptures and photographs. We then took a bus to the high school, site of the Buy, Sell and Swap exhibit, long one of my favorites. I love the informal feel of this exhibit—and the opportunity to buy a shorebird at a reasonable price.

If anyone wondered about the popularity of the Festival, particularly on a breezy Saturday, a visit to Easton High School would have erased any doubt. Buses continually deposited large groups of people, who journeyed to the east end of town to view decoys at Buy, Sell and Swap, eat crab soup, clam chowder and pit beef and turkey sandwiches and appreciate the waterfowling artifacts exhibit, one filled with great history.

After attending an outside Sunday service at Christ Church in Easton, I found my mood, while still buoyed by the Festival and its spotlight on the special charm of Easton, a bit tempered by thoughts of the terrible tragedy in Paris. The senselessness of human slaughter by people alienated from civilized norms of behavior is felt and decried in a lovely town marked by goodwill and good cheer during a festive event.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 1.07.53 PMNot long ago Paris was the scent of horrific killing at a newspaper office and a kosher grocery store. Now again it has come under attack, one that was well-coordinated and hate-filled. The perpetrators wanted to instill fear by killing nearly 130 people at six different sites populated by Parisians and foreign visitors.

Some may wonder why I’ve connected the Waterfowl Festival and the horrible actions in Paris. Maybe I’ve done so because I realize that wherever we live, we still are connected to gruesome behavior exhibited shamelessly throughout our troubled world. Maybe I feel compelled to remind myself that terror is not that far away. All of us have friends and family scattered throughout our increasingly smaller world.

I fear another repulsive and deadly act in our nation. Just a few weeks ago, I spent some time with a woman, whose father was killed on 9/11. He was a college friend and lacrosse teammate. Since that earthshaking event more than 14 years ago, our country has suffered no similar case of mass murder.

The Waterfowl Festival is a truly wonderful occasion that coalesces our community on behalf of a non-profit organization, Waterfowl Chesapeake, devoted to conservation. I would suggest that this goal applies to the conservation of our values on the Eastern Shore and belief in civil behavior, whether applied to birds or humans.

This past weekend was a splendid one. No question about it. The specter of the terror in Paris speaks to the need for all of us to unite on behalf of “community.” This togetherness is a strong barrier to evil actions.

Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland. Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer. In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia.

Making a Difference: St. Michaels’ Rotary on Haiti Mission


While the Rotary Club of St. Michaels has played a critical role in supporting local organizations with both funding and volunteers, many might not realize that Rotarians also believe in serving internationally as well as in their own communities.

So when the Rev. Clelia Garrity for St. Michaels Christ Church made a presentation to Rotary last February about her work in Haiti, there was a quick decision for the local chapter to not only provide needed financial support her community work in two rural Haitian communities, Bondeau and Matel, but is sending eight Rotarians down early next year to help directly with the program.

As a member of the Bondeau Partnership, Christ Church will be supporting the development of a locally sustainable health care program managed by a community health nurse and community health workers. It is also refurbishing the clinic nurse’s station and pharmacy, developing an electronic charting system, and this October will establish a contract with a Haitian Medical Director for ongoing continuity of care.

In our Spy interview, Marcia Hall, Michael Mabe, Rev. Clelia Garrity, Bob Holden, Debbie Collison, and David Shaw ( not shown are John Marrah, Jerry Quance, and Al Hayward are also joining the group) talk about why they decided to participate, and what expectations they have as they prepare for service is the world’s poorest country.

This video is approximately four minutes in length. The Spy will be circling back with our volunteers after they return for a follow-up interview on what they saw and learned.

To support the Bondeau mission, please contact St. Michaels Christ Church here or the St. Michaels Rotary here.

Full of Years Part 4 Love and Loss by George Merrill


The November day was cold. The wind blew easterly from the ocean, lending a bite to the air that made me shiver. We traveled the ferry from the Island to Brooklyn on the way to bury my grandmother at Greenwood Cemetery. It was 1951 and I was seventeen at the time.

I had already lost four of my close relatives in the span of five years. Fr. Rogers, our priest, conducted the graveside ceremony for my grandmother as he had for my other relatives. The committal was brief. When it ended, we returned to the cars. I looked back and suddenly felt panicky. I didn’t want my grandmother to be left in the ground alone on such a bleak and inhospitable day. When I got into the limousine I looked once again to the gravesite on the hill; Fr. Rogers stood there, as if he planned to be there for a while. He looked serene and at ease and I immediately felt comforted, because I knew he would look after her when we’d gone.

We can endure most anything if we know we are not alone.

Not long ago, I served as a doula for a dying friend. She was ninety-two. A doula functions as a kind of midwife who provides bedside presence, support and comfort through an individual’s dying process. The doula’s role is to facilitate a transition in the way a midwife comforts and aids the mother through her birthing process. I was not presiding over an ending – the way I’d often done as a priest performing last rites. I felt useful being a doula that evening, but I had one regret. Although my friend remained comatose while I sat with her, I held her hand, but didn’t think to read or sing to her. I wondered afterward if a voice might have been more soothing, the way just the sound of lullabies comforts infants.

The pain of loss is cumulative. As we suffer current losses, the previous ones are partially awakened from dormancy and some residual pain is added to the present loss – exacerbating the ache of mourning. Grief is a universal experience. Its pain subsides slowly. In time it leaves a slight scar. Like others of life’s chronic conditions, grief can be managed so as not to interfere with daily living. To mourn is the price for being fully human and caring for others. We also mourn for the things we once did and now can’t.

A seventy-year old man told me with tears in his eyes that he was physically no longer able to play tennis. At eighty-one, I nearly killed myself attempting to sail a sixteen-foot sailboat solo as I once did easily when I was fifteen. My mother always said I had to learn the hard way. We live by the process of taking hold and then letting go. We live it best when we know when to take hold and when to let go.

For most of us, the three biggest rites of life’s passages in which we participate, either as spectators or participants, are the rites around births, marriages and funerals. People often weep at all three but hopefully, not for the same reasons. Marriage and the birth of a baby are about beginnings; about hopes . . . in short, births and marriages celebrate a future. What’s different about death and funerals (now called celebrations of life) is that they manage loss by celebrating of a life already lived. Even the most ardent Christian who is convinced of bodily resurrection, will still grieve for his loss. Along with other mourners, Jesus wept for his dead friend Lazarus, whom Jesus later raises from the dead. Simply put, mourning is a part of being alive, it’s one of the common denominators shared by all humanity.

I’ve heard some people say that dying should be a private act and has nothing to do with others except close friends and family. They wish no memorial services or any other event. They prefer going anonymously into that dark night. I guess that has something to do with how we understand our lives in relationship to others. I believe we Americans are obsessed with the need to express our individuality (I got my rights) to the extent that we give little thought to the importance of where we belong in a community and our responsibility to it.

As a priest who has conducted celebrations of life, I’ve noticed that there is profound intimacy in sharing grief. It produces a distinctive sense of belonging unlike other rites of passage. Whether we have religious inclinations or are atheists, the importance of attending some communal acknowledgement of our loss is critical to the healing process in mourning.
Calling funerals a celebration of life isn’t just making nice. With the loss of the loved one there is an automatic recollection of moments – often, significant ones – during which we have shared with that person some pieces of our own lives. Death and dying are the reminders that we all share a common destiny, and we are made stronger by dealing gently with it as we welcome others to mourn with us.

We can endure most anything if we know we are not alone.

Thinking of Betsy Drake by Dave Wheelan

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One of my secret pleasures as I moved through college was finding myself in the sometimes dreadful but often played social game “Who are you related to?” knowing I had the actress Betsy Drake in my back pocket. Betsy was my mother’s cousin and my godfather’s sister, but more importantly she had been married to Cary Grant in the 1950s.

This was not particularly impressive to others who could list signers of the constitution, literary giants, or “A list” society types. A starlet marrying a superstar and later divorcing him may make headlines but generally does not go down in the annals of Hollywood history. While certain bonus points might be applied since Betsy did marry Grant, that great idol of men and women alike, this was not a winning hand.

Scene from “Every Girl Should Be Married”

But the story of Betsy herself, even the little I knew, did improve the odds. For one, Drake was perhaps one of Hollywood’s leading advocates of the use of LSD (legal at the time) for therapeutic purposes. In fact, it was Betsy who convinced her husband, suffering a lifetime of depression, to use the drug to kill his psychological bogey men.

Years later, Grant would praise the drug “because I never understood myself, how could I have hoped to understand anyone else? That’s why I say that now I can truly give a woman love for the first time in my life, because I can understand her.”

The LSD legacy of the 1950s in Hollywood was indeed the stuff of legends but Drake didn’t stop there. Well before it was popular or known, she helped introduce yoga, hypnosis. and eventually the use of acting as a method of psychological therapy to Southern California.

That independence of mind eventually let her escape both Hollywood and Grant, and she headed east for a masters degree at Harvard, and eventually a very private life in London.

But for the purposes of playing a silly after-dinner game, there was enough to let me drop this gem at the right time.

As adulthood set in, however, with more information about Betsy and family history, the hard realities of her life came more into focus. A mentally ill mother, a detached father, a family bankrupted by the depression, and a childhood spent in boarding schools or passed along to relatives, Betsy was not simply trying to be in vogue, she was trying to survive.

Those survival instincts and impulses allowed Drake a very long life. She died at 92, but it is hard to sense that her demons ever truly left her. Estranged from family. and living a very secluded life for most of her last thirty years, one of her closest friends, writer Martha Gellhorn, whose letters were recently published, makes it clear that Drake’s torments were still evident even late in her life.

Betsy in 2004

Betsy in 2004

After the death of my parents, with family history very much turning into a passion of mine, I worked my way through old photos and family films that had not been seen in decades. In one home movie, taken at Gunston Hall in Virginia where relatives had started to restore George Mason’s colonial estate in the 1920s, there is a small unidentified toddler playing in the garden. Older family members had identified the young girl as Betsy and I digitized the film to send to Drake.

Through Facebook, I reached out to one of her contacts to pass along the film to her. And in due course, I asked if Betsy might be willing to meet me the next time I was in London.

The response was predictable. In short, whatever possibilities there might have been to finally meet this remarkable woman had passed. At 89, Betsy’s life, according to the contact, was filled with accomplishing just daily “things” with no real capacity for the new in her life let alone a distant relative. I got the message.

Last week, Betsy Drake passed away in her home.

Perhaps one day a gifted screenwriter will take on the life and times of Betsy Drake. Someone who was well ahead of her time, who had lived the strange life of an intellectual in Tinseltown, and more importantly, the lifelong journey of a smart, determined woman in finding and saving herself is the real story, not just a sidebar name drop at a cocktail party.

Dave Wheelan is the founder and executive editor of the Chestertown and Talbot Spy

Out and About (Sort Of): Veterans Day With a Twist by Howard Freedlander

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As we celebrate Veterans Day tomorrow, Nov. 11, I join in paying tribute to the men and women who have served our nation in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard in foreign combat, domestic emergencies, humanitarian missions and logistical, training and personnel support here at home. We Americans will hear and read high-sounding rhetoric tomorrow—all aimed at giving well-deserved credit to those who have served in harm’s way
Our veterans, young and old, will be applauded in towns and cities throughout the country, treated as twice-citizens who are willing to leave the safety and security of their homes and families to serve in the military in places where the only certainty is extreme danger and deprivation. These foreign locales carry names hard to pronounce and cultures even harder to understand.

Unfortunately, I approach this Veterans Day with some disappointment and a tinge of cynicism. Last week, I read about a report entitled “Tackling Paid Patriotism,” assembled by Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain. The report states that the military has spent $6.8 million on what it calls paid patriotism since 2011, as manifested in what would seem to the public to be sincere tributes at sporting events, but in some instances resulting from financial contracts.

For example, according to the Flake-McCain report, the Maryland National Guard paid the Baltimore Ravens $534,500 in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 as part of what a team spokesman said was a military recruitment effort that included video advertisements on the M&T Bank Stadium video screens, the team’s website and radio broadcast, as well as a booth on the Ravenswalk. Ravens players also wore a Maryland National Guard patch on its practice jerseys.

The congressional report focused on an $89,500 order for 30,000 co-branded rally towels and 20,000 co-branded hats. In addition, the report showed that the Department of Defense paid for tributes that included national anthem performances, ceremonial first pitches, puck drops, color guard presentations and enlistment ceremonies—all at well-attended and often-televised professional sports events, with a demographic that I assume comprises millions of men and women aged 18-25.

As a former officer in the Maryland National Guard, well aware of recruiting and retention pressures, I can well understand why the Defense Department would choose professional sports venues to publicize the Armed Forces and hopefully generate a constant flow of quality recruits. Advertising is crucial to the corporate and military worlds. For years, I have marveled at the utter excellence of the Marine Corps commercials on TV. I thought that civilian companies could learn some lessons from the Marine Corps ads, which basically ask viewers, “Are you good enough to join our military force?” Simply, the advertising them dares and entices at the same time.

So, the question I now have to ask based on the report about paid patriotism is when are the touching tributes sincere—translated, no payment—and when are they staged and paid for, as if they were purely emotion-driven entertainment?

My experience as a Guard officer who often dealt with community groups and sports teams is that outside groups sought us, particularly on patriotic holidays or on occasions when our troops returned from the first Gulf War or a wartime deployment. We paid nothing, offering our people an opportunity to bathe in the glory of widespread commendation and providing the sports teams, for example, a venue to show off their patriotism—and earn public praise.

At the risk of seeming naïve and overly critical, I find the report, “Tackling Paid Patriotism” discouraging. I despair of the manipulation of public emotion through paid tributes. While I fully understand and support paid recruiting efforts in the form of videos and even products such as hats and towels, I believe that the Defense Department has crossed the line of propriety in staging recognition of returning combat soldiers, enlistments and extensions and presentation of the National Anthem. Paid patriotism has spawned painful pessimism.

Tomorrow, on Veterans Day, we can spend time, not money to pay tribute to our family members, friends and neighbors for having served our country in time of need and doing so with courage and expertise. Our volunteer service-members allow all of us to feel proud of our military forces and the difficult and demanding missions they undertake throughout a world threatened increasingly by terrorists, intent on sowing disorder through violence often imposed on innocent people.

As I bring this column to an end, I pay tribute to a wonderful exhibit of World War II photographs at the Oxford Community Center. These photos, either taken by Norman Harrington,a combat-journalist and well-known Talbot County photographer, or developed by him from canisters of undeveloped film discovered by Harrington at the “Eagle’s Nest,” Adolph Hitler’s chalet retreat at the peak of Kehlstein Mountain in Bavaria, Germany, beautifully capture the war in Europe and Hitler and cronies at play. I only wish the exhibit showed even more of Harrington’s wonderful black-and-white photographs and the ones developed from undeveloped film at the lovely mountain getaway.

Thank you, veterans, for making our world a better one.

Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland. Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer. In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia.