Mayor on Duty

There were a lot of activities in Highlands this past holiday weekend. The Highlands Food and Wine Festival had another large turnout. It attracts visitors from all across the country.

Congratulations to the Highlands Chamber, the food and wine vendors, restaurants and merchants that put on this exciting event.

Once again there was a moving Veterans Day tribute on Monday morning at the Veterans Memorial Park in front of the Highlands Police Department. I want to thank American Legion Post 370 and the Highlands Police Department in their efforts to recognize American veterans. I also want to thank Phil Potts and the Wreaths Across America volunteers who placed American flags on the graves of veterans at numerous cemeteries on the plateau.

At each Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremony, the American Legion installs bricks on the memorial walkway. Each brick has the name of a veteran from the Highlands Plateau. Since the construction of the park over 120 veteran bricks have been installed. The American Legion Commander calls out the name of each newly recognized veteran at each ceremony. On Monday 18 veterans with new bricks were recognized. The list of Highlands veterans that appeared in the last issue of the Highlander reveals there are many more to be recognized.

If family members want to recognize a veteran, there is an easy way to file an application with the American Legion. At the Veterans Memorial Park there is a kiosk right at the brick walkway entrance. Simply take the application with the instructions from the kiosk. Complete the application and send it with the required check to the American Legion address on the instructions. The bricks are then manufactured and installed before the next national holiday ceremony.

At the end of the ceremony I looked at Legion Commander Ed McCloskey and mused how we couldn’t fully to appreciate the impact of the park project until it became a reality. Ed responded that when the first ceremony was held three years ago, we all didn’t fully realize how quickly this memorial park would become a community asset and treasure.

During the ceremony American Legion Post 370 also presented the town with a check for park improvements.  This check an existing funds will be used to improve the landscaping around the park.

I also want to thank an anonymous donor who bought lunch for all veterans that went to the Blue Bike.  Maybe others will join in with this simple tribute next Veterans Day.

This weekend made me realize we are blessed with many community assets.  Founders Park was a critical resource in putting on the Food and Wine Festival.  The park is a vital community gathering place.  Now that we have it, we realize how badly it was needed.

On a personal level I spent my Saturday afternoon utilizing town assets in entertaining two young grandchildren. I spent two hours wallowing in the Highlands Recreation Department pool, playing water games like pool basketball and noodle floating. As I floated in the pool, I again thought what a wonderful resource this facility is for our community.

We ended the afternoon with our grandchildren at the ice skating rink. They loved this town asset too. At 71, I still swim, but no ice skating for me.

Thanks to all the generous donors that have made these “community treasures” possible.

  • Town of Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor

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