Recently I went streaking in downtown Hickory in the middle of the day. Well, call it streaking 2021 style. I went out without my mask. It was refreshing and fun. I am dating myself but now I know what Ray Stevens was singing about so many years ago. (Google him it will be worth the laugh.)
I walked into Hatch Sandwich Bar and ordered one of the specials and sat outside sans mask and looked down First Avenue. The weather was perfect and I got a great view of the WHKY tower surrounded by blue sky. But in the midst of my maskless feast, I noticed something.
Down the street was a mural that I had passed numerous times. It was the mural commemorating the Miracle of Hickory. It was a different time. We were in the midst of a World War and a horrible epidemic. Hospitals in Charlotte had filled up with polio patients and there was no room for the children who were victims of this horrible disease.
But within days the citizens of Hickory constructed a make-shift hospital and had it up and running. Some called it a miracle but I think it showed what patriotic citizens can do when they work together. We had a war to win. Not just against the German and Japanese empires but also against the horrible scourge of polio.
I was fortunate to be a volunteer for the Pfizer vaccine. Like my ancestors, before me, I wanted to do my part. We have a war to win, and it was going to require teamwork and sacrifice.
Very few of that WWII generation are alive in my family. Fortunately, they have all gotten the vaccine and are doing well. One more Mother's Day, one more graduation, and one more Memorial Day weekend.
So if you haven't done so, I want to strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. Do it for yourself and your family. Do it for your fellow citizens. Do it so somebody who sacrificed for us can get one more trip to the beach, one more Fourth of July, one more church homecoming, and one more time eating ice cream with the grandkids. They made sacrifices for us. Now it's our turn.
May God Bless our men and women in uniform and God Bless our nation.
Dan Von Dohlen