By DOUG BARTLETT
On Sunday, Nov. 11, the simple decision of where to have lunch had a significant impact on me.
We had decided to eat at Applebee's and upon arriving, remembered that they were hosting their annual event honoring veterans. The restaurant was decorated with flags representing the various branches of the military, the tables were covered with Red, White and Blue tablecloths and the employees were all dressed in t-shirts honoring the veterans, all while patriotic music was played throughout the restaurant.
Sitting amongst all of the veterans, and their families, I spent the time thinking of my father, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War. Exactly one year ago, while visiting him in Charlotte, N.C., we took him to Applebee's for their Veterans Day event.
This was about the last thing I was able to do with my father, as he passed away just over a month later.
To be present during this event felt like the right place to be to honor my father's memory and pay tribute to all veterans, whether they are with us, have passed on, or are still serving actively.
I want to personally thank Applebee's, and especially General Manager Dave Ptak, for planning and hosting such a wonderful event, which featured several moving presentations and readings by local veterans.
Dave and his staff should be commended for their support of our local communities and especially our veterans. Through their actions, they have certainly earned my support.
Doug Bartlett is a Dunkirk resident.