“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag.” Father Dennis O’Brian

I was stunned when I walked into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, at the number of young veterans in wheel chairs as single and double amputees. The magnitude of the sacrifice they made hit me in the pit of my stomach as I watched these smiling heroes maneuver throughout the massive hospital.

“Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war.” Thucydides

The youthfulness of their faces masked the terrors of what they had experienced, giving way to bright hopeful eyes of men that should have been college bound, working or on vacation. Less than 25 years old, these young men have already lived a lifetime of sacrifices to make this world a better place.

“Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” – Steve Jobs (Rest in Peace)

On Veterans Day, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m., join the Friday Night Bunch at our annual tribute to Veterans at C Lounge, 518 N. Charles Street with special guest Ret. Col. Walter Hairston, author of No Excuses. We are celebrating those who unselfishly served our country during “war and peace.” Bring toiletry items to be donated to the veterans and join us for a grand time.

Show your “pride and joy” by visiting Veterans’ Hospital and thanking a veteran.

“The only people with whom you should try to get even with are those who have helped you.” John Southard

Parties and more parties at Silo Point, the hottest spot in town. Friday night Sarita Murray, Zerita Holly and I hosted a Blink Pink VIP reception in the penthouse boasting a 360 panoramic view of Baltimore. Special guests were Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Dr. Miles Harrison. Guests enjoying the opulence of the penthouse were Silo Point owners Pat and Jeanine Turner, Maxine Smith, Marsha Jews, Debbie Allen, Louise Wylie, Claudia McKee, Pat Thomas, Harold Hayley, George Ray, Darnell Moses, Del. Nathaniel Oaks, Eric Bryant, Tobi Pulley, Brenda Sykes, Nikki Nicholson, Renee West, Sara Smalley, Delle Henson, Dana Henson, Councilman Carl Stokes, Yvonne Frye and Damon Hughes. The event raised funds for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” Kahlil Gibran

Saturday night Karenthia Barber hosted her champagne birthday party at the Sky Lounge on the 19th floor of Silo Point, offering the same spectacular view. Guests sipping champagne and dancing to the sounds of DJ Tanz were Councilwoman Sharon and Glennard Middleton, Dr. Charlene Cooper Boston, Sheilah Davenport, Stephanie Pettaway, Kevin and Yolanda Barber. George Barber, Darryl Buckson, Melody Moodie, Kuren Redmond and Jason Morgan, Yvette Mingo, Drs. Jackie and Darrell Harvey and Michael Haynie.

Del. Oak’s yearly birthday bash at Bay Café attracted a huge following of friends, political leaders and family members that came out in the torrential downpour to support the affable delegate. The scrumptious buffet prepared by owners Barbara and Goose had guests going back for seconds. I bypassed the buffet for the passed appetizers of bacon wrapped BBQ shrimp, lamb chops and crab balls. Guests enjoying the camaraderie were Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Council President Bernard Young, Councilwoman Rikki Spector, Dr. Oscar Brilliant, Barbara Bundy, Maurice Blackwell and his fabulous mom Priscilla Kelly, Dr. Levi Watkins, Herb Brown, Councilman Ken Oliver, Dan Henson, MTA CEO Ralign Wells, Vera Dillard, and Kenneth Oaks.

Family, friends and neighbors gathered at the newly decorated home of Dickie and Mildred Harris to celebrate Dickie’s birthday. The warm Sunday afternoon had guests partying on the deck and both levels of the house while enjoying deliciously catered food and great music provided by our DJ Charlene Cooper Boston.

Among the guests laughing as Dickie attempted to blow out his birthday candles, were former high school buddies, Melroy Mise, Willard Wright, Nathaniel Trader, Charlie Scott, Willie Clark, Donald Parker and Naomi Wainwright. Also at the party were Dr. Walter and Andrea Amprey, Blanche and Paul Beckham, Mildred Taylor, Cordell & Deleanor Boone, Joann Parker, Stephanie Terry, Kenneth Polston, Ralph and Brenda Wright, and the Harris, Harrison and Blount clan. Dickie’s nephew Dr. Miles Harrison, called in birthday wishes from San Francisco while nephew Bobby Blount expertly and hilariously tended bar. Folks had so much fun that they partied until “round midnight.” Orchids to our hostess Mildred for a fantastic evening.

Happy Birthday Leah Abrams, Sandy Aldridge, Ralph Wright, Michael Polston, Edwin Avent, and Willard Wright

On Nov. 12, spend an evening with Fran Allen at her book signing at The Place, 315 Franklin Street. Stop in and say hi to owners Ann and Darnell.

On Nov. 19, the Pennsylvania Avenue Reunion will be at Patapsco Arena, greet old friends and meet new friends. Call Shorty Buise at 410-917-6024 for tickets.

“I’ll be seeing you” Valerie & the Friday Night Bunch