Talking Railroads and Dinner

John Clise

I was talking with Channel 3 video guru and military veteran Dennis Cortes the other day about the railroad project he is working on to establish a dining car/scenic train ride excursion.

It sounds like a great idea, He’s told me it’s a work in progress but it’s getting steam behind it, if you’ll forgive my train pun there. I was going to say it was getting wheels under it…

The B.U.R.R. Line will be a great addition to Upshur County and the rest of the region once it gets up and going. It will be another opportunity to attract tourists to our area, and for local residents to have another entertainment option.

It will also be another opportunity for other local businesses to hopefully prosper from tourists coming to the area to spend the night, buy gas, shop, eat a meal, and check out the area while they are in town to take a train trek.

It sounds like a win-win to me for all parties concerned.

Dennis also recently spoke before Upshur County Commissioners regarding an article in the national American Legion magazine featuring the local Frank Bartlett Post’s efforts to have patriotism returned to the classroom.

Dennis said members wrote a resolution in 2008 requesting the West Virginia Legislature create  legislation to require the state board of education mandate a class on patriotism be taught in all West Virginia schools, grades K-12.

Eventually the legislation was passed and started with the 2013-14 school year. Changes were made to social studies classes throughout the state to include the changes to incorporate patriotism education.

American Legion posts from several other states have contacted the local group asking for a copy of their resolution to adapt to their own state to request the same thing from their respective legislatures.

That’s pretty awesome that a local group is having such an impact not only on our state but now other states as well.

I remember when I was in grade school and junior high school way back in the 1970s, we said the Pledge to the flag every morning.

It was a real honor to be chosen to help the janitor or principal to help raise the flag in the morning or take it down after school.  You were a superstar for the day because you got to carry the flag.

I remember learning how to properly present yourself to the raising and lowering of the flag, and how to properly present yourself to the flag when reciting the Pledge.

I’m pretty sure as a second grader I practiced at home to be sure I was doing everything right every morning for the Pledge.

I never wanted to be one of the kids who got in trouble for slouching or holding my hand over my stomach during the Pledge.

Sometime between seventh and eighth grade we just stopped reciting the Pledge. We didn’t recite the Pledge at all in high school. We didn’t have homeroom in high school either.

I always thought that was a drag. I enjoyed reciting the Pledge to the flag.

When I was about six years old, I told my parents I would like it if we had a flag to display in front of our home. They bought a flag, that I actually still have, and we put up a bracket to hold it.

It was big business to put the flag up every morning and take it down every night. And of course, keeping an eye on the weather to be sure to take it down if it rained or


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