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BAKER: Knee-deep in June 2020

By William Baker
Contributing columnist

Here we are at last, almost “knee-deep in June.”  I finally located the source for that quote: It was a line included in a poem, “A Wild Rose” by Alfred Austin, English poet.

Austin had served as Poet Laureate until his death in 1913.  His poetry lives on a hundred years later.

And, on another level, it’s been one hundred years since our country suffered the pains of another pandemic.

As we experience the ravages of the current  coronavirus we are reminded of the suffering that our parents and grandparents went through in another era.

Moving into the mid-year, midst added trials and unknowns in the economy, on the health front, and in our daily lives, it just seems like a good time to remember the past and share hope for the future.

Getting here has been much more difficult than usual. No regular school for children, no graduation ceremony for seniors, no work at the office or the store for parents, and on and on.

We have faced the unexpected and the unknown in the earlier months of 2020.  Curfews, social distancing, weather-related tragedies, and more.

Yet, our forefathers faced, fought, and won World Wars I and II, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and like them we can opt to not only survive but to succeed.

And, as progress is being made on a number of fronts let us remember that June is a great month for showing our love and respect for the nation and in particular for the flag that represents the USA.

It is a month that boasts of Flag Day on Sunday, the fourteenth. Time to think of June as the patriotic bridge between Memorial Day in late May and Independence Day in early July.

We can begin moving about more, enjoying the outdoors with the family, and we can fly the stars and stripes from our yard, front porch, or business or office.

For me, June is special also on a personal level.  It is the month of my birth in
Claiborne County, the anniversary month of our wedding in Middlesboro, and Father’s Day wherever I am.

So “knee-deep in June” takes on an extra bit of importance as we look toward a better life after the trauma of the past several months.

Dr. William H. Baker is a Claiborne County native and former resident of Middlesboro.  Email: wbaker@limestone.edu