America, the Beautiful
It’s hot outside! The good news is that despite the heat advisories, there’ll be no shortage of Fourth of July festivities this year. In Pima County, where fireworks have been temporarily banned due to safety concerns, and as fire crews contain the Wallow Fire, many scheduled firework shows will be replaced with patriotic laser light displays. Good thinking!
This month, in celebration of our nation’s independence, we devote our cover story to four members of the Olivas family. In “Ties that Bind,” Georgann Yara shares the family’s military service tradition.
Like many ASU grads in town, I’m fortunate to know one member of the Olivas family. Loui Olivas, or Dr. O as he’s fondly referred to, has an impressive résumé. After 29 years of military service, he’s a retired colonel and professor emeritus at ASU. Other admirable attributes of Dr. O include his steadfast support of education in our state and his service to our community.
For patriots like Dr. O, community service is a natural extension of military service, as U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor notes in his guest contribution to this month’s issue (page 24): “When we care about our community and help lift one another, we are taking on a sense of responsibility for each other and working to improve our country.”
Civilians, educators, businesspeople, volunteers – we all have a role to play in that dynamic. Catherine Anaya reminds us about that in her column. She underscores that despite the constant doom and gloom brought to us by the media, there’s lots of good in our community, as evidenced by the people who have stepped up and helped those affected by the Wallow Fire. Anaya and CBS 5 News are recognizing ordinary people who do extraordinary things by giving away $500 each week as part of their Pay It Forward stories. Read Anaya’s column in the Vibe section (page 17).
While on the subject of giving credit where credit is due, go to the Briefcase section to read about the Center for the Future of Arizona call for nominations for the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards. Named after U.S. Rep Gabrielle Gifford’s congressional staffer who lost his life during the shooting in Tucson this past January, the awards recognize exceptional public service provided by non-elected public employees in the categories of leadership, innovation and civic engagement. The honorees will be recognized, fittingly, at the 66th National Conference on Citizenship to be held in Tempe in September.
As you enjoy time with your friends and family this Fourth of July, grilling poolside or celebrating at a fireworks show, remember those who could use a helping hand. The Grace Lutheran Church Outreach Ministry launched its Annual Heat Respite Program and needs 500 cases of water this year. The program was launched the summer of 2005 after 21 people died of exposure in one week. Please visit graceinthecity.com/donations to make a donation or to learn more about ways in which you can help.
We are all in this together.