Veterans Day Parade10 (copy)

World War II veteran Harry Lagerstedt of Corvallis reacts after seeing a friend on the route during the 2016 Veterans Day parade in Albany. 

Mark Ylen, Democrat-Herald

• ROSE (roz) n. One of the most beautiful of all flowers, a symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Often given as a sign of appreciation.

• RASPBERRY (raz’ber’e) n. A sharp, scornful comment, criticism or rebuke; a derisive, splatting noise, often called the Bronx cheer.

We hereby deliver:

• ROSES to Albany's 66th annual Veterans Day parade, which is set to begin this Saturday at 11 a.m. 

This is a grand spectacle, billed as the third largest Veterans Day parade in the country and the largest west of the Mississippi River. We don't doubt that; the event attracts hundreds of entries from throughout the mid-valley, and thousands of spectators line the streets of downtown Albany.

We're fans of this year's theme as well: Parade organizers have put the spotlight on female veterans, and this year's grand marshals all are women. The parade also is meant to honor the millions of Rosie the Riveters who flocked into the workforce during World War II; although they technically aren't veterans, they certainly helped to win the war.

The weather is expected to be nice for November; any rain is expected to let up before the parade starts, so the forecast calls for cloudy skies and temperatures in the 50s. 

The parade is worth seeing, but if you want prime viewing spots, better plan on getting an early start Saturday morning.

• ROSES as well to the area schools that took the time to put on Veterans Day events of their own. It's a good thing for students, of all ages, to be exposed to the experiences and sacrifices American men and women faced during their time in the armed forces. And an extra bouquet of ROSES to the organizers of the assembly at Philomath High School, who had the brilliant idea of producing a video in which students talked about family members who had served in the armed forces. It's a nice way to bring home the point that veterans are part of the fabric of our communities. And finally, a word of thanks, and another bouquet of ROSES, to veterans. 

• ROSES to all of you Benton County voters who took the time to vote in Tuesday's off-year election. County voters approved, by nearly a 70-30 percent margin, a renewal of a local option levy that pays for public health and safety programs. It was a wise decision by voters. 

But turnout was only about a little above 37 percent: Some 20,915 votes were cast, while 56,162 voters were registered. That means more than 35,000 county voters didn't return a ballot.

We understand that this wasn't the most exciting election ever, and that these off-year elections typically don't enjoy great turnout. But, if you didn't vote in this election, here's another way to think about it: You just let someone else decide how to spend a little bit of your money. 

• RASPBERRIES to bicyclists and pedestrians who are out and about after sunset wearing the darkest of clothing — and without the benefit of lights or any sort of reflective garment. With the switch to standard time last week, many of us now drive home from work after dark, and we've been surprised this week by the sheer number of bicyclists and pedestrians who are dressed fashionably in dark-colored clothing that makes them difficult to spot at crosswalks or while pedaling down the road.

Of course, we could ease this problem to some extent by remaining on daylight saving time year-round, but we discussed that in considerable detail last week and won't return to it for, oh, another four months or so.

On a related note: Bicyclists, would it kill you to wear a helmet? No, it would not. But not wearing a helmet — well, you can finish that thought for yourself.

• ROSES to the members of the 1967 Oregon State University football team: Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of that team's finest hour, a 3-0 victory over the No. 1-ranked University of Southern California. The Trojans' lineup that day included O.J. Simpson, who rushed for 188 yards but failed to find the end zone.

In the crowd that day were both Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, and Oregon Gov. Tom McCall; earlier in the day, they both had participated in the Albany Veterans Day parade.

That OSU team became known as the "Giant Killers" and finished the season nationally ranked. And that game against USC still ranks as one of the most memorable moments in Beavers sports history. Check out Saturday's Gazette-Times for a story about the game. (mm)

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