Each month I try to come up with an interesting topic to discuss with the readers. This month I don’t have a specific topic but rather a few things that I hope you find interesting.
Wednesday morning the very proud grandmother of Pvt. Aaron Estrada stopped into Town Hall to tell us about her grandson. Estrada is a Munster resident who recently graduated from one of his unit's major training exercises. Estrada is a member of the Company D, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry of the 198th Infantry Brigade stationed in Fort Benning, Ga.
On July 12th, Estrada was selected by a Board of Cadre as “the one soldier who has most demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership, competence and discipline.” He had the honor of reading The Soldiers Creed to all those attending the ceremony. Congratulations to Pvt. Aaron Estrada and all of our residents who are serving our country at home and abroad.
We hope everyone enjoyed the July Fourth holiday activities. The crowd at this year’s music and fireworks at Centennial Park was the largest in many years. The crowds that enjoy the fireworks probably make our event one of the largest in Northwest Indiana.
At 9 a.m. July 4 chairs were already out for the 2 p.m. parade. Our parade may be dwarfed by the Whiting parade held in the morning, but it is still a great event. It has everything you want in a parade, noise from police and fire sirens, floats, music from bands and plenty of young people.
The biggest cheers every year are for the local veterans groups from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Pearl Harbor Survivors. The parade is sponsored by the Munster Lions Club, the Munster Civic Foundation and the town.
In more mundane news, the Community Park Little League baseball fields that many kids have played on over the past decades are now gone. Construction has started and in a few months four new and improved fields will be built and ready for next season.
The park department is beginning to close on the 33 residential units for Manor Avenue from Ridge Road north to Broadmoor Avenue. As the properties are acquired, they will be torn down. A new green space with a neighborhood playground will be developed next year. This park will be called the Monon Park to keep the historical significance of the Monon Railroad to our early history.
Finally I want to congratulate and thank Lake County for hiring Brian Hitchcock, the new E911 coordinator. I wish they had done it five years ago. A professional with 30 years of hands-on experience is critical to getting this important emergency service operating. Once he comes on board and he’ll begin working with the local chiefs, there is a lot to do and time is ticking on the Dec. 31, 2014, deadline. Good luck!