WHAT I REALLY KNOW
By Nancy Lane, Beaverton, Ore.
What I came to know about patriotism
started when my parents told my sister and me
about Sputnik and their worries about the Russians. Later the Cuban missile crisis spurred our
talk of building backyard bomb shelters. The
patriotism of boomers was forged by threats,
tragedies and triumphs. We shared the Cold War
threats and the tragic deaths of John, Martin and
Bobby. We triumphed with moon walks, the fall of
the Berlin Wall and the ascent of the first African
American to the presidency. We mourned space
shuttles Challenger and Columbia. We grieved over
Oklahoma City and 9/11. We acknowledged tragedy
in Tucson, Ariz., and later celebrated the recovery
of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
American patriotism is lived through our work.
When we work hard and provide our country and
the world with high-
and services, our na-
tion is strengthened.
When we help the
needy or the victims
of disasters, here or
abroad, America is
What I really know
about patriotism is
how we love our heroes.
One of my favorites is Lenny Skutnik. Skutnik dived
into the icy waters of the Potomac River to save a
passenger on Air Florida Flight 90, which crashed
in January 1982. And there’s “Sully.” Can we feel any
more patriotic about American skill than when we
recall people standing on the wings of U.S. Airways
Flight 1549 afloat on the Hudson River? Sputnik,
Skutnik and Sully helped fashion the rich fabric of
the patriotism I know.
; Sully’s skills over the
Hudson became part of
the fabric of patriotism.
Reinventing Home Happy Together
I read with anticipation “Reinventing
Home: Happy Together” [April], hop-ing to find information about housing for
the older generation that did not cost an
arm and a leg. I’m delighted there are the
various options described, but those of us
with small or moderate incomes are pretty
much left to our own devices.
There is one possible solution for people like my wife and me—a return
to the time when multigenerational families lived together and shared
expenses. There used to be “mother-in-law suites” or something similar.
In today’s economic climate, it might be a good idea for us to return to
the shared family home. We are planning on doing that with our kids.
Charles Lee, Bellingham, Wash.
By Sally Abrahms
An article on Medicare coverage in
the April 2011 Bulletin [Special Sec-
tion Starter Kit] incorrectly describes
Medicare as providing free coverage for
annual physical exams.
Medicare covers an initial “Welcome to
Medicare” physical. The free annual exam
thereafter is a “wellness exam”; it is not a
routine physical checkup.
This difference is commonly misun-
derstood. I found out the hard way when
Medicare coverage for my physical was
denied. If a wellness exam suffices for
your situation, you need to specify that
when making your appointment, and
see that it is billed that way.
William Schm tz
alone destroyed about 1,200,000 acres.
Editor’s note: Mr. Vogt is correct.
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DC 20049; or email to: Bulletin@aarp.org. Please
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; KenKen Answer (from page 9)
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There seem to be a few zeros missing
from item No. 23 in “Changing Earth”
[Power of 50]. If, as the item says, it’s
taken 8,000 years to lose just 11,000
square miles of forest around the world,
we’re doing great. That’s a block of
woodland 100 by 110 miles, or 7,040,000
acres. The Yellowstone wildfires in 1988