Opinion & Editorial

A simple, little five-letter word

Mayor Richard Zettervall

I would like to talk to you about the importance of a simple, little five-letter word that is often overlooked, but is also very important. This word can be used as both a verb as well as a noun. This word has many uses and meanings which depends on the subject and the context. The word that I want to talk about is the word “serve.” Let’s talk about some of the uses, meanings and ways that you can use this word and why it’s such an important simple, little five-letter word.

First come, first “served,” this is something that we all understand very clearly. This can be  described a multitude of different ways, like when you’re trying to buy the best seats at a big concert, game or show. Tickets are almost always sold on a first-come, first-“served” basis. 

To be “served” in a legal proceeding can be used for a multitude of different parts of the legal system. You could be “served” a Jury Summons to do one of your many responsibilities as a good citizen, to “serve” on a jury. You can also be “served” with a legal action against you in a lawsuit. Maybe you or a family member has been convicted of a serious crime, that person may have to “serve” a prison sentence. Once this person completes their time in prison, you could say justice has been “served” while others might say, “serves” them right for doing that crime. 

In this crazy time with the COVID-19 virus we must think about our collective public “service” and what that means about being a good citizen to each other. We must help out each other and our local businesses by wearing masks when shopping in these businesses and when 6-foot social distancing cannot be achieved outdoors. We as Creswellians owe it to our local businesses to do our part to wear your masks, their success depends on all of us!

This word can also be used in a church or synagogue, by attending a worship “service.” Our own individual levels of faith are a crucial element of our society and in other countries around the world. There is usually someone who leads the worship “service” – it could be a Priest, Minister, Father, Rabbi or many others. In almost every case, these people have dedicated their lives in the “service” of their faith. 

There are many people in this country who may be blind, deaf, or many other types of disability. Most of them live a normal and active life, but find that they could use a little bit of help. It could mean that this extra help could be provided by a “service” animal. These animals are literally lifesavers and can offer an element of independence and safety that would not have been possible otherwise. 

My wife and I love to travel by taking road trips. We have traveled all over the western United States and into Canada. We always eat dinners at a local restaurant and especially love to try some of the local delicacies. We especially love the menu recommendations of our “server” and at least one of us often orders that menu item. When our meals are “served” we savor every bite of the local fare. The “service” that our “server” provides is very important to us. We truly enjoy giving generous tips for excellent “service.”

Military “service” has been a very important part of my life. All of my uncles “served” in World War II. My Uncle Bill “served” in the Army and marched across Europe. My Uncle Bob “served” in the Navy and did his tour of duty on a supply ship serving the fleet as they prepared for D-Day. My Uncle Tom “served” in the Air Force. He loaded bombs on fighter planes in the South Pacific Theater. My Father was too young by one year, so he forged his birth certificate and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After he finished basic training the war was coming to an end. He was then transferred to Fort Bragg and “served” many years in the Marine Corps and eventually was promoted as a USMC Drill Sergeant. I’m very proud of each and every one of them, may they rest in peace.

We now come to public “service” to our country, state, county or community. The word in this use is perhaps the most important of all. All of the examples of “serve” that I have shared above are important and play a definite role in our daily lives. But without the public “servants” who “serve” on and represent every water district, school board, city committee, city council, mayor, county commissioner, state house and senate, governors, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, Supreme Court and President of the United States this country would not be the great country that we are. Over the centuries the United States of America has been a shining beacon around the world all because of the amazing people who have “served” our country. 

I will not get political here since “service” as Mayor and the City Council are all non-partisan positions. We as a free democracy hold elections every two years to elect the people that we want to “serve’” and represent us. On Nov. 3, 2020 we hold our next election. In Creswell there will be three City Council seats and the Mayor position up for election. Please, consider “serving” your City and run for elected office. It’s a thankless job, but the rewards and feelings of pride and sense of “service” more than outweigh the hours of homework and the monthly meetings. 

Creswell, it has been my true honor to have “served” on the City Council for three years, then the privilege of being elected as your Mayor for two years.

When my term ends, my “service” to Creswell will come to an end. I will not be seeking re-election.

The City will be left in good hands. Several people have already stepped up to carry on with the great work of city council. My wife and I have many more travel adventures that await us. So, as the old saying goes, “You’re Not Gettin’ Any Younger,” and that is certainly true for the two of us.

Thank you very much Creswell, you truly are “The Friendly City!”


Mayor Richard Zettervall wrote this for The Chronicle.



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