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(Enlarge) Col. Edward C. Rothstein, Garrison Commander

Where did summer go?

It seems like only a few weeks ago we kicked off summer with a Memorial Day weekend celebration.

I clearly remember writing about finding time to be with family and friends. I urged you all to enjoy the first holiday of summer at a picnic or backyard barbecue. It was time to enjoy our favorite off-duty pastimes.

Labor Day weekend, however, marked the symbolic end to summer. It's that time of year when we begin to refocus on other matters.

Our youths have returned to school. Work-related projects that have been put on hold now require our attention. Maybe it's time to actually clean that closet you talked about getting to all summer.

The holiday has always been a signal for me that it's time to transition.

Labor Day also signals the end of Fort Meade's 101 Days of Summer Safety Campaign. As you may recall, the campaign's goal is to remind everyone not to lose focus on safety this summer.

So as we close out summer, I want to thank you for keeping safety in mind and making a conscious effort to avoid off-duty mishaps. I also ask that you continue to make safety -- and I'll add stress management -- an important part of your daily routine.

In between this week and next week's issue of Soundoff! we will mark another anniversary of Sept. 11 and our nation's participation in memorial services and other events to honor and remember the victims of those attacks.

Over the past 11 years we have all seen many changes to our lives. For members of the military, there have been multiple deployments. For community members, there have been thoughtful efforts to thank soldiers for their service as they actively seek out ways to honor and support military communities.

One of the things I'm most proud of at Fort Meade is the constant sense of respect and pride for our service members and their families from our surrounding communities.

We are fortunate to have so many local businesses, civic and government leaders and others who are patriotic friends of Fort Meade.

Working together, we continue to improve the strength and well-being of the entire Fort Meade region by recognizing our opportunities for partnerships and strengthening ways in which we connect our communities.

As we celebrate this year's 9/11 anniversary, let's honor the lives of the men and women who wear their service uniforms proudly and their commitment and selfless service to our country.

Let's also honor the efforts and willingness of private citizens and community leaders to establish great partnerships between this installation and surrounding communities.

Together, we all can help make our country a safer place to live, work and raise families. Working together, we all help make the world a safer place to foster freedom and democracy.

Have a great week.

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