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Join us on June 23 for a celebration of the life of Peter Karagianis

To The Daily Sun,

Some people are very special. Whatever it is — an innate joyfulness, deep caring for others, an unwavering dedication to community, a steadfast commitment to their convictions — some people have a gift for living. Peter S. Karagianis was one such person, and we are fortunate that he lived here among us. Our community is better as a result of his devotion and generosity. And that is certainly something to celebrate.

Therefore, the Belknap Mill is delighted to honor Peter, two days shy of what would have been his 100th birthday. He was a historic icon, whose commitment to our own community's history saved the Belknap Mill from near-certain demolition.

Built in 1823, the Belknap Mill is the oldest unaltered textile mill in the country and a sole survivor from the earliest phase of our country's industrial revolution. That, alone, is impressive. But even more significantly, the Mill is a symbol of our roots and a testament to the dedication and courage of our forebears who worked so hard to make lives for their families and build this community.

This industrial tradition continues in the Lakes Region today. We have a strong manufacturing community — a bastion of advanced processes and technology that evolved out of the Belknap Mill, the Busiel Mill and the many others that once drove the regional economy. The Belknap Mill remains a proud representative of today's industry, a symbol of the fortitude of our community and our ability to evolve and prevail.

Please join us at the Belknap Mill on Thursday, June 23, as we honor the great legacy Peter left to us. The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. with a public presentation delivered by state Sen. Andrew Hosmer, Mayor Ed Engler, and members of the Karagianis family. We will commemorate the naming of Peter Karagianis Way and present the plaque designating the Belknap Mill as a property on the National Register of Historic Places.

Following the ceremony and throughout the day, the Mill will be open for cake and will feature a special exhibit devoted to Peter Karagianis' remarkable commitment to save the Belknap Mill. We are also delighted to feature the grand reopening of Riverside Gifts at the Mill, and an exhibition of work presented by River Crew Art and created by Laconia's homeless community.

We hope you stop by on June 23 and join us in honoring Peter Karagianis.

Allison Ambrose
On behalf of the Belknap Mill Society

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Orlando: I don't know what the answer is; I just want it to stop

06 15 Shooting Vigil

To The Daily Sun,

I'm at the church office today (Tuesday). I'm supposed to be putting together Sunday's bulletin. But, instead, I'm making memorial fliers for the victims of the horrific terror attack in Orlando. I've seen all of the political speeches, heard all of the same old rhetoric. It's the fault of ISIS. It's the fault of the gun. It's a failure in the mental health system. The FBI is screwed up.

Right now, I'm kind of in a place where I just need a minute to not care who or what is at fault.

I don't have the answer. I have a flier. I have the flier that I made for a candle-light vigil. There are pictures of 23 people in it. There are names of 25 more. The oldest is 50. The youngest, 18. Make that was. They are all dead.

On Sunday, I watched the evening news. David Muir was speaking with a distraught mother. She couldn't find her son. Her name is Christine Leinonen. Her pain was so visceral that I felt like she reached through the television and pulled my heart out. I pulled up the City of Orlando's web page. There were only seven names on there. Her son, Christopher, was not among them. I refreshed, and refreshed, throughout the evening, throughout the day on Monday. I remained hopeful. This mother and her son had become inexorably part of me and I was holding on to rapidly fading and yet, with each refresh, ever increasing hope that he was all right.

Christopher is on the list. Christine is now bereft of hope and so am I.

I don't have the answer. Right now, I don't care what the answer is. I just want it to stop.

For now, I'm going to keep folding these fliers. Because that's all I have.

Hillary Seeger

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