PROM SAFETY 4 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe
Seeing gorgeous dresses, fancy suits, corsages, and boutonnieres pop up in advertisements can only mean one thing: Prom season is here! This time of year, teens are busy choosing the perfect dress or suit to wear, finding a date, making dinner reservations, and preparing for an evening of fun and dance. During this exciting time, give your teens a little encouragement and guidance to ensure they have a safe and memorable evening.
Long before the invention of radios and cellphones, homing pigeons were used to send messages as early as the sixth century. During World War I, war pigeons carried lifesaving messages past enemy lines for the American and French armies, often being wounded in the process. In 1918, Cher Ami, a black check hen used by the U.S. Signal Corps, became the most famous of them all. On Oct. 2, the United States 77th Division was trapped behind enemy lines in the Argonne Forest during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, a three- month push by the Allies during the final throes of WorldWar I to force the Germans to surrender. It became the bloodiest battle in U.S. history. For six days, the encircled division endured relentless attacks and suffered heavy casualties, but their orders were clear: don’t retreat and don’t surrender. The division dispatched two homing pigeons with requests for help, but both birds were shot down. When friendly fire began raining down on the 77th, Major Charles White Whittlesey felt he had no choice but to send the last pigeon, Cher Ami. The pigeon’s desperate note read: BRAVE LITTLE CHER AMI The War Pigeon Who Saved the ‘Lost Battalion’ As Cher Ami rose from the brush, she was shot down, to the despair of the watching soldiers. However, after a few seconds, she fought her way back into the air, flew through a torrent of gunfire, and made it to division headquarters 25 miles away. She had been shot in the breast, the eye, and the leg. Because of Cher Ami’s brave flight, 194 of the original 554 men of the 77th Division survived the battle. One month later, WorldWar I came to an end. Cher Ami survived the war as well, thanks to the surgeons who performed emergency surgery on her. One soldier even carved her a little wooden leg. She became a well-known hero to both soldiers and children in the States. For her service in Verdun, the French Army awarded her the Croix de Guerre, and she was inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame. Cher Ami finally succumbed to her wounds in June of 1919 and is now on display in the Smithsonian alongside Sergeant Stubby, a terrier who served 18 months on the Western Front. “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.”
CREATE A PLAN
Create a plan for prom night, and make sure everyone knows what it is. Your teen should know and communicate with you what time the dance starts, what time it ends, if they’re going anywhere after, and when they’ll be coming home.
Make sure your teen’s phone is completely charged in case they need to reach out to you sometime during the night. Encourage your teen to check in once every few hours, and establish an emergency code to use if they find themselves in trouble.
You and your teen should also have a plan about the modes of transportation, who’s driving, and how many people your teen is going with. Trusting the driver is important. If you’re hesitant about letting your child be driven to prom, find another way. If your teen is driving the family car, confirm that they will be the only person driving the vehicle.
Make sure your teen is dressed comfortably and appropriately to ensure they have a fun night
without any accidents. Encourage them to wear comfortable shoes that they can walk and dance in without pain. High heels are fashionable, but they shouldn’t wear heels so high that they may fall and hurt themselves. Whatever your teen decides to wear should be comfortable and hemmed to the appropriate length based on their height.
By keeping these safety measures in mind, your teen will have a wonderful and safe evening!
2 • 205-223-6192melvin.listbirmingham.com
Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker