It started in the fall, the idea of honoring people who give selflessly of themselves.
The idea, at first, was how could the Harford County Public Library system better serve its veterans.
"All of them in the area, in general," Bethany Hacker, community relations specialist for the library system, said.
The short answer: add more programming.
The longer answer is what came next: Above and Beyond.
Every spring, the library chooses a theme for its programming and last fall, when the veterans subject came up, a theme hadn't been decided.
"So we thought, why not do something to include veterans, and expanded that to include others who serve the public," Hacker said. "We just wanted to celebrate this, kind of American Way of selfless service."
"We have a lot of volunteers, which the library benefits from. We have all our first responders, Aberdeen Proving Ground is right here," she said. "And the things people give up in order to help others is something we think should be celebrated."
So this spring, the library is hosting a number of programs, author presentations and exhibits that focus on service.
Capturing History: The Warrior Photographer Adults
Navy Combat Photography Instructor Chief and Mass Communications Specialist Philip McDaniel, has more than 20 years of experience leading teams into harm's way to capture the history being made on the battlefield and behind the military scenes. Join us in the heat of battle and learn what it takes to go into combat with a lens.
For adults at the Jarrettsville Branch on Wednesday, April 15, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Harford County Sheriff's Office K9 unit
The police dog unit will present an informational talk and outdoor demonstration with the dogs.
For all ages at the Jarrettsville Branch Tuesday, April 14, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The Lady Was a Spy: Female Operatives in WWII
Women such as Virginia Hall, considered America's greatest female spy, and Christine Granville, Churchill's favorite, were crucial to the war effort, yet theirs and others stories have only recently been revealed. This talk about the lives and experiences of these brave women highlights their unconventional contributions to victory in World War II.
It's a program for adults that will be held at the Bel Air Branch Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m. and at the Whiteford Branch Thursday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m.
Meet Molly: An American Girl
Travel back to World War II and get to know Molly and her family through crafts and activities.
It's for children in kindergarten through second grade at the Jarrettsville Branch Monday, May 4, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Preserving Wartime Letters: Touchstones of the Past
War letters are first-hand accounts from the front lines that provide a unique window from a military man's or woman's perspective. Preserving this priceless primary source material as social history for future generations is explored by author-journalist Nancy E. Lynch.
The program is for adults and it will be at the Aberdeen branch Sunday, April 26, at 2 p.m.
The Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest award given to a member of the military for valor in action against an enemy force. Speaker Ed Okonowicz tells the stories of the men and one woman who have received it and provides a fascinating look at the best of our nation's military.
It's a program for adults that will be held at the Joppa Branch Thursday, May 21, at 6:30 p.m.
From the early 1960s through March 1973, hundreds of thousands of men and women served in Vietnam, in an undeclared and highly controversial war. During the peak years of that conflict, Nancy E. Lynch relayed the hopes, fears, joy and tears of hundreds of them through the "Vietnam Mailbag" column she wrote in the Wilmington Morning News. Join her for a look back at this tumultuous time. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
For adults at the Fallston Branch Thursday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m. and the Edgewood Branch Monday, June 8, at 6:30 p.m.
Vietnam Veterans' Voices Adults
Honor the men and women who sacrificed so much for so little. Veterans of the unpopular Vietnam War take us through their stories of the war and its aftermath. Moderated by Cindy Mumby.
It's for adults and will be held at the Bel Air Branch Saturday, May 2, at 3 p.m.
Boosting morale: Art out of conflict
Limited resources, high emotion and intense nationalism can spark an energy that twists and revolves traditional modes of art. This exhibition explores the unique art forms born from overcoming great obstacles. Special thanks to the Air Mobility Command Museum.
For all ages at the Abingdon branch, April 9 to May 30 during library hours.
Extraordinary glimpses: Our Harford Community juried photography show
Local photographers explore the extraordinary people, places and sites in our community. Enjoy what our residents find to be "above and beyond" the everyday. Support by the Harford County Cultural Arts Board.
For all ages at the Jarrettsville branch, April 15 to June 1, library hours
Vietnam mailbag: Voices form the war, 1968-1972
From 1968 to 1972, troops in Vietnam wrote letters to a young journalist for her newspaper column, "Vietnam Mailbag." The unpopular war that transformed American society had an equally profound impact on the lives of the man and women who served there. This exhibition, on loan from the Delaware State Archives, tells the story of Americans at war through the letters they wrote a generation ago.
For all ages at the Bel Air branch, May 1 to June 30 during library hours
Capt. Luis Montalván, and Tuesday
Capt. Luis Montalvan never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. When he returned home, his wounds and post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. The award-winning bestseller "Until Tuesday" is the story of how a golden retriever named Tuesday changed the life of this former soldier. His award-winning follow-up, "Tuesday Tucks Me In," is a children's book about life with his best friend. Bring the family to meet this dynamic duo. At the Bel Air branch Tuesday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m.
Award-winning international thrillers are Fesperman's specialty. Join him for an evening of political intrigue, high-tech gadgets, ethical conundrums and a glimpse into his timely ninth bestseller, "Unmanned." For adults at the Abingdon branch Thursday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m.
Wayne Karlin is an author, Vietnam-era Marine and professor of literature. His Vietnam journey is documented through his short stories and books, including the nonfiction work "Wandering Souls," the story of a soldier's revisit to Vietnam to return a personal diary to the family of a North Vietnamese soldier he killed.
Books by all three authors will be available for sale and signing. Registration for each session is recommended.