Happy 200th birthday!

Warren's first mail run was to Youngstown on Oct. 24, 1801.
WARREN -- Some soldiers on the front lines of America's new war are armed with heavy artillery and weapons of mass destruction; others with postage stamps, bubble wrap and protective clothing.
"Our soldiers in the 21st century are postal workers," Sen. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-32nd, told a crowd Wednesday morning inside Warren's main post office on High Street N.E.
The 200th birthday of Warren's postal service was being celebrated.
The war on terrorism, Ryan said, is between two belief systems -- a tyranny aiming to limit free speech and control thought, and a democracy where free speech reigns and citizens can count on receiving their mail unopened.
"The postal service is as fundamental to our rights of free speech as anything is," he said.
Wednesday's event included remarks from community and postal officials and music by the seventh-grade choir of Western Reserve Middle School.
The 910th Tactical Air Lift Command from the Air Reserve Station at Vienna also participated and a first-grade class from Notre Dame School sang "Happy Birthday."
Fred Harris, Warren's safety-service director, presented the post office with a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Hank Angelo.
Giddyap: The city's first mail run was to Youngstown on Oct. 24, 1801. A pony express was used Wednesday to re-create that first route.
Warren Postmaster Veronica Rice said the national mail service fuels the economy and ensures the free flow of information.
Jason Sell, officer in charge of the Warren Post Office, said mail service has evolved from the Pony Express to canal boat service, railroad cars, planes and electronic mail.
The High Street location, dedicated Oct. 24, 1936, is not the original site of the main post office. Other offices were on North Park Avenue and at East Market Street and Pine Avenue.
Branches operate now on West Market Street and Niles Road.
City council President Doug Franklin called the national mail service reliable, efficient and affordable, saying that challenges it faces now will be overcome.
Anthrax scare: The celebration comes at a precarious time for the U.S. Postal Service. Two postal workers in Washington, D.C., have died from anthrax.
A national anthrax scare has caused the nation to rethink how it handles mail, now that legislative officials and private citizens have been targeted by anthrax-laced letters from suspected terrorists.
Several people have contracted anthrax, a third person has died and many are being treated for possible exposure.
Warren mail carrier Shirley Stantial said she's not afraid to deliver mail because about 90 percent of what comes into Warren is handled by a clerk before it gets to carriers.
The mood at Warren's main office is OK, she said, explaining that workers are concerned, but not panicky.
Pastor Larry Albanese of First Assembly of God prayed for remembrance of postal workers who died and for God to watch over the mail handlers who face growing threats.
Victor Dubina, a communications specialist with the U.S. Postal Service in Cleveland, said officials are concerned about multiplying cases of anthrax, but have to be careful not to stir a nationwide panic.
The postal service is being honest when it says it can't guarantee that harmful substances won't get through the mail system, Dubina said.
The U.S. Post Office has issued mail-handling tips that tell citizens to report suspicious packages and envelopes, seal them properly for containment and to wash hands after handling mail.
"Life is not 100 percent certain," he added. "It's time to use some common sense."