Today I witnessed an annual event, an honoring of our Veterans at a Veterans Day celebration.
The event was small, maybe no more than 150 people came out on this Sunday morning, rainy day service held in the local town Armory to pay tribute to those serving and those who have served, and as importantly, to those that will serve.
This local community has a band ... a volunteer band that while they won't soon be on Broadway, they are the beat, the heartbeat, of this community... They played wonderfully well and everyone sat and listened as it was "their band playing patriotic music" ... and they were pretty good.
In attendance were two of our young, Army Guardsmen on mid-tour leave. They were there with their Moms and Dads and sisters ... and they told the guest speaker, a Flag officer from the local Air Force Base, it was the right thing to do to be here to honor those that had gone before. It was obvious, they didn't realize we were all here to honor them as well. Hometown boys, Traditional Guardsmen, serving the common good--it doesn't get much better than this. Also in attendance, were two others. A bit less clean shaven but no less as patriotic. Two of "our Riders." Patriot Guards. Two guys; black leather, patches from wars and battles and times few of us remember. They were from the community ... and fortunately were home between times when their presence separates "us" from "them" that dishonor our loved ones at the most vulnerable of times. (I tell you, I've met many a man who professed a hearty strength, but THESE guys have steel "ones" folks--solid, stainless steel.) But I digress.
We all gathered together to remember, say thank you, and to our young Guardsmen say "good luck-be safe." And to remember that we live in, take pride in, honor, and remember those that have served, are serving, and will serve. Only in the United States, can we trace our heritage back to a group of Minutemen, The Forefathers of our current Guardsman, that 231 years ago in the Spring of 1775, faced-off with a militarily superior force on Lexington Green. On that day, Captain Jonas Parker and 75 Minutemen stood up in the face of over six hundred hardened British Regulars.
As the professional British soldiers raised their weapons, Captain Parker gave the now famous order, an order that in the United States Military stands to this day, "Don't fire unless you are fired upon." And he continued,"But if they want war, let it begin here."
In our democracy, volunteers protect us as they always have. And when called, they only fire when fired upon.
To my sisters and brothers in arms, I was very honored to serve with you, I am very proud of my wife who still serves with you, and it is my solemn prayer, that the Good Lord Protect you and yours from harm. Happy Veterans Day.
Thank you. Over & Out, MaintenanceToadOne