[September 13, 2020] Yesterday, I attended an outdoor Salute to Veterans event in my town’s local park. It was a pleasure to be present at a hometown-style ceremony and to see so many friends and veterans, those I’ve not seen since March. Just to meet again so many who came to pay tribute to our veterans indeed made the day special.
The program began as the MC thanked two men; one old, the other a High School student. These two men had the vision to recognize vets on a day other than Veterans’ Day. What followed their ideas bloomed into a majestic Veterans Memorial Park with monuments, flags, walking paths, and a lighted wall bearing the names of local patriots.
The guest speaker was His Excellency, General Washington. His speech – no, not a speech but his recounting of how his men endured the Revolutionary War, how so many civilians supported their cause, the failure of Congress to help them with supplies, and the miracles how God intervened in their many battles with the strongest military in the world of the British Empire. General Washington told us of the importance of his Freemason generals and how he trusted them implicitly.
A local Boy Scout Troop was present to hand out programs and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Our Middle School presented a wreath honoring fallen veterans. And, the local High School provided a JROTC Color Guard and presented the Colors. Out town manager advertised the event on a Facebook Page and live-streamed the event. This is precisely what I like about small-town events.
A sunny day, moderate temperatures, and an “inadvertent” flyover by U.S. Air Force F-16C fighter jets, added to the atmosphere of genuinely honoring of veterans. Free t-shirts were given out for attendees. And everyone got to meet two World War II veterans, both in their 90s. I had the honor also of talking with a Vietnam veteran who had received his Purple Heart Medal in the mail; several of us promised to have a small public ceremony for him at a later date.
Veterans, family members, and many local town citizens came to see our Salute to Veterans. This is what respect looks like.
Excellent, I’m sure you had a great time too.
If you ever get the chance, I agree, attend one of these events. Go around and talk to the people there and find out their stories. You will come back home much richer for the experience than you can imagine. The people you meet will be unexpected. And, hey, you know that you might actually learn something or strike up a friendship that will last forever.
Thanks, another informative article, Gen. Satterfield. I too attended a few ceremonies dedicated to honoring our veterans. I was fortunate enough to speak with many vets about their experiences in both peace and war. They bring such a rich flavor to the storytelling that my wife wants to start recording them and putting that up on our town’s website.
I say, “go for it.” Tell your wife thanks for us.
Yes, excellent blog post today. Keep up the great work and let us know if you attend any more like this.
Maybe our small towns could do the same. It just takes someone with a vision. Well, I’ll be calling our mayor this coming Monday and volunteering.
Len, I’m sure they’d love to have you get involved. I’ve found that any town would like people to step up and help. Too many today would rather watch tv or spend time in their basement playing video games than actually doing something. Heaven forbid if we disturb the snowflakes out there with something that requires ‘effort.’
I enjoyed your article this morning, Gen. Satterfield. You know, I wouldn’t have given this even a dot of thinking until you wrote about the vision some people have to thank others and help others. It warms my heart but it also shows that there are people who are doing good things for us all.
Here is a story of “Last Salute” which works with these same people who put on the Salute to Veterans event that Gen. Satterfield wrote about today. These folks go to veteran funerals and make a formal presentation to the family. They do this free of charge. There website is informative. I recommend thanking people like this. Make a donation if you can spare even a dollar.
Hey Kenny, thanks for the research on this. I agree with you that we should help those who help our vets. More importantly, we should – each of us – honor vets directly and by helping our communities too.
Last Salute is a full service Military Funeral Honor Guard serving Atlantic County New Jersey and provides FREE military funeral ceremonies for active and veteran military personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Last Salute conducts over 100 ceremonies a year and is a 501(C)3 W-30 Veterans Service Organization.
Harry, thanks. This is a good cause.
I’m sure you had a great time. Our WWII vets have nearly all passed away. To meet one is truly an honor. They were the greatest generation, truly.
You are lucky…what else is there to say.
Yes, I attended a 911 ceremony but nothing directly honoring vets lately. We have Nov 11 coming up but, hey, honoring veterans is an everyday affair.