Just home from the "Gathering of Eagles" rally in Staunton to support our troops ... still need to download the numerous photos I took and search out the best ... and need to write while it's fresh in my mind.
My initial reaction is gratitude. Gratitude to our troops, our veterans, our First Responders ... gratitude to our military families who sacrifice while their loved ones are on foreign soil fighting to protect our freedoms ... gratitude to the community for their support by coming out to participate ... gratitude to those willing to speak and participate in a program for an event like this.
And ... gratitude for friends who are always willing to pitch in and help by bringing needed items, helping set up and take down the staging area, helping throughout the program by MCing, working the sound system, manning the tables ... and helping with moral support ... because something like this never happens alone.
Planning any public event is time-consuming, and I always seem to stay up most of the night before doing final tasks and collecting my thoughts. And then we're up early and on our way to get everything set up....
And then the patriotic music begin to play with strains of "I'm Proud To Be An American" or something else heart-warming ... people start showing up ... someone stands on the street with a sign that says "HONK if you support the troops" ... and the horns start blaring.
That is when my eyes well up and a chill runs down my spine ... and I know all the work has been worthwhile. It once more fills my spirit and I'm ready to face the world again.
So now as I sit at my computer with the tireds catching up with me, warming up after an extremely cold day spent outdoors, I feel at peace. It was an extraordinarily good day.
More to come on the rally....