Monday, November 8, 2010

We Love a Parade...Even in the Rain!

WHAT RAIN? Veterans Day Parade marchers and onlookers weren't the least bit discouraged by the never ending rain yesterday...they were there to honor our vets no matter what. I've never been to a Veterans Day Parade or Ceremony before but I doubt I will ever miss it again. I cried a lot. So did everyone else. I welled up with pride at the men in uniform, the fly over, singing the Caisson song and seeing the faces of our very own vets being recognized for their service all the way from WWII, through the Cuban Missile Crisis, Grenada and the Gulf War. It was just an incredible day. Because pictures speak a thousand goes...

Foothill High School Marching Band

After the parade, people filed into the Memorial Building to sign cards to accompany our Quilt of Valor for wounded warrior Cpl. Elizabeth Bailey Wafflard. I was touched by how seriously and thoughtfully each person wrote their message. 

About half way through the program, Doug Miller Commander of VFW Post 6298 asked me to come up and present the quilt to Elizabeth. It was a very emotional time for all of us. Elizabeth has suffered brain injuries from her combat time in Iraq and is working very hard to get her health and life back to normal.

After the presentation, Elizabeth asked me to sit next to her and her roommate. She never let go of her new quilt, held my hand and told me, "I love my quilt. You'll never know how much this means to me." Well, we cried a lot. What a credit Elizabeth is to our nation. While he was giving his address Rear Admiral Jud Scott, US Navy (retired) looked right at Liz when he said, "We are all so proud of you." Here are the words I wrote for Liz:

Dear Elizabeth,

I can never, America can never fully repay you or thank you adequately for your service and sacrifice in the line of duty. You have stepped up to accept a challenge that few of us will ever face. We are so proud of you. On behalf of Road Warriors 2010 and a grateful nation, I am giving you a Quilt of Valor as a heartfelt token of our gratitude for your willingness to defend freedom and keep us safe at home. I hope your quilt will be a comfort and constant reminder to you that we have you in our hearts and will never forget your self-sacrifice in defense of America, the land we love and hold so dear. 
I'll never forget my day with Elizabeth and our Veterans. 
It was a long time coming. Now it's my treasure and a very fitting
wrap up for Road Warriors 2010.

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