I want to recognize and thank the United We Stand organization and the many people who made the celebration this year such a memorable event. It was my honor to share some of my experiences from 50 years ago that so much shaped my life’s journey.
Once again, being a part of the heartland of America and sharing the joy of the little boy watching a parade of multiple bright red fire trucks brought back so many memories. The Army trucks labeled to honor the Vietnam veterans so many years ago gave a special feeling of closure to the lack of a national welcome home decades ago.
The truck’s empty beds also reminded me of the true heroes who gave all. The parents, wives and children suffered the most in losing their loved ones. Enough is not said of their suffering and sacrifice, which continues today.
A special thanks and rec- ognition to Justen Mellor, who took the time to visit with this old veteran a few years ago. His invitation to learn about what is done every year in Gunnison to honor vets and first responders brought optimism to me and others in the land I grew up in and so gladly served.
I also want to give formal credit to the author of my quote at the end of my remarks on service below:
“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”
Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931)
Wishing “Fair winds and following seas” to the people of the Gunnison area who made the evening such a joy.
Speaker at United We March observance