To The Daily: I want to thank the organizers of the Hartselle Veterans Day celebration on Nov. 10.
This event truly moved me. They “got it right” in every sense. I also recognized how the freedom we truly enjoy and the respectful recognition we give to those who sacrificed much for us was displayed that Saturday in downtown Hartselle.
When a friend asked me to join the parade, I accepted his invitation. As a veteran, I never asked for accolades or recognition, and never asked to participate in a Veterans Day parade. Like the mayor of Hartselle said in his address, I never heard “a shot fired in anger,” although we were both Army Airborne Rangers and had the privilege of the Army’s toughest training to survive and accomplish missions beyond what we thought we were capable of during a period when military service wasn’t popular.
Main Street was filled with cheering, flag-waving, video-recording admirers. I walked with my friend and cried the entire route. The route was decorated with banners and tractors; floats and motorcycles followed. The veterans were in front, not at the end of the parade, or behind the bands and fire trucks. I was so honored. I felt I didn’t deserve this, compared to the World War II vet who fought in the Pacific walking next to me.
Yes, Hartselle, got it right. For that, I send sincere accolades and congratulations to all the organizers and participates. Thank you again to all the speakers who came on a Saturday morning to show their gratitude and support. Thank you Hartselle, for lining Main Street and cheering the parade.
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