The past few weeks has been very busy for me with USA Patriotism! starting with my wife and I attending Branson Veterans Week again this year. We spent the entire week there at the invitation of the Branson Chamber of Commerce . . . and really appreciate seeing the many friends we now have in this very patriotic minded community nestled in the heart of America.
Being able to meet veterans of all generations is something very special . . . Nor are there many more years to be able to have the honor of meeting veterans of World War II and the Korean War at their respective events with many having served in both. Shaking the hands of our Greatest Generation veterans is very special on many levels and is proud reminder of my father and father-in-law being one of them.
And while I could go on about meeting Vietnam War era veterans and the younger veterans after them through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . I invite you to see the video, Experiencing Branson Veterans Week.
This video covers visits in 2009 and 2010 by wife and me to Branson, MO during its Veterans Week (November 5th - 11th) ... which is the largest and longest show of support, pride, and thanks to America's honorable veterans. I hope you take a few minute to see a glimpse of veterans of all generations including the dwindling ones of our Greatest Generation. There is also a tribute to the fallen of World War II through Iraq and Afghanistan along with those who died in the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001. You will also see many of performers who gladly show their support performing at veteran events and at their respective shows. (Some are friends too.)
And you will beam with pride as you watch third graders saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were several other special times during Branson Veterans Week including...
Meeting Gold Star parents of sons who are on the heart touching, inspiring Lost Heroes Art Quilt by Julie Feingold. A larger photo to the one here is in the Experiencing Branson Veterans Week video with several other photos . . . and is part of the tribute to the fallen. Their sons are among the 82 fallen heroes reflecting the diversity of America – 50 in the center of the Quilt representing each state in the U.S. and 32 around the border.
A photograph and poignant words describing each hero's unique personality, interests, dreams and hopes appear around each hero's square on the Quilt, permanently memorializing each life.
Meeting Sergeant First Class Bryant Fowle and U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Henline at the opening ceremony.
A larger photo of these two heroes and me are in the Experiencing Branson Veterans Week video with a narration of their story.
Meeting FDNY Firefighter Trey Piazza during the display of The National 9/11 Flag in Branson where a portion of a retired flag provided by the city of Branson became part of this venerable historic flag.
The Experiencing Branson Veterans Week includes The National 9/11 Flag in a tribute to the fallen. You can also see the video of Piazza and me joining fellow patriots including troops and veterans in the respectful and honored folding of the flag for transport to its next U.S. destination. (The video ends with the Oak Ridge Boys performance of their great patriotic song, Colors, as the flag is being folded.)The National 9/11 Flag represents the resilience and compassion of the American people. It is our generation's Star-Spangled Banner . . . Destroyed in the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11 and stitched back together seven years later by tornado survivors in Greensburg, Kansas, The National 9/11 Flag is a living testament to what the American spirit is all about.
Did you see the movie "Saving Private Ryan", starring Tom Hanks? It is one of my favorite war movies, as it showed what Americans will do for each other . . . even under severe combat conditions . . . placing another above self due to circumstances like the one about this movie.
Well, my wife and I met the son (Pete) of one the four Niland brothers who are the ones why "Saving Private Ryan" was filmed. He was at the College of the Ozarks accepting an honor on behalf of his father, three uncles, and their families. Pete Niland also talked about the real story behind "Saving Private Ryan" and read a very heartfelt emotion evoking letter that his dad (Bobby) wrote to his mother (Pete's grandmother).
Then a World War II veteran followed Niland . . . and who recounted a firsthand story from a chaplain who was with the Niland brother (Fritz) who is the real Private Ryan . . . learning about the deaths of his brothers. I urge you to see Pete Niland reading the letter and the WWII veteran telling the story in the compelling video... Real Story About 'Saving Private Ryan'.
I also think you would enjoy the videos of...
Pierce Arrow's "bravo" performance of the wonderfully written song, Banner of Liberty
It was filmed during the Branson Veterans Week opening ceremony on November 5, 2010. And with Pierce Arrow's management permission the video was uploaded to the USA Patriotism! YouTube channel and then added to USA Patriotism! I think you will understand why these four talented signers received a standing ovation from the audience comprising of over a 1,000 veterans, loved ones, and supporters.
World War II reenactment of American soldiers encountering German snipers
The realistic reenactment occurred on the grounds of the College of the Ozarks after the World War II Veterans reunion. In 2007 and 2008 approximately 150 reenactors were involved in larger reenactment battles for the public. Hopefully, similar size reenactments will occur when economic conditions allowed.
My presentation to the chairman of the Branson Veterans Task Force and the reading of my Veterans poem
It was during the Veterans Week closing ceremony on Veterans Day where over 1,500 veterans, loved ones, and supporters were in the audience.