Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fantastic Fourth...One to Remember

Jim and I had to agree that we had one of our most enjoyable Independence Days ever. The culmination was attending a military families day at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

My most unusual Independence Day was in Deli, East Timor at the U. S. Embassy. But the most patriotic was at JBLM.

Jim Delivers Keynote
We started the day with Jim delivering the keynote address at the Enumclaw LDS church celebration. He did a great job bringing the occasion to all age groups in the crowd. I skipped the homemade cinnamon rolls. Jim ate mine and several others.

Red Jeep My Ride In Parade
We dashed home, washed and waxed the red jeep, and drove back to Enumclaw for the most well attended parade there ever. The perfect weather had the whole town outside! Driver Jim's green John Deere hat was part of Americana in our small town. I was very warmly received and I loved waving directly to the little children on the route.

Military Hosts 4th of July Celebration
There is something about life on base and the military in general that makes a base celebration really close to the heart. There are kids and lots of people like any other gathering on the 4th. But these kids and families have been doing the sacrificing.

Jim and I stayed 6 hours. A band played behind Cowan Field, carnival rides were high above the crowd and a vast number of booths and food carts lined the walkway. There were three kids to every two adults...the average age was eleven!

On CNN this day there was coverage of Lieutenant Dan's Band. CSI New York's Gary Siniese has a band which he put together to tour for the troops. (Siniese played Lt. Dan in Forest Gump .) The band has been all over the world and the states. I had noticed on the invitation that Lt. Dan's Band would be playing and had no idea what that was. Imagine the coincidence when we figured it out!

How close did I get to Siniese? Well, I lent my "Rascal Flats" hat to his daughter to help keep the setting sun from her eyes. And, I chatted with his wife who assured me there actually are conservatives in Hollywood.

Our group included only Lt. Gov Brad Owen and his wife. As invited "VIPs" we sat center front for the presentation of each state flag and the 1st Corps Band concert. Wow! All patriotic music, grand and loud... perfect weather... thousands of America's service families from around the country...followed by the most fantastic fireworks display accompanied by Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture "with cannon"....

I thought several times of Captain John. I know he and his family enjoyed their 4th on at USAB Spangdalhum, Germany. Around the world, our military celebrated the 4th of July, even in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the blasts were the loudest I heard a troop behind me, "Yeah, tell em who we are!!!"

It was a get day.

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