Monday, May 25, 2015
Memorial Day 2015
Every Thursday morning, area veterans meet at a local eatery for breakfast at a Beach location not too far from the Back Forty Garden. I am told that they have a good ol' time reminiscing, shooting the breeze, and telling war stories. They are known as the Jax Vets starting out with a handful and with word travelling fast, the group now has a "Table for 30" and still growing.
A retired USN diver, Sam Hearth, made a stand for the flag with various emblems representing the Armed Services placed at the foot of the stand and the pole holder is covered with handsome macrame. Before breakfast, the Pledge of Allegiance is said followed by a prayer. (See Shorelines/ Jacksonville. com Community)
From time to time, I have written about Matt Litrell, a former Marine who served two tours in Iraq during his enlistment. He decided to ride across the country on a horse, from Camp Lejuene NC to Camp Pendelton CA, to bring awareness to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and raise money for the Semper Fi Fund. Keep following Matt on FaceBook "The Long Trail Home." A while back, Matt wrote:
"I've noticed a lot of talk lately about the flag. Apparently it's become a source of contention to some people in this country and I've noticed people commenting on how the flag flies at the ranch. Of course the flag flies and will always fly proudly at Valhalla Ranch.
In my opinion the flag isn't a political argument, it's not racist or left vs right or anything else. That flag is the banner of a nation that has stood out from the rest of the world since its inception. Those that have taken up arms for her have done so not for any politician but for the sake of what that flag means.
To me, my ancestors and grandparents fought under that flag, my heroes growing up fought under that flag when it was incredibly unpopular to do so.
When I see that standard whip as it's being carried around a rodeo arena brings a tear to my eye and a chill to my spine because regardless of what or where we are as a nation that flag has always flown and it has covered the coffins of the best of us that didn't make it back home.
I don't fly the flag for Washington or any politician. I fly it because it's my standard and one I will always defend and it's the one my brothers fought under. So red, white, and blue will proudly wave every day at Valhalla Ranch."