PRECISE. DISCIPLINED. PATRIOTIC.
Whenever I’ve witnessed anything military-related, those words fit. Service men and women, from my observations, are well-trained in proper protocol, team work and respect. Once instilled, those strengths remain, even decades after active military duty.
There’s something comforting about the military rituals of Memorial Day. The gun salute by the Honor Guard. The playing of Taps. The advancement and retirement of the colors by the Color Guard. All happened during Faribault’s Memorial Day observance.
But even the best practiced traditions sometimes go awry. I saw that happen late Monday morning as a member of the Color Guard removed the Minnesota state and American flags from their place of honor in front of the Central Park Bandshell.
The wind caught the flags, wrapping the veteran in red-white-and-blue. I marveled at his discipline. I would have fought with the fabric, attempting to untangle myself. But he didn’t. He simply walked with the American flag covering his face and torso.
Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned from that scene. The veteran’s actions exhibited trust and an adherence to his military training. He continued as called to duty. Focused. Determined.
When he completed his mission and turned toward the crowd, I observed a broad smile. Old Glory draped across his left forearm. A touching reminder of freedom.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling