Friday, July 11, 2008

Honoring those currently protecting freedom

This past weekend we celebrated the birth of our nation and most of did it with family and friends at picnics and festivals, then ended the day with fireworks. The start of the greatest nation on the face of the earth is definitely a day worth celebrating, but we should never forget those that maintain it and the freedoms it affords us.

While we rightfully have great ceremonies that honor those who have served in the past, the town of Valley Point, WV has found a way to honor those currently defending freedom. The 3rd of every month people from around Preston County gather around an old Oak tree in Valley Point decorated with yellow ribbons. The yellow ribbons are labeled with names of each Preston County solider currently deployed defending freedom.

The ceremony opens with a prayer, moves on to those in attendance singing the national anthem and reciting the pledge of allegiance. Those returning home from overseas are given a certificate of appreciation for their service to the nation, their name is removed from the oak tree and they are welcomed home. The names of those newly deployed have their yellow ribbons added to the tree and prayer said for their safe return.

The honoring is held the 3rd of every month at 5 in afternoon. Just as our troops stand guard in rain, snow, and blazing heat without fail, the ceremony is never canceled due to weather without fail. If our troops can do it, then those honoring them can as well. On a rainy muddy July 3rd between 100 and 200 people stood praying for the safe return of those that keep us safe.

This is a great way to honor those currently defending freedom. I think it would be nice if we could find an Old Oak tree in Mineral County where would could do that same.

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