I was able to attend the Memorial Day services at the Veterans' Memorial Cemetery south of Mandan today. It's always moving to take a special day to honor those who serve on our behalf, although naturally we should be so mindful all year long.
I have a lot of photos of course, and they'll likely trickle in over the next several days. Due to time constraints I'm going to simply post some observations.
Governor Hoeven received enthusiastic applause and even cheers. Senator Conrad and Representative Pomeroy received courteous applause, each time after a short pause. It was as if people were waiting for someone else to start. Someone's horn playing "Dixie" went off as Congressman Pomeroy came to the podium, which I thought was inappropriate. The Standing Rock color guard performed a drum circle after the official ceremony ended. Someone started playing music over the speakers, two of which are near the memorial where the drum circle was performing. I unplugged the one nearest me; these men deserve our respect.
The most moving words I heard were from today's amazing keynote speaker, Major General (Retired) C. Emerson Murry: "To be born free is an accident. To live free is a responsibility. To die free is an absolute obligation."
The day itself was wonderful weather-wise, a refreshing break from the cloudy and cool Memorial Days of the recent past. There was an overwhelming turnout, of course, which is typical for our area. The spirit of the place was very respectful and truly part of what makes America great.
On a photography note, I also got to play around a little with the video function of my new camera. I'll post those results too, as time allows. Time has not allowed much lately, as I've been busier at home and work than any May I can remember in a long, long time.
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