Thursday, July 13, 2017

May 29th - TAPS - Memorial Day - Final day

So, Saturday we had the big final banquet.  Sunday there were a few sessions and Rolling Thunder.  TAPS annual seminar is just about over and everyone goes home on Tuesday.  This is Monday. Memorial Day.  Only one thing happens on Memorial day.  The President of the United States makes an appearance at Arlington Nation Cemetery to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier and then goes into the colosseum and gives a speech for the families of fallen soldiers.

I have to get a bit political here.  I am a conservative.  a few years ago, we heard President Obama speak here. He talked about how families of every country feel and bear the weight of wars.  It was a message that America was just one of many countries that has paid the price of war.  He made the statement that "America's military is one of the greatest fighting forces in the world".  On this day, when we remember how much America has paid for freedom in the world and how America has paid with more blood for freedom's sake than anybody, his message of global rememberance did not sit well with me.  This year, a different President acknowledged how America has carried freedom to the world on the backs of her military was a more national and appropriate message. I thank him for that.

After a brief tram ride, we went through security and got our seats inside. Early, there was the sound of larks in the air.  Later, as it warmed up, there was a constant buzz of cicadas. in the air and many of them flying around. They are huge.  It was great to see many wonderful patriots in the upper stands.  Ms. Corretta King, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Robert Dole and his wife and many others. 

After it all, the North Dakota contingent gathered at Ted's, a chain of steakhouses owned by Ted Turner, for our final get together. 

Tomorrow, we board an airplane and head home to Grand Forks.

Thank you, Bonnie, Dr. Frank, Frenchy, Sara, Jeremiah. Also a special thanks William and Richard Marriott and family for the beautiful Crystal Gateway Hotel, providing it to TAPS, and the amazing staff they employ.

Arlington National Cemetery

At the entrance

Inside the coliseum.

Artistic composition by Laurie McGloe

Gold Star Parents

Sen. Bob Dole, his wife, and also Chef Robert Irvine and his wife.

Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of HUD

National Anthem. President Donald Trump and Gen. James Mattis

Outside Ted's, Arlington

An interesting cocktail

The group

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