As chairman of Payson's Patriotic Events Committee, I received the following simple message in response to a request for participation in our Veterans Day Program for 2007. I believe the message and reply should be shared with all our citizens:
Hello Sir: I will be representing the Payson Fire Department this coming Sunday at the Veterans Day Ceremony. I have prepared a few brief remarks, if needed. My fire engine will be there, on duty, so there is a possibility that I would need to respond during the ceremony. I hope that is acceptable.
Payson Fire Department
My response to that simple statement was as follows:
"Sir: Outstanding, simply Outstanding! On behalf of the committee and our citizens, all I can say is that we sincerely appreciate your acceptance to join with us on Sunday, Nov. 11, to observe Veterans Day and share your remarks with us. This gesture on your part is beyond being commendable, it is representative of what being a true American patriot is all about.
We are delighted to have you be with us, no matter what the circumstances and the possibilities associated with your profession. We understand your commitments and the conditions associated with your presence on Sunday and they are totally acceptable. We consider our firefighters, as well as our police officers, o ben integral part of our team and we shall always offer you the opportunity to join with us at any time, at any place and under any conditions."
Sir, we ALL salute you!
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)