tears as I slowly rode north on the feeder road of I-45 south of Dickinson today in the funeral procession of Pfc. Nathaniel Given, September 14, 1985 – December 27, 2006. Motorists pulled over to the side of the freeway, got out of their cars, walked through the wet grass and stood by the side of the road, saluting, hands over their hearts, crying, honoring this fallen soldier. At bridge overpasses, people pulled their cars over, got out and stood at the railing, honoring this fallen soldier. Businesses emptied of patrons along the route, stopping their daily routines to honor this fallen soldier. A large car dealer had the emergency lights on of every automobile, their employees and customers standing on the side of the road, honoring this fallen soldier.
This spontaneous display of silent honor by American citizens was an incredible sight to see. There were no politics, no shouting. Just quiet silence to honor this fallen soldier. I posted a few pictures here.
I am in awe at the turnout by the Patriot Guard and the community of Dickinson in honor of this fallen soldier. From the moment we left our staging area, all 166 of us, to the moment we left the cemetery with over 200 bikes, my pride in America and her people was restored in full. The sun hid and the rain fell. But our people stood strong, proudly honoring this fallen soldier. Honoring his courage, his commitment, his patriotism, our freedom. Thank you, Nathan, for your service to our country. May God comfort your family during this very difficult time.
What a great service the Patriot Guards provide to the families of the fallen soldiers…thanks for participating.
Thank you bigjolly for being there for our soldiers. I say this as I’m trying to choke back the tears from my eyes. Since my friends do not blog, do you mind if I send this in an e-mail? I’d just love for them to hear your story, and still trying to get them to participate. Thanks!
Thank you, Southern. Please do tell all of your friends, it is a humbling experience.
Bigjolly: Thought you might like this. He’s done other poems about the PGR. You are not alone! Hope you get to meet him and wiskerfish some day!
It’s Hard To Ride, With Tears In Your Eyes
By Milton E. McKinney
I found out something interesting today, it almost caused me to wreck.
Something was different, a new element added, something I think you should check.
I was riding through a small country town you see, something I normally do.
And it’s just so important I just could not wait, to share this danger with you.
It’s hard to ride, with tears in your eyes, as you ride so slow and straight.
They come out of the blue, for some unknown cause, and problems they’ll create.
They blur your vision and put a lump in your throat, and you’ll weave to and fro.
You’ll try to figure out from whence they came, and then, where did they go?
This strange effect was brought about by some things that I did see,
An old fellow there, in an old uniform, saluting you and me,
His wife was there too, waving a flag, from her little electric cart.
Another fine man is sitting on the curb, with his hand placed over his heart.
Those little kids from the daycare there, all standing just off of the street
All of them standing and waving at us with flags in their hands so sweet.
Just staring at all of the bikes going by with their pipes so loud and blaring
None of them old enough yet to understand this respectful display of caring.
There was no need for fanfare, or fireworks, or even high school marching bands.
Flags were planted along the street, hanging from the trees, or held in the hands.
Everyone that we could see from the start of our ride all the way to the end,
Had a very strong personal message inside they thought was important to send.
For all of them standing outside on the curb, or sitting alongside the street,
Were hoping to honor this fallen hero whom they would never meet.
They showed their respect and all of their love for the ultimate sacrifice
They understand where freedom lives and who had paid the price.
So you see how it is when you’re riding along and the tears come into your eyes.
But we don’t worry about it too much because everyone who cares sometimes cries.
You have to blink real fast to try and clear them to carry on.
And I think it’s a problem we can handle anyway, whenever a hero is gone.
Copy right Â©2006 by Milton McKinney
Welcome home Pvt. Gilmore!
Thanks, ST. You’re right, I did enjoy it.