Day two of the 13th annual POW MIA Rally brought a sense of patriotism from a noon ceremony at the Bannock County Fairgrounds. One veteran explained to me the emotions that he felt as they started the pledge of allegiance.
Scott Burpee, Retired USAF Sergeant turned CEO said that, “When we pledge allegiance to our country it means something it’s just empty words, something that you learned in school it defines us; our pledge of allegiance and our national anthem are almost like our company mission statement.”
The national flag was honored in a manner that is rarely seen as two groups of veterans and a large group of POW MIA supporters on motorcycles gave those in attendance a sense of national pride. To make the Rally even more special, there was a fly-by from the plane known as the Mormon Mustang.
A retired US Air force Sergeant found the speech by former Prisoner of War David Gray particularly moving.
Burpee continued that “They had experiences that were a lot rougher than ours and they are kind of our heroes. What they endured and the way that they kept their spirits up and were true to the American Spirit and I remember watching when they were released getting off the planes and to see one of the guys here today, it’s kind of emotional.”
Canadian Forces have fought alongside those from the US for many years and Kosovo Conflict Veteran Alain Habel spoke about that connection that exists between the allied soldiers from bordering nations.
The Canadian military veteran added, “We have a very good relationship with those south of the border. We work with American Vets as much as we possibly can. I believe that we are closer to them than people would like to believe or understand. I totally respect my American brothers.”