Tuesday, November 11, 2008


How can you attend a Veterans Day Ceremony and not become emotional? Today I had the privilege of attending such a ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City, OK. Several hundred people attended including veterans from all branches of the Armed Services. It is heartwarming to see these former military men and women of all ages, and from all the wars, standing at attention and saluting or holding their hands over their hearts as the United States of America flag passes by. Grandchildren, children, wives, husbands, widows, and widowers were all there for one purpose and that was to honor their loved ones, many who did not return. This is a day that we all should show our gratitude to these veterans who unselfishly risked their lives for our freedom. I salute all those who served. As the keynote speaker said, "all gave some, some gave all." It was an honor to be among them. Have you thanked a veteran today?

The Master of Ceremonies was Mike Gonzales, Curator of the museum. The Governor's Own 145th Band played all Patriotic songs, the invocation was given by Chaplain (CPT) Jeremy Dunn, and the Veterans Day keynote speaker was Major General M. Wyatt III. Museum volunteers assisted in various capacities.

I have been a volunteer at the museum for several months and I am still in awe of the displays of the artifacts housed in the museum. There is a 15 acre park with all types of equipment used in the various wars. Inside the museum, there are 27,000sq. ft. of artifacts. The museum is the largest state operated military museum in the nation. Visitors come from all over the world to this museum. Last Saturday we had visitors from Brazil, Germany, Holland, and many from the U.S. Visitors return time after time to view these artifacts. My favorite displays are artifacts taken from Hitler's home, bunker, and apartment, the original cartoons done during World War II by Bill Mauldin, who was a member of the 45th, and did cartoons of Willy and Joe,two typical World War II GI's and the Reeves military gun collection. Other displays are too numerous to mention.

The 45th Infantry Division was organized in 1923 and their original insignia was the Swastika, an ancient American Indian symbol of good luck. The symbol became so closely associated with fascist socialism that it had to be abandoned as the insignia of the 45th Infantry Division. In 1939, the Thunderbird design was officially approved by the War Department. The document approving the design, which was to become famous in World War II and the Korean War, stated that the Thunderbird was a Native American symbol signifying "sacred bearer of happiness unlimited." This insignia is proudly worn by many.

Also present at the museum today was a representative from the Freedom Team. More can be learned of this team by logging on to FreedomTeamSalute.com.

Another interesting display to be at the museum for a few days was a Patriotic Quilt display. I have never seen such beautiful and original quilts. You, too, can be part of the quilt tour. The quilts will tour the U.S. for 3 years to blanket America in Hugs for our Soldiers, Stitches of Comfort and promote love of God and Country. See www.HeavenlyPatchwork.com under Patriotic Exhibits for photos, entry forms & under Calendar for scheduled shows.

I am a proud American. God Bless America.


Judy said...

I, too, am so proud to be an American. God bless our veterans!

Kelly said...

What a Lovely post!! This is so touching and heartwarming and indeed made me prouder than ever to be an American!! What a wonderful tribute to all or our brave men and women who have served our Country so proudly! Thank you for sharing and writing such an inspiring and deeply touching dedication to our brave heroes!!