On Sept. 12, my friend Gene Bell, of Friendly and I attended the "Freedom March" at our nations Capital. Our inspiration to do this came as a result of attending Mr. Fred Dailey's "Constitutional Studies" at the public library in St. Mary's on a bi-weekly basis. Fred is a former plant manager at the Union Carbide plant at Long Reach, W.Va. He is greatly concerned with the direction our country is being taken and this is his way of trying to alert his fellow citizens to our situation. Fred announced that he was going to the march. Gene and I figured it was the least we could do as it appeared to be next to useless to call our elected officials and voice our concerns, which we have done repeatedly!
We drove to Slainsville, W.Va in Hampshire County on the Sept. 11 and spent the night with my daughter Kellie and her husband Glenn Moreland. Early in the morning on Sept. 12, Kellie insisted on driving as she was familiar with the city. In truth, I believed she had her doubts about letting two gentlemen, slightly long in the tooth go unescorted to the city.
We boarded the Metro in Fairfax and made our way to the Federal Triangle in D.C. We disembarked and proceeded to Pennsylvania Avenue just as the march began. It was a sight that I find hard to describe! Pennsylvania Avenue was packed solid with people from the Washington Monument to the Capitol steps. Each had a homemade placard proudly displayed. We began the slow shuffle toward the Capital. It was an exhilarating feeling, walking arm in arm with the total strangers, not knowing or caring the political persuasions of the person next to you, but knowing that every one there had one thing in common, the want to preserve our precious freedoms!
In my youth, I was in the military and have stood to the colors many times and I always had a feeling of pride. On the march down Pennsylvania Ave., I had a sense of pride that surpassed all those I had felt before. The pride I felt this time was for my fellow countrymen and women, some in their late 80's, some even in wheelchairs. Young and old, all of one mind. It was an experience I will always cherish.
It was double good for Gene. We made a side trip on the way home to the site of the Civil War battlefield at Cedar Creek, VA, just south of Winchester, VA. Gene's grandfather, Albert Villers of Wick, W.Va was seriously wounded in this battle but survived. Gene had never been there, but I had and was familiar with the area, so he got a personal tour and was quite pleased.
I will close with the words of our Founding Fathers...
Gentlemen, let us hang together, or most assuredly we will hang separately!
Let us thank God each and every day for our precious Freedom, and do all in our power to keep it!