There were a lot of Fourth of July celebrations around the region this year. All were celebratory, some featured fireworks and several got rained on. At least one celebration drew thousands and cost millions.
We prefer our more modest festivities –a preponderance of red, white and blue, and loud cheering for servicemen and women marching to rousing patriotic music. Ours were less about the might of the military machine and more about expressing appreciation for each and every individual service member who has sacrificed their time and talents to safeguard freedom for our country and its citizens.
Local servicemen and women were honored by flag-waving preschoolers who marched down the sidewalks of Main Street last Wednesday, by participants in the July 4 parade the next morning, and by everyone who attended First Friday in Warrenton July 5.
Warrenton Mayor Carter Nevill, backed up by a red, white and blue-bedecked Uncle Sam, spoke a few words from the courthouse steps after the July Fourth parade. He thanked our service members and first responders and the Fauquier Community Band played music that represented each branch of the military.
The Warrenton Town Limits celebration, held June 28 at the WARF, included another well-earned salute to the military. The U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Old Guard Drill Team performed to great applause – post rainstorm.
Fauquier County is fortunate enough to have some hard-working folks who don’t need the excuse of a special holiday – or a parade – to show their appreciation for our uniformed heroes.
Russ Claar, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7728 is pictured in this week’s paper at the July 5 First Friday event that was dedicated to military servicemen and women as well as first responders. It seems that every time Fauquier County sponsors an activity to boost veterans – a 5K in Remington, Veterans Day, Memorial Day -- he is there with a handshake and smile, working to make life better for folks in uniform.
At the Times offices, hardly a week goes by that we don’t get a quick visit from Jeff Dombroff, post commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #9835. He’s not shy about advocating for veterans, pushing to get his post what it needs. (He would never forgive me if I missed the chance to say that his post is still looking for a permanent home, a building -- cheap or free! -- they can work from, for the good of the post members and the benefit of the community.)
There are many others, of course, former military men and women who remind their fellow citizens that the members of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard need our consistent support every day.
We hope that our armed service members in Fauquier County feel appreciated and honored, during the fuss that happens at the Fourth of July, and every other day of the year.
Parades might be an inadequate gesture to recognize the very real sacrifice our servicemen and women make, but it’s our own small-town way of saying you are appreciated. And it’s the hugs, backslaps and the handshakes when the parade is over that matter. One-on-one, person to person, and wrapped up in a red, white and blue bow: “Thank you for your service.”