But rather than sitting, he stood, supported by a man and woman alongside of him. Hat clutched to his chest, the veteran stayed upright while our band played the Army’s theme song from the medley, Armed Forces Salute.
When Army’s The Caissons Song ended and the Armed Forces Salute moved on to Coast Guard’s Semper Paratus, the veteran settled back into his wheelchair.
Earlier that day, Hubby and I had packed up my cornet and his snare drum and headed for Knoebel’s Grove to participate in the annual Mid-Penn Band Festival. Musicians from eight community bands gathered together and played two free concerts. Six band directors conducted two or three songs which combined into an hour long performance.
A popular song selection of the Mid-Penn Band, the Armed Forces Salute does exactly as its name implies and features the theme songs of our five branches of service: Army, Coast Guard, Marine, Air Force, and Navy. As each theme song is played, current members and veterans of that branch are asked to stand and be recognized – and always greeted with a round of applause from the audience.
As I watched the elderly veteran return to his wheelchair, tears filled my eyes and I couldn’t play any notes for a few measures. The gentleman was proud to have served his country and rightly so.
To all our service men and women, current and veterans, thank you!