By Marsha M. Brown
To everyone who was able to attend the concert at Manteo First Assembly Friday, June 8 preformed by the U. S. Air Force (Langley) “Heritage of America” – “Rhythm In Blue” we are grateful. Your attendance was a blessing to all of us.
The event was so appreciated because it was done simply at the request of its sponsor, which in this case was our church. No monies exchanged hands, no payment, compensation or financial reward was expected on behalf of the U. S. Air Force.
In the initial stages of seeking a military band to play, and not knowing what group or type of ensemble might be available, we came to realize the “jazz” ensemble was already scheduled to come into the Outer Banks. The gentleman I spoke with said they had two additional days they could play if requested…so with our Pastor’s approval, we jumped on it! And as it turned out over the course of Thursday – Sunday their visit to Dare County, generated engagements at four different venues.
The U.S. Air Force spokesman told me that all they would appreciate in return was an audience to play to. When they arrived it took them approximately two hours to set up their equipment – they took a break to eat, returned to change into their band apparel and performed for an hour and a half. Between songs their spokesman introduced the band members and where they were from or teased the fellas about one thing or the other. It was nice. At one point he asked trivia questions about dates and event that historically changed, influenced or affected our country. They played one rendition after another and during the course of the event played three songs relating to the World War II era.
As I sat there in the back row, (our favorite seat), I observed not only the strict professionalism of the members but across the isles the smiles in the audiance; the rhythmic motion of feet to the music; the tapping of thumbs on the knees, the giddy shrugging of shoulders in sync with the beat…people were into it! It tickled me. It made me happy.
We had American flags originally planned to give to the Veterans in attendance but then realizing how many people wanted to celebrate their patriotism gave one to everyone there, it was great to see folks in the spirit. We were unified in love of our country, in love for our Veterans – our Armed Forces and for each other. And you know the old saying, “save the best for last”? They did just that.
They saved honoring our Veterans in attendance the honor of standing at the sound of the song of their military branch song…one by one the songs of our honorable men and women played and when it did, the U. S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy and Marines stood proudly. It was a beautiful sight to see! Some waved their flags, some put their hand over their heart, some just stood and puffed their chest out…they were proud and well they should be. God bless our soldiers, airmen and sea faring men and women.
That night I saw at least two WWII Veterans – one male, one female. How special to be blessed with their presence wondering what things had they seen? what people they had met? what tales could they tell? How absolutely wonderful are our older generation? Well, there is no value