Last week at the Kiwanis Field of Flags ceremony Dale was a guest speaker. He told a story from the Civil War (of course) about a battle in 1864 that involved the 29th MVI, a Massachusetts volunteer regiment made up of soldiers from East Bridgewater and the surrounding area. At this particular battle 2 soldiers argued over the right to carry the colors into the field. The one who had been carrying the colors all along prevailed but was shot dead very quickly. The other soldier picked up the flag and moved forward and he was also shot dead. A third soldier picked up the flag and was also killed. For the first time in the regiment’s history the flag was left on the field after they retreated. In short order, 3 soldiers volunteered to retrieve the colors even though they were still being fired upon. The Confederates watching were so impressed with this act of bravery that they ceased fire and let them retreat with the regiment’s colors.
I find it amazing, and a real testament to the symbolism of our flag, that these soldiers were willing to die – really, they knew it was certain they would die – for the honor of carrying it into battle. That kind of bravery is something worth remembering and honoring and, to me, that is what Veteran’s Day is all about.
Thank a veteran today, won’t you?