By Jawn McKinley
Sedona AZ (April 9, 2016) – “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now, and not defer of neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” William Penn.
This quote seemed so meaningful this past week, at the Vietnam veterans event in Sedona. Having the opportunity to have the replica of “The Wall” here in our own city, and giving thousands of people the chance to participate in the remembrance and reverence it inspired was so special to all of us.
We were honored to join with so many others to help make the event special for all the veterans and their families. Groups including SedonaKind and The Sedona Women partnered with others to serve the opening day brunch, provide computer assistance for people coming to find out where their loved ones names were on the Wall and afternoon snacks for all the veterans, volunteers, (and lots of visitors) for all 4 days of the event. Really, it was such fun to be able to bring the brownies and snickerdoodles that were requested by so many of the Vets.
A special tent was set up to provide massages and Reiki for the veterans. A huge thank you to those therapists who provided their services for free with loving hearts and hands.
The whole 4 days were something none of us will ever forget. So many special moments stand out: hearing Colonel Kirk, a 5 1/2 year POW speak at both the opening ceremony and the luncheon at the Elks club, the honor ride and salute, the beautiful song written and performed by Shawn Perry especially for the veterans, the magical lighting of the luminarias against the background of the red rocks at dusk, the haunting taps and bagpipes, the beautiful singing of our National Anthem by so many of our local vocalists, and most of all, the appreciation and camaraderie of all the veterans.
So back to the quote we started with. None of the names on that Wall will ever pass this way again, and none of them deferred or neglected their duty to help their fellow man, nor did all the Veterans who came to pay their respects. All of us who had the privilege to do something to help make this event happen are grateful to have been a part of honoring all those who have fought for our liberty and freedom. We will carry their inspiration with us in our hearts long after the Wall has moved on.