I arrived in town mid afternoon and found a state park west of town 3 miles, it was a quiet peaceful camp. A park ranger stopped to see me and soon the word got out because people started coming in to see the rig, a number of them were Veterans. They thanked me and could not believe we came from Eastern Maryland.
I spent rest of the day cleaning up the camper and resting, and then I rode Smiley up town to a hardware store. Heated up some dinner and went to bed early. Everyone out here is talking about how bad the bugs are this summer.
I got up and did some maintenance work on Johnabilt and rode up town to see where the Memorial is that will be dedicated on Saturday.
When I stopped at the Memorial the Mayor of Estherville was there and the Commander of the VFW and he said you move your rig down town at our VFW we have electric you can hook up. Then he handed me a ticket and said, “we would like for you to join us for the Gold Star Family banquet tonight.”
Wow, What a meal! There were around 225 people at the banquet and lot of Gold Star Families. They had a very touching program I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place. You walked out of there a changed person. The painful realization that these families have lost theirs sons and daughters, really weighed heavily on everyone’s hearts.
There were lots of Veterans there that told stories of how their lives changed during after their time of service.
I talked to Chad (Hershel Woody Williams grandson) today to see what time we could meet up when they arrive. They are flying up from the Quad city and were concerned about the weather. He said they’re calling for some strong storms. They will call me at 7 am Saturday morning and let me know if they got on the plane.
He shared with me that he will introduce me at the ceremony and they would like for me to speak a few minutes about our mission. I need to get my thoughts together so after the banquet tonight, I headed to my camper and tried to get my thoughts together.
I got up, jumped on Smiley and stopped in at Casey’s and got a cup of coffee and an egg sandwich. I got the call that the weather looks good this afternoon, so Woody and Chad are flying up and I will meet them when they get here.
I decided to take Johnabilt up to the fair grounds. It’s only two blocks away from the where the memorial dedication will be. I will have a table to set up at the Memorial.
Chad and Woody Williams arrived. We met with the Mayor earlier and went over the program. Chad introduced me and I will spoke before Woody Williams. It was a great program with a large crowd. Woody Williams gave a very touching presentation.
Everybody loved Johnabilt and thanked us for our mission and I got to greet a lot of Gold Star Families.
As soon as the dedication was over, the sky opened up and it poured and poured. Neat how God held off the rain for the dedication.
I headed down and got situated at the VFW for the night. I will head south tomorrow morning.
Chad says, “I want to see your route and would love to meet up with you again somewhere along the journey.”