July 22, 2010
Today was the long awaited ceremony at the state capitol in Minnesota. The morning started out with a Patriot Guard escort to the statehouse, it was a bit drizzly and it was decided that we would hold the ceremony in the nearby Natl Guard Armory. Of course they wanted the RV inside the Armory itself and with a little finagling and a few spotters we managed to drive it in ad park behind the podium. It was a spectacular scene as you will see if you look at the posted gallery photos. The scope of the event was incredibly moving and the room was circled with a patriot Guard line. The Lt Governor spoke as well as Adjutant General Shellito, Gold Star dad Ron Kahler, and Vietnam Veteran Ron Mackedanz. Many Gold Star families were also in attendance as well as dignitaries and state officials. There weren’t many dry eyes as the ceremony progressed and concluded with personalized flag presentations to the daughter of SFC Lyle Mackedanz ~ 21 Apr 1968 ~ Vietnam and the mother of SFC Gregory B. Rundell ~ 26 Mar 2008 ~ Iraq.
The time concluded with the Lt Governor reading a proclamation from Governor Pawlenty making today Honor and Remember day in the state of Minnesota! What a humbling experience to have so many today recognize the importance of what we are trying to accomplish. Today they flew the flag over the state capitol building and what an awesome sight it was. We had overwhelming support today and I know that Minnesota will soon be embracing the cause.
In the afternoon we needed to unwind so a two hour Harley ride through some of the back-roads was indeed a wonderful diversion. I will not soon forget these few days in Minnesota. Thanks Mike, Pat and Ron for an incredibly organized visit!
Tomorrow: Drive day 8 hours to next stop North Dakota for the weekend.